Oman will use associated natural gas to mine crypto

The Middle East nation bought an equity stake in the US mining firm Crusoe Energy Systems, refused to comment on the size of the deal.

A stock photo of a flare stack against the blue cloudy sky.

As Bloomberg reports, Oman’s sovereign wealth fund took part in a $350 million equity round that Crusoe Energy Systems Inc. raised in April. Both Oman Investment Authority and Crusoe declined to reveal the terms.

Crusoe plans to open an office in Muscat, Oman, where it will deploy power generators and mining equipment for capturing gas at oil wells. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region accounts for 38% of global flaring, a term that stands for the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction.

“We’ve always felt it was important for us to have a presence in the MENA region,” given its share of global flaring,” said Chase Lochmiller, Crusoe CEO. “Having the buy-in from nations that are actively trying to solve the flaring issues is what we are looking for.”

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Flaring is a significant source of greenhouse emissions, and for that reason, such practice frequently comes under fire from climate scientists and NGOs. Crusoe has already faced criticism for not actually solving the problem of flaring but making profits of it instead. The company plans to start operations in late 2022 or early 2023.

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The Oman government, which was among the signatories of the World Bank’s initiative to end production flaring by 2030, says it remains committed to following the Paris climate agreement.