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Oman-backed bitcoin miner announces new acquisition

US-based digital flare mitigation technology pioneer Crusoe Energy Systems LLC, which recently received funding support from Oman Investment Authority (OIA) – the integrated sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman – has announced that it has acquired the assets of fellow US flare mitigation specialist Great American Mining (GAM).

The acquisition, Crusoe Energy said, will position the integrated company strongly in the Digital Flare Mitigation (DFM) space. DFM technology centres on the utilisation of stranded gas and flared gas to power data centres and enable energy intensive computation, primary for bitcoin mining.

In June, OIA along with Mubadala Investment – the sovereign wealth fund of the government of the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi – announced an investment in Crusoe Energy with the goal of supporting the introduction of DFM in Oman and the wider region. By harnessing stranded gas and flared gas – resources that are otherwise wasted with potential consequences to the environment – it can be channelled towards powering modular data centres that in turn drive energy-intensive computation.

Significantly, the potential for Oman and the wider region to become a hub for bitcoin mining is immensely promising once deployment of DFM technology begins in the Middle East, it is pointed out.

According to Crusoe Energy, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region accounted for over 38 per cent of global flaring in 2020. Oman’s share of the global volume was around 1.8 per cent (equivalent to 2.517 billion m3 of gas annually). With DFM deployments, a sizable share of flared gas volumes can be harnessed and put to productive use, thereby mitigating environmental impacts as well.

Since it rolled out its cutting-edge Digital Flare Mitigation technology, Crusoe’s roughly 100 data centres have utilised an estimated 2.5 billion cubic feet of gas that would otherwise have been flared. The company’s fleet of flare-eliminating data centres have a capacity to reduce CO2-equivalent emissions estimated at 650,000 metric tonnes per year, comparable to removing approximately 140,000 cars from the road, it noted.

Now this capability is set to be significantly ramped up with the acquisition of Great American Mining’s assets. The integrated business will now include 125 flare gas-powered modular data centres currently in operation, effectively reducing flaring by around 20 million cubic feet per day. Commercial relationships cultivated by GAM with several large-scale energy producers in the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana will revert to Crusoe Energy as well.

In a statement, Chase Lochmiller, Crusoe’s Co-Founder and CEO, said: “We value the relationships established by Great American Mining with oil and gas producers in the Bakken oil fields, and look forward to developing these relationships to enhance and expand DFM operations wherever flaring may be a challenge. Given Crusoe’s industry leading operational efficiency, scale and technology, we believe we can materially improve the overall performance of GAM’s existing asset base to create value and deliver even better results for clients.”


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