Moving past hype and into the mainstream — Kay Rieck Dubai

The rise of ESG

This economic reality has been changing in recent years. Companies, whether they are focused on E&P itself or the investment opportunities that sit in parallel, are increasingly pressured to take environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibilities into account. This may be relatively low on the agenda of an E&P organization, but from an investment perspective, it has been becoming increasingly important over the last decade.

Enter crypto

So, how can the volatile world of crypto help? In a nutshell, the crypto sector needs power to complete its complex computer calculations, but importantly, those calculations can be carried out anywhere. In other words, you can locate a computer server at a wellhead anywhere in the world, and power it with natural gas that would otherwise have been wasted. The technology is relatively cheap, and it is mobile, so it can be put in place and then moved on as deposits are expended.

So it’s just hype?

The thing is though, in terms of serious business, there are increasing numbers of people willing to investigate the market, and it is not just innovative/leading edge companies such as Crusoe Energy. Several of the major wholesale banks have also set up crypto trading desks, and people keep creating credible use cases for the technology that go beyond cryptocurrencies and into the underlying blockchain itself. Financially sensible, Switzerland and several other countries have retail crypto experiments at a relatively advanced stage that might well have reached mass delivery had the pandemic not demanded so much focus and put a crimp on public spending over the last couple of years.

Nothing to lose with waste gas

What this means is that over the next few years, there is a good chance that we are going to need far more servers than we are using today, and we need a relatively cheap, sustainable way of powering them. Using waste gas seems like a sensible way of achieving this.

About the author

Kay Rieck has been active on the investment side of the oil and gas sector for more than two decades. Starting his career as a financial adviser and stockbroker on the New York Stock Exchange, he quickly developed an interest in natural resources and associated assets building his expertise with investment banking and asset management roles at the New York Board of Trade and the Chicago Board of Trade. Utilising his exceptional network of global contacts, he started his first exploration and production company in the US in 2008, selecting investments across the Haynesville Shale, Permian basin, Eagle Ford shale, Dimmit county and elsewhere that offered exceptional prospective returns.

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