Plans were announced to establish the MENA Associated Gas and Global Environment Fund (AGEF) in Abu Dhabi yesterday, with an up front investment of US$300 million.
The new initiative is headed by Abu Dhabi owned International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Man investment firm. MTM Capital Partners, a subsidiary of Man, will manage the fund.
IPIC is the first to invest in the project, committing $300 million. Rikky Hassan, managing director of MTM, heralded the contribution as "significant" and said Abu Dhabi is the "unsung hero" in dealing with environmental issues worldwide.
The fund is aiming to invest in projects to capture associated gas from crude oil production and use it to generate electricity and other products. In doing so, environmentally damaging greenhouse gases, generated by flaring, will be monetized.
Peter Clarke, chief executive of Man Investments, was keen to stress intelligent solutions were critical to the success of such projects. "Smart environmental thinking is not just about coming up with new sources of energy, but also about how we harness those existing resources."
The concept could be significant if adopted worldwide, since flared gas adds approximately 350 million tonnes of CO2 in emissions each year. In Africa alone 40 billion cubic metres is flared in its oil regions. The World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction Initiative says this is equivalent to 50% of its power consumption.
Man is hopeful that the initiative could spread beyond the UAE and operate throughout the Middle East and Africa. Iraq and Saudi Arabia have been highlighted as key markets.
The fund aims to raise $1.5 billion over the next year, and is hoping to attract an international portfolio of investors including governments, sovereign wealth funds and institutional banks. Fluor Cooperation, the fund's technical partner hopes enough capital can be raised within that timeframe to enable infrastructure development for the project.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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