Richard Branson has an alternative fuel company Virgin Fuel and has successfully flown a commercial jet with the alternative fuel which is remoured to have algae in it.  He is also hedging his bets with this Virgin Oil deal.  Since there is so much money to be made in oil he see opportunity.  And Richard Branson can use some of the profit to help in his alternative fuel company Virgin Fuel.  Good move Richard.

BILLIONAIRE tycoon Sir Richard Branson plans to launch a new company, called Virgin Oil, to help build a £1.1 billion refinery to supply airline fuel.
Sir Richard will put about £55 million into the venture, which he hopes will be launched within the next five months. He also hopes to pull in further funding from other airlines and the Government.

Informal talks have already been held with Willie Walsh, the incoming British Airways chief executive. Behind the move is an attempt to tackle the global rise in oil prices.

“Our fuel bill has risen by $300 million [£164.5m] for this year alone,” Sir Richard said. “The biggest problem with the oil price is the lack of refinery capacity. There’s enough oil for everyone in the world, but the refineries are just not there.”

Sir Richard also indicated that the Virgin was drawing up plans for an oil exploration business.

Branson’s £55m oil bid – Edinburgh Evening News