- ConocoPhilips, the oil and gas conglomerate, has entered the Bitcoin mining business in an effort to reduce carbon emissions profitably.
- ConocoPhilips, the international oil and gas conglomerate, is dabbling in Bitcoin (BTC) mining in order to eliminate the wasteful practice of flaring.
According to CNBC, the company is currently running a pilot scheme in the oil-rich Bakken region of North Dakota. Rather than burning excess gas, a byproduct of oil drilling known as flaring, the company is selling it to a third-party Bitcoin miner for use as fuel.
Concerning the environmental effects of “routine flaring,” a company representative stated that the decision to move into Bitcoin mining reflected the company’s overarching goal of reducing and “ultimately eliminating routine flaring as soon as possible, no later than 2030.”
ConocoPhillips stated in a slide from a 2021 presentation that it has a “ongoing focus” on ensuring that gas capture projects achieve zero routine flaring by 2025.
ConocoPhillips testing out bitcoin mining in the Bakken
Good find from @EnergyInfraBro $COP pic.twitter.com/Gk5tRJCbrh
— Collin McLelland 🏴☠️ (@FracSlap) September 23, 2021
Bitcoin mining provides a one-of-a-kind and profitable solution to the problem of routine flaring, which occurs when mining companies strike natural gas formations while drilling for oil.
While oil can be extracted and collected anywhere, natural gas extraction necessitates the installation of pipeline infrastructure. If miners strike gas at a significant distance from a pipeline, companies are forced to burn or “flare” the gas, which is an unprofitable and environmentally damaging procedure.
Rather than letting the gas go to waste, Bitcoin miners place shipping containers or trailers containing crypto mining equipment near an oil well and divert the gas into generators that power the equipment.
ConocoPhillips did not specify which Bitcoin miner it was selling to or how long the preliminary experiment had been running.
Crusoe Energy, a US-based oil and gas explorer, has also used Bitcoin mining to profitably reduce emissions, with approximately 60 data centers and Bitcoin mining units powered by diverted natural gas on their oil fields. According to an Argus media report, Crusoe Energy’s technology reduces CO2-equivalent emissions by up to 63 percent when compared to regular routine flaring.
Miners have become increasingly concerned with finding new ways to harness more sustainable methods of energy in response to widely circulated criticisms of Bitcoin mining, which typically arise from environmental concerns.
According to the Bitcoin Mining Council, the global industry will have a sustainable energy mix of 58.5 percent in near future. In Norway, miners are even using waste heat to dry lumber.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.