ConocoPhillips, the international oil and gas conglomerate, is dabbling with Bitcoin (BTC) mining in order to stop the wasteful practice of flaring.
According to CNBC, the corporation is now running a trial plan in the oil-rich Bakken area of North Dakota. Rather of burning extra gas, a byproduct of oil drilling known as flaring, the business is selling it to a third-party Bitcoin miner for use as fuel.
Concerning the environmental effects of “regular flaring,” a business spokesman indicated that the choice to get into Bitcoin mining mirrored the firm’s larger goal of lowering and “ultimately eliminating routine flaring as soon as practicable, no later than 2030.”
ConocoPhillips indicated in a slide from a 2021 presentation that it has a “ongoing effort” on ensuring that gas capture projects achieve 0% regular flaring by 2025.
Bitcoin mining provides a one-of-a-kind and lucrative answer to the issue of frequent flaring, which happens when mining firms strike natural gas deposits while drilling for oil.
While oil may be extracted and collected anywhere, natural gas extraction necessitates the installation of pipeline infrastructure. If miners hit gas at a substantial distance from a pipeline, firms are compelled to burn or “flare” the gas, which is an unprofitable and ecologically damaging practice.
Rather of letting the gas go to waste, Bitcoin miners deploy shipping containers or trailers with crypto mining equipment near an oil well and redirect the gas into generators that power the equipment.
ConocoPhillips did not specify whose Bitcoin miner it was selling to or how long the pilot trial had been running.
Crusoe Energy, a US-based oil and gas explorer, has also used Bitcoin mining to economically reduce emissions, with roughly 60 data centers and Bitcoin mining devices fueled by diverted natural gas on its oil fields.
According to an Argus media article, Crusoe Energy’s technology reduces CO2-equivalent emissions by up to 63 percent when compared to typical routine flaring.
Miners have been more interested with discovering new ways to capture more sustainable types of energy in response to publicly publicized complaints about Bitcoin mining, which mostly arise from environmental concerns.
According to the Bitcoin Mining Council, the worldwide sector will have a sustainable energy mix of 58.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021. In Norway, miners are even utilizing waste heat to dry timber.