TLDR: Even with natural gas prices at all-time time highs, Big Oil in the US is turning their excess flare gas into bitcoin.
- Exxon is mining bitcoin in North Dakota
- There is a lot of flare gas in the US
- Why not turn excess gas into bitcoin?
ExxonMobil, one of the largest energy producers in the United States, has been running a pilot program to use excess gas to power crypto mining rigs. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, the company has partnered with Crusoe Energy to use excess gas from oil wells in North Dakota to run Bitcoin miners.
The project reportedly uses 18 million cubic feet of natural gas per month, producing 158 million cubic feet of natural gas each day. This accounts for roughly 0.4% of ExxonMobil’s reported operations in North Dakota. The pilot program, which began in January 2021, has been successful, and the company is now considering expanding the program to other countries.
ExxonMobil is reportedly looking to expand its operations to Nigeria, Argentina, Guyana, and Germany, in addition to launching a similar project in Alaska. This move comes after ConocoPhillips, another oil and gas giant, launched a similar program to sell excess gas to third-party Bitcoin miners for fuel.
The transportation of natural gas requires pipelines that cannot always safely accommodate the amount produced. To avoid burning off any excess gas or venting it into the air, ExxonMobil has found a new way to use it. By powering crypto mining rigs, ExxonMobil is not only reducing the environmental impact but also creating a new source of revenue.
Crusoe Energy, which operates 60 data centers for crypto mining across four U.S. states, reportedly uses gas from oil wells that would otherwise be flared on-site. Instead of burning off the gas, diverting it to crypto mining reportedly reduces carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions “by as much as 63%.”
“It is creating use of what would be otherwise wasted,” said Danielle Fugere, president of environmental shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, referring to the energy being diverted to Bitcoin miners.
Overall, ExxonMobil’s pilot program is a step in the right direction towards creating sustainable energy solutions. By using excess gas to power crypto mining, ExxonMobil is not only creating a new source of revenue but also reducing carbon emissions. As the world shifts towards a more sustainable future, initiatives like these are becoming increasingly important.