Bitcoin miners in North America are teaming up with oil drillers to utilize excess natural gas and mine the leading crypto asset.
Reuters reports that Bitcoin miners are sending mobile mining rigs on trailers out to oil drilling sites in North Dakota to harness the excess energy produced and efficiently convert it into crypto.
Since oil and natural gas often come from the same wells, the gas is wasted in a process known as flaring when the drillers extract the oil.
Steve Degenfelder, the land manager at Wyoming-based producer Kirkwood Oil and Gass LLC explains how flaring gas is a negative byproduct of the oil-drilling process.
“‘The sweet spot for us is stranded, low volumes of gas that don’t justify a pipeline… Oil and gas companies don’t like to flare their gas – that’s money that’s burning away.”
However, Bitcoin miners are finding a way to benefit from this process and save the otherwise wasted energy.
The alliance between crypto miners and American oil companies could potentially take BTC out of the hands of miners in China who primarily use non-renewable energy sources, says Mark Le Dain, vice president of oil and gas data intelligence firm Validere Technologies.
“It helps cut emissions at (an oil) producer level, but also globally by reducing mining in parts of the world where coal is likely the power source.”
The oil-crypto alliance forms amid the marketwide crash in digital assets. The harsh correction follows comments from Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticizing Bitcoin’s energy consumption. Additionally, Shark Tank veteran and billionaire investor Kevin O’Leary has made repeated assertions that institutional investors in his network have expressed concerns over the environmental origins of their crypto assets.
“I have certainly shifted my holdings. I don’t own random ETFs with blood coin in them. I know the providence of where my wallet coins are mined now…
The industry has done a poor job in lobbying its case around sustainability. I spend a lot of time talking to CEOs of miners and various entities that want me to invest in their mining operations. Collectively, they’ve done a horrible job.”
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