Argentinian oil giant Tecpetrol is set to make waves in both the energy and cryptocurrency sectors by utilizing associated gas from its oil fields to power crypto mining operations, beginning between October and November. This innovative move aims to address the challenge of dealing with associated natural gas, often flared or vented at remote oil fields.
According to the chief executive director of the company, Ricardo Markous, miners will use gas from six of the fields’ wells. The amount of natural gas produced by these wells per day is thought to be 60,000 cubic meters.
Typically, oil extraction results in the release of associated natural gas. This gas is usually either burned onsite (flared) or vented unless it can be transported quickly to local production facilities. However, in remote areas, this is often impractical. Tecpetrol’s solution involves converting this associated gas into electricity on-site, an approach that has seen success in Russia over the past decade.
Tecpetrol’s primary motivation for embracing Bitcoin mining alongside traditional oil production is twofold. Firstly, it presents an eco-friendly alternative to the wasteful practice of gas flaring, reducing environmental impact. Secondly, the company expects that using this gas for mining will expedite oil production at the Vaca Muerta site.
To execute this innovative plan, Tecpetrol will deploy three generating facilities, each equipped with cryptocurrency mining rigs. This approach not only minimizes waste but also taps into the booming crypto market, positioning Tecpetrol as a pioneer in green crypto mining.
Tecpetrol’s initiative isn’t unique in the oil industry. YPF Luz, a subsidiary of the state-owned YPF, had embarked on a trial project to harness flared or residual gas for Bitcoin mining in Argentina’s largest oil field, Vaca Muerta. This project is already producing 1 megawatt of electricity, with an 8 MW project in the pipeline for the Bajo del Toro region.
Beyond Argentina, global oil giants have entered the cryptocurrency arena. ExxonMobil and Cursoe Energy System collaborated to mine Bitcoin in North Dakota, eliminating natural gas flaring while generating crypto profits. Similarly, Russia’s Gazprom, a major natural gas player, ventured into providing energy for Bitcoin mining, utilizing gas flare energy.
The innovative endeavor to utilize associated gas for cryptocurrency mining marks a significant shift in the energy and crypto sectors. It not only reduces environmental waste but also positions the company to benefit from the growing crypto market. This convergence of traditional energy and crypto mining offers exciting opportunities for both sectors, showcasing the potential of resource optimization and sustainable practices.