Cryptocurrency miners are constantly looking for innovative ways to obtain inexpensive and practical power sources to fuel their operations. A trial project to use flared or residual gas to power bitcoin mining operations is being conducted by YPF Luz, a division of the state-owned YPF in Argentina.
This project aims to utilize the gas that would otherwise be burned and has been operating for three months in the country’s largest oil field, Vaca Muerta.
According to Martin Mandarano, CEO of YPF Luz, the pilot project is producing 1 megawatt of electricity, and a second project, which will produce roughly 8 MW of electricity and will be operational in the Bajo del Toro region by the end of the year, is also being constructed simultaneously.
The only way to utilize the gas in these oil fields is to lure interested parties to the zone because it cannot be transported to other locations for usage. Customers of YPF Luz already pay for this type of power, which is generated on-site with generators set up during the drilling phase of oil wells. Mandarano says that the payment varies and is sometimes based on the value of the resource that is mined, and other times the corporation sets the price.
He did not, however, identify the circumstances under which a corporation might make a payment.
Given the nature of the operations, the equipment must be relocated once the well digging for the generator installation is complete. This is unaffected, though, as the apparatus is made to be portable and modular so that it may be swiftly transported to different sites.
Mandarano made it clear that this change is a component of an unusual approach to solving the power issue and that they are moving the demand to the location of the supply because it is located at a considerable distance. There is no infrastructure to transmit the gas to the demand, like a pipeline.