Oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil has leveraged Bitcoin mining to reduce flare emissions.
Exxon Mobil Corporation, U.S.-based oil and gas company formed in 1999 through the merger of Exxon Corporation and Mobil Corporation. As one of the world’s top three oil and energy concerns, it has investments and operations in petroleum and natural gas, coal, nuclear fuels, chemicals, and mineral ores.
Exxon Mobil – a large multinational oil and gas corporation – is considering leveraging Bitcoin mining to make bigger profits from excess oil production. The company could bring its gas-to-Bitcoin pilot to multiple countries, having already used 18 million cubic feet of gas per month for this purpose.
Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares, asked about this on his Twitter:
“So bitcoin can actually solve energy infrastructure challenges while reducing emissions?”
As reported by Bloomberg, Exxon is currently sucking excess natural gas from oil wells in North Dakota that would otherwise catch fire or explode due to a lack of pipelines. The company gets gas from an oil field in the Bakken shale basin to power on-site Bitcoin miners as part of a deal with Crusoe Energy Systems.
The project launched in January 2021 and continued to be expanded in July of that year. Now, the largest US oil producer is planning to expand operations into Alaska, Nigeria, Argentina, Guyana, and Germany. This is according to sources who have chosen to keep it private, as the information has not been made public.
Exxon Mobil spokeswoman Sarah Nordin said in an email:
“We continuously evaluate emerging technologies aimed at reducing flaring volumes across our operations.”
However, she declined to comment on “rumors and speculations regarding the pilot project.”
Oil and gas producers are increasingly under pressure from regulators and investors to reduce their carbon footprint to help combat climate change. This was why the International Energy Agency (IEA), released a roadmap for the world to go net-zero by 2050.
A major component of the road map was for oil companies like Exxon Mobil to phase out all unabated coal and oil power plants by 2040 and also triple the annual clean energy investment worldwide by 2030 to around $4 trillion.
Bitcoin mining has evolved into a full-blown industry built on Bitcoin’s proof-of-work mechanism. This mechanism requires users to race to solve a difficult problem by consuming a huge amount of computational energy. The first person to solve the problem will win the reward tied to the next Bitcoin block – 6.25 Bitcoin now.
With the hotness of bitcoin mining and many years of holding, recently, HIVE Blockchain company also announced to buy new ASIC chips from Intel to increase bitcoin mining performance.
The industry has helped provide a useful use case for stranded energy sources that can’t find demand, such as oil wells that don’t have enough pipeline infrastructure. It also helps reduce the carbon footprint of companies like Exxon Mobil by allowing them to avoid gas flare-ups. The company is expected to respond to the World Bank’s call to end the epidemic by 2030.