Digital Assets: Russian Energy Firms Seek Go-Ahead To Use Flared Gas For Mining Crypto
Natural gas that is flared and therefore wasted, could convert into a revenue stream for Russia’s oil and gas companies.
Russia’s crypto mining industry is in expansion mode after China’s clampdown on its crypto miners. Also wanting to join the party are Russian oil and gas companies that flare, or burn off, the natural gas released from their drilling operations. Known as “associated petroleum gas,” this is burnt if it cannot conveniently or economically be piped to a utility. The drillers want to use this flared gas, also a source of emissions, as an energy source for crypto mining data centers. (The Block)
China has shut down and booted crypto miners from the country. As a result, those operations have migrated to other nations, notably the U.S., Kazakhstan, and Russia. Unfortunately, crypto mining is still not a legal business activity in Russia, but the rising prices of cryptos are making it potentially profitable.
According to a report in Russia’s Kommersant publication, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Vasily Shpak wrote on September 7 to colleagues at the Russian Central Bank and the Ministry of Digital Development regarding the request from the energy industry for crypto mining.
So there is a two-pronged pressure building on the Russian authorities – one from the crypto mining industry, and the other from the energy industry to monetize flared gas through crypto mining.
Meanwhile there is a similar movement in Texas.
Last month, nearly 200 people from the oil and gas and bitcoin mining industries met in Houston to join forces on the long-standing problem of natural gas flaring.
Over beer, bitcoin miners and oil drillers enthused over the now-real possibility of running their gas through a bitcoin mining setup instead of venting or flaring it.
Image of gas flare: Wikimedia Commons
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