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ConocoPhillips is selling natural gas that would have been otherwise flared to a third-party Bitcoin miner in the Bakken in North Dakota, the U.S. oil and gas producer said this week.
ConocoPhillips has one pilot project in Bitcoin mining currently in operation in the Bakken, the second-largest major shale play after the Permian, a ConocoPhillips representative said in a statement to CNBC.
“ConocoPhillips has one bitcoin pilot project currently operating in the Bakken, where gas that would otherwise have been flared is routed to a bitcoin processor owned and managed by a third party,” a spokesperson for ConocoPhillips told CoinDesk in an emailed statement.
Selling excess natural gas from production in the Bakken fits the company’s pledge to end routine flaring by 2030.
ConocoPhillips has endorsed the World Bank Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative and set a target to reduce methane emissions intensity in 2020. The oil and gas company set an ambition to reduce operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2050. ConocoPhillips has a target to get to zero routine flaring by 2030, with an ambition to get there by 2025. Flaring emissions make up only 8 percent of ConocoPhillips’s total greenhouse gas emissions, yet the target “will drive continued near-term focus on routine flaring reductions across our assets,” it says.
By selling the extra gas to a third-party Bitcoin miner, ConocoPhillips also gets paid for the gas it would have otherwise just wasted and flared.
Cryptocurrency mining is an energy-intensive endeavor, and recently, some U.S. Democratic lawmakers sent letters to six major cryptocurrency mining companies, asking them to detail their high energy usage, the possible impact on the environment, and the role in driving up power bills for U.S. consumers.
Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Holdings, Stronghold Digital Mining, Bitdeer, Bitfury Group, and Bit Digital were sent letters by the lawmakers, who were concerned about “their extraordinarily high energy usage,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said last month.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.