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Saudi Oil Giant Aramco Denies It’s Launching Bitcoin Mining

The world’s largest oil firm, Saudi Arabia’s state-held Aramco, denied on Monday reports from the past days that it would start Bitcoin mining activities.

“With reference to recent reports claiming that the Company will embark on Bitcoin mining activities, Aramco confirms that these claims are completely false and inaccurate,” the Saudi state oil giant and one of the world’s most valuable listed firms, said today in a one-sentence denial of an earlier media report.

Before the Saudi oil firm denied the Bitcoin mining venture, media reports quoted a Brazilian Bitcoin miner, Ray Nasser, who has reportedly said in an interview with Bitconheiros Youtube channel that Aramco was planning to start mining the most popular cryptocurrency. 

“We are negotiating with Aramco. All black liquid (oil) that comes out of the desert belongs to this company. All the flared gas they are not using, and that’s public information, I can tell you is enough “to power up” half of the Bitcoin network today, from this company alone,” the Brazilian Bitcoin miner was quoted as saying.

Saudi Aramco denied the reports, but a unit of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom is already in the business of crypto mining.

Gazprom Neft, the oil unit of Gazprom, has launched a cryptocurrency mining operation at one of its oil sites in Siberia, CoinDesk reported at the end of last year.

Gazprom Neft, the third-largest oil producer in Russia, is using associated gas from an oilfield in the Khanty-Mansiysk region of northwestern Siberia to generate electricity it sells to the crypto mining operations, CoinDesk reports.

Gazprom Neft doesn’t plan to mine for cryptocurrencies itself, a spokesperson for the company told CoinDesk. However, the Russian oil producer is open to sharing its energy resources with crypto miners.

Gazprom Neft believes that crypto miners could be one of the customers of the electricity produced from associated gas.

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Power from associated gas can power data centers and mining farms, Alexander Kalmykov, Head of the Blockchain Technology Center at Gazprom Neft, told Russian outlet Forklog.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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