A nascent industry utilizing flared gas to power bitcoin mining units has been developing over the past year or so, in symbiosis with the oil and gas industry in North America. Companies providing services in this promising niche continue to install mobile datacenters at oil wells in the U.S. and Canada, helping producers to save on costs and optimize operations while minting digital coins.
Crypto Mining Provides Alternative to Gas Flaring
Natural gas obtained during oil extraction is a byproduct well operators working at remote sites have to get rid of at their own expense. It is often burned into the atmosphere as its transportation to remote consumers isn’t cost-effective, if possible at all. Direct venting is not always possible or is limited as the raw gas consists of many harmful compounds and producers have to comply with strict environmental regulations.
Several companies are now offering solutions to oil and gas producers in the United States and its northern neighbor that solve the problem with associated gas in an elegant way, thanks to Bitcoin. They install mobile units equipped with gas-electric generators at oil wells. The excess fuel is used to produce electricity to power the cryptocurrency mining hardware typically installed in modified shipping containers that are easily transported.
Upstream Data, a Canadian company we told you about this summer, is one of the pioneers in the market. It allows oil companies to buy or rent modular datacenters that can be installed at production facilities venting or flaring natural gas. Its Ohmm units are assembled with varying capacities in terms of mining power but they all utilize gas in a very efficient way.