Argentinian Oil Producer to Mine Crypto Using Associated Gas
Tecpetrol, a major Argentinian oil producer, has recently announced its plans to venture into the cryptocurrency mining industry by utilizing associated gas. The Buenos Aires-based firm, which explores and produces oil and gas in Argentina and other Latin American countries, aims to generate electricity from the gas in its oil fields near Vaca Muerta. This electricity will then be used to power miners’ rigs.
Associated gas is typically released when oil is pumped from most fields. Normally, this gas is either flared or vented (burned) onsite, unless it can be quickly transported to local production facilities. However, in remote areas where oil fields are located, such options may not be viable. As a result, some extraction firms, like Tecpetrol, have sought to convert the associated gas into on-site electrical energy.
Tecpetrol has not yet disclosed which cryptocurrencies it intends to mine, but it has partnered with a company that performs similar functions for US-based firms. The company is set to begin its crypto mining operations sometime between the end of October and the beginning of November.
Ricardo Markous, the Chief Executive Director of Tecpetrol, revealed that miners would use gas from six of the fields’ wells, which produce an estimated daily volume of 60,000 cubic meters of natural gas. By utilizing the gas for crypto mining, the company hopes to not only improve the environment by avoiding gas flaring but also to enhance oil production at the site.
This move by Tecpetrol mirrors efforts made by oil firms in Russia, who have been involved in pilot crypto mining projects using associated gas since the early part of the decade. These projects have proven successful in isolated areas with limited production and evacuation facilities. Tecpetrol, similarly hindered by its location, sells part of the extracted gas to Chevron. However, the company has reached its limit in terms of the amount it can sell.
To further support its crypto mining operations, Tecpetrol plans to utilize three generating facilities at the site, all of which will be equipped with crypto mining rigs. The implementation of these facilities will not only contribute to the reduction of gas flaring but will also aid in boosting oil production.
Tecpetrol’s plans to mine crypto using associated gas indicate a growing trend within the energy industry. By repurposing wasted resources for cryptocurrency mining, companies can not only generate additional revenue but also contribute to environmental sustainability. As the crypto mining industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how other energy firms follow suit in finding innovative ways to leverage their surplus resources.