ConocoPhillips Is Selling Energy to a Crypto Mining Firm

ConocoPhillips – one of the biggest producers of oil and gas in the world – is entering the crypto mining space. The company announced early last week that it is heading a bitcoin mining pilot project in what’s known as the Bakken, a region in North Dakota popular amongst new producers of energy in the U.S.

ConocoPhillips Has Found a Way to Put Excess Oil to Use

A spokesperson for the company explained that ConocoPhillips is not operating the project itself. Rather, it’s providing a third party with the oil and gas reserves it needs to run the crypto mining facility in question. This oil and gas would have otherwise been burned off given that it was considered excess, though the company clearly found a solid use for it.

Crypto mining has been at the forefront of several digital currency-based arguments as of late. While many see the industry as a steady way to earn income and contribute to the world of decentralized finance by adding crypto units to the mix, the space has garnered a lot of flak from environmentalists who believe the practice harms the planet in irreversible ways.

These concerns even stem from industry heads such as Elon Musk of Tesla fame. In early 2021, Musk announced that he was going to allow customers to purchase electric vehicles with bitcoin, though this decision was later rescinded given that he was worried about how bitcoin mining affected the atmosphere. He later demanded that crypto miners be transparent about where their energy comes from and that they work to control their emissions.

Other worries have come from the likes of Kevin O’Leary of “Shark Tank” fame. He announced last year that he would not be buying any more BTC mined in China given that the nation did not invoke environmentally friendly extraction methods. This was prior to the nation banning all crypto activity in the summer.

The oil industry is looking for ways to reduce routine flaring – or burn offs of extra gas and oil – to zero by the year 2030. Clearly, the space is seeking to become more environmentally aware, which is ironic given that providing their energy to crypto mining firms is potentially doing the trick. What has arguably stemmed many planetary arguments now appears to be providing protection.

Can This Help the Planet?

ConocoPhillips has published a new report discussing its methods of phasing out the practice of flaring in the “lower 48” states. Setting up a bitcoin mining rig on an oil field is likely to do a lot of good in the long run according to the document, and carbon emissions will likely drop by a whopping 63 percent.

Flaring also costs quite a bit, so not only is valuable energy being tossed to the side… So is lots of cash. At press time, it is unknown which bitcoin miner ConocoPhillips is selling to.

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