More and more energy resource producers are realizing the usefulness of a complementary bitcoin (BTC) mining activity on their operating sites. After the giant Exxon Mobil a few days ago, it is now the Canadian oil and gas company Bengal Energy that wants to use crypto-mining to give a second life to abandoned gas wells.
Bitcoin solves Bengal energy’s abandoned well problem
Oil companies ConocoPhillips and Exxon have already launched bitcoin mining pilot programs to avoid wasting natural gas, which is a byproduct of their oil extraction sites. This gas could not be stored/routed, so it was needlessly flared before being used for the Bitcoin network’s proof-of-work (PoW) consensus.
As reported by Cointelegraph, the case of Bengal Energy is slightly different. Indeed, the Canadian company has recently owned several abandoned natural gas wells in Australia, in the Cooper Basin region.
The company’s plan is to bring these idle wells back into production (due to a lack of pipelines) with mobile bitcoin mining farms installed in their immediate vicinity, according to Kai Eberspaecher, Bengal Energy’s chief operating officer.
A first test that could lead to many more
The first mobile mining container (called a “donga”) set up will feature 66 specialized devices (ASICs), which is expected to generate about 0.005 BTC per day, or around $240/day at the time of writing.
If successful, the oil company plans to deploy between 10 and 20 similar installations on its abandoned gas wells. This would lead to BTC production worth between $2,000 and $5,000 per day.
Infrastructure delays caused by the Covid-19 health crisis had rendered its gas wells without an outlet, but Bitcoin mining will restore their utility/profitability.
In addition to making the best use of energy resources and avoiding waste, Bitcoin mining may have other strategic advantages. Indeed, members of the U.S. Congress see crypto-mining as an opportunity to help the U.S. achieve energy independence.