Third-Largest US Oil Company in the US Sees Potential in Bitcoin Economy

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Key Takeaways:

  • ConocoPhillips has started fueling bitcoin mining operations with the excess gas produced by the company.
  • Flaring in oil companies leads to revenue loss and pollution.
  • ConocoPhillips wants to achieve zero routine flaring by 2025.

Texas-based ConocoPhillips, the third-largest oil company in the US, has stepped into the Bitcoin mining fuel business. On Tuesday, CNBC reported that the company launched a Bitcoin pilot project in North Dakota’s oil-rich Bakken region. It has been offering crypto miners flare gas that would otherwise have been wasted. However, ConocoPhillips isn’t directly involved in the process. Instead, it sells the excess gas to a bitcoin processor, which is dealt with by a third party. 

Oil companies suffer revenue losses by burning the excess gas in flaring. This practice is also harmful to the environment and speeds up global warming. Crusoe Energy Systems says that using the excess gas for powering crypto mining operations helps in reducing emissions similar to carbon dioxide by 63%. 

ConocoPhillips hasn’t related the name of the third party they are tied up with or how long they have been operating the pilot project. However, in the 2021 industry conference presentation, the company’s leader presented a slideshow named “Compressed natural gas & digital currency beneficial use technologies”. There were images of bitcoin mines located on-site in the slide.

The oil company has the vision to achieve zero routine flaring by 2025. They said, “We’ve allocated $0.2 billion of this year’s capital program for projects to reduce the company’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity and investments in several early-stage, low-carbon opportunities that address end-use emissions. 

We strongly believe that this level of focus on and performance toward fully realising our triple mandate has ConocoPhillips very well-positioned to not just survive through the energy transition but to thrive regardless of the pathways it takes.”

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Shreya Bhattacharya

A journalist & writer exploring new topics every day!