Bloomberg reported on Thursday, March 24th that Exxon Mobile has a deal with Crusoe Energy Systems using otherwise wasted gas to power Bitcoin mining operations in North Dakota. This pilot has been running since January 2021 and the Bloomberg headline states Exxon considers taking this pilot to four countries (Nigeria, Argentina, Guyana, and Germany).
Per the report this currently uses"18 million cubic feet of gas per month that would have otherwise been burned off—or flared—because there aren’t enough pipelines”.
Flaring is the practice of burning off a byproduct of oil and gas production. In many cases, it is not cost-effective to try traditional means of energy recycling for flare gas, thus rendering the gas wasted. Routine flaring is common in the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota.
Bitcoin mining, provides a portable and relatively simple energy monetization strategy thereby reducing flared gas waste. According to Crusoe Energy System, their process reduces CO2-equivalent emissions by about 63% compared to flaring.
This news comes after ConocoPhillips, another major oil company, announced its own similar pilot project. As many bitcoiners have predicted, bitcoin would act as a buyer of last resort for stranded energy. This strong monetary incentive may also help stabilize energy grids globally, push towards the use of renewables, as well as immediately reduce emissions.
Overall, if the pilot is successful, this may be a win-win situation for the companies involved.
Russia Considers Taking Bitcoin as Payment for Oil
In another surprising geopolitical chess move, Russia's Duma committee said, in a videotaped news conference, they would be flexible with payment options when it comes to "friendly" countries such as China or Turkey.
Chair Pavel Zavalyny said that they will consider taking the national currency of these buyers and also stated that bitcoin was being considered as an alternative way to pay for their exports.
This is not our main headline as these are just considerations. However, as we've noted in several other Daily News stories, the mere existence of these considerations just a few years ago would have been unimaginable. Taking oil payments in bitcoin, and retaining this bitcoin may have huge implications for the current petrodollar reign, as well as current bitcoin prices.