ExxonMobil is apparently launching a test scheme to fuel bitcoin mining with surplus natural gas.

ExxonMobil to Pilot Bitcoin Mining Project With Natural Gas

According to a recent Bloomberg story, international oil and gas major ExxonMobil is launching a test bitcoin mining operation fueled by surplus natural gas from oil wells in North Dakota.

ExxonMobil has reportedly reached an agreement with Crusoe Energy Systems Inc., a company that provides natural gas flaring solutions, to use gas from an oil well site in North Dakota to power crypto mining hardware for assets powered by the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism Bitcoin and the current iteration of Ethereum.

ExxonMobil is apparently launching a test scheme to fuel bitcoin mining with surplus natural gas.

The technique of burning natural gas produced during oil production is known as gas flaring. Instead of burning it as a byproduct of extraction, ExxonMobil is apparently planning to use it to fuel Bitcoin mining equipment.

People familiar with the situation asked not to be identified since the information isn't public, according to Bloomberg.

Similar pilot schemes are apparently being considered by the oil and gas business in Alaska, Nigeria, Argentina, Guyana, and Germany.

ExxonMobile spokesman Sarah Nordin allegedly told Bloomberg, "We regularly assess innovative technology targeted at lowering flaring quantities throughout oil sites."

She also declined to comment on the mining project's "rumors and suspicions."

Bitcoin mining

Cryptocurrency mining, particularly Bitcoin mining, has sparked debate due to the industry's environmental effect.

The Bitcoin network consumes a staggering 134 terawatt hours of power each year, according to Cambridge University. The network utilizes more power than several countries, according to this calculation.

The statistic used to quantify how much power whole countries utilize every year is a terawatt hour (TWh).

The carbon footprint and environmental impact of this energy usage are determined by the energy source, which is another point of contention in the crypto sector.

In September 2020, Cambridge University discovered that only 39% of the Bitcoin network was powered by sustainable energy sources like wind or solar. The rest of the network was run on polluting fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.

Previous Decrypt study indicated that the Bitcoin network's carbon footprint was roughly comparable to approximately 60 billion pounds of coal burned, 9 million houses' average yearly power usage, or 138 billion miles traveled by an average passenger vehicle, based on these data.

According to other research, the Bitcoin network uses a larger percentage of renewable energy. The Bitcoin Mining Council produced a research in July 2021 claiming that 56 percent of the power used by Bitcoin comes from "sustainable" sources.

The council, on the other hand, used its own research, left the term "sustainable" up to interpretation, and failed to offer accurate energy breakdowns in the report.

Furthermore, the council only gathered survey data from mining businesses that accounted for 32 percent of Bitcoin's worldwide hashpower at the time—miners that used less-than-green energy were able to avoid the poll altogether.

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