Bengal Energy, a Canadian oil and gas company, is exploring Bitcoin (BTC), mining as a means to harness the untapped energy in its gas wells deep within the Australian outback.
According to The Australian, Bengal Energy will conduct a pilot program in which approximately 70 Bitcoin mining rigs are set up in a portable building known as a “donga”, which will be located near several previously inoperable gas wells in Cooper Basin.
Kai Eberspaecher (Chief Operating Officer at Bengal Energy), stated that the company purchased the gas wells from Santos Energy, and Bridgeport Energy, its local oil-and gas extraction partners.
Eberspacher stated that the newly acquired gas wells presented an interesting problem for the energy company. They are known as “stranded” wells, which means that although the company can technically make power from the gas on-site, the distribution pipelines that are currently in place are too far away.
The pipeline to service remote gas wells in Bengal is being built. However, delays in construction have been exacerbated by Covid-related supply chains.
“Basically, we were looking at six months of wells being ready but no outlet. “We were dealing with stranded assets.”
As a solution, portable Bitcoin mining rigs were installed in dongas. A trial donga will have 66 mining devices that can generate around 0.005 BTC per hour, which is approximately $235.
Bengal Energy plans to increase its Bitcoin mining output by 10-20 times if the trial goes well. This could mean that Bengal Energy’s total income could be anywhere between $2000 and $5000 per day.
Related: ExxonMobil uses excess natural gas for crypto mining
Bengal Energy joins a growing number of mining companies, including ConocoPhilips or Exxon Mobil. They are looking to tap the potential of often wasted or stranded energies through portable Bitcoin mining operations.
Due to the widespread criticism of Bitcoin mining for environmental reasons, fossil fuel companies are becoming more concerned about finding ways to reduce the negative byproducts of mining operations and harness any sustainable alternatives.
According to the Bitcoin Mining Council, the industry will need a sustainable energy mix that is 58.5% in the fourth quarter 2021. Norway’s miners even use waste heat to dry lumber.
Eileen Wilson –Technology and Energy
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