Exxon Mobil, the United States’ largest oil and gas corporation has announced plans to run a pilot Bitcoin mining program, which uses excess natural gas that would otherwise be burned off, to mine Bitcoin at its Qua Iboe Terminal in Nigeria.
Qua Iboe Terminal is one of Nigeria’s largest export facilities and plants in which Exxon Mobil owns 40% interest in the field production mix. The terminal is located on the eastern side of the Qua Iboe river estuary and contains nine crude oil storage tanks with a total capacity of 4.5 million bbls (Billion barrels of petroleum liquids). The production currently averages approximately 320kbd (Thousands of Barrels Per Day).
The firm launched a pilot program in January 2021 where it used excess natural gas that would otherwise be burned off from North Dakota oil wells to power cryptocurrency mining operations. According to sources, the firm plans to expand this operation to other sites around the globe including Nigeria.
According to a report from Argus Media, Crusoe Energy operated 60 data centers for crypto mining across four U.S. states, as of September 2021, powered by “gas from the oil wells that would otherwise be flared on site.” Instead of burning off the gas, diverting it to crypto mining reportedly reduces carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions “by as much as 63%.”
Though the Bakken shale basin in North Dakota is a major source of natural gas for the United States, Texas is also home to many oil and gas companies, in addition to crypto mining firms seeing the potential for energy production in the state. In contrast, New York lawmakers have proposed suspending proof-of-work mining powered by fossil fuels in response to critics citing environmental concerns.