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Argentine Oil Firm Tecpetrol Taps into Cryptocurrency Mining using Excess Gas

Tecpetrol, an Argentine oil company, is converting surplus gas to energy for cryptocurrency mining to reduce gas waste and find new revenue.

Thu, 28 Sep 2023, 08:45 am UTC

Buenos Aires-based oil producer, Tecpetrol, is innovating in a unique way. The company is set to harness surplus gas for cryptocurrency mining. This latest move, announced on September 24, is centered in the Los Toldos II Este zone, situated to the north of Vaca Muerta in Argentine Patagonia.

Tecpetrol's strategy is two-fold: they aim to bolster their crude oil extraction venture and also maximize the application of gas, curtailing its wastage. The facility is projected to produce around 35,000 barrels of oil every day. However, the company confronted a challenge - the significant gas released during this process had no immediate application due to a lack of supporting infrastructure. This led Tecpetrol to pivot and consider cryptocurrency mining as a smart avenue to utilize this excess gas.

Ricardo Markous, the Chief Executive Officer of Tecpetrol, conveyed that rather than discharging the gas into nature, the firm chose to establish cryptocurrency mining endeavors. This switch in operations is anticipated to kick off between the end of October and the beginning of November. The company's objectives are clear: to mitigate the ecological harm from gas emissions and to find an additional revenue stream. For smooth implementation, Tecpetrol has entered partnerships, including one with an undisclosed entity that has executed comparable plans in the United States.

The environmental implications of cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin mining, have been under scrutiny. However, there are perspectives suggesting its potential benefits. An analysis by the Institute of Risk Management posits that Bitcoin mining, by transforming global wasted methane emissions into less detrimental emissions, might cut worldwide emissions by nearly 8% come 2030. This reduction is credited to the fact that utilizing trapped methane to fuel Bitcoin mining operations diminishes the volume of methane released to the environment.

Yet, debates surrounding Bitcoin mining's environmental effects are ongoing due to its high energy consumption. It's only in 2023 that miners started to incline towards more eco-friendly methods.

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