The world’s third-largest company by market capitalization, Saudi Aramco, has reportedly denied any reports that it was going start bitcoin mining operations using gas flare energy.
Refuting recent media reports, the Saudi oil giant has denied that it is venturing into the bitcoin mining business.
“With reference to recent reports claiming that the company will embark on bitcoin mining activities, Aramco confirms that these claims are completely false and inaccurate,”
Local media reported that the company, which is the third-largest in the world by market cap, made the statement on Monday following a number of news reports claiming that it was going to start mining operations.
The Brazilian connection
According to some of those reports, Brazilian businessman Ray Nasser stated that he was in talks with Saudi Aramco regarding Bitcoin mining. Investing.com Brazil reported that the excess natural gas generated in oil production will be used to power the mining operations.
According to a translation of the conversation on the local Bitconheiros channel on YouTube, the head of mining at Wise & Trust, and managing partner at MesaBTC, Ray Nasser, stated [translation]:
“We are negotiating with Aramco. All black liquid [oil] that comes out of the desert belongs to this company. All the flared gas they’re not using, and that’s public information, I can tell you, it’s enough to ‘power up’ half the Bitcoin network today, just this company.”
Regardless of the false claims, gas flare energy is being used in the U.S. for BTC mining so it would make a good fit for any large oil producer looking to profit from otherwise wasted energy.
The oil drilling industry often results in the discovery of natural gas in the wells and many companies lack the infrastructure to sell the gas and so burn it off in a process called flaring. This flare gas could be used to generate electricity for mining, providing extra security for the Bitcoin network while generating carbon credits for the company.
Bitcoin mining operations are only viable due to the proximity of the gas extraction as they can be easily be installed on-site.
Green bitcoin mining operations growing
In June, Colorado-based Crusoe Energy began capturing the energy from flare gas at oil patches and using it to mine bitcoin. The firm has become one of North America’s biggest BTC miners and has attracted investment from Coinbase Ventures and the Winklevoss twins.
Russian energy monopoly Gazprom also initiated plans last year to allocate the by-product of oil and gas extraction to BTC mining.
According to data from Cambridge University, almost 17% of all BTC mining is now conducted in North America, and at least 50% of that uses renewable energy. China’s previously 65%+ share of the hash pie had dwindled to 46%, according to the data released in April, and it has fallen a lot more since then.
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