Energy Giant Equinor to Cut Gas Flaring With Bitcoin Mining: Report

Equinor will use digital flare mitigation tech from Crusoe Energy at its Bakken oilfield operations in the U.S.

AccessTimeIconAug 28, 2020 at 3:04 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:49 a.m. UTC

Publicly traded petroleum multinational Equinor is moving to significantly reduce natural gas flaring by mining cryptocurrency, according to screenshots from Equinor’s intranet received by Arcane Research Friday.

  • A new strategic partnership will see the firm implement Denver, Colo.-based Crusoe Energy Systems’ digital flare mitigation technology.
  • This converts waste natural gas that would be otherwise released into the atmosphere into electricity at the well site.
  • The operation will harness outflow at Equinor’s operations on the Bakken oilfield in North Dakota.
  • “Historically, industry’s options for reducing flaring have been limited to costly measures like new infrastructure development or shutting in production,” reads the memo shared internally at Equinor.
  • Crusoe’s digital flare mitigation “offers a win-win alternative for producers and investors alike,” it continued.
  • "Mining cryptocurrency requires a lot of electricity to power computers, while a valuable commodity is wasted, and carbon emissions are created when we flare," said Lionel Ribeiro, manager sustainability at Global Unconventionals at Equinor. "By connecting these inverse pains, we can satisfy both needs with no cost to market expense."
  • In December 2019, the originally bootstrapped Crusoe announced $70 million in funding for expansion of its innovative flaring solutions.
  • The round was led by Bain Capital and joined by Founders Fund, Winklevoss Capital and Polychain Capital.
  • Before partnering with Equinor, Crusoe already operated flaring systems in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
  • Equinor is a state-owned multinational based in Norway and ranked as the 11th largest oil and gas firm globally.

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