Russian third-largest oil producer Gazpromneft has entered the bitcoin mining industry. With the help of a bitcoin mining company BitRiver, Gazpromneft will deliver energy resources to new and remote oilfields.
US authorities sanctioned BitRiver previously for reportedly assisting Russians in circumventing sanctions. Gazpromneft, Russia’s third-largest oil company, is partnering with bitcoin mining company BitRiver to establish mining operations at oil fields, according to a memorandum from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
BitRiver will work with Gazpromneft on developing data centers for receiving energy from remote mining organizations at either new oil fields with no infrastructure or remote sites with high transport costs.
“Over the next two years, BitRiver intends to implement projects to create its own data centers for power-intensive computing with power scaling up to 2 [gigawatts], including [petroleum gas], which will additionally provide high and stable power consumption.”BitRiver CEO Igor Runets is quoted as saying.
Interesting enough, BitRiver is not new to Russian business. In April, the Treasury Department sanctioned BitRiver adding the company to its Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) list for aiding “Putin’s brutal war of choice.”
Although BitRiver and Gazpromneft’s partnership is innovative, they were not the first companies to take this approach. It was reported in March that Exxon Mobil, the largest oil company in the United States, was piloting Bitcoin mining operations. There were reported plans to reduce further the company’s burned gas, or flared gas.
In a similar move, bitcoin mining company Crusoe Energy plans to move generators and equipment to Muscat, Oman in the Middle East in order to capture flared gas and reduce emissions.