Flaring, a common practice of burning off natural gas that can’t be efficiently captured and stored has reportedly reached record levels in the state of Texas. Let’s look at why Bitcoin mining would be the perfect solution to capture this energy ‘waste’ and transform it into sound money.
Texas ‘Energy Waste’ Rises 85%
According to a recent Bloomberg report, America’s Permian Basin, a large sedimentary basin located in the southwestern part of the country, is producing so much natural gas that at some point producers had to burn some of it off.
This process is referred to as “flaring” and it’s carried out when it makes more sense to burn the gas than to efficiently capture and store it. As oil production in the region surge, so does flaring.
The report also outlines that at the end of 2018, producers were burning off more than enough fuel to meet the entire residential demand of the whole state of Texas. Compared to last year, the amount of gas flared in the Permian has increased by about 85 percent.
A Problem in Need of a Solution…
Speaking on the matter was Scott Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer at Pioneer Natural Resources, who said:
It’s a black eye for the Permian Basin. […] The state, the pipeline companies and the producers — we all need to come together to figure out a way to stop the flaring.
The main challenge in front of the industry is that there are not enough pipelines to get the gas to the consumers. This is also why, at some point, producers were actually paying their customers to take the gas.
Besides pure financial issues, however, flaring is also undoubtedly causing a lot of environmental damage. The process is also producing serious amounts of carbon dioxide, which has reportedly contributed more than any other driver to climate change between 1750 and 2011.
…Which Already Exists
As Bitcoinist reported earlier in March, the solution that the state of Texas is desperately looking for might already be here: mining bitcoin.
A project, headed by oilman and bitcoin entrepreneur Stephen Barbour, has embarked on tackling the issues of excessive oil and gas production and the consequential flaring.
Barbour has installed a generator to a shipping container full of mining rigs and placed it at a remote oil field in Canada. Its sole purpose is to convert natural gas into electricity and to power the rigs. In order for the machines to operate 24/7, the unit is using about 400 cubic meters of natural gas per day.
Of course, the investment needed to buy and convert a regular shipping container into a facility of the kind can round up at $130,000 before factoring in the price of mining rigs.
However, apart from tackling the excessive waste of natural gas (which will save money), it would also result in highly profitable mining of bitcoin since the energy would not only be free, but producers may even pay miners to utilize it.
Barbour says bitcoin mining enables transforming energy that would otherwise go to waste into “financial freedom.”
Water absorbs heat.
Rejects into atmosphere.
Calculates small numbers.
Financial freedom for people all over the world.#bitcoin
— Steve Barbour ⛏ (@SGBarbour) March 20, 2019
What’s more, the mined bitcoin can then be used toward environmental conservation efforts, improve local infrastructure, or just about anything else.
Given that there are no other foreseeable solutions apart from the constant structuring of additional pipelines, this does sound like the perfect idea for Texas and bitcoin mining investors to look into.
Can Bitcoin mining help Texas capitalize on its ‘energy waste’? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bloomberg