BitRiver: Flared gas data centers: BitRiver partners with Gazprom Neft

Jun 29, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

BitRiver, a crypto mining company,  is partnering up with Gazprom Neft, the third-largest oil producer in Russia and subsidiary of state-owned energy firm Gazprom, to power crypto mine data centers with flared gas, it has been announced. This comes following an MoU between the two signed at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Through this partnership, the two companies will develop crypto mining facilities in oil fields.  According to the companies, the oil producer will provide energy to data centers at new oil fields where there's a lack of transportation infrastructure, or remote sites where the transport is "too expensive."

As outlined by Inside Climate News, in the US, oil and gas companies burn billions of cubic feet of natural gas and also directly vent an additional unknown amount. Gas flaring has been found to contribute to 1% of man-made atmospheric CO2 emissions and is dubbed "wasteful, polluting and undermeasured," and increasingly, data center and crypto companies are using flared gas to power data center operations. The providers make the claim that using the flares reduces total emissions, with Crusoe Energy, one of the operators fuelling its operations through flares, arguing that through its mitigation service, it's able to reduce methane emissions by approximately 98%, reducing CO2-equivalent emissions of greenhouse gasses by 63%. Another claim by these companies is that they're not propping up new oil exploitation.

Speaking about this MoU to CoinDesk, Igor Runets, founder and CEO of BitRiver, said: "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 [associated petroleum gas], which will additionally provide high and stable power consumption."

In April, BitRiver was added to the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) list of specially designated nationals, due to it helping Russia "monetize its natural resources."