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A major oil company is selling gas to bitcoin miners in North Dakota instead of burning off excess supply

A natural gas flare on an oil well pad outside Watford City, North Dakota.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

  • ConocoPhillips is selling excess natural gas to bitcoin miners in North Dakota. 
  • In a statement, the company said it’s selling the gas from the Bakken oil fields to third-party miners.
  • The company has a goal to reach zero routine gas flaring by 2025. 

ConocoPhillips is selling its excess natural gas to bitcoin miners in North Dakota, instead of burning it.

The oil giant told Insider in an email it is selling the gas to a third-party bitcoin miner as part of a pilot project, helping ConocoPhillips achieve its goal of zero routine flaring by 2025.

The excess gas is coming from the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota, which has been a major source of new US oil production in the last decade.

ConocoPhillips, along with other major oil drillers, regularly burns gas while drilling for oil if there isn’t a nearby pipeline to transport the commodity, so they’ve long been searching for solutions to the problem, according to CNBC.

Meanwhile, the excess gas represents a cheap source of energy for bitcoin miners, who need an abundance of computing power and electricity to operate. CNBC reported previously that miners have found natural gas that would’ve been burned off is an energy option, leading to an unlikely partnership between oil companies and crypto miners. 

The mining and processing of bitcoin uses more energy than entire countries consume and even tech giants like Google. When bitcoin prices rise, even more energy is needed, Insider reported previously. 

Bitcoin prices have faltered so far this year, slumping from an all-time high around $69,000 last year, to around $43,000 as of Wednesday. Even so, many see bitcoin prices eventually rising into six-figures. 

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