Alexey Belogoryev, Deputy Principal Director on Energy Studies at the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to Vesti.FM on the possibility of using associated petroleum gas to power data centers.
Russian oil companies have offered to start mining cryptocurrencies at their fields, Kommersant reports. The idea is to use associated petroleum gas to generate electricity. It will go to data centers, where mining equipment will be installed. Now this idea is being discussed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Digital Industry and the Central Bank.
Previously, associated petroleum gas was burned right on the spot, because it was the cheapest way to get rid of it and at the same time the most "dirty" one. Nobody does this today. At the end of last year, the utilization of associated gas in Russia exceeded the level of 82.5%. But it is not enough to extract gas, it still needs to be used somehow, and this is a problem, Aleksey Belogoryev, Deputy Director for Energy at the Institute for Energy and Finance explains:
“The most interesting and efficient why is, of course, to supply gas to the system of trunk pipelines and transfer it further to large sales markets, including for export. But practically everywhere where, in fact, the issue of APG utilization is acute, there is no such infrastructure and is not foreseen. Accordingly, it remains either to pump gas into the reservoir to maintain reservoir oil pressure, but this is not always relevant, or try to build some gas chemical enterprises, but it is very expensive and, again, rests on logistics, or try to produce electricity and heat, but here in fact, the difficulty is that there are no consumers. And, accordingly, an attraction of data centers and mining farms is an attempt to find new large consumers who could ensure the utilization and thereby monetization of gas."
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