Iraq commitment to capture flare gas sparks crypto mining speculation

Recently, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Muhammad Ali Tamim, held a joint session as co-chair with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in the U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee, to deliberate on the forthcoming collaboration between their countries.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Tamim made it plain that Iraq aimed to decrease its reliance on fossil fuels, lessen air pollution, and establish fresh collaborations to harness technology for capturing “flare gas” – an oil industry byproduct regarded as a harmful pollutant.

“The Iraqi Government is widening its partnership and conducting agreements so that we’ll be able to, for example, use technologies to capture flaring gas, to create and achieve independence in energy, and also to invest in other sources of energy, including renewables and solar energy.”

Some individuals in the cryptocurrency world have mused that Iraq’s plans for employing “technologies” to collect flare gas may be a sign of the country entering the Bitcoin mining industry.

Iraq commitment to capture flare gas sparks crypto mining speculation

Flare Gas

During the process of extracting and refining crude oil, natural gas accumulates and puts pressure on the equipment. Normally, this “byproduct gas” gets transported to a facility where it’s transformed into valuable resources like electricity or gets burned as fuel.

Because many of Iraq’s oil fields are located far away, making it financially impractical to capture and utilize their flare gas has resulted in a significant amount of this gas being released into the air as pollution.

The massive Rumaila oil field in Iraq is currently the global leader in producing harmful flare gas. However, initiatives are in progress to collect and reuse up to 60% of this gas presently, with an ultimate goal to put a stop to all gas flaring in Iraq by the year 2027.

Bitcoin Mining

People have used everything from nuclear energy to their own excrement to mine cryptocurrency.

A Bitcoin mining company based in Texas called Giga has been making significant profits since at least 2021 by utilizing the excess gas from local oil drilling sites to operate their fleet of transportable mining rigs. (Source: CNBC)

In Iraq, the task is significantly more complex due to being the globe’s leading source of flare gas pollution. It would take an extraordinary amount of work to transform all of these pollutants into usable electricity.

Despite the fact mentioned earlier, Iraq is faced with the challenge of meeting its internal energy needs while dealing with foreign debt. Introducing more power to the grid would be beneficial, but transforming a part of it for Bitcoin mining could bring about even more advantages.

An alternative method for making use of the energy contained in flare gas is through the generation of carbon credits. In theory, Iraq could lessen its own carbon emissions by collecting flare gas, and furthermore, sell these carbon credits to the global marketplace via blockchain technology. This would serve as irrefutable evidence of Iraq’s dedication towards sustainability and offer a short-term financial gain while the nation works towards becoming less reliant on fossil fuels.

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2024-04-16 22:18