Gazpromneft, the oil subsidiary of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, is getting into a different kind of exploration.
The company opened a venue for cryptocurrency mining on one of its oil drilling sites in Siberia, unlocking the power of Russia’s oil and gas resources for the needs of bitcoin mining.
Gazprom, a company that counts the Russian government as a shareholder, is the country’s gas monopolist and world’s 10th-biggest oil producer. The company has been spearheading several mega-projects of cross-border gas pipelines such as the Nord Stream and the South Stream, which bring Russian gas to Europe.
Gazpromneft is a direct subsidiary of Gazprom and one of the very few government-owned companies in Russia that has openly expressed interest in the crypto mining industry. Earlier this year, CoinDesk reported that Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear power monopolist, is opening up its energy supplies for miners, too.
The venue, located in the Khanty-Mansiysk region of northwestern Siberia, is using the associated gas from its oil field as an energy source and has its own power plant transforming the gas into electricity.
The CO2 that gets freed during the oil drilling is normally a liability for oil companies as they have to burn it into the atmosphere, which results in fines. However, there are ways to utilize it instead of