Ecoark Looking to Power Cryptocurrency Mining with Constrained Natural Gas

San Antonio-based Ecoark Holdings Inc. plans to start beta testing a cryptocurrency mining method in May that may be powered by pure gasoline that’s constrained by an absence of infrastructure.

The diversified holdings firm established a strategic initiatives group in February to analyze methods to deploy capital for the take a look at undertaking. Led by CFO Brad Hoagland, the group is alternatives associated to environmental, social and governance initiatives that would scale back emissions.

“By redirecting energy again to the grid when inexperienced sources of power manufacturing are unable to provide the required load, we alleviate grid stress and assist fill gaps that at the moment hinder the expansion of inexperienced power applied sciences,” mentioned Hoagland.

“We plan to mine a diversified basket of upper margin, established cryptocurrencies. Our technique entails reselling cryptocurrency again into the market, as permitted by relevant legal guidelines, and redeploying the capital raised towards accretive development tasks inside this sector.”

Ecoark plans to use “regionally constrained power that’s in any other case misplaced” due to an absence of economic pure gasoline infrastructure to economically course of and/or transport volumes to market.  

There are not any plans to use flared gasoline from particular person wells for the pilot due to the “unpredictability of gasoline manufacturing uptime, personnel necessities to service non centrally positioned property, lack of oversight and management, floor use points, and gasoline high quality points.”

The “modularized infrastructure method” would permit Ecoark to change into a “spot midstream” operator, permitting it to create cell gasoline market hubs. The firm mentioned it’s working with a number of publicly held midstream corporations “to relieve pipeline capability constraints and permit extra third-party molecules to be transported, thereby creating extra income synergies.”

Ecoark, based in 2011, manages a portfolio that features White River Holdings, which has greater than 11,000 acres of drilling rights in Louisiana and Mississippi. Subsidiary Banner Midstream Corp. has 20,000 acres of energetic mineral leases in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Portfolio corporations additionally embody Permian Basin operator Shamrock Upstream Energy and hydraulic fracturing sand supplier Pinnacle Frac Transport. In addition, Capstone Leasing supplies gear to oilfield operators.

Ecoark is also partnering with BlackBrush Oil & Gas LP and GeoTerre LLC to develop the Austin Chalk formation, which extends from South Texas into Louisiana. Drilling just lately was accomplished on the Deshotels 24 No. 1-H horizontal in Avoyelles Parish, LA. 

Other corporations are additionally trying to convert wasted pure gasoline for crypto mining.  

For instance, Casper, WY-based Wesco Operating Inc. is utilizing a flaring mitigation system by EZ Blockchain to convert pure gasoline into electrical energy to energy crypto mining operations.

The Smartgrid Flaring Mitigation System was deployed final October in Wesco’s Utah oilfield, with a 30-foot cell information middle and a generator. After the primary container’s deployment, Wesco elevated the dimensions of the undertaking by 200%. It added one other container to present complete energy capability of 1 MW. As of February,  “a completely operational crypto mining system decreased gasoline flaring to zero, in accordance to Wesco.

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Block By Block

New applied sciences are being utilized by oilfield operators in different methods too. Blockchain expertise, which bolsters bitcoin and different digital currencies, is a distributed ledger that may provoke and confirm transactions on a community as they happen. 

The first pilot to leverage blockchain expertise was accomplished final yr on 5 Equinor ASA wells in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, in accordance to the Offshore Operators Committee Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium.

In the water hauling pilot, blockchain expertise decreased the workflow course of to one-to-seven days from 90-120 days, whereas it eradicated 9 steps. It additionally mechanically validated 85% of all of the water quantity measurement, the consortium famous.

While the pilot take a look at centered solely on water hauling, the consortium mentioned there are plans to broaden its use to different sources.

As Wyoming steps up, Texas is also trying to take a few of the blockchain motion by providing incentives to operators. 

For instance, UK-based Argo Blockchain plc just lately acquired New York-based DPN LLC. The deal gave Argo 320 acres of land in West Texas with entry to up to 800 MW of energy. Argo plans to construct a 200 MW mining facility over the following yr that it mentioned may present low electrical energy charges, largely from renewable sources.

The Texas buy “not solely offers us higher management over our mining operations but additionally the power to meaningfully increase our mining capability on a big scale,” CEO Peter Wall mentioned. “We now have entry to a few of what we imagine is the most cost effective renewable power worldwide, in a location the place innovation in new applied sciences is inspired and incentivised.”

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