Bitcoin Miner Raised $15M to Use Energy from Argentina’s Vaca Muerta Oil Field

Major energy companies Crusoe Energy, Pampa Energia, and Petrocuyo participated in the round.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

A bitcoin mining facility next to an oil rig.

Bitcoin miner Unblock Global said it raised $15 million to use flared gas from Argentina’s Vaca Muerta, the world’s second-largest shale gas reserve, to power its operations.

“We are the second flared gas Bitcoin in the world,” tweeted Unblock’s co-founder Tomas Ocampo, showcasing the facilities.

Major energy companies Crusoe Energy, Pampa Energia, and Petrocuyo participated in the capital raise, which was conducted by Unblock Computos, a branch of Unblock Global.

The raise will allow the company to produce “$200M of oil from Vaca Muerta with less emissions,” Ocampo said.

Flared Gas

Flared gas is a common externality associated with oil production. The excess oil that cannot be handled by the grid due to capacity, transmission, or lack of demand, is burnt into the atmosphere.

Although the process of flaring helps to alleviate accumulated gasses, along with avoiding the direct release of methane into the atmosphere, it comes at a cost, with carbon dioxide and other pollutants still making their way into the environment.

Bitcoin mining–a controversial process known for being energy-intensive–is uniquely positioned to make use of this stranded energy. All it needs is a power source and an internet connection, allowing it to tap into stranded or wasted forms of energy.

The U.S. ambassador to Argentina, Marc Stanley, celebrated the news yesterday on social media.

“I love to see American and Argentine companies work together to solve problems and help the environment,” wrote Stanley, adding that the “geniuses” at Crusoe and Unblock “discovered a way to burn methane and create electricity.”