Gazpromneft the Russian state-owned natural gas giant and BitRiver have teamed up to launch cryptocurrency mining projects

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“Within the next 2 years, BitRiver plans to develop capabilities to develop its own data centers for energy computing with power ramping up to 2 [gigawatts], along with [associated petroleum gas], which would also supply high and stable power consumption,” Igor Runets, BitRiver’s founder and CEO, said in a statement on Thursday.

According to an agreement inked at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday, Russia’s Gazpromneft and BitRiver, a US-sanctioned bitcoin (BTC) mining hosting service, seek to construct crypto mining infrastructure at oil fields.

According to a statement supplied to CoinDesk by Gazpromneft, the company will provide energy to BitRiver’s data facilities. These will either be at new oil fields where transportation infrastructure has yet to be established, or at remote locations where transportation is too expensive, according to the statement.

Flared-gas mining has garnered increasing popularity over the past year or so as it enables oil producers to take advantage of what otherwise would be wasted methane gas. ExxonMobil (XOM) is reportedly looking into this for some of its oil fields, and Middle East oil producers Abu Dhabi and Oman have taken stakes in Crusoe Energy, one of the pioneers in using flared gas as a power source.

On April 20, BitRiver was added to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) list of specially designated nationals, because the company helps Russia “monetize its natural resources.” The company has called the measures unfair and anti-competitive and has announced plans to sue the U.S. government.

“Over the next two years, BitRiver intends to implement projects to create its own data centers for power-intensive computing with power scaling up to 2 [gigawatts], including [associated petroleum gas], which will additionally provide high and stable power consumption,” Igor Runets, founder and CEO of BitRiver, said in Thursday’s statement.

BitRiver is one of the largest mining firms in Russia, with its local subsidiary managing over 300 megawatts of data centers.

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