Texas-based Bitcoin (BTC) miner Giga Energy has expanded its operations into Argentina as part of a move to utilize wasted energy from “natural gas flaring” on the South American nation’s oil fields.

Giga co-founder Brent Whitehead described the expansion as a “significant milestone” for his firm in a March 26 post on LinkedIn.

“This move not only broadens our operational landscape but also aligns with our vision to mitigate flaring globally.”

Gas flaring is the burning of the natural gas associated with oil extraction. Methane is released as part of the process, which Giga then converts into electricity to power its Bitcoin mining rigs.

The expansion will see Giga place a large shipping container with thousands of Bitcoin miners on top of an oil well, divert the excess gas into generators, and then harnessing that energy to power Bitcoin mining rigs, according to a March 26 CNBC report.

Source: Matt Lohstroh

Giga’s Argentina mining site — based in the province of Mendoza — has been in a test phase since December and has already mined between $200,000 and $250,000 worth of Bitcoin, the firm’s other co-founder, Matt Lohstroh, told CNBC.

However, the firm is still waiting to import all necessary equipment before it can fully scale the operation. Until then, the firm doesn’t expect to turn a profit.

Argentina boasts the second-largest shale gas reserve in the world, according to a recently published academic paper from the University of Michigan.

The firm’s Bitcoin mining operation will also reduce methane emissions, Whitehead told CNBC.

“By capturing stranded natural gas to power modular data centers for energy-intensive computing, Giga is actively contributing to reducing global methane emissions.”

IT services company Exa Tech will help Giga handle operations onsite, while oil and gas firm Phoenix Global Resources will provide the gas needed to power the Bitcoin miners.

Giga first launched its Bitcoin mining operations in 2019 and has 150 megawatts worth of containers installed in its facilities in Texas and Shanghai, according to CNBC.

Related: Riot, TeraWulf and CleanSpark best-positioned miners for Bitcoin halving — CoinShares

The move comes as Bitcoin mining firms prepare for the upcoming Bitcoin halving event currently slated to occur sometime around April 20.

The halving event will see the Bitcoin reward paid to miners sliced from 6.25 BTC ($439,000) to 3.125 BTC ($219,500).

Notably, the event could see global hashrate shift from the United States to countries with cheaper electricity rates, according to Hashlabs Mining’s founder and chief mining strategist Jaran Mellerud.

Mellerud told Cointelegraph that Argentina and Paraguay are the most promising countries for Bitcoin mining in South America.

Magazine: Wolf Of All Streets worries about a world where Bitcoin hits $1M: Hall of Flame