Harding County Bitcoin mining operation folds
A crypto mining operation planned for northwest South Dakota is calling it quits and the natural gas wells powering the project are changing hands.
The new owners of the Harding County wells have a different plan for the sites.
A Texas-based company called Spyglass Cedar Creek drilled dozens of natural gas wells in Harding County in 2006 and the leasing rights to the wells have changed hands multiple times.
Highwire Energy Partners purchased leasing rights to the wells two years ago to extract natural gas to power on-site computers to conduct Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining was a lucrative business for the company in their home state of Wyoming.
The company recently sold leasing rights to South Dakota-based Rushmore Resources.
Treyton Kost-Hillmer is an Oil, Gas, and Minerals Agent for South Dakota. He said an unpredictable market for Bitcoin could have been the reason Highwire sold the leasing rights.
“I’m guessing Rushmore Resources wants to take over the leases from them because they are going bankrupt or their not making enough money to pay their cost,” Kost-Hillmer said.
When Highwire began the project two years ago, one Bitcoin was valued around $50 thousand. It’s now less than half that.
Trent Arlent is general manager of Rushmore Resources. He said they’ll use the natural gas for traditional energy, powering and serving their community.
“We feel like that our state is a great state and there’s a lot of benefits and a lot of qualities to the way of life that we want to be able to keep and retain here,” Arlent said.
Arlent said it could take up to a year to get their operation going.