Oil giants and banks partnered over blockchain project

Several major oil companies have teamed up with banks and trading houses to launch the Vakt blockchain platform for commodity trading.

In addition to BP, Shell and Equinor oil giants, ABN Amro, ING and Societe Generale banks took participation as well as trading houses Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading and Mercuria. The blockchain-based solution was first announced in November 2017. It will allow major industry players to move from “cumbersome document processes to smart contracts”, reduce the time for operations and increase trade efficiency.

Taking part in the S&P Global Platts Digital Commodities Summit in London, vice president of product development at Vakt Lyon Hardgrave said that the platform will be launched by the end of November in the North Sea oil market.

«In 2019, we intend to cooperate with ARA barges, the so-called water markets and pipelines in the United States. By January, we expect first customers, in addition to our shareholders,» commented VP on the plans of the union. He also added, «The blockchain platform will help reduce trade expenses by up to 40%.»

Hardgrave commented that Vakt already receives requests from oil-gas industry in US.

In turn, the company S&P Global Platts conducted a survey among the summit participants, and calculated that the overwhelming majority expects that by 2025 mass retail sales on the blockchain will become very popular.

Earlier, S&P Global Platts piloted its own blockchain solutions for the oil industry. In February 2018, the company announced the launch of a decentralized platform that «will allow market participants to submit weekly data on the storage of oil reserves.» The platform for tracking oil storage was deployed in the UAE oil industrial zone in Fujairah (FOIZ).

A platform similar to Vakt already exists in Switzerland, where a group of large global banks, trading firms and a leading energy companies have launched blockchain-application Komgo SA to finance merchandise trade. The initiative included the same participants, including ABN AMRO, ING, Koch Supply & Trading, Mercuria, Shell and Societe Generale.