Blockchain Caught Interest of Oil Companies

March 7, 2019   Bitcoin

The last few years saw the successful adoption of the blockchain technology in many industries. Initially, blockchain was an exclusive tech solution for the area of finances, but over time, it has proven itself applicable in other domains, such as data management, e-commerce, and custody of assets.

But now it is also gaining recognition from the truly ‘big players’ of the global economy. On February 26, a group of the most influential oil & gas companies published a joint press release stating that they have partnered to form a blockchain consortium. Even though getting off the oil train is a massive agenda for many companies, which are the driving force of the contemporary technological progress, the fact that the oil giants are beginning to dip their toes in the blockchain water is an immensely positive signal for the entire crypto community. 

A detailed look at the Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium

According to the press release, the Consortium was established primarily to obtain better insight into the promising technology through the industry-encompassing cooperation and development of relevant use cases within their value chain. The list of Consortium members include the whales of the oil & gas sector: Chevron, ExxonMobil, Equinor, Hess, Repsol, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Pioneer, and Noble Energy. The organization will be operating within the framework of the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC), the non-profit entity that provides expertise and technical aid to companies that operate in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The main objectives of the Consortium have been outlined as follows:

  • Acquire a deeper insight into all aspects of the blockchain technology in order to discover proofs of concept and come up with real-world applications with regard to the oil & gas industry. The Consortium also plans to launch several pilot projects.
  • Examine the value that could be derived from the exploitation of the main features of blockchain, such as prompt transactions, secured data storage, improved dispute resolution.
  • Develop uniform standards throughout the industry that concern data, legal compliance, process management, and security to allow for robust utilization of blockchain.

All activities of the Consortium will be managed by the board of directors which is comprised of top managers from the partnering companies. Rebecca Hofmann, the chairman of the board, expressed her confidence in the success of the organization and emphasized that they would be making an enormous contribution to the industry-wide adoption of blockchain. The list of board members also includes J.D. Frankle, a senior IT consultant at ConocoPhillips, Ken Ebest, a system architect at ExxonMobil, and Nuria Villamor, the director of innovation department at Repsol.

Another instance of blockchain implementation

While Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium claims to be the first such project in the United States, other international oil companies have also put this technology to good use. Last year, three major oil companies, namely Equinor, Shell, and BP, announced their definitive plans to partner with reputable financial institutions, such as ING and Societe General to develop and launch the blockchain-based platform called Vakt that will improve the processing of trading contracts.

However, Lyon Hardgrave, the vice president at Vakt, explained that there would be no trading activities on the platform. The primary purpose of Vakt is to facilitate document management and logistics through the use of smart contracts.        


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