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BP, Shell plans a blockchain platform for energy commodity trading


Three major oil companies BP, Shell, and Equinor have united with large banks and trading houses to launch Vakt, a blockchain-based digital platform for energy commodities trading expected to start by the end of 2018.

Vakt includes the three oil companies BP, Shell and Equinor, and also banks like ABN Amro, ING, and Societe Generale, and trading houses Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading, and Mercuria.

This blockchain solution was first announced in November 2017, aiming to enable major industry players to move from paperwork to smart contracts, which will help to reduce time spent on operations and make trading more efficient.

Vakt shared the news at a digital commodities summit hosted by S&P Global Platts this Monday, where Lyon Hardgrave, Vakt’s vice president of product development said:

“We expect to go live at the end of November in the North Sea oil market. In 2019 we will look at ARA barges, waterborne markets, and US crude pipelines. And by January we expect the first licensees will come on board, in addition to our shareholders,”

Hardgrave continued by explaining how licensees would experience cost savings of around 40% in post-trade resolution because of the number of data errors that would be eliminated and the number of processes would be accelerated.

“This is not a trading platform, nor a settlement platform – there is no cryptocurrency involved. But it is everything in between: deal recap; confirmation; contract; logistics (the really big element in all this) – and invoicing,” he said.

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