BP, Shell and Equinor, three of the largest oil companies in the world, have united with several banks and trading houses to launch Vakt, a blockchain-driven platform that focuses on energy commodity trading.
The blockchain solution was first announced in November 2017 and will aim to rid major industry players of cumbersome paperwork and begin using smart contracts, improving trading efficiency.
At the S&P Global Platts Digital Commodities Summit in London, product development VP of Vakt Lyon Hardgrave announced: "We expect to go live at the end of November in the North Sea oil market," adding that "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".
Other shareholders of the platform include Gunvor, ABN AMRO, Koch, ING, Mercuria and Societe Generale.
Hardgrave explained that because of the number of data errors that would be eliminated and the number of processes accelerated by the Vakt system, licensees would experience cost savings of around 40% in post-trade resolution.
"This 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.