London-based oil trading blockchain platform Vakt went online this week, Reuters reported, with Shell and BP among the first to start using the platform. Reuters reports that Vakt will be restricted to "contracts for the five North Sea crude grades that are used to set dated Brent" for the moment.
“Collaboration with our peers and some of the industry’s key players is the best way to combine market expertise and achieve the scale necessary to launch a digital transaction platform that could transform the way we all do business," said Andrew Smith, EVP of trading and supply at Shell International Tradding and Shipping Company Limited. "Ultimately the aim is improved speed and security, which benefits everyone along the supply chain from market participants to customers.”
“Digitalisation is changing how the energy value chain works. It’s an exciting time,” Smith added.
The platform was created in 2017 by a consortium of industry leaders, including BP and Shell, as well as Equinor and trading companies such as Mercuria Energy Group.
In essence, blockchain simplifies deals and eliminates some of the bureaucracy involved in trading. It could also improve transparency and cut costs.