BP, Shell and Equinor Back Blockchain Platform to Modernize Post-Trade Process

According to a new report, VAKT Global Limited – a privately held company – is launching a digital ecosystem for physical post-trade processing. This platform will leverage blockchain technology; it will remove paper-based processes and reconciliation, create new trade finance opportunities and enhance efficiency.

This venture is supported by oil giants like Shell, BP, and Equinor. Other members include trading houses such as Koch supply and trading, Gunvor and Mercuria, and financial players such as IMG, ABN AMRO, and Societe General.

At the S&P Global Platts Digital Commodities Summit in London, VAKT product development Vice President, Lyon Hardgrave, said that they look forward to going live in the North Sea oil market by the end of November. He went further to inform the public of the company’s plans. In 2019, they intend to ‘fix their gaze’ on three major sectors – ARA barges, waterborne markets, and US crude pipelines. And as early as January 2019, they expect the first licensees to come on board in addition to their esteemed shareholders.

Although waterborne markets were the main target because of the need for flexibility, VAKT had to spread its net on petchems and US gas due to popular demand.

According to Mr. Hardgrave, the licenses which pay to use the platform would save about 40% in post-trade resolution. The platform would also help save time and attract more revenue as it eliminates data errors and speeds up processes. He further clarified that the platform is neither a trading platform nor a settlement platform and it has no bearing to cryptocurrency. In contrary, it has everything in between – deal recap, confirmation, contract, logistics and invoicing.

VAKT CTO, Adam Vile, admitted that blockchain technology still has a long way to go. It is still a technology for the future. The result of a poll held at the summit showed that a huge number of people think that blockchain technology still has a long way to go. A large number of the delegates believe that applications of the technology would reach mass retail market by 2025. According to Mr. Vile, there is a whole stack of standard technology above blockchain. They boast of building an enterprise solution powered by blockchain technology.

While opening the conference, David Shrier of Oxford University’s Said Business School talked about his expectations on the digitization of the entire Commodity trade ecosystems in a space of seven to ten years’ time. He also opined that consistent regulation of the sector would take at least 10 years or maybe never.