Chevron, Total Join Blockchain Commodity Platform Vakt

The US and French energy giants, along with India’s Reliance Industries, have invested in blockchain-powered trading venue Vakt.

Global oil giants Chevron and Total, as well as Indian refiner Reliance Industries, have invested in the consortium behind UK blockchain-driven commodity platform Vakt. Under the agreement, the three companies will also offer part of their oil products by using Vakt’s services, according to a statement on Wednesday.

Vakt did not specify the individual contributions of Chevron, Total, and Reliance Industries or the total amount of capital received. By investing in the project, the three energy companies have joined BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Equinor as shareholders of the UK blockchain project.

“Chevron is joining the Vakt consortium to stay at the forefront of the technology's development and to help move the industry forward in the blockchain space,” Colin Parfitt, president of supply and trading at Chevron, said.

The platform utilizes distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions in a bid to cut operational costs and speed up deal-making. Vakt manages all activities in the physical energy transaction process by eliminating the need for paper-based documentation, from trade entry to the final settlement. According to the startup, by implementing DLT, it creates a distributed audit trail and thus offers transparency and higher trust than other traditional platforms.

Last November, Vakt launched its first market, covering five North Sea crude oil fields – Brent, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk, and Troll (BFOT).

Thomas Waymel, Total president of trading and shipping, commented:

“Total has been supporting industry initiatives to digitize cargo post-trade processes for some time. We are committed to contribute to the rollout to various markets of the Vakt blockchain platform which is linked to a full digital ecosystem. We aim for simplification of the daily work of our logisticians in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.”

Vakt plans to expand its services to the US crude oil pipelines and Northwest Europe refined product barges. In the coming months, the project will open its platform to energy players that are not shareholders in the company. ABN Amro, ING, Société Générale, Gunvor, Mercuria, and Koch Supply and Trading are also part of the Vakt consortium.

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