Today seven major oil and gas companies announced a new U.S. blockchain consortium. The group is part of the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC). The founding board members are Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Hess, Pioneer Natural Resources and Repsol. Additionally, Marathon Oil and Noble Energy are participants but not on the initial board.
Equinor and Chevron are also members of VAKT the blockchain post-trade company incorporated in the United Kingdom. The focus of the new U.S. consortium is on processes relating to extraction. The OOC blockchain consortium plans to run Proofs of Concepts (PoC) this year.
“Creating the OOC Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium is a significant step toward establishing key blockchain standards, frameworks and capabilities for the oil and gas industry,” said Rebecca Hofmann, chairman of the board of directors.
“Blockchain technology is a catalyst for reimagining the way we do business and this consortium represents a collaborative effort to explore the technology’s potential and leverage learnings to drive industry adoption.” Hofmann leads blockchain digitalization for Equinor U.S.
The group’s first aim is to learn and conduct PoCs and pilots. It will explore the potential benefits such as speeding up transactions, reducing disputes and enhancing safety. As will all blockchain initiatives driving standardization is a prerequisite. But those standards will extend to governance structures, smart contracts, consensus and cryptology.
Four use cases have been identified for 2019. The first is truck ticketing. Nowadays hydraulic fracturing is common in the oil and gas fields. Water delivered by trucks carries pieces of shale up to ground level for removal. By digitizing the ticketing for trucks that dispose of the used water, the consortium hopes to lower overheads, reduce costs and audits.
Other use cases include the process for approving cost estimates, joint billing and payments, and seismic data monitoring.