Originally published at www.forbes.com
Energy majors Total and Eni have joined the latest phase of BTL Group’s project aimed at facilitating gas trading reconciliation through to settlement and delivery of trades using blockchain.
The Calgary, Alberta, Canada-headquartered TSX Venture Exchange-listed company (TSXV:BTL) said on Monday (22 January) that Gazprom Marketing & Trading, Mercuria, Vattenfall, Petroineos and Freepoint were also among participants in the initiative named “OneOffice” which deploys blockchain to bring about “cost savings across the trade life cycle.”
Of the aforementioned oil majors and traders, Eni has been involved with the initiative since its pilot stage. BTL is the owner of proprietary blockchain platform Interbit, which is capable of operating and interconnecting thousands of blockchains per server, in a secure and scalable manner.
In the simplest of terms, a blockchain is akin to a digitally distributed ledger that can be replicated and spread across many nodes in a peer-to-peer network, thereby minimizing the need for oversight and governance of a single ledger.
It is being actively pursued by major energy sector players. On 18 January, Shell’s trading arm unveiled its investment in a London-based start-up Applied Blockchain. Rivals BP, Statoil and other traders such as Koch Supply & Trading and Gunvor have all recently gone down the blockchain path.
Dominic McCann, chief executive officer of BTL, said: “The latest phase extends from trade reconciliation to settlement using our Interbit application for the natural gas trade life cycle. We are bringing together like-minded firms that see the potential of BTL’s industry agnostic blockchain technology in reducing risks, costs and providing better protection against cyber threats.”
“The launch of the OneOffice project is a significant achievement for BTL as we move closer towards introducing the Interbit platform across multiple industries later this calendar quarter.”
Philippe Chauvain, Vice President, Risk Control and IT at Total Gas & Power Limited, said: “At the moment, we hear a lot about blockchain and how this technology could transform the trading processes.”
If successful, the initiative with BTL could help Total to reduce the risks of human errors and increase the speed in the reconciliation process of transactions along with its industry counterparts, Chauvain added.
Francesco Romeo, Trading & Shipping ICT Vice President at Eni, said: “Following our experience during the European energy pilot, we look forward to expanding the scope to enable straight through processing through the whole settlement process as well as bringing wider participation from the industry.”