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Blockchain - good for joint venture projects and chemical processes?

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Finboot believes that blockchain based technology could be useful for joint venture E&P projects, and chemical processes, where there are many diverse elements to keep track of, many parties involved, and no-one in overall control.

Two useful applications of blockchain in the oil and gas industry could be in joint venture exploration production projects with multiple partners, and in chemical processing chains with complex steps involved, reckons Juan Miguel Pérez Rosas, CEO and Co-Founder of blockchain company Finboot.

Both scenarios involve multiple partners, complex administration to keep track of everything, and no single party in control, he says.

In joint venture exploration and production projects, the partners could keep a blockchain-based record of everything which has been agreed in the project between the various owners, and also of every interaction.

The system can automatically provide validated information to regulators, other authorities, or shareholders as needed.

In the refinery and chemicals industry, it could be useful to have a blockchain based record of all the various steps in the chain, including certification, quality control and regulatory checks. This would provide a simple and immutable record of everything which has been done. It would avoid the need for phone calls and e-mails.

Finboot is doing a pilot with Repsol's refinery and chemical business units, managing records of all the various certification and quality control steps. This can include tests by external laboratories, or storage temperatures. The final customer can be provided with a digital 'trace' showing the entire background of the product being purchased.

Of course, blockchain is not the only technology which exists for sharing data. But it is a method of sharing data without any single party in control of the system, and where all parties can verify that nothing has been tampered with, says Mr Pérez Rosas.

The blockchain record also includes tools to verify the identity of people, or that documents are authenticated and not changed, Mr Perez Rosas says.

The process for authenticating people can be more than a standard login system. It can include similar technology to those used in digital signatures, or government identification systems. 'It is as secure as someone showing their passport and drivers' license,' he says.

The software can connect the identities of people with their authorised role in the various organisations.

Other domains

Another domain Finboot is looking at is the 'circular economy', with products being recycled. There could be a blockchain record along with every batch of product, showing its history, and the people who have 'touched' it.

For example, you could show how much of a supply of plastic came from fossil fuels and how much from biofuels. 'We've got all that information digitised, certified and validated,' he says.
Fuels can be tracked as a 'digital asset' - including if there are biofuels added, and where they came from. So, this 'digital asset' can be sold along with the fuel.

Getting such a system implemented might come across the obstacle of people being reluctant to share data. These concerns would need to be balanced against the benefit of improved efficiency in cross company operations, Mr Pérez Rosas says.

Finboot's software, 'MARCO', can be described as middleware, sitting between the customer and the distributed blockchain record. It ensures data is appropriately formatted to be registered on blockchain.

'We are managing very clearly what information is going to be in that distributed ledger,
and what data stays in the application controlled by the enterprise. We will only put there what is needed to be shared between different companies,' he says.

Associated Companies
» Finboot
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