Blockchain is best known as the architecture that underpins the cryptocurrency, bitcoin. However, the technology that drives digital money could also be the rolled out into most areas of business. In this article we look at the principle ways in which the oil and gas industry can use blockchain to enhance the way it competes in the modern-day marketplace.
As the Russia-gate saga continues to unfold on Capitol Hill, US president, Donald Trump, touched down in Riyadh on the initial leg of his first foreign trip.
The 45th president leaves behind him a growing domestic backlash over the dismissal of FBI director, James Comey, and the appointment of a former FBI chief as special counsel to investigate what has become known as “The Flynn Affair”.
Trump’s whirlwind tour will take him from the Saudi capital to the 43rd G7 summit in Sicily via the Holy Land, Rome and Brussels in a week. The timing of this first leg of the whistle-stop is calculated, opportune and telling.
Oil jumped by two per cent on the global markets after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Russia agreed to extend a regime of production cuts until Q1 2018.
As a barrel of the black stuff hit $52 in Monday trading, the industry may have also heaved a huge collective sigh of relief.
Barely 48 hours before Asia opened for business, the world was reeling from the onslaught of a massive, pan-global cyber attack.
Initial investigations uncovered as many as 45,000 separate “ransomware” attacks across 100 countries. By Monday morning, that stood at 200,000 computers in 150 countries with the number likely to rise as people opened their emails.
In the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, the Saudi oil minister has confirmed what we suspected: the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will likely extend their production limiting programme into 2018.
Khalid Al-Falih stated that: “The producer coalition is determined to do whatever it takes to achieve our target of bringing stock levels back to the five-year average.” The current production pact has been in place since January.
As we covered in previous weeks, despite the 13-member oil cartel’s best efforts, the OPEC agreement has had little tangible effect on the oil price in the past five months.
World oil inventories are still brimful after two years of growing surfeit and the ramping up of US shale production in the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the White House has been dramatic.
In the past decade, the oil and gas industry has gone from the concept of the smart well to the digital oilfield to the digital oil rig, the offshore expression of a real-time data collection and analysis paradigm.
The big data revolution started late for an industry with a notoriously conservative attitude to large-scale technological change. Despite being at the forefront of many high-tech engineering solutions, the hydrocarbons sector has always been resistant to any transformation which does not have a tangible return on investment (ROI), particular in times of lower oil prices.
Monday saw the completion of an historic deal that gave Saudi Aramco control of the biggest oil refinery in the United States.
The industry giant paid $2.2 billion to buy out Royal Dutch Shell’s 50 per cent stake and take sole ownership of the Texan complex on the Gulf of Mexico.
At peak output, Port Arthur can refine more than 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day from diverse feedstocks, supplying the US domestic customer base with a range of products from aviation-grade fuel to heavy lubricants.
Served by two separate docks and 24 distribution terminals, the quayside handles more than 700 vessels per annum.
The Port Arthur purchase comes ahead of Saudi Aramco’s proposed 2018 IPO, which is expected to become the largest in history.
As British prime minister, Theresa May, calls a snap election for June 8th, the news cycle becomes dominated by further uncertainty for the world's fifth largest economy.
Whilst this represents an unexpected turn of events for some - especially given that an Act of Parliament will need to be repealed to allow a plebiscite outside of a five-year fixed-term - two more significant geopolitical stories are rumbling ominously to the East of London. Both could quickly become flare points for energy chaos at the least, or panglobal conflict in a worst case scenario.
After American Navy destroyers launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at an Assad-controlled airfield in Western Syria, worries about a Russo-American stand off in the Middle East have gained heft.
The two air strikes came in response to an attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s north-western Idlib province in which at least 87 civilians were killed. Purportedly carried out by Syrian government forces, the assault displayed all the hallmarks of a nerve gas attack.
The dictum tells us “energy is politics”: might the current turmoil in Syria have more to do with the desert nation’s role in long-term energy security rather than the actions of a hereditary dictator or factions of religious zealots?
The world is drowning in oil. But there is a growing belief that change is in the pipeline. In fact, research by McKinsey, a consultancy, and the World Economic Forum has identified three game changers for companies and policy makers within the industry. New energy sources, the likely growth of electric vehicles (EVs) and industry fragmentation are the main elements breaking the habit for oil companies.
The Cradle of Civilisaton has been rocked by the hand of conflict for more than half a decade: now, in the environs of the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh, the guns may be about to fall silent.
The Battle of Mosul, a raging offensive that has been ongoing since October 2016 between Islamic State (IS) fighters and the combined forces of the Iraqi central government and autonomous Kurdish Region, is grinding to a bloody halt.
According to sources at the battlefront, there are around 1,000 IS-aligned fighters left in Mosul occupying 15 per cent of the city, and their supply of ammunition is running low.