Energy Giant BP Would Consider Blockchain Startup Partnership


An executive at BP discussed the possibility of partnering with a blockchain startup that conducts Initial Coin Offerings and explained that BP has tested the use of tokens internally.

Julian Gray, the technology director for BP’s digital innovation division, spoke at the Blockchain Expo in London.  His tone on the use of blockchain related technologies was very optimistic, and he discussed BP’s internal use of these products.

"We haven't done anything with public chains yet. But that doesn't mean we won't. We have done proof of concepts using tokens internally, transferring value." Gray said.

Gray’s positive tone regarding blockchain technologies is not surprising considering that many energy companies have been running blockchain trials.  In June of 2017, BP and Italian energy giant Enel began trial runs of a blockchain platform to track shipments and make the process more efficient.

Chinese chemical giant Sinochem Energy has also run multiple trials to test blockchain based systems, starting with basic tests in 2017, and moving on to more comprehensive blockchain trials in 2018.  According to Chinese news agencies, these tests were highly successful and increased the efficiency and profitability of their shipping systems.

Gray also discussed the possibility of partnering with other companies that have done ICOs, saying “Would we partner with people who are doing this stuff? Yes, I think so,” he said. "Not right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if we did.”

Gray added to his previous statements saying, “This technology is out the gate and it's clearly going somewhere and at some point we will interact with it.”

The Blockchain Expo was moderated by Lewis Cohen, a partner at Hogan Lovells, a major US-based law firm.  Cohen noted that he has seen a significant amount of resistance to using blockchain based technologies in the finance sector, whereas companies in other sectors are more open to exploring the technologies.