Stena Drilling enters blockchain technology partnership

By Peter A Walker

Stena Drilling has acquired a minority stake in, and formed a three-year technology partnership with, SmartChainServices (SCS), a Cambridge-based blockchain start-up.

The announcement follows a six-month proof of value project, where the Aberdeen-based drilling contractor applied SCS’ ClearDapp smart contract technology to reduce - and eventually eliminate - complex transactions related to International Association of Drilling Contractors reporting and payment-for-rig-performance.

Now, the companies will work together to further develop smart contract solutions for the energy sector.

With aims to automate and execute the payment cycle, the partnership aims to develop new energy industry new contractual models based on drilling speed, carbon intensity or fuel usage – all validated through data.

Colin Dawson, digital business transformation manager of Stena Drilling, said: “Over the past six months, it has become clear that blockchain technology has the potential to transform how the energy sector does business.

“The sector faces tighter scrutiny around ESG from investors and society as the energy transition takes hold, and smart contract solutions offer a transparent way to demonstrate impact via tracking Scope 1 emissions at the rig, for example.”

John Hanson, chief executive of SCS, said: “There’s a huge opportunity for those in the sector that adopt blockchain technology to reduce admin burden, track transparency and reduce cost.

“Together, over the next 12 months, we will work very closely with the Stena Drilling team to fundamentally change business models in the energy sector, particularly those based on drilling performance.”

The companies are scheduled to trial the ClearDapp solution with live data during the fourth quarter, in collaboration with a major oilfield operator.

ClearDapp is built on R3’s Corda platform, and early next year, SCS will deliver per-to-peer transactions via the beta version of Corda’s payment module.

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