The first pilot leveraging blockchain technology was successfully completed on five Equinor ASA wells in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC) Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium said Wednesday.

Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium

In the pilot, which focused on water hauling, the technology reduced the workflow process from 90-120 days to one-to-seven days, while eliminating nine steps. Further, it automatically validated 85% of all the water volume measurements.

Blockchain technology, which also bolsters bitcoin and other digital currencies, is a distributed ledger that can initiate and verify transactions on a network as they occur. The OOC Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium said the technology could help to reduce financial risk, reduce process workflow and cut costs.

The consortium consists of a group of explorers that include ConocoPhillips, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Hess Corp., Marathon Oil Corp., Noble Energy Inc., Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Repsol SA and Royal Dutch Shell plc.

The technology used was done by Data Group Corp.’s GumboNet blockchain network, a platform for automating produced water haulage from field readings to invoice payments. Typically, the hauling invoicing and reconciliations are inaccessible between parties and must be completed automatically, the consortium noted.

Nuverra Environmental Solutions and a midstream disposal company provided water disposal during testing in the Bakken field.

While the pilot test focused only on water hauling, the consortium said there are plans to broaden its use to other resources.