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Blockchain solutions enabling the energy sector

Jun 26, 2018
4 min read
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Necip Ozyucel, Cloud and Enterprise Business Solutions Lead, Microsoft Gulf talks about how Microsoft is helping companies look at blockchain solutions to optimise operations and transform their business models

Microsoft is at the forefront of helping companies deal with the digital transformation taking place within the oil and gas industry and is looking to empower organisations to successfully implement cloud, AI, IoT and blockchain solutions.

Ozyucel said: “The new technologies such as AI and blockchain are helping the oil and gas industry to adapt and transform their businesses.”

He added: “We are trying to guide people through the growing use of blockchain taking place in the energy sector. Blockchain is a brand new topic for the energy sector and many people are trying to understand the new technology. We are trying to guide them and help them find the right use cases. Blockchain is a great technology and it definitely will disrupt. It is not a one size fit all solution for everything.”

Blockchain opportunity

Ozyucel discussed the four questions to understand when considering using blockchain in the oil and gas sector.

“The first question is do you have an asset to transfer. The second question is does this transfer involve cross boundary stuff or include many stakeholders. Thirdly do you need to build trust between the stakeholders. Finally, is there any regulatory body involved or is this process too heavy in terms of manual processes.”

Ozyucel feels that blockchain can definitely be a solution as it is a distributor ledger. So when you commit to that ledger then no one can go and change that access. It is open and shared with all the stakeholders.

“It is the right platform to design a journey for an asset. I think blockchain is the best for building trust if someone is transferring an asset across boundaries. I see a greater opportunity for blockchain to be used in the energy sector more. Energy is one of the most important assets we have,” he added.

Importance of transparency

Efficiency is very important within the energy industry and regulating the industry and building the right mechanism between producers, wholesalers and buyers could be achieved through blockchain, according to Ozyucel.

“The trust in the blockchain environment will help everyone. The transparency aspect is important from the security perspective because oil and gas are dangerous materials. It should be kept in proper conditions and transported safely. Blockchain can provide the proper security when assets are transported.”

He added: “We think that there is a readiness from our customers perceptive to bring in these new technologies like blockchain and AI into the energy sector. We are helping on showcasing past use cases of the technology being implemented. We are making sure that we are pushing from a purely technology front but it should in fact come from a business need. We are trying to help our customers in this cloud journey to find the right solution to solve their blockchain requests. This process will take time but it is happening.”

Growth of cloud

Ozyucel explained: “Cloud is the biggest enabler for the different elements of digitisation in the energy sector. For Microsoft we have more than 100 data centres in 50 regions that means we have millions of servers. Cloud is improving each and every day.”

 He said that the industry has a great opportunity in the region as companies have good connectivity and Microsoft has solutions such as express route connecting data centres to its data centres directly.

“We have just announced our data centres in the region. In 2019 Microsoft will be investing in two data centres in the UAE, one in Dubai and the other will be in Abu Dhabi. This will mean that there will be nothing in terms of latency and I think this will accelerate the spread of technology within the oil and gas sector.”

Ozyucel ended on the importance of education, which in his eyes is a very important part of spreading the digitalisation message.