Shell oil rig in the North Sea
Shell oil rig in the North Sea. Shell

Saudi Aramco, or the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is one of the biggest companies in the world by revenue, regarded by some as the most profitable company in the world as well. In its latest move, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) has invested $5 million in new shares sold by VAKT, the latter announced in a press release on January 28.

VAKT develops a blockchain platform that eases post-trade processing by providing an immutable, distributed audit trail for buyers and sellers. Post-trade processing refers to a process that helps verify that a trade between a buyer and a seller is valid i.e. all details of the trade are as agreed upon by both parties.

The investment by SAEV will also see the Aramco Trading Company become a future user of the VAKT platform. The platform is currently in production and is being used in the North Sea BFOET crude oil market.

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Etienne Amic, VAKT CEO, and Richard James, VAKT CFO, both expressed their excitement over the new involvement with SAEV. James shared that the company was not actually looking for an investment at the time, but that they “could not miss the chance to bring on-board a partner of this calibre, which is a tremendous show of faith in VAKT’s vision”.

CEO Etienne Amic boasted that the company’s North Sea operation is only the beginning and that it has helped them learn a lot about their platform. He also stated that Saudi Aramco is going to be of great help in the future expansion of VAKT in Asia.

Hans Middelthon, MD of SAEV Europe, said:

“VAKT has demonstrated that their platform has the potential to digitise what is currently a very manual process and be truly transformative to end users and customers. Leveraging blockchain theory and applying it to the complicated world of post-trade processing, VAKT has made a compelling pitch to become an integral part of market infrastructure. SAEV’s mission is to develop and deploy technologies into Aramco’s operations. VAKT is an excellent  candidate in this sense and we look forward to helping the company with its development.”

Completing this investment, SAEV joins VAKT’s current shareholder base of 12 investors, all of which are among the largest players in the energy and commodities trading sector. The $5 million investment will be used to help further develop the VAKT platform and fuel the expansion into new markets, the company shared in the press release.

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