NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: One of the primary goals of the current U.S. Administration is to revamp the country’s failing infrastructure, especially internal waterways vital for transporting a vast range of goods, including grain, steel, coal and petroleum products. Blockchain technology can play a crucial role in this process, and the federal government already investigating the potential implementation of the technology to streamline construction. Recently approved as a government contractor for the State of Utah, Petroteq Energy, Inc. (OTCQX: PQEFF) (TSX.V: PQE) (FRANKFURT: MW4A) (PQEFF Profile) has integrated blockchain into its operations, poised to take advantage of blockchain’s impact on the oil and gas market, as well as infrastructure. Other enterprises focused on developing solutions in the blockchain space include 360 Blockchain, Inc. (OTC: BKLLF) (CODE: CNX), BTL Group Ltd. (OTC: BTLLF) (TSX.V: BTL), Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (TSX.V: HIVE) and Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA).
In 2017, President Donald Trump allocated $200 billion of the national budget to rebuild the country’s infrastructure as part of a $1 trillion investment plan over the term of his presidency, according to a White House report (http://nnw.fm/G2sLb). The integration of blockchain technology for infrastructure development could enhance the management and security of sensitive information, potentially allowing both state and federal governments to improve transactional transparency and establish trust. It could also reduce the risk of fraud and financial mismanagement, one of the primary concerns in government.
Petroteq Energy, Inc. (OTCQX: PQEFF) (TSX.V: PQE) (FRANKFURT: MW4A) is gearing up to demonstrate blockchain’s advantages through the company’s Petrobloq supply chain management platform.
As a recently approved government contractor for the State of Utah, Petroteq will participate in the planning, design and procurement of the state’s local and government infrastructure projects, where distributed ledger technology could minimize the risks of replacing old infrastructure. With a price tag of up to $3.6 trillion, updating America’s crumbling infrastructure will be a costly feat, and one worth protecting.
“Given the timing of President Trump’s State of the Union address, which emphasized infrastructure spending, specifically on roads and bridges, we feel this is a fortuitous timing for us to be able to participate in this anticipated growth opportunity,” Petroteq CEO Alex Blyumkin stated in the press release (http://nnw.fm/LaHi8). “Historically, Utah’s economic performance has been among the strongest in the nation with the construction sector having posted the highest job growth in 2016 at 6.8%, fueled by both robust residential and commercial activity. Becoming a contractor for the State of Utah is a significant milestone for our Company, and we expect that the project initiatives will generate significant benefits to our shareholders.”
Petroteq’s specific involvement will be to provide bitumen for the roadway projects. Bitumen is a favored essential element for roadways, representing a global market expected to top $110 billion by 2024. As the federal and state governments increase spending on construction, maintenance and repair, demand is expected to increase for bitumen’s application in roadways, waterproofing, insulation and adhesives.
The inherent decentralization of blockchain technology is being explored as a solution to reduce the risks and enhance the security of advanced platform applications that will replace the old infrastructure.
Petroteq Leads Blockchain Implementation for Oil & Gas
The energy sector, and most specifically the oil and gas industry, is one of the areas that already benefits from successful implementation of blockchain technology, with Petroteq paving the way to innovative applications of the technology in this market.
The technology is ideal for secure records management, and its application can extend to any digitized transactions and assets. The energy industry is heavily regulated, employing protocols derived from multiple sources. These include refining, transportation, environmental impact and the taxation issues surrounding multinational oil transactions. Regulators can share data contained in a blockchain to maximize transparency, while preventing non-compliance and other potential issues.
The complexity of the oil and gas marketplace leads to the formation of joint-venture partnerships to execute project completion. As such, collaboration by several companies on the same project is commonplace. Blockchain’s inherent transparency enables company management and departments, as well as investors to view the entire history of a project. This can remove potential contract conflicts that could result in substantial financial losses for the parties involved.
In a joint venture with First Bitcoin Capital Corp. (OTC: BITCF), Petroteq is focused on its blockchain-based Petrobloq platform (www.Petrobloq.com), which will be the world’s first blockchain-based platform to service the unique supply chain needs of the oil and gas industry.
Upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry each present unique complexities and challenges. While providing a faster and more secure supply chain, Petrobloq’s solution will facilitate substantial cost savings for oil and gas producers, while helping to mitigate market fluctuations and the ongoing evolving geopolitical atmosphere.
Petroteq recently concluded an agreement with Pemex for the use of Petrobloq for supply chain management. The first company to adopt this platform, Pemex is a Mexican, state-owned petroleum company and one of the world’s leading petroleum producers. Further to the agreement, Pemex’s international liaison company, Grupo Pelge, will represent Petrobloq’s interests in Latin America.
Pemex’s management portal is run by Achilles information, a leading global supply chain management company that manages service providers for over 100 major buyers and over 10,000 suppliers. Through this portal, Petrobloq intends to offer Pemex and other companies in the oil and gas industry the use of a supply chain system, upon final development.
“We believe this new opportunity with Pemex serves as a testament to the success of our vision as we continue to make progress in our most recent venture, to develop and operate an enterprise-grade, blockchain-based platform. As part of our strategy to build advanced oil processing and refining facilities, we discovered inefficiencies and bottlenecks associated with the industry’s supply chain, and proposed blockchain solution is being designed to enable oil and gas companies globally to conduct transactions,” Petroteq CEO Blyumkin stated in the press release (http://nnw.fm/mqWX1).
Petroteq’s Core Expertise and Innovation
Petroteq has a history of innovative petroleum technology-based expertise, establishing itself as a leader in the development of new and advances oil extraction and refining technologies. The Canadian-based company extracts heavy oils from oil sands, oil shale and shallow oil deposits.
The company currently has two major projects in the pipeline. Its first project covers oil and gas exploration and production from mineral leases it owns in partnership with Accord GR Energy Inc. in Texas. This involves the recovery of oil from over 80 shallow oil wells covering an area of 7,000 acres. Petroteq’s second project focused on the expansion of production capacity at its heavy oil facility at Asphalt Ridge, Utah. This is a mineral lease covering more than 3,000 acres which features a large oil sands resource base with an estimated 87 million barrels of oil equivalent.
With considerable potential at stake, Petroteq is protecting its oil extraction process through the U.S. Patent Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. In mid-January Petroteq received notices of allowance for its new patents, which cover the company’s unique process for the extraction of bitumen from oil sands in a highly efficient, environmentally friendly way (http://nnw.fm/VXQg1).
Petroteq’s technology requires no water, high temperatures or pressures for extraction, and does not produce greenhouse gases. The system extracts up to 99% of all bitumen, heavy oil and other lighter hydrocarbons, while recycling up to 99% of the benign extraction solvents.
Other Companies in the Blockchain Sector
As Petroteq continues to advance its technologies, the company’s focus on blockchain places it in a market occupied by a growing number of other companies with an interest in the technology.
360 Blockchain (OTC: BKLLF) (CODE: CNX) is a Canadian company that invests in early-stage opportunities in blockchain-based technology and the cryptocurrency sector. It focuses on accelerating the development and application of both private and public blockchain technologies for cryptocurrency, cryptographic security, decentralized data management and smart contracts. 360 Blockchain is currently developing solutions in esports, IoT, human resources and consumer loyalty programs. In November, 2017, the company invested $100,000 in a joint venture with NOS Blockchain Inc., a subsidiary of Nerds on Site Inc. that provides leading edge and cost-effective solutions for SMEs. This venture will focus on using 360 Blockchain’s expertise to accelerate the development and implementation of NOS’s advanced blockchain technologies.
With offices in Vancouver, Calgary and London, BTL Group Ltd. (OTC: BTLLF) (TSX.V: BTL) develops and invests in blockchain technology. The company operates an enterprise-grade private blockchain development platform called Interbit. BTL forms global partnerships to use its Interbit platform to develop solutions for businesses across multiple industries, including some of the world’s largest institutions and corporations. Interbit includes a suite of APIs and smart contracts that enable business application developers to create blockchain-based applications rapidly, efficiently and with confidence. BTL’s goal is to position Interbit to become the preferred tool of choice for professional-grade blockchain development among developers, application designers, solution architects and business leaders.
Hive Blockchain (TSX.V: HIVE) acquired Genesis Mining Ltd., the world’s largest bitcoin mining company, to focus on the management of cryptocurrency mining operations by building a bridge from the blockchain sector to traditional capital markets. Hive Blockchain has the option to acquire four additional data centers from Genesis in Sweden and Iceland. Cryptocurrency mining is energy-intensive and relies heavily on energy efficiency to make it profitable. Iceland, in particular, provides abundant, cheap electricity from renewable energy sources. Its geographical location also facilitates a fast, reliable internet connection and gateway between North America and Europe. At the close of business on February 2, 2018, Hive Blockchain had a market cap of almost $504 million.
An Intellectual Property (IP) licensing and commercialization company, Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ: MARA) acquires and manages IP rights for diverse business entities, including universities, small companies and large corporations. The company’s commercialization lifecycle covers the discovery of viable opportunities to the performance of due diligence, providing capital, managing development, protecting IP, assisting with business plan execution and realizing shareholder value. In November, 2017, Marathon entered into a definitive purchase agreement for the acquisition of whole ownership of Global Bit Ventures Inc., a digital asset technology enterprise that uses blockchain protocols to mine cryptocurrencies.
These companies are taking the lead in the development of technologies and application solutions in the blockchain space for a variety of applications. With rapid growth in blockchain technology adoption, early movers like these enterprises could experience significant growth in tandem with this sector, potentially maximizing value for investors.
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