[This article belongs to Volume - 46, Issue - 06]

Application of blockchain in petroleum exploration and development data sharing

Today’s systems, approaches, and technologies leveraged for managing oil and gas supply chain operations fall short in providing operational transparency, traceability, audit, security, and trusted data provenance features. Also, a large portion of the existing systems is centralized, manual, and highly disintegrated which make them vulnerable to manipulation and the single point of failure problem. In this survey, we explore the potential opportunities and applications of blockchain technology in managing the exploration, production, and supply chain and logistics operations in the oil and gas industry as it can offer traceability, immutability, transparency, and audit features in a decentralized, trusted, and secure manner. We discuss stateof-the-art blockchain-based schemes, research projects, business initiatives, and case studies to highlight the practicability of blockchain in the oil and gas industry. We present the potential opportunities brought about by blockchain technology in various use cases and application scenarios. We introduce several systems that leverage blockchain-based smart contracts to automate the important services in terms of tracking and tracing of petroleum products, protection of international trade documents, and coordination of purchasing and bidding activities for granting oil exploration rights to petroleum exploration and development companies. Finally, we present open challenges acting as future research directions.