'World's largest' oil and gas exchange launches

A new Qatar trading exchange, believed to be the largest oil and gas trading platform in the world, launches today, based on technology from an Oman-based company.

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By  Daniel Stanton Published  March 22, 2006

A new Qatar trading exchange, believed to be the largest oil and gas trading platform in the world, has launched today, based on technology from an Oman-based company. EOS Technology, which already operates exchanges in Oman, Kuwait and Jordan, has set up the system in collaboration with a consortium of local Qatari businessmen. Alan Livingston, group CEO of EOS, said: “We have the largest oil and gas exchange in the world in terms of the number of members and in terms of true bids, and it all started here in the Middle East.” Initial members are understood to include Shell, BP, and most of the other major oil and gas producers. Livingston believes the system offers greater efficiencies than existing catalogue-based systems, which tend to be based on EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), a 40-year old technology. “PDO (Petroleum Development Oman), having been using the system, have paid 98% of their invoices on time,” he said. “It makes it much easier for the vendors to plan. We have a large company who is saying if we use your exchange we will offer our vendors payment within seven days of presentation of the invoice and in return for that we will expect the vendors to give us a discount.” The system also provides transparency, since it records details of all trading and bidding activities, as well as archiving data necessary for compliance with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley. “Under our system its fully auditable,” said Livingston. “You can’t actually open any of the bids until the due date has been reached or indeed all the responses are in, and the system records the decision in terms of who purchased the goods. We’re protecting the buyers from accusations of underhand dealings.” The Oman exchange currently handles 25,000 documents a month, while the other exchanges operated by EOS have moved over two million documents to date. EOS will be launching an exchange in Sudan shortly and is currently in negotiations for a partner in the US.

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