Gazprom Neft Aircraft Blockchain Platform Enables Instant Refueling Payment

March 1, 2021

Gazpromneft Aero, the aviation fuel operator of Gazprom Neft, has successfully completed tests of its Smart Fuel blockchain-based system for digital aviation refueling which allows instant payments.

The platform, which cuts payment processing times from 4-5 days to 15 seconds, has already been used for more than 100 scheduled flights and Smartavia, VTB Bank and Raiffeisenbank have become partners in the project operating at Murmansk international Airport.

Refueling requests, payment and the exchange of accounting documents are all carried out via applications installed on tablets held by pilots and refueling operators.

Blockchain technology guarantees transaction data is saved in the system and available to all the participants. Data from the Smart Fuel system is synchronized with an airline's electronic flight bag and the digital aviation fuel accounting system of fuel trucks ensuring the refueling and information exchange process is fully automated.

Anatoly Cherner, deputy CEO for logistics, processing and sales, Gazprom Neft: “The development and implementation of digital solutions along the entire value chain is one of our strategic priorities. The application of cutting-edge technologies allows us to increase the efficiency of production and transportation, enhance customer services and guarantee the delivery time of oil products to our customers. The successful integration of blockchain technology into aviation refueling processes is a key example of our approach. Our new digital Smart Fuel system has facilitated our partners processes and increased the financial security of mutual settlements, which is extremely important in the current macroeconomic conditions. The system has a high potential for scaling up across the entire industry.”

Vladimir Yegorov, CEO, Gazpromneft-Aero: “We first tested a blockchain-based technology for aircraft refueling in 2018 and then decided to create our own unique Smart Fuel platform. First of all, we prepared the legal basis to be able to use the technology for scheduled flights, and developed a user agreement for airlines. “The results in Murmansk allow our experts to provide all the necessary assistance to quickly shift to the new solution and install the required software package. Gazpromneft-Aero has developed a Smart Fuel module that can be integrated into an airline's electronic flight bag, and create a user-friendly interface for the pilot and air carrier’s managers. In 2021, we plan to scale the Smart Fuel platform up by introducing blockchain based transactions at other international airports in Russia, where Gazprom Neft fuel farms operate.”

Sergey Savostin, Smartavia CEO: “This revolutionary approach to aircraft refueling is particularly important for our airline – it makes the process fast, transparent and up-to-date. The partnership is an excellent example of how the airline is moving forward with the most advanced technologies, confirming its commitment to a smart philosophy, which, in turn, is the cornerstone of our entire business strategy.”

Victoria Vanurina, deputy chairman of VTB: “Digitalization is shaping the future of the global economy. This project is a perfect example of the benefits of combining expert industry knowledge, digital technologies and financial expertise. Having extensive experience in optimizing financial processes and introducing advanced technological solutions in the transaction services market, VTB has implemented a payment module facilitating settlements between the fuel supplier and airlines. Thanks to this, money transfers can be carried out in a matter of seconds. The implementation of this blockchain solution has allowed Gazprom Neft to optimize the mutual settlements system with its customers and will also enable airlines to save money on advance payments in the future.”

Evgenia Ovchinnikova, head of the center for technological research and development at Raiffeisenbank said. “We are proud to be amongst the first banks to help Gazpromneft-Aero, a leader in aviation refueling, to automate payments for jet fuel through distributed ledger technology. We provide integration solutions for any business processes related to blockchain based interactions with the bank. At the same time, employees of our clients can continue to work in a familiar interface such as 1C, Galaxy, SAP or any other ERP system, and do not have to learn how to use new software.”