Energy market on the net could save industry $11bn

A new global internet exchange for the energy industry has been announced, designed to offer buyers and suppliers the chance to trade on-line.

The independent marketplace, called Petrocosm, is due to be launched in the second half of this year. It is estimated that the exchange could lead to $11bn in global oil and gas industry savings and efficiencies, through lower transaction costs, aggregated purchasing and access to global markets.

Petrocosm will also allow firms to buy and sell products, such as drilling and electrical equipment, and services, such as professional engineering and construction work.

The exchange is being created by US oil giant Chevron and Ariba, an e-commerce services provider.

Ben Wright, an Ariba marketing director, said other firms will be able to invest in the scheme, meaning no large company will be able to dominate it.

`By being independent, this network will avoid the problem with exchanges run by one large company, in which you never get more than one big player involved,’ he said. `This leads to a fragmented set of different networks for different companies.’

Wright predicted that there could be as many as 10,000 business-to-business markets in the future.

Large `supermarkets’ covering a number of industries may soon emerge, with sub-networks like Petrocosm branching off from them, he added.