BP invests in AI to accelerate upstream projects

Article by Adam Duckett

BP is targeting a 90% time reduction in data collection, interpretation and simulation

BP has invested US$5m in artificial intelligence technology in a bid to speed up projects.

The investment in Belmont Technologies enables BP to tap into a cloud-based machine-learning platform dubbed “Sandy”. BP will feed in data to the platform regarding geology, geophysics, reservoir and historic project information, which Sandy will then link together to identify new connections and workflows.

BP’s engineers can then ask questions of the platform, such as “what is the average porosity in the Miocene reservoirs?” or “what factors control production in the Chirag field?”. Sandy will interpret the data and solve certain simulations up to 10,000 times faster.

BP says the development should accelerate project lifecycles from exploration through to reservoir modelling, and is targeting a 90% time reduction in data collection, interpretation and simulation.

“Sandy will interpret our data, including mapping out many more scenarios than are currently constructed, helping us make faster, better-informed upstream decisions,” said David Eyton, BP’s Group Head of Technology.

Belmont’s CEO, Jean-Marie Laigle, said: “Our technology enables real-time thinking for subsurface engineers, helping transform the way teams work, analyse data, understand situations and generate novel ideas.”

BP has previously invested US$20m in cognitive computing company Beyond Limits, applying technology used in deep space exploration for offshore exploration in a bid to speed up operational insights and process automation across its operations. BP said there is scope for integration of the platforms with Belmont’s so-called scalable knowledge-graphs being interrogated by Beyond Limit’s technology for new insights.

The news follows a tie-up last month between ExxonMobil and IBM, as the oil major seeks to help develop quantum computing to provide breakthroughs in modelling and technology development.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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