BP invests £3.8m in AI technology

A BP Plc company logo stands illuminated on a sign on the forecourt of a gas station in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. U.K. inflation unexpectedly slowed in December, cooling to the Bank of England's 2 percent target for the first time in more than four years. Photographer Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
BP is working with the EDF to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry

BP has invested £3.8 million in new artificial intelligence (AI) technology aimed at speeding up projects.

Houston technology start-up Belmont Technology has developed a cloud-based geoscience platform using AI.

It links geology, geophysics, reservoir and project information to improve understanding of BP’s subsurface assets.

The technology is targeting a 90% time reduction in data collection, interpretation and simulation.

David Eyton, BP’s group head of technology, said: “This AI-based platform, which we’ve nicknamed Sandy, is expected to unlock critical data for our subsurface engineers at a much accelerated pace.

“Our experts will ask it questions about our reservoirs like, ‘What factors control production in the Chirag field?’.

“Sandy will then interpret our data, including mapping out many more scenarios than are currently constructed, helping us make faster, better informed upstream decisions.

“This investment helps drive forward our digital strategy and further underpins our upstream operations with cutting edge technology.”

BP’s investment will enable Belmont Technology to expand its workforce, extend Sandy’s capabilities and accelerate the deployment of its product.

Belmont Technology’s chief executive, Jean-Marie Laigle, said: “We are extremely honored to welcome BP as an investor as it is a validation of our approach and technology.

“We are excited by the prospect of deploying a cutting-edge cognitive AI solution within BP.

“Our technology enables real-time thinking for subsurface engineers, helping transform the way teams work, analyse data, understand situations and generate novel ideas.”