BP invests £3.8m in AI technology firm

It is exploring opportunities to apply machine learning in its global oil and gas business

The Big Zero report

BP has invested $5 million (£3.8m) in an artificial intelligence (AI) technology company to further its “digital capabilities”.

The energy giant said the investment in Belmont Technology supports its ongoing work exploring opportunities to apply machine learning and cognitive computing in its global oil and gas business, with a focus in its upstream business.

The Houston-based start-up has developed a cloud-based geoscience platform using AI, which is said to have a number of unique capabilities including so-called “knowledge graphs”.

The technology provides “platform geology, geophysics, reservoir and historic project information” to improve the understanding of BP’s subsurface assets.

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.”

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