Jun 12, 2017

BP joins oil rush to use AI with funding for California start-up

BP has bought into artificial intelligence technology developed for space exploration as it joins growing interest among oil and gas companies in the use of big data to help find new resources. The deal, agreed last week, adds to signs that an industry associated with "Roughneck" engineers hunting oil in far-flung locations with greasy drilling equipment is embracing digital technology. Pioneer Natural Resources, one of the largest independent US oil producers, said last month that it planned to use artificial intelligence to increase the chances of success when drilling wells. More powerful imaging technology is giving oil companies greater visibility when carrying out seismic surveys of potential resources and this is combining with increasing computing power to analyse the resulting data. The US company aims to commercialise technology developed for "The robotic exploration of the solar system" at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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