Jul 17, 2017

BP looks to big data to help weather weak oil price

BP is putting "Big data" at the centre of its push to lower costs, as it tries to harness digital technology to lift efficiency in an era of weak oil prices. The UK oil group is planning a fivefold increase in its data capacity over the next three years, and Ahmed Hashmi, head of technology for BP's exploration and production business, claims the biggest efficiency gains are still to come. More than 99 per cent of oil and gas wells operated by BP around the world are equipped with sensors that produce a constant flood of real-time data on production performance as well as the condition of infrastructure, Mr Hashmi said. Mr Hashmi claims BP is ahead of most rivals after spending "Several hundred million dollars" equipping its facilities with sensing devices and 2,000km of fibreoptic cable carrying 5m data points every minute. Mr Hashmi said machine learning would allow BP to use accumulated data from drilling operations to improve speed and success rates in future wells.

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