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. BP is aiming to raise its data storage capacity from about 1 petabyte — equivalent to 20m four-drawer filing cabinets filled with documents — to 6PB by 2020 as the group integrates machine learning and artificial intelligence into its operations. 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. This information is fed into a cloud-based storage system which allows BP engineers anywhere in the world to access the information. “The vision is to have absolute knowledge of what’s going on in the field,” Mr Hashmi told the Financial Times. “Increasingly, we can improve reliability and safety by…


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