BP invests US$5mn in AI technology to boost upstream activities

sandy ai.jpg.img.1920.mediumNew AI technology, nicknamed Sandy, is set to accelerate projects. (Image source: BP)British oil company BP Ventures said it has invested US$5mn in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital capabilities for its upstream business

The AI nicknamed as Sandy has a string of unique capabilities including specially designed ‘knowledge-graphs’. In a series A fund, the company invested in a Houston-based technology start-up Belmont Technology.

The start-up has developed a cloud-based geoscience platform using AI that BP experts can feed with geology, geophysics, reservoir and historic project information.

The platform then links that information together, identify new connections and workflows, and create a robust knowledge-graph of the company’s subsurface assets.

Aimed at accelerating project lifecycles, from exploration through to reservoir modelling, the technology is targeting a 90 per cent 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 that 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,” he added.

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

Jean-Marie Laigle, CEO of Belmont Technology, stated, “We are extremely honoured 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,” he stated.

This investment follows the company’s previous deals in cognitive computing, including US$20mn in Series B funding in Beyond Limits, an AI company. Belmont’s scalable knowledge-graphs can be interrogated by Beyond Limits’ technology for new insights.

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