UK: Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing 'Sandy' Is to Bring Artificial Intelligence to BP's Upstream Business
BP Ventures has invested $ 5 million in Belmont Technology’s solution to further expand the artificial intelligence (AI) and digital capabilities in its upstream business. The investment is to support the ongoing work exploring opportunities to apply machine learning and cognitive computing in its global oil and gas business.
London/UK — The Houston technology start-up Belmont Technology has developed a cloud-based geoscience platform using AI. The platform has a string of unique capabilities including specially-designed ‘knowledge-graphs’. BP experts feed the platform geology, geophysics, reservoir and historic project information. It intuitively links that information together, identifying new connections and workflows, and creating a robust knowledge-graph of the oil company’s subsurface assets. Much like data searches available in the consumer domain, the experts can then interrogate the data, asking the powerful knowledge-graph specific questions in natural language. The technology then uses AI neural networks to interpret results and perform rapid simulations.
Aimed at accelerating project lifecycles, from exploration through to reservoir modelling, the technology is targeting a 90 % time reduction in data collection, interpretation and simulation. According to David Eyton, BP’s group head of technology, the AI-based platform, which has been nicknamed Sandy, is expected to unlock critical data for the company's subsurface engineers at a much accelerated pace. The users will ask it questions about the company's reservoirs like, ‘What factors control production in the Chirag field?’. Sandy will then interpret the data, including mapping out many more scenarios than are currently constructed, helping them make faster, better informed Upstream decisions. This investment helped drive forward the digital strategy and further underpins the Upstream operations with cutting edge technology, Eyton added.
BP’s investment will enable Belmont Technology to expand its workforce, extend Sandy’s capabilities and accelerate the deployment of its product. This investment follows previous deals in cognitive computing, including $ 20 million in Series B funding in AI company Beyond Limits. That investment is helping deploy AI technology previously used in deep space exploration missions in offshore exploration, accelerating operational insight and process automation across operations. Belmont’s scalable knowledge-graphs can be interrogated by Beyond Limits’ technology for new insights.