Building a digital energy company

To reimagine energy, we also need to reimagine digital technology because it underpins everything we do. It’s a key enabler of our new strategy, which is why we have centralized and integrated digital as part of our wider innovation and engineering ecosystem.

A woman wears normal glasses with a second set of glasses in front of them to help with digital reflection while reading a digital screen.

Dynamic Digital Twin

Advanced digital tools are already in use across our US businesses and operations. For example, our Dynamic Digital Twin (DDT) software has been instrumental in the development of our Argos platform. Argos is a floating production unit in the Gulf of Mexico that’s scheduled to come online in 2022. It’s the centerpiece of our $9 billion Mad Dog 2 project.

DDT creates a skeleton copy of the platform, helping us virtually plan for startup by bringing together everything from engineering drawings to real-time sensor readings in one place.

DDT’s patent-pending algorithm pulls together a host of sources, linking complex data from Argos systems to lifelike 3D models and putting that information at users’ fingertips. It allows our teams to visualize everything happening below the subsurface, up through the production systems, into the platform and out the export line, helping them make better decisions, optimize production and identify potential issues. Subsea engineers can now get an up-close look at underwater sensor readings and inspection footage, as well as build simulations to test procedures, which improves safety and increases efficiency.

Seismic technology

Sustained investment in innovative solutions in seismic technology continues to deliver value to bp. In bp’s Gulf of Mexico business, we are using 4D seismic imaging ocean-bottom node surveys to support production decisions. The business also uses digital rocks technology, which can simulate 3D digital models of reservoir rock and helps us make faster, better-informed decisions about where to safely explore and drill.

Digital gas scheduling smartsheet

Our trading and shipping business uses a digital gas scheduling smartsheet (GSS) to coordinate the flow of natural gas. Launched in 2019 and recently fully live, our GSS technology successfully integrates gas operations data into a seamless information exchange, providing a versatile and stable platform.

For our gas operations team, the GSS platform is a game-changer, offering a flexible yet standardized tool that streamlines the once-fragmented process of nominating and transporting natural gas through hundreds of pipelines from producers to end users in the Americas.

Among other benefits, GSS allows us to maintain a real-time position without sacrificing functionality; it reduces the risks associated with manual data entry; it delivers cost savings by replacing an outmoded accounting system; and it provides a strong foundation for further automation.

bp fully moved our entire Americas trading estate to the digital cloud in 2020. This made a big difference for our Houston-based gas and power trading business in February 2021, when Winter Storm Uri caused extreme and unprecedented freezing temperatures across the US, leading to significant disruptions to supply and demand within US natural gas and power markets. This caused extended power outages within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which serves Houston. Because we moved our US trading applications to a highly resilient cloud datacenter in Ohio, all bp electronic systems were fully operational and the business was able to perform and deliver business critical activities with minimal disturbance to its customers and the markets.

Many pipes laying on the ground and suspended, coming from a tall refinery building in the background
  • [1]

    Source: Platts Daily April 2021

  • [2]

    Source: Megawatt Daily, 2021 Wholesale Power Sales Statistics (June 16, 2021)

  • [3]

    IEA report – The Role of gas in today’s energy transitions

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