“The vision is to have absolute knowledge of what’s going on in the field”. So says Ahmed Hashmi, head of technology for BP’s exploration and production business. The statement comes as BP opened up recently about the significant investment it is making in its technology infrastructure across the business.

At the heart of this technology overhaul is a desire to increase the efficiency, safety and security of BP’s operations, something we at Fotech are focused on delivering throughout the oilfield. While oil prices remain weak, technologies such as our Distributed Acoustic Sensor solution are crucial to maximising the efficiency of exploration and production operations.

As well as spending “several hundred million dollars” on such sensing instrumentation, BP has also invested in companies like Fotech as part of its long-term evolution. BP’s proprietary data lake, pumped every minute with a billion data records, is another sign of the confidence they have in digital technologies to deliver the efficiency gains they are targeting.

And it seems that BP is making good progress. Mr Hashmi stated that technology was the “main reason” behind $7bn of annual cost savings since 2014 and a significant increase in the reliability of BP’s exploration and production facilities.

There are undoubtedly more gains to be found, not just in exploration and production but also in mid and downstream. Fotech’s technology is delivering advances across the board – whether with our downhole solutions or with products like our LivePIPE integrity and monitoring solution for pipelines.

While BP is certainly taking the lead, these are also issues that the rest of the industry must also face up to. The data and insights that Fotech and our partners can provide will be vital if those efforts are to be a success.