BP Gets Help from GE Software to Optimize Oil Well Costs and Reliability

July 8, 2015
With an ultimate goal of connecting 4,000 of its oil wells to the Industrial Internet, BP will gain real-time visibility across its production assets to improve operational efficiency and minimize unplanned downtime.

In an age of low oil prices, it is more important for oil exploration and production companies to take advantage of advanced automation and analysis to optimize operations and costs. Having just agreed to pay $18.7 billion to settle federal and state claims from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP may be feeling a particular push for cost savings as well as safety and reliability.

BP has teamed up with GE Intelligent Platforms Software to optimize production at its oil wells around the world—connecting 650 wells to the Industrial Internet initially and expanding that to 4,000 wells over the next several years. GE’s data management software will help BP field engineers gain real-time access to common machine and operational data sets across all wells, helping them make better decisions to improve efficiency, prevent failures and minimize downtime.

“Based on industry averages, for each week a well is out of commission, operators experience revenue losses of more than $3 million for a subsea well,” said Kate Johnson, GE Intelligent Platforms Software CEO and chief commercial officer for GE. “By connecting BP’s oil wells around the world, we’re giving them access to better insights that can ultimately drive new efficiencies in their oil fields and increase oil production.”

The software will allow BP to capture, store, contextualize and visualize data in real time, with the potential to drive efficiency and performance through increased standardization and improved oversight and decision-making.

“This project highlights BP’s commitment to deploying technology that can not only improve efficiency and reduce the complexity of our operations, but that also continuously make them safer and more reliable,” said Peter Griffiths, BP’s system optimization strategist. “In this case, we are delivering a solution on a standard platform that supports BP’s move away from bespoke solutions to off-the-shelf industry solutions that integrate with our work processes, but without the long-term support costs that a bespoke approach often entails.”

In the past year, GE has significantly increased its portfolio of Industrial Internet tools for the oil and gas sector to help increase production. “Enabling efficiency is the top priority for our customers in the current low oil price environment,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO of GE Oil and Gas. “We are pleased to see that customers like BP have welcomed our Industrial Internet solutions as a unique way to tackle this in order to increase production, manage costs and reduce downtime.”

GE has been working closely with BP since 2008, driving data analysis and instrumentation to improve operational reliability at sites including Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the UK, Norwegian sectors of the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caspian Sea and Angola. GE will continue to work closely with BP through the initial phase of this agreement, placing engineers onsite to work through the global implementation.

Companies in this Article