BP developed the acoustic, fiber-optics technology a couple of years ago to help identify sand interference in its offshore wells and the British energy supermajor has now created a corporate subsidiary for its Lytt business.
“The technology has legs beyond what BP’s needs are,” said Ahmed Hashmi, BP’s chief digital and technology officer, at the week-long Offshore Technology Conference.
BP plans to use the technology – already in use in the North Sea and Azerbaijan – for its operated and non-operated rigs, and to eventually market it to other companies.
BP describes its Lytt technology as similar to the Shazam mobile phone application that identifies songs. Lytt, which has its own app, uses fiber optics to identify sounds in wells and paint a picture of the well conditions, including sand interference.
Lytt is Norwegian for “listen.” A primary developer of the technology is BP’s Tommy Langnes, who’s also Norwegian. “We use acoustic sounds to illuminate the subsurface,” Langnes said.
The data from each well is the equivalent of downloading 1,000 Netflix films simultaneously, BP said.
But BP sees Lytt as just the start.
Apart from the BP Ventures division that invests in other technology companies, BP recently created BP Launchpad as a business incubator to develop its own tech companies.
2014 was not just another oil price cycle, it’s a fundamental shift in the industry – BP
About three years ago as crude prices bottomed out during the last oil bust, BP realized this wasn’t just another oil price cycle. This was a fundamental shift in the industry that required BP to go all in on investing in new technology to become more efficient and keep costs down long term, said Ian Kavanagh, BP’s head of upstream modernization and transformation.
BP is already saving billions of dollars by simplifying and leaning more on technology than ever before, Kavanagh said.
“We are just three years into an ongoing journey,” he said.
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