At BP, we are meeting the dual challenge of increased energy demand and reduced carbon emissions, with digital at the heart of it all
The energy industry is changing faster than at any point in BP’s history. In the future, the way we deliver society’s heat, light and mobility will be dramatically different.
Our ambition is to become the digital leader in our sector so that we can be more efficient, more resilient and better equipped to deliver solutions the whole world will depend on. We’ll only succeed if we can attract the brightest digital talent to join us on this mission.
What we’re doing
Digital is changing the way energy is discovered, created and consumed.
By connecting people and data with physical and digital assets we’re advancing the possibilities of digital in the energy industry. We are creating a world-class digital infrastructure of information technology and services, built on a culture of constant discovery as our people work with some of the most advanced systems in the world.
This includes matching machine intelligence with business decisions, developing apps that enable our customers to pay for their fuel without leaving their car, using drones to safely inspect remote pipelines and platforms, and exploring the opportunities of big data, cloud, blockchain and more.
From pre-ordering a coffee to paying for fuel without leaving the car, our BPme app is a simpler, faster way to pay. It’s one more way in which digital is helping people get from A to B
Digital disruptors - robotics
We’ve put robots under the sea. Why? Because they can provide huge amounts of data almost in real time. They’re helping us monitor the environment and assess risks
APEX digital twin
We’ve created digital twins of our productions systems from the Gulf of Mexico to Indonesia and the North Sea. This simulation and surveillance system helps us monitor and optimize production
Our new subsurface expert advisor, Sandy, is an physics-based AI project that can take information from a whole host of different sources, and is clever enough to join the dots
Clena completed her Masters in IT while in the military and her MBA after she joined BP. She discovered that she wanted more involvement in disruptive and emerging technologies. That’s how she became a Senior Technology Associate in the Digital Innovation Organization at BP
Clena describes herself as someone who loves adventure, new experiences and exploring. It sounds like emerging technologies is the ideal career environment for her, so we asked her more about it.
Digital making a green impact
We know that BP is facing the dual challenge of increasing global demand both for energy and for fewer emissions. Can digital contribute to that? Clena says, “I think we have a great impact. One of our technology focus areas is working towards a lower carbon future and every piece of technology has an implication. For example, advanced predictive analytics could be used to discover more environmentally-friendly material.”
Changing what we do and how we do it
So, digital can make a difference in the broad sense. Of course, it’s also directly changing what people do every day. Clena explains, “We explore the emerging technology landscape and try to get a sense of what could be really disruptive. Take Artificial Intelligence (AI). Could we use that to make us more efficient? Could it help us get more out of data so that our decisions are more informed?”
Clena tells us that digital is also changing how teams at BP operate. “We work with external partners such as universities and start-ups. It’s a dynamic environment because there’s always learning and development happening. We try to find optimal ways to collaborate. As people begin to fully understand what benefits technology can bring, they get excited and it all becomes a team effort.”
Finding the perfect role
This isn’t Clena’s first role with BP. She’s had three different ones before, and each change brought her closer to what she was looking for. She says, “I was really trying to understand where my niche was, and in previous roles I got closer to what I was looking for, but there were pieces that weren’t there. I talked with people about what I’m most passionate about, and that helped me find my way here.”
She continues, “I think we'll see very big transformations over the next few years. Most people don't think of BP as a tech employer. Yet actually, you hear about digital projects across the entire business. In addition to providing recommendations on transformative technologies and modes of adoption, we sometimes get parts of the business asking for advice based on the areas we’ve been focused on. For example, someone might be looking into how to employ AI in their part of the business and want to leverage some of the work we’ve done”
David Ellick describes himself as a digital transformation partner. He’s been with BP since November 2018 and looks at ways to create a splash in the marketplace that isn’t necessarily about selling more fuel
David believes in moving away from silos and doing things differently. But is it realistic to think you can make a real difference in a global organization the size of BP?
Working with impact
According to David, BP is the best place to be if you want to make a serious impact on a serious company and, in turn, the world. He tells us, “Many companies talk about digital but they don’t know how to enable it. They’re unarmed. BP has access to a huge pool of resources, from customer and consumer bases, market research and consultancy data, to turnaround and delivery capabilities. This level of access to resources, combined with a real and urgent drive to change the business, is quite significant.”
Not everyone might expect BP to be ahead of the game in digital. David didn’t expect it either. “It was a pleasant surprise when I saw how eager BP is to grasp opportunities in the digital space,” he says. “I’ve worked with other large companies with a profile like BP. BP has similar digital opportunities in front of them, but they’re not similar in how they grasp them.”
David believes that the commitment to digital comes straight from the top. “Change has to happen now, and digital will be a huge enabler for those changes. We realize and acknowledge that the digital frontier is one we must crack.”
Does that commitment manifest itself in the day-to-day? David thinks so. “A day where I end up doing the exact same things as yesterday would be a bad day. So, I’m glad that I’m in a team set up to change things, challenge things, and do things differently, rather than think, ‘Well, that’s how we’ve done it for the past 15 years, so that’s good enough.”
Careers with variety
There’s real variety in the BP working day and further into the future. “I’m responsible for a key digital innovation called ‘smart maintenance’ which essentially is a digital platform.” He continues, “By digital platforms I mean disruptive, innovative platforms that enable new business models. For instance, taxi services have been hugely disrupted by digital platform business models. There is now a mobility marketplace where consumers and producers can merge, mix, innovate and create new offerings.”
That isn’t all he does. “While working on the smart maintenance platform, I am looking at how we can take a retail fuel offer with a Castrol branded maintenance offer and open that up to parties like insurance companies, and car manufacturers. We genuinely can create new business models and business opportunities collaboratively and across existing business silos.”
Head of IT&S in Kuala Lumpur, Amir is deeply curious about new ideas and technologies. He’s a graduate in electrical engineering who is fascinated and excited with the technology advancement that’s happening around the world
Amir has always had a passionate interest in how things work and he loves how today’s data, ideas and technology leads to bigger and better things for the future.
Digital and the dual-energy challenge
At BP, there’s a real purpose behind digital and it’s one with global impact. As Amir tells us, “I’m proud to work at BP, where we’re looking to solve big, complex problems. BP is leading the energy transition and digital is at the heart of solving the dual challenge of meeting increasing energy demand while reducing emissions. I see myself using my expertise to help solve those problems.”
Amir believes there’s a pioneering aspect to it. “What’s the algorithm that may allow us to produce more efficient energy? What are the ideas that we can build on to reduce emissions? For anyone exploring digital technologies and analyzing data, these are the types of issues we are looking to address.”
Freedom to explore
Amir enjoys the discovery aspects of his role, and how he has the opportunity to explore possibilities. “There’s empowerment to go after the ideas and see whether you can solve problems and create value. If you fall short, that’s fine too because you’re still learning through it.”
Some projects have really delivered. Amir explains, “We got hold of a MicrosoftHoloLens , built a digital twin of a refinery and loaded it on. Thanks to a rich virtual representation we were able to spot 70 design queries in a matter of days, which was fascinating. There’s huge potential around augmented reality for BP that could increase collaboration and efficiency in every part of our business.”
Greater scale and scope
Amir was attracted to BP initially because of the culture, philosophy and work-life balance. Lately, it’s also about the challenge. He says, “There’s a wide variety of complex challenges that we’re trying to solve, that could have significant impact to the world.
“There’s also more variety and depth to our solution-finding than at other technology companies. Not to minimize what others are doing, but we have a lot to offer in terms of size and diversity. We’re a global energy company, but also in retail, shipping, trading, agriculture, renewables and much more.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to visit and meet the leaders of top technology companies in Seattle and Silicon Valley,” Amir continues. “Today, every company is a digital company. It is just a matter of which challenge you want to go after, and it’s hard to find a bigger challenge compared to what we’re doing here at BP.”
What it could all mean for you
Across BP, our people are working on big, complex challenges that will make a tangible difference. This is a place where you can explore, think and do. We’re focused on constant innovation and real-world application, and we’re changing and adapting all the time. We’re working with technology partners and setting the agenda to improve life in the future. Best of all, it’s not about waiting to see what happens; it’s about driving it.
If you’re ready to use new technologies to inspire and innovate, take the opportunity to be a catalyst for the digital solutions that are transforming our business.