From our headquarters in London to the underwater facilities in Western Australia – our modernization programme is transforming how we work across BP.
We are simplifying how we operate to create a more agile organization and working to change mindsets so that they fit the increasingly competitive and margin-dependent industry. At the same time, we're digitizing and automating more of our work.
We are in the process of systematically migrating our vast amounts of data from physical centres to the cloud, embracing the agility and power of cloud technologies, while maintaining necessary levels of data security.
We have already moved our corporate website to Amazon Web Services®, and we now plan to close all our physical datacentres over several years, fully embracing the agility and power of cloud technologies.
Microsoft Azure® is intended to become a group-wide platform for collaboration and data analytics, with services such as visualization and predictive tools to help us analyse data, gain insights and make decisions faster.
We are also piloting the use of blockchain database technology in our oil and gas trading business to help increase efficiency in terms of speed and verification of transactions. Blockchain is a digital ledger system that records online transactions and helps to streamline financial processes and cut back office costs.
Every second of every day vehicles are filling up with BP fuel across 18,300 sites – making retail big business for BP. Our premium fuel volumes grew by 6% in 2017 and generated margins that are higher than our standard grades. With a retail network that spans 19 countries, we have one of the top three positions in terms of market share in most of the markets where we operate.
But we’re not stopping there. We also have a significant and growing retail convenience partnership offer which we plan to continue to expand across our markets. This builds on the success we have had with other industry leading food retailers – like M&S Simply Food® and REWE to go®. Our loyalty schemes, such as PAYBACK® and Nectar®, are helping to strengthen customer relationships in key markets – with loyalty card customers tending to shop more frequently and spend more per visit.
We are also expanding our global portfolio into major growth markets such as Mexico, China and Indonesia. For the first time in 75 years, companies outside Mexico can invest in its fuels market. We were the first global brand to open retail sites there in early 2017 and by the end of the year we had more than 120 BP-branded sites, serving thousands of customers a day. Mexico is one of the world’s largest consumer gasoline and diesel markets globally and we plan to have around 1,500 sites by 2021.
Trinidad & Tobago is a key contributor to BP's growing gas portfolio and 2017 was a pivotal year for our business in the country.
We started up two major gas projects in 2017: Juniper – our first subsea field development in Trinidad and the area’s largest project for several years, and Trinidad onshore compression – the first project of its kind in the region and for BP.
And we completed the Sercan 2 field development – a joint venture with EOG Resources. But these are just the start. We also made two significant gas discoveries with our Savannah and Macadamia exploration wells in offshore Trinidad. This demonstrates the benefit of our investment in seismic technology, which is helping us access the full potential of the Columbus Basin.
Our next planned major project in Trinidad is the development of the Angelin natural gas field, which will include construction of our fifteenth offshore production facility in Trinidad. We expect first gas in early 2019.
Previously used in deep space exploration – our venturing partnership with Beyond Limits is using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to transform the way we manage reservoirs here on Earth.
Our investment in the start-up company is helping develop and commercialize the same technology that successfully supported NASA’s space programme for more than 20 years for the oil and gas industry.
Beyond Limits aims to adapt and deliver its AI software to tackle industrial and business challenges on Earth. The work uses machine learning and human knowledge to simulate human reasoning, with the same exploration techniques that NASA’s Curiosity Rover used on the surface of Mars.
We are supporting this work to help accelerate its delivery and provide the energy sector with new levels of process automation and better insight and effectiveness across all operations.
The work supports BP’s vision of using digital technology to help transform our organization. And we believe that it could fundamentally change how we locate and develop reservoirs, produce and refine crude oil, market and supply refined products and make unmanned repairs possible for dangerous maintenance.