Digital technology

Digital technologies present a significant opportunity for the transformation of the upstream industry, adapting to the longer-term low oil price

We were one of the pioneers of the digital oilfield, with our Field of the Future programme, incorporating:

  • 2000km of fibre cable installed in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, enabling our onshore specialists to communicate directly with offshore engineers
  • Around 35 collaborative environments deployed globally
  • Real-time well surveillance deployed on all our major assets
  • The world’s first Life of Field Seismic array at Valhall

We have been harnessing the power of seismic and geologic data, to find and recover more oil and gas.


Today, digital technologies are enabling us to integrate and process data from multiple sources, more quickly and efficiently. The convergence of cloud computing, sensors, advanced analytics, machine-generated algorithms and automation opens up tremendous opportunities for BP. 

Digital is helping BP to build the Connected Upstream®.

The Connected Upstream

The Connected Upstream is BP’s global intelligence network, combining our deep experience with cutting edge digital technologies

The Connected Upstream is BP’s global intelligence network, combining our deep experience with cutting edge digital technologies. Our aims are:

Intelligent monitoring – to know exactly what’s happening at any given time

Prediction – to know what is about to happen

Optimisation – to drive performance in safety and productivity

Intelligent monitoring

Intelligent Monitoring is the ability to know exactly what’s going on at any given time. We aim to do this using our sensing technology which is widely incorporated into our operations today, especially offshore. This brings material benefits in terms of safety and operations:
  • BP’s proprietary data lake holds more than 1 petabyte (that is a billion x million bytes) of operational data
  • Well surveillance data from more than 99.5% of our operated wells is now recorded on one single system, enabling us to track performance and trends globally
  • Distributed fibre optics technology helps to detect the precise location where sand is entering the well and remedy it before it becomes an issue
  • Autonomous underwater vehicles and drones are used to inspect our pipelines and infrastructure, taking people out of high risk environments


The Connected Upstream enables us to look across our operations and deep into the subsurface, to assess potential risks and opportunities. We are evaluating ‘digital twin’ technologies, where ideas and actions can be tested before going live on real facilities and operations. This enables us to predict how one intervention will impact the entire system.

We can access historical data as well as data from similar fields and facilities to help make the best decisions: 

  • BP’s production optimisation system is a tool to forecast optimum operating conditions and maximise production 
  • We are using BP’s Center for High Performance Computing, with our proprietary TDRM™ reservoir simulation software, to speed up field development decisions
  • Plant Operations Advisor, a collaboration with GE, is now in live field trial in the Gulf of Mexico, helping to reduce unplanned downtime by evaluating operational data with advanced analytics 



The Connected Upstream sets BP on a path towards remote operations, where some routine offshore tasks will be completed using automation and robotics. However, it is far from a vision of an automated upstream. It is about combining the power of digital with the experience and expertise of our people.
  • BP has a new Wells Monitoring Center in Houston, bringing together drilling information and know-how into one single centre
  • A new BP Well Advisor console is playing a key role in Oman to reduce the drilling time, by providing real-time information on key parameters

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