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BP, GE Industrial Internet Project to Connect 4,000 Global Wells

A massive production optimization project is under way by General Electric's (GE) Intelligent Platforms Software that eventually would connect 4,000 of BP plc's wells around the world.

The agreement announced on Wednesday would give BP field engineers real-time access to common machine and operational data sets across all wells to improve efficiency, prevent failures and minimize downtime. Initially, the project would be deployed across 650 wells, expanding to 4,000 over the next few years.

"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 GE's Chief Commercial Officer Kate Johnson, who also is chief of the intelligent platform software arm.

"In today's low price oil environment, it is increasingly important for customers to embrace industrial internet technologies to increase uptime and maximize production. GE understands that our customers want to get the most out of their existing assets, and more productivity leads to more profitability. To help them achieve that, our strategy is simple: get connected, get insights, get optimized."

GE, which is credited with coining the term "industrial internet," last year formed with Accenture a joint venture, Intelligent Pipeline Solution, to combine GE's pipeline management software with Accenture's digital technology and systems integration capabilities (see Daily GPISept. 11, 2014). Columbia Pipeline Group, which operates within the Appalachian Basin, was to be the first customer to implement the technology across its network of 15,700 miles of interstate natural gas pipelines.

Over the last year, GE has expanded its portfolio of industrial internet tools for the oil and gas sector.

"Enabling efficiency is the top priority for our customers in the current low oil price environment," said GE Oil and Gas CEO Lorenzo Simonelli. "The combination of tangible infrastructure knowledge and industrial internet expertise places us in a unique position to continue to grow this offering in a way which truly delivers for our customers."

GE has worked with BP since 2008, driving data analysis and instrumentation to improve operational reliability at sites including the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Prudhoe Bay, and overseas in the UK, the North Sea, the Caspian Sea and Angola.

"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," Johnson said.

"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 BP's Peter Griffiths, 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."

BP's decision to license GE's software was driven by its potential to drive efficiency and performance through increased standardization, improved oversight and decision-making.

"These solutions will allow BP to capture, store, contextualize and visualize data in real time, making it available to the right people at the right time so they can make informed decisions," the companies noted. GE plans to work with BP through the initial phase of the agreement, placing engineers onsite to work through the global implementation.

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