BP invests US$5mn in Satelytics to boost global energy system, says Morag Watson at ADIPEC Energy Dialogue

BP ADIPEC story FlickrThe oil and gas industry has been slower than other industries to open up to the possibilities of leveraging digital technologies in order to compete and succeed in the energy transition, according to Morag Watson, BP senior vice-president of digital science and engineering

Watson said this while participating in the ADIPEC Energy Dialogue. The ADIPEC Energy Dialogue is a series of weekly online thought leadership events created by dmg events, organisers of the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference. Featuring major stakeholders and decision-makers in the oil and gas industry, the dialogues focus on how the industry is evolving and transforming in response to the rapidly changing energy market.

“For me it is not just about the technology,” Watson said. “Many of the technologies have been on a reasonably fast trajectory for a while. The industry has to be open to thinking, how can we do things differently?

“It doesn’t just happen by saying here are 10 robots that are going to do your work for you. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to have the right business mindset to make it possible for the technology to radically change how you do things.”

Highlighting the oil and gas industry is still at the beginning of how digital technologies can help it meet the challenges being created by the energy transition, Watson said companies should look outside the industry for innovative ideas on how to use digital technologies to help them stay successful. 

Watson cited BP’s US$5mn investment in a Satelytics – a cloud-based geospatial analytics software company that uses advanced spectral imagery and machine learning to monitor environmental changes, including methane emissions - as an example of how BP is making strategic investments in innovative, game-changing technologies and businesses that can help it reimagine the global energy system. 

“At BP, we see our venture capital programme and the companies we help as a source of innovation and a crucial part of our strategy going forward,” Watson said. “These people see things differently, things that we might not have seen for ourselves. We don’t have all the answers and we want to engage with the external eco-system because we know the great ideas and solutions will come from many, many different places, helping us to innovate through our many challenges as we move forward.”

Addressing the need to bring in new digital native talent into the oil and gas industry, Watson said it needs to do more to convince young people it offers exciting, fulfilling careers in an industry that is seeking answers to the greatest challenges facing the world, including climate change.

“The industry needs to embrace the diversity of talent that is available across the world and to inspire and attract people through a different lens by connecting them to the technology, or how we use it. A good example would be our investment in beyond limits, and saying how can we take technology that is used on Mars and apply that in the energy industry? That is a hugely inspiring story,” Watson said.

ADIPEC attracts more than 155,000 energy professionals from 67 countries; including senior decision-makers and energy industry thought leaders, more than 2,200 exhibiting companies and 23 national exhibiting pavilions as oil and gas companies convene to share views and best practices to address the long-term impact of the triple challenge of lower oil prices, weaker demand and over supply. 

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy & Industry, the Abu Dhabi Chamber, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, ADIPEC takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi, UAE.

To watch the full Energy Dialogue series, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRfj495moBU

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