Photo: Illustration; Source: BP

BP invests in Satelytics as part of methane reduction strategy

Oil major BP has invested $5 million in Satelytics, a geospatial analytics software company that uses advanced spectral imagery and machine learning to monitor environmental changes, including methane emissions.

Schematic of how Satelytics works; Source: BP
Schematic of how Satelytics works; Source: BP

Satelytics collects high-resolution spectral imagery from the planet’s surface using satellites, drones, and planes.

Its technology combines these images with proprietary algorithms to create unique electromagnetic signatures that can be used to detect environmental changes, including methane releases or leaks.

The software visualises these data sets on interactive displays that give end-users a clear and actionable picture of operations, and alert them to facility risks.

BP said on Tuesday that its $5 million investment will enable Satelytics to develop its technology further and scale its applications throughout the oil and gas sector.

Use of the technology has the potential to be part of the British oil major’s aim to install methane measurement at all major oil and gas processing sites by 2023, publish the data and then drive a 50 per cent reduction in methane intensity of its operations.

Morag Watson, BP SVP of digital science and engineering, said: “Satelytics is modernising the energy sector by making data about physical assets more accessible and digestible, leading to better decision making.

We are excited to work closely alongside their unique team of scientists and technologists to help them evolve their technology and to continue to move the needle on industry digitalisation”.

Sean Donegan, chief executive of Satelytics, added: “BP’s early use of our detection and quantification software has inspired us to expand our capabilities. BP’s investment marks an inflexion point for Satelytics, which will assist us in expanding our technological capabilities and fuel future innovation”.

BP makes another step towards net-zero in 2050

This investment was made through BP’s venturing business. BP uses this branch to invest in technologies and businesses that could help it reimagine the global energy system.

David Hayes, BP Ventures managing director for the Americas and COO, stated: “Earlier this year we announced our ambition to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world get to net zero.

As part of our ambition, one of our 10 aims relates to methane measurement at all of our major oil and gas processing sites by 2023 and reducing methane intensity of our operations by 50 per cent.

Advanced technologies such as Satelytics, integrating multiple approaches to efficiently detect emissions, have the potential to be a valuable tool that can support this work.”

BP also recently announced it would be reducing its global workforce by 10,000 this year. This decision is part of BP’s plans to make the organization smaller and fit for the energy transition. According to BP, these plans were accelerated due to the coronavirus crisis.

In other company news, BP stated it would take up to $17.5 billion in reductions to asset values during 2Q 2020. The lower asset value comes as a result of the oil price plunge and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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