The Future Is Here: Meet POA, the Groundbreaking Digital Technology by BP and GE

The Future Is Here: Meet POA, the Groundbreaking Digital Technology by BP and GE
General Electric research laboratory in Schenectady, NY, Image by UpstateNYer

BP and GE have just announced the launch of Plant Operations Advisor (POA), a newly developed digital tool designed to make oil and gas production operations safer, more efficient, and more reliable. The new technology is already managing performance of a BP platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the company, If the pilot project succeeds, POA will be deployed to several BP facilities around the world. Combining Big Data, cloud hosting, and analytics, POA is the result of a development partnership between GE and BP, which was first announced in January, 2016. 

POA allows teams to respond to problems in real time, preventing unplanned downtime and boosting facility reliability. The system simplifies access to live data feeds and generates analytical reports that can help engineers identify performance issues before they become significant. Real-time visualization features allow engineering teams to spot facility threats, while case management capabilities give them access to data about prior operational issues.

Being on the cutting edge of new digital technology is going to be the saving grace in a time of low oil prices. Maximizing efficiency is the key to thriving in the new oil and gas landscape.

By using these tools to improve the integrity and performance of their current assets, oil and gas companies can have a higher return on investment, and the ones leading the way will surely beat many a competitor. “We are evolving our business and digital offerings to match the needs of our customers, partnering with them to embrace the transition and help make their businesses stronger long-term,” Lorenzo Simonelli, CEO of GE Oil & Gas, has commented.

Simonelli also shared some of his excitement about the technology in the joint press release, “We are taking a big step forward together during this time of digital transformation, deploying what we’ve co-created over the past year to drive the kind of productivity improvements that the oil and gas industry needs.”

BP's VP of Upstream Technology, Ahmed Hashmi, believes that when the new technology is put to work across the company's worldwide operations, it “will change the way we work and improve the integrity and performance of our assets around the globe.”

During a conference in San Francisco, Hashmi, emphasized the value digital technologies can have for the oil and gas industry, but he also warned that companies will need to invest heavily in developing and acquiring new digital tools, and that their positive transformation will require changing both  workflows and mindsets. In line with Hashmi's vision, BP is currently focusing most of its investment on digital tech.

Far from restricting POA's use to BP facilities, GE plans to make the co-creation available as an Asset Performance Management solution for the industry as a whole, in the form of both individual pieces of equipment and entire production systems. If the pilot experience goes as well as researchers project, this might be a revolutionary step ahead for oil and gas.


Image location: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GE_Schenectady.JPG Required attribution included in photo caption.

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Attorney Jimmy Vallee is an energy Mergers & Acquisitions lawyer, oil and gas industry commentator, and frequent resource for media outlets including USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Oil & Gas Monitor and others. His new book, Giant Shifts: Energy Trends Reshaping America’s Future, released in May, 2017 hit #1 in two Amazon categories the week of its launch. Connect with Jimmy at [hidden email]  “Noted Energy Futurist” – Mensa AG 2016


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