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Thu 7 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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Digital technology may up production

BP backs the development of the digital oilfield as a way to increase oil production.

Substantial increases in production and reserves are just two of the benefits that may emerge through the use of technologies designed to digitise oilfields, according to BP.

Investment in technologies that will converge drilling, exploration and digital control techniques with standardised communications systems is needed to help achieve this. According to Peter Roberts, subsurface manager, BP, Abu Dhabi, any incremental increase through such technologies could be substantial.

"Sixty per cent of the world's proven oil reserves are in the Middle East, amounting to 743 billion barrels," said Roberts. "If you consider that a 1% increase in reserves would amount to 7.4 billion barrels, you can imagine what even a small increase through the deployment of digital field technology could mean for the region's oil producers and for world markets. The technology to do this already exists, and at BP we've developed a range of proprietary industry leading technologies that have allowed it to increase recovery factors throughout our global network of operations."

Roberts is part of BP's Advanced Collaborative Environments (ACE) strategic programme for the global implementation of real time production and drilling operations support environments.

ACE builds upon BP's suite field management technologies, such as the fieldofthefutureTM which was first introduced in 2003 and utilises a combination of subsurface and surface monitoring techniques, together with digital communications technology, to give BP engineers real-time data on reservoir performance.

"By allowing people to work collaboratively regardless of distance, ACE enables enhanced productivity and delivers improved operational performance," said Roberts. "Our five-step model specifies the key elements for successful ACE implementation, which focuses on an integrated approach to delivering long term benefits. Technology alone can not deliver a successful collaborative environment; other key components are organisation, process, people and physical environment."

The company has successfully applied ACE at its oil and gas operations iaround the world.

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