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BP invests in AI company

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

BP Ventures, the corporate investment arm of BP, has invested US$20 million in Series B funding in Beyond Limits, an artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing company.

The investment will accelerate the delivery of industrial-grade AI software, previously used in deep space exploration missions, to combine human knowledge with machine learning and provide the energy sector with new levels of operational insight, business optimisation and process automation across all operations.

Launched in 2012, Beyond Limits was created to commercialise cutting edge IP developed by the team after over 20 years of success supporting NASA and the space programme. The company plans to adapt and deliver AI software that tackles industrial and enterprise challenges.

Meghan Sharp, Managing Director BP Ventures - Americas, who will join the Beyond Limits board, said “BP Ventures is excited to help Beyond Limits grow into new verticals, as we bring forward the pioneering work they have developed with the space programme to our industry and throughout our businesses. Our investment in Beyond Limits is an example of BP’s ongoing support of entrepreneurs and innovators not only inside the traditional world of oil and gas but those looking toward a new energy future.”

BP believes that the partnership could enable a step change in the way that it locates and develops reservoirs, produces and refines crude oil and markets and supplies refined products. Beyond Limits will bring its expertise to the world of oil and gas where its AI software could support improvements in the speed and quality of decision making, manage operational risks, and harness the collective knowledge and experience of its team.

AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond Limits, said: “Our goal is to create automated solutions that can think like humans and augment human capability. We are the AI company that provides solutions for problems that cannot be solved using traditional approaches.”

Morag Watson, Chief Digital Innovation Officer at BP, added: “Our strategic cooperation with Beyond Limits is a perfect fit with BP’s vision of using digital technology to help transform our organisation. We believe artificial intelligence will be one of the most critical digital technologies to drive new levels of performance across the industry.”

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