Oil and gas giant, BP Ventures, has made an investment of 20 million dollars into Beyond Limits, an AI startup launched in 2012. Beyond Limits was created to commercialize technology that is used by the U.S. Department of Defense, along with NASA.
This technology is known for being faster than other AI tech on the market, and has been “battle tested in deep space where there is zero margin for error.”
“It has been used in NASA for diagnostics of the NASA deep space network, for optimization of Mars missions, and has even helped discover a weather model by tracking dust build and wind storm activity based on Mars rover battery and solar panel performance,” Beyond Limits' CEO AJ Abdallat said.
This Series B round of funding, raised by the Pasadena, California company, has now reached $25.5 million. The hope is for Beyond Limits to adapt and provide AI software that provides an answer for enterprise and industrial problems on earth.
AJ Abdallat 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.”
Managing director of BP Ventures – Americas, Meghan Sharp, will join the board at Beyond Limits. Sharp explained, “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.”
While Beyond Limits is currently courting the gas and oil industry, the company ultimately hopes to provide “new levels of operational insight, business optimization, and process automation.”
On BP’s end, this partnership could lead to a change in the way that reservoirs are located and designed, how crude oil is produced and refined, and how markets supply those products.
CEO Abdallat explained that the new funding would be used to hire software engineers, data scientists, cognitive scientists, and sales staff to keep up with market demand for their technology.
Morag Watson, chief digital innovation officer at BP, said, “Our strategic cooperation with Beyond Limits is a perfect fit with BP’s vision of using digital technology to help transform our organization. We believe artificial intelligence will be one of the most critical digital technologies to drive new levels of performance across the industry.”
History & Competition
This is not the first time an oil and gas company has partnered with those in this field. In November of 2016, GE Oil & Gas announced that they could be launching a new tool to gather inspection data from pipes and analytics of pipe conditions. This digital inspection capability was to be powered by GE's Rightrax sensors and the Predix operating system launched the previous year.
“Oil and gas is one of the largest industrial segments and is a natural fit for our cognitive computing capability,” said Abdallat.
It remains to be seen what the future of this partnership will bring, but it seems change is on the horizon in one manner or another.