IBM Announces Partnership With BP as the Gas Company Strives to Become a Net-Zero Business by 2050

By James White Tuesday, February 16, 2021

IBM headquarters in Dubai.

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), the cloud computing software solutions company behind Jeopardy-playing artificial intelligence (AI) Watson, announced a partnership with oil and gas business British Petroleum (BP). The energy company will be joining the IBM Quantum Network as an industry partner in hopes of accelerating the process of becoming a net-zero business, an ambition announced by the oil company in February 2020.

"BP's ambition is to become a [net-zero] company by 2050 or sooner and help the world get to net zero,” said BP Senior Vice President of Digital Science and Engineering Morag Watson. “Next-generation computing capabilities such as quantum computing will assist in solving the science and engineering challenges we will face, enabling us to reimagine energy and design new lower carbon products.”

BP Continues to Expand Partnerships With Computing and Analytics Companies

After BP announced that the business aspired to become a net-zero company, it extended its partnership with data analytics company Palantir, which powers advanced simulation and modeling software used by the energy business. The IBM partnership with BP will serve a similar function as the company continues to build renewable infrastructure and modify its existing energy sources.

"BP joins a rapidly growing number of clients working with IBM to explore quantum computing to help accelerate the discovery of solutions to some of today's biggest challenges," Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research Dario Gil said. "The energy industry is ripe with opportunities to see value from the use of quantum computing through the discovery of new materials designed to improve the generation, transfer, and storage of energy."

Potential uses for IBM’s technology include analyzing fluid dynamics, as well as simulating chemistry taking place inside of BP’s wells to improve efficiency.

Highly Competitive Cloud Computing Industry

IBM offers its cloud computing services to over one hundred businesses for varying solutions. From large companies like American Airlines to budding startups like Talkspace, IBM enhances platforms using its advanced AI and quantum computing technologies.

While IBM boasts a market cap of $107.64 billion and business revenues amounting to $76.3 billion for 2020, the company faces fierce competition in the industry. Tech giants such as Alphabet Inc, Amazon, and Microsoft each offer their own cloud computing services: Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure, respectively. Last year, AWS reported over $13.5 billion in operating profits.

About the Author


Headshot of James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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