Doing less with more is a mantra in low-price environments. Reducing reservoir uncertainty is simultaneously a driving need when devising production plans, so its vital to know as much as possible about how much oil is in the ground and how fluids will move through the reservoir rocks.

Over the last decade, supermajor BP has invested heavily in its Digital Rocks programme, which aims to describe reservoir rocks with a computer in a matter of weeks or months, instead of in a lab, where experiments can take up to a year and a half at BP's Sunbury facility in the UK.