BP Oil is to consolidate its European computer operations by turning to open systems, and is working on a major initiative to transfer its current IBM and IBM-compatible mainframe systems over to a distributed system using Unix-based machines. The company’s European Systems Programme, part of its run-up to 1992, could turn out to be the largest non-government Unix contract to emerge so far in Europe, although a BP spokeswoman said that reports of a UKP100m budget for the contract were somewhat inflated. The contract covers accounting systems for 16 countries, including the main operations in the UK, France and Germany. BP Oil has already signed a UKP2.5m contract with Oracle Corp for the Oracle Financials software, with initial implementations planned for next year, and continuing for the next two and a half years. Price Waterhouse Management Consultancy will carry out automated system testing of the software. A decision on the hardware has yet to be taken, and will be revealed in September. BP has already standardised on Unix for its European oil retailing operations, and its Chemicals division has been instrumental in setting up the so called Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation with 42 other oil companies (CI No 1,432).