Impacts: Covid-19 & Water Utilities

The COVID-19 pandemic’s lasting impact continues to strain utilities across the globe, but the Water and Sanitation Sector has had to face unique challenges. Frequent and proper handwashing is the most basic frontline defense against the spread of COVID-19, yet a quarter of the world’s population lacks access to reliable water supplies.

According to the United Nations, nearly one-third of people globally lack access to safely managed drinking water services, over half lack access to safely managed sanitation facilities and in the least-developed countries, approximately 22% of healthcare facilities lack access to improved water and sanitation services. This is the result of a combination of challenges the water sector faces, however utilizing digital technologies are at the forefront to tackling these challenges. Digital Technologies, especially artificial intelligence solutions like Maestro, will be critical in accelerating the path towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goal 6– ‘Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030’.

Revenue losses, as a result of COVID-19, have significantly slowed water utilities’ ability to make critical capital investments. Large industrial and commercial users of water slowed their usage as a result of the lockdowns. A survey by Global Water Leaders Group estimates that industrial water demand will fall by an average of 27% due to COVID-19. Crisis emergency measures, including partial suspension of bills for lower-income users and moratoriums on water cut-offs, have also led to a meaningful revenue loss for global water utilities.

While the decrease in industrial use of water may have had a positive impact on our global net zero goals, revenue losses have caused even further delay to the water sector’s infrastructure and digital upgrading. In some cases, to counteract the revenue losses, certain plants have had to delay critical infrastructure and maintenance upgrades. For example, in early May 2021, a former phosphate processing plant, Piney Point, in Palmetto, FL, was facing the potential of a catastrophic failure as a result of a leak. Piney Point has been a risk to the local environment of the Tampa Bay for at least 10 years, due to inadequate overflow procedures but in this case the leak that was identified could have lead to a catastrophic flood.

Source: USA Today

The leak was identified by personnel at least a few days after it had begun. This delay in leak identification, aided by reduced head count and maintenance expenditures as a result of COVID-19, could have been prevented with the use of Artificial Intelligence technology, such as Maestro. With the help of advanced metering, Maestro is able to detect leaks in real time and even predict potential weak spots all with the ability to automate a directive to solve the challenge, in an instant.

The intense labor requirements of the water industry made operational continuity difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many employees were deemed essential workers, social distancing protocols meant only critical staff could be on site, causing major supply chain and logistic disruptions. This makes the water industry a prime candidate for increased automation and artificial intelligence. We have seen that the plants with existing enhanced metering and controls systems prior to the COVID-19 pandemic performed much better during the crisis. Artificial Intelligence’s ability to predict and automate response to occurrences such as leaks and pipe bursts make water utility providers more agile and efficient while decreasing physical interaction amongst staff.

The water sector, which is used to a consistent demand, especially for chemicals and other consumables, has experienced one of the most serious interruptions in the overall utilities sector. With the help of digital technologies, especially artificial intelligence, the water sector can work towards addressing gaps in water supply, build a more resilient long-term CAPEX structure, increase continuity and respond better in the event of future crises. Additionally, the use of digital and artificial intelligence will allow the water sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal-6 by the target date of 2030, possibly even in advance of it.

Elutions has extensive experience deploying Maestro technology in the water sector, in clean capture, waste water and even desalination. Acciona Qatar is just one instance of a water utility harnessing the power of Maestro to optimize operations and achieve energy savings, thusly lowering their carbon footprint. Acciona cites Maestro as a platform that is, “scalable, which will allow ACCIONA to extend the benefits of AI to all its clients in the global water industry as part of its commitment to continuous innovation and service excellence.”

To learn more about what Maestro AI and Elutions can do for your corporation, contact us.

Texas Interconnection, Renewable Energy Sources & Artificial Intelligence

The highly publicized and politicized Texas Winter Storm power outages sparked outrage across the United States and abroad. Many people from the public and private sector were quick to point fingers at utility providers while focusing a lions’ share of the blame on wind power. However, the blame placed on wind power was misinformed and there is a much larger and more complicated story here. A story of media-initiated hysteria, a scapegoat and, more importantly, human errors that could have been prevented through the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Texas is the only state in the United States to operate its own power grid, the Texas Interconnection, maintained by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and kept separate from other US-based sources of power for political reasons, to not be subject to federal law. ERCOT manages the supply of power to more than 26 million customers in Texas, roughly 90% of the State’s entire electric load. As an independent systems operator, ERCOT is responsible for maintaining reliable power and setting expectations and forecasts for the summer and winter capacity loads.

The Texas Tribune reported that “about 80% of [the grid’s winter capacity], or 67 gigawatts, could be generated by natural gas, coal and some nuclear power,” while just a small percentage, “Only 7% of ERCOT’s forecasted winter capacity, or 6 gigawatts, was expected to come from various wind power sources across the state.”

With such a small percentage expected and forecasted to come from wind power, how could the narrative get shifted so far?

And, ultimately, the two questions we should ask ourselves are “why did the wind turbines shut down in the first place?” and “how could it have been prevented?”

Texas does not usually experience extreme winter weather, but there is always a possibility, as was shown this past February. Due to the moderately temperate climate, most Texas-based corporations responsible for generating energy in all of its forms chose to opt out of various maintenance solutions for insulation from the cold, as a cost saving measure, even though it was recommended they do so by regulatory bodies. The lack of insulation across providers, but mostly in Natural Gas, caused the disruption in power throughout Texas during the cold spell. Natural Gas producers were still able to produce natural gas however the hiccup occurred when the poorly insulated pipelines were freezing and that natural gas could not be accessed. Similarly to Natural Gas pipelines, wind turbines can be winterized however these investments were not made and lead to the disruptions.

Natural Gas suppliers, one of the largest sources of power to Texas’ grid, and state lawmakers dropped the ball for the people of Texas.


In Texas, the utility industry holds a lot of power due to their financial position, and this power often gets them what they want. In 2011, the last time legislators were meeting to discuss utility solutions, rather than require, “the electric utilities and the companies that supply them with fuel to protect that infrastructure against cold weather that can knock plants offline, they just recommended it.”  In an effort to appease the utility industry, the legislators let down their constituents, the residents of Texas, 111 of whom died as a result of the power outages.

Much of Texan policy revolves around what to do when outages occur and how to respond once something has already occurred but as a result of this most recent tragedy, they are finally looking towards preventative measures. This is where artificial intelligence can play a very large role in the Texas Interconnection, across each and every one of its suppliers from natural gas and nuclear right up to wind power. Artificial Intelligence, Maestro specifically, can predict and optimize the performance of assets within the utilities space fully utilizing outside sources such as weather to increase performance and prevent downtime.

The agencies, regulatory bodies and legislators all fell short but it is not too late for them to make significant changes. Maestro Artificial Intelligence is a cost effective solution for all utility providers, not just those in Texas, to increase capacity and prevent failure. Legislators can look to Artificial Intelligence to help provide better, more accurate reporting across the agencies in addition to disaster prevention and better warning systems. ERCOT could utilize Artificial Intelligence in their forecasting and planning for future power needs given that Maestro takes into account historical and real-time data for its predictions.

While political opportunists have taken this catastrophic event and used it as an opportunity to mislead consumers against renewable energy, it is our intention to reach those utilities providers and offer an opportunity to review their internal process and apply end-end artificial intelligence in order to prevent any further disruptions and catastrophes.

Subscribe to follow along this month for the Latest Series: Artificial Intelligence & The Future of Energy and Utilities to learn more about AI’s application in this space and our take on some of the hottest topics in 2021.

To learn more about what Maestro AI and Elutions can do for your corporation, contact us.

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April Series: Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence & The Future of Energy and Utilities

The Energy and Utilities Sectors stand to substantially benefit from the implementation of digital technologies. Many companies within these sectors have taken the leap to adopt technologies to streamline operations. Artificial Intelligence and the automation of benefit delivery is the key to the future of the Energy and Utilities Sectors. AI’s ability to address the similar massive scale and complex analysis of exceptionally large volumes of data in real time to reduce infrastructure strain will ultimately have a very strong impact on the entire value chain.

Over the past few weeks, within the United States, the national grid and its emphasis on being the future of the energy grid and renewables have become a hot topic. The average age of power plants in the US is approximately 30 years old the deterioration of these plants has the potential to do serious damage by putting people out of power – this is where AI steps in to stop the problem.

Increased asset reliability, outage prevention, preventative maintenance and improved customer experience are just few of the ways AI can aid the energy sector. This month, we will be conducting a deep dive into how Maestro AI can address the energy sector’s needs more specifically.

Source: i-Scoop

The trends in the application of Artificial Intelligence in Utilities will also be in discussion this month as they share many similarities to those of Energy. Based on the predictions in the above graphic, it is clear Utilities companies are turning to digital to enhance their bottom line as it is predicted that by just 2023, utilities will have digitally connected 75% of their assets.

With the implementation of Maestro AI, companies within the Utilities and Energy space will be able to capture unprecedented speed to value and bottom line improvement with ease. Subscribe to follow along this month for the April Series: Artificial Intelligence & The Future of Energy and Utilities to learn more about AI’s application in this space and our take on some of the hottest topics in 2021.

To learn more about what Maestro AI and Elutions can do for your corporation, contact us.


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Impacts: Covid-19 & Water Utilities

The COVID-19 pandemic’s lasting impact continues to strain utilities across the globe, but the Water and Sanitation Sector has had to face unique challenges. Frequent and proper handwashing is the most basic frontline defense against the spread of COVID-19, yet a quarter of the world’s population lacks access to reliable water supplies. According to the…

Continue reading → Impacts: Covid-19 & Water Utilities

Texas Interconnection, Renewable Energy Sources & Artificial Intelligence

The highly publicized and politicized Texas Winter Storm power outages sparked outrage across the United States and abroad. Many people from the public and private sector were quick to point fingers at utility providers while focusing a lions’ share of the blame on wind power. However, the blame placed on wind power was misinformed and…

Continue reading → Texas Interconnection, Renewable Energy Sources & Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, F&B Quality, Safety and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a drastic change in consumer confidence and purchasing habits while redefining the approach to how select businesses approach their supply and demand for goods & services. The food and beverage, manufacturing and industrial processing industries continue to experience, respond to and rebound from these unexpected changes all while navigating a yet…

Continue reading → Artificial Intelligence, F&B Quality, Safety and COVID-19

Artificial Intelligence, F&B Quality, Safety and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a drastic change in consumer confidence and purchasing habits while redefining the approach to how select businesses approach their supply and demand for goods & services. The food and beverage, manufacturing and industrial processing industries continue to experience, respond to and rebound from these unexpected changes all while navigating a yet to be defined new normal. Now, more than ever, consumers are heavily invested in food safety as well as supply chain traceability.

The pandemic has exposed weaknesses across the value chain and many players in F&B that were not looking to invest in technology are now facing the reality that digitizing their operations is the only way to remain competitive in a post-COVID-19 landscape.

How COVID-19 affected buiness and operations... 
45% Demand increase 
40% Supply chain shortage 
37% Demand decrease 
33% Negative impact, but managing 
16% Has had little impact 
13% Having issues meeting higher demand 
10% Cashflow is a problem 
7% Business as usual 
•5th state of 2020

In a survey of food and beverage industry leaders conducted by PLEX systems, we can see that COVID-19 had a significant, and largely negative, impact on demand and the supply chain. These volatile changes in supply and demand were likely the worst at beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, where uncertainty regarding lockdowns and safety were at their peak. Without the proper technology deployed and the reliance on traditional operating methods having to be redefined, these volatile swings are extremely difficult to rebound from and in effect cause ripples in the supply chain for extended periods of time.

Investing in technology, such as Artificial Intelligence, and more specifically Maestro, to address and stabilize this volatility is pivotal in the future for F&B manufacturers. The PLEX survey also showed that 10% of respondents had a cash flow problem as a result of COVID-19, which is a result of being unable to respond quickly to the unpredictable swings in demand and supply chain shortages. With Artificial Intelligence, corporations are able to be agile and nimble, responding quickly to changes in variable inputs and outputs to optimize operations and remain competitive. It’s clear that the F&B industry understands the necessity of investing in technology for the future.

Most food and beverage manufacturers say they 
still plan to invest in enabling technologies. 
Still planning to 
invest. 
Did not plan to invest, 
but are now. 
No longer planning 
to invest. 
•qt. An Stat. of of 7020

The PLEX systems survey also shows that 75% of respondents are going to invest in digital technologies as a response to changes driven by COVID-19. The top areas of investment for F&B manufacturers have shifted focused towards e-commerce as the drive for online purchasing has increased as well as supply chain upgrades, due to an increased importance on food safety. Supply chain upgrades, in particular, have been the key to their survival during this time when keeping up with extremely high food safety standards as well as trying to remain profitable has been critical.

Food safety has been a hot button issue, with many corporations like Perdue and other meat processors falling short to meet proper safety for employees, negatively impacting their production. Artificial Intelligence can address many of the safety issues for employees working within the factories as well as the quality of the actual products being produced. An example of this occurred within a poultry processing plant in Georgia, when a liquid nitrogen tank leaked and resulted in the death of six people in the plant. Investigators are having difficulties identifying which part of the operational process lead to the leak, something an end-to-end Artificial Intelligence Platform, such as Maestro, would address by taking into account the entire estate and being able to predict and prevent this events such as this from occurring.

Many F&B manufacturers and processors have been overwhelmed in their response to correct their course as a result of COVID-19. There has never been a more critical time for Artificial Intelligence to address this overwhelming condition as that is the true nature of what AI is capable of. The objective of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is to continuously ensure optimized outcomes with certainty, when so many dynamic variables impact operations that point-in-time analysis is irrelevant and the required speed, scale and depth of analysis is beyond human and standard algorithmic capabilities. This is the world we are living in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maestro AI is proven to deliver transformational benefit for the F&B manufacturing industry allowing clients to realize significant savings, while achieving safety and quality standards with unmatched speed to value. To learn more about Maestro AI and Elutions, contact us.

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Artificial Intelligence to Achieve Net-Zero in Food and Beverage

The facts of life are such that everyone has to eat and drink in order to survive. However, in a time where consumers are much more aware and selective of the Food & Beverage providers that they purchase from, the strain is being felt by suppliers of those products. The Pandemic also has made the industry even more volatile and it has become critical to ensure the supply chain remains uninterrupted.

Now, more than ever, consumers are requiring transparency regarding ingredients and health and safety considerations of all their food and beverage purchases. Many consumers don’t care solely for what their food and drinks are made of, but also about the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) objectives of the providers and how these corporations are executing against these objectives.

Consumer interest in sustainable food choices increased by 23% in 2020 with less concerns regarding health and an increase in concerns around climate change, waste and recycling. Source: Tastewise

With consumers and suppliers demanding higher standards from the Food & Beverage industry, it is a daunting task to remain competitive in today’s market. However, with the implementation of Artificial Intelligence solutions to address the everyday business challenges, all of these seemingly difficult to achieve goals become significantly easier. This shift in the industry to becoming more transparent applies not only to ingredients and sourcing but also through publishing implementation of measures to achieve Net-Zero objectives, while also increasing quality and safety standards. A simple search for some of the world’s largest Food & Beverage corporations will provide a view into this increased transparency, with many having entire pages or websites worth of information on their Net-Zero objectives.

Net-Zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.

National Grid

These initiatives have become increasingly important in the battle against climate change, though often highly politicized, with corporations in the United Kingdom and Europe currently leading the charge through their participation in setting national goals with the regards to the Paris Agreement. However, they aren’t the only ones as large multinational, U.S. based F&B corporations such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have been setting the Gold Standard for the industry in their race towards Net-Zero.

In January of 2021 PepsiCo announced plans to “more than double its science-based climate goal, targeting a reduction of absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions  across its value chain by more than 40% by 2030. In addition, the company has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, one decade earlier than called for in the Paris Agreement.

Within their announcement, they detailed how they would achieve this goal, and the answer lies partially in technology, with an emphasis on “implementation and upgrading of environmentally sustainable manufacturing, warehousing, transportation and distribution sites,” and a corporate goal to “maximize efficiency in supply chain, while also adopting zero- and near-zero-emission technologies.”

PepsiCo is a behemoth in the industry with a holistic view and detailed strategy for achieving their ambitious international Net-Zero goals.

While the large players like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola may be leading the way, due to their significant global stage and highly publicized plans, other Food and Beverage manufacturers have certainly been and can continue to meaningfully contribute to international net-zero goals.

The UK has been making significant progress as they have a national goal of bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. According to the Food and Drink Federation, the UK food supply chain is responsible for around 20% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. Inenco reports that, “a rate of around 3% annual reductions by the manufacturing sector is needed to meet the ambitious 2050 net-zero targets,” further illustrating that the food and beverage sector, which is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 15.6% of total manufacturing GVA, needs to lead the way.

As discussed in our previous article, the food and beverage industry face unique challenges in that margins are already razor thin, recovery from negative supply chain impacts from Covid-19 and the competition of a $6111.1 billion industry is staggering. All of these mounting pressures represent an opportunity for innovation and the implementation of innovative Artificial Intelligence technologies to the value chain. Artificial Intelligence, such as Maestro, presents a ready solution to tackle all of these industry pressures swiftly through process innovation that will result in value chain optimization with a host of benefits including increased resource efficiency, reduced waste and a whole lot more.

Focused entirely on maximizing clients’ profitability and sustainable growth, Elutions’ proprietary Enterprise AI platform, Maestro, delivers unprecedented benefits with certainty and at scale through autonomous and automated AI. Maestro’s neural network self-generates algorithms and implements directives without the need for human intervention, optimizing the entire value chain, and delivering benefits that continue to grow through a virtuous circle that sustains margin growth.

Maestro AI is proven to deliver transformational benefit for the F&B manufacturing industry allowing clients to achieve Net-Zero goals with increased speed to value. To learn more about Maestro AI and Elutions, contact us.

Click subscribe below to be kept up to date and notified of our upcoming articles, including the next piece in the February Series- Food, Beverage and Artificial Intelligence.


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Artificial Intelligence & The Competitive Edge in Food and Beverage

The Food and Beverage Industry has been at the forefront of the technology adoption curve for many years, from more advanced robotics on the manufacturing line to 3D printed alternatives to meat, innovation is embedded in the industry. With the growth of consumer interest around nutrition, environmental, social and corporate governance and overall food safety has growing significantly in the past 15 years, companies have been focused on delivering products to increasingly demanding consumers with transparency into their products as well as their operations.

The answer for corporations has often resulted in increased in implementation of technology but with new technology comes new food and beverage options, changes in how products are manufactured and produced, increased competition and even more questions…

Innova Identifies Top 10 Food and Beverage Trends to Accelerate Innovation in 2021

While the food and beverage industry’s top concern has been and continues to be pleasing the consumer and their ever-changing needs, the questions remain:

‘how can they remain competitive in this saturated fast paced industry?’

‘will consumers be willing to try products that are produced with the assistance of technology?’

‘how can we achieve the high industry standards and remain profitable?’

‘how can we make high quality food and beverages accessible to all communities?’


As illustrated by the graphic below, implementation and application of digital infrastructure is “extremely important” to food and beverage executives. Over 40% of respondents reported that Artificial Intelligence and IOT are extremely important, a bit less than ERP or mobile technologies but this could be due to perceived complications in AI adoption. The executives also shared that their top concerns were inventory management, food safety and manufacturing process/ assembly, each of which can be addressed through the application of Artificial Intelligence.

TOP tech with food and beverage 
Type and process 
According to the RSM Digital Transfcymation Survey for the food and beverage industry. 
middle market executives indicated a focus on digital has become an even higher priority 
than cuer befcye. What's hnpcvtant to them in terms Of digital type and how do these 
technologies help their business processes? 
The top five digital applications or technologies 
ranked "extremely important" include: 
_4é_Å_, 
I top? 
Artificial intelligence (43%) 
Mobile technologies (48%) 
5 
Internet Of 
Supply chain tracking and monitoring (40%) 
Executives also ranked "to a great extent" the ways 
digital addressed these business processes: 
40% 
Inventory management 
40% 
Food safety 
Manufacturing process/assembly 
Customer service center 
33% 
32% 
Supply chain/production control 
Warehouse management 
Harnessing the power of deitalcan be cornplex and requies cyganizatimal change mulagernent and 
expertise to create a vision and process custcm to the needs Of the enterprise. An outskie perspective 
may be need ed to help evaluate and consideratims. Engage cmsultants who have deep 
industry experience to ensure you're getting the best digital strategy gudance. 
Conta us to the the nvaCt Of dist* truwfcxrnatk:n Learn 
map with st growth effcrts 
THE POWER OF BEING UNDERSTOOD 
AUDIT TAX CONSULTING 
RSM
Source: RSM

“Complications of AI adoption aside, one fact is clear: F&B companies must invest in new innovations to cut costs, grow revenue, and stay current with consumer trends.

CIO Pride

The mainstream media has focused its coverage on the most innovative science and technology in the industry but the real benefit is derived from the operational application of Artificial Intelligence. Maestro Artificial Intelligence allows corporations to focus on internal innovation while optimizing the value chain and providing significant benefit with unmatched speed to value. In one example, Maestro AI allows plants the opportunity to reduce waste, thus furthering Net-Zero goals, while also increasing production uptime and yield to get products on the shelves.

This level of digital technology has never been more important to F&B as they are constantly tackling razor thin margins and cost as leading decision makers. Many manufacturers and producers have to question, should we build or should we buy? Many times it may seem more practical to build, especially without centralized control centers and disparate systems, but the team at Elutions has found time and again, from clients who have learned the hard way, that partnering with an industry expert is the more cost effective way forward. The way forward lies in gaining a competitive advantage by partnering with a provider like Elutions, with years of experience working with and connecting to existing systems in order to provide speed to value for clients and a true Artificial Intelligence Platform in Maestro, rather than the big tech players, who merely offer tools.

Maestro AI is proven to optimize the value chain and allow clients more flexibility to innovate while maintaining operational excellence and a competitive edge. To learn more about Maestro AI and Elutions, contact us.

Click subscribe below to be kept up to date and notified of our upcoming articles, including the next piece in the February Series- Food, Beverage and Artificial Intelligence.


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February Series: The AI Enabled Food & Bev Revolution

The global food and beverage (F&B) manufacturing industry is a behemoth, valued at 6111.1 billion dollars as of 2020 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% for 2021 to reach an estimated value of $7527.5 billion in 2023. Even though COVID-19 created some pretty significant supply chain issues for the F&B market it still grew in an incredibly trying year. The industry is essential to our way of life and digital technologies are essential to the survival and growth of the industry.

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to unlock complete value chain transformation for F&B manufacturers. Mckinsey reports that, “50% of [F&B manufacturing] companies that embrace AI over the next 5-7 years have the potential to double their cash flow.”

The team at Elutions says, why wait that long?


F&B Manufacturers have never been in a better position then they are now to begin rapidly digitizing their operations with AI to reduce time to market, implement automation in feedstock to increase speed and reduce yield, to reduce resource consumption and achieve Net-Zero goals and so much more. In February 2021 Solve the Unsolvable will be exploring the applications of Artificial Intelligence in the Food and Beverage Manufacturing sector.

How can AI deliver on its promises within F&B? How can AI help corporations achieve their Net-Zero goals with increased speed? How can AI combat COVID-19 in the F&B Manufacturing sector and maintain food safety goals?


Stay tuned to this month’s series to have all of these questions and more answered.

Maestro AI is proven to deliver transformational benefit for the F&B manufacturing industry across the entire value chain at unprecedented speed to value. To learn more about Maestro AI and Elutions, contact us.

Click subscribe below to be kept up to date and notified of our upcoming articles, including the next piece in the Februrary Series- Food, Beverage and Artificial Intelligence.


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Oil & Gas Giants: U.S. O&G Market: Shale, Policy Change & Artificial Intelligence

The United States’ Oil & Gas Industry has been steadily growing since the 2008 Recession – in large part due to the “Shale Revolution”. A Federal Reserve study showed that the shale industry was responsible for driving “10 percent of the growth in the U.S. economy’s gross domestic product from 2010 to 2015,” significantly aiding the United States’ rebound from the recession. The Shale Revolution has afforded the U.S. the opportunity to be less dependent on overseas oil and to drive growth in stateside natural gas production allowing the U.S. to rise to the top of the Liquified Natural Gas exporters globally.

As the U.S. continues to look away from imports and focus its efforts on domestic production for the future, all eyes are on shale. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, shale accounts for at least 40% of U.S. dry natural gas production.

FIGURE 1 
The shale revolution 
Permian • Appalachian • Eagle Ford 
Bakken 
Jan 
2012 
Haynesville 
• Anadarko 
Niobrara 
— Oil share 
O 
c 
o 
O 
O 
25 
20 
15 
10 
5 
0 
Jan 
2007 
US shale 
45 % 
40% 
35% 
30% 
25% 
15% 
c 
o 
O 
c 
o 
c 
u 
Jan 
2008 
Jan 
2009 
Jan 
2010 
Jan 
201 1 
Jan 
2013 
Jan 
2014 
Jan 
2015 
O 
Jan 
2016 
Jan 
2017 
Jan 
2018 
Jan 
2019 
production was 
10% of the world's 
daily oil 
consumption in 
2018. 
Economic value 
added by the US 
shales since 2006 is 
of Nigeria's 201 8 
GDP. 
Number of new firms 
that entered the US 
shale business in the 
past decade is 1.8)( 
of all newly listed 
companies on the 
LSE in 2018. 
O 
C02 emissions 
avoided due to the 
shale gas boom 
during 2006-18 is 
1.8)( of total 
emissions from South 
and Central America 
in 2018. 
Note: Economic value added by the mining sector in the United States is used as a proxy to highlight the economic impact 
of shales. 
Sources: US Energy Information Administration, Drilling Productivity Report, July 201 9; US Energy Information Administration, 
"US energy-related C02 emissions expected to rise slightly in 201 8, remain flat in 201 9," February 8, 201 8; IMF 201 8 World 
Economic Outlook. 
Deloitte Insights I deloitte.com/insights
Source: Deloitte

How have U.S. exports been impacted by COVID-19 as a whole?


Fortunately, the U.S. gas exports are less susceptible to volatile markets because of the nation’s swing supplier status coupled with contracts that allow for scrapped deliveries. World Oil reports that, “American gas exports are rising to fresh records every month as new facilities come online,” but particular attention must be paid to trade relations between the US & China as, “China is the fastest-growing LNG importer, and the U.S. is ramping up exports.”

However, the shale industry has not been entirely immune to the negative impacts of COVID-19, particularly decreased demand. Deloitte’s suggestions for navigating the great compression in shale oil production was for operators to, “work with their vendors to not only automate and digitize operations to realize new savings, but also to shorten value chains and create new pathways for the impending energy transition.” Automating and digitizing to realize savings is critical to the long-term success of the US as a top O&G exporter and, as a relative newcomer on the global O&G stage, the U.S. has the unique opportunity to be on the cutting edge with speed to adoption of digital. 


The change in administration, and President Biden’s ambitious efforts on climate change, represent a much bigger risk to U.S. Oil Production than the effects of COVID-19.


US oil production under a Biden government 
Million barrels a day 
— No drilling 
— With federal drdling 
201 q 
aoao 
2021 
aoaa 
2023 
SSP
Source: S&P

With President Biden’s impending plans to cut US oil production, in favor of more environmentally friendly and sustainable energy production, the U.S. O&G Industry must brace for economic and employment impacts. Supply constraints will cause a significant financial issue for producers as a result of President Biden’s suspension of “the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, where the U.S. gets 10% of its supplies.”

How will producers be able to rebound from this supply and labor constraint?

They must turn to digital in order to extract savings from their existing value chain.

Deloitte reports that more than 70% of global traditional jobs in the O&G market that were lost as a results of COVID-19 may not return by 2021 if the industry does not make changes. According to oil industry leaders, Biden’s policy to decrease drilling activity in offshore federal waters will, “satisfy a few special interest groups [and will ultimately] end up producing more global emissions while killing thousands of high-paying American jobs.”

As we face increasing uncertainty around workforce conditions due to COVID-19, the need for process automation increases drastically. In order to cope with policy change and COVID-19, not just in the U.S. but also the global O&G industry, margin improvement and the future of work must be addressed through the implementation of Artificial Intelligence. 

Artificial Intelligence provides an immediate solution to workforce displacement for continued operations while implementing benefits such as downtime reduction and reduced fuel consumption.


Value chain optimization is key for the shale industry’s continued growth and ability to stabilize regardless of the current demand deficit and restrictions from President Biden’s administration. Aside from well-design, a popular area for mid-stream optimization efforts, there are a host of other measures that holistic Artificial Intelligence, like Maestro AI, can address within the mid-stream value chain. Maestro increases profitability in O&G by solving key operational challenges across the value chain through an unrestricted ability to dynamically observe, evaluate, compare and control real-time operational performance, ensuring maximized production that exceeds quality standards, increasing yield while minimizing resource consumption.

To learn more about Maestro and individual case studies in the Oil & Gas sector, please contact us

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Oil & Gas Giants: Amidst Market Volatility, LNG Market looks to Artificial Intelligence

The Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market is increasingly being defined by its volatility. From increases in spot prices to intense commercial demand expectations, cargo cancellations, shipment delays and more, it is widely reported that, “unplanned maintenance at LNG export facilities from Australia to Qatar to Malaysia has led to a tighter than expected market in the second half of the year [2020].” This unplanned maintenance, combined with “pandemic prompted dramatic price swings” has led to the halt in growth in the LNG market in 2020. As a result, LNG has been looking to digital transformation to ramp up recovery, avoid stagnant growth and deliver on increasing market pressure.

While the cost of oil drops for consumers, due to social impacts of COVID-19, the LNG market is preparing for long-term implications. LNG is poised to experience more growth in comparison with the traditional use of oil and coal in consuming countries as the spot market has made LNG a more attractive option. Consumers have been incentivized by low LNG prices, relative to oil and gas prices, to make a switch.

Though the outlook for LNG growth in 2021 is quite strong at this point, the market is still unpredictable. LNG, in the position of a relative newcomer in respect to oil and coal, will benefit from swift implementation of digital in their early stages of growth. Gaining an even greater competitive edge in LNG is dependent upon digital adoption where speed to value becomes the most critical element in a technology deployment.

Source: Nobel Upstream

For years the LNG and larger Oil & Gas market have been turning towards digital technologies for their many benefits, not the least of which being promises of decreased costs and increased efficiency. However, they have never felt a more significant pressure to extract value from digital then what they are experiencing right now. Many O&G corporations that were early adopters have previously been failed by tech companies touting pie in the sky Artificial Intelligence platforms which merely turn out to be static algorithms at best. After a failure to deliver on hype and promised benefit, these tech companies have only left behind frustration and a distrust in AI’s true capabilities.

These early adopters can rest assured that the marketplace has seen a significant shift from the early days of promises and theoretical AI to concrete benefits in practiced AI. What was once seen as potential benefit is now being realized. As mentioned in the above graphic, making the best of existing technology, through the implementation of Artificial Intelligence which utilizes existing infrastructure, like Maestro, can yield significant cost savings. LNG producers, driven by everchanging costs, need to adopt Artificial Intelligence to survive in todays’ landscape.

The pandemic has been a great shock to the market but with this shock comes an exciting opportunity for change. Leaders have been given the opportunity to evaluate existing business strategies and identify opportunities for growth. LNG producers have the potential to extract significant financial value and increased profit from digital and further their growth position in the O&G market. Digital value chain transformation will afford LNG opportunities in increased flexibility and responsiveness of their production to market conditions. 

A critical element in the LNG and overall O&G journey to choosing a partner to adopt Artificial Intelligence with is the partner’s ability to deliver immediate value. Speed to value is driven by many factors but industry expertise, like that of Elutions’ Maestro, is paramount. To learn more about Maestro and individual case studies in the Oil & Gas sector, please contact us

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Oil & Gas Giants: AI & the Vulnerability of Supply

Since 2016, the Global Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) imports industry has enjoyed a CAGR of more than 10%. Due to oversupply, unpredictable demand and varying price as a result of COVID-19, this CAGR came to a screeching halt in 2020. In an industry that was experiencing oversupply prior to the impact of COVID-19, the decrease in demand has lead to even greater excess and market volatility. Many LNG producers are looking to cut spending across the board and the rush to implement these measures has led to, in some instances, significant negligent maintenance practices.

These measures snowball into the real pressing issue for LNG producers, forcing them to ask the tough question:

“How can we maintain/ increase profitability in such a volatile environment?”

The answer lies in Artificial Intelligence, specifically Maestro.


Oversupply is a significant issue as it forces producers to reduce operational costs, often from critical areas in the production process, since they are unable to sell all their supply. Cost cutting measures, along with workforce disturbance caused by COVID-19, have led to prolonged maintenance backlogs for many of the world’s LNG plants.

By way of example, a look at the fire that occurred in the Hammerfest LNG plant in Norway in September 2020. This fire was a result of negligent maintenance due predominantly to poor planning and a backlog of cost-cutting measures that had to be implemented due to urgency. The plant narrowly missed destruction, but the event could have been prevented in its entirety while still maintaining cost reduction if an AI engine, like Maestro, been implemented.

The oil leak that caused the fire was foreseeable, it was determined to be one of many leaks that were called out by a safety audit issued by the PSA. However, due to the vulnerability of the market, the plant elected not to address it. On the day of the fire, the fire-alert system malfunctioned and even still, it threw out several faults which the plant, likely understaffed, decided not to address. The fire was ultimately discovered by staff as it occurred. What is known for certain is that the fire was preventable in many ways.

The president and founder of Bellona, an international environment agency, Frederic Hauge, noted of the fire that,

“Our information points to serious design and construction weakness at the plant, serious negligence in follow-up of maintenance issues, and an astounding lack of attention to safety by top management.”

Frederic Hauge, Bellona

In a survey conducted by Oil & Gas IQ in 2020 (illustrated below) and administered to over 200 O&G professionals, almost 75% of respondents believe that intelligent enterprise applications can save money on CAPEX/ OPEX.

If yes. how much could it save? 
Yes 
No 
Unsure 
Can intelligent enterprise applications save 
your company money on capex/opex? 
2%
Source: Oil & Gas IQ

Most respondents went on to say that the amount of which this could save was unquantifiable at the time.

Further, the respondents shared that the two most significant areas for impact with intelligent enterprise applications are predictive analytics & intelligent automation, both of which are not only wheelhouse benefits delivered by Maestro AI, but are also just the tip of the iceberg in transformational impacts that Maestro autonomously implements.

Which intelligent enterprise areas do you think will have the most significant impact on your business? (Respondents could choose up to three) 
Predictive analytics 
Intelligent Automation 
• Cognitive analysis 
/ computing 
Machine learning 
57% 
50% 
28% 
25% 
23% 
23% 
Smart devices 
Chatbots 
/ virtual assistants 
Text / speech analytics 
DevOps and API 
Other (please specify) 
23% 
5% 
4%
Source: Oil & Gas IQ

Instinctually, any business aims at reducing cost if it is experiencing an oversupply and is in a market that is vulnerable. However, cost-reduction must never come at the expense of safety, something that the Hammerfest LNG plant failed to prioritize and has now cost them an entire year of unplanned downtime. The question remains,

“How could this fire and shutdown, as well as future maintenance related disasters, be prevented while still maintaining and even increasing profitability?”

Maestro Artificial Intelligence and the team at Elutions have extensive experience in the LNG market, working with clients to increase profitability as well as preventative plant failure, an overall reduction in downtime and more whilst maintaining proper reporting and safety standards.

In the case of the fire at Hammerfest, had Maestro been deployed, the automated directives, as part of the Maestro Autonomous Value Chain, would have been able to address not only any potentially faulty alarms but also the entire maintenance backlog with ease and with priority assigned to those issues that impact profitability and safety the most. Unplanned and overdue maintenance is a serious issue in the LNG industry, one that has lead to a tighter market and an increase in prices, but it doesn’t have to be with the help of AI.

Unplanned maintenance is just one of many issues that Maestro can address in the LNG industry due to it’s unique end-end holistic approach to the value chain. The Maestro Autonomous Value Chain overcomes chaos theory in a measurable dynamic environment like a refinery, understanding the input characteristics in real time as they change, and accounting for cause and effect up and down the value chain automatically as a result. To learn more about the Maestro Autonomous Value Chain applied and how our team can help your business combat the volatile markets please contact us.

Click subscribe below to be kept up to date and notified of our upcoming articles, including the next piece in the January Series- Artificial Intelligence and the Oil & Gas Giants.


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