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.

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January Series- Artificial Intelligence and the Oil & Gas Giants

The Oil & Gas industry is recognized as one of the largest valuation markets in the world and it is universally recognized for the reliance that the global markets hold on oil as a natural resource. Additionally, Oil & Gas corporations employee tens of thousands of individuals and often contribute significantly to their country’s GDP, resulting in increased political influence. Given their reliance as both a regional and market driver, it is no surprise that this industry is heavily investing in Artificial Intelligence to increase the value of their entire supply chain.

All equally 
Upstream 
Downstream 
Midstream 
What part of the industry can be most 
helped by intelligent enterprise? 
65% 
21% 
10% 
4% 
Which parts of the oil and gas value chain will be most affected 
by intelligent enterprise? (choose three) 
Asset integrity & maintenance 
Field development 
Geophysical 
Pipelines 
Drilling 
Refining 
Power generation 
Transportation (tankers & trucks) 
Construction 
Gas processing 
Product marketing 
Liquefaction 
Other 
Storage 
69% 
35% 
32% 
30% 
28% 
25% 
21% 
18% 
13% 
12% 
5% 
1%
Source: Oil & Gas IQ

Around 200 oil and gas professionals from around the globe took part in Oil & Gas IQ’s in-depth research into the intelligent enterprise landscape and the impact of AI as the next driver of change within the industry. Some interesting results above illustrate that a majority of these O&G professionals believe the industry will be helped by intelligent enterprise equally, upstream, midstream, and downstream. Additionally, a majority of respondents top choice for their number one value chain improvement with intelligent enterprise was asset integrity & maintenance.

This New Year, Solve the Unsolvable will be drilling into the world of Oil & Gas and how Artificial Intelligence will exponentially increase the value of this industry, especially in the areas industry professionals have identified as most important. In Q1 2021, we will be exploring how AI addresses the vulnerability of supply within the O&G ecosystem, including a deep dive into AI’s ability to eliminate unplanned maintenance and prevent failures at scale. A look at how the decreasing cost of Oil is driving corporations towards AI in order to increase profitability by re-evaluating their value chain operations. And finally, a view into the rapidly expanding US Shale market, which is uniquely poised to benefit from AI at the very early stages.

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Crystal Ball 2021: AI Combatting Disruption due to COVID-19

Today’s world is increasingly surrounded by fear. Not just fear of COVID-19, but also of the unknown fears: loss of market share to a competitor, the creeping suspicion that businesses may be outperforming yours, everywhere, all the time. Business leaders need to grasp the understanding that the cost of doing nothing now, significantly outweighs the cost of taking action later.

It can be said with confidence that 2020 has been defined by COVID-19 and its impact to families, consumers and especially businesses in all industries around the globe.

Thus, our fourth and final prediction for Artificial Intelligence in 2021:

AI Combatting COVID-19 Disruption.

Crystal Ball Predictions 2021: This article emphasizes AI Combatting COVID-19 Disruptions

COVID-19’s disruption significantly impacted numerous industries, not the least of which include Chemical Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Higher Education and more. Elutions continues to address COVID-19 related business challenges and more through Maestro’s AI capabilities. There is more pressure than ever on these corporations to make 2021 a year to rebound from demand, workforce reduction, production, shipping and more. The use of holistic end-to-end Artificial Intelligence, namely Maestro AI, provides a bright and ready solution for unmatched speed to value. 

There has never been a time in modern history like 2020 where the increasingly urgent necessity for immediate solutions to business quandaries has been met with an equally robust solution as Artificial Intelligence. In the consumer space, we see this with AI enabled chatbots as a solution to the increasing customer service demands of consumers who are now spending more time than ever online shopping.

But what about a solution to address the onslaught of shipping as a result of shifted consumer purchasing habits due to COVID-19? Maestro is leading the way, helping shipping companies optimize their process from the warehouse down to the delivery route.

Source: Gartner

For further proof that the market, as a result of COVID-19, is responding to AI in leaps and bounds, the above information from a Gartner study of IOT implementation stated that 47% of respondents will be increasing their plans to implement to reduce costs.

In the commercial space, the use of AI in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry is top of mind, especially with the fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccines. An already overwhelmingly positive impact of AI, due to COVID-19, is the ability to develop vaccines and medications with greater speed than ever before, leading to change in the entire process of how we develop and test new medications for the future.

But could AI be the “vaccine” all industries need to improve future demand forecasting, prevent future disruption and stabilize now?

The answer is a resounding “yes”.


The increased demand for Artificial Intelligence has already been observed in 2020 and the adoption of AI will be widely implemented in 2021. Let 2021 be a year of digital transformation with Elutions as your partner. To learn more about specific case studies of Maestro Artificial Intelligence applied, please contact us.

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Crystal Ball 2021: The Digital Leapfrog

The term “leapfrog” may evoke childhood memories of playing on the playground where the idea of leaping over your friends like a frog leaping towards its destination made more sense than conventionally walking there. But in the context of technological advancement, you may be asking yourself, “what does leapfrogging actually have to do with digital transformation or Artificial Intelligence?”

Enter our second AI prediction for 2021:

Comprehensive Artificial Intelligence platforms, such as Elutions‘ Maestro, will act as a digital leapfrog to bypass outdated systems, investments in new infrastructure and out-navigating your competitors.

Holistic 
Al 
Digital 
Leapfrog 
Solving Unsolvable 
Business Challenges 
Combat Covid-19 
Disruptions
Crystal Ball Predictions 2021: This Article Emphasizes The Digital Leapfrog

The concept of leapfrogging is not new, in fact it has been used in industrial organization and economic growth for many years. However, the concept of using new technologies, such as AI, to leapfrog various stages of technical infrastructure or development is quite revolutionary. The digital leapfrog makes the notion of gradual upgrades/ development obsolete and introduces the ability to disrupt the developmental stages with one huge leap past steps that may have otherwise taken years and significant financial investment to implement. The idea that growth must follow a linear pattern can be tossed aside with just one leap, if only a corporation is ready to make the jump.

Digital Leapfrogging has not been widely reported upon, written about or discussed by the consultancies and large tech companies of the world, for strategic reasons on their part. A simple google search will not produce much on the topic, but why?

The leading corporations of the world have made a fortune off of convincing businesses to follow the antiquated path of upgrading their “technological stack” or selling them on the notion that they need to purchase/ implement additional technology, such as data lakes, prior to adopting Artificial Intelligence. This approach has been utilized for many years as a tactic to get as much business from a single client as possible. This sales model has had a widespread impact on industrial purchasing and is ingrained in such a way that the digital leapfrog might seem impossible as it disrupts this entire process. Rest assured, the digital leapfrog is not only possible, taking the leap vastly increases a business’ speed to value.

The digital leapfrog presents the opportunity to use existing systems to “leap” past the competition, without additional cost, and into the future with Maestro Artificial Intelligence.

Our prediction is that, due to the uncertain times we are living in and the need not only for stability but also for exponential growth, the time of linear progression & upgrading the technological stack is long gone. Not only is it extremely costly to continuously invest in a tech stack, in most cases it is entirely unnecessary or made redundant when the end goal is an Artificial Intelligence implementation. In this day and age, many businesses are in desperate need of speed to value, something that only a digital leapfrog can provide.

Many industries are poised to benefit from Artificial Intelligence as a leapfrog, including Healthcare, Education, Telecom and Banking but those with the opportunity to use AI as a transformational leapfrog are Industrial & Chemical Manufacturing, Utilities and Oil & Gas corporations. Many manufacturers, utilities and O&G corporations run large, and sometimes international estates, with a multitude of plants or sites that may all have disparate systems, or existing infrastructure/ assets that varies in age, lifecycle and capability, the perfect environment for Maestro AI as a leapfrog.

It may all seem too good to be true, this is revolutionary and can be difficult to accept due to established procurement and purchasing habits that have been plaguing businesses for years, but it is possible with the right partner. Most leaders and organizations want breakthroughs but many of the large tech corporations are not willing to provide true innovation. The team at Elutions specializes in breakthroughs, using Maestro AI not only to leapfrog internal technological development with its ability to connect previously disparate assets, infrastructure and systems, but also to leapfrog past the competition with unrivaled speed to value.

In 2021 we will see a rapid increase of AI adoption as a digital leapfrog. Let 2021 be a year of digital transformation with Elutions as your partner. To learn more about specific case studies of Maestro Artificial Intelligence applied, please contact us.

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Crystal Ball 2021: A Push Towards Holistic Artificial Intelligence

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), a premier global market research company, “Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are top of mind for most organizations today, and IDC expects that AI will be the disrupting influence changing entire industries over the next decade.” Given the important role that Artificial Intelligence will play in digital disruption in the coming decade, it’s important to define what AI really is.

There are many buzzwords in the AI space leading to confusion in the marketplace and a deep misunderstanding of what AI is and what it is capable of achieving. AI is not one thing, it’s a generalized term for software or a platform that can imitate human intelligence and can be applied in a virtually limitless number of ways. Buzzwords like, neural networks, deep learning, natural language processing and machine learning can all roll up into the tight little bow of Artificial Intelligence and they are the building blocks which an AI platform uses to “learn” for itself.

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Source

AI can be applied in many different ways. We see AI being applied in our everyday lives if we have a smartphone that uses facial recognition to unlock, an Amazon Alexa to tell us the news and through social media, take TikTok’s notoriously smart algorithms that make the platform so addictive. AI is all around us, even commercially, though the commercial space has been slower to adopt AI technologies.

The commercial space has predominantly taken a more ‘piecemeal’ approach to adopting digital technologies, yet to fully capture the benefits of true artificial intelligence due to the use of discreet solutions, like advanced analytics or automation only to target a piece of their full process. There are many use cases of automation on manufacturing lines or chatbots in the customer services department but what about a holistic end-end approach?

Enter the first AI prediction for 2021

Holistic, end-end Artificial Intelligence, like Elutions’ Maestro, will replace the currently isolated approach to adoption of discreet digital technologies.

Crystal Ball Predictions 2021: This Article Emphasizes Holistic AI

Leaving behind solutions, touted as AI, that only addresses one piece of the process, like predictive maintenance, and adopting true AI that is self-learning, self-adapting and applied in an end-end approach to drive and even automate actionable intelligence across the entire value chain is the way of the future. The piecemeal approach may have worked in the past but with the new normal we are living in businesses need to begin thinking about their processes as if they were living, breathing beings.

Let’s think about it this way, if an overweight patient goes to the doctor and they are experiencing knee pain, a pain killer or a cortisol shot might address the pain right away and in the short term, but what about addressing the root cause? The doctor can see the full picture and knows that for sustained change, the patient will have to lose weight to rid themselves of their knee pain.

Now, let’s apply this analogy to a manufacturing plant, the plant is the patient and Holistic Artificial Intelligence is the doctor. A discreet solution, one that perhaps only addresses maintenance, is only able to impact one specific point in the manufacturing process, this solution can only prescribe a painkiller. However, an end-end solution is capable not only of detecting the root cause of a maintenance issue, but also addressing the pain point, it’s chain effect on the process, prescribing and in the case of Maestro, automatically implementing a holistic solution.

A great approach for businesses to best take advantage of AI, whether they are a University, Manufacturer or an Oil and Gas corporation is to focus on outcomes and addressing pain points. Businesses must focus deeply on their individual challenges and use Artificial Intelligence to address them as a whole. For example, many manufacturers experience asset downtime and plant failure as a major site challenge, a challenge that can be addressed and significantly reduced, if not eliminated entirely, with a holistic end-end AI approach.

In 2021 we will see a rapid increase of AI adoption to address a host of challenges across the entire value chain. Let 2021 be a year of digital transformation with Elutions as your partner. To learn more about specific case studies of Maestro Artificial Intelligence applied, please contact us.

Click subscribe below to be kept up to date and notified of our upcoming articles, including the next piece in the December Series- A Look Into the Crystal Ball: AI in 2021.


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