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Shell, C3 AI, Baker Hughes, and Microsoft launch open AI energy initiative

Feb 02, 2021
4 min read
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Shell, C3 AI, Baker Hughes, and Microsoft announced the launch of the Open AI Energy Initiative (OAI), a first-of-its-kind open ecosystem of artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions for the energy and process industries.

The OAI provides a framework for energy operators, service providers, equipment providers, and independent software vendors for energy services to offer interoperable solutions, including AI and physics-based models, monitoring, diagnostics, prescriptive actions, and services, powered by the BHC3 AI Suite and Microsoft Azure.

“This initiative is about combining the efforts of global leaders to accelerate the digital transformation of the energy industry to new, safe, and secure energy and to ensure climate security,” said C3 AI CEO Thomas M. Siebel.

The first set of OAI solutions provided by Shell and Baker Hughes are focused on reliability and designed to improve uptime and performance of energy assets and processes. These reliability solutions will serve as extensions to the current BHC3 Reliability application, an AI-based application that provides reliability, process, and maintenance engineers with AI-enabled insights to predict process and equipment performance risks for the energy industry. The application leverages the BHC3 AI Suite’s ability to integrate enterprise-scale data from disparate data sources and train AI reliability models that cover full plant operations while taking full advantage of Azure, Microsoft’s scalable, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure.

The OAI augments BHC3 Applications with partner-led, domain-specific solutions that accelerate deployment of AI-based reliability solutions to unlock significant economic value across the energy industry while helping to make energy production cleaner, safer, and more efficient. The initial OAI reliability solutions offered by Shell and Baker Hughes enable interoperability between BHC3 Reliability, OAI modules, and existing industry solutions for such applications. Solutions available today include proven and tested equipment- and process-specific modules with pre-trained AI models, codified subject matter expertise, low-latency data connectors, thermodynamic and operating parameter libraries, global health monitoring services, deep diagnostics, failure prevention recommendations, and prescriptive actions.

 “Digital technologies and AI are helping us improve our core business today and build the energy businesses of the future. Over the last few years, we have been working with C3 AI to scale our AI-based predictive maintenance solutions to reduce costs and improve the productivity, reliability, and performance of our assets,” said Shell Chief Technology Officer Yuri Sebregts. “We are monitoring more than 5,200 pieces of equipment using machine learning across upstream and downstream manufacturing as well as integrated gas assets. We are excited to take this capability to market and want to develop an open ecosystem where others can offer AI solutions to help improve reliability across the industry.”

“Taking energy forward requires new approaches to technology that leverage collaboration, open data standards, and cutting-edge AI capabilities,” said Uwem Ukpong, executive vice president of regions, alliances & enterprise sales at Baker Hughes. “Working alongside our alliance partners at C3 AI and together with industry leaders at Shell and Microsoft, the OAI will help address the persistent industry challenge of nonproductive downtime. This new ecosystem will leverage our strong existing BHC3 portfolio and is a promising step in the digital transformation of energy.”

“Microsoft is committed to the transformation of the energy sector and supporting solutions like the Open AI Energy Initiative, which are contributing to the realization of these transformation goals,” said Microsoft Vice President of Energy Darryl Willis. “Digital technology is helping key industry areas such as plant reliability and maintenance, and Microsoft’s participation in the Open AI Energy Initiative will further advance the transition to a net-zero emissions future.”

“The Open AI Energy Initiative is an early but clear reflection of the direction the market is heading,” said Kevin Prouty, IDC group vice president, energy and manufacturing insights. “With this already-established alliance of leading organizations, including C3 AI, Shell, Baker Hughes, and Microsoft, the OAI is poised to single-handedly establish the ecosystem of enterprise AI for the energy industry.”

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