Enterprise AI at Shell


Shell.ai’s Global Effort

Shell has been a pioneer in the development and deployment of digital technologies in oil and gas for decades. Today, they have over 100 AI applications in various stages of development and deployment across their businesses; a data lake with trillions of rows of data and monitoring of thousands of pieces of industrial equipment using machine learning across assets in upstream, downstream, manufacturing, and integrated gas.

C3.ai is an integral part of enabling Shell’s deployment of enterprise AI solutions at scale. Shell is continuing their journey to replicate and scale solutions in the areas of industrial reliability, asset optimization, and integrity management. Their predictive maintenance solutions, built on the C3 AI Platform, have realized value through increased reliability and reduction in cost. The adoption of enterprise AI and data-centric workflows for oil and gas are changing how they work with their assets and driving efficiency across their businesses.


Additionally, Shell uses AI to optimize asset performance. Real Time Production Optimization takes information from hardware sensors for pressure, temperature and flow rates and then calculates the optimum setting to safely maximise the efficiency of the systems. At the same time, it handles operational, economic and engineering constraints. Continually optimizing this process under changing weather conditions allows Shell to squeeze out an additional 1-2% of LNG production. This solution has also demonstrated the potential to reduce CO2 emissions. At an LNG facility, the technology delivered a CO2 emissions reduction of ~355 tonnes a day when the plant was operating at full capacity – this can add up to 130 kilotons per year, the equivalent of taking 28,000 average US vehicles off the road.

Shell is also using digitalization and AI to reduce the footprint of its operations. For example, it uses AI to improve inventory demand planning, reduce waste of products and raw materials, and decrease idle time of heavy machinery, and uses AR, robotics and digital twin technologies to reduce the need for travel. AI is also helping Shell offer low-carbon energy solutions to its customers, from AI solutions that reduce the fuel consumption of ships, to smart charging of electric vehicles that optimizes renewable energy use on the grid, to virtual power plants that connect decentralized energy units, to solar, bio-energy, and hydropower.

Daniel Jeavons
Vice President, Computational Science and Digital Innovation, Shell

“AI is a huge opportunity for us. We’re going through a digital transformation, firstly to make ourselves more effective and efficient, and secondly to help us thrive through the energy transition.

There’s huge disruption in the energy market, and as we go through this and move toward cleaner energy solutions, Shell wants to lead the way, and AI plays an important role in that.”

Shell selected C3 AI after a rigorous evaluation process that demonstrated the maturity‚ scalability‚ and extensibility of the C3 Type System and its model-driven AI architecture. The C3 AI Platform enables Shell’s developers and data scientists to integrate and process Shell’s industrial data into a unified domain relevant data image kept current in real-time and to rapidly develop‚ deploy‚ and operate advanced AI and IoT applications across millions of Shell assets‚ its supply chain‚ and markets globally. C3 AI applications allow them to optimize their existing investments in data and cloud infrastructure while accelerating time to value of AI-based applications‚ so Shell can better serve their customers with even more agility and efficiency.

In June 2021, Shell and C3 AI announced that the flagship partnership has been renewed for another five years.

“We chose C3 AI because we wanted a platform for our enterprise applications. We want to leverage the platform and domain expertise already created and bring our IP on top of that,” says Jeavons. “What C3 AI offered as one of its core differentiators was a way to manage the tens of thousands of energy-focused machine learning models we run—the automation aspect, both in terms of model management and model training.”


Open AI Energy Initiative

Earlier this year, C3 AI, Baker Hughes, Shell and Microsoft launched the Open AI Energy Initiative (OAI), a first-of-its-kind open ecosystem of AI-based solutions for the energy and associated process industries. The OAI provides a framework for energy operators, service providers and equipment providers to offer interoperable solutions, including AI- and physics-based models, and monitoring, diagnostics, prescriptive actions and services for energy use cases.

The OAI augments C3 applications with partner-led, domain-specific solutions that accelerate deployment of AI-based reliability solutions, to make energy production cleaner, safer and more efficient. It includes some of the solutions that Shell has proven at scale in its own operations. This kind of collaboration is new for an industry that has traditionally taken a closed, do-it-yourself approach to software.

Explore the proven OAI Solutions offered by Shell

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“By bringing our solutions to market and encouraging others to do the same we hope to accelerate the adoption of AI technology across the industry.” says Jeavons. “We are committed to working as part of an ecosystem—bringing multiple players together to move forward in the AI space, because no one company can solve the world’s AI problems. Also, speed is paramount; the energy transition is forcing us to change more quickly. Alliances are critical to accelerating our progress and enabling AI deployment at scale.”


Shell Timeline of Events


Shell started developing and deploying AI


Shell selects C3.ai as strategic AI software platform to scale enterprise AI

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Shell’s AI effort shows early returns.

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Shell wins Constellation Research SuperNova Award for Predictive Analytics

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Shell, C3 AI, Baker Hughes, and Microsoft Launch the Open AI Energy Initiative, an Ecosystem of AI Solutions to Help Transform the Energy Industry

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Shell and C3 AI announce a five-year renewal of the strategic agreement

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Shell Named a Winner in IDC’s Inaugural Future of Digital Innovation Excellence Awards

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Shell offers three AI-powered apps through OAI

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Shell scales AI predictive maintenance to 10,000 pieces of equipment using C3 AI

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