Shell and Equinor have announced plans to team up to further the use of advanced analytics on historical data to improve operational spare part inventories.
The two energy giants will develop the next generation of the Shell Inventory Optimiser, with the goal of gaining better control over available equipment and stock levels.
Microsoft will support Shell and Equinor with the co-development of the tool, which uses the tech giant’s Azure platform.
Since 2017, the patented solution has been deployed across Shell’s upstream, manufacturing and integrated gas assets globally.
It is claimed the programme has generated millions of dollars in value through optimised stock levels.
The collaboration follows the rubber stamping of a digital collaboration agreement between Shell and Equinor in March, paving the way for both firms to work together on digital projects in areas of mutual benefit.
Dan Jeavons, general manager data science at Shell, says: “The collaboration to co-develop the next stage of Shell Inventory Optimiser with Equinor is an important milestone for both our companies; it speaks to the digital cultural and technical strengths we share, and our history of successful collaborations in the supply chain domain and the value we can achieve working in partnership.
“I look forward to further collaboration with Equinor in the supply-chain and decarbonization domain, with the continued support of our mutual partner Microsoft.”
The co-development project, which is the first in a series of planned initiatives, will be run through a joint engineering team with digital and discipline specialists from Shell, Equinor and Microsoft.
New features will be added to the tool to further optimise its algorithm, with the aim of driving recommendations and an improving user experience.
Equinor has said the programme could reduce its inventory inflow by as much as 13%, saving millions.
Oddvar Vermedal, VP emerging digital technology for the Norwegian energy giant’s digital centre of excellence, said: “We see many mutual benefits as both companies have applied cloud-based digital solutions as an approach to our industry’s digital transformation.
“Such collaborations are increasingly important to improve safety, increase value creation, reduce emissions and develop low carbon solutions by applying digital technologies. The first step with the initiative will be to safeguard our operations by rightsizing the inventory level.
“This will reduce the inventory inflow and establish optimised level of inventory stocks in Equinor. The next step in the co-development will focus on reducing carbon footprint in our supply chain. Therefore, this collaboration is an important step in our digital transformation journey”.
Darryl Willis, vice president of Energy for Microsoft, added: “We are committed to supporting the transformation of the energy sector, co-developing solutions with organizations such as Shell and Equinor that aid in the energy transition.
“Digital technology is transforming key industry areas such as the supply chain and we’re continuing to provide new digital solutions that support carbon reduction ambitions and advance the transition to a net-zero emissions future.”