Jaxon Caines, technology reporter, Hart Energy: How can AI simulation tools and other technologies help the energy industry reach net zero? Find out in this Hart Energy LIVE Exclusive with Deloitte.

Shak Parran, national leader of ecosystems & alliances for the energy, resources & industrials industry, Deloitte Canada: So I'm at Deloitte. I'm in our energy resources group and in that group I have two heads. One, I lead our data and generative AI team and the other I lead our ecosystem and alliance group.

What we do is we work with our clients to find the right problems to solve using data and analytics or find the right ecosystem partners to solve and talk with some of their biggest problems, predicting things into the future, understanding how they could increase their efficiencies, reduce costs and transition to energy in a way that is not disruptive to the market.

JC: Specifically, what other energy projects other than oil and gas are you applying your expertise to?

SP: I would say the one that I'm most passionate about is a project that we kicked off about a year ago. We are working at Deloitte. We've set up an ecosystem of several partners and companies, and we are building tools to help society, both the energy companies, the electric producers and transmission companies, governments, to be able to predict 20, 30, 40 years into the future energy needs, infrastructure constraints, demand and supply of different sources of energy, anything from electricity to gas to oil. And this tool will help society transition in the minimum cost, or less cost, than it would've been without this. So I'm really, really proud that we're really in the front of being able to predict 30, 40 years to the future what energy demands will be like.

JC: That's pretty cool. What are some of the most exciting projects you're working on in terms of AI and analytics?

SP: I would say right now the hot topic is generative AI. So I'm involved now I would say in the education phase. So we are meeting with executives and leaders across all of energy and resources, but oil and gas companies specifically, and to educate companies how to transition a lot of their mundane tasks into generative AI, most around how to increase efficiencies or reduce costs as a result of generative AI. I think the leading thing that I'm working on that I'm most excited around is knowledge retrieval, helping people get access to a lot more knowledge with a lot less effort. I'll give myself as an example, I spend about 10 hours a week reading articles and information and reports and summaries. And that's a lot of time. With generative ai, I can actually spend only one hour and get the same relevance of information and know which articles I actually want to go deep and which I don't need to.

JC: What do you define as an ecosystem and how is Deloitte implementing this? How do you find solutions to some of your client's needs?

SP: So first I'll start with how to define an ecosystem. We call an ecosystem every time more than three companies get together to resolve an issue that is troubling a whole sector. So the advantage I have at Deloitte, or we have at Deloitte, is we meet not just one oil company or two oil companies. We meet all the oil companies. So if I meet over a year with five or six CIOs or CFOs and oil and gas companies, I start to see trends of challenges that these companies are facing together and I can actually predict what they will need in a year or two from now. Now some of the problems are so complex, it's not one company can solve those because the cost of developing those both in time and money would be too much. So what we do, a lot of times we go to different companies like Amazon Web Services or Salesforce or ServiceNow, and you go and understand what part of the solution they can do. And we form this ecosystem of everybody's bringing their expertise, their data, their knowledge, and all of us together are building a better service to the oil companies or the gas companies in order to tackle these really hard challenges that we have right now.

JC: What are some of the projects or work that you guys are involved in that focus on the theme of the World Petroleum Congress, which is the path to net zero?

SP: So my personal favorite projects are those that do two seemingly contradictory things at the same time. So most of the time when we're thinking in a past to net zero, we're thinking this is going to cost us. And I actually like projects that we can move towards net zero, but actually also save money. So they keep the cost of energy affordable for all of us. I'll give an example of one thing that we're working on quite a bit, and that is asset care. So improving the maintenance practices in organizations using operational technology, using what we call OT and using data and analytics on that OT to reduce the cost of maintenance or increase the reliability of those. And by doing that, we are actually saving money. So our maintenance costs go down, the equipment is running more efficiently, which actually generates less heat and less waste. So we can actually reduce our emission levels by saving money. And that's a win-win scenario. And these are my favorite projects that we don't need to think how are we going to fund this transition? This transition is funding itself.

JC: And that's your Hart Energy LIVE Exclusive with Deloitte. To learn more about generative AI, simulation and other technologies, go to hartenergy.com.