The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs and the growing importance of technologies such as machine learning (ML), data science, Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 523,000 patents filed and granted in the oil & gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in oil & gas: smart oil & gas wells. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 196,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the oil & gas industry, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Smart oil & gas wells is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Smart oil and gas wells refer to the implementation of advanced technologies and systems to optimize the operations and productivity of oil and gas wells. These technologies utilize automation, sensors, data analytics, and AI to monitor and control various aspects of well operations, such as production, maintenance, and safety. The goal is to improve efficiency, reduce costs, enhance safety, and maximize the extraction of oil and gas resources.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart oil & gas wells.

Key players in smart oil & gas wells – a disruptive innovation in the oil & gas industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to smart oil & gas wells

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
BASF 66 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 36 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 31 Unlock Company Profile
Covestro 19 Unlock Company Profile
Oceaneering International 17 Unlock Company Profile
Epiroc 16 Unlock Company Profile
Chiyoda 13 Unlock Company Profile
Schlumberger 13 Unlock Company Profile
SICPA 12 Unlock Company Profile
Sandvik 11 Unlock Company Profile
Stepan 11 Unlock Company Profile
China Petrochemical 10 Unlock Company Profile
China National Petroleum 9 Unlock Company Profile
Jotun 9 Unlock Company Profile
Corteva 9 Unlock Company Profile
Baker Hughes 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
IFP Energies nouvelles 7 Unlock Company Profile
Buckman Laboratories International 6 Unlock Company Profile
Linde 5 Unlock Company Profile
Air Products and Chemicals 5 Unlock Company Profile
Atlas Copco 5 Unlock Company Profile
Daicel 5 Unlock Company Profile
Grid 5 Unlock Company Profile
SK 4 Unlock Company Profile
Koch Industries 3 Unlock Company Profile
Phillips 66 3 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 2 Unlock Company Profile
Bloom Energy 2 Unlock Company Profile
Marathon Petroleum 2 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 2 Unlock Company Profile
JGC 2 Unlock Company Profile
China Petroleum & Chemical - Refinery - China 2 Unlock Company Profile
Clariant 2 Unlock Company Profile
China National Offshore Oil 1 Unlock Company Profile
Exxon Mobil 1 Unlock Company Profile
DIC 1 Unlock Company Profile
Sandvik Tamrock 1 Unlock Company Profile
DL 1 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 1 Unlock Company Profile
GRID ehf 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Halliburton is one of the leading patent filers in the smart oil & gas wells segment. For example, Halliburton offers SmartWell intelligent completion systems that help to optimize the production of a well throughout its life by remotely controlling selected reservoir zones. It also offers other solutions such as DataSphere permanent monitoring suite to improve hydrocarbon recovery from a well, and Clariti View to measure real-time downhole temperature and gauge pressure. Some other key patent filers in the space include BASF and Saudi Arabian Oil.

In terms of application diversity, Halliburton leads the pack, while Nio and Saudi Arabian Oil are in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographical reach SICPA held the top positions, followed by Halliburton and Corteva.

Smart oil and gas wells have the potential to be the game changers as they help to optimize the recovery of hydrocarbons, increase safety, minimize operational costs, and reduce environmental impact. These wells are equipped with sensors, controllers, and valves, and help to monitor and control production and other parameters in real-time.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Oil and Gas.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.