The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need to improve efficiency and safety, and mitigate environmental impacts, and the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data, blockchain, 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: sub-surface reservoir modeling. Buy the report here.
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.
Sub-surface reservoir modeling is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Sub-surface reservoir modeling is the process of creating numerical models that represent the subsurface geology and fluid flow characteristics of oil, gas, or water reservoirs. These models are used to simulate fluid and pressure behavior, optimize well placement, forecast production, and evaluate reservoir performance.
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 120+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of sub-surface reservoir modeling.
Key players in sub-surface reservoir modeling – 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 sub-surface reservoir modeling
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Halliburton||420||Unlock Company Profile|
|Schlumberger||369||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Petrochemical||289||Unlock Company Profile|
|China National Petroleum||285||Unlock Company Profile|
|Saudi Arabian Oil||132||Unlock Company Profile|
|China National Offshore Oil||114||Unlock Company Profile|
|Resonac||59||Unlock Company Profile|
|Baker Hughes||55||Unlock Company Profile|
|Exxon Mobil||45||Unlock Company Profile|
|IFP Energies nouvelles||42||Unlock Company Profile|
|BP||30||Unlock Company Profile|
|General Electric||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Petrochemical||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shell||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chevron U. S. A.||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chiyoda||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|JGC||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|Suncor Energy||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Repsol||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Southwest Petroleum||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|ConocoPhillips||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Linde||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|CNPC Chuanqing Drilling Engineering||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Prad Research And Development||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|ResFrac||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mitsubishi Chemical Group||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|TotalEnergies||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Object Reservoir||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ledaflow Technologies DA||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|BASF||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Petroleo Brasileiro||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Air Liquide||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toyota Motor||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|International Business Machines||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honeywell International||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|DIC||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Korea Gas||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Lloyd's Register Group||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Smiths Group||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Rockwell Automation||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|NEC||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Emerson Electric||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|State Grid Corporation of China||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Expo International Group||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Petroleum Engineering||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Badger Meter||5||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Halliburton is one of the leading patent filers in sub-surface reservoir modeling. Halliburton offers AI-driven solutions for reservoir digital twins, iStar® Platform to maximize reservoir contact, and StrataXaminer™ tool for high-resolution images of the reservoir structure. In June 2023, Halliburton acquired Resoptima, a Norwegian company specializing in reservoir data management. The strategic acquisition aims to integrate Resoptima's reservoir modeling and predictive analytics capabilities into Halliburton's existing AI-enabled Landmark DecisionSpace® 365 suite, an Open Subsurface Data Universe platform. Some other key patent filers in the sub-surface reservoir modeling include Schlumberger, China Petrochemical, China National Petroleum, Saudi Arabian Oil, and China National Offshore Oil.
In terms of application diversity, Smiths Group leads the pack, while Suncor Energy and Shell stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, BP held the top position, followed by Suncor Energy and ResFrac.
Sub-surface reservoir modeling is increasingly being used by the players in the oil & gas industry to know reservoir performance, mitigate risks, manage resources, and increase efficiencies in oil and gas extraction.
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.