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.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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 (2021 - 2023) 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.

Data Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.