The oil and gas industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by improving productivity, cost-effectiveness, and energy efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as biogas carbon capture, green hydrogen synthesis and biofuel catalytic cracking. In the last three years alone, there have been over 534,000 patents filed and granted in the oil and gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environment Sustainability in Oil & Gas: Biogas carbon capturing.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

40+ innovations will shape the oil & gas industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the oil & gas industry using innovation intensity models built on over 256,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, carbon capture MOFs, and biogas carbon capturing are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Methane capturing, natural gas CO2 capturing, and flue gas treatment are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are bio-fuels and aviation bio-fuels, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the oil & gas industry

Biogas carbon capturing is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

There are various ways to capture CO2 depending on how biogas is used. For instance, incorporating CO2 capture from a biogas plant that generates electricity and heat.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of biogas carbon capturing.

Key players in biogas carbon capturing – a disruptive innovation in the oil & gas industry

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

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

Air Liquide has its proprietary Cryocap™ technology for carbon capture from any type of industry such as refining, cement and steel. Cryocap™ essentially uses cryogenic technology to separate gases at low temperatures. The captured gas can be stored underground or can be used for other purposes such as Enhanced Oil Recovery. 

BASF offers unique technologies for carbon capture across various industries. The company has partnered with JGC to offer a highly pressurised gas treatment technology that facilitates carbon capture and storage. The company markets the technology under the HiPACT brand name.  

BASF also offers "OASE blue" technology, which essentially involves post-combustion capture (PCC ) for diverse industries. The features of the technology include flexible operating range, low solvent losses, and minimal energy consumption.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Top 20 Oil & Gas Themes 2022.

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.