The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need to maximize crude oil recovery from existing oilfields, optimize capital spend and achieve emissions reduction across the company portfolio. Therefore, the industry is pursuing decarbonization, and hence, there has been a growing interest in technologies such as carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) to support the carbon dioxide (CO2) induced enhanced oil recovery operations. 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 Environmental sustainability in oil & gas: oil recovery CWI. 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.
Oil recovery CWI is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability
Carbonated water injection (CWI) is an innovative technique used in the secondary and tertiary phases of oil recovery. In this technique, CO2 dissolved in water is injected into the oil reservoir from an injection well, to sufficiently mobilize oil flow at the production well. As oilfields deplete over time, the CWI technique can help oil and gas companies to increase the oil recovery from such wells, thereby extending their production life. Thus, companies can generate higher return from their hydrocarbon assets. It could also help companies conserve their capital that would have otherwise been spent on bringing additional fields online.
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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of oil recovery CWI.
Key players in oil recovery CWI – 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 oil recovery CWI
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Equinor||71||Unlock Company Profile|
|Schlumberger||34||Unlock Company Profile|
|Halliburton||31||Unlock Company Profile|
|Exxon Mobil||31||Unlock Company Profile|
|Saudi Arabian Oil||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Petrochemical||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|BP||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|China National Petroleum||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|Equinor||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|GreatPoint Energy||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dow||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|ConocoPhillips||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Baker Hughes||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|PALMER LABS||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tokyo Gas||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|8 Rivers Capital||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|TerraCOH||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Linde||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chevron U. S. A.||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|M-I||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Pioneer Energy||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Air Products and Chemicals||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Eni||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Paramount Resources||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Heat Mining||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Colt Engineering||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sure Champion Investment||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Lurgi||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Raytheon Technologies||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Pilot Energy Solutions||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Vestlandets Innovasjonsselskap||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Arcadis||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ocean Resource||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Prad Research And Development||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Wojskowa Akad Tech||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Doosan||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group)||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|China National Offshore Oil||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Statoil Gulf Services||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Southwest Petroleum||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Stillwater Energy Group||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sichuan Xingzhi Zhihui Intellectual Property Operation||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Petrochemical||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Occidental Petroleum||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Air Liquide||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|TotalEnergies||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Horisont Energi||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|International Energy Consortium||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Daqing Dongyou Ruijia Petroleum Technology||2||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Equinor is one of the leading patent filers in CWI for oil recovery in the oil & gas industry. Equinor has several aging oilfields in the North Sea. It is also a major promoter of carbon capture technologies and is part of the Northern Light carbon capture project in Europe. Equinor is best placed to exploit captured carbon for tertiary oil recovery applications. Equinor can exploit this situation as part of its compact CO2 capture and carbonated water injection or 3CWITM concept. Some other key patent filers in the oil and gas industry include Schlumberger, Halliburton, Exxon Mobil, Saudi Aramco, Sinopec, and BP.
In terms of application diversity, Doosan leads the pack. Air Products and Air Liquide stood in the second and third positions respectively. Doosan has a wide range of product and service portfolio for diverse industries, which includes the energy sector. It offers technology and EPC services to the oil and gas companies.
By means of geographic reach, PALMER LABS held the top position followed by Tokyo Gas and Mitsubishi. PALMER LABS is a clean energy technology developer in themes that have positive environmental impact.
CWI technique enhances the lifetime of ageing fields and also act as a dumping method for carbon captured from industrial operations. Growing CCS adoption can in-term be mutually beneficial for tertiary oil recovery from producing assets using CWI method.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Oil and Gas.