The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, analytics, and cybersecurity, and growing importance of technologies such as predictive maintenance, robotics and drones. 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 Internet of Things in oil & gas: gas pipeline network monitoring. Buy the report here.
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 stabilizing 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.
60+ 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 196,000 patents, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, intelligent predictive maintenance, gas pipeline network monitoring, and smart oil & gas wells are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Oil well surveillance, embedded controllers, and FCEV fuel monitoring are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is inspection robots, which is now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the oil & gas industry
Gas pipeline network monitoring is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
Gas pipeline network monitoring entails monitoring and managing the various components of a gas pipeline network to ensure safe and efficient operation. It includes monitoring gas storage tanks, pipelines and equipment, as well as tracking gas consumption and implementing appropriate safety measures.
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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of gas pipeline network monitoring.
Key players in gas pipeline network monitoring – 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 gas pipeline network monitoring
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Air Products and Chemicals||83||Unlock Company Profile|
|Air Liquide||80||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mueller Water Products||53||Unlock Company Profile|
|Linde||52||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Petrochemical||50||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toyota Motor||48||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honda Motor||33||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hyundai Motor||31||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kia||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kawasaki Heavy Industries||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|SiGNa Chemistry||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kobe Steel||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|ITM Power||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hexagon Composites||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|ConocoPhillips||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Brillouin Energy||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Heavy Industries||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Energy Investment||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mcalister Technologies||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chiyoda||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|KITZ||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Berkshire Hathaway||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Komatsu||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Phillips 66||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|China State Shipbuilding||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Snecma||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Equinor||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Exxon Mobil||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chart Industries||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fortescue Metals Group||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Korea Gas||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Arkema||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|EnBW Energie Baden-Wurttemberg||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Southern Power Grid||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|H2 Clipper||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|TATSUNO||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|REHAU Automotive||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alliander||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|China General Nuclear Power||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Petroleum Engineering||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|China National Offshore Oil||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|China National Petroleum||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Baker Hughes||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Zhejiang Energy Group||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|State Grid Corporation of China||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Changs Ascending Enterprise||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chery & Wanda Guizhou Bus||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hyperloop Transportation Technologies||3||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Air products is one of the lading patent filers in the gas pipeline network monitoring for the oil & gas industry. It is one of the largest industrial gas suppliers in the world. It also operates pipeline systems located around the world in major industrial locations, where it supplies industrial gases. It has developed a process monitoring and control system to maintain the integrity of its infrastructure. Some other key patent filers in the space include Air Liquide, Mueller, and Linde.
In terms of application diversity, Arkema leads the pack, while Hexagon and Kobe Steel stood in the second and third positions, respectively. The French chemicals company, Arkema, primarily manufacturers specialty materials for industrial applications.
By means of geographic reach, Kobe Steel of Japan held the top position, followed by SiGNa Chemistry and ITM Power. Kobe Steel is primarily a steel manufacturer, which caters to the oil & gas industry through its product portfolio including material for gas pipelines and compressor equipment, and also offers engineering services.
Gas pipeline network monitoring is a critical element in stages of gas processing and liquefaction, as well as last mile distribution of natural gas to the customers. It helps regulate gas flow rates as well as detect leakges.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things in Oil & Gas.