The oil and gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by an increased need for reducing capital and operating expenses and the carbon footprint, and optimizing production while improving workforce safety. Digital technologies are enabling the oil and gas industry in achieving these objectives. This is characterized by the growing importance of technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT) in day-to-day tasks. In the last three years alone, there have been over 523,000 patents filed and granted in the oil and gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in oil & gas: automated drilling tools. 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.
Automated drilling tools is a key innovation area in robotics
Automated drilling tools are control systems used for performing various drilling activities automatically right from well planning and design to downhole tasks. These tools limit human intervention throughout the drilling process, thereby making it safer and more efficient. They also help in enhancing operational productivity and reducing overall drilling costs.
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 automated drilling tools.
Key players in automated drilling tools – 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 automated drilling tools
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Halliburton, Schlumberger, and Baker Hughes are the leading companies in automated drilling tools based on their recent patent filings. Other top contributors include Shell, Weatherford International, and Helmerich & Payne.
Halliburton’s automated drilling tools incorporate advanced electronics and sensor technologies with revolutionary algorithms. These aid in obtaining telemetry data to reduce reservoir ambiguity and better identify prospects for drilling, thereby enhancing the accuracy and reliability of drilling operations.
Schlumberger’s automated drilling systems enable operators to control all major functions from a single source and thus enhance the staff coordination, efficiency, and consistency of drilling wells.
Baker Hughes' i-TrakTM drilling automation services lower operational risks and costs associated with well drilling.
Weatherford’s automated pressure drilling system increases safety, efficiency, and productivity of drilling operations.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Oil and Gas.