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Oil & gas firms embrace renewable energy innovations through patents like bifunctional catalysts, geothermal power methods, and improved hydrogen and gas storage. Despite declining patent applications, a surge in deals highlights industry interest, but job postings show notable drops in key roles, signaling evolving dynamics within renewable energy positions in the sector.GlobalData’s Renewable Energy in Oil and Gas thematic intelligence report illuminates the sector’s shift, offering insights into oil and gas players’ competitive standings, key trends, and evolved technologies, shaping the future of renewable energy. Buy the report here.

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This article presents a quarterly round-up of the latest trends in the oil & gas industry regarding renewable energy. It provides an overview of recent developments in renewable energy-related deals, talent acquisition, and patent filings within the oil & gas industry.

Diverse applications of renewable energy in oil & gas industry

Oil & gas companies are leveraging new renewable energy technologies and applications to innovate and improve their businesses. One such technology is a high-performance bifunctional porous non-noble metal phosphide catalyst for overall water splitting. This electrode and system for electrocatalytic water splitting utilize metallic phosphides to promote hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) at the cathode and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) at the anode.

Another innovation is the harnessing of geothermal power from superhot geothermal fluid (SHGF) and magma reservoirs. This system, method, and apparatus involve a well screen and casing string to extract SHGF from underground reservoirs, providing a sustainable source of geothermal power.

Modular systems for hydrogen generation are also being developed. These systems consist of multiple cores, each with an electrolyzer and redundant power supply. A hub manages water supply, heat exchange, and electrical isolation, ensuring efficient and reliable hydrogen generation.

Additionally, compressed gas storage units for mobile applications, such as storing hydrogen on vehicles, are being improved. These units feature metal storage housings surrounded by heat protection shields and temperature- and/or pressure-sensitive overload valves, ensuring safe and efficient storage of compressed gas.

Lastly, devices for storing cryogenic fluid are being enhanced. These devices include sealed internal and external shells, thermal insulation layers, and protective shells. The use of pressure-responsive insulating materials and supporting components allows for efficient and secure storage of cryogenic fluids.

By acquiring these patents, oil & gas companies can benefit from advancements in renewable energy technologies and applications. These innovations enable them to diversify their energy portfolios, reduce carbon emissions, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

The industry experienced a 49% decline in the number of renewable energy-related patent applications in Q3 2023 compared with the previous quarter. On an annual basis, the number of renewable energy-related patent applications in the oil & gas industry witnessed a drop of 37% compared with Q3 2022.

Strategic deal trends in renewable energy in oil & gas industry

Oil & gas companies are not only focusing on innovation to enhance their patent portfolios but are also making strategic investments in renewable energy. These investments aim to secure lucrative deals with partners and position themselves at the forefront of industry advancements. Some of the recent deals underscore the importance of renewable energy in the oil & gas industry.

In Q3 2023, the number of renewable energy-related deals in the oil & gas industry grew by 50% compared with Q3 2022. On a quarterly basis, there was 10% drop in the number of deals in Q3 2023 compared with the previous quarter.

Impact on hiring

In terms of new job posting, in Q3 2023, the oil & gas industry experienced a 38% drop compared with the previous quarter. On an annual basis, job postings also declined by 27%. Notably, architecture and engineering occupations, with a share of 14%, emerged as the top renewable energy-related job roles within the oil & gas industry in Q3 2023, with new job postings drop by 35% quarter-on-quarter. Management occupations came in second with a share of 10% in Q3 2023, with new job postings dropping by 44% over the previous quarter. The other prominent renewable energy roles include business and financial operations occupations with an 8% share in Q3 2023, and computer and mathematical occupations with a 8% share of new job postings.

SBM Offshore, NES Global Talent Norge, Shell, APA Group, and John Wood Group are among the top companies leading in renewable energy hiring within the oil & gas industry.

Countries driving adoption of renewable energy in oil & gas industry

The US is the leading country in renewable energy adoption within the oil & gas industry, boasting the highest number of renewable energy-related patents, jobs, and deals. Meanwhile, India, Canada, China and Norway also maintain significant positions in renewable energy adoption within the oil & gas industry.

In summary, the oil & gas industry faced a decline in renewable energy-related patent applications both quarterly and annually. However, strategic deals showed growth quarterly but declined compared to the previous quarter. Job postings saw a slight quarterly drop, but annual postings significantly increased. Architecture and engineering occupations were the top roles in renewable energy hiring. SBM Offshore, Shell, Koch Industries, NES Global Talent Norge, and Suburban Propane played leading roles in renewable energy hiring. The US remained the primary driver of renewable energy adoption, with the UK, China, Australia, and India also contributing significantly to the industry.

To further understand GlobalData's analysis on renewable energy in the oil & gas industry, buy the report here.

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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.