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Shale has emerged as a key entity in the oil & gas industry, reflecting its escalating importance in the market through innovation, investment, and hiring trends. New patented technologies aimed at enhancing the precision and efficiency in analyzing and characterizing shale oil samples signify ongoing advancements in this sector. Despite a decrease in shale-related patent applications and strategic deals, notable growth has been observed in job postings for roles associated with shale. GlobalData’s Haynesville Shale in the United States of America (USA) report offers insights into the Haynesville shale, covering historical production, future outlook, pandemic impact on well development, productivity parameters, company acreage, expenditure plans, reserves, and recent mergers and acquisitions for crude oil and natural gas activities from 2018 to 2021. Buy the report here.

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

Diverse applications of shale in oil & gas industry

Oil & Gas companies, specifically Saudi Arabian Oil Co and Yantai Jereh Oilfield Services Group Co Ltd, have recently patented new technologies and applications related to Shale. These patents focus on providing virtual assays of oil samples, such as crude oil, without the need for fractionation into several components. The virtual assays are based on various spectroscopy techniques, including time of flight mass spectroscopy, simulated distillation, ultraviolet spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. These technologies allow the companies to obtain a full range of information about different fractions of the oil sample, such as naphtha, gas oil, vacuum gas oil, and vacuum residue, as well as other properties of the oil sample. By leveraging these technologies, the acquirer of these patents can benefit from improved efficiency and accuracy in analyzing and characterizing shale oil samples, leading to better decision-making and optimization of shale oil extraction processes.

The industry experienced a 25% decline in the number of shale-related patent applications in Q3 2023 compared with the previous quarter. On an annual basis, the number of shale-related patent applications in the oil & gas industry witnessed a drop of 26% compared with Q3 2022.

Strategic deal trends in shale 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 shale. 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 shale in the oil & gas industry.

In Q3 2023, the number of shale-related deals in the oil & gas industry declined by 10% compared with Q3 2022. On a quarterly basis, the number of deals in Q3 2023 compared to the previous quarter, remained flat.

Impact on hiring

In terms of new job posting, in Q3 2023, the oil & gas industry experienced a 31% drop compared with the previous quarter. On an annual basis, job postings also declined by 35%. Notably, architecture and engineering occupations, with a share of 15%, emerged as the top shale-related job roles within the oil & gas industry in Q3 2023, with new job postings rising by 14% quarter-on-quarter. Computer and mathematical occupations came in second with a share of 8% in Q3 2023, with new job postings rising by 3% over the previous quarter. The other prominent shale roles include management occupations with an 8% share in Q3 2023, and installation, maintenance, and repair occupations with a 8% share of new job postings.

Pioneer Natural Resources, Occidental Petroleum, NexTier Oilfield Solutions, Southwestern Energy, and Diamondback Energy are among the top companies leading in shale hiring within the oil & gas industry.

Countries driving adoption of shale in oil & gas industry

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

In summary, the oil & gas industry saw a decline in shale-related patent applications both quarterly and annually. Strategic deals decreased compared to the previous year but showed a quarterly increase. Job postings exhibited significant quarterly and annual growth. Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations and construction and extraction occupations were the top shale-related job roles. Pioneer Natural Resources, Select Water Solutions, Southwestern Energy, Halliburton, and Chord Energy played leading roles in shale hiring. The US remained the primary driver of shale adoption, with the UK, Canada, China, and Argentina also contributing significantly to the industry.

To further understand GlobalData's analysis on shale 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.