The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need to innovate, improve efficiencies, increase safety, reduce environmental impact, and increasing competition, and the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), big data, blockchain, and robotics. 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 Artificial intelligence in oil & gas: intelligent predictive maintenance. Buy the report here.

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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.

Intelligent predictive maintenance is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Intelligent predictive maintenance leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to foresee and proactively mitigate equipment failures and downtime. By harnessing data from sensors and various sources, it constructs predictive models capable of assessing the prevailing condition of equipment and foreseeing potential problems in advance. The method effectively lowers maintenance expenses, while enhancing the reliability and availability of equipment.

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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of intelligent predictive maintenance.

Key players in intelligent predictive maintenance – 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 intelligent predictive maintenance

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
General Electric 112 Unlock Company Profile
Schlumberger 62 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 52 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 38 Unlock Company Profile
Ecolab 27 Unlock Company Profile
Linde 23 Unlock Company Profile
The Weir Group 18 Unlock Company Profile
Baker Hughes 16 Unlock Company Profile
Air Products and Chemicals 16 Unlock Company Profile
Emerson Electric 15 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 14 Unlock Company Profile
Air Liquide 14 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 12 Unlock Company Profile
TotalEnergies 11 Unlock Company Profile
Petroliam Nasional 11 Unlock Company Profile
LG 9 Unlock Company Profile
Hexagon Composites 9 Unlock Company Profile
Engie 9 Unlock Company Profile
Forum Energy Technologies 9 Unlock Company Profile
Spm Instrument Aktiebolag 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hyosung 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 8 Unlock Company Profile
Chiyoda 7 Unlock Company Profile
Cosmo Energy 6 Unlock Company Profile
Prad Research And Development 6 Unlock Company Profile
TechnipFMC 4 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 4 Unlock Company Profile
Hyosung Heavy Industries 4 Unlock Company Profile
Amitec 4 Unlock Company Profile
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne 4 Unlock Company Profile
Yantai Jereh Oilfield Services Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
SK 4 Unlock Company Profile
AKER SOLUTIONS 3 Unlock Company Profile
Pentair 3 Unlock Company Profile
Suncor Energy 3 Unlock Company Profile
OMV 3 Unlock Company Profile
Bravida 3 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 3 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 3 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 3 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Gas 3 Unlock Company Profile
Exxon Mobil 3 Unlock Company Profile
Spraying Systems 2 Unlock Company Profile
Bravida Finland 2 Unlock Company Profile
Shell 2 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Sons 2 Unlock Company Profile
Seadrill 2 Unlock Company Profile
DIC 1 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei 1 Unlock Company Profile
Syncrude Canada 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

General Electric is one of the leading patent filers in intelligent predictive maintenance. In 2021, GE Digital unveiled enhancements to its SmartSignal predictive maintenance software. The enhancements help oil & gas companies to predict, diagnose, and prevent equipment failures in advance. The updates introduced features such as time-to-action analytics to predict when malfunctions can probably occur, enhanced visualization and analysis tools, and the expansion of Digital Twin Analytics and Content Catalog. SmartSignal identifies the root cause and seriousness of a problem and calculates the necessary timeframe to address the same. Some other key patent filers in intelligent predictive maintenance include Schlumberger and Halliburton.

In terms of application diversity, Hexagon Composites leads the pack, while Hexagon and Engie stood in the second and third positions, respectively. Hexagon Composites’ predictive maintenance solutions utilize AI and ML to detect anomalies and interpret warning signals in manufacturing equipment, enabling manufacturers to take swift remedial actions and prevent downtime. By means of geographic reach, Ecolab held the top position, followed by General Electric, and Emerson Electric.

Intelligent predictive maintenance is increasingly being seen as a viable tool by the players in the oil & gas industry. Adoption of intelligent predictive maintenance helps companies to improve the reliability, efficiency and safety of the machinery, and reduce operational costs and downtime.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Oil and Gas.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

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.