The oil and gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by an increasing need for long-term sustainability, reducing capital and operating expenses, minimizing its carbon footprint, and transitioning towards low-emission fuels. Technological advances and growing research in the field of alternative fuels are enabling these objectives to be achieved. This is characterized by the growing importance of technologies, such as low-carbon hydrogen, liquified natural gas (LNG), and carbon capture and storage (CCS). 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 Innovation in oil & gas: gas storage vessel fabrication. Buy the report here.

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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, high-pressure gas vessels, boil-off gas treatment, and oil recovery CWI are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Green hydrogen synthesis, hydrocarbon lubricants, and oil well surveillance are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are cryogenic gas separation and olefin metathesis catalysts, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the oil & gas industry

Gas storage vessel fabrication is a key innovation area in oil & gas

A gas storage vessel is a pressurized container designed to store gas under specific conditions. There are various types of gas storage tanks, such as pressure tanks, bullet tanks, LNG storage tanks, and CNG tanks, among others. These tanks are also installed underground when there is a need to storage liquids or gases in large volumes. These tanks can be constructed from high-performance materials, including aluminum, steel, and fiberglass.

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 280 companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of gas storage vessel fabrication.

Key players in gas storage vessel fabrication – 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 storage vessel fabrication

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Air Liquide 1007 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 620 Unlock Company Profile
Linde 328 Unlock Company Profile
Engie 323 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 224 Unlock Company Profile
Hexagon Composites 210 Unlock Company Profile
Enovis 175 Unlock Company Profile
Worthington Industries 136 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 123 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 96 Unlock Company Profile
Parkland 88 Unlock Company Profile
Luxembourg Patent 79 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 65 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 64 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia 63 Unlock Company Profile
PepsiCo 54 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 52 Unlock Company Profile
Entegris 50 Unlock Company Profile
Air Products and Chemicals 49 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 48 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 40 Unlock Company Profile
Burelle 40 Unlock Company Profile
NPROXX BV 39 Unlock Company Profile
Koc 38 Unlock Company Profile
Textron 37 Unlock Company Profile
REHAU Automotive 36 Unlock Company Profile
Messer Gaspack 36 Unlock Company Profile
Hydac Technology 33 Unlock Company Profile
Quantum Fuel Systems 33 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 32 Unlock Company Profile
Lotte Chemical 30 Unlock Company Profile
Wartsila 29 Unlock Company Profile
Coravin 28 Unlock Company Profile
Toyoda Gosei 25 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 24 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 22 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 22 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 21 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Development Bank 20 Unlock Company Profile
Linamar 20 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 19 Unlock Company Profile
Hanwha 18 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 18 Unlock Company Profile
Hoegh LNG 18 Unlock Company Profile
Illinois Tool Works 17 Unlock Company Profile
Strauss Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
Rovip 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sungwoo Hitech 17 Unlock Company Profile
Van Hool 17 Unlock Company Profile
Arkema 16 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Air Liquide is the top patent filer for gas storage vessel fabrication, followed by Toyota Motor and Linde. Other leading companies in the field include Engie, Honda Motor, Hexagon Composites, and Enovis.

Air Liquide is a leading producer and supplier of industrial gases and offers a range of vessels to store and transport gases, including liquified gases and cryogenic gases. Linde’s portfolio includes various types of pressure-tight vessels, such as cylinders, cylinder bundles, and tanks for storing gases either in compressed or liquified state.

Hexagon Composites has expertise in offering Type 4 composite technology in its storage cylinders, which are used in a wide range of industrial applications. The Type 4 composite technology enables in fabrication of light weight, corrosion resistant, cylinders for storing gases under high- or low-pressure conditions.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Oil & 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.