The oil and gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need for improved efficiency, productivity and sustainability. The industry is pursuing a clean energy transition, driving growth in investment in technologies such as green hydrogen, fuel cells, 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 Environment sustainability in oil & gas: green hydrogen synthesis. 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.
Green hydrogen synthesis is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability
Green hydrogen synthesis essentially involves electrolysis of water. When an electric current is passed through water in an electrolyser system, the molecules are split into hydrogen and oxygen. If the electrical energy consumed during the electrolysis process is derived from renewable energy sources, the produced hydrogen is categorised as green hydrogen.
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 290+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of green hydrogen synthesis.
Key players in green hydrogen synthesis – 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 green hydrogen synthesis
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission||291||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba||261||Unlock company profile|
|Siemens||228||Unlock company profile|
|De Nora Permelec||174||Unlock company profile|
|CEA||152||Unlock company profile|
|Panasonic||139||Unlock company profile|
|Asahi Kasei||106||Unlock company profile|
|Industrie De Nora||96||Unlock company profile|
|Honda Motor||82||Unlock company profile|
|Fujifilm||78||Unlock company profile|
|NACCO Materials Handling Group||75||Unlock company profile|
|Kawasaki Heavy Industries||70||Unlock company profile|
|Sumitomo Electric Industries||66||Unlock company profile|
|Toyota Motor||63||Unlock company profile|
|Robert Bosch Stiftung||63||Unlock company profile|
|Hymeth Aps||61||Unlock company profile|
|Saudi Arabian Oil||60||Unlock company profile|
|Kyocera||49||Unlock company profile|
|Nihon Trim||47||Unlock company profile|
|3M||46||Unlock company profile|
|Next Hydrogen||46||Unlock company profile|
|ThyssenKrupp||41||Unlock company profile|
|NGK Spark Plug||40||Unlock company profile|
|Rolls-Royce||39||Unlock company profile|
|Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique||36||Unlock company profile|
|Osaka Gas||36||Unlock company profile|
|Sharp||36||Unlock company profile|
|Tokuyama||34||Unlock company profile|
|BASF||31||Unlock company profile|
|Metso Outotec||30||Unlock company profile|
|Metso||30||Unlock company profile|
|HTceramix||29||Unlock company profile|
|Giner||28||Unlock company profile|
|G T A||28||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson Matthey||28||Unlock company profile|
|Hitachi||27||Unlock company profile|
|MiZ||26||Unlock company profile|
|Airbus||25||Unlock company profile|
|TotalEnergies||25||Unlock company profile|
|AquaHydrex||25||Unlock company profile|
|SoftBank Group||24||Unlock company profile|
|Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung||24||Unlock company profile|
|Japan Technological Research Association of Artificial Photosynthetic Chemical Process||24||Unlock company profile|
|Hitachi Zosen||23||Unlock company profile|
|Skyre||23||Unlock company profile|
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries||23||Unlock company profile|
|Engie||21||Unlock company profile|
|RAG-Stiftung||20||Unlock company profile|
|Raytheon Technologies||20||Unlock company profile|
|Toto||20||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Saudi Aramco is the leading crude oil producer in the world. It is focusing on hydrogen as an alternate energy source and pursued green hydrogen technology development, announcing several green hydrogen projects, including its ambitious Neom Helios hydrogen project. This is in line with Saudi Arabia’s long-term goal of being a major supplier of green hydrogen.
Siemens entered a joint venture partnership with Air Liquide to produce industrial-scale renewable hydrogen electrolyzers. Production of electrolysis stacks at their multi-gigawatt electrolyzer facility in Berlin is expected to start in 2023 and ramp up to an annual production capacity of three gigawatts by 2025.
Repsol has partnered with Spanish gas provider Enagas and other research institutes to develop hydrogen technology. As part of its hydrogen strategy, the company will invest EUR2.5 billion (US$2.9 billion) in the hydrogen value chain by 2030.
TotalEnergies is involved in the H2 Mobility joint venture in Germany, with Air Liquide, Linde, Daimler, Hyundai, OMV, and Shell, to develop hydrogen mobility. In January 2021, the company signed a cooperation agreement with Engie to develop, design, build, and operate the Masshylia green hydrogen project in France.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Oil and Gas.