The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, analytics, and cybersecurity, and growing importance of technologies such as wearable technologies, IP cameras, and advanced analytics. 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 Internet of Things in oil & gas: worksite network monitoring. 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, intelligent predictive maintenance, gas pipeline network monitoring, and smart oil & gas wells are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Oil well surveillance, embedded controllers, and FCEV fuel monitoring are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is inspection robots, which is now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the oil & gas industry

Worksite network monitoring is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Worksite monitoring refers to the process of using various sensors and technologies to monitor and collect data related to the conditions and activities at a worksite. The data can then be used for various purposes including safety management, performance optimization, and risk control.

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 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of worksite network monitoring.

Key players in worksite network monitoring – 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 worksite network monitoring

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
China Petrochemical 71 Unlock Company Profile
China National Petroleum 69 Unlock Company Profile
NOV 38 Unlock Company Profile
China National Offshore Oil 34 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 31 Unlock Company Profile
PPG Industries 25 Unlock Company Profile
AGC 23 Unlock Company Profile
SICPA 19 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 17 Unlock Company Profile
Baker Hughes 13 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 11 Unlock Company Profile
Tokyo Gas 10 Unlock Company Profile
Tyco International 10 Unlock Company Profile
Shell 10 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Sheet Glass 9 Unlock Company Profile
ENEOS 9 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Gas 7 Unlock Company Profile
CNPC Chuanqing Drilling Engineering 7 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei 7 Unlock Company Profile
Emerson Electric 7 Unlock Company Profile
Toray Industries 7 Unlock Company Profile
Occidental Petroleum 6 Unlock Company Profile
Nabors Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile
Power Construction Corporation of China 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Energy Investment 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hydril Usa Manufacturing 5 Unlock Company Profile
ProFrac 5 Unlock Company Profile
Koch Industries 4 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 4 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 4 Unlock Company Profile
SitePro 4 Unlock Company Profile
Ube Industries 4 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey 3 Unlock Company Profile
Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Metawater 3 Unlock Company Profile
Resonac 3 Unlock Company Profile
Sinopec Petroleum Engineering 3 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 3 Unlock Company Profile
ICT 3 Unlock Company Profile
Chongqing Baojue Machinery Equipment 2 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 2 Unlock Company Profile
DL 2 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 2 Unlock Company Profile
Vetco Gray 2 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Energy Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Sensetime Technology 2 Unlock Company Profile
China Petroleum Engineering 2 Unlock Company Profile
Wuxi Beidouxingtong Information Technology 2 Unlock Company Profile
China Railway Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Ecopetrol 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Sinopec is one of the leading patent filers in worksite network monitoring for the oil & gas industry. The company has a massive operation in the energy sector spanning from oil and gas production, refining, petrochemicals, to renewables. This necessitates efficient management of the workforce to maintain continuity in operations. The company has adopted newer digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline its operations. Some other key patent filers in the space include CNPC and NOV.

In terms of application diversity, Komatsu leads the pack, while Toyota Motor and General Electric stood in the second and third positions, respectively. Komatsu is a prominent equipment and solutions provider for the energy sector. Its product portfolio includes KOMTRAX, a wireless monitoring system, which supports fleet management and preventive maintenance. The company also offers KomVision, a human detection and collision mitigation system, which makes worksite operations more efficient.

By means of geographic reach, Halliburton held the top position, followed by SICPA and PPG. Halliburton offers equipment, sensors, and software solutions for oilfield operations. The company’s flagship software, DecisionSpace 365, allows for agile asset management in the energy sector.

Skilled labor as well as expensive equipment are employed in oil and gas operations. A worksite monitoring solution helps the operators avoid mishaps and loss to life and property, while ensuring operational agility.

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