Competitive Intelligence – The Top Players of Digital OilFields
This post – Competitive Intelligence – is a part of the series Digital Oil Field Technology based on patent landscape in which we have already discussed the innovation timeline and the research and marketing potential of the field. The innovation timeline provides us with a perspective of how the technology has evolved in last 20 years and the later post unravels the potential of the technology in different countries around the world.
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- Competitive Intelligence – The Top Players Of Digital Oil Fields
The Competitor analysis gives an insight about the top players on the field, their expertise, market information and a glimpse on their external strategies they are using to have a hold on the market.
Top Companies actively researching in the domain of Digital Oil Field
What could be the best way to understand what companies are doing internally other than by analyzing patents. We scoured through all the patent families filed in the last 20 years to identify the companies that are continuously innovating in this space.
We found that Schlumberger, with 256 patents, is dominating the patent landscape of the Digital Oil Field technology. Halliburton with 136 patents, holds the second position followed by China National Petroleum and Baker and Hughes at #3 and #4 respectively. Does this mean that now Oil & Gas players are thinking about how to make themselves more efficient by using latest sensors and digital techniques.
One insight worth giving consideration is the patent activity of two of the top three players. On one hand, we have Schlumberger, who has been filing patents since 1960 and on the other hand is China National Petroleum, who has filed 85% of its total patents after 2009. This implies that the other companies are taking this domain seriously and innovating much faster than the old players. This also means that this landscape may look very different in the next 5 years where we may see many new companies ending the dominance of the traditional players.
If we are looking at the competitors, we should also look at their innovation timeline – How are they innovating over the period of time. The bubble chart below, shows the patent activities of the top competitors in the last 10 years where the numbers next to the bubble indicate the number of unique patents filed by a particular company.
The consistent increase in the patent filing by China National Petroleum and Halliburton after 2009 clearly shows their interest in becoming a market leader in this space.
We thought it would also be interesting to check the countries where these companies are performing the research. Since the major companies in this domain are based in China or United States of America, the research is highly restricted to these regions.
If we look at the countries from where these top players are innovating, Schlumberger, the gas exploration behemoth has not been researching from Great Britain since 2005. This implies they have shifted most of their research centers in the USA.
Apart from that, almost every company except Schlumberger have been totally ignoring Russia for research base which is third largest oil producer. This is one of the reasons that make Russia a sleeping oil giant as the state-of-art technologies required remain out of reach.
Competitive Intelligence on the Top Companies in Digital Oil Field Domain
If we summarize again, we can say that the following corporations are the Top Ten corporations actively researching in the Digital Oil Field domain:
- China National Petroleum (CNPC)
- Baker Hughes
- China University of Petroleum
- China National Offshore (CNOOC)
- Southwest Petroleum University
Out of these top ten players, we have provided brief details of Schlumberger, Halliburton and CNP, which are the top three players in the Digital Oil Field domain. In case you want to dig deep into what their companies are doing you can send us an email to [email protected] for the in-depth report.
Schlumberger, founded in 1926, is world’s largest oilfield service company. It has been involved in real-time monitoring and delivery of data from the well site since the late 1970s and has been incorporating the digitization of oil field in its business since 2000.
Schlumberger has been filing patents since 1963 and has filed 24% patents of its entire patent portfolio in last five years. Apart from that, Schlumberger has filed patents in collaboration with various entities like Prad Research and Development (9 patents), Petroleum Research and Development (2 patents), etc.
Services offered by Schlumberger include:
- Real-time data analysis of drilling and production processes.
- Down hole equipment and sensors
- Software tools and Interpretation techniques
In the last 5 years, Schlumberger has acquired 4 companies to add more services to its business. Some of the acquisitions by Schlumberger in the domain of Digital Oilfield are –
- Smith International (2010)
- Gushor (2013)
- Rock Deformation Research (2014)
- Saxon (2014)
Halliburton is one of the world’s largest oilfield companies. It caters the need of energy industry involved in exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas though its products and services.
Halliburton has been filing patents since 1975; however, it has filed 42% patent of its patent portfolio in last 6 years. This is a very important trend to note – 42% of its patent in last 6 years. In the last 6 years, Halliburton has been primarily focusing on the digitization of optimization and drilling techniques in oil and gas industry. You know why, because 60-70% of their patents were on optimization and drilling techniques. We believe it would be a very good insight to see how exactly they are trying to optimize their current methods.
Services offered by Halliburton include:
- Hydrocarbon Location
- Geological Data Management
- Drilling and formation evaluation
- Well construction and Completion
- Production Optimization.
In August 2014, Halliburton publicly announced its plans to expand its product portfolio through acquisitions of companies providing technological solutions for oil and gas drilling. Halliburton future plans also include acquisitions in markets where it has no presence.
Halliburton has acquired following companies in recent time.
- Petris (2012)
- UReason Solution Environment (2014)
- Netflex Petroleum Consultants (2014)
- Europump Systems (2014)
China National Petroleum
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is largest integrated company in China, which produces and supplies oil and gas. CNPC, established in 1999 as a part of restructuring of CNPC, is a parent company of Petrochina and is one of the major assignees in oilfield domain.
After filing the first patent in the year of 2002, CNPC has exponentially increased its patent filling in the oilfield domain. CNPC’s focus on software/algorithms patent indicates its growing interest in enhancing its operations using IT.
CNPC has filed patents in collaboration with entities like Beijing Petroleum Machinery Plant (1 patent), China National Offshore Oil and Yangtze University (1 patent), Daqing Petroleum Administration Bureau (1 patent), and Tuhao Petroleum Exploration and Development (1 patent).
Services offered by CNPC include –
- Geophysical prospecting
- Well Drilling
- Oil and gas field surface construction
- Petroleum and petrochemical engineering
- Manufactures equipment and supplying raw materials
In 2013, Petrobras sold its Peru unit to Petrochina (CNPC) for $2.6 billion. The acquisition of the assets will help CNPC to expand the oil services in Latin America.
Does the provided information ring any bell? Doesn’t it help predicting business strategies of these companies and their expansion strategies?
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- What your competitors are working on behind the curtains?
- Which new products may hit the market in next 1 to 2 years?
- What are the key issues most of the players of your industry are trying to solve?
- Where you should channelize your efforts?
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Analysis Performed By: Deepika Kaushal, Manager, Patent Landscape
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