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Energy News Monitoring


Recent Inventions / Brief Overview

The present review represents a brief analysis of key statistical indicators for patent applications registered in patent offices around the world in 2018 and related to the issues of horizontal directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing of hydrocarbon reservoirs. As of the date of this publication the data was summarized from 2364 patent applications registered in 28 offices around the world and prepared by 534 applicants from 22 countries.

The largest number of patent applications in 2018 was registered in the patent office of China (CNIPA) – 706, which is a little under 30% of the total number. 515 documents were filed in USPTO (US), comprising just below 22%. In addition to those, the top 10 popular patent offices in the world in this field included: CIPO (Canada), EPO (Europe), IMPI (Mexico), INPI (Brazil), IP Australia, IPO (Great Britain), Rospatent (Russia) and WIPO. In total, 90% of new patent applications in 2018 were concentrated in these patent offices.

Distribution of patent applications, published by the top 10 patent offices

Patent officeNumber of documents, 2018Share of total, %
Canadian Intellectual Property Office843.6
State Intellectual Property Office, China70629.9
European Patent Office1385.8
Mexican Institute of Industrial Property1034.4
National Institute of Industrial Property, Brazil1516.4
IP Australia984.1
Intellectual Property Office, United Kingdom783.3
Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Russia913.8
United States Patent and Trademark Office51521.8
World Intellectual Property Organization1636.9

Source: Advanced Energy Technologies

Substantially more than a half of all newly registered patent applications were formed by the residents of the USA (56%). 26% of the applications were prepared by experts from China. Other major applicants proposing novel technical solutions in the field of directional drilling and fracking were the representatives of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and Canada.

Distribution of countries of the world by the number of resident applicants in patent applications

Source: Advanced Energy Technologies

Representatives from 16 countries registered their applications in the patent office of the USA, making it the most popular office among non-residents, and the most noticeable interest here was shown by the residents of Saudi Arabia, Canada, Germany and China. In the Mexican, Brazilian and Norwegian patent offices all 100% applications were filed by non-residents. In EPO, IP Australia, Rospatent, IPO (GB) and CIPO (CA) this share was between 77% and 99%.

To a certain degree, the largest number of patent applications were dedicated to the problems of low efficiency of main processes. A substantial portion of patent solutions were aimed at solving the following problems: "High OPEX / Repair and replacement" (nearly 12%), "High OPEX / Operation and consumables" (15.3%), and "Ecological balance" (9.1%). In a fairly large number of patent documents (15.7%) the problems weren't precisely defined or classified.

Distribution of technical problems in the patent applications found

Source: Advanced Energy Technologies
AOP - Administrative and organizational problems; EB - Ecological balance; EGWC - Energy, gas or water consumption; EPM - Environmental protection measures; HCEI - High CAPEX / Exploration and Infrastructure; HCEP - High CAPEX / Equipment production; HCG - High costs in general; HOOC- High OPEX / Operation and consumables; HORR - High OPEX / Repair and replacement; LEE - Low Efficiency / Exploration; LEG - Low efficiency in general; LEMP - Low efficiency / Main processes; LESP - Low efficiency / Secondary processes; UP - Unclear problem

65% of patent applications disclosed technical solutions unambiguously related to the subject of hydraulic fracturing, while 12% cases were related to horizontal directional drilling. Mixed subjects prevailed in the remaining applications. In hydraulic fracturing of reservoirs, which was the most popular subject, 36% of patent applications were related to the aspects of Hydraulic fracturing equipment and methods, 9.3% - Propping agents, 15.3% - Working fluids.

More detailed information on the methodology as well as on the results of patent researches in the most important fields of contemporary energy industry can be found at Advanced Energy Technologies.