Leading Companies in Pipeline Gas Technology?

This data-file tracks over 800 ex-China patents for the pipeline transportation of natural gas, filed from 2010 to 2019. The aim is to screen for exciting technologies and companies with technologies to improve gas distribution, as natural gas demand is set to treble in the most economic route to an energy transition.

Global research into natural gas transportation technologies remained consistent from 2010 – 2016 averaging c85 filings per year. Since 2017, however, the number of patent filings has actually decreased. From 2017 – 2019, there have been an average of just c40 patents filed per year – a c50% drop from the ’10-’16 average.

Innovative growth companies with a focus on pipeline gas transport include 3 publicly listed firms and 6 venture-stage start-ups. They are commercialising next-generation materials, leak monitoring and remote metering solutions.

Larger and listed companies with recent innovations in gas distribution are described in this short note, including Air Liquide, Air Products, Kogas, Tokyo Gas, Shawcor and Ecolab.

While it was an interesting exercise to screen for new patents that might improve the century old industry of gas distribution, we are left thinking that the best opportunities for traditional gas distribution companies in the energy transition are to minimze methane leaks, improve compressor efficiency, and consider adjacent sectors such as CCS, demand shifting and power infrastructure.

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