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Information is everything. Use it to serve your country and help keep us safe.
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Our transport technology team in Birmingham is currently growing a highly skilled and customer-focused team to...
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We are an innovative, robust and fast growing business, whose main focus is to deliver continues improvement to existing products and offer new sol..
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Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing
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This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.
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Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.
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The prime purpose of the role is to specify, deliver and commission PLC and SCADA systems for hydroelectric systems within financial and time budgets
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Mott MacDonald's highly successful Water and Environment Unit is recruiting an electrical engineer....
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Mott MacDonald's highly successful water business continues to win and deliver a fantastic amount of work....
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Fracking patents reach all time high
Big oil and gas firms are increasingly patenting technology related to fracking operations
The number of patents filed worldwide for fracking technology reached a record high in the last year, according to figures from Thomson Reuters.
There were 706 patent applications filed worldwide for fracking technology in 2013, a rise of 28 per cent from the 550 applications filed in 2012 according to Thomason Reuter’s legal wing, suggesting that major players in oil and gas services are battling for control of valuable intellectual property in the industry.
In recent years, oil and gas services giants have shifted more of their research and development programmes towards building portfolios of intellectual property in fracking. The most prolific filers of these patents in 2013 were large American companies, including Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger.
Gwilym Roberts, partner at intellectual property specialists Kilburn & Strode, said: “Fracking is now becoming a global industry rather than just an American one. The big players in the oil and gas services sector are manoeuvring to build the strongest possible global portfolios of intellectual property in this fast-growing sector.
“These figures show that in fracking, access to intellectual property and even small technological advantages over competitors is becoming ever more important.
“Traditionally, finding new reserves has been the most hotly contested area of the energy sector, now developing proprietary technology to extract hard to tap resources and competition over outsourcing contracts is catching up.
“Whilst it has been IT businesses like Apple and Samsung that have acquired reputations as the most voracious acquirers and most aggressive defenders of patents, a range of industries are also speeding up the rate that they are building their intellectual property portfolios. They are doing this not only to improve licensing revenues but also to shut out competitors.”
A significant number of fracking patents filed in 2013 are focused on expanding fracking operations to remote locations, according to Thomson Reuters, with patents being filed for systems to provide power to isolated fracking projects, and techniques to heat the water needed in fracking procedures without electricity.
Roberts added: “Oil and gas services companies are now strongly focused on expanding their fracking operations worldwide. A lot of the patents now being filed in this area reflect this, as companies in the sector endeavour to open projects in more challenging locations around the world.
“Fracking already makes up a large part of overall US gas production, and the businesses in the sector are aiming to secure the same position worldwide. Increasing fracking operations overseas is a huge part of that.”
But the presence of Russian and Chinese oil and gas businesses such as Tatneft, Petrochina and Daqing Oilfield in the list of prolific fracking patent filers in 2013 is a relatively new development, as Russian businesses in particular have not traditionally been as heavy users of the global patent system as US and European oil and gas companies.
Roberts said: “At one time, it was rare to see Russian businesses use the patent system or build portfolios of intellectual property, but this is changing as more businesses become aware of the potential for securing royalties from competitors by patenting vital technology.”
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