There has been a massive surge in oil and gas patents being recorded around the world after unconventional forms of energy come into the spotlight amid reducing levels of fossil fuels.
Oil and gas patents
According to research published by Thomson Reuters' via Economic Times, inventors filed a total of 12,062 oil and gas patent applications in 2013 alone, up a 1/3 from 2012 and 3 times as high as 10 years ago.
As oil basins run low, entrepreneurs are looking to take advantage of the emerging energy sources, as well as improving previous working methods to extract more energy out of the depleted fossil fuel reserves.
Commenting on the report, Gwilym Roberts, partner at intellectual property law firm Kilburn & Strode LLP said, "China's demand for hydrocarbons to power its booming economy has increased exponentially in the last decade, so much so that it now far outstrips the US as the most prolific oil and gas patent-filer in the world".
In Britain, which is at the early stages of exploring new energy options such as shale gas, patents have halved over the past year to only 150 in 2013.
UK shale oil and gas
In regards to shale gas in the UK, it seems as if previous predictions of reserves available may not be as large as first thought.
As reported in The Telegraph, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS), resources across the central belt of Scotland will show that there are relatively modest quantities of shale oil and gas available to extract with one industry expert claiming the source not to be a 'game-changer' for the UK.
Despite energy minister Michael Fallon claiming the oil could be a "significant addition to our home-grown energy supplies that we cannot afford to ignore", the report by BGS conflicts by warning that only a few percent of the stored energy would be viable to extract.
Onshore industry welcomes study
But Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG, which represents the onshore oil and gas industry, welcomed the study, saying to The Guardian: “This report will give reassurance to investors who wish to explore for oil and gas onshore in Scotland and adds to the estimates of significant onshore resources which can help replace the UK’s growing dependency on imports and balance the decline of the North Sea."
"The oil and gas industry has been operating in Scotland since the 19th century and looks forward to continuing to operate safely and with the minimum of environmental impact or many decades to come."
It seems that despite the uncertainty surrounding Scottish independence and fracking in the UK, the global resurgence and hunger to improve energy sources and efficiency is still strong - with China leading the way.
Photo Credit: Geograph