Innovations at Chevron
Chevron pursues various innovations to create the latest technologies for establishing and delivering energy that enhances human advancement from multiple sources and assists in meeting future energy demands. The company is a pioneer in many innovations that can fall into incremental and radical types of innovation. Regarding radical innovation, the company invented hydraulic fracturing, which is used in the drilling process. The company uses this approach across all its wells worldwide, influencing other industry players to shift to hydraulic fracturing (Hadei et al., 2020). For instance, more than 90 percent of oil and gas companies use this approach. The innovation uses water pumped through pressure to fracture rocks and capture trapped gas. On the part of incremental innovation, Chevron invented horizontal drilling, upon which technological advancements have been incorporated. The process helps to reach resources that would otherwise be complex and uneconomic to pursue (Bucur et al., 2021). The method helps the company to leave behind a minimal footprint.
Since Chevron commenced its operations in the 1920s, its innovations have focused on the drilling process and the outcome achieved. As a result, the company’s processes have been upgraded continually, reflecting an incremental type of innovation. Also, the innovations can be process-related based on the impact of the processes. For instance, through hydraulic fracturing, the company can gather natural gas from a huge underground area with little impact on the surface, thus reducing the environmental footprint. In addition, the innovations that Chevron has adopted over time can be improved by adding value to them in various ways. For instance, adding technological control systems that protect underground water during the drilling process will add value to the innovations. Further, such additions can enhance the faster detection of underground gas and oil for enhanced efficiency and safety of drilling activities.
Bucur, I. O., Malael, I., & Dragan, V. (2021). Aerodynamic performance of chevron geometry trailing edge for a transonic axial compressor impeller. Aerospace Research in Bulgaria, 33, 184-194.
Hadei, M. R., Akbarlou, N., & Nejati, H. R. (2020). A new development cracked chevron notched direct tension method for determining the mode I fracture toughness of rocks: Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics, 110, 102811.
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Q1) For the company you’ve been assessing throughout the course, identify the types of innovations it is pursuing.
Q2) Do the innovations tend to be incremental or radical? Product-related or process-related?
Q3) In what ways, no matter how minor, could you add value to such innovations?