Background: With the discovery of the Pre-Salt oil deposits, the exploration of oil and gas
is being extended to great depths in Brazil, thereby generating increasing demand for drilling capabilities.
Objective: This article is aimed at assessing the consequences of this discovery accomplished by
Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) on patent applications in Brazil related to drilling fluid technologies.
Methods: In essence, our study adopts a qualitative/quantitative approach based on a combination of literature review and
empirical analysis of patent data.
Results: Clearly, it was possible to observe a strong pattern in patent filings regarding the IPC main group C09K 8 in Brazil,
which is the primary classification for drilling fluid technologies. Moreover, we found solid empirical evidence indicating
that the majority of patent applications were filed by Multi-Nationals Companies (MNCs) with headquarters outside
Conclusion: This study provides robust empirical evidence pointing out that the pre-salt announcement contributed to
strongly increase the interest of MNCs in protecting their drilling fluid technologies in Brazil.