Collaboration for innovation through the distant search for knowledge presents unique challenges from partnering for resources. Firms through their exploratory learning are incorporating informal knowledge flows in order to retain the organizational capability to respond to environmental uncertainties. This quantitative correlational study examined the mediating role of social capital in the inter-firm network on the adoption of innovative technologies required to exploit oil and gas resources efficiently. The empirical study integrated a conceptual model that comprised the knowledge-based view, alliance and social network theories. The impact of informal knowledge networks in collaborative organizations was observed to be positive and was moderated by the specific partner firm attributes. Support for establishing professional communities cuts across international oil companies (IOCs), national oil companies (NOCs) and service oil companies (SOCs) that frequently deploy beneficial oilfield technologies to enhance competitive advantage. The managerial implication is the premiums required to form and break established network ties when aligning the organization.