Autonomous Drilling Robots Market: Introduction
- Autonomous drilling robots (ADRs) are specially designed robotic systems that are used to attain significant increase in productivity and enable oil and gas operators to drill more safely, accurately, and consistently
- Autonomous drill systems enable operations by using a single console at a location remote from the machinery. This helps multiple manufacturers operate multiple drill rigs.
- Automation of drilling primarily increases productivity, due to increase in the number of operation hours as well as the number of meters achieved by the drill per hour
- Moreover, use of autonomous drilling robots optimizes onshore and offshore operating costs, while enhancing the feasibility of projects under challenging conditions. Using robotic systems in oil rigs has become more relevant than ever currently, as oil companies are exploring reserves outside the conventional oilfields.
- Furthermore, autonomous drilling robots are able to replace humans when intervening in critical situations, extreme environments, or high-risk areas (remote, isolated sites or areas with extreme weather conditions). This would make operators safe by limiting their exposure to potentially dangerous conditions.
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Key Drivers of Global Autonomous Drilling Robots Market
- Mineral or oil & gas extraction and production is a complicated activity. These activities are increasingly taking place under challenging working conditions. Oil and gas extraction usually puts workers at a risk of fire or explosion. Also, wells release flammable gases on-site. These gases are also released from drilling and extraction equipment. Use of autonomous drilling robots eliminates the need to assign workers to dangerous and tedious assignments off the shore. This is expected to drive the demand for autonomous drilling robot (ADR) systems worldwide during the forecast period.
- The mining industry is cyclic in nature and it tends to grow in a relatively stable manner on the backdrop of global economic growth. Especially, in developing countries such as India and China, significant increase in the demand for commodities such as iron ore, copper, and coal is expected. This, in turn, is projected to drive the global autonomous drilling robots market during the forecast period.
- Another driving factor for the global autonomous drilling robots market is rapidly increasing demand for petroleum across the world. For instance, according to the EIA, the global oil supply is expected to rise by 1.6 million barrels per day (b/d) by 2020 and the global oil consumption is projected to rise by 1.3 million b/d by 2020, contributing to rise in global oil inventories at a pace of 0.3 million b/d. Also, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) estimates that the global crude oil demand would reach 111.1 million barrels per day (mb/d) by 2040 from 95.4 mb/d in 2016.
- The oil & gas industry is ranked 22nd among 40 industries, according to a recent report published by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report is evaluated on the basis of probability that an industry would be automated, thereby indicating the need for more number of autonomous drilling robots to be deployed in drilling rigs in the near future.
Restraints of Global Autonomous Drilling Robots Market
- Growing concerns about emissions of CO2 and greenhouse gases across the world have shifted investments toward the renewable energy sector. This shift has limited the investments in minerals and oil & gas industries. This factor is expected to restrain the global autonomous drilling robots market during the forecast period.
- Moreover, advancements in the battery storage technology as well as the electric vehicle technology have resulted in slowdown of the oil & gas industry. This, in turn, is estimated to restrain the demand for autonomous drilling robots in the oil & gas industry during the forecast period.
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- In September 2018, a team of ANYbotics deployed an autonomous offshore robot at the world’s largest offshore converter platform in the North Sea. The four-legged robot called ANYmal is equipped with a customized sensor head. It has autonomously performed various inspection tasks of the platform in a one-week pilot installation previously. This has made it the world’s first autonomous offshore robot.
- In April 2018, The ARGONAUT developed by Total Oil was deployed in the North Sea. It was worked on Total’s onshore Shetland gas plant at Scotland, before being relocated to the offshore Alwyn platform. The company is also hoping to obtain a robotics solution on industrial scale, as it has plans to deploy an array of robots at all its industrial sites by the end of 2022.
- In May 2018, Rio Tinto deployed four additional drills, retrofitted with the autonomous drilling system (ADS) technology, at the Yandicoogina Iron ore mine in Pilbara, Western Australia. This deployment would be an addition to the existing seven autonomous drills at the West Angelas mine. Also, it has announced that nine more drills would be deployed by the end of 2022, bringing the total number of fleet to 20.
- Also, in 2014, Robotic Drilling Systems (RDS) started building the world’s first fully autonomous robotic oil drilling rig in Stavanger, Norway. The specifically designed rig coordinates control of multiple robots to perform drilling operations.
Asia Pacific to Hold a Major Share of Global Autonomous Drilling Robots Market
- Based on region, the global autonomous drilling robots market can be classified into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- North America is likely to dominate the global autonomous drilling robots market between 2019 and 2027, due to rising investments in drilling activities in the region. According to World Oil, the total rig count in the U.S. increased to 27,095 in 2018. Furthermore, according to a report published in Oil & Gas Journal, the U.S. drilling rig count rose from a single rig to 935 rigs working by the end of August 2019 and the number is expected to increase further with more drilling projects planned during the forecast period.
- In the recent years, the oil & gas market in Europe is driven by rising demand amidst falling domestic production over the last few years, thus it will be likely to see more drilling activities in the region. Moreover, oil and gas production in the North Sea has reached a seven-year high.
- In Middle East & Africa, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the largest oil & gas company in the world, has announced a major rig fleet expansion program to support its plans for growth of the upstream sector in the region and also to enable the delivery of its ‘2030 Smart Growth Strategy.’ This, in turn, would require the deployment of autonomous robots for enhancing the feasibility of projects subject to challenging conditions.
Key Players Operating in Global Market
Some of the major players operating in the global autonomous drilling robots market are:
- Rio Tinto
- Total S.A.
- GE Inspection Robotics
- Nabors Industries Ltd.
Global Autonomous Drilling Robots Market, by Application
Global Autonomous Drilling Robots Market, by End-use Industry
- Oil & gas
Global Autonomous Drilling Robots Market, by Region
- North America
- Russia & CIS
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East & Africa
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