Drilling fluids also known as drilling mud play a crucial role in the drilling process for oil and gas extraction, mineral extraction and bore wells. These fluids are used to remove cuttings and rock fragments, lubricate and cool drilling bits, control formation pressure and maintain stability of the well. In addition, drilling fluids also function as corrosion inhibitors, shale inhibitors, filtration reducers, defoamers, emulsifiers, breakers, biocides and weighting agents, with specific additives. Drilling fluids are classified as
  • Water-based fluids
  • Oil-based fluids
  • Synthetic-based fluids
Owing to depleting onshore reserves the industry is shifting its focus towards developing deep water reserves. This increases the overall cost and prompts the use of more drilling fluids which in turn generates higher revenue for drilling fluid manufacturers. Growing exploration of shale gas and other unconventional gases is also expected to drive the global drilling fluid market. Increasing environmental concerns regarding the consumption and disposal of drilling fluids coupled with geopolitical issues in major oil producing countries is expected to hinder market growth over the forecast period. 
Major means of distribution of drilling fluids is contract supply; fluid manufacturers generally have to fill tenders to win a contract for fluid supply and related services for major oil companies such as Shell, Chevron and more. Once the contract is awarded, fluid manufacturers supply drilling fluids, onsite technical support and related services to these oil and gas companies.
WBFs (water based fluids) lead the drilling fluids market and globally accounted for more than 56.5% of the total market in 2012. WBFs are considered to have the least toxicity among drilling fluids and find extensive use in offshore oil and gas drilling. WBFs are also expected to be the fastest growing, at an estimated CAGR of 8.5% from 2012 to 2018. OBFs (Oil-Based Fluids) on the other hand have operational efficiency but carry high risk of causing environmental hazards, owing to which the industry is shifting focus towards SBFs (Synthetic-Based Fluids) which have less toxicity and offer better operational efficiency. 
The increasing onshore drilling activities in the Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific are expected to drive the demand for drilling fluids in onshore reserves. Onshore oil and gas dominated the drilling fluids market and accounted for 70.8% of the total demand in 2012. Moreover, presence of large natural resources in the “Golden Triangle” (Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and offshore West Africa) is leading to high investment in the regions, which is further expected to drive the drilling fluids market over the forecast period. U.S. Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and offshore West Africa accounted for approximately 85% of the total investment made in developing offshore oil and gas reserves in 2012. 
North America emerged as the leading market for drilling fluids and accounted for over 56.1% of the global market in 2012. Developing shale gas exploration in U.S. and Canada is expected to drive the market for drilling fluids over the forecast period. Central and South America is expected to be the fastest growing market for drilling fluids at a CAGR of 9.5% from 2012 to 2018. Growing drilling activities in offshore Brazil and Venezuela is expected to drive the market for drilling fluids in the region. Government support in India and China is expected to boost the drilling fluids market in Asia Pacific. 
The global market for drilling fluids is highly concentrated dominated by companies such as Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Newpark. Some other companies operating in the global market include Anchor Drilling Fluids, Canadian Energy Services, China Oilfield Services Limited, National Oilwell Varco and Weatherford International among others. 
The implementation of nanotechnology in the exploration of oil and gas has spurred the growth of the drilling fluids market, with major companies investing huge amounts in developing the technology. The report on the global drilling fluids market is a blueprint for companies in this industry to improve their businesses.
The research report provides a plethora of precise, detailed, and insightful information on the global drilling fluids market. Right from the market’s emergence, types and applications of drilling fluids, trends and developments in the industry over the years, and factors that are driving the drilling fluids market, to historic and current statistics, future growth, estimated figures, and opportunities for expansion – the market report is everything that market leaders need to establish and further their businesses. 
In order to help clients understand the structure and various nuances of the global drilling fluids industry, the report segments the market on the basis of certain parameters. The three major types of drilling fluids, as identified by the report, are synthetic-based drilling fluids, oil-based drilling fluids, and water-based drilling fluids. The key application areas where drilling fluids are used are onshore and offshore exploration of oil and gas. Geographically, there are five regions that fall under the global drilling fluids market: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and South and Central America.
Overview of the drilling fluids market
The research report states that the global market for drilling fluids was worth US$7.20 billion in the year 2011, and is projected to be worth an estimated US$12.31 billion by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period.
Growing need to develop unconventional resources of energy and increasing awareness regarding the benefits of shale gas have resulted in growing exploration activities in Canada and the U.S. Consequently, North America dominated the global drilling fluids market in 2012, accounting for more than 55% of the overall industry. South and Central America have been using advanced technology and methods such as horizontal drilling to keep up with increased drilling activities in regions such as Venezuela and Brazil, thereby making it the fastest-growing region of the global drilling fluids market. The Asia-Pacific drilling fluids market has received tremendous support from the government in terms of tax holidays and subsidies. As a result, this region is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years. 
On the flip side, environmental concerns about the usage and disposal of drilling fluids and certain geopolitical issues are expected to restrain the growth of the drilling fluids market. 
Companies mentioned in the research report
The global drilling fluids market is oligopolistic in nature and highly concentrated, with the four leading companies dominating the competitive scene. Together they accounted for more than 65% of the total drilling fluids market in 2012. The players mentioned and evaluated in the drilling fluids market report are Newpark Resources Inc., National Oilwell Varco, Schlumberger Technology Corporation, Canadian Energy Services &Technology Corp., Anchor Drilling Fluids USA Inc., Halliburton Company, Weatherford International, Baker Hughes Incorporated, and China Oilfield Services Limited.
This report gives you access to decisive data such as:
  • Market growth drivers 
  • Factors limiting market growth
  • Current market trends 
  • Market structure
  • Market projections for the coming years 
Key highlights of this report
  • Overview of key market forces propelling and restraining market growth 
  • Up-to-date analyses of market trends and technological improvements in the micro servers industry
  • Pin-point analyses of market competition dynamics to offer you a competitive edge
  • An analysis of strategies of major competitors 
  • An array of graphics and SWOT analysis of major industry segments 
  • Detailed analyses of industry trends
  • A well-defined technological growth map with an impact-analysis 
  • Offers a clear understanding of the competitive landscape and key product segments