Drilling fluids play an important role in the drilling process for bore wells, mineral extraction and oil and gas extraction. During drilling, drilling fluids are pumped down the drill stem and forced out through jets in the bit. The drilling fluid returns to the surface through the space between the borehole wall and the drill stem. It carries the drill cuttings drilled out by the drill bit. These fluids, also known as drilling mud are used to carry rock cuttings to the surface, and lubricate and cool the drill bits also maintain stability of the well. In addition, drilling fluids also function as biocides and weighing agents, emulsifiers, defoamers, filtration reducers, shale inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, with specific additives. Growing demand for drilling activities supplemented by the shift towards exploring and developing deep sea reserves and increasing implementation of horizontal drilling is expected to bolster the growth of drilling fluids market in North America. Increasing focus towards developing unconventional resources such as shale oil/gas, coal bed methane and other resources is also likely to drive the market growth in coming years. Increasing environmental concerns regarding the use of drilling fluids coupled with the raising concerns over the disposal of waste drilling fluids and contamination are some of the factors that are likely to restrain market growth. 


Based on the oil and gas industry, the drilling fluids market can be segmented into offshore and onshore. Onshore oil and gas application is expected to dominate the North America drilling fluids market over the coming years. The application is expected to grow on account of developments in the onshore drilling activities in North America. Offshore oil and gas is the smaller application which is expected to grow in future owing to increase in offshore drilling activities. The market comprises of key product segments such as Water based fluids (WBF), Oil based fluids (OBF) and Synthetic based fluids (SBF). The drilling fluids market in North America was dominated by the WBF that is likely to continue over the forecast period from 2013 to 2019. WBF dominated the market owing to their low cost and environment friendly content. WBF market is expected to grow in offshore exploration due to its technological advancement, improved efficiency and inhibition properties. WBF is followed by OBFs and SBF. OBF have been challenged by high performance WBF which offer technical efficiency as good as OBF at low cost. The SBF segment is comparatively smaller than the other two product segments but is expected to show significant growth in coming years.


U.S dominated the market in 2012 and accounted for over 80% of the North America drilling fluids market revenue. It was followed by Canada which faces squeezed growth rate due to unrealized potential of shale gas. Mexico was one of the niche markets; however, access to foreign companies in the region is expected to increase the market in coming years. Growing investment in onshore and offshore drilling activities is expected to fuel overall product demand in coming years. 


Schlumberger Technology Corporation is one of the leading players in drilling fluids market in North America that held substantial market share in 2012. The merger with M-I SWACO aided the company to reinforce their position in the North America market. Halliburton Company is one of the major players among oilfield service companies. An extensive product portfolio with worldwide presence provides the company with competitive advantage in the drilling fluids market. 



Rising investments in offshore and onshore drilling activities is a key factor that is expected to stimulate the North America drilling fluids market in the near future. The market research report provides in-depth and high-level analysis of the regional market, focusing on the major product and application segments of drilling fluids. It provides sharp insights on the various forces that drive the market and those that restrict its growth.


The major revenue generating segments with respect to product, application and geography, are accentuated, providing current, historic, and forecast statistics for the same. The report is designed to guide market players and help them make strategic business decisions based on the information provided. 


With the help of Porter’s five forces analysis, the report offers a comprehensive assessment of the competitive landscape, identifying key vendors and their strengths and weaknesses. Their individual industry share, progress over the years, financial overview, profitable areas of operation, and future plans are discussed in the research report.


Overview of the North America drilling fluids market


On the basis of application, the North American market for drilling fluids can be divided into offshore oil and gas, and onshore oil and gas. The main products analyzed in the report include synthetic-based fluids (SBFs), oil-based fluids (OBFs), and water-based fluids (WBFs). The three prime regions covered are the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.


The North American drilling fluids industry was estimated to be worth $4,336.8 million in the year 2012, and is forecast to be worth $7,203.6 million in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 7.5% during that period. Owing to rising demand for drilling fluids, the U.S. accounted for 80% of the industry share in 2012, making it the largest regional segment in the overall North American market. Onshore applications gained precedence over offshore ones in 2012 and are expected to register a 7.9% CAGR in terms of revenue. 


There has been a growing demand for crude oil and natural gas in North America, and focus has shifted towards developing deep sea reserves and horizontal drilling. These factors have boosted the North America drilling fluids market. Moreover, increasing need to develop unconventional resources such as coal bed methane and shale gas has also bolstered the growth. 


Key challenges faced by the industry include growing concern regarding environmental protection and the disposal and contamination of drilling fluids.


Companies mentioned in the research report 


The leading industry players in the North America drilling fluids market include Halliburton Company, Schlumberger Technology Corporation, Newpark Resources Inc., Baker Hughes Incorporated, Canadian Energy Services & Technology Corp., Weatherford International Ltd., Anchor Drilling Fluids USA Inc., China Oilfield Services Limited, and National Oilwell Varco.


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