The global drilling fluids market is highly concentrated with the top three players accounting for 63% of the market in 2012. The market is led by players such as Schlumberger, Halliburtonand, Baker Hughes, Newpark, and Weatherford International. Large companies are strategically acquiring smaller, regional companies to increase their market share, states a new report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). To achieve sustainability, companies are striving for product innovation by means of nanotechnology. Heavy investments in R&D is another common approach taken by companies. The degree of competition is expected to be high in the coming years.
New entrants face entry barriers such as high capital requirement, stringent environmental regulations, and strong hold by large companies. There is no external substitute available in the market for drilling fluids. However, biodegradable fluids are posing as a grave threat to drilling products such as water-based fluids (WBFs), oil-based fluids (OBFs), and synthetic-based fluids (SBFs).
Increased Demand for Oil and Gas Continues to Boost Demand for Drilling Fluids
The demand for drilling fluids is directly proportional to the number of drilling activities being carried out. Since drilling activities have seen an upward trend for some time now owing to the high demand for crude oil and gas, the drilling fluids market is expected to grow.
The depleting reserves in onshore and shallow waters have forced E&P companies to explore deep sea reserves. Deep sea drilling requires a higher volume of drilling fluids to successfully extract oil and gas. Greater volumes of drilling fluids translate into higher revenues for the market. Thus, the global drilling fluids market is expected to witness a significant growth in the coming years. Additionally, the depleting resources of crude oil and natural gas have triggered players to look for alternatives such as shale oil and gas, tight gas, and methane hydrates. Since drilling is required to extract these resources, drilling fluids will continue to be in demand.
Environmental Concerns Regarding Use and Disposal of Drilling Fluids Hinder Market
Drilling fluids cause various environmental hazards during their usage and disposal. This directly affects the flora and fauna and indirectly affects human life. The EPA limits the use of oil-based fluids in offshore drilling as they contain high levels of aromatic content, posing a grave threat to living organisms in marine environments.
Geopolitical issues between countries are another factor hindering the growth of the drilling fluids market, says a TMR analyst. There are several geopolitical issues linked with North America and the Middle East and Africa. Geopolitical issues also exist between various developed and developing countries that affect the trade relations between them. As such, the oil and gas industry and subsequently the drilling fluids market suffers.
Use of Nanotechnology to Develop Enhanced Drilling Fluids Benefits Market
Industry players are shifting their focus towards the use of nanotechnology for the development of drilling fluids owing to several issues related with the use of WBFs and OBFs. The issues associated with WBFs and OBFs include slow rate of penetration, permeability damage, thermal expansion of base fluids, and others. Nanoparticles are being used as drilling fluid additives to enhance the wellbore stability. Nanotechnology is expected to help in the designing of nanofluids that can withstand high temperature and pressure. This is expected to emerge as an opportunity for growth in the market.
According to the report, the global drilling fluids market is expected to be worth US$12.31 bn by 2018. On the basis of product, the global drilling fluids market was led by the water-based fluids segment in the past and is expected to continue to do so in the coming years. By application, the onshore oil and gas segment is expected to lead and account for 72.1% of the market by 2018. On the basis of region, North America is expected to lead in the coming years and account for 54.4% of the drilling fluids market by 2018.
This information is based on the findings of a report published by Transparency Market Research titled “Drilling Fluids Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2012 - 2018.”
The global drilling fluids market is segmented as follows:
- Oil Based Fluids (OBFs)
- Synthetic Based Fluids (SBFs)
- Water Based Fluids (WBFs)
- Offshore Oil and Gas
- Onshore Oil and Gas
- North America
- Middle East and Africa
- Asia Pacific
- Central and South America
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