Drilling fluids, when added to wellbore, facilitate the process of drilling. They do so by controlling temperature, providing lubrication and stabilizing the exposed rock. These fluids are also referred to as ‘drilling mud.’ The worldwide drilling fluids market was valued at more than USD 8.2 billion in 2013. It is likely to grow at a CAGR of over 8% from 2014 to 2020.
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The utilization of nanotechnology in the exploration of gas and oil has drawn huge investments from industry participants. These participants are interested in the development of drilling fluid technologies and working towards the same. This is estimated to drive the drilling fluids market forward. The global rig count has steadily increased over the years and was recorded to be about 3,400 units in 2013.
Rising demand for crude oil and natural gas has led to more drilling operations. Depleting reserves of natural gas are causing the exploration of unconventional gas sources. This is increasing the usage of horizontal drilling, contributing higher demand for the market. Growing awareness regarding shale gas advantages has led to extensive drilling in Canada and the U.S.
Drilling fluids are categorized into water-based (WB), oil-based (OB) and synthetic-based (SB) fluids. WB fluids, occupying more than 55% of the global revenue, were the dominant product in 2013. They are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% from 2014 to 2020. This will make them both – the largest and fastest-growing product segment of the drilling fluids market in 2020.
OB fluids accounted for about 31% of the total market in 2013. They negatively impact the environment. Stringent regulations pertaining to their use are restricting this segment from developing further. On the other hand, this is proving beneficial for the growth of WB fluids. Onshore oil and gas applications accounted for more than 71% of the total revenue in the global drilling fluids market in 2013.
These applications were driven by large number of onshore oil and gas reserves across the globe. Offshore oil and gas applications are anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8% from 2014 to 2020. North America was the leading market in 2013. However, the fastest future growth would be generated by Brazil and Venezuela in Latin America.
The eminent players in the drilling fluids market are Haliburton Corporation; Newpark Resources Inc.; China Oilfield Services; Schlumberger Ltd.; and Baker Hughes Inc. The others include Canadian Energy Services and Technology Corporation; Anchor Drilling Fluids USA Inc.; Tetra Tech Inc.; and Weatherford International Plc.
Information Source: Grand View Research