The global drilling fluids market is divided into the following segments:
Of these, water-based fluids dominate the global drilling fluids market. The segment held more than 56.5% of the market in 2012. The major point of appeal for water-based drilling fluids is their low level of toxicity. They are the least toxic among the three and also find major application in offshore rigs and gas drilling. Water-based fluids are expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% from 2012 to 2018.
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Oil-based fluids have greater operational efficiency than water-based fluids, but come with a higher cost to the environment in terms of ecological damage. It is the restraints of both the segments in the global drilling fluids market that have led to the creation of synthetic-based fluids. Synthetic-based fluids can provide both low toxicity levels and high efficiency.
Shift to Deep Water Drilling to Increase Drilling Fluid Consumption
Most onshore locations in the global drilling fluids market are currently facing depletion. This has prompted many companies to begin deep water drilling activities. Most deep water drilling requires a much larger amount of drilling fluid to function in optimum condition. This will create a higher demand for products from drilling fluid manufacturers in most regions. Meanwhile, the developments in shale gas extraction along with the research on other unconventional gases are also expected to boost the global drilling fluids market. There are, unfortunately, inevitable restraints to the global drilling fluids market, the biggest of which is the geopolitical issues that all global oil-producing companies face. This could restrict their global activities, consequently hampering the growth of the drilling fluids market.
Major Companies in Contract-based Drilling Fluids Market
All the major modes of distribution in the global drilling fluids market are carried out through a supply contract. The manufacturer usually has to fill a tender to bid for, and win, a contract with an end user. This includes services for top players in the oil and gas sector, such as Chevron and Shell. When the contract is signed, the fluid manufacturer begins supplying drilling fluids and services related to the fluids.
The key players in the global drilling fluids market are identified as Weatherford International, National Oilwell Varco, China Oilfield Services Limited, Canadian Energy Services, and Anchor Drilling Fluids. The leaders in this market include Newpark, Paker Hughes, Halliburton, and Schlumberger.
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North America Leads the Global Drilling Fluids Market
The North America regional submarket within the global drilling fluids market held more than 56.1% of the market share in 2012. Two countries – the U.S. and Canada – are the major contributors to the region’s dominance. The key driving factor for the region’s growth is the development of shale gas exploration, which has created new avenues in the oil and gas sector.
Central America and South America are expected to collectively be the fastest growing area in the global market for drilling fluids. The region is growing at a CAGR of 9.5% from 2013 to 2018. The region’s growth is mostly due to the increase in drilling activities in Brazil’s offshore locations, along with Venezuela. As for the Asia Pacific drilling fluids market, India and China are set to receive substantial boosts through government aid.
The global drilling fluids market is currently growing at a CAGR of 8.0% from 2013 to 2018. The market that was worth US$7.20 billion in the year 2011 is expected to reach a market value of US$12.31 billion by the end of 2018. The market, like most others in the oil and gas sector, is hampered by rising environmental concerns, with top companies investing large amounts in creating better and safer synthetic-based fluids. The future of the global drilling fluids market, though, looks promising, with many new ventures yet to be explored.
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