The global oilfield chemicals market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period, according to a new research report titled ‘Oilfield Chemicals Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026‘ published by Transparency Market Research (TMR). According to the report, in terms of volume, the global oilfield chemicals market is expected to surpass around 41 million tons by 2026. The global oilfield chemicals market is driven by rise in the development of unconventional oil and gas fields, increase in the demand for crude oil, and surge in crude oil prices. North America is estimated to hold a major share of the global oilfield chemicals market during the forecast period, owing to the development of fields for shale gas, tight oil, and CBM in the region. The drilling fluids application segment held a major share of the global market in 2017 and the trend is likely to continue throughout the forecast period.
Rise in demand for surfactants for upstream, midstream and downstream operations in the oilfield sector
Based on product, the oilfield chemicals market has been segmented into biocides, corrosion and scale inhibitors, demulsifiers, surfactants, polymers, lubricants, hydrogen sulfide scavengers, fluid loss additives, and others. Surfactants are surface-active agents used for lowering the surface tension of liquid molecules, thereby aiding in the separation of a liquid and a solid or that of two liquids. Surfactants provide dispersing, foaming, and reduction in viscosity. They increase inhibitive properties of the fluid and also improve their tolerance. Surfactants have a wide range of applications in the oilfield sector. They are used throughout the lifecycle of an oil field right from exploration, drilling, cementing, production, and well stimulation to work over and completion. The surfactants segment is projected to hold a major share of the global oilfield chemicals market, in terms of both value and volume, during the forecast period and the trend is expected to continue throughout the forecast period.
Rise in development of unconventional oilfields to propel the demand for oilfield chemicals
Shale gas reserves have low permeability. In order to recover the natural gas contained in these reserves, hydraulic fracking is applied. Specialty chemicals are required to ensure that the hydraulic fracking process is efficient. Shale gas reserves extend horizontally over several kilometers and the vertical formation is very thin. Therefore, horizontal drilling is more preferred to explore shale gas from a shale reservoir. The horizontal drilling process requires technology with higher precision compared to vertical drilling. The cost of horizontal drilling is much more than conventional drilling. This increases the production cost of shale gas and hence, it is expensive than crude oil. However, this scenario is likely to change due to technological developments and drilling of more number of shale gas wells. Shale gas production calls for more amount of oilfield chemicals than crude oil production, due to low permeability of gas. According to the EIA estimates; China, Argentina, Algeria, the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Russia, and Brazil are the top 10 countries with technologically recoverable shale gas resources. The U.S. held more than 90% share of the shale gas production in 2017. Apart from shale gas, tight oil and coal bed methane are other unconventional resources with high demand for oilfield chemicals.
Drilling fluids application segment to dominate the global oilfield chemicals market
Based on application, the oilfield chemicals market has been classified into production chemicals, drilling fluids, well stimulation fluids, cementing fluids, enhanced oil recovery, and workover and completion. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), a drilling fluid is defined as a circulating fluid used in rotary drilling to perform any or all of the functions in drilling operations. It is a mixture of natural and synthetic chemical compounds that are employed to lubricate and cool the drill bit; carry cuttings to the surface; clean the hole bottom; control formation pressures; and improve the function of the drill string and tools in the hole. The drilling fluids segment has been classified into two sub-segments: water-based drilling muds and oil-based drilling muds. Type of the fluid base to be used depends on drilling and formation requirements and requirements for disposal of the fluid. Some of the drilling fluids are anti-foams, corrosion control inhibitors, dispersants, scale inhibitors, shale stabilizers, thinners and conditioners, viscosifiers, and surfactants. The drilling fluids application segment constituted a prominent i.e. more than 40% share of the global oilfield chemicals market in 2017. The share is estimated to increase by the end of the forecast period.
North America to dominate the global market during the forecast period
Geographically, the global oilfield chemicals market has been divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is anticipated to hold a leading share of the global market during the forecast period, owing to the growing number of unconventional oil and gas fields in the U.S. and Canada.
Slightly fragmented market with a few major players and several local players across the world
The barrier for new players entering the oilfield chemicals market is low. Chemical manufacturers can blend suitable oilfield chemical products for oilfield applications with minimal technological requirements. Raw materials are easily available and forward integration of suppliers of raw materials is possible.
The report comprises profiles of major companies operating in the global oilfield chemicals market. Key players operating in the global market are Baker Hughes (A GE Company), Halliburton, Solvay S.A., BASF SE, Schlumberger Limited, Newpark Resources Inc., AkzoNobel N.V., Albemarle Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, Gumpro Drilling Fluids Pvt. Ltd, Kao Chemicals, Chemiphase, Jiaxing Midas Oilfield Chemical Mfg. Ltd, Thermax global, and Imperial Oilfield Chemicals Pvt. Ltd.