Drilling Fluids Market – Snapshot
Drilling fluids play a vital role in oil and gas exploration activities. These are a mixture of water, oil, clay, and several chemicals. Drilling fluids are also known as drilling muds. Drilling fluids perform numerous functions such as cooling the drill bit and lubricate its teeth, carrying the drill cutting to the surface, and reducing drill pipe stuck problems during drilling operations. Muds help maintain hydrostatic pressure to prevent fluid formation from entering the wellbore.
Rise in Investments in Synthetic-based Muds
The year-on-year growth in drilling activities has fueled the demand for drilling fluids. Rise in the number of marine ships for several operations inside and outside a country has boosted the demand for fuel-efficient marine propulsion systems. Demand for synthetic-based muds is anticipated to increase owing to the environmental regulations imposed by governments of several countries. Synthetic-based muds were developed to reduce the environmental impact of offshore drilling operations. Synthetic-based muds contain specialty chemicals that are costlier than oil-based muds.
Rise in Usage of Water-based Muds
Implementation of strict regulations around the Emission Control Areas (ECA) across the globe has increased investment in water-based muds for drilling operations. Stringent regulations pertaining to carbon emissions and oil spillage have increased investments in the development of water-based muds. Furthermore, governments of several countries are funding and supporting development and adoption of the latest technology in drilling fluids for drilling operations.
Volatility in Prices of Crude Oil Affect the Drilling Fluids Consumption
Rise in investments in the exploration and production of offshore oil & gas is propelling the adoption of drilling fluids around the world. Increase in upstream activities of the oil & gas industry is expected to boost the production volume of crude oil. This, in turn, is propelling the drilling fluids market. Global price of crude oil has been increasing at a steady pace since the beginning of 2018, and offshore and onshore exploration and production activities have increased at a rapid pace. Demand for drilling fluids is anticipated to rise in areas such as North Sea in Norway and Bakken field in the U.S. According to the International Energy Agency, approximately 65,176 wells were drilled in 2017. This has increased the demand for drilling fluids. New approvals from several governments for drilling operations across the globe propel the demand for drilling fluids in onshore and offshore operations.
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Developments & Innovations of Products and Technology
In September 2018, Schlumberger Limited launched the CemFIT Shield mud-sealing cement system. Long horizontal wells with multistage completions face drilling fluid removal challenges due to limited centralization and casing movement that increase the risk of zonal isolation due to drilling fluid channeling. In May 2017, Halliburton launched BaraShale Lite Fluid System, a high performance water-based fluid designed to maintain full salt saturation with reduced density. It helps prevent lost circulation and minimizes waste disposal costs. This newly launched fluid help operators overcome several challenges using a proprietary additive that combines the base fluid, which consists of brine to prevent salt washout, and oil to lighten the mud weight. In February 2018, Clariant launched a line of defoamers and anti-foaming technologies which provides foam management products for both oil- and aqueous-based fluids. Drilling fluids help minimize the loss of pump capacity, improves mud pump efficiency, reduce the amount of fluid entering gas transport lines, increase separator efficiency, increase oil and gas throughput, and prevents unplanned shutdowns.
Drilling Fluids Market in Asia Pacific and Europe to Expand at a Fast Pace
Currently, North America and Asia Pacific are key regions of the drilling fluids market. The market in Europe is projected to expand at a moderate pace in the near future, as the region is highly environment-conscious. China is a major consumer of water-based muds. Numerous attractive technologically advanced drilling fluids are expected to be launched during the forecast period across the globe. Mud engineering services and technology developers are projected to engage in research activities to develop innovative drilling fluids in the next few years.
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Highly Competitive Market with Dominance of Top Players
The global drilling fluids is highly competitive. Leading players dominate the market. Key players operating in the drilling fluids market include Akzo Nobel N.V., Newpark Resources, Schlumberger Limited, and Halliburton.