Despite efforts to use renewable energy, crude oil and natural gas continue to fuel the world. Though the growth of the oil & gas sector has slowed in recent years, new offshore and onshore wells are still being dug around the world. The gas and oil are buried deep within the bedrock, which needs to be cracked open for the commodity to flow. After the cracks are created, they need to be kept open with the application of continuous pressure, so that they don’t close up over time.
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This is done by stuffing a proppant into the cracks; in the majority of places, sand or a ceramic material are used as proppants. As per P&S Intelligence, the slow but steady growth in exploration and production (E&P) activities will drive the proppant market from $6,057.0 million in 2017 to $10,562.9 million in 2023, at a 9.5% CAGR between 2018 and 2023. Apart from ceramic material and sand, several resin-coated materials are used as proppants. However, sand still remains the most popular proppant among E&P companies on account of its lower cost and easy manufacturing process than other materials.
In this regard, North America, which is the largest proppant market, is expected to witness the highest consumption of such cost-effective materials. This would be a direct result of the increasing E&P activities in the region. For instance, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) says that between January and March 2018, 2,712 wells became operational in the U.S., compared to 1,925 during January–March 2017. In recent years, E&P companies have been encouraged to increase their activities by the slight recovery in the prices of oil and gas.
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GLOBAL PROPPANT MARKET
- By Type
- Low Density
- Medium Density
- By Application
- Shale Gas
- Tight Gas
- Coal Bed Methane