Drilling fluids are the backbone of drilling operations and serve various purposes. These fluids are mainly utilized in the drilling of subterranean wells. Drilling fluids provide primary well control of subsurface pressure by a combination of density and additional pressure acting on the fluid column (surface imposed or annular). Drilling fluids are also known as drilling muds. The various principal functions of drilling fluids include maintaining well control, controlling subsurface pressure, maintaining wellbore stability – chemically and mechanically and transmitting hydraulic energy to the drill bit and down hole tools.
Various types of drilling fluids are utilized in offshore and onshore oil and gas applications, such as oil-based fluids, water-based fluids, non-aqueous fluids and synthetic fluids, among others. Water-based drilling fluids are one of the most widely utilized drilling fluids among all and are expected to hold a significant market share. These fluids are extensively utilized for offshore drilling and also have minimum toxicity among all. Oil-based drilling fluids operate efficiently but carry a high risk of environmental hazards, due to which the trend is shifting towards synthetic fluids.
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Global Drilling Fluids Market: Segmentation
The global drilling fluids market can be segmented on the basis of product type and application.
Based on the product type, the global drilling fluids market can be segmented into:
- Oil-based fluid
- Water-based fluids
- Synthetic fluids
- Others (non-aqueous fluid, reservoir drilling fluid, etc.)
Based on the application, the global drilling fluid market can be segmented into:
Global Drilling Fluids Market: Dynamics
Growing investments across the value chain of the oil & gas industry are among the key factors likely to support the demand for drilling fluids in the near future. Recently, Exxon Mobil Corporation announced an investment of US$ 20.0 Bn through 2022 to expand its oil refining plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast, which in turn will boost the demand for drilling fluids in the coming years. Further, initiatives towards the development of the oil and gas industry in developing economies are supporting the demand for drilling fluids in the APAC region. The government of India has allowed 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in upstream and private sector refining projects. Further, surging investments in Mexican oil & gas exploration, production and drilling activities are expected to create a demand for drilling fluids in the near future.
However, stringent government and environmental regulations regarding the utilization and disposal of drilling fluids along with the geopolitical issues in major oil producing regions are anticipated to restrain the market growth over the forecast period.
Global Drilling Fluids Market: Regional Outlook
Globally, the drilling fluids market is expected to be dominated by North America, owing to the rising exploration of shale gas in Canada and the U.S. Latin America is anticipated to grow with a significant rate in the near future. Increasing drilling activities in the offshore Venezuela and Brazil are anticipated to boost the demand for drilling fluids in the region. Government support and subsidies for exploration and production companies to enhance oil and gas production in developing economies, such as India and China, are anticipated to boost the demand for drilling fluids in the Asia Pacific region.
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Global Drilling Fluids Market: Market Participants
Examples of some of the market participants identified across the value chain of the global drilling fluids market include,
- Schlumberger Limited
- Baker Hughes Incorporated
- Anchor Drilling Fluids USA
- LLC, National Oilwell Varco
- Gumpro Drilling Fluids Pvt. Ltd.
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