The drilling & completion fluids market is directly dependent on the oil & gas production activities across the globe. The market was significantly affected by the considerable decline in the oil prices, starting mid-2014. Between 2014 and 2016, a plunge of around 44% in upstream investment was recorded worldwide, Furthermore, the exploration & development expenditure from the oil & gas industry in the United States registered cuts of 35% and 52%, in 2016 and 2015 respectively.
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The pressing need for production optimization in the current ‘lower for longer’ oil price scenario made the usage of drilling & completion fluids essential, for maintaining the production momentum from the wells. With the rise of oil prices to a substantial level since witnessing a record low in January 2016, more oil & gas exploration and production activities are expected in the coming years, resulting in an increased demand for drilling & completion fluids. The global drilling & completion fluids market was estimated to be worth USD 12.58 billion in 2016, and is expected a witness significant growth during the forecast period.
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Rising Deepwater Exploration & Production Activities Offer Considerable Growth Potential
Across the globe, offshore oil production was estimated at about 30% of the total oil production, over the past decade. Global offshore oil production (including lease condensate and hydrocarbon gas liquids) from deepwater projects, reached 9.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2015. Deepwater production, or production in water of depths greater than 125 meters, has increased by 25%, from nearly 7 million barrels per day (b/d), a decade ago. Advancements in drilling technology, dynamic positioning equipment, and floating production and drilling units have made previously unreachable prospects viable. Several countries have pledged support to promote more deepwater projects, with the rebound of oil production since January 2018. Petrobras intends to increase its exploratory activities in deepwater over the next four years, according to its Business and Management Plan 2018-2020. Furthermore, the opening of 90% of outer continental shelf (OCS) is expected to create an additional requirement for drilling & completion fluids. A similar increase in deepwater exploration & production is also expected to be observed across the globe during the forecast period, thereby creating optimal opportunities for the growth of mud providers.
North America to Register Robust Demand
The North American segment of the drilling & completions fluids market was estimated to be worth USD 4.78 billion in 2016. With the discovery of vast shale reserves in the United States and oil sands in Canada, the demand for drilling & completion fluids is expected to rise further. Furthermore, a shift toward exploring and developing deep-sea reserves and increasing implementation of horizontal drilling are expected to augment the growth of the North American drilling and completion fluids segment, during the forecast period.
Norway to Witness Increasing Demand
Norway had 7.6 thousand million barrels of proven oil reserves as of 2016, in addition to 1.8 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves as of 2016. In 2016, around 36 exploration wells were drilled on the Norwegian continental shelf, and 18 discoveries were made. The incremental opening up of Norwegian and Barents seas areas, for the exploration and development and technological advancements that facilitate activities in these challenging areas, is expected to boost the demand for drilling activities at a healthy pace, thus driving the demand for drilling & completion fluids, during the forecast period.
Key Developments in the Market
February 2018: Essar Oilfields was awarded a drilling contract in India’s Cambay basin.
February 2018: Offshore drilling contractor Ocean Rig signed a new drilling contract with Tullow Namibia, for a one-well drilling program plus options for drilling offshore West Africa.
Major Players: Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes (a GE Company), Halliburton Company, CES Energy Solutions Corp., National-Oilwell Varco Inc., amongst others.
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Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes (a GE Company), Halliburton Company, CES Energy Solutions Corp., Anchor Drilling Fluids USA Inc. (a QMax Company), Newpark Resources Inc., Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and Geo Drilling Fluids Inc.
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