Growing Drilling Activities in Offshore Brazil and Venezuela Is Expected to Drive the Market for Drilling Fluids

The research report states that the global market for drilling fluids was worth US$7.20 billion in the year 2011, and is projected to be worth an estimated US$12.31 billion by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period.


Albany, NY -- (SBWire) -- 02/10/2016 --Drilling fluids also known as drilling mud play a crucial role in the drilling process for oil and gas extraction, mineral extraction and bore wells. These fluids are used to remove cuttings and rock fragments, lubricate and cool drilling bits, control formation pressure and maintain stability of the well. In addition, drilling fluids also function as corrosion inhibitors, shale inhibitors, filtration reducers, defoamers, emulsifiers, breakers, biocides and weighting agents, with specific additives. Drilling fluids are classified as

Water-based fluids
Oil-based fluids
Synthetic-based fluids

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Owing to depleting onshore reserves the industry is shifting its focus towards developing deep water reserves. This increases the overall cost and prompts the use of more drilling fluids which in turn generates higher revenue for drilling fluid manufacturers. Growing exploration of shale gas and other unconventional gases is also expected to drive the global drilling fluid market. Increasing environmental concerns regarding the consumption and disposal of drilling fluids coupled with geopolitical issues in major oil producing countries is expected to hinder market growth over the forecast period.

Major means of distribution of drilling fluids is contract supply; fluid manufacturers generally have to fill tenders to win a contract for fluid supply and related services for major oil companies such as Shell, Chevron and more. Once the contract is awarded, fluid manufacturers supply drilling fluids, onsite technical support and related services to these oil and gas companies.

WBFs (water based fluids) lead the drilling fluids market and globally accounted for more than 56.5% of the total market in 2012. WBFs are considered to have the least toxicity among drilling fluids and find extensive use in offshore oil and gas drilling. WBFs are also expected to be the fastest growing, at an estimated CAGR of 8.5% from 2012 to 2018. OBFs (Oil-Based Fluids) on the other hand have operational efficiency but carry high risk of causing environmental hazards, owing to which the industry is shifting focus towards SBFs (Synthetic-Based Fluids) which have less toxicity and offer better operational efficiency.

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The increasing onshore drilling activities in the Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific are expected to drive the demand for drilling fluids in onshore reserves. Onshore oil and gas dominated the drilling fluids market and accounted for 70.8% of the total demand in 2012. Moreover, presence of large natural resources in the "Golden Triangle" (Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and offshore West Africa) is leading to high investment in the regions, which is further expected to drive the drilling fluids market over the forecast period. U.S. Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and offshore West Africa accounted for approximately 85% of the total investment made in developing offshore oil and gas reserves in 2012.

North America emerged as the leading market for drilling fluids and accounted for over 56.1% of the global market in 2012. Developing shale gas exploration in U.S. and Canada is expected to drive the market for drilling fluids over the forecast period. Central and South America is expected to be the fastest growing market for drilling fluids at a CAGR of 9.5% from 2012 to 2018. Growing drilling activities in offshore Brazil and Venezuela is expected to drive the market for drilling fluids in the region. Government support in India and China is expected to boost the drilling fluids market in Asia Pacific.

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The global market for drilling fluids is highly concentrated dominated by companies such as Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Newpark. Some other companies operating in the global market include Anchor Drilling Fluids, Canadian Energy Services, China Oilfield Services Limited, National Oilwell Varco and Weatherford International among others.

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