The global hydrocracking market is expected to witness significant growth over the next seven years owing to growing middle and light distillates demand especially in the emerging economies of BRICS and South East Asia. The process converts heavy crude oil and gas feedstock into middle distillates such as jet fuel, kerosene, and diesel along with light distillates including gasoline. Hydrocracking is a unit operation that processes various heavy feedstock including thermally cracked gas oils, deasphalted oils, atmospheric gas oils, and vacuum gas oils. Hydrocracker capability of converting crude oil and gas into smaller components with minimum coke production as a by-product is anticipated to bolster hydrocracking industry growth over the forecast period. Increasing global oil & gas production coupled with growing refinery capacities in countries including Russia, India, China, and Italy is anticipated to bolster the unit operation requirement over the foreseeable future. Technological advancements along with increasing R&D associated with increasing hydrocracker efficiency and overall yield is presumed to augment market growth. High capital investment and operating expenditure is anticipated to negatively affect hydrocracking market growth over the foreseeable future. Technical challenges associated with hydrocracker temperature control and catalyst replenishment system is presumed to hinder market growth. Additionally, the exhaustive technology licensing process is anticipated to negatively affect industry growth over next seven years. Development of hydrocrackers with increased efficiency is anticipated to provide immense opportunities to market participants over the next seven years.
On the basis of products, hydrocrackers are classified as single-stage, series and two-stage flow. In single-stage crackers, catalysts are present on a single level or there can be two different catalysts arranged as a stack bed arrangement. The choice of hydrocracker depends on catalyst type, conversion necessity (in case of full conversion or partial conversion), process selectivity associated with contaminants, and final product type. Single-stage hydrocrackers are mainly used to produce feedstocks for other processes as the product efficiency obtained is not satisfactory owing to incomplete conversion. The two-stage flow were the leading product segment in 2014 and the trend is anticipated to continue over the forecast period owing to design efficiency coupled with cost-effectiveness. Single flow hydrocrackers are anticipated to witness average market growth owing to the shifting refiner preferences towards technologically advanced two-stage and series flow products.
North America was the leading hydrocracker consumer market in 2014 and the trend is expected to continue over the forecast period owing to technological advancements coupled with the availability of technical expertise in the region. U.S. is anticipated to be the frontrunner in the market on account of increasing investments in R&D in the refinery sector in the region. Asia Pacific is projected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to increasing number of refineries coupled with growing middle and light distillates demand in the region. China and India are expected to be leading hydrocracker consumer markets over the foreseeable future owing to increasing refinery capacity in the region. Europe is presumed to witness average market growth owing to stagnant energy demand in the region. Russia, the U.K., and France are projected to be the frontrunners in the region. Central and South America are anticipated to witness above average hydrocracking market growth owing to capacity additions, especially in Brazil and Venezuela. Middle East is expected to witness considerable market growth owing to increasing E&P along with growing exports in the region with leading consumer markets of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The hydrocracking service industry is consolidated with the presence of very limited players and domination by few global players. Key players operating in the global hydrocracking market include Exxon Mobil, Axens, UOP, Shell Global Solutions, Flour Corporation, CB&I Company, KBR Inc., and Chevron Lummus Global. Innovative product development is anticipated to be a major strategy followed by industry participants over the forecast period to increase their hydrocracking industry presence. Cost-effectiveness along with service efficiency differentiation in the products is expected to determine market share of industry players over the foreseeable future. Customized products satisfying the needs of refiners are presumed to increase the market share of key players over the next seven years.
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