GVR Report cover Measurement While Drilling Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Measurement While Drilling Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Location (Onshore, Offshore), By Well Type (Horizontal, Directional, Vertical), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-889-3
  • Number of Pages: 130
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global measurement while drilling market size was valued at over USD 11.9 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% from 2020 to 2027. The significant growth can be attributed to the rising oil and gas exploration activities over the projected period. Rising energy demand has led to heavy dependence on conventional fuels. Thus, the growing trend has led the key market players to increase their exploration activities for unconventional sources such as tight and shale gas in order to meet the increasing energy demand. This, in turn, has propelled the growth of the market for measurement while drilling (MWD). Measurement while drilling tools provide real-time bottom-hole pressure and temperature, with directional survey data, and drilling parameters. The downhole data is transmitted to the surface through advanced telemetry techniques enabling the operator to make quick and efficient decisions resulting in lower operational costs, reduced time, and higher efficiency.

U.S. measurement while drilling market size

In the U.S., the market size was valued at USD 1.2 billion in 2019. Comparatively stable oil prices in 2019 and rising shale gas production are among the prominent factors driving the market across North America. Besides, growing unconventional drilling activity in major crude oil basins such as Eagle Ford, Permian Basin, Williston, and MidCon will positively impact the market.

Growing oilfield equipment rental services will positively impact the growth of the market for measurement while drilling. Key industry participants can enhance their drilling capabilities through rental equipment and tools without rising monthly costs. Companies offer measurement while drilling supplies such as mud pulse and gamma-ray measurement while drilling kits, allowing operators to take benefit of new developments at a reasonable price.

Increasing investments towards technological advancements with an aim to enhance drilling efficiency will stimulate the growth of the market for measurement while drilling. For instance, in August 2018, Schlumberger introduced a new GyroSphere MEMS gyro-while-drilling service which allows the gyrosphere sensor to perform faster gyro surveys compared to conventional systems. This microelectromechanical system technology provides accurate access to smaller reservoir targets and reduces drilling risks by a significant amount.

Furthermore, innovations in telemetry methods such as oscillating shear valves allow for reliable data transmission to the surface even in wells subject to high-lost-circulation-material content, heavy vibration, and high flow rates. For instance, Nabor’s AccuDrift measurement while drilling unmanned survey systems provides high-quality data which reduces the nonproductive time as compared to traditional wireline survey systems and prevents unwanted drilling events with no crew members on the rig site.

Measurement While Drilling Market Trends

The global oil & gas market has witnessed a slump majorly from 2014 to 2016 which resulted to affect drilling activities negatively around the major parts of the world. This made some of the oil-producing countries to cut down their supplies and drilling activities from high cost wells to reduce their operational expenses during the oil slump period. In addition, during the oil slump period there was a reduction of around 55% in average global oil rig count in 2016 as compared to 2014 average global oil rig count.  

However, oil prices started to rise in 2017 and 2018 respectively which had positively impacted the oil & gas market around the world. With this drilling activities around the world also got a major boost which was witnessed with increase in average global oil rig count which had increased by around 38% by 2018 as compared to average global oil rig count in 2016 respectively.  

Global oil demand has been on a rise with major increase in demand from emerging economies of the world. In addition, recovery in oil prices has motivated oil producers to drill unconventional wells and to explore untapped oil fields to fulfil the increase in oil demand. In order to meet the ever-rising energy demands, major E&P companies have been shifting their focus to develop unconventional oil and gas reserves including shale oil, shale gas, tight oil, tight gas, and coal bed methane (CBM).

The HDD rigs are anticipated to be costlier than any other trenchless equipment utilized for the directional drilling services. According to a government study, the average cost of a drilling rig deployed for oil & gas exploration activities is around USD 650 million where the oil & gas exploration centric companies are expected to make high capital expenditure on purchasing rigs for drilling purposes. These drilling rigs which account for approximately USD 1 thousand per day are to be procured per project. Owing to such high investments in a single project, end users prefer hiring contractors or deploying these setups on a rental basis.

The extent of regionalization of key MWD drilling tool manufacturers in holding a customer base among domestic markets are presumed to account for continuing importance not only in the geographic proximity but also in the economic vicinity of the companies. The key manufacturers providing MWD tools have a strong worldwide presence, especially in oil & gas countries. For instance, Halliburton and Honeywell International, Inc. operate at a global scale offering their product and services to the oil & gas exploration companies. However, it is observed that the operations of oil & gas excavation are carried out at regional clusters with countries such as Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Kuwait, Russia, and the U.S. extracting a substantial amount of crude oil as compared to regions of the world.

Location Insights

The onshore location segment accounted for a revenue share of 56.9.0% in 2019 owing to its extreme onshore drilling activities. For instance, the global rig count for onshore rigs stood at 687 rigs in April 2020 as compared to the offshore rig count of 228. The majority of market revenue is generated through onshore drilling operations.

The offshore segment is anticipated to account for the fastest CAGR of 8.8% over the projected period owing to the rising deep water and ultra-deep-water exploration and production activities. Moreover, directional drilling accounts for the highest market share in the offshore segment, thereby positively influencing the measurement, while drilling product demand across the market.

Industry participants are targeting several potential offshore projects in countries of North America such as Canada to enhance oil and gas production and boost revenue generation. For instance, in 2018, BP Canada Energy Group proposed an offshore exploration drilling project within exploration licenses in the Orphan Basin. All these developments will positively impact the market for measurement while drilling over the forecast period.

Well Type Insights

The horizontal drilling segment held the largest revenue share of 26.7% in 2019. The segment is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 6.1% over the projected period. It requires accuracy in the visualization of the drilling direction in three dimensions and in the determination of bit location, thereby bolstering the growth of the market for measurement while drilling. Rising exploration of untapped resources due to growing oil demand has resulted in increasing unconventional drilling activities.

For instance, North America is witnessing an increase in unconventional drilling rigs as the horizontal and directional rig count has enhanced largely in 2019. As of June 6th, 2020, 269 horizontal rigs are present in North America as compared to the presence of 29 directional rigs and 7 vertical rigs signifying the rising adoption of measurement while drilling services across the region.

Directional drilling accounted for 17.6% of the total revenue share in 2019 in the measurement while drilling market. Rising offshore exploration activities boost directional drilling demand owing to cost and efficiency benefits. Several basins such as the Powder River basin in the U.S. are deployed with advanced electro-magnetic measurement while drilling tools to enhance oil and gas production through directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

Global measurement while drilling market share

Conventional reserves majorly use vertical drilling for exploration activities. However, these reserves are declining at a faster rate than the rate of replenishment and will be unable to meet the growing energy demand. Operators are combining multi-stage hydraulic fracturing with less expensive vertical drilling in areas rich with hydrocarbon formations such as Permian Basin to balance out the operational cost while maintaining the drilling efficiency.

Regional Insights

North America accounted for the largest revenue share occupying 21.9% of the market in 2019. Increasing exploration activities for untapped resources due to rising oil demand has resulted in increasing unconventional drilling activities. As numerous known reserves of oil and natural gas cannot be recovered by conventional means, hence the adoption of advanced technologies such as measurement while drilling will reduce the cost of exploration activities and enhance recovery efficiency associated with oil sands, tar sands, unconventional gas, and shale gas.

Rise in global crude oil prices will result to enhance drilling activities in the country. For instance, Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), Alberta which is national trade association of Canada has expected to witness significant increase in the drilling activities across the region. Canada has a presence of various unconventional oil and gas basins that are expected to dominate the exploration & development in the forecast period. With this extensive infrastructure and favorable regulatory regimes are some of the key factors that will further complement the MWD/LWD market growth in the country.

The U.S. government is investing in numerous oil and gas unconventional drilling projects in order to boost economic production out of fossil fuels. For instance, in January 2018 U.S. Energy department directed funds worth USD 30.0 million for R&D on unconventional shale development. The selected projects are located in Mississippi and Louisiana estimated to contain around 7.0 million sweet crude oil that can be drilled using advanced techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The usage of these techniques will fuel the market for measurement while drilling.

Measurement While Drilling Market Trend by Region

In the Asia Pacific, the market was valued at USD 3.9 million in 2019 and is estimated to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Rising investments and increasing demand for energy in emerging nations such as Indonesia, China, and India have contributed to the growth of the market for measurement while drilling across the world. Increasing deepwater and ultra-deepwater drilling activities will further drive the regional demand.

China is the largest oilfield services market in Asia-Pacific. In order to meet domestic demand, the country is planning to reduce its dependency on import of natural gas, and shifting towards exploiting its shale gas reserves. Moreover, the country has urged National Oil companies (NOC’s) and state owned energy companies to draft an optimum extraction plan to ensure increasing domestic production of natural gas. 

China Oilfield Services Company is one of the major players in the MWD/LWD systems market in the country. The company has made strong plans to progress and benefit from the international energy market recovery. Moreover, it has made significant technological advances to tap into additional markets on top of its traditional business. Aggressive step being taken by Chinese government and companies to enhance recovery of shale gas are expected to enhance the market for MWD/LWD systems market in China in the forecast period.

U.K. is a major oil and gas producer along with production of coal, construction materials and industrial materials such as potash and kaolin in the European region. The mineral-enriched region UK Continental Shelf production levels have been more than 42.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and around 20 boe which are expected to remain unexplored. However, in recent years, U.K has observed low levels of exploration activity. The offshore exploration drilling activity has decreased from 14 wells in 2017 to 8 wells in 2018 according to Oil and Gas Authority of U.K. 

In March 2019, Italian company Eni awarded the drilling contract to TechnipFMC for developing the offshore Merakes gas field in Indonesia using advanced unconventional drilling techniques. Moreover, the government of Indonesia supports favorable trade policies such as a 0% import duty on imports of drilling platforms, thereby bolstering the demand for unconventional drilling techniques.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market for measurement while drilling is highly competitive in nature owing to the presence of major companies. The market for measurement while drilling is characterized by the severe risk associated with oil and gas exploration activities. The majority share of the global industry is captured by prominent market participants. Companies are indulging in several strategic initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions with an aim to expand their services and product portfolio, gain enhanced market share, lower operational costs, and increase operational efficiency. Some of the prominent players in the measurement while drilling market include:

  • Schlumberger

  • Halliburton

  • Weatherford International Ltd.

  • Cathedral Energy Services

  • National Oilwell Varco

  • Gyrodata

  • Scientific Drilling International

  • Leam Drilling Systems LLC

  • Jindal Drilling & Industries Ltd.

  • Nabors Industries Ltd.

  • Calmena Energy Services

Measurement While Drilling Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 12.9 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 21.8 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 7.8% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Location, well type, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Norway; Russia;  China; India; Indonesia; Brazil; Argentina; UAE; Saudi Arabia

Key companies profiled

Schlumberger; Halliburton; Weatherford International Ltd.; Cathedral Energy Services; National Oilwell Varco; General Electric Oil and Gas; Gyrodata; Scientific Drilling International; Leam Drilling Systems LLC; Jindal Drilling & Industries Ltd.; Nabors Industries Ltd.; Calmena Energy Services

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Global Measurement While Drilling Market Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global measurement while drilling market report based on location, well type, and region:

Measurement While Drilling Market Segmentation

  • Location Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Onshore

    • Offshore

  • Well type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Horizontal

    • Directional

    • Vertical

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Norway

      • The U.K.

      • Russia

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Indonesia

    • Central and South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • Middle East and Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

      • UAE

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