Global offshore drilling fluid market is anticipated to witness rapid growth over the forecast period owing to rising investments in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, offshore West Africa, and Brazil. The market is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of over 8.0% from 2015 to 2022.
Water-based Fluids (WBF) were the largest product segment and accounted for over 50% of total market revenue in 2014. WBF is anticipated to be the fastest growing product segment at an estimated CAGR of over 8% from 2015 to 2022.
North America dominated the global industry and accounted for over 50% of the total market revenue in 2014 owing to rising shale prices[G1] in this region. Central & South America is anticipated to witness an estimated CAGR of over 8% from 2015 to 2022. This high growth may be attributed to rising drilling activities in this region, particularly in Brazil and Venezuela. Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow at an above average growth rate owing to rising number of offshore discoveries in this region.
Growing E&P activities in areas such as Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil, and West Africa are anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period. These fluids are commonly known as drilling mud. This mud plays a significant role in the drilling process for bore wells, mineral, and oil & gas extraction. Drilling mud is used to carry rock cuttings to the surface, lubricate & cool drill bits, and maintain stability of the well. Major functions include biocides & weighing agents, defoamers, emulsifiers, shale inhibitors, filtration reducers, and corrosion inhibitors.
There have been extensive oil & gas deep sea discoveries globally. Major discoveries including “Golden Triangle” or the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (USGOM), offshore Brazil, and West Africa accounted for over 80% of the total E&P expenditure in 2012. Asia Pacific has been the most attractive investment region and accounted for over 10% of the total E&P expenditure in 2012. Rising E&P activities in South China Sea are anticipated to drive the industry over the next seven years.
Drilling mud has an adverse impact on environment owing to high aromatic content. The EPA limits the use of oil-based drilling fluids, which may cause threat to life at sea and oceans. Drilling mud faces disposal problems, which may affect flora & fauna and human health. Oil-based drilling fluids contain mineral and diesel oils, which may have an adverse impact on human health and life at sea.
On the basis of product, the industry is segmented into Oil-based Fluids (OBF), Water-based Fluids (WBF), and Synthetic-based Fluids (SBF). WBF was the largest product segment and is anticipated to be the fastest growing product segment over the next seven years. The high growth of this segment may be attributed to low threat to human health and sea organisms. Stringent regulatory norms to minimize OBF use are anticipated to drive the WBF market in future.
Drilling mud prices are volatile in nature and vary depending upon the application and product type. Rising drilling fluids demand is anticipated to increase overall profit margins over the forecast period.
North America dominated the global market and accounted for over 55% of the total market revenue in 2014. This high market share may be attributed to rising shale prices in the U.S. Rising drilling activities in Central and South America, particularly in Venezuela and Brazil, are anticipated to drive industry growth at a rapid pace.
Global drilling fluids industry is immensely concentrated among four companies including Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and Newpark accounting for over 70% of the total industry in 2014. Other companies operating in global industry include Tetra Tech, China Oilfield, Weatherford International, Anchor Drilling Fluids USA Inc., and Canadian Energy Services.
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