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Extensive exploration of unconventional gas reserves

14th January 2014


The increase in natural gas production is expected to drive the North American and European oilfield chemicals market. Extraction of natural gas from unconventional formations such as shale has become more technologically and economically viable owing to continuous developments in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, thus widening the potential of the oilfield chemicals market.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the North American and European Oilfield Chemicals Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $5.37 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach $8.62 billion in 2019.

“Escalating demand for energy driven by a burgeoning population and rapid urbanisation, coupled with rising energy prices is supporting natural gas production, especially from unconventional reservoirs,” said Frost & Sullivan Chemicals and Materials Industry Analyst Anna Jarosik. “This intensifies the need for highly specialised oilfield chemicals.”

A key restraint affecting shale gas extraction and hence, the oilfield chemicals market in North America and Europe is the concern over environmental sustainability. Drilling and fracking use different types of chemicals that may affect public health, especially if they seep into groundwater.

Another huge social concern is water availability, as shale gas exploration and production is a water-intensive procedure. The lack of effective water recycling and the use of low-quality water during the extraction process, along with the shortage of suitable oilfield chemicals add to the challenge.

“Therefore, research and innovative in oilfield chemicals are extremely crucial to further market growth in North America and Europe,” commented Jarosik. “Unclear regulations and an unattractive investment climate must also be addressed to open up additional opportunities for oilfield chemical manufacturers, chiefly in Europe.”

For information, www.frost.com







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