LONDON — Driven in large part by the rapid expansion of shale oil and gas drilling and production in North America, the world market for oil field specialty chemicals at the service company level reached $25 billion in 2014, up from nearly $16 billion in 2010, but significant declines in oil price have dampened the demand outlook for oil field chemicals for the 2015 to 2019 period, according to a new global market study from IHS (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of information and analysis.
The IHS Chemical 2015 Specialty Chemicals Update Report – Oil Field Chemicals covers historical developments and future projections for supply, demand, capacity and trade in the global oil field chemicals markets for 2015 to 2019, and projects sales of oil field chemicals will grow annually at a rate of approximately 4% to more than $30 billion in 2019, based on volume growth and price changes in effect at the end of 2014.
“During the past five years, we saw unprecedented market growth for oil field chemicals, which has been driven by the rapid development and production of shale oil and gas resources in North America,” said Stefan Schlag, director of inorganic chemicals and mineral and mining products at IHS Chemical and lead author of the report. “We expect demand for these chemicals to continue to grow, but at a much slower rate than in the previous period.”
Oil field chemicals typically fall under three categories: drilling fluids, cementing and stimulation, and oil production. Drilling muds and fluids are chemical systems used to lubricate the drill bit, to control formation pressure, and to remove formation cuttings. They can be oil- or water-based depending on the geologic formation. Cementing uses chemicals to cement steel pipes or casing to the sides of the borehole.