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US fracking fluids market at $26bn

According to a new technical market research report, The US market for Fracking Fluids, prepared by Dr. Gordon Nangmenyi for BCC Research, the US market for fracking fluids was valued at US$18.4 billion in 2012 and $26 billion for 2013.
US fracking fluids market at $26bn

According to a new technical market research report, The US market for Fracking Fluids, prepared by Dr. Gordon Nangmenyi for BCC Research, the US market for fracking fluids was valued at US$18.4 billion in 2012 and $26 billion for 2013. BCC Research projects the market to grow to nearly $37.3 billion by 2018, and register a five-year compound annual growth rate of 7.4% from 2013 to 2018.

Hydraulic fracturing, the process for fracturing underground rock formations with a mixture of pressurized water, propping agents and chemical additives to release petroleum or natural gas for extraction, has changed the global energy landscape for the world and in particular the US. The process, which relies on frac fluids, has enabled the shale gas and tight oil segments to become the fastest growing in the United States.

Since the first commercial application of hydraulic fracturing to stimulate oil and gas production in 1946, the technology has developed into a reliable process that has found use in more than 1 million producing wells across the US. Today, 33.3% of gas production and 26.2% of oil production emanate from the shale resources that employed the use of hydraulic fracturing. Since the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 to 2018 for shale gas and oil production from hydraulic fracturing will reach 5.4% and 8.3%, respectively, the market for the fracking fluids that comprise the technology has consequently grown in importance. Furthermore, industry experts estimate that 60% to 80% of all new and existing wells drilled will employ hydraulic fracturing to remain viable.

Growing environmental and health concerns over the technology have pushed oil and gas operators to seek new fracking fluid components that offer both financial and environmentally sustainable benefits. Thus, the nexus between the growing domestic energy production and increasing concern over the environmental and health concerns of the hydraulic fracturing technology have forced closer scrutiny of the market prospects for fracking fluid in the US.

The market for fracking fluid varies considerably based on geographic region. The fastest growth rate over the next five years will occur in the Northeast region. The region predominantly produces natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, beneath Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia and also from the Antrim Shale, in the state of Michigan.

The type of hydrocarbon targeted for development strongly influences the fracking fluid market. Producing shale oil through hydrofracking uses approximately 10 times more fracking fluid than producing shale gas. Specifically, the shale oil process consumes 10.1 gallons of water per 1 million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) versus 1.2 gal of water per MMBtu for the shale gas process. Thus, though there is a much greater amount of technically recoverable resources (TRR) for gas shales, the market for fracking fluid in the oil shale regions is just as attractive.

The greatest external market drivers for fracking fluids include the activities of the well operators and oil services companies, and both not only drive the discovery of new shales, but also influence the type of hydrofracking technology implemented to maximize extraction. Other factors that strongly influence demand include the technological progress of water treatment and recycling of fracking fluids, and the establishment of new water supply channels and substitutes for water during the fracking process. Heightened social awareness concerning hydrofracking and greater scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency will also strongly influence the fracking fluid market.

This study provides a comprehensive overview of the frac fluids market in the US, including the hydraulic fracturing technologies most widely used, including conventional, nonwater horizontal, staged fracks for hydrocarbon harvesting (zipper fracks), and gas-based fracking.

It discusses the amount and type of production, and presents market forecasts over the next five-year period (2013-2018) for each major component and the specific additives in use.

The research covers the market drivers propelling the growth of the fracking fluid industry, the industry structure, trends, and the company profiles of the major production operators and fracking fluid suppliers for the US domestic market. Extensive analysis of the production from each type of hydraulic fracturing technology supports the estimated production growth rates for the specific fracking fluids presented.

Overall, this study applies to the energy production and chemical manufacturing industry sectors. The most relevant target audience within these sectors includes executives in the oil, gas and chemical engineering and supply sectors, directors, strategic planners, and sales and marketing managers.

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