Clear brine fluids are salt-based fluids that are used for drilling and completion processes. These are utilized after the completion of the drilling procedure in the oil & gas industry. Clear brine fluids play an important role in oil exploration and development. They are available in an extensive range of densities that meet the unique pressure characteristics of each well, and fulfill the stringent requirements of the oil & gas industry. Clear brine fluids can be prepared with one salt or a combination of salts according to the desired density and application. Potassium chloride is the most preferred choice of brine due to its superior inhibiting properties. Various manufacturers offer a wide range of clear brine fluids that are displaced in the reservoir after the completion of the drilling phase. These fluids are specifically designed to reduce formation damage and control formation pressures in the reservoir.
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Increasing number of drilling activities is expected to be one of the primary factors fueling the demand for completion fluids such as clear brine fluids. The rising demand for crude oil and natural gas has been prompting exploration and production companies to engage in extensive drilling activities. This has further boosted the demand for clear brine fluids for completion processes. However, price variations of certain major salts used for manufacturing clear brine fluids such as potassium chloride is expected to slow down the growth of the market. Increasing exploration of several unconventional resources such as coal bed methane (CBM) and shale gas is anticipated to boost demand for drilling activities, which in turn is expected to provide new opportunities for the growth of the clear brine fluids market.
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Potassium chloride exhibited the highest demand numbers, accounting for over 24% of the market share by volume in 2013. This segment serves as an economical source of potassium for inhibitive water-based completion and drilling fluids. Demand for other brine fluids has also been high due to their wide consumption in the formulation of fluid systems for controlling formation pressures. Clear brine fluids such as calcium chloride are widely used in the oil & gas industry, wherein the inhibitive properties of calcium fluid are required to prevent the hydration and migration of swelling clays. Potassium chloride clear brine fluids are also anticipated to be the fastest growing product segment over the forecast period.
North America witnessed the highest demand for clear brine fluids given the large number of oil and gas resources and development of shale gas resources in the region. Owing to rapid technology advancement over the years, oil manufacturers have expanded their drilling operations away from the shore, and shifted their focus towards onshore drilling activities. This has resulted in an increasing demand for completion fluids such as clear brine fluids that are widely used in drilling operations, particularly in the U.S Gulf of Mexico. However, emerging economies in Asia Pacific are expected to witness the fastest growth rate in the clear brine fluids market, growing at a CAGR of 10.7% between 2014 and 2020.
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Albemarle Corporation, Great Lake Solutions, Halliburton Company, Israel Chemicals Ltd., M-I SWACO, and TETRA Technologies, Inc are some of the key players involved in the clear brine fluids industry.
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