The global pigging industry has come a long way since the time pigs were used to remove paraffin from crude oil pipelines. Today, intelligent pigging is being widely used by oil and gas companies to carry out maintenance of pipelines.
The global intelligent pigging services market was valued at US$ 412.4 Mn in 2014, and is expected to expand at 6.3% CAGR through 2025. These figures are according to a new market research report, “Intelligent Pigging Services Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2025” by Future Market Insights (FMI).
On a macroeconomic level, the recovery in the global economy has had a positive impact on the oil and gas sector. Supportive monetary conditions, robust labour market conditions, and improving consumer confidence are fuelling the consumption of oil and gas, especially in emerging economies of Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) and Latin America.
On a more specific level, stringent government and industry regulations and advancements in pipeline inspection and maintenance are fuelling the adoption of intelligent pigging solutions. Of particular interest is the deformation (DEF) and multi data set (MDS) technology. These technologies offer pipeline operators an effective method of locating dents, corrosion, and seam defects.
The intelligent pigging service market is fiercely competitive, which has led to price wars. The profit margins are shrinking every year, making it difficult for businesses to gain sizable profits. Also, incorporating intelligent pigging services, especially those based on MFL, UT, and EMAT require substantial capital investment — a major challenge in emerging economies. It is expected that the average price of intelligent pigging technologies to increase by approximately 5% to 7% annually in the next 10 years. So, lack of capital can impede the growth of this market.
MFL technology held a dominant, 66.6% value share of the global intelligent pigging services market in 2015. We expect MFL to remain the preferred choice for pipeline operators during the forecast period 2015-2025. Well, the reason MFL has higher demand than UT is because it doesn’t require a medium for the pig to travel through the pipeline, providing a greater degree of flexibility.
EMAT is fast emerging as a viable alternative for UT technology. The adoption of EMAT is growing in North America and Western Europe. Application of EMAT is growing for crack detection pipelines in the oil and gas industry.
Although intelligent pigging provides a host of benefits to pipeline project managers, a key concern is that around one-third of the total oil and gas pipeline network around the world is unpiggable.
In a bid to incorporate pigging, many companies are considering investment in developing infrastructure that enables pigging. Pipeline operators are focusing on investing in launchers, receivers, and related technologies to make pipelines piggable.
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The adoption of advanced inspection technologies is growing steadily in the intelligent pigging services market. Improvements in data analysis and computing have led to significant improvements in analysing the collected pipeline inspection data.
North America is the most lucrative region in the global intelligent pigging services market. The North America intelligent pigging services market was valued at US$ 216.7 Mn in 2015, and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% through 2025. It is expected that the intelligent pigging services market will reach a valuation of US$ 401.2 Mn by the end of 2025.
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Mr. Sudip Saha