Well stimulation is carried out to enhance the production of hydrocarbons from the subsurface by increasing the flow rate of oil from a reservoir. Sometimes, a newly drilled well also requires well stimulation methods for the optimal production of oil & gas. This depends on the type of formation and permeability & porosity of subsurface rocks. Well stimulation methods are used in particular types of situations where the natural flow of the crude oil from the reservoir becomes low and needs to be improved for economic and effective oil recovery. Common well stimulation methods used to improve well flow rate are hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, and matrix acidizing. Well construction, drilling, and well completion methods strongly effect the usage of chemicals and materials for well stimulation. Well stimulation primarily comprises hydraulic fracturing process followed by acid wash and matrix acidization. Hydraulic fracturing includes various chemicals and materials for job feasibility.
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Hydraulic fracturing is performed to enhance the flow of the crude oil from the reservoir formation to the well. Extremely high pressure is applied to the subsurface reservoir rocks by the help of fracturing gels and water to induce fractures in the rocks, which on other hand provide additional flow paths for the oil to flow toward the well. Commonly used materials and chemicals for hydraulic fracturing are fracturing foams, water, cross-linking agents, emulsifiers, gel breakers, proppants, surfactants, biocides, and corrosion inhibitors. Hydraulic fracturing process also depends on the type of well drilled and well completion process. Wells are drilled vertically and horizontally depending on the thickness of the oil reservoir. Fracturing process and stimulation materials also strongly depend on the type of well.
Depending on the type of well, the well stimulation materials market can be segmented into well stimulation technology and stimulation material types. The stimulation method can be segmented further into hydraulic fracturing, which can be further sub-segmented into multistage fracturing and re-fracturing. Another segment of the well stimulation market is acidization, which can also be sub-segmented into hydrochloric acid wash, matrix acid stimulation, and acid fracturing.
Stimulation material types include proppants, which can be sub-segmented into ceramic proppants, coated sand, and raw sand. Base fluid materials is also a segment of the well stimulation materials market. It can be sub-segmented into polymer gelling agents, surfactants, friction reducers, crosslinking agents, gel breakers, and acids. The acids sub-segment can be further divided into hydrochloric acid, hydro fluoric acid, and natural acids. The fracturing fluid additives segment of the well stimulation materials market can be sub-segmented into biocides, corrosion inhibitors, and scale inhibitors. Most of the fracturing and acidization processes are used in shale oil extraction.
Vast reserves of shale oil and gas across the globe, technological advancements, and rise in popularity of new fracturing & acidizing chemicals are expected to drive the global market for well stimulation materials. Use of latest horizontal multilateral well drilling technology and foam based fracturing methods is also anticipated to boost the demand for well stimulation materials in the near future.
Low prices of crude oil, increase in price of surfactants and inorganic acids, and growth in environmental concerns regarding chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing & acidization processes around the globe are major restraints of the global well stimulation materials market. North America is the leading producer and consumer of well stimulation materials in the world. This can be ascribed to the shale boom and technological superiority in fracturing technologies in the region. It is followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. China has one of the largest reserves of shale gas in Asia Pacific. This is also estimated to drive the market for well stimulation materials in the region.
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Key players operating in the global well stimulation materials market include Akzo Nobel, Albemarle Corporation, BASF SE, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Dorf Ketal Chemicals India, Schlumberger, DuPont (EI) de Nemours, FMC Corporation, Imerys SA, Rio Tinto Group, and Weatherford International.
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