Hydraulic fracturing is a technique that has been commercially used for 65 years. Today, in the U.S., a combination of horizontal drilling and advanced hydraulic fracturing that employs cutting-edge technologies, has enabled high levels of oil and natural gas extraction. The fracking process is used in nine out of 10 natural gas wells in the U.S., wherein millions of gallons of sand, water, and chemicals are pumped into the ground to cause rocks to fracture and release trapped gas.
According to a research report by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global hydraulic fracturing market stood at 21.34 MHHP in 2013 and is expected to reach 33.97 MHHP by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 5.30% between 2014 and 2022. By revenue, the global hydraulic fracturing market will reach US$66,059.42 million in 2022 increasing from US$38,320.0 million in 2013, growing at 6.12% CAGR from 2014 to 2022.
Fracking Market Growth Looks Promising in Unconventional Reservoirs
Hydraulic fracturing entails safe tapping of shale and other tight-rock formations, by drilling one mile or more below ground surface before turning horizontal gradually, and then further drilling several thousand feet to reach the well. Fracking, for the most part, is used for unconventional reservoirs such as tight gas, shale gas, coal bed methane, tight oil, and shale oil.
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However, over the years, fracking has been finding application in conventional oil and gas fields, particularly wells which were considered uneconomical and were left untapped. With the use of hydraulic fracturing, fields that were considered exhausted have started producing crude oil and natural gas.
TMR’s research report looks into the utilization of hydraulic fracturing and how the overall hydraulic fracturing market will be directed in the coming years: Here’s a lowdown;
- Hydraulic fracturing is widely used in mature fields, which accounts for over 70% hydrocarbons production.
- Due to horizontal drilling being employed, hydraulic fracturing is economically viable in terms of time and cost for extraction of crude oil and natural gas.
- Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the U.S. have implemented hydraulic fracturing for both conventional and unconventional oil and gas fields.
- As per the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), large reserves of recoverable shale gas and shale oil are present in North America. This is attracting upstream companies all over the globe as shale gas is environmentally sustainable in comparison to oil and coal.
- In the U.S., hydraulic fracturing is the single biggest reason for the change in the energy scenario from scarcity to abundance, which has resulted in an energy revolution.
- In the next decade, in the U.S., up to 80% of natural gas wells that were earlier locked in shale and tight-rock formations, will require fracking.
- As per EIA, presently, the U.S. is the leading natural gas producer in the world. It is estimated by 2020, natural gas production will increase by 56% with shale accounting for a major contribution.
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Hydraulic fracturing has large economic benefits associated, and the shale rock segment can be a game changer for regions that are abundant with these reserves.