Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a process that has been used by gas companies since the 1940s. The process involves injecting sand, chemicals, and water into a well under carefully controlled conditions to crack or fracture solid rocks and release trapped gas deposits. The development of hydraulic fracturing technology has led to the usage of proppants. Proppants are used during hydraulic fracturing in order to keep the fissures open for the oil and gas to flow towards the well head. These are primarily of three types such as sand, resin-coated and ceramic.
Although the recent plummeting of international crude oil prices has negatively impacted the hydraulic fracturing industry, the overall outlook on the future prospects of the industry is positive. The proppant market is expected to register significant growth in the near future due to anticipated increase in global crude oil prices, which is likely to revamp the global shale industry.
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Proppant Market: Drivers
Although the crude oil market is going through a slump, increasing energy demands all over the world are projected to provide an impetus to the market. This, in turn, is anticipated to augur well for the hydraulic fracturing- and proppant- market. After witnessing the shale boom in North America, many countries across the globe are exploring shale prospects in respective shale plays. The proppant market is expected to register increased revenues and volumes with shale exploration picking pace in such countries.
Proppant Market: Restraints
One of the key restraints in the proppant market can be attributed to the prevailing low international crude oil prices. The plummeting of crude oil prices makes shale extraction uneconomical and as a result, the proppant market revenues decline due to decreased hydraulic fracturing activity.
Proppant Market: Segmentation
The proppant market has been segmented into the types of proppants used for hydraulic fracturing. Sand, resin coated and ceramic are the three types of proppants used for hydraulic fracturing. Within the proppant market, sand proppant is most widely used for hydraulic fracturing. However, the type of proppant to be used in coming years most likely depends on the price of crude oil in the international market.
In terms of geography, the proppant market has been segmented into North and Central American region wherein the U.S. & Canada and Mexico is considered respectively. Amongst these regions, the North American region accounts for a leading share in the proppant market, both in terms of value as well as volume.
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Proppant Market: Key Players
The key players in the proppant market include U.S. Silica, Carbo Ceramics, and Hi Crush LP Partners.