The oilfield chemicals market in North America and Europe earned revenues of $5.37 billion in 2012 and will reach $8.62 billion in 2019, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.
Analysis of the North American and European Oilfield Chemicals Market forecasts the increase in natural gas production will drive the market. Extraction of natural gas from unconventional formations such as shale has become more technologically and economically viable owing to continuous developments in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, thus widening the potential of the oilfield chemicals market.
A key restraint affecting shale gas extraction and hence, the oilfield chemicals market in North America and Europe is the concern over environmental sustainability. Drilling and fracking use different types of chemicals that may affect the environment and public health, especially if they seep into groundwater.
Another concern is water availability, as shale gas exploration and production is a water-intensive procedure. The lack of effective water recycling and the use of low-quality water during the extraction process, along with the shortage of suitable oilfield chemicals add to the challenge.
Sales of chemicals will top $1 trillion by 2018, driven by an uptick in production of natural gas from shale, demand for plastic resins and revival of export markets, according to a report by American Chemistry Council published last month.