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Global Fracturing Proppant Market
[2015-11-03]

In 1947, first fracturing was done with fracturing silica sand. Fracturing sand is the basic type of proppant material and is being used since the first fracturing. The R&D on proppant resulted in two comparatively new proppants named resin coated proppants and ceramic proppants. Frac sand is low price untreated sand proppant with lowest conductivity among the three. Ceramic proppants and resin coated proppants are high quality, high strength, and high conductivity proppants; and are used in very low permeability wells or in multiple stages fracturing. Non-grain proppants like CO2, N2, and LPG are on the horizon but will take long time to get commercialized.

Currently, there are three main types of proppants: frac sand, resin coated proppants (RCP), and ceramic proppants. Each proppant type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and reservoir engineers decide on the type to be used depending on geology, availability, prices, and Government regulations. The market size in terms of value of the proppant market in 2013 was estimated to be about 45.12 million tons and is projected to reach 84.20 million tons by 2019, at a CAGR of 10.7% from 2014 to 2019. The proppant market is estimated to reach $19,022.71 million by 2019.

North America holds the majority of the proppant production market with share of almost 78%. Proppant supply chains are well established in North America, since hydraulic fracturing is a well-established technology in the region. There is a combination of drivers, which is pushing its hydraulic fracturing market such as the favorable Government regulations with regard to oil and gas exploration. For example, in the U.S. landowners hold the rights to reserves, which give them motivation to sign leases with oil and gas firms to receive royalties. Also, the geology in North America is more favorable than in other parts of the world, and resources are more accessible. This is due to decades of conventional oil and gas exploration; the U.S. and Canada also have a robust pool of skilled competitive labor. Although the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing has been a worry to North Americans, the density of population is low.

The global Proppant market witnessed a significant growth in the past few years and this trend is estimated to continue in the coming years. Innovative techniques increased emphasis on new technology and new products are driving the market.

The hydraulic fracturing market is mainly concentrated in North America; hence the demand for proppant is largest here, many leading oil field service companies operate. Hence, proppant production is also much bigger than rest of the world. All the big oilfield service companies are operating in the U.S.

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