Proppant is a solid material designed to keep hydraulic fracture open during treatment. Hydraulic fracture is a widely used process in gas companies. Under the process, chemicals, injecting sand, and water are inserted into a well under carefully controlled conditions to crack or fracture solid rocks and release trapped gas deposits. Development of the hydraulic fracturing technology has led to the usage of proppants. Proppants are used during hydraulic fracturing to keep the fissures open for oil and gas to flow toward the well head. There are primarily three types of proppants: sand, resin-coated, and ceramic. The proppants market has been expanding in most of the emerging economies. The market entails significant investment. Traditional drilling methods incur high cost and can adversely affect the availability of resources. Synthetic proppants play a vital role in the extraction process by keeping the supplies of natural gas and oil unhindered. This is fuelling the proppants market.
Various types of proppants are used in the fraction process; however, synthetic proppants provide better performance under high pressure conditions in reservoirs at greater depth. This is anticipated to augment the synthetic proppants market during the forecast period. Rise in usage of proppants in the oil & gas industry has boosted the demand for proppants across the globe. However, implementation of stringent government regulations to reduce hydraulic fracturing due to its hazardous environmental impact is hampering the market.
Global Synthetic Proppants Market: Key Segments
Based on type, the synthetic proppants market can be segmented into ceramic beads, aluminum beads, sintered bauxite, coated sand, and others. Ceramic proppants are manufactured from kaolin clay or non-metallurgical bauxite, which is sintered to reduce the water content and increase density, roundness, and strength. Synthetic proppants provide an additional benefit; their specific gravity and grain size can be matched to the viscosity of the fracking fluid. Thus, enhanced properties of synthetic proppants are estimated to drive the market during the forecast period.
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Global Synthetic Proppants Market: Applications
In terms of application, the synthetic proppants market can be divided into hale gas, tight gas, coal bed methane, and others. Increase in application of synthetic proppants in shale gas extraction due to its usage in transportation and power generation is projected to augment the market during the forecast period. Furthermore, presence of unexplored shale gas reserves in economies such as China, Argentina, Australia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil is likely to boost the demand for synthetic proppants during the forecast period.
Global Synthetic Proppants Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region, the global synthetic proppants market can be segregated into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to be a rapidly growing region of the synthetic proppants market owing to the rise in demand for these proppants in hydraulic fracturing application for exploration of unconventional natural oil and gas. Synthetic proppants are widely used, as they offer higher resistance to crushing. They also possess higher permeability under high confining stress. China, Japan, and India are the key countries of the synthetic proppants market. North America accounts for major share of the market. The market in the region is expected to expand significantly in the near future owing to the increase in drilling activities for shale gas in the U.S. and Canada. The market in Europe is anticipated to expand at a significant pace from 2018 to 2026, due to the increase in consumption of synthetic proppants in various applications in the region. Latin America and Middle East & Africa also constitute key share of the global synthetic proppants market.
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