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New Report Details Global Proppant Opportunity

A new market research report is available on proppants. The report – released by – notes that in 1947, the first fracturing was done with silica sand. Fracturing sand is the basic type of proppant material. Research and development on proppant resulted in two comparatively new proppants: resin-coated proppants and ceramic proppants.

The report also notes that frac sand is a low-cost untreated sand proppant with the 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 a long time to go into commercial use.

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.

According to the report, “the hydraulic fracturing market is mainly concentrated in North America; hence the demand for proppant is largest here where many leading oil field service companies operate. All the big oilfield service companies are operating in the U.S. There are several important players in North American proppant market such as Cadre Proppants Momentive, Saint Gobain Proppants, Carbo Ceramics and many other small companies in frac sand business.”

While the North American hydraulic fracturing market is nearly reaching maturity, Rest of the World's (ROW) market is still in its infancy. However, ROW has significant share in global proppant manufacturing. Proppants are exported from manufacturing centers such as China, Russia, Brazil and India to the demand center of North America.

Proppant production in ROW accounts for about 20 percent of global production. However, production in this region is expected to grow at a higher CAGR of 15.8 percent due to two main reasons:

  • Players in low-cost manufacturing destinations such as India and China are expected to multiply due to the export opportunities to North America. In addition, hydraulic fracturing is poised to take off in some countries such as Poland and China.
  • Production is also expected to commence to cater to these new demand centers. The Chinese manufacturers have started to capture the share of the proppant market especially in North America.

This report estimates the proppant market in terms of volume and value. This has been broken down into component regions and further split into countries. This report also evaluates the proppant production in various regions by type of the proppant.