Rising exploration & production (E&P) activities in North America and increasing technological advancements for crude oil recovery are the major factors providing a boost to the global low strength proppants market. Low-strength proppants are required in high volumes during hydraulic fracturing process since these have an ability to increase the flow of oil & gas. In the recent years, the rise in investments for exploration of facilities has propelled the consumption of such proppants. Owing to these factors, the global low strength proppants market is expected to generate $5,294.8 million revenue by 2030, advancing at a CAGR of 9.8% during the forecast period.
Crude Oil to Retain Its Dominance during the Forecast Period
The low strength proppants market on the basis of end use is classified into shale gas, crude oil, coal-bed methane, and others. Among these, the crude oil category is expected to demonstrate the fastest growth during the forecast period. There is more than 400 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil across Saudi Arabia, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S., and in order to explore reserves, the consumption of low-density proppant is projected to increase.
U.S. oil & gas explorers are putting immense focus on extraction of shale gas in the country. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the country’s shale gas production accounted for 75% of its total natural gas production in 2019. This high volume showcases the dominance of the shale gas category in terms of the consumption of low-strength proppants.
Geographically, the low strength proppants market in North America is expected to witness the highest growth on account of increase in investments by leading market players operating in the region. In addition, the rise in crude oil and natural gas exports is one of the major factors boosting the consumption of low-density proppants, in the North American region.
Geographical Expansion of Market Players to Gain Competitive Edge
Key players in the low-strength market are significantly involved in expanding their geographical coverage in order to gain a competitive edge. For instance, in August 2018, Black Mountain Sand LLC announced the expansion in Western Oklahoma’s Mid-Continent, which will have an annual production capacity of 3 million tons. With the addition of this mine, the company is the largest in-basin sand provider in the U.S. with an annual combined capacity of over 19 million tons.
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In addition, in June 2018, Alpine Silica announced the addition of two new plants Van Horn in Texas, and Fay in Oklahoma, adding to its existing portfolio in the Permian basin. The company majorly serves frac sand for the oil & gas sector in order to enhance recovery rates. Such factors are expected to propel the consumption of low-density proppants in the coming years.
Some of the major players operating in the global low strength proppants market include Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc., Black Mountain Sand LLC, Atlas Sand Company LLC, Hi-Crush Inc., U.S. Silica Holdings Inc., Superior Silica Sands LLC (subsidiary of Emerge Energy Services LP), and Carbo Ceramics Inc.