An increase in deep and ultra-deep offshore exploration, along with the growing demand in enhanced productivity requirement, is driving the artificial lift market. Reserves that were earlier considered uneconomical and abandoned, are now getting productive with the use of artificial lift technology. The three-fold rise in subsea production since 2000 has resulted in an unprecedented growth of this market in deep and ultra-deep waters in countries such as Brazil, Gulf of Mexico, Angola, and Nigeria.
The lifts can be broadly categorized as Rod lift, Electric Submersible Pump (ESP), Progressive Cavity Pump (PCP), and Gas lift; each of these are employed for specific wells depending upon the well characteristics and are suitable for specific lifting requirement. Thus, the dominance of a particular lift type changes from region-to-region. Canadian wells are characterized by heavy oil and bitumen production which is driving the PCP market at a growth rate of 10.4%. It has also been observed that the leading players in this market have core competencies in particular lifts and are focused in that technology in specific regions.
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The most common form of artificial lift is the Rod lift that has the maximum penetration by installations. U.S. has the highest potential of Rod lift business and is expected to grow by 6.6%. This will also boost the revenues of component manufacturers such as sucker rods. ESP is mostly used in secondary recovery fields and has the maximum market share by revenue. Russia has the largest market for Electric submersible pumps and is expected to have a modest demand; however, Latin American countries are anticipated to witness the maximum growth. Heavy oil reserves in Canada, Venezuela, and Nigeria drives the demand for PCP in this market. The highest growth is observed in Gas lifts, with high potential in the U.S.; however, it is limited by its requirement of natural gas source at its vicinity.
About 91% of the wells globally, are equipped with the artificial lift system. The penetration of lift systems varies across regions depending on the well maturity. The Middle East and the African regions presently have the least penetration, though, over the passage of time as the wells continue to reach their enhanced recovery stage, it will provide a gigantic opportunity in countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Nigeria, Angola, etc. This could be a major focus area for equipment manufacturers.
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The Capex analysis of oil producing companies is a critical factor to estimate the demand for equipment. The global Capex is expected to grow at about 9.5% till 2018. Perhaps, it will be allocated to subsea operations in Africa and Latin America. This will provide a high scope to the players in this market.
The ecosystem of the artificial lift market is undergoing a major transformation, marked by mergers & acquisitions, new products development, and alliances. The oil producing companies are developing next generation equipment to recover high pressure and high temperature hydrocarbon resources. Equipment companies are embarking on a horizontal integration. The various factors coupled with technological innovations are expected to drive this market at a CAGR of 9.5% till 2018.
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