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Directional Drilling Market - Introduction of Laser Drilling to Drive Growth | Technavio

Technavio’s latest market research report on the global directional drilling market provides an analysis of the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2017-2021. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.

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Technavio has published a new report on the global directional drilling market from 2017-2021. (Grap ...

Technavio has published a new report on the global directional drilling market from 2017-2021. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The rise in the development of unconventional oil and gas resources will fuel the growth of the global directional drilling market. Unconventional oil and gas resources such as shale oil, tight oil, and coal bed methane are not only costly to produce but are also difficult to recover. Operational efficiencies and technological advances have made unconventional resource exploitation feasible and more profitable. Shale gas boom in the US saw the rise in unconventionally produced natural gas supply. The huge discovery of oil sands in Canada has created a wealth of opportunity for oil production. As the world energy focus shifts toward natural gas and heavy oil, unconventional sources such as shale have seen growth.

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The top three emerging market trends driving the global directional drilling market according to Technavio research analysts are:

  • Technological innovations
  • Discovery of new oil fields
  • Introduction of laser drilling

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Technological innovations

The rising exploration and production of oil and gas in the offshore regions and expansion of drilling operations in deep and ultra-deepwater exploration will fuel the demand for directional drilling in the market. Deep and ultra-deepwater exploration has extreme environmental conditions, and it becomes impertinent to use technology that aids in reaching the target zones and reduces the scope for human error. The deployment of motive directional drilling guidance system with oil and gas exploration has established the use of cognitive computing that directs directional drilling process.

According to Anju Ajaykumar, a lead analyst at Technavio for oil and gas research, “The deployment of motive directional drilling guidance system in oil and gas exploration has pioneered the use of cognitive computing that guides directional drilling process. These systems are designed to guide and monitor multiple wells from an operator’s command center that enable an experienced directional driller to steer multiple wells simultaneously.”

Discovery of new oil fields

The surging demand for energy and increase in global population is propelling the requirement for new oil fields in the market. Companies are investing in the exploration of new oil fields to sustain the competition, increase their profit margins, and gain a competitive advantage in the market. On 10 March 2017, Spanish oil giant Repsol along with privately-held partner Armstrong Energy, announced the discovery of conventional oil in Alaska's North Slope. Such discoveries will fuel the demand for directional drilling where new formations require specialized technologies.

Introduction of laser drilling

The environmentally sensitive areas in the deepwater drilling activities require new methods of drilling to produce crude oil effectively thereby, promoting the development of new technologies for drilling activities. Laser drilling works on the principle where light energy is transferred from the surface through fiber optic cabling. The fiber optic cabling transmits light with negligible loss of energy through total internal reflection, and the energy is transferred to a series of lenses that direct the laser light to the surface of the rock. This beam of light, which is highly concentrated, can cut rock many times faster than the conventional method of drilling.

“The use of laser drilling will increase the opportunities to recover greater reserves of hydrocarbon, save drilling time, and reduce operational costs. This new process will enable precise and accurate drilling, with the ability to cut the rock in select areas,” says Anju.

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