Hydrate inhibitors are chemical substances or devices that are designed to control the formation of hydrates during the process of natural gas production. Natural gas hydrates are ice-like solids that form when natural gas and free water are combined at low temperature and high pressure. It is formed at a gas or an oil condensate well.
Hydrate inhibitors aid in reducing hydrate plugs and line blockages, which occur due to hydrate formation. Hydrate inhibitors are used where mechanical methods such as insulated flow line and active heating are not feasible.
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The market for hydrate inhibitors is expected to exhibit high growth in the near future, owing to increasing demand for natural gas & crude oil. Growth of hydrate inhibitors market is dependent on natural gas consumption as hydrate inhibitors are used to prevent or reduce gas hydrate formation in offshore and onshore production system. According to the International Energy Outlook 2017, U.S. Energy Information Administration, world energy consumption is estimated to increase from 575 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2015 to 663 quadrillion Btu by 2030. Furthermore, it is estimated to increase to 736 quadrillion Btu by 2040, thereby increasing demand for various energy sources including natural gas.
However, political instability and low prices of oil is a major factor negatively affecting growth of the global hydrate inhibitors market. According to Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), political instability has negative impacted oil and gas production in Venezuela in the Latin American region and it has witnessed a significant decrease. For instance, according to The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude oil production in Venezuela was 2.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2016, which is decreased to 1.6 million b/d in January 2018.
The global hydrate inhibitor market was valued at US$ 170.0 Million in 2017 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 6.9% in terms of revenue, over the forecast period (2017 – 2025) to reach US$ 290.3 million by 2025.
Hydrate inhibitors market is expected to grow rapidly in Asia Pacific during the forecast period (2018-2025). This is attributed to increasing demand for hydrate inhibitors from countries including China, Japan, South Korea, and India. Asia Pacific is heavily reliant on hydrocarbon imports from Middle East and Africa. According to the Energy Information Administration, India is host to large gas reserves off its east coast. Also, China’s exploitable shale gas reserves are estimated at 21.8 trillion cubic meters, with proven reserves at 544.1 billion cubic meters.
In addition to this, increasing government initiatives for supporting new development and technology in hydrate inhibitor in offshore is also expected to aid in growth of the market. For instance, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) has sanctioned US$ 37.04 million for the National Gas Hydrate Programme (NGHP) in 2016. These activities are shared between OIDB, ONGC, Oil India and Indian Oil Corporation for the development of hydrate inhibitors in offshore.
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Key players operating in the global hydrate inhibitors market include Halliburton, Ashland Global Specialty Chemicals Inc., Ecolab Inc., Baker Hughes Inc., Innospec Inc., JSC Gazprom Neftekhim Salavat, BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Clariant AG, GasHydrate LLC, and Schlumberger Limited.