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Artificial lift is used in oil wells to increase pressure within the reservoir to bring oil to the surface. This machine is deployed to recover more production from oil reservoirs where the natural drive energy is very weak.
Moreover, the rising availability of recoverable shale gas will also lead to the large-scale deployment of artificial lifts at the shale gas reserves. Artificial lifting methods are utilized in horizontal shale gas-producing wells to lift the accumulated fluids and aid in sustaining the performance of the well. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), shale gas reserves are found in about 30 states of the country. At present, the Marcellus shale play in the Appalachian Basin is the largest source of natural gas from shale. This basin spans over Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
In recent years, artificial lift manufacturers, such as Schlumberger N.V., Weatherford International PLC, Halliburton Company, Flotek Industries Inc., Borets International Limited, and National Oilwell Varco Inc., have been focusing on product launches and acquisitions to cater to the demands of several exploration and production (E&P) companies. For instance, in February 2018, Weatherford International PLC introduced new software for its ForeSite production optimization platform, which maximizes the support for reciprocating rod-lift systems. This platform optimizes these systems by providing support to gas-lift and electrical submersible pump (ESP) systems.
Currently, artificial lift manufacturers are mostly involved in the production of ESPs due to the fact that these devices consist of tightly contained units which help in keeping the liquid out of the internal and housing components. These units also ensure that there is no leakage and short circuit in pumps when the device is submerged in oil and gas reserves. ESP systems use direct pressure through the pipe to bring the oil and gas to the surface. Additionally, the manufacturers also produce progressive cavity pumps, gas lifts, and rod lifts which are used for E&P activities.
Globally, North America dominated the artificial lift market in the recent past and it is projected to retain its dominance in the forecast years. This can be ascribed to the presence of several artificial lift manufacturers in the region and the existence of numerous mature oil fields and shale gas reserves in the U.S. For instance, the total production of natural gas in the U.S. increased by 9.8% from 2018 to 2019, as per the EIA.
In the coming years, North America and Europe will emerge as the largest consumers of artificial lifts, due to the growing focus on unconventional sources of natural gas and crude oil which require such devices in abundance, in the regions. Moreover, the presence of established manufacturers also supports the use of artificial lifts in these regions. Furthermore, Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Rest of the World (RoW) regions are also expected to witness the large-scale use of such devices in the forthcoming years, owing to the rising E&P activities, mounting shale gas production, and increasing technological advancements in artificial lift systems in the regions.
Thus, the mounting number of mature oil and gas reserves and the surging shift toward unconventional natural gas reserves will also boost the deployment of artificial lifting systems in the forthcoming years.
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