Proppants Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2020 - 2030

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Proppants Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2020 - 2030

Status : February, 2022 | Industrial

Report Digest

Improvements in fracking technology in North America and Europe due to increased drilling for imparting high permeability is projected to boost the adoption of proppants. The ability to remove hydrocarbons from a known reservoir proves to be the good quality of proppants which is encouraging its application in hydraulic fracturing. As demand and usage of natural gas remains high due to limited conventional resources, the global market for proppants is projected to have a significant growth attributing to its use in fracturing and extraction of natural gas/shale gas.

Demand of Ultra Low Weight Proppants to boost the growth

The bulk density of ULW proppant is 2.5g/cm cube which is more than a fracturing proppant having 1.5g/cm cube which helps in reducing the amount to guar gum used in the fracturing fluid reducing the damage to a reservoir. Energy loss is another factor which can be reduced by ULW proppants thus, boosting its demand during the fracturing process. Their high closure pressure, and good heat resistance are regarded as the demanding factor in shale gas exploitation.

Shale gas as Application of Proppants to have a pervasive growth

Hydrocarbon extraction from shale is performed by using the hydraulic fracturing technique in unconventional reservoirs where 4.5% of proppants are used. Shale gas is expected to increase USA fuel production which encourages the development of new proppants and technologies for exploration.

According to US Energy Information Administration data, production of shale gas grew from 11,415 billion cubic feet to 22,054 billion cubic feet. However, due to covid-19 the demand fell by 5.2 million which is expected to increase up to 6.4 million in 2021. According to MDPI, rise in production of shale gas allows for the drop in gas prices and generate electricity at much lower rate which have led to the demand of proppants by consumers.    

Shale gas production has been progressing in Europe too, especially in France and Poland (by MDPI). According to IEA report, consumption of unconventional natural gas/shale gas is expected to recover about 1.5% in 2021 after 4% downfall in 2020. However, countries like France, Germany, Ireland, and Bulgaria have banned shale gas oil production due to water contamination.

In Asia-Pacific, China makes about 15% of the total resources of shale gas in the world and 81% of the resources in Asia. Chinese National Oil Companies are collaborating with US through mergers and shares for expanding the market of oil and gas industries.  

Concerns regarding less availability and contamination of water may inhibit the growth

98% to 99% of the fracturing fluid is water taken from rivers, lakes, ground waters. As per the survey, 3 million gallons of water is required for manufacturing of hydraulic fracturing. Less availability of water in developing countries may impact the adoption of proppants in the region. Fracking use mud, chemicals and water to extract oil and gas which prevails a risk of water contamination when released into the water supply. However, governments in various countries have taken measures for the treatment of contaminated water, developing countries remain at high risk as technological advancements required for managing water waste are less in these countries.

Competitive Landscape

Prominent players in the proppants sector are Carbo Ceramics Inc (US), COVIA (US), JSC Borovichi Refractories Plant (Russia), U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (US), Hi-Crush Inc (US), Xinmi Wanli Industry Development Co. Atlas Sand Company, LLC (US), HEXION (US), etc.

COVIA (US) completed its expansion of Canoitas facility in Mexico in 2020 enabling COVIA to add 350 tons of annual silica production capacity to expand its customer base in Mexico.

COVIA also expanded its facilities in North America in 2020 for coating and polymers end markets. The expansion aims to create highly efficient modern facility for their customers to have a better experience.

proppants market

Carbo Ceramics Inc., manufacturer of ceramic proppants announced in 2020 to acquire privately held Pinnacle Technologies Inc.. The board of directors of both the companies approved the transaction in 324,226 shares of its common stock and 12.4$ million in cash in exchange for all of the outstanding shares of Pinnacle.  The merger expands the ability to provide production enhancing solutions to E&P companies worldwide.  

Regional outlook

The demand of proppants is highly influenced by construction of shale gas reservoirs, governments spending on oil and gas industries and fracturing.  

United States is anticipated to be one of the leading countries with respect to applications of hydraulic fracturing. Significant increase is there in quantity of oil produced from hydraulically fractured wells as compared to the conventionally fractured wells. About 95% of new wells made in US are hydraulically manufactured which shows the positive impact in sales of proppants.

Predominance of hydraulic fracturing in Russia covering 42% of extra EU imports in 2020 is expected to boost the adoption of proppants in Europe. The share of gas at LNG terminals was 25% followed by pipeline supplies from Norway (23%), and Algeria (22%) in the second quarter of 2020 as per the quarterly report of gas in Europe growing the demand of fracking used for extraction of shale gas in the region. However ban of fracking method in Ireland, France, Germany, and Bulgaria since 4-5 years due to its environmental impact and water contamination may effect its boost in Europe.

Demand for proppants in Asia pacific is likely to grow due to the presence of shale gas reservoirs and hydraulic fracturing where proppants are used for withstanding the pressure. In Asia, frac sand and resin coated segment of proppants are the growing factors as they are anticipated to have 75-85% more demand due to its low cost as compared to ceramic proppants. China remains the most pervasive markets being largest in


By Type

  • Frac Sand
  • Resin Coated Proppants
  • Ceramic Proppants

By Application

  • Shale Gas
  • Tight Gas
  • Coalbed Methane
  • Tight Oil

By Ceramic Proppants

  • High strength Ceramic Proppants
  • Intermediate Strength Ceramic Proppants
  • Light weight Ceramic Proppants
  • Ultra-light weight proppants

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East and Africa

Key Questions Answered

  • Which region is expected to hold largest market share during the forecast period?

    North America (US) is anticipated to hold the largest market share during 2021-2031 during the forecast period.

  • What are the applications of proppants and which is escalating the growth?

    Shale gas, Tight Oil, Tight Gas, Coalbed Methane are the applications and as shale gas is considered as natural gas, its reservoirs are growing the adoption of proppants.

  • What are the leading players in the proppant market?

    COVIA (US), JSC Borovichi Refractories Plant (Russia), U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (US), Hi-Crush Inc, etc.

  • What are the types of proppants?

    Frac sand, resin coated and ceramic proppants.

  • Which ceramic proppant is largely in growth?

    Ultra-light weight ceramic proppents are in high demand due to high density, high closure pressure, etc.

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