Global superhard materials market to witness augmented demand from oil and gas drilling activities, escalating number of mining projects to propel the industry trends

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Rapid expansion of the automobile, manufacturing and other industrial sectors have consistently provided a positive impetus to the overall superhard materials market revenue, which reached nearly USD 4.5 billion in 2017 owing to the high performance characteristics of these materials. Superior strength, resistance to wear against tough surfaces and better mechanical performance have made different superhard materials ideal for utilization in cutting as well as shaping and scratching of any parts or objects.

China Super-hard Materials Market Size, by End-user, 2014 – 2025 (USD Million)
China Super-hard Materials Market Size, by End-user, 2014 – 2025 (USD Million)

The superhard materials industry has been thriving on account of the extensive drilling, mining, grinding and turning activities across various segments and also in protective coatings for metal surfaces. Widescale oil drilling and mining activities have created immense opportunities for the superhard materials market, where drilling hard onshore and offshore surfaces for oil, natural gas and minerals necessitate the use of unbreakable drill bits and equipment.

Superhard materials such as polycrystalline diamond are vastly used for drilling operations throughout the world, as they enable exploration of oil and natural gas near remote areas of the earth. The huge revenue potential for the superhard materials market can be surmised from the fact that the daily consumption of oil globally is expected to reach 109 million barrels by 2035, with the continuous evolution of the transportation and manufacturing industries. Drilling operations are largely carried out in the Gulf and near desert regions in the Middle East, in different areas of the Asia-Pacific, Northern parts of Europe, near the U.S.-Mexico Gulf coasts and other resource-rich sites. Distinct surface features and weather conditions present challenging tasks for oil companies to perform drilling activities and the superhard materials market has benefited from the enormous requirement of sturdy drill rigs.

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OPEC has predicted that the oil industry will need to spend around USD 11 trillion by 2040 to meet the future global demand for oil, when the crude consumption could reach up to 112 million barrels per day. The estimates suggest a prolific next two decades for the superhard materials industry from ventures in oil, natural gas and mineral exploration, which in turn will be encouraged by the positive forecasts related to the expanding vehicle fleet and auto parts production worldwide. Citing evidences supporting the oil industry development, Saudi Armco, touted as one of the largest petroleum & natural gas companies in the world and also the most profitable company, had recently announced that it will direct almost USD 133 billion on oil and gas drilling over the next ten years.

The announcement by Saudi Aramco, emphasizing the gradual recovery of oil prices around the globe, is supposedly aligned with the targets and compliance of the grand Saudi Vision 2030 which is aimed at an overall development of the region. Similar missions and goals followed by other oil conglomerates across different regions will further advance the superhard materials market over the coming years. Other factors will affect the industry growth as well, for instance the increasing frequency of natural disasters striking the U.S. and other American coasts. The National Ocean Industries Association in the U.S. has been propagating offshore oil drilling away from the Gulf of Mexico, since most of the offshore drilling by U.S. is done in hurricane prone areas.

As nearly 94% of the U.S. Continental Shelf is not yet allowed to be drilled, the U.S. administration’s January announcement, which revealed a five-year plan to expand the drilling in U.S. continental waters, will generate additional demand for the superhard materials industry. The remarkable growth of the mining sector will also contribute towards the earnings of the superhard materials market, as high-level technologies and majority of industries support the mining of minerals and metals ores. Countries like Russia, Finland and Turkey in Europe have prime mining locations of the region, where the industry has become one of the most modern and innovative sectors. Efforts to boost the industry, such as Turkey’s USD 1.06 billion funds allocation for the energy and mining sector, will provide notable returns for the superhard materials market.

Development of improved materials that rival the hardness of diamond or boron nitride products will drive innovations in the superhard materials industry, for cutting and drilling in situations where the above materials could fail. With accelerated progress of the oil & gas drilling sector along with the highly critical mining industry, the superhard materials market is estimated to witness a robust 5.5% CAGR from 2018 to 2025. Companies like Sandvik, FUNIK, Element Six, Zhongnan Diamond, Zhengzhou Zhong Peng, ILJIN Diamond, Huanghe Whirlwind and Besco Superabrasives are some of the key players sustaining the dynamic landscape of this industry.

Author NamePankaj Singh

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