Air core drilling is a method wherein hardened steels or blades are used to bore a hole in an unconsolidated formation. Air core drilling can reach a depth of 300 meters which is great for mineral mining. The air core drill bit has three blades which cut the soft rock formations, thereby removing the drill cuttings by injecting air into the hole through the annular area between the drill rod and inner tube. Basically, the technique is a part of shallow drilling requiring minimal site preparation.
The global Air Core Drilling Market value is anticipated to exceed USD 1.45 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Rising investment in E&P activities across various unconventional energy sources to meet growing energy demand is expected to drive the market over the next nine years.
Different Methods of Drilling
Air core drilling comes in a number of forms. Dust drilling is the least expensive type of air drilling and requires no fluid system for clean-up. Dust drilling provides an ideal environment for use. Dust drilling cannot handle wellbore fluid influxes; these cuttings result in mud rings in the annulus which can lead to a risk of downhole fire if mud rings are not eliminated.
Mist drilling is drilling with liquids which is a mixture of soap and water. In mist drilling the rate of penetration is little slower. In foam drilling, the foam is a mixture of water, surfactants and air. The cutting carrying capacity is greater than dust drilling. Here, surfactants, water and air combine to create a stiff foam, which is then circulated as drilling fluid. The cutting carrying capacity is greater than dust drilling by 6-7 times.
Aerated drilling involves nitrogen or air being added to the liquid phase of the drilling fluid, thus lowering the effective mud weight. This method can be used with most types of drilling fluids. Nitrogen Membrane drilling minimizes the chance of downhole fire. Its US patent is held by Weatherford, owner of the biggest fleet of on-site generated membrane Nitrogen Production Units globally.
Global air core drilling market by application, 2014 – 2025 (USD Million)
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Further key findings from the report suggest:
- The global air core drilling demand exceeded USD 900 million in 2015 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.0% from 2016 to 2025
- Nitrogen membrane drillingis anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR of 5.7% from 2016 to 2025 owing to the ability to reduce chances of down hole fires and operating costs.
- Dust drilling demand in the U.S. is estimated to exceed USD56.3 million by 2025. High demand for this technique may be attributed to a large number of mature sedimentary basins in the country.
- The Asia Pacific air core drilling industry is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 5.9% from 2016 to 2024 owing to alarge number of upcoming E&P projects and the presence of huge untapped hydrocarbon reserves.
- Key players include Schlumberger, Atlas Copco, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, Allis Chalmers and Halliburton
- Harlsan is one of the primary suppliers of RC drill rods and air core bits to major mining players present in Asia, Africa,Canada,UK, and South America. Airdrill manufactures drilling and auxiliary equipment for oil&gas and mining industries
Global air core drilling market, by application, 2025
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Grand View Research has segmented the air core drilling market on the basis of application, and region:
Air Core Drilling Application Outlook (USD Million, 2014 – 2025)
- Dust drilling
- Mist drilling
- Foam drilling
- Aerated fluid drilling
- Nitrogen membrane drilling
Air Core Drilling Regional Outlook (USD Million, 2014 – 2025)
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Central & South America
- Middle East and Africa
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Grand View Research provides syndicated as well as customized research reports and consulting services on 46 industries across 25 major countries worldwide. This U.S.-based market research and consulting company is registered in California and headquartered in San Francisco. Comprising over 425 analysts and consultants, the company adds 1200+ market research reports to its extensive database each year. Supported by an interactive market intelligence platform, the team at Grand View Research guides Fortune 500 companies and prominent academic institutes in comprehending the global and regional business environment and carefully identifying future opportunities.
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