According to the findings of a recent research report made available by Radiant Insights, Inc.; the global frac sand market is anticipated to register a healthy growth rate over the next few years. The global market is expected to have a steady growth on account of the advent of innovative and highly advanced technologies for oil extraction. Frac sand has low permeability and thus is used in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in order to produce various petroleum fluids including oil and natural gas liquids from rock formations.
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Until recently, the production of oil and gas from the unconventional sources such as silica sand, tight sandstones, and shale was not considered to be an economically viable option. Unlike the conventional oil reserves, oil and gas in such resources don’t flow naturally through rocks, which makes the extraction process difficult. However, the advent of hydraulic fracturing has changed the oil and gas sector, particularly in the US region, where large volumes of shale gas are produced at comparatively lower costs.
Commercialization of unconventional resources in the developing regions is one of the popular trends that are expected to have a positive impact on the growth of the global market. In addition, a rise in demand for oil products from various emerging economies such as Middle East and Africa (MEA), India, and China is also likely to contribute toward the market development. Moreover, increasing demand for energy from across the world may also have a major impact on the market expansion.
The global frac sand market is categorized as per product type, application or end use, and region. On the basis of product type, the market is bifurcated into Ottawa white sand and Brady brown sand. On the basis of application, the market is categorized into oil from shales, calendering process resin, and other tight rocks. On the basis of region, the market is divided into Europe, Japan, China, India, North America, and Rest of the World (RoW).
The North America region dominated the global frac sand market in the past and accounted for the largest market share, in terms of volume. The regional market is expected to continue expanding steadily during the forecast years as a result of the positioning of shale gas as an available source for natural gas. US, in particular, was the leading economy in the regional market due to the highest consumption as well as production levels. Japan, China, and India markets are also anticipated to witness a rapid growth in the forthcoming years on account of constantly increasing demand for oil products due to growing population in these regions.
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Some of the major companies operating in the global frac sand market include Emerge Energy Services LP; Preferred Proppants, LLC; JINGANG NEW MATERIALS Co., Ltd.; U.S. Silica Holdings Inc.; and Badger Mining Corp. Most of these companies are focusing on technological developments, service and product extensions, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities to strengthen their market position. For example, CIG Logistics LP recently acquired the SANDSTROM product line from Propell Oilfield Equipment. With this acquisition, the former aims to expand its services. This transaction is expected to enable the organization to offer comprehensive, end-to-end logistics solutions for companies working in the oil & natural gas industry (exploration and production), as well as for proppant developers and oilfield service providers.
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