The global land drilling rig market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 3.5% during the period of 2020-2025. Due to the increasing use of high horsepower and hi-tech rigs, and the increasing demand for the heavy rigs, the land rig market has evolved significantly in the recent years. Moreover, exploitation of unconventional reserves to meet the increasing demand for crude oil and natural gas is expected to create significant demand for land drilling rigs during the forecast period. However, the global shift towards renewable energy sources for electricity generation poses a huge threat for the oil & gas sector, which, in turn, is expected to be a major challenge for the growth of land drilling rig market in the coming years.
- The mobile drilling rigs have held the major market share and has advantages such as low rig-up and rig-down time, as well as, lower truck hire requirements. Therefore, it is likely to dominate the market during the forecast period.
- The high-volume and demand markets in Asia-Pacific and Middle-East are investing highly in midstream infrastructure. New infrastructure and relatively robust CAPEX budgets are providing opportunities for rigs to enter/re-enter these geographies.
- North America is one of the largest markets for land drilling rig, led by the United States mainly due to increased exploration and production activities of its tight oil and shale reserves.
Key Market Trends
Mobile Rig Segment to Dominate the Market
- Portable or mobile rig is a truck-mounted unit, which contains the derrick, draw-works, and mud pumps. The principle advantage of the portable rig includes, low rig-up and rig-down time, as well as, lower truck hire requirements.
- Portable rigs are used frequently in workover operations, and when drilling to depths of about 10,000 ft. The rigs may be used on an 8, 12, or 24-hr/day basis and has several advantages over conventional rigs.
- Many land rig contractors have upgraded their fleet with higher-horsepower new-builds, adding more powerful rigs with advanced technological capabilities, from top drives to automated pipe handling, and the mobility to quickly move from well site to another.
- As drilling in unconventional reserve is gradually gaining momentum in countries (other than the United States), such as Canada, China, and Argentina, portable rigs with high-tech rig design and bigger horsepower are expected to create significant opportunity for the mobile rigs in the market in the coming years.
- Also, the increasing crude oil prices has favoured the gradual shift towards the development of unconventional fields. As a result, the upcoming projects in unconventional reserves are expected to drive the demand for land drilling market.
North America to Dominate the Market
- Drilling activities in North America have been increasing amidst rising oil & gas prices. The North American rig count reached 1254 in Jul 2018 an increase of around 8% from Jul 2017.
- As the crude oil prices has recovered, the United States has increased its drilling activity and has the highest number of active rig count currently. In 2017, the active rig count increased by around 39% in 2017. In 2018, the count crossed 1000, resulting in high demand for drilling rig.
- The robust drilling activity in the country is supported by technological improvement in hydraulic fracturing and low breakeven prices. As a result, the fleet utilization in the country rose to 46% after two years of decline. The increasing share of horizontal drilling in the United States has resulted in high demand for high-spec drilling rigs.
- In addition to receiving new rig orders, some of the large contractors are upgrading their rigs to meet these requirements. As the United States drills more well in the coming years, the demand for high-spec drilling rigs is expected to grow.
- Also, there is potential for significant growth in rig demand in Canada, driven by the start-up and expansion of numerous planned oil sands projects, leading to growth of land drilling rig market.
The land drilling market is moderately consolidated. Some of the key players in this market include Nabors Industries Ltd., Schlumberger Ltd., Helmerich & Payne, Inc., Saipem SpA and Weatherford International PLC.
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