The robotic drilling market is expected to record a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period. Factors, such as increased exploration activity and focus on the development of new oil and gas fields in a risk-free, cost-efficient, and time-efficient manner, are expected to help drive the market for robotic drilling systems. However, the volatile nature of oil prices in recent years, concerns over cybersecurity, and high initial cost have hampered the growth of the robotic drilling market.
- The onshore is expected to have the maximum share in the market. Onshore drilling encompasses all the drilling sites located on dry land and accounts for 70% of worldwide oil production.
- The demand for oil and gas production has always been on an increase, which has led to increased exploration activities, this in turn is expected to help grow the market in the forecast period. Also, there has been an increasing demand for safe and time-efficient drilling methods, such as robotic drilling systems. The total rig count increased by 18% from 933 in beginning of 2017 to 1104 by the end of 2019, in the same time period the offshore rig count increased by 24% from 206 to 257.
- North America is the biggest market for robotic drilling, owing to the increased drilling activity in shale plays in the region. The recent development of shale plays, horizontal drilling and fracking have resulted in an increase in demand of a faster and time efficient robotic drilling system in the region.
Key Market Trends
Onshore to Dominate the Market
- The market for robotic drilling systems saw a growth slowdown owing to the volatile oil prices in recent years, but with the oil prices becoming stable the market is expected to show a growth in the forecast period.
- There have been an increasing pressure on drilling companies to reduce the risk and number of accidents related to drilling industry, this in turn is making the operator companies move towards robotic drilling systems to reduce human error and increase efficiency at the same time.
- Onshore oil production accounts for around 70% of the global oil production. Increased onshore exploration activity worldwide in the forecast period is expected to help grow the market for robotic drilling.
- In 2019, ONGC announced that it had allotted INR 6,000 crore in drilling 200 wells over the next seven years in Assam to increase the output from the state. The wells are expected to be drilled during the next seven years.
- As the crude oil prices are increasing, the upstream investment is expected to grow significantly and bring several projects online, thereby, driving the market.
North America to Dominate the Market
- North America is a major market for robotic drilling systems, owing to the recent shale gas exploration in the region in recent years. Exploration in Gulf of Mexico is also on rise further complimenting the robotic drilling systems market in the region.
- According to the Canadian government report published in 2018, oil production from Canada is anticipated to reach 4.5 mmbpd by 2020, and production is expected to increase from an offshore well situated in the West Orphan Basin, offshore Newfoundland, and Labrador, which is estimated to hold 25.5 bbl of oil and 20.6 tcf of gas.
- As a result of higher oil prices and declining drilling cost, the offshore rig count and offshore oil production in the United States has increased significantly, indicating growing offshore drilling which is expected to be the major driver for the robotic drilling market in the country.
- Therefore, factors such as rising oil and gas investments along with development of shale plays, and increasing focus on reducing risk , time, and cost of drilling activities are expected to give a growth to the robotic drilling systems market in the forecasted period.
The robotic drilling market is consolidated with few active players. Some of the key players being National-Oilwell Varco Inc., Nabors Industries Ltd, Drillform Technical Services Ltd, Huisman Equipment BV, Drillmec Inc., among others.
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