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Producing nations around the world are increasingly turning to hydraulic fracturing and other stimulation techniques to reduce dependence on imports (e.g., the U.S.), increase export opportunities (e.g., Russia, Venezuela, Mexico) or to supply increasing domestic appetites for oil and gas (e.g., China, India and a host of developing countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia).
Overall, the four largest markets (the U.S., Russia, Canada and China) will continue to account for a large majority of demand, nearly 90% in 2012. Russia and China are expected to register the fastest growth. A number of common factors contribute to the position of these four countries as significant markets for well stimulation materials. All are significant hydrocarbon producers, and all have large numbers of oil and gas wells. Perhaps most significantly, all have been longtime producers of oil and gas, and the most productive fields in these countries have long since seen their peak output. As such, oil producers in these four countries and others have turned to new and more difficult producing environments.
Although areas with declining production provide key opportunities for well stimulation materials, a substantial share of stimulation activity will be focused on less fully exploited reserves, such as deepwater areas in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and coal beds in the Rocky Mountain region. To date, the U.S. and Canada have led in terms of coal bed development, but dozens of countries have the potential for such production. Several other countries offer strong prospects for well stimulation materials used in unconventional gas production via coal bed, shale gas or tight sandstone technologies, including many that are already significant producers of conventional oil and gas.
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