The Worldwide Market for Gas Hydrate Control Chemicals in the Upstream Oil Industry

The traditional method for gas hydrate control involves injection of large volumes of methanol or glycol thermodynamic inhibitors in pipeline systems. In the last decade major oil companies, notably BP, Exxon and Shell, have pioneered the development of novel low dosage hydrate inhibitors to offset the high CAPEX and OPEX costs associated with handling large volumes of chemicals, particularly in offshore developments. Two distinct additive types, kinetic or threshold hydrate inhibitors and hydrate growth inhibitors or anti-agglomerants, have been developed with initial commercial utilisation in key markets such as the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.

The worldwide market for gas hydrate chemicals is estimated at 291,000 metric tonnes/71 million US dollars in 2000 with low dosage hydrate inhibitors comprising less than 5% of total revenues. The overall market is forecast to grow significantly over the next decade. The still embryonic low dosage hydrate inhibitor market is forecast to achieve a 20% market share in value terms.

Commercialisation of patented additive chemistry has been achieved through licensing agreements with leading chemical manufactures and oilfield service companies. Customer/field specific hydrate inhibitor products are formulated/supplied through the specialist oilfield service company sector.

Based on technical success and growing market acceptance the consumption of both high performance inhibitor types is forecast to grow in the next decade in preference to thermodynamic inhibitors. The key industry targets for future development are increased sub-cooling performance, enhanced polymer solubility in produced water at wellhead temperatures, lower environmental impact and lower costs.

The report identifies key industry players and supply channels for the development, evaluation and supply of low dosage hydrate inhibitors in the upstream oil industry. Company profiles are included for selected oil companies, oilfield service companies and chemical manufacturers.

DataSolveā„¢ Report No 6
Published 31 January, 2001
Price 4000 Euros plus VAT
JD Vistas Limited
January 2001