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Demand for oil well cement to remain subdued

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World Cement,

Demand for oil well cement is expected to exceed 5 million t by the end of 2017, according to analysis by CW Research, representing a 26% decline on the 2013 peak. Oil well cement is used in oil, gas, and geothermal well-bore drilling.

The market for oil well cement has been bit by the fall in crude oil prices, which limits drilling activities, particularly in high-cost markets, such as US shale. With CW Research expecting oil prices to trend above US$70/bbl by 2021, the market is expected to grow, hitting US$0.7 billion by 2022 from US$0.5 billion today.

Demand for API-certified and equivalent oil well cements is expected to grow at the expense of lower-grade cements. “Following the Macondo accident, drillers have been pressured to comply with ever-tighter cementing regulations, and few are willing to chance it when it comes to cementing jobs,” said Robert Madeira, CW Research’s Managing Director and Head of Research.

Regionally, CW Research expects oil well cement demand to revert to growth in North America, as oil prices rise and drilling activity in the shale oil and gas regions starts to recover. In the Middle East, demand is expected to be stable, as drillers their need fewer wells to maintain production levels.

LafargeHolcim has the largest oil well cement footprint, making the materials across 13 cement production units. HeidelbergCement operates eight oil well cement plants, while Buzzi Unicem’s Dyckerhoff subsidiary maintains a strong presence in European and CIS markets for oil well cement.

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