Well servicing rigs, also known as workover rigs or pulling units, are used in well completion, well maintenance and well abandonment operations. Even though well servicing has a large well maintenance component, this market rises and falls based primarily on the change in new well drilling. The global well servicing market grew 12% in 2017 to almost $3.1 billion as the US market – the world’s largest regional market – saw both a sharp jump in rig count combined with an increased use of large, high spec well servicing units in place of coiled tubing units in the completion of long lateral horizontal wells. Well servicing market growth is projected to accelerate over the near term in response to increased US drilling activity, increasing lateral length, and higher maintenance spending.
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The global well servicing market is growing in 2017 due to new well drilling in the US. Even though well servicing has a large well maintenance component, the market ebbs and flows based on new well drilling.
C&J and Key are the two largest North American contractors, both with strong ties to the US market. Third is Eurasia, with nothing in the US. Most of the US contractors saw plateauing sales 2012-2014 as operators preferred coiled tubing for completing 5000’ lateral wells.
With new horizontal laterals regularly exceeding 10000’ now in the US, coiled tubing runs into a mechanical limit. This is driving oil companies to large, high spec well servicing rigs for new well completions. Operators and service companies across the US provided testimony to this trend.
The world’s largest well servicing market is the US. 2016 was the low point in the recent downcycle. 2017 should see growth of 75%.
Inside the US, the Permian Basin is the largest market, with 29% of the nation’s well servicing spending. The Midcontinent and South Texas each have about 15% of the well servicing market.
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