For the first time, the upstream oil and gas industry is expected to spend more than USD 10B for valves in a single year. In 2015, the expenditure will be USD 10.3B. This includes valves purchased for oil and gas extraction and those used in unconventional extraction such as from sub-sea shale and oil sands. The forecast also includes valves used in LNG and gas-to-liquids plants. The analysis appears in Industrial Valves: World Markets published by the McIlvaine Company.
The Middle East remains the historic leader, but NAFTA will be a close second. The U.S. shale gas and oil expansion and the Canadian tar sands investments are providing substantial valve markets. These forecasts do not include refineries. However, the lower-quality crudes being extracted in NAFTA are spurring investments in refinery valves due to upgrades.
A larger percentage of the valve spend is now directed at the control of water and wastewater. Hydraulic fracturing requires extensive valving. The flow-back water in many states cannot be discharged into underground storage. It is too contaminated to be treated by conventional sewage treatment plants. The result is a significant treatment investment.
The shale gas boom is resulting in LNG and gas-to-liquid plant construction. Large numbers of valves are required to operate these plants.