Ram type blowout preventers are highly necessary equipments for any well and are utilized for controlling erratic pressures and uncontrolled flows. Numerous major oil spillages such as the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill off the Gulf of Mexico had taken place owing to a faulty blowout preventer. As such, companies today take immense care in selecting blowout preventers for their rigs and often order more than one blowout preventer as a backup. Annular and ram are the two basic blowout preventers which are generally employed in drilling operations. These blowout preventers are usually used together in drilling rig blowout preventers stacks. The ram blowout preventers have to be designed according to American Petroleum Institute standards of safety. The market for ram type blowout preventers is anticipated to grow at a substantial rate in future owing to increasing safety standards, especially in offshore locations.
Stringent norms and regulations in upstream hydrocarbon sector and efficient exploration operations are some of the major drivers attracting investment in ram type blowout preventers market. The U.S. has a reputation of having some of the most stringent regulations globally for oil spills, especially in marine environments. The regulations and punitive damage structure for oil spills in the U.S. is imposed both at a federal and state level. The regulations pertaining to oil spills have been also been tightened in the South and Central American countries. The uncertainty in crude oil prices is a major restraint which might hamper the growth of ram type blowout preventer market. Since the demand for blowout preventers is primarily dependent on new drilling activity globally, low oil prices can potentially affect manufacturers of blowout preventers.
The market for ram type blowout preventers can be segmented on the basis of location and type into two broad categories. On the basis of location the market can be segmented as onshore and offshore. On the basis of type the ram type blowout preventer can be segmented as purchase and rental blowout preventers. Exploration and production (E&P) companies have two options when it comes to drilling a new oil well. Large E&P companies often operate their own rigs in which case they might prefer purchasing ram type blowout preventers directly from manufacturers. However in most of the cases, E&P companies hire rig contractors or oilfield service companies to carry out such operations on their behalf. These market players generally exhibit a higher preference towards rental blowout preventers.
Currently, North America is the largest market for ram type blowout preventers. The onshore hydrocarbon activities in Oklahoma coupled with increasing offshore activities in Gulf of Mexico are the major factors bolstering investment in this market. Middle East is also one of the major markets for onshore installations of ram type blowout preventers. In the offshore sector, Latin America and West Africa are one the prominent markets for these blowout preventers. The planned offshore activities in Brazil, Nigeria and Angola will provide growth opportunities for this market. Countries in Asia Pacific such as Australia and Malaysia are also prospective markets for the growth of ram type blowout preventer market.
Some of the major market players investing in ram type blowout preventers are Axon EP Inc., Cameron International Corporation, UZTEL S.A, and National Oilwell Varco.