U.S. drilling fluid demand is projected to rise 11 percent per year to 1.45 billion gallons in 2021, driven by a recovery in drilling activity and increases in the average fluid used per well, Freedonia found. The industry research firm noted drilling fluid demand grew to $1.6 billion in 2016.
The petroleum industry uses various types of drilling fluids for different circumstances. Some oil-based fluids are made from mineral oil, which may come from base oil plants, and lubricants are used as additives in some. In addition, some drilling fluids may be made from base stocks such as polyalphaolefins.