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Compressors for the Oil and Gas Industry


Compressors for Oil and Gas Industry | KB Delta


As a result of the continuously increasing prices of crude oil and natural gas over 2004, crude oil now costs nearly $50 a barrel, after having touched $55 in early November 2004. The improving economy and the continued non-viability of alternative energy sources are also expected to drive the ever-swelling demand for energy in North America. These factors are likely to result in increased exploratory efforts to obtain more crude oil and natural gas supplies both from existing wells as well as new ones. There could be frenzied exploration activities for indigenous sources of natural gas, as well as its greater transmission, especially from Alaska and the Rocky Mountains. These developments can immensely boost the market for compressors in the oil and gas industry, as they are the primary equipment for moving natural gas.

This Frost & Sullivan research services provides an overview of and outlook for the North American markets for compressors in the oil and gas industry. It has been segmented into markets for turbo compressors (centrifugal and axial), reciprocating compressors, and rotary screw compressors. This study enables companies to align their positioning strategies to benefit from the changing markets and obtain maximum return on investment.


Increasingly Stringent Product Specifications оf Gasoline and Diesel Fuels to Boost Market Growth

The product quality specifications for two widely used fuels – gasoline and diesel – are becoming increasingly stringent in terms of requirement for lower sulfur content. This has caused increased capacities as well as fresh capacity additions to desulfurization plants at refineries. Since the desulfurization process requires usage and compression of high quantities of hydrogen, it directly translates into greater sale of compressors in the refining sector for this purpose.

“Although new grassroots refineries are not likely to be set up and additional refining capacities are expected only through the expansion of existing ones, the increased demand for compressors is still anticipated to be substantial,” says the analyst of this research. Another factor that could enhance sales of compressors is the likely development of the gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology, which can be used to convert natural gas to useful products such as naphtha, diesel, and wax.


Mounting Preference for Natural Gas in Power Generation Industry to Hike Compressor Sales

Natural gas is preferred over other fuels including coal and fuel oil for power generation for its exclusive benefit of clean burning tendency. This factor, in turn, leads to reduced generation of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides, thus minimizing the damage on the environment. Moreover, natural gas has high calorific value, which gives it a clear advantage over coal and fuel oils. “Heightened natural gas usage will lead to higher levels of natural gas/liquefied natural gas (LNG) import and thus to the increased sale of compressors for gas transmission purposes,” notes the analyst.


Detailed Analysis of Major Oil and Gas Industry Challenges and Restraints

This market research contains an overview of major industry challenges currently faced by the compressors market in the oil and gas industry. The analysis of challenges enables the compressor manufacturers to formulate suitable strategies for improving their market share and profitability. The analysis of restraining forces reveals the uncertainties and potential threats in the market, which are beyond the control of the oil and gas industry, and thus enables the market participants to either tackle these forces or adapt to these conditions.


Market Drivers Reveal Opportunities for Revenue Expansion

The compressors market for the oil and gas industry is currently growing due to various driving factors including the improving economy, increased requirement for exploration of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the increase in the usage of natural gas. The market drivers provide an oil industry perspective as a guide to the equipment manufacturers for identifying new revenue opportunities.


Market Analysis by Products Will Enable More Accurate Business Planning

The forecast and analysis of revenue growth of the various compressor equipment categories have been carried out based on drivers and restraints. This will enable the manufacturers to formulate their strategies suitably to either improve their market share or to expand to a new product area.


End-User Demand Analysis Will Enable Manufacturers to Explore New Market Areas

A detailed analysis of revenue growth based on end-user segmentation has been carried out for various compressor categories. This analysis will enable manufacturers to decide on the appropriate strategy for penetrating the right end-user segment based on the core strength of their products.

Gas and Oil Industry End Users | KB Delta

Market Share Analysis of Suppliers Provides Competitive Insight into the Market

Studying the market shares of various compressor manufacturers gives an insight into their strengths in each equipment category. This analysis enables manufacturers to understand the competition in each segment and formulate future strategies.

Market Sectors:

  • Turbo compressors (centrifugal and axial)
  • Reciprocating compressors
  • Rotary screw compressors



The following technologies are covered in this research:

Turbo Compressors: Turbo compressors comprise centrifugal and axial compressors. While the centrifugal compressors have vaned rotary impellers that compress the gas in a direction perpendicular to the axis of rotation, the axial compressor pushes the gas axially and parallel to the axis of rotation. Centrifugal compressors achieve moderate flow rates at high pressures, and axial compressors are more suitable for very high flow rates at low-pressure applications.

Reciprocating Compressors: These are fundamentally positive displacement machines in which the gas is compressed by a horizontally moving piston driven by a crankshaft. The crankshaft helps in converting the rotary motion of the driver (motor, gas turbine, or steam turbine) into horizontal motion of the piston. These compressors are used for high pressure and relatively low flow applications.

Rotary Screw Compressors: These compressors are positive displacement machines that consist of two intermeshing rotors contained in a housing. The rotors work against each other and the gas is transported and compressed both axially and radially in the interlobe spaces.


Why It Works

Now let’s discuss the advantages these compressors have over other models. For starters, it is one of the most efficiently run machines and can be used continuously, as you might in a large factory or plant setting, or intermittently, like you see in an auto garage or mechanic’s shop. Other types of compressors work best in one situation or the other, and don’t provide the same kind of usage flexibility. Next, a reciprocal compressor has an application for almost any composition of gas and this is due to the positive displacement. Also, unlike other types, a reciprocal is able to discharge very high pressures at low mass flow rates, and capacity controls are simple and instantaneous.

Finally, if quiet is as important to you as powerful, then a reciprocal compressor has this advantage as well. This is because of the piston technology, which tends to operate much quieter than any other types of compression technology. Because of its quiet power, these machines tend to be the ones used for household applications. If you’re quiet in the market for a new compressor and you need efficiency, flexibility, power and quiet, then the reciprocal compressor is most likely the ideal choice for you.

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