The worldwide advancement in offshore and onshore oil and gas sectors is resulting to the manifolds market emergence. Oil and gas manifolds are designed to allow oil and gas flow from the separator to several points as per desire. A manifold forms an important building block to support the offshore oil and gas infrastructure. It is a distribution system for fluids from one point to another. A manifold system is composed of several components, which include pipes or tubes, fittings, expansion chambers, valves, flexible connectors, and other instruments. The basic movement of fluid is facilitated by the pipes or tubes. Fittings such as trees, plugs, elbows are used to fit the pipes to the manifold system. The function of an expansion chamber is to prevent pipeline leakage and prolong the seal life of manifolds. The expansion chamber allows the pipeline to expand up to a certain limit to combat pressure increase in the manifold systems. Valves are included to control the fluid flow throughout such systems. The flexible connectors bend easily to connect containers to manifolds or manifolds to other fixed device. Other instruments include pressure gauges, switches and several other devices required to control and monitor the fluid flow throughout the manifolds. The manifold systems are made of such materials that can tolerate the harsh operating conditions.
One of the primary drivers of manifold market is the success of any offshore operation, which is integral to manifold system arrangement. The nations worldwide are ensuring their energy security and energy demand supply parity by supporting such offshore activities. The increased offshore oil and gas exploration and production operations require a suitable manifold set up that enables proper fluid flow and optimize its recovery. Hence a manifold market development is expected in future. Factor intervening with such market improvement is the huge costs incurred to support research and development of manifolds system to meet the future technical challenges of the advancing oil and gas sector.
A number of upcoming oil and gas projects taken up by the governments of Africa and are likely to increase the demand for manifold systems to sustain new oil and gas infrastructure. Hence such nations are expected to lead the global manifold market development in the years to come. In Asia Pacific, manifold market is assumed to show positive growth in China followed by India. The Chinese government is also encouraging natural gas pipeline infrastructure expansion to connect the production areas of northern and western parts with demand centers. Furthermore it intends to accommodate greater natural gas imports from Southeast Asia and Central Asia. The New Exploration and Licensing Policy regime of India is resulting in a significant increase in its exploration and production activities. Europe, gradually recovering from its ongoing economic recession has undertaken several exploration activities. However manifold market growth in Europe is likely to be moderate due to expected low returns. The manifold market growth in North America is also estimated to be sensible owing to the ongoing shale production in the U.S. Conversely, the minimized exploration and production operation in the Gulf of Mexico resulting in low returns is assumed to hamper such market progress in the projected period.
The manifold market segmentation is done on the type of fluids to be carried. An oil manifold is different from a gas manifold in terms of number of valves used. A typical oil manifold is made of five ball valves while a gas manifold comprises of only two ball valves. Such market can also be segmented on the basis of designing. There are dual manifold systems comprised of two cylinders in service at a time. A single-bank manifold system is made for a single source of gas or oil supply from one cylinder bank. The manifold market can also be segmented on the type of functioning performed. Manifolds meant for disposal purpose connect the separator to crude oil burner. For measurement or storage purpose the manifolds form a link between the separator to gauge or surge tanks.
Some of the key players in manifold market are FMC Technologies Inc., GE oil and gas, Genstar Technologies, B&B Oilfield Services, LLC, CANADOIL Group Ltd., and Aker solutions ASA.
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