the LDAR market was rated at $18.9 billion in 2020 and should reach $25.9 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2021 to 2027. Gas leak detection systems are mainly used in the oil and gas industry to detect leaks on drilling platforms (upstream), pipelines, trailers and tankers (en route), and refining & storage facilities (downstream). Immediate detection, monitoring and repair of leaks is necessary due to the highly combustible nature of oil and gas products.
Many countries are focusing on expanding oil and gas pipeline networks, as they are considered the safest and most cost-effective mode of transportation. Pipelines allow the safe transportation of oil and gas through urban areas with minimal obstructions. Multiple oil and gas pipelines crossing the country are planned for faster transport of hydrocarbons. They are expected to propel the growth of the lead detection and repair systems market. Leaks can occur due to high temperature and pressure and corrosive conditions. The presence of oxygen, water, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide in crude oil and natural gas is the main cause of corrosion in pipelines/tankers. Corrosion can be both internal and external. Internal corrosion is due to constituents of natural gas and crude oil, while external degradation occurs mainly due to changes in temperature and precipitation, among other natural factors. Therefore, companies are focusing on improving their maintenance and safety processes to reduce and eliminate the risk of emission.
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Heightened concern over harmful greenhouse gas emissions, expansion of oil and gas pipeline infrastructure, and stringent government rules and regulations are expected to be major drivers for the growth of the leak detection and repair market. leaks during the forecast period.
Global Leak Detection and Repair Market Dynamics
Engines: strict government regulations to reduce methane emissions
Methane is a dominant greenhouse pollutant and is considered 80 times more potent and harmful than carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. According to scientists, methane contributes about 25% to global warming. Therefore, various governments are introducing regulations and initiatives to reduce methane emissions.
In 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations requiring the use of optical gas imaging (OGI) technology to identify and repair gas leaks. The Quad Oa regulations, as part of the EPA’s Oil and Gas Industry New Source Performance Standards, recommend the use of LDAR for oil and gas operating sites (compressor stations, wellheads, plants gas stations, transmission and underground gas storage, among others) built after September 18, 2015. It also specifies semi-annual or quarterly readings to be taken using OGI cameras or a Method 21 device to detect methane leaks and VOCs that can occur in any facility.
Constraints: challenges related to leak detection in difficult environmental conditions
Oil and gas extraction platforms are established in remote geographical regions such as the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, the Persian Gulf, Alaska, and the West Siberian Basin. Some are also located offshore. These regions have different topographies and climatic conditions, due to which the deployment of gas leak detection and monitoring systems proves to be a major challenge. This further leads to an increased need for leak detection and monitoring systems.
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Additionally, harsh and unpredictable weather conditions also add to the complexity. High system costs and technological limitations have hampered the process of detecting methane leaks from oil and gas extraction platforms and refinery plants. These factors have also limited efforts to deploy a continuous monitoring system.
Challenges: Multiple component leaks add to the increased complexity of detection
Methane is the main natural gas and is also a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane leaks can occur in valves, joints, connectors, meters, pipelines and storage tanks. Therefore, timely detection of methane leaks is a growing need in the oil and gas industry. Fixed and portable gas leak detection systems detect leaks in the oil and gas industry. Currently, most oil and gas pipelines are equipped with flow measurement sensors. In the event of a leak, these sensors detect pressure drops. However, according to a US Department of Transportation report, these sensors only successfully detect leaks about 40% of the time.
The Association of Oil Pipelines (AOPL) initiated a leak detection rupture monitoring project as part of the Pipeline Leadership Initiative to formulate additional strategies for continued improvements in leak detection. AOPL has also developed performance standards for the industry. However, effectively detecting and monitoring methane leaks in multiple components is a major challenge for companies.
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The study categorizes the leak detection and repair market based on product, component, technology, and region.
By Product Outlook (Sales/Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Portable Gas Detectors
- UAV-based detectors
- Vehicle-mounted detectors
- Manned Aircraft Detectors
Outlook by Component (Sales/Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
By Technology Outlook (Sales/Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Analyzer
- Optical gas imaging
- Laser absorption spectroscopy
- Ambient/Mobile Leak Monitoring
- Acoustic leak detection
- Olfactory Audiovisual Inspection
Outlook by Region (Sales/Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- North America (United States, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
- The Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, North Africa, Rest of MEA)
The portable gas detector segment is expected to account for the largest market share by product
Based on product, the LDAR market has been segmented into portable gas detectors, UAV-based detectors, vehicle-based detectors, and manned aircraft detectors. Portable gas detectors account for the largest market share in 2020 and have a market share of 37.3%. Portable gas detectors are widely used in the oil and gas industry due to their cost effectiveness and portability. These detectors are commonly used to monitor pipeline operations and to detect different gases, such as methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (Co2), methane (H2CO), carbon monoxide (CO) and ammonia (NH3), among others. Additionally, these detectors are used for VOC analyzers to detect leaks in components such as valves, pumps, connectors, compressors, and open lines, among others. Additionally, portable gas detectors are also used in Method 21 to monitor fugitive emissions. Thus, the demand for portable gas detectors in the oil and gas sector is expected to increase due to the increase in natural gas production, increase in trade in oil and gas products, growing infrastructure of pipelines and the implementation of associated regulatory policies.
The Middle East and Africa accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on regions, the global leak detection and repair market has been segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and Middle East & Africa. During the forecast period, Middle East & Africa is expected to be the fastest growing regional market with a CAGR of 7.6%. Countries in the Middle East region have a strong economic dependence on the oil and gas sector. Oil and gas companies have experienced significant growth over the past decade and are now taking steps to stay competitive in the rapidly changing global oil and gas industry. These companies have the financial resources to deploy leak detection and repair systems to reduce methane emissions and keep the industry competitive.
Africa offers a huge opportunity for growth and expansion in the oil and gas industry. However, some of the major issues hampering the development of the industry in Africa include lack of a strong transport and logistics infrastructure network, unstable political and economic environment and lack of funding for the development of new exploration and production projects. Saudi Arabia has launched methane collection and reuse projects through Vapor Recovery Technologies. The country has also recommended that oil and gas companies deploy the solar occultation flux technique to reduce methane emissions. This initiative aims to measure actual VOC emissions from various oil and gas production and refining facilities. It also focuses on the increased adoption and implementation of LDAR systems in oil and gas facilities.
Main market players
The leak detection and repair market is slightly concentrated in nature with few global players operating in the market such as Aeris Technologies, Inc., IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Bridger Photonics, Inc., LI- COR, Inc., Duke University, Summit Inspections Services, Inc., GHD, Inc., ERM Group, Inc., AECOM, Guardian Compliance, ABB Ltd., Chicago Bridge & Iron Company NV, Heath Consultants, ENCOS, Inc., Team Inc., VelocityEHS, Picarro Inc., Microdrones GmbH, Boreal Laser Inc. and Kairos Aerospace.
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