December 2, 2023

Barite Market Growth: CIMBAR’s Role in Strengthening the Market

The global barite market is experiencing robust growth, with the overwhelming majority of its consumption attributed to the oil and gas industry, particularly as a crucial component in drilling fluids. Barite, also known as baryte, is a naturally occurring mineral that offers eco-friendly solutions, making it exempt from EU REACH regulatory registration.

Barite’s significance in the oil and gas sector arises from its role as a weighting agent in drilling fluids, where it not only adds density but also provides lubrication to prevent damage to drilling tools during well drilling. This mineral’s economic advantages and non-toxic nature have made it the preferred choice over alternatives like ilmenite.

Barite’s Diverse Applications: From Medicine to Engineering

High-purity barite finds applications in various fields, including medicine, where it is used to manufacture barium meals for detecting anomalies in the gastrointestinal tract. Its density acts as a barrier to X-rays, allowing for precise analysis of normal and abnormal anatomy. Additionally, barite serves as a filler in rubber and plastics, contributing to the creation of bright colors in engineered plastics like ABS.

Grades of Barite and Their Applications

Barite is classified into several grades based on specific gravity and purity, with the most common grades for the oil and gas industry being Sp. Gr. 4.3, Sp. Gr. 4.2, and Sp. Gr. 4.0. These grades play a crucial role in controlling pressure, preventing blow-outs, and ensuring lubrication during drilling operations. Sp. Gr. 4.2 is particularly favored for offshore drilling.

Recently, due to dwindling reserves of Sp. Gr. 4.2, the American Petroleum Institute (API) introduced a new grade, Sp. Gr. 4.1, offering drilling companies more material options for their formulation processes. This development is expected to boost the demand for Sp. Gr. 4.1, especially in land-based drilling operations.

Middle East: A Dominant Consumer in the Oil and Gas Sector

The Middle East continues to be the largest consumer of barite, primarily due to its dominance in the oil and gas production arena. With countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait holding significant shares of the world’s proven oil reserves, the region accounts for around 30% of global oil production. Traditionally, Sp. Gr. 4.2 was the grade of choice for drilling operations in the Middle East, but shortages have led to increased use of Sp. Gr. 4.1 and lower grades.

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North America’s Growing Appetite for Barite

North America ranks as the second-largest consumer of barite, with the United States leading in oil production. The region has witnessed a significant increase in offshore rig counts in recent years, driving the demand for barite. Over 90% of barite consumption in the U.S. is attributed to the oil and gas drilling sector, with the remainder used in various industrial applications such as paint and coatings, engineering plastics, and chemical manufacturing.

Strategic Synergies and Capacity Expansion

The global barite market is highly consolidated, with key players hailing from China, India, the U.S., and Morocco. Companies in the industry are actively engaging in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and joint ventures (JV) with end users to enhance their market positions and improve profitability.

For example, Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Limited (APMDC), a leading barite manufacturer in India, entered into an agreement with ONGC Limited, a leading oil and gas company, to establish a barite processing unit aimed at improving the quality of mined barytes from Mangampeta mines, Andhra Pradesh. This partnership will result in the upgrade of 30%-40% of lower-grade mined barite, with ONGC overseeing the purification process.

Regional companies are also expanding their capacities to meet the growing demand. In 2019, CIMBAR Performance Minerals Inc. inaugurated a new barite facility in Ohio, U.S., catering to the oilfield market in the Northeast region. This facility is expected to bolster CIMBAR’s regional presence and provide logistical cost advantages and enhanced services.

The global barite market continues to thrive as it plays a pivotal role in supporting vital industries, particularly in the oil and gas sector. With strategic collaborations and expansion initiatives, industry leaders are poised to maintain their dominance in this dynamic market.

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Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023-2030 – By Product, Technology, Grade, Application, End-user, Region: (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa)

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This press release first seen on Brilad