Role of Bromine in Oil and Gas Drilling Activities

Bromine refers to a naturally occurring element that is a liquid at room temperature and dissolves in water. This element is brownish-red in color and has a beach-like odor. It is found in seawater and earth’s crust in different chemical forms. Bromine-containing compounds are used as fire retardants as they help prevent things from catching fire and as a substitute for chlorine in swimming pools. Additionally, these products are also used in agriculture and sanitation.

In addition, bromine is also used in clear brine fluids, which are being increasingly used in oil and gas drilling activities to reduce the bottom hole temperature and pressure in the borewells. Owing to this factor, the bromine market will exhibit a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period (2020–2030). According to P&S Intelligence, the market revenue stood at $1,864.3 million in 2019. Oil and gas companies add soluble salts to these fluids after considering the clarity, freezing points, pressure/temperature freeze points, and densities of the wells.

The derivative segment of the bromine market is classified into organobromide, bromide salts, hydrogen bromide, and others, such as hypobromous acid. In 2019, the organobromide category generated the highest revenue due to the large-scale consumption of organobromides, such as allyl bromide, ethylene dibromide, propylene bromide, and vinyl bromide, in the production of catalysts, flame retardants, fumigants, gasoline antiknock agents, intermediates for organic synthesis, pesticides, and solvents. Whereas, the bromide salts category will demonstrate the fastest growth in the forecast years due to the rising usage of these derivatives in the production of clear brine fluids.

During the historical period (2014–2019), the Asia-Pacific (APAC) bromine market generated the highest revenue due to the high-volume consumption and production of this gas in China. Additionally, the large-scale consumption of bromine-based flame retardants in insulation, electronics, and plastic products, on account of the rapid urbanization and high disposable income of people, also contributes to the market growth in the region. Owing to these factors, the APAC region will continue to account for the largest share in the market in the forecast years as well.

Thus, the escalating need for energy-efficient technology and increasing consumption of clear brine fluids by oil and gas companies will create a huge requirement for bromine globally.

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