iStock_000002037844 iStockphoto

Global investment in exploration and production (E&P) of oil and gas made 2014 a good year for process gas compressor manufacturers, and the upswing is expected to continue with growing shale gas production and increasing demand for liquefied natural gas in North America, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

Shale gas and other unconventional energy E&P in regions such as Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Africa will also help sustain the market.

The oil and gas industry is the largest revenue contributor and primary driver of the global PG compressor market. In "Analysis of the Global Process Gas Compressor Market," Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of more than $6 billion in 2014 and estimates this to cross $8 billion in 2021. The study covers reciprocating, rotary and centrifugal PG compressors.

“Power generation is another industry that has given a boost to the PG compressor market,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation & Process Control Research Analyst Sakthi Sobana Pandian. “While conversion from coal-fired to gas-fired plants has driven demand in North America, need to generate more power to cater to demands of the expanding population and urbanization trends has fueled PG compressor adoption rates in APAC.”

However, a rising number of gas compressor stations could fuel concerns about air quality. Air monitoring systems have been installed to measure the impact of gas drilling and other infrastructure and limitations could be imposed on investment activity among station owners, thereby adversely impacting market progress.

READ ALSO: Chinese Market for Medium Voltage Motors Dips Due to Sluggish Downstream Industry Performance

“Although PG compressor technology is mature, there is scope for improvement in terms of energy efficiency and compliance with environmental regulations,” Pandian said. “If eco-friendly PG compressors are made available globally, end-users are likely to upgrade their existing systems.”

For the moment, however, economic gloom across end-user industries has suppressed the purchase of new PG compressors. End-users remain focused on refurbishing and maintaining existing PG compressors rather than investing in new installations.