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Perforation is a process used to connect a path between the reservoir and the oil well. Perforating gun is a system or device used to perforate oil and gas wells in order to commence oil & gas production. Currently, there are two types of well perforation: overbalanced perforation and underbalance perforation. Perforating guns are used in overbalanced perforation. The pressure in the well-bore column in overbalanced perforation is more than the reservoir pressure. This helps stop the oil or gas flow immediately after perforation. However, some disadvantages occur due to the forced entry of mud into the reservoir, thus damaging the formation.

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Various perforation guns are available in the market. These differ in parameters such as conveyance, size, and configuration. Furthermore, the inner diameter of the gun used is typically determined by considering the wellbore area and its tolerance to the surface equipment. After drilling and casing, the next phase in completion is perforation. Proper perforation requires precise selection of perforating guns that do not damage the surroundings and result in excess debris. Thus, the primary objective of a perforating gun is to form a flow path between a cased well-bore and an oil reservoir.

Most perforating guns punch holes from “0.22-0.25” to “0.70-0.75” in diameter. Typical perforating guns have penetrations of “4-6” up to “45-48” in length. Most perforating guns shoot from 3 to 13 shots per foot. Perforating guns are available in different pressure and temperature ranges. When detonated, perforating guns go off instantaneously. The leading tip of the jet has a velocity of 25,000 ft/sec to 30,000 ft/sec. The impact pressure is approximately 8-10 million psi to 10-15 million psi. This pressure overcomes casing and formation strength and forces material radially away from the jet axis. Precise selection of explosive is done prior to oil & gas well perforation.

Rise in oil and gas E&P activities, increase in average well depth over the years, growth in complexity of reservoir conditions, and rise in shale gas exploration are the major factors driving the perforating guns market.

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Based on gun type, the perforating guns market can be segmented into expendable gun, semi-expendable gun, and retrievable or hollow carrier gun. In an expendable gun, all components of the gun below the collar are destroyed during the perforation explosion. A semi-expendable gun has a metal bar that holds the explosives/charges. Retrievable or hollow carrier is the most widely used gun, as it is highly reliable and leaves no debris in the hole. In terms of method of conveyance, the market can be divided into wireline and tubing. Majority of the perforating work is carried out with shaped charge or jet perforating charges. Based on explosive type, the market can be segregated into RDX (Cyclotrimethylene Trinitramine), HMX (Cyclotetramethylene Trinitramine), HNS (Hexanitrosilbene), and others. Based on drilling type, the perforating guns market can be bifurcated into horizontal and vertical drilling. Several companies operate in the perforating guns market. These companies usually enter into short-term or long-term contracts with upstream oil & gas firms.

Currently, North America accounts for major share of the global perforating guns market, owing to the rise in shale gas exploration activities and commencement of several offshore drilling activities in the region. E&P activities (onshore and offshore) have triggered investments in the perforating guns business across the globe. Increase in demand for energy in Asia Pacific, especially in China and India, is anticipated to propel the demand for perforating guns through the commencement of planned exploration and production of oil & gas wells.

Key manufacturers and suppliers of perforating guns include Hunting, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford International, and Halliburton.