Article By Bob McIlvaine
There are many difficult applications for valves. High temperatures, abrasive solids, corrosive fluids, and rapid cycling are just some of the conditions which challenge the industry. Both isolation and control valves must be designed appropriately. The valve industry has referred to these applications as “Severe Service.” This segment of the market will be impacted to even a greater degree than the market as whole because of its relatively large market share in oil and gas and other applications which are being hardest hit.
On the other hand, severe service is part of a high-performance segment which includes valves in critical services. So, some critical service Pandemic hitting hard on severe service segment valve segments will be growing. Specifically, this includes valves for pharmaceutical applications to deal with COVID-19. This includes vaccines, therapies, and reagents for test kits. Unique butterfly valves with mating flanges allow these pharmaceutical operations to take place without exposure of the product to the environment. The product moves from one process to another after the two valves are engaged and opened.
The oil and gas industry accounts for a large part of the severe service market. With demand falling and the pricing policies of Russia and Saudi Arabia, the activity in the shale regions of the U.S will be sharply curtailed. However, in a few years when oil demand reaches 2019 levels, there will be a big surge in oil and gas extraction. In this case, the U.S. will again become the leading producer. For this year though, oil and gas exploration and production companies, or E&Ps, are slated to lose $1 trillion in revenues in 2020, according to various analysts.
The E&P industry, which includes oil majors, made USD 2.47 trillion in revenues globally in 2019. But this year it’s projected to bring in USD 1.47 trillion, reflecting a 40 per cent decline year-on-year. Returns for 2021 are now also projected lower, at $1.79 trillion compared to a forecast of USD 2.52 trillion before the pandemic.