Natural gas bolstering OCTG outlook

May 18, 2012 | 11:32 AM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  Vicki Avil, Scott Barnes, TMK Ipsco, natural gas, OCTG imports, Michael Cowden, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — The forecast for the oil country tubular goods (OCTG) market is strong for the rest of the year, boosted by an optimistic outlook on the abundant supply of natural gas in the long run, according to two of TMK Ipsco’s top executives.

"At the present time, inventory levels are pretty well in balance. Heat-treated-type grades of OCTG have fairly good lead times. Overall, our outlook is still good for OCTG," Scott Barnes, vice president and chief commercial officer of the Downers Grove, Ill.-based steel pipe and tube maker, told AMM. "While the economy isn’t robust . . . there are periods of growth, such as manufacturing in the first quarter, which was quite strong. We’re seeing a warmer-than-normal winter, natural gas in storage, energy companies switch from gas-directed drilling to oil-directed drilling, and liquid gas being produced. We’re going to see a continued rig count, which changes well design and demand for certain types of OCTG."....

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