CHICAGO Timken Co. Steel
Group president Salvatore J. Miraglia Jr. described himself as
"really excited" about shale drilling, calling the opportunity
"a wonderful development" for his company and the entire
Miraglia told AMM that
demand for seamless tubing made from special bar quality (SBQ)
billets will keep growing as the United States taps into the
burgeoning resource to produce crude oil and natural gas.
"The shale play is a wonderful
development because we make products well suited to the needs
of deep-shale horizontal drilling," he said. "It wont
only help our businessin terms of economical energy, it
can make our industry much more competitive on a global
Miraglia said he isnt
worried about low natural gas prices slowing exploration and
extraction. "Now that its down to $2 (per million British
thermal units), we need the incubation time to generate the
demand that such economical energy will create," he said.
For example, fleet owners are
trying to figure out how to convert their vehicles and truck
builders are beginning to produce natural gas-fueled models, he
said, and electricity providers are starting to build or refit
generating plants to use natural gas.
During this period, "demand
pressure will begin transitioning to the product. Meanwhile,
the people doing the drilling (will be) going after the wet
gases because oil is still at $103 a barrel," Miraglia said.
Another opportunity will arise when liquid natural gas
terminals at U.S. ports are converted from import to export
Shale drilling will have
benefits that go beyond any one industry, Miraglia added. "This
resource has the abilityover the course of a number of
years you can count on one handto make the United States
energy independent . . . and balance trade."