NEW YORK United
Metallurgical Co.s (OMKs) bullish outlook for the
U.S. oil and gas market prompted its $100-million investment in
a new oil country tubular goods (OCTG) mill near Houston,
president Vladimir Markin told AMM on the eve of the
plants official opening.
"We have a very positive view on
the future development of the oil and gas market here. The
market is growing and the consumption of pipes also will grow,"
he said through an interpreter.
The Moscow-based steelmaker
plans to produce 100,000 tonnes of OCTG at the
electric-resistance weld (ERW) mill this year, and will mainly
look to source coil locally, Markin said.
"We evaluated this market
quality-wise and we are very happy with (the) local coil
quality, and we (will) work with coils produced locally. If
necessary, some supplies from Russia are possible, if its
viable from an economic point of view," he said.
A number of domestic OCTG mills
have come online in recent years and more have been announced,
but Markin said he wasnt concerned about overcapacity as
these would likely just displace the large number of imports
entering the U.S. market.
"Right now, a lot of OCTG is
imported to the United States. And we are sure ... that the
imports will decrease but that local producers will be busy
with orders," he said.
The new facilitys
equipment should also provide OMK with a competitive
"Our plant is up to date, it is
equipped with ... modern equipment, and we dont fear any
competition right now," Markin said, adding that he expects the
companys product to be in high demand.
Markin woukldnt comment
directly on whether the company was concerned about steadily
declining OCTG prices, saying only that "we understand the
local prices and we can state that we can be competitive here
(at current price levels)."