NEW YORK U.S. Steel Corp.
is considering vertically integrating into natural gas if the
opportunity is right, its top executive said.
"Weve actually examined a
few opportunities, and I think its something well
continue to look at, subject ... to availability of capital,"
chairman and chief executive officer John Surma said during the
steelmakers recent first-quarter earnings call.
Surma said that the company was
looking at a variety of approaches to enter that market, be
they "financial" or "physical, where youre taking a
working interest or you have a production team," he said. "I
think we have all that on the griddle."
The move could represent a large cost-saving for U.S. Steel,
a major user of natural gas. Higher natural gas prices are
expected to contribute to an operating loss in the
Pittsburgh-based steelmakers flat-rolled segment during
the second quarter, according to the companys
first-quarter earnings statement.