HOUSTON Posco Ltd. is increasingly focusing on higher-value oil and gas markets as challenges in the commodity-grade steel market continue to mount.
"In the (commodity) steel market, its getting hard. Thats why we are focusing on oil and gas. The steel for oil and gas is getting a high(er) price because of the quality," Bo-hyun Kim, manager of Poscos oil and gas business department, told AMM on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.
Although Posco is very much a global player, the domestic steel market is playing a major role in the companys current strategy, Kim said. Posco set up an office in Houston two years ago to take advantage of growing demand for energy products due to increased shale exploration in the U.S. market.
"America is one of our biggest markets because shale gas is a big feature in (this) market," Kim said.
The energy industry has become Poscos largest end market, Kim added, noting that the company has been able to differentiate itself with both its quality and its research and development offerings.
"(Our) biggest market was shipbuilding and automobile, but now ... offshore and the oil and gas industry is our biggest market," she said. "The oil and gas materials need high quality ... due to the severe environment, so our technology and our research and development capabilities can contribute to the industry."
Pohang, South Korea-based Posco supplies pipe and tube makers with flat-rolled carbon, titanium and stainless substrate. It has also diversified into engineered products for drillers, while its specialty metals division makes stainless seamless tubes.