NEW YORK TMK Ipsco, the North American subsidiary of Russian pipe and tube maker OAO TMK, has won two three-year contracts to supply global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc with seamless and welded oil country tubular goods (OCTG), line pipe and premium connections for onshore and offshore applications, according to the company, although the immediate impact on its business remains unclear.
Five of TMK Ipscos North American plantsAmbridge and Koppel, Pa.; Wilder, Ky.; Blytheville, Ark.; and Baytown, Texasare currently providing pipe to Shell under the OCTG contract, while TMKs Volzhsky and Sinarsky mills in Russia are supplying line pipe, the company said in a statement Jan. 22.
Houston-based TMK Ipsco declined to discuss the agreement further, while Netherlands-based Shell didnt respond to a request for comment.
The volume of pipe to be supplied could vary significantly from the details of the agreement and Shells proposed drilling program for 2014, but one industry analyst saw it as a positive move for TMK Ipsco.
"The most important thing about this report is that TMK has gotten qualified with Shell and that Shell has chosen them. The volume is probably sort of secondary," Paul Vivian, principal of St. Louis-based Preston Publishing Co., told AMM.
"In our minds as manufacturers, getting qualified with Shell was always tough," according to Vivian, who from 1997 to 2007 was marketing director of energy products and marketing manager of OCTG at Maverick Tube Corp., now owned by Luxembourg-based Tenaris SA.