Vallourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions, today announces the dedication of its new pipe mill to serve, in particular, the North American market for production of shale hydrocarbons. Located in Youngstown (Ohio, United States), within the existing Vallourec Star facility, the new unit further expands the range of Vallourec products manufactured in North America. With an initial annual production capacity of 350,000 tons of small diameter seamless tubes, the new mill represents an investment of $ 1.05 billion and employs 350 people.
The mill delivered its first pipe in December 2012 and will ramp-up throughout 2013.
Speaking at the new facility's dedication, Philippe Crouzet, Chairman of Vallourec's Management Board, said:
"Implementation of this new state-of-art mill enables us to strengthen our premium products leadership in North America. I would like to recognize our local teams who have managed to complete a major project in an extremely short time frame. I also want to express our appreciation to the federal, state and municipal authorities for their unfailing support. With this new pipe mill, we are able to participate even more actively in the development of shale hydrocarbons in North America, with an offer that responds to all of our customers' needs."
Exploration and production of unconventional hydrocarbons has revolutionized the North American market for oil and gas, leading to a significant increase in accessible reserves in the region. The large number of wells and the use of horizontal drilling techniques required in shale hydrocarbon production have increased demand for small diameter tubes and premium connections.
With the new mill coming on stream, Vallourec's Youngstown site now offers the full range of products and services necessary for all hydrocarbon production, and in particular the shale developments. The integrated site includes a steel mill, a mill specializing in medium diameter tubes (from 5" to 10-3/4") and the new mill, which specializes in the manufacture of small diameter tubes (2-3/8" to 7").