History

​The history of Vallourec, whose origins date back to the 19th century, is that of the progressive merger of many regional, national and then international companies in the metallurgy sector, leading to the creation of today's Group, the world leader for premium tubular solutions primarily serving the energy industry.

The foundations of the Group's current economic model - a strategy based on expertise, innovation, high added value, as well as global scope combined with a local presence in close proximity to its customers - have been apparent throughout its development.

1886-1957
1965-1984
1985-2006
2007-2013
2014-Now

1886-1957 : The origins and founding of Vallourec

1886: Invention of the rolling process for seamless steel tubes
The Mannesmann brothers’ invention revolutionized the tube industry.
1890s: Establishment of the founding companies
Tube manufacturers in France began to adopt the seamless tube production method developed in Germany by the Mannesmann brothers. Industrial production sites were created in Burgundy and in the "Nord" Department, birth place of the future Group.
1899: "Société métallurgique de Montbard" listed on the Paris Stock Exchange
The Société française des corps creux, located in Montbard, Burgundy was founded in 1896 and renamed upon listing on the Paris stock exchange in 1899. The company would become one of the historic cornerstones of Vallourec.
1920s: First movement towards concentration of the steel tube industry
After WW I, factories which had previously been widely dispersed and non-specialized began to combine and specialize. The Haumont site merged with Recquignies, then with Louvroil. At the time, Recquignies manufactured seamless tubes, and Haumont and Louvroil furnished small welded tubes.
1930s: Manufacturing tubes for the oil industry
A new factory primarily designed to manufacture tubes for the oil sector was built in Aulnoye. Its first customer was the Compagnie française des pétroles (CFP, later to become Total). Tubes for the oil industry were the initial catalyst driving Vallourec's internationalization.
1931: Birth of Vallourec
The depression of the 1930s led French tube manufacturers to establish closer ties. This resulted in the creation of an industrial and commercial partnership among manufacturing plants in Valenciennes, Louvroil and Recquignies, managed by a new company, Vallourec.
1957: Vallourec listed on the Paris stock exchange
After the merger of the Société des Tubes de Valenciennes and the Société Louvroil-Montbard-Aulnoye – Vallourec became the second largest steel tube manufacturer in France.

1965-1984 : Innovation and strategic partnerships

1965: Launch of the VAM® joint
The launch ot the VAM® joint (named after Vallourec and Alexandre Madrelle, the engineer in charge of the project) was an innovation which revolutionized the oil sector. As a result of perfect "metal-on-metal" seal tightness, this connector rapidly became the benchmark in the petroleum industry.
1967: Emergence of a French steel tubing leader
The French tube sector restructured itself around Vallourec, which acquired all the tube business of its main competitor, Lorraine-Escaut... and became the uncontested French leader in the steel market. From that point on, Vallourec entered into a series of partnerships and created a new development thrust based on product and market diversification.
1975: Commissioning of the Saint Saulve Steel and tube mills
With the construction of this integrated steel mill, Vallourec took control of some of the steel mill supply it needed to manufacture its seamless tubes. The tube mill was built and commissioned three years later.
1976: Industrial partnership with Sumitomo
The development of the oil market prompted Vallourec to build industrial partnerships in order to meet its customers demand worldwide. In 1976, Vallourec signed a licensing agreement with the Japanese group Sumitomo (the third largest producer of steel tubes worldwide) and created a joint venture with it in 1984 to produce and market VAM® connections on the other side of the Atlantic. These agreements were the starting point for an ongoing collaboration.
1980s: VAM® Licenses
Vallourec granted licences to manufacture VAM® joints in various countries including Great Britain (British Steel), Mexico (Prinver) and Indonesia (P.T. Citra Tubindo). Several years later, the Group acquired these licensees, strengthening its presence in the premium market serving the oil country tubulargoods market ( OCTG). It was time to conquer the world oil markets and this goal led Vallourec to enter the US market.
1984: Vallourec enters the United States
Vallourec founded VAM PTS (Premium Threading Services), a joint venture between Vallourec (51%) and Sumitomo, specialized in the manufacture and distribution of VAM® joints on the American market.

1985-2006 : Growth and internationalization

1987: A very tough year
Affected by the economic and financial crisis, Vallourec owes its survival to the skill of its management team and the outstanding efforts of each of its employees. The Group's executives invested their own money to save the company from bankruptcy, and succeeded in convincing Usinor, then a shareholder, to inject several million French francs.
1997: Creation of V & M Tubes
Vallourec & Mannesmann Tubes (V & M Tubes) was a joint-venture between Vallourec (55%) and Mannesmannröhren-Werke (45%). Mannesmann contributed solid sales in China, Mainly in power generation and mechanical engineering, complementing Vallourec's expertise and leadership in premium tubes for the oil and gas sector. V & M Tubes became a world leader in seamless steel tubes.
2000: V & M do Brasil
V & M Tubes acquired Mannesmann’s tube manufacturing business in Brazil, comprising a steel and tube mill in Belo Horizonte, an iron ore mine and a plantation.
2002: Acquisition of North Star Steel in the United States
Renamed V & M Star, the company included an electric steel mill and tube mill in Youngstown, Ohio, and a heat treatment and threading plant in Houston, Texas. This acquisition considerably strengthened the Group's presence in the United States, the flagship market for oil and natural gas.
2005: Vallourec takes full control of V & M Tubes
In 2000, when Vodafone took control of the Mannesmann AG group, it sold the 45% share in V & M Tubes to Salzgitter AG. In June 2005, Vallourec acquired this 45% stake and took full control of V & M Tubes, thus taking advantage of the expanding market conditions.
2006: Listing on the French CAC 40
It was after this transaction that Vallourec entered the CAC 40, which includes the most important securities listed on the Paris stock exchange.
2006: Creation of VAM Drilling
Following the acquisition in September 2005 of Omsco, in the United States, a specialized manufacturer of drill pipe and of SMFI in March 2006, Vallourec became the world’s number two in drill pipes for the oil and gas markets. The drill pipe activities were re-grouped under the name VAM Drilling.

2007-2013: World leader in premium tubular solutions

2007: Strengthening Vallourec’s presence in China
Strong growth in Chinese energy needs drove the decision to build a mill in China for the cold finishing of large steel tubes for electric power stations: V & M Changzhou. A second plant, VAM Changzhou, was commissioned in 2007 for the threading of oil and gas tubes.
2007: Pursuing the growth strategy
Vallourec (56%), in partnership with Sumitomo (44%), announced the construction of a new integrated production site in Brazil. The new Vallourec & Sumitomo do Brasil (VSB) plant, located in Jeceaba, was inaugurated in 2011.
2008: Acquisition of three American companies specialized in premium oil and gas tubes
Vallourec strengthens its position in the North American with the acquisition of Atlas Bradford, specialized in premium threading for the oil and gas industries, the heat treatment specialist TCA, and Tube Alloy, a manufacturer of OCTG accessories.
2009: Increased participation in premium OCTG threading in Indonesia
Vallourec increased its participation in in PT Citra Tubindo Tbk (PTCT) to 78.2%. A VAM® licensee since 1985, PTCT also holds the patents and technology for premium "NS" joints. The PTCT plants in Batam (Indonesia) conduct OCTG tube heat treatment and threading, and produce specific accessories for the oil and gas markets in the Asia-Pacific zone.
2009-2010 : Development in the Middle East
With the acquisition of DPAL FZCO followed by Protools, Vallourec strengthened its presence in the Middle East through its drill pipe business, VAM Drilling. The oil drilling market in the Middle East is experiencing rising demand for premium products
2010: Investment to maintain world leadership for nuclear plant tubes
Vallourec invested €80 million in Montbard (Burgundy, France) to triple its production capacity of tubes for nuclear plant steam generators (Valinox Nucléaire).
2010: Investment responding to the rapid expansion of unconventional gas in the US
Vallourec announced the construction of a new tube mill in Youngstown (Ohio) to support the long-term development of unconventional gas production in the United States (shale gas).
2010: Reinforcing the offer of premium solutions for offshore line-pipe
Acquisition of Serimax, a company specializing in the design and development of integrated welding solutions for offshore line-pipe resisting to the most extreme conditions.
2011: Inauguration of VSB
The new state-of-the art integrated plant, Vallourec & Sumitomo Tubos do Brasil (VSB), a joint-venture of Vallourec (56%) and Sumitomo (44%), was inaugurated in September 2011. Located in Jeceaba (Minas Gerais), the plant has a production capacity of 1 million tonnes of steel and 600,000 tonnes of tubes, and employs a workforce of 1,600.
2011: Launch of the new capacities of Valinox Nucléaire facility in Montbard (France)
Valinox Nucléaire is a world leader in the production of stainless steel anf high-nickel alloy tubes for nuclear steam generators.
2011: Vallourec strengthens its local presence in Saudi Arabia
Through the acquisition of Saudi Seamless Pipes Factory Company Limited (Zamil Pipes) Vallourec strengthened its local presence in Saudi Arabia with operational heat threatment and threading facilities, with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year. This acquisition made Vallourec the first on the OCTG market to own local installations for heat treatment and threading. A VAM® threading line was added.
2012: Participating in the development of unconventional hydrocarbons in the United States
Vallourec began operating the new premium small-diameter tube mill in Youngstown (Ohio), thereby covering a full range of products and services necessary for the production of all hydrocarbons, especially those relating to shale oil and gas.
2012: A complete offering of local services in Brazil
A new accessories plant in Rio das Ostras offers a complete range of solutions for oil exploration, combining seamless steel tubes, VAM® connections, premium accessories for the drilling and completion of wells, and project management. This expanded services base has extensive facilities and offers a full range of services as part of Vallourec Global Solutions.
2013: Vallourec, the single brand for all companies of the Group
Since the formation of the joint venture Vallourec & Mannesmann Tubes, numerous entities of the Group operated under the V & M brand. In 2013, in an effort to contribute to strengthening its world leadership and assisting its growth strategy, Vallourec combined all of its entities under the same name: Vallourec, attesting to the successful consolidation of the numerous companies acquired by the Group worldwide.
2013: Two new research centers in Brazil and Europe
Dedicated to all the pre-salt activities of the Group, the new research center based in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), allows Vallourec to work even more closely with the national oil company Petrobras. In Germany, the new research center in Düsseldorf is dedicated to the design and development of steel tubes for power plants and line pipe for Oil & Gas. Since 2014, it also houses a welding laboratory.
2013: Extension of the services offer in the Middle East
Vallourec’s finishing plant in Saudi Arabia is fully qualified by its client, Saudi Aramco. Located in Dammam, the plant provides heat treatment and threading for the entire range of VAM® premium connections. In Abu Dhabi, Vallourec inaugurates an interior coating line (for internal plastic coating) intended primarily for drill pipe manufactured at the Dubai site. Thanks to the integration of this finishing process, the Group extends the local content of its products and services.

2014-Now: New challenges

2014: Vallourec increases its presence in Africa
Present in Angola since 2007, in 2009, Vallourec opened a sales office and a VAM® premium threading facility in Nigeria. In 2014, Vallourec signs three major contracts in Africa for deepwater offshore projects in Ghana, Nigeria and Angola. Vallourec has supplied over 66,000 tons of premium tubular solutions for very complex projects. In 2015, Vallourec establishes a new sales office in South Africa.
2014: A new oil crisis
2014 marks the beginning of a new oil crisis that will affect the whole industry. The high oil price drop leads to a strong reduction in investment from oil operators, especially in the United States and in the EAMEA area. Vallourec launches an ambitious competitiveness plan to structurally reduce its cost base, and adapt its organizations around the world to a drastic decrease of activity.
2015: 50th Anniversary of VAM®
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of VAM®. At a time when the market is more demanding than ever, premium connections and human connections go hand in hand. The Group continues to meet the challenges of its clients by adhering to its values of competitiveness, premium quality, proximity and collaboration.
2016: In Europe
In line with its premium positioning, Vallourec is focusing its European activities on the design and production of high value added products and solutions and will focus its R&D activities in France and Germany. Hot rolling activities will be centralized in Germany, while fi nishing activities (heat treatment and threading) will be concentrated in France.
2016: In Brazil
The creation of a single production center through the merger of Vallourec Sumitomo do Brasil in Jeceaba and Vallourec Tubos do Brasil in Belo Horizonte, will enable Vallourec to generate significant industrial synergies to create a highly competitive production base.
2016: In China
Vallourec acquires Tianda Oil Pipe. Thanks to a successful partnership of five years since acquiring a stake in 2011, this acquisition will enable Vallourec to develop a wider range of highly competitive solutions combining VAM® connections and Tianda pipe.