Steadfast Commitment
Through Challenging Times

MRC Global is pleased to deliver this edition of InSight as the industry experiences a continuation of the oil price degradation that has persisted throughout most of the last two years. Small increases in onshore rig counts offer hope that we have seen the worst, but we continue to cautiously monitor the timing and extent of any recovery. Early indications regarding customer CAPEX spending for 2017 suggest some conservative increases; however, it is clear that spending on major new exploration and production projects is likely to be deferred until market saturation eases and supply and demand fundamentals support higher oil prices. Customers continue with solid levels of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) expenditures, although at lower than historical levels. Downstream refining and chemical customers have been taking advantage of lower feedstock prices and deferring non-critical maintenance, so we expect to see an increase in pipe, valve and fitting (PVF) demand from this sector during 2017.

These have been challenging times for manufacturers and distributors alike. As a result of customer demand for PVF products falling by up to 50% compared with 2014 peaks, many manufacturers have reduced production until current market levels stabilize. Manufacturers struggle to spread their fixed costs across a much lower revenue base, which in turn drives the unit cost of manufacturing and distribution service costs higher, unless efficiencies can be found or raw material costs are reduced. Driven by the same market forces, customers are demanding lower product and material prices to mitigate their own profitability challenges. MRC Global is committed to working with our customers to identify mutually beneficial solutions to drive down total cost of ownership and balance out these market challenges. Through a combination of product distribution, services and global sourcing, we pride ourselves on lowering our customers’ cost of doing business with innovative ideas and efficient processes. Standardization opportunities, technical innovation and advice, expanded product lines, alternative product offerings and integrated services are just a few of the ways we add solid value to our customers’ operations.

MRC Global’s primary goals throughout these difficult market conditions are as consistent today as they have ever been...

MRC Global’s primary goals throughout these difficult market conditions are as consistent today as they have ever been: maintain high service levels to our customers; continue to provide a safe place of work for our employees; maintain our competitive edge to meet the new level of market demand; generate free cash flow to pay down debt and position the business for future growth; and return value to our shareholders. We are pleased to report that we are delivering positive outcomes in all of these areas.

MRC Global continues to work with both customers and suppliers to meet the challenges of the current market environment, and we continue to mobilize our organization globally to service and grow our customer base. We have reduced the scale of our business and our operating costs to correspond with the decline in customer spending. We have successfully generated cash through inventory reductions and collection of receivables and have used those funds to pay down debt and buy back shares. We have added new product lines to expand our offering and have increased our head count in technical areas to differentiate ourselves from other distributors. We have a very strong balance sheet that will enable us to build inventories and consider organic acquisitions as we look toward a market recovery. And our year-to-date safety performance is our best on record.

As you read through these pages of InSight, the theme is a familiar one: no one knows how long this downturn will last, or when recovery will begin. Yet despite the industry challenges, these are exciting times for MRC Global. We are proud of our long association with the energy industry and the important role we play in the supply chain that is so important to our clients. We have experienced downturns in the past, and we know the challenges faced by our industry will bring opportunities. So as the world cautiously awaits recovery, we are forging ahead to deliver on those opportunities. At MRC Global, our mission is to deliver quality products to one customer at a time, time-after-time, wherever they are. For 95 years we have stood alongside our customers to deliver this commitment; even through the unpredictable times, this commitment to our customers will never waiver.

John Bowhay

Supply Chain Management,
Valve and Technical Product Sales
InSight Magazine: October 2015

Robert Stein

Business Development