MRC Global April 2017 InSight
MRC Global April 2017 InSight

Positioned for Success
Through Market Recovery

MRC Global is pleased to bring you our April edition of InSight. For the first time since 2014, the theme of the following pages reflects an improving market and signs of an upturn. As the uncertainty of the past two years begins to gradually fade, we are optimistic that recovery is finally here. Although it may be some time before we experience peak production and confident increases in capital expenditures, the pendulum seems to be shifting in a more positive direction.

2016 was a year of challenges. Market saturation and low oil prices continued, driving customers to reduce overall spending and seek lower product and material prices. In turn, manufacturers decreased production volumes in line with the falling demand. As we move into 2017, some regions of the world are still facing sluggish upstream conditions and shrinking activity, while others are starting to see signs of hope: oil prices are beginning to stabilize, the gap between supply and demand is tightening and customers are cautiously moving forward with projects and solid levels of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) expenditures. In North America, rig counts are increasing, midstream infrastructure projects are moving forward and downstream refining and chemical activity continues to be solid. Europe’s downstream activity is experiencing a cautious upturn and tank storage developments are continuing. Asia Pacific markets are stabilizing, and the resource-rich Middle East and Caspian regions are benefiting from large projects and investments in the area supported by major integrated oil companies (IOCs). As a result, we are beginning to see an increase in pipe, valve and fitting (PVF) demand, and MRC Global is prepared to support this activity.

As we move through this new climate of activity, our teams are keeping a close eye on issues that have the potential to impact both manufacturers and customers, such as US President Donald Trump’s “Buy American” domestic policies. This new administration’s position on global sourcing could have a significant influence on the balance between supply and demand for the products our customers rely on and the projects they have planned. Of note, in January 2017, the President directed the Secretary of Commerce to draft a plan requiring the use of US-sourced materials for all newly constructed, retrofitted, repaired and extended pipelines located within US borders. The regulations resulting from this plan have the potential to impact demand for those products and the supply of these materials to our customers. We are taking this issue very seriously and are monitoring any new developments.

At MRC Global, our mission is clear: to deliver superior service to our customers around the world and provide innovative supply solutions to enhance our customers' operations.

Regardless of market conditions and government mandates, our customers look to distributors to deliver stability to their projects and assistance in lowering overall supply chain costs. At MRC Global, our mission is clear: to deliver superior service to our customers around the world and provide innovative supply solutions to enhance our customers’ operations. Continuing to cooperate with both customers and manufacturers, our teams worked diligently to meet the challenges of the downward market and have positioned our organization globally to support and grow our customer base. Like our customers, we made difficult decisions to reduce the scale of our business and our operating costs to correspond with the decline in activity; however, these decisions have positioned us well as we move into recovery.

Our company has invested in optimizing our global network to adjust to the market, to grow with our customers and to best meet their needs. We expanded our regional distribution center (RDC) in Bakersfield, California to support growing contracts along the West Coast. Our new RDC near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was brought to full operation, adding valve automation capabilities to better service our customers in the Marcellus and Utica regions. We consolidated two facilities in Singapore, relocated both our Thailand servicing branch and Bergen, Norway valve automation center (VAC) to more modern facilities and upgraded our servicing branch in Belgium.

To maintain our competitive edge, we continue to add new product lines to our portfolio and technical specialists to our team, which further differentiates MRC Global from other PVF distributors. Additionally, following the successful implementation of our new SAP ERP system in the Asia Pacific region in May 2016, we are now in the process of implementing this system throughout the rest of our businesses outside of North America. By the end of 2017, all of our subsidiaries outside of North America will operate under one common ERP platform. We are taking action to support our customers, wherever they are, and to deliver the service they expect from a strong distribution partner.

At MRC Global, we are encouraged as we look ahead into 2017 and beyond. Our customers are ramping up activity around the world, new contracts are being executed and opportunities are on the horizon. In a prevailing atmosphere of uncertainty, we have remained focused, adapted to market conditions and turned market challenges into opportunities.

To our customers and suppliers, thank you for the confidence you have placed in us. Together, we have navigated through what was arguably the worst oil and gas downturn in 30 years, and together, we face recovery primed and well-positioned for success.

InSight Magazine: October 2015

Robert Stein

Senior Vice President
Business Development
InSight Magazine: October 2015

John Bowhay

Senior Vice President
Supply Chain Management,
Valve and Technical Product Sales