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With consideration to preliminary reports of equal or slightly higher consumption in 2013, actual OCTG requirements are expected to continue to rise in the foreseeable future. This expected increase is in spite of lower total rig count numbers, which have been a traditional indicator for OCTG market activity. A resulting shift to the analysis of well count and footage drilled has occurred to obtain a more accurate predictor of oil country tubular commerce. Following this guideline, MRC Global is closely monitoring 2014 forecast amounts, which are tentatively showing OCTG consumption levels at 6.5 million tons or more.
In 2014 and beyond, evolving well technology will continue to provide new methods for extraction in previously vacated territories. Additionally, as the US prepares to begin exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), the price of dry gas has remained stable and pending mandates approving the export of US oil could further develop customer requirements for OCTG products. With overall project complexity increasing, MRC Global expects customers to seek fully integrated supply partners, with the ability to furnish more specialized, higher-grade products.
In 2013, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted to proceed with the antidumping investigation of certain OCTG products from India, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam and Korea. Preliminary determinations by the US Department of Commerce found dumping practices in eight out of nine countries, with margins extending from 5% up to 110%1. At this time, Korea is the only nation not impacted by the preliminarily US Department of Commerce decision and as such, import volumes are not expected to change significantly. The US Department of Commerce is scheduled to review and finalize antidumping determinations on July 8, 2014 with ultimate rulings by the ITC to follow in August 2014.
1 Pipe Logix, "2013-14 OCTG Trade Case Implications," February 2014.
*MRC Global sells OCTG exclusively in the North American market. This outlook applies to this region only.
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