Tenaris to idle some US ops amid oil price collapse

Pipemaker Tenaris is idling some of its US tubemaking operations at the end of March amid the collapse in oil prices, including the former TMK Ipsco electric arc furnace in Pennsylvania.

The Luxembourg-based company will idle its 600,000s t/yr electric arc furnace (EAF) billet mill in Koppel, Pennsylvania, and its 496,000 st/yr seamless pipe mill in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, on 31 March.

The company will also shut down its threading plant in Brookfield, Ohio, and will reduce its workforce at its threading plant in Baytown, Texas, and its welded pipe plant in Hickman, Arkansas, on 17 April.

The company expects to lay off 900 employees.

Tenaris idled a 250,000 st/yr welded pipe mill in Blytheville, Arkansas, on 30 January, soon after acquiring the mill in its purchase of pipemaker TMK Ipsco.

The closures come as the oil and gas industry faces its deepest downturn in decades amid a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. US crude prices have fallen below $30/bl while many oil and gas operators in the US shale industry had budgeted for oil prices to remain at or above $50/bl in 2020.

The growing coronavirus pandemic has also impacted economies around the world, with large swaths of Europe shut down and the US economy being hammered as the virus spreads across the country.