Oil/Gas Component Suppliers File a New Trade Complaint

Jan. 4, 2010
Domestic manufacturers of drill pipe target Chinese imports

Four domestic manufacturers of steel drill pipe — TMK Ipsco, VAM Drilling, Texas Steel Conversion, and Rotary Drilling Tools — have joined the United Steelworkers of America union in filing a trade complaint against imports of those products from China.

News of the filing followed quickly a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission that domestic producers of steel oil-country tubular goods have been hurt by Chinese exports of those products. That ruling is expected to result in countervailing duties up to 16% on Chinese products.

“Drill pipe” is defined as heavy seamless steel tubes used in drilling for oil and gas, to rotate the drill bit and circulate the drilling fluid. Joints of drill pipe up to 30 feet long are coupled together by means of tool joints.

The new filing, with the U.S. Commerce Dept., expands the domestic steel industry’s claims against their Chinese competitors. Later this month, the Commerce Dept. will decide whether or not to undertake an investigation into the complaint. Such an investigation would lead to another ITC ruling. If the ITC rules in favor of the complaint, Commerce would be asked to recommend duties on the drill pipe imports.