Oil and gas industry is one of the largest consumers of seamless tube and pipes. However, demand for pipes remained comparatively low over the past few years due to subdued oil prices. Recently, with the pullout of the US from the Iran nuclear deal sent oil prices to four-year high reaching $80/barrel. Indeed there would be significant implications on the global energy and pipes (OCTG and line pipes) industries if Iranian sanctions are restored. The Iran factor is not just the only element impacting the supply, part of this includes OPEC production cuts and political and economic crises in Venezuela. On the other side of the equation, demand exhibits some revival. The global economy is performing better than expected with tax cuts in the US and the reluctance of BOJ and ECB to tighten policy indicate towards that there is no immediate threat to the global economy.
With the oil prices rises, the output will also be boosted resulting surge in drillings. We also expect that there would be some supply additions in the global tubes and pipes industry. The US market is expected to see some further capacity additions going forward.
Asia is the key seamless pipe and tube market due to its rapid industrialisation and infrastructural developments. China leads the seamless market as one of the largest producers, though its capacity cuts and antidumping duties on its seamless steel pipes products, production is expected to suffer here. Commodity Inside expects these initiatives will help improving market fundamentals in the short term.
We also anticipate some changes in the end users markets share going forward, particularly in the power generation due to shift from conventional energy generations toward renewable. Wind and solar energy will see more penetration in the long term. This will put pressure on pressure pipes.
In the OCTG sector, the complexity and depth of wells have remained a key trend. More complex drilling is now being used, such as drilling at a 45-degree angle. Horizontal sections are also getting longer which are creating issues of pulling, compression and weight. We also expect that alternative materials are now on the rise such as aluminium and alloy. Commodity Inside also understand that carbon fibre composites are also making its way into the energy sector, due to its ideal attributes such as high-temperature capability, corrosion resistant particularly to seawater, and lightweight, long continuous length and high-pressure capability.
This article is based on our recently publish report “A Strategic Outlook for the Global Seamless Steel Pipe and Tube Market to 2028”.