Tubular mills

At the Wall Street Journal (via NorthcentralPA.com)..."Steel Finds Sweet Spot in the Shale"


WEST MIFFLIN, PA.—The rising fortunes of a massive U.S. Steel Corp. plant here has much to do with what sits below: massive deposits of cheap natural gas.
Shiny coils roll off the line destined for energy companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale natural-gas formations that rest below much of southwestern Pennsylvania. Production for so-called tubular goods used for pipes, tubes and joints in gas drilling has doubled in two years, says Scott Bucksio, the general manager of the plant in the sprawling Mon Valley Works, as drillers have raced to extract ever-larger amounts of gas from the shale deposits.
As significant, or more so for energy-intensive steelmakers, is that newly plentiful natural gas “is also keeping costs down” said Mr. Bucksio of U.S. Steel.
With prices of natural gas down more than 35% to $2.21 per million British thermal units from a year ago due to abundant supply, the company has begun replacing coal with natural gas to power its blast furnaces...