Prices for domestic and imported oil country tubular goods (OCTG) and line pipe in the United States retreated in June after distributors came to believe that a dip in oil prices may further mute drilling investment for the rest of the year. The price for domestically produced J55 casing tumbled by 7.7%.
The price of West Texas Intermediate crude has remained mired below $60 per barrel in the month through Wednesday June 26, exacerbating an already-declining US rig count and slow pace of well completions. Exploration-and-production investment now is unlikely to bounce back until 2020, according to market participants.
Three domestic mill sources confirmed that orders have been dwindling, and distributors reported selling inventory at a loss to destock and raise cash. The number of active oil and gas rigs in the US stood at 967 in the week to June 21, the lowest since early February 2018.
"There just isn't much business," a...