Steel Mills

Vallourec and Evraz to Cut U.S. Positions

Written by Sandy Williams

Tubular steel producer Vallourec said Monday that it will lay off more than 900 employees at its U.S. plants due to a significant drop in activity by its oil and gas customers.

The layoffs will be implemented in the coming weeks across all plants and support functions and impact over one-third of Vallourec’s workforce and contractor positions in North America.

Edouard Guinotte, chairman of the management Board, said in a press release:

“The world and the Oil and Gas Industry are living through extraordinary times, particularly in the U.S. The decisions announced today are necessary in a quickly deteriorating environment, but preserve our ability to serve our customers efficiently. After reviewing possible alternatives, they were not made lightly and I, together with the Vallourec Executive Committee, will ensure they will be implemented in the full respect of Vallourec values.”

Evraz filed a WARN notice on Monday with the State of Oregon stating that it plans to lay off 230 employees at EVRAZ Portland beginning April 6 and continuing over a two-month period. The company cited a “significant business downturn.” The Portland facilities produce plate, coil and large diameter spiral line pipe.

In an email to the Portland Business Journal, Evraz communications director Patrick Waldron said, “A number of factors contributed to this situation, including economic conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Crude oil prices and pipe product demand have dropped considerably and pipeline construction projects have been delayed or slowed, shrinking demand for spiral pipe products.”

Waldron said the spiral mill will be shut down and a separate plate mill will operate with fewer employees. The rolling mill will continue operations.

Low oil prices and the global pandemic have taken a toll on the oil and gas market. Tenaris idled operations in Pennsylvania and Ohio earlier this year as well as adjusting production in Texas and Arkansas. U.S. Steel Tubular is idling operations at Lorain and Lone Star Tubular.

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