The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has been requested to investigate whether any rise in steel imports has resulted in harm to the domestic steel industry. This could possibly affect the supply of drill pipe here. While almost all drill pipe used here is manufactured domestically, the manufacturers use raw materials - such as green drill pipe tubes and tool joints - that are imported. Because the volume of imported steel that goes toward drilling pipe is so small, the industry opposes the investigation, fearing it would adversely impact the quality and supply of drill pipe.
"The investigation has important - and potentially very harmful - consequences for the drilling industry, and we support the effort to remove drill pipe components, including green tubes and tool joints, from the investigation," says Brian Petty, senior vice president-government affairs for the International Association of Drilling Contractors.
Recently, the ITC removed tariffs on imported drill pipe from Mexico and Argentina, increasing available supplies to U.S. contractors.