The French/German company of Vallourec & Mannesmann Tubes, headquartered in Paris, announced today a $650 million expansion project in the city of Youngstown.
communiqué de presse (in français) ici.
press release (in english) here.
from the release for this direct overseas investment:
"Vallourec, leader mondial des solutions tubulaires premium, annonce aujourd’hui qu’il va construire une nouvelle tuberie pour petits diamètres à Youngstown (Ohio, Etats-Unis)."Youngstown's proximity to the Marcellus Shale was mentioned at the press conference today and through the company's press releases as one of the major reasons for choosing the Mahoning Valley.
"The exploitation of unconventional gas resources has revolutionized the US gas market and, thanks to new technologies lowering extraction costs, has become a sustainable source of gas supply. Shale gas production typically requires an increased number of wells, horizontal drilling and sand fracturing at high pressures. This implies higher volumes of small diameter alloy pipes, with an increasing proportion of premium connections. "
"[The Youngstown project] will complement the range produced by Vallourec in North America and will consolidate the Group’s leadership position as a provider of competitive and fully integrated premium tubular solutions. Ideally located close to major shale basins (eg. Marcellus), and combined with the Group’s other operations in the vicinity of other shale plays, this new facility will benefit Vallourec’s customers in the US."
But what really is the Marcellus Shale?
In a few words, the Marcellus Shale is a ginormous natural gas field which can be a major future source of energy.
The website geology.com presents an excellent overview of the Marcellus Shale, and wikipedia provides the following map of where it can be found in the US:
However, perhaps the greatest source online about Youngstown's opportunities with the Marcellus Shale can be found at two blogs, the Greater Youngstown 2.0 blog and the Burgh Diaspora blog.
The author's posts, for months now, have hit home the energy opportunities for a global Youngstown.
essential reading for sure.