Vallourec Star to Shed 60- to 80 Jobs at Pipe Mill

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Vallourec Star, which three years ago opened a new $1 billion pipe mill at its complex along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, announced today it would eliminate 60 to 80 jobs effective in early August.

The company said the continued downturn in the oil and gas market forced Vallourec to streamline its operations and reduce its workforce.

“We exhausted all options before taking this step, including voluntary layoffs and early retirement,” Vallourec Star President Judson Wallace said in a statement. “We have a strong, skilled workforce and I am hopeful we can re-hire people back as our needs change in the future.”

Sales are “significantly below” 2014 levels, the company reported, and said it expects the soft market to continue into 2016.

Vallourec manufactures oil country tubular goods, or OCTG, pipe at its two Youngstown production plants. The company supplies pipe for the oil and gas market, which has been hit hard because of weakened oil prices that have forced drillers to scale back production.

A sister company, VAM USA, recently started production of a threading mill at the Ohio Works Business Park.

“Vallourec understands the cyclical nature of the oil and gas industry and remains confident in the business long-term,” says the company’s statement. “We are taking steps now to remain competitive in the long run.”

The company noted it was taking measures to streamline production through new capital improvement projects, such as the installation of a new piercer in the older mill. This replaces equipment that was first installed 30 years ago, the company said.

Pictured: Interior of Vallourec Star’s pipe mill in Youngstown.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.