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Steel Industry Benefits from Shale Gas Activity

The domestic steel industry is drawing increased investment as a result of the surge of natural gas production across the United States, Bloomberg News reports.  Not only does hydraulic fracturing require the use of steel pipes, but additionally the low cost of natural gas is a huge benefit to steel producers.  United States Steel Corporation recently spent $100 million on a facility to make tubular product for gas producers.  According to a press release of U.S. Steel, “Energy industry customers utilize U. S. Steel Tubular Products’ casing, tubing, line pipe and couplings to help them locate, retrieve, transport and refine the oil and natural gas products that fuel the world.”  U.S. steelmaker Nucor Corporation is constructing a $750 million Direct-Reduced Iron facility in Louisiana.  Nucor entered into a long-term natural gas agreement with Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. in order to guarantee a reliable, low cost natural gas supply for its existing and expected future needs.  The international steel industry has also noticed the benefit of the natural gas boom in the United States.  Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine AG has announced that it plans to focus on investments in North America.