One of the issues facing energy companies who want to drill in the Marcellus Shale is how to get gas from the well to a processing facility, and from there to an interstate gas pipeline so it can make its way to market. Getting the gas from here to there requires pipelines. Without pipeline infrastructure, nothing happens.
One of the companies manufacturing pipelines for the Marcellus is V&M Star, based in Youngstown, Ohio. V&M Star, a subsidiary of France-based Vallourec & Mannesmann Tubes, is in the midst of a major expansion, building a new plant which will allow it to manufacture more pipelines for the Marcellus Shale.
V&M employs 450 workers at its pipe mill and has 120 contractors building a $650 million pipe mill to handle increased demand for pipe from drilling in the nearby Marcellus Shale natural gas formation.
[Eric Shuster, V&M’s general manager] said construction of the new mill is on schedule to run the first pipe in early in 2012. The mill is expected to hit full production by late spring 2012, matching the current mill’s 550,000 metric tons of pipe annually.*
*Tribune Chronicle (May 6, 2011) – Safety demos, equipment shown at V&M