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Tenaris issues layoff notices at Arkansas steel pipe mill

Tenaris has issued layoff notices to employees at its Blytheville, Arkansas, pipe mill amid weakening demand for energy tubular steel products in the US, a spokeswoman for the company said in a statement sent to S&P Global Platts Friday.

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"Drilling activity in the oil and [natural] gas market has been steadily declining. This has had a direct impact on tubulars, which has been further compounded by a significant level of unfairly traded OCTG imports, despite the low demand," Tenaris spokeswoman Carolina Mendoza said in a statement, referring to oil country tubular goods.

"As a result of the slowdown, we have made the difficult decision to lay off just over 90 employees at our welded pipe facility in Hickman, Arkansas," Mendoza added.

Tenaris Hickman has an annual capacity of roughly 900,000 st, according to the company.

The US rig count stood at 870 as of November 20, down 325 compared with the same week a year ago, according to the latest Enverus Drillinginfo RigData count. The drop in drilling activity has weighed on prices for OCTG in the US.

The monthly Platts US domestic OCTG assessment dropped to a midpoint of $775/st November 1 from $875/st in the previous month, while the Platts import OCTG assessment also dropped to $725/st from $825/st. Prices are for J55 carbon ERW pipe.

--Justine Coyne, justine.coyne@spglobal.com

--Edited by Bill Montgomery, bill.montgomery@spglobal.com