Mike Miazga 2016-11-08 13:11:47
PVF ROUNDTABLE PRESENTS $150,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS The final PVF Roundtable meeting of the year at the Westin Oaks at the Galleria in Houston in mid- October was highlighted by the industrial PVF networking group presenting $150,000 in scholarships to four schools involved in various supply-chain education programs. The University of Houston and Texas A & M University were each presented with $50,000 scholarships. Russell Dunlavy and Dr. Joseph Tedesco were on hand from Houston, while Dr. Reza Langari and Kyle Bryson represented Texas A & M. Both San Jacinto College and Lee College were presented with checks for $25,000 during the PVF Roundtable board meeting. Kevin Morris and Ruth Keenan represented San Jacinto, while Pam Warford and Debbie Jordan represented Lee. “These are important skills students are learning,” Warford said. “You can’t have people working in plants that don’t know what they are doing. We feel a real responsibility to properly educate and train people so they are ready to go into the workforce. There is a lot of expansion going on around here and all crafts are needed to build these units and they will be needed afterward to return and maintain them. It’s critical to educate students and get them the proper skill sets so we can supply these companies with the skilled jobs they need.” Since the PVF Roundtable Scholarship Program was started, $350,000 has been raised. “The neat part about the program is we’ve asked the schools to use it for industrial distribution and engineering, but San Jacinto and Lee College are trade schools that have certificate programs for areas such as welding, pipe fabrication, pipe fitting and instrument technicians,” PVF Roundtable President Joe Pro told Supply House Times in a video interview at the meeting. “We’re helping satisfy a need in the end-user market for skilled trades.” Pro reported the PVF Roundtable’s annual TroutBlast scholarship fundraiser was another major hit with more than 300 fishermen raising more than $30,000 for the scholarship fund. Also during the meeting, Supply House Times columnist and industrial PVF industry great Morrie Beschloss was honored for his 60 years in the industry. “I remember when the Roundtable had 50 to 60 members,” Beschloss said. “Since that time the group has really flourished. This organization means more to me than anything else in my 60 years in the business. I’ve loved every moment being in the industry. This industry made me. You are lucky to be in a great industry such as this where you can stay with it and grow with it. We have a great future ahead of us.” Pro said the PVF Roundtable membership stands at 225 and four new members were announced at the October meeting. “As things continue to pick back up in the economy, we expect membership to continue to grow,” he said. “The word is getting out. There is no other networking venue like this every 90 days. There is no greater value than what you get when you are a member.” Pro also announced the Roundtable will be leaving the two Westin hotels in the Galleria mall and will relocate to a new facility in Houston starting with the February meeting. CHICAGO TUBE AND IRON HIRES JACK BENJAMIN Chicago Tube and Iron recently welcomed Jack Benjamin as its new business-development specialist, pipe valves and fittings, for the company’s Cleveland, Ohio division. Benjamin is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and comes to CTI with experience in automated valve, pipe valves and equipment from JF Good Co. The company also noted Benjamin is an expert in the Ohio and Pennsylvania markets and industrial PVF products, specifically actuated valves. In his newly created position, Benjamin will help develop CTI’s industrial PVF sales. F.W. WEBB RECOGNIZED FOR 150 YEARS At its recent North American Meeting, the AD buying group honored F.W. Webb Co. For achieving its 150th year in business. Webb was honored along with PHCP distributor Thos. Somerville (155 years in business). “This year we had the extreme pleasure of recognizing two AD members who are celebrating astounding milestones in 2016 — F.W. Webb for its 150-year anniversary and Thos. Somerville Co., for its 155 years in business,” said Jeffrey Beall, AD’s president for its PHCP divisions. “These two industry-leading members have stood the test of time, always innovating and always looking after their customers, their people and their communities. We are proud to call them members of the AD community.” PVF INDUSTRY TRENDS MRC GLOBAL’S ANDREW LANE TALKS ABOUT CURRENT AND FUTURE MARKET CONDITIONS. Editor’s note: Earlier this year, Supply House Times ran a story on the state of the industrial pipe, valves and fittings industry. Included here are MRC Global President and CEO Andrew Lane’s full responses to Editor Mike Miazga’s questions. Supply House Times: What is your opinion on the current state of the industrial PVF industry? Are things starting to turn upward again, staying about the same or continuing to worsen? AL: This is markedly one of the worst oil-and-gas cycle downturns in history with global exploration and production spending down more than 45% in the last two years. We haven’t experienced a two-year sequential decline of this magnitude since the mid-1980s and while there are many predictions on when a recovery could take place, commodity oil-and-gas prices remain very volatile. Fortunately for us, MRC Global is well-balanced across all three oil and gas sectors: upstream, midstream and downstream, which minimizes the most extreme effects of this downturn. While we live in a world of volatile energy prices, the recent swings in commodity pricing have become even more severe. In 2008, we had a WTI U.S. oil price of $140/ barrel, only to see it drop to $28/barrel in early 2016. Our customers, other PVF distributors, oilfield service companies, drilling-rig contractors and all equipment suppliers and service companies either directly or indirectly tied to the oil-and-gas end market have had to adjust to the current industry outlook. Supply House Times: What do you attribute the current climate to? AL: Currently, we are in the middle of a two-year down-cycle that is primarily the result of an oil-andgas global over-supply situation and, most recently, a slowing of China and global energy demand that worsened the current situation. For the current oil-and-gas over-supplied market to correct itself, drilling is being reduced, which will eventually result in decreases in oil and gas production, putting supply and demand more in balance. Supply House Times: One or two things that continue to concern you in the industry? AL: There has been a significant loss of jobs during this two-year down-cycle and we will need to attract skills and talents back when growth begins again during the next upcycle. Supply House Times: What current industrial PVF positives are you seeing in your dealings with customers? AL: We are focused on areas of the business that we can control: managing our costs and staying focused on our customers by helping them solve the problems they face in today’s challenging market. Certain portions of our midstream sector have been less affected by the downturn. We also have seen many customers interested in expanding contracts to new services or geographies with MRC Global to create value without sacrificing service or product quality. These contract renewals and expansions are indicators of confidence in our company in spite of the current downturn. When the industry turns to the next upcycle, we will be positioned to continue helping our customers bring energy to the world. Supply House Times: Do you see this current downturn as shorter-term or something that could be longer-term? AL: Our primary energy end market always has been cyclical. There’s no doubt we are in the midst of one of the most challenging two-year cycles in oil-and-gas history, but the market will turn as the global demand for energy continues to increase. The question is only when that recovery will happen.
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