Italian billionaire steel tycoon Paolo Rocca, who controls Tenaris SA, the world’s largest maker of seamless-steel pipes for the energy industry, expects the creation of 600 American jobs at his $1.8 billion plant in Texas.
The pipe-making plant is due to open later this year in Bay City to serve the shale wells, Bloomberg reports.
Rocca is joining an array of investors and oil industry giants racing to get a piece of the action amid a resurgence of shale drilling in the US. His engineering, steel and energy conglomerate is also investing $2.3 billion in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation to drill 150 wells.
Rocca said his team has received encouraging feedback from the Trump administration, and that the president’s bottom line is jobs, with the new plant creating 600 positions. And it doesn’t hurt that a member of the Trump cabinet, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, championed Tenaris’ investment decision when he was governor of the Lone Star State.
Rocca’s projecting global industry demand for oil well pipes to balloon by more than a third this year to 12.1 million metric tons, mostly led by US explorers, he said.
Pipe pricing is already up 19 percent over the past couple months, and he’s expecting to hire on another 1,500 workers around the world over the next few months.
Tenaris is one of the many units of Rocca’s empire, under his Techint Group. He also controls steelmaker Ternium SA.