ULTRA Family of Premium Connections

ULTRA Premium Connections are basically flush-joint threaded casing and tubing that is widely used in the development of shale gas in the United States. In 2010, the Company estimates that ULTRA held approximately 30% of the U.S. market for premium connections used in the development of shale gas.

In May 2010, to meet growing demand from U.S. producers of natural gas, TMK IPSCO opened a new production facility in Brookfield, Ohio, which focuses on finishing processes for the Company’s line of ULTRA Premium Connections. In March 2011, a second thread line was commissioned at the same plant, doubling the capacity of the facility, which is now 480 thousand joints per year. The commissioning of the new line provides even faster response to the growing demands of the Marcellus Shale — the largest shale gas play in the United States.

Last summer the Company introduced the new ULTRA-DQX™ connection to the market. This connection combines a patented Full- Contact™ thread and fittings that comply with API standards. The new product quickly gained popularity among developers of gas shales due to its high torque capacity, gas tightness and cost-efficient design.

The prospect of active development of the bitumen oil sands in Canada also contributed to the expansion of TMK IPSCO’s premium threading capacity in 2010. TMK IPSCO continues to expand its presence in promising markets in Latin America and in the past year has opened trade representations in Brazil and Bolivia for the sale of ULTRA Premium Connections.

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