Water, air, clothing, food; these are all things that come to mind when you think of day to day necessities. Oil is often over looked; many think we use it solely for gasoline; however it is perhaps one of the most used commodities by nearly everyone on earth. As the oil and gas industry continues to excel, major companies located within the United State are realizing now may be the time to explore this industry in depth.
According to a recent article “Right now, the map of who sells and who buys oil and natural gas is being radically redrawn. Just a few years ago, imported oil made up nearly two-thirds of the United States’ annual consumption; now it’s less than half. Within a decade, the U.S. is expected to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to regain its title as the world’s top energy producer.” Companies like General Electric are picking up on this and realizing it is time to explore this expansion. GE recently announced they are spending $110 million on a research lab in Oklahoma City to study ways to improve extraction of hard-to-reach oil and gas deposits, including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Hydraulic fracturing is a process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers located deep within the earth. Chief Technology Officer Mark Little confirmed they will hire up to 125 engineers and scientists for the upcoming project, and hope to expand the research to more conventional drilling techniques.
Recent reports from GE name oil and gas as one of their fastest growing segments, with revenues increasing to $15.2 billion in the last 3 years. The main focus of the project will not be limited to supplying equipment and services to energy farms. GE will concentrate on creating engines that can run on liquefied natural gas instead of diesel fuels, as well working with corporate fleets to add compressed natural gas-powered vehicles.
Some may ask why Oklahoma? In a recent phone interview with Governor Mary Fallin she explained Oklahoma offered incentives. One of the incentives includes the states participation in a program that provides quarterly payments of as much as 5 percent of new employees’ salaries. A start date has yet to be released, while GE is still scouting for an exact location.
We would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on hydraulic fracturing? What impact do you feel this research will have?