Two leaders in the oil and gas industry are collaborating to bring more high-paying jobs to this oil and gas town.
GE Oil & Gas announced it plans to partner with Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy at GE's new Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center to accelerate the development of innovations that will improve the performance and economics of unconventional oil and gas projects.
The announcement was made Monday morning at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new research facility, located just east of I-235 at N.E. 9th Street.
When the $125 million facility opens in 2015, GE officials say, it will be home to 130 high-tech, high-paying jobs. The Center is part of the company's three-year effort to triple R&D investment in the oil and gas industry.
"GE is committed to leading the unconventional resource revolution," said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas, "and technology is the core of how we will win in this space."
Simonelli says the creation of tech hubs, like Oklahoma City, is enabling GE to get closer to its customers and bring best-in-class technologies to market quicker.
Research at the Oklahoma City facility is expected to focus on accelerating mid- to later-stage oil and gas technologies, and on solutions related to production systems, well construction, water use optimization, CO2 solutions and energy systems.
State and local elected leaders say furthering Oklahoma's reputation as a national leader in energy production and energy-related research has been a priority for many years.
"The addition of GE's new Oil and Gas Technology Center in downtown Oklahoma City is a major victory in that effort," said Governor Mary Fallin. "We are proud to welcome GE, one the world's largest and most successful companies with more than 300,000 employees in 160 countries, to our Oklahoma community."
GE officials estimate, with the new jobs at the Center and "its ability to attract customers from around the globe," the total direct and indirect economic impact on the state and local economies will be $13 million annually, if not more. To date, they say, 25 employees have been hired.
"Today's groundbreaking with GE represents another key milestone in our continuing efforts to create jobs and grow our city's economy," said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. "GE's new Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center will attract new business and new visitors to our city that will inject tens of millions of dollars annually into our local economy."
Construction on the more than 100,000 sq. ft. facility is underway. Miles Associates, a local architectural and design firm in Oklahoma City, is leading the design. Flintco, also based in Oklahoma City, is leading the construction. In the interim, GE is leasing temporary office space in the City Place Tower in downtown Oklahoma City.
GE Oil & Gas employs 37,000 people in more than 100 countries.