GE Gets Into the Fracking Biz
Sinks billions in bid to improve the process
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2013 6:37 AM CDT
In this Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, photo, a General Electric logo is seen on a refrigerator at Green's, a furniture and appliance store, in Albany, NY.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – One of America's corporate giants is putting its billions where the fracking boom is: General Electric is opening a new laboratory in Oklahoma, buying up related companies, and placing a big bet that cutting-edge science will improve profits for clients and reduce the environmental and health effects of the boom. Mark Little, a senior VP, says that even as recently as a decade ago, GE did "almost nothing" in oil and gas, but has invested more than $15 billion in the past few years. GE doesn't drill wells or produce oil or gas, but Little says the complexity of the fracking boom plays into the company strengths.

Little says the GE strategy ultimately comes down to looking at "minds and machines together"—for example, they have devices that can literally be put down into a well to give people on the surface information about exactly what's happening a mile or two below ground. "We'll get more information than ever before," he says, and that can be used to help improve production and profits, as well as monitor and reduce environmental impacts. At least one environmentalist welcomes the news as "exciting," saying it's "a positive response to legitimate public concerns about the environmental impacts" of fracking. Adds an engineering professor: "There are some real technical issues that these folks at GE might be able to make real progress on."

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
right2dave
May 28, 2013 1:17 PM CDT
GE also owns NBC. Watch for some reports on how safe "fracking" really is.
Spudsy
May 28, 2013 10:23 AM CDT
GE needs to work on getting thier share price up. It is holding back quite a few equity funds.
TeddyBloat
May 28, 2013 9:22 AM CDT
And AP has gone into the advertising [propaganda] business. Besides having no link to this corporate public relation piece, the story contains 2 unnamed sources: "at least one environmentalist" and "an engineering professor". Such great "cutting edge science" that no one wants their name associated with the project besides an executive at the company, and only a VP. Beginning to sound like Proctor and Gamble with all their PhDs; GE hires engineers to go into the "fracking" business. Really great thinking out of the box GE. All the wealth accumulated from tax credits and corporate welfare--what a great way to thank the taxpayers of the US!