General Electric is poised to take advantage of Oklahoma's oil and natural gas heritage.
GE, a $240 billion company, announced Wednesday it will build a $110 million global research center in Oklahoma dedicated to driving innovation and technological advancements in the oil and natural gas sector.
“Our shingle is out today,” said Mark Little, GE's chief technology officer. “We're hiring.”
The new facility will employ at least 125 people in high-tech engineering jobs, “the kind of jobs we like to attract to Oklahoma,” Gov. Mary Fallin said.
Fallin joined GE officials on Wednesday in announcing the new research center, which will be the company's first sector-specific facility and eighth overall. GE also has research centers in New York, California, Michigan, India, China, Germany and Brazil.
CEO Jeff Immelt said technology is an essential part of today's oil and gas industry.
“Finds are more technically challenging today,” CEO Jeff Immelt said. “We believe that it is absolutely key to bring science, engineering and technology into the oil and gas sector.”
Immelt said Oklahoma was chosen for the new center because of its proximity to GE's oil and gas customers. The company intends to capitalize on the state's academic institutions and the area's skilled workforce.
“We expect this to be the first seed in something that grows over time,” he said.
GE has not chosen a specific site for its new center, but it will be in the Oklahoma City metro area.
“Unconventional resources, and shale gas in particular, may be one of the biggest productivity drivers of our lifetime,” Immelt said. “At GE, we see a tremendous opportunity in the oil and gas space.”
He said the company has invested $11 billion since 2007 to develop technical capabilities that can deliver productivity gains and foster innovation for its customers.
“Collaboration is key to leading the unconventional resource revolution, and in Gov. Fallin and the people of Oklahoma, we've found excellent partners,” he said.
GE's global research network includes more than 50,000 scientists and engineers working to solve some of the world's toughest challenges.