Devon Energy Corp. has become one of the first companies to take advantage of GE Corp.’s new global technology center in Oklahoma City.
While the global energy and industry giant was in town to celebrate the groundbreaking at its newest research hub, GE also said it has created a technology collaboration agreement with Devon to develop products and technologies to make unconventional oil and natural gas projects more economical.
“The business we’re in is getting much more complex than it was in the past,” said Tony Vaughn, Devon’s executive vice president of exploration and production. “GE brings a great research history to bear. This is about trying to take an innovative approach knowing these are much more technically challenging and complex reservoirs than we’ve dealt with in the past.”
The companies said they will work together on artificial lift systems, advanced drilling technologies and water treatment and recycling efforts.
The partnership with Devon is an example of what GE hopes to accomplish with its new research center, said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas.
The agreement with Devon “builds on years of collaboration with the goal of helping unconventional projects reach new levels of efficiency and production capacity,” Simonelli said. “We will collaborate with Devon using the GE Oil & Gas Technology Center to develop ideas that can be quickly tested in the field. We aim to quickly deploy technologies that can improve the economics and operational performance of unconventional oil and gas projects throughout the United States and around the world as more countries seek to develop their oil and natural gas resources.”
GE previously has announced collaboration agreements with Chevron and Mexico’s Pemex. While many of the partnerships will be with oil and natural gas companies that do not have well locations nearby, the proximity to Devon’s operations will be an advantage, said Mark Little, GE’s chief technology officer.
“They have a lot of sites active in the area. We want to work some ideas with them, demonstrate them in the lab and get them out to the sites to test them in the real world,” Little said.
Besides the partnership with Devon, GE executives said they also have discussed possible deals with other companies in the area.
Such collaboration could have strong benefits to the companies and the entire industry, said Michael Teague, Oklahoma’s secretary of energy and environment.
“Devon is a good example both of innovation and how that innovation spreads throughout the industry,” Teague said. “The technologies they developed with horizontal drilling have spread to all the other companies in the area, big and small.”