General Electric Co. on Wednesday said it plans to build a $110 million research center in Oklahoma, with the goal of developing "technologies that enable safe, efficient and reliable production, delivery and use of unconventional oil and gas."
The announcement comes in the midst of a shale-gas boom that "is changing the global energy landscape," as GE said in a news release.
"Unconventional resources, and shale gas in particular, may be one of the biggest productivity drivers of our lifetime," GE CEO Jeff Immelt said. "At GE, we see a tremendous opportunity in the oil and gas space."
GE noted that its $15 billion oil and gas division is the fastest-growing business unit in the company.
The new facility, GE's first sector-specific research center, will create 125 high-tech engineering jobs initially, according to the company.
GE said it has not chosen a specific site for the facility yet.
The company noted that it has 550 employees in Oklahoma City working in its artificial-lift division, which makes electric submersible pumps for oil and gas applications.
Artificial-lift products are becoming more important to the oil and gas industry because they can make new and mature oil fields more productive, according to GE.
"Advancements in technology are revolutionizing the way energy is produced, whether it be deeper subsea fields, hard-to-reach unconventional resource sources, or mature oil fields getting a second life," said Daniel Heintzelman, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas.
"The creation of the new center, in close proximity to many of our customers, will allow us to accelerate the development of new technologies and enable GE to deliver even more advanced solutions to our customers faster."