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Chevron, GE Unit to Ally on Natural Gas, Oil Technology

Chevron Corp. and GE Oil & Gas agreed Monday upon an alliance to develop and commercialize oil and natural gas technologies for the industry.

The Chevron GE Technology Alliance, reached with Chevron Energy Technology Co. and the GE unit, extends a collaboration on flow analysis technology for wells. The alliance would leverage research and development (R&D) from GE's recently launched Global Research Center, the first dedicated to oil and gas technology, which is being built in Oklahoma City.

"GE brings its leading manufacturing capabilities, worldwide marketing, distribution, and extensive R&D capabilities not only for oil and gas, but also other business sectors to this alliance," Chevron Energy Technology President Paul Siegele said. He also is Chevron's chief technology officer (CTO). "Together, we hope to bring impactful new technologies to the industry."

Chevron, the No. 2 U.S.-based producer, and GE units are developing the GE Safire flow meter, now being tested and deployed on Chevron land-based well production lines in the western United States. In addition to the flow metering collaboration, which is being conducted with the measurement and control business within GE Oil & Gas, the alliance manages a coatings project and plans to take on additional high-value projects in the near future.

"The solutions developed by this alliance will take on even more industry significance given Chevron's proven leadership in being first to field-test and deploy new technology breakthroughs," said GE Oil & Gas CEO Lorenzo Simonelli.

The alliance would provide a mechanism to commercialize early stage technologies from Chevron, GE or other technology partnerships. For example, GE flow meter products would be developed incorporating the swept frequency acoustic interferometry metering technology incubated in an alliance between Chevron and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

"Los Alamos develops unique technologies and these can have powerful applications for U.S. industry," said Los Alamos CTO Duncan McBranch. "Strategic partnerships with industry allow us to accelerate breakthrough innovation in these areas. As the alliance demonstrates, national laboratories can serve an important role in connecting different industry partners to strengthen the U.S. innovation landscape."

GE in December announced plans for the research center, which it said would create around 130 high-tech jobs and provide a direct and indirect economic impact of $13 million on the state and local economies. GE at the end of 2013 had invested about $14 billion in its global oil and gas business since 2007.

The new center is to focus on accelerating mid- to later-stage energy technologies, including production systems, well construction, water use optimization, carbon dioxide solutions and energy systems. It also is collaborating with the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and University of Tulsa. Construction on the 95,000 square-foot facility is to begin in the spring, with operation start-up in 2015.

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