GE Oil & Gas is buying Cameron’s reciprocating compression business for $550 million in a deal intended to leverage the expansion of shale gas development worldwide.

The business provides reciprocating compression equipment and aftermarket parts and services for oil and gas production, gas processing, gas distribution and independent power industries.

High-speed reciprocating compressors are used in several applications from gas gathering, gas lift and injection, as well as transmission and storage. The development of shale oil and gas fields, particularly in North America, has increased demand for high-speed reciprocating compressors, GE said. As shale continues to develop in other regions of the world, such as Asia and South America, the acquisition will position GE to serve the industry globally.

“Our increased strategic focus, the buoyant oil and gas sector and our track record in providing high-quality support to customers, combined with Cameron’s reciprocating compression division, will position us for accelerated growth,” said GE Oil & Gas CEO Lorenzo Simonelli.

Oil & Gas is one of GE’s fastest-growing businesses, with orders rising from less than $1 billion per year in 1994 to nearly $20 billion today and profits growing at an average 16% over the past three years, the company said.

The Cameron business is to become part of GE’s Oil & Gas recently formed downstream technology solutions business in order to better serve the $11 billion downstream and distributed gas segments. The new business is designed to deliver products, services and packaged solutions for both the traditional downstream and the evolving unconventional oil and gas sectors.

“Cameron’s reciprocating compression division will become an important part of our downstream offering to customers,” said Hasan Dandashly, vice president of GE’s downstream technology solutions unit. “Its services and geographic presence will expand our distributed gas portfolio and enhance our shale capability and services expertise for our customers.”

The acquisition complements GE Oil & Gas’ existing high-speed reciprocating business, which focuses in low-horsepower units that are used predominantly used in gas lift applications. The Cameron business adds higher-horsepower models used in gas gathering, processing and transmission.

Cameron’s reciprocating compression division, which generated sales of approximately $355 million in 2012, has about 900 employees and operates from 20 global locations. The acquisition is expected to close later this year subject to regulatory approval.