US Technology to Capitalise on Efficiency, Climate Change
US-based General Electric signed two contracts with Norway’s Statoil and Algeria’s Sonatrach to export its technology, further indicating that American companies are capitalising on their engineering expertise to increase their clout in Europe.
“The national hydrocarbon group Sonatrach and the American company General Electric (GE) signed Thursday in Algiers a memorandum of understanding on the creation of a joint company for the manufacturing of equipment used in oil and gas industry” Algeria Press Service wrote on Thursday.
Sonatrach will control 51% of the joint stock company. GE will hold the remaining 49% stake.
Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi participated in the ceremony, underlining how the technologies could help the country. According to the Algerian politician, the deal could speed up developments.
GENERAL ELECTRIC AND STATOIL
On Wednesday, GE announced a similar cooperation with Statoil.
‘This joint technology-focused program is aimed at driving an industrial response to some of the biggest challenges facing global oil and gas production, including flaring, CO2 and methane emissions, and water usage, while also optimising business operations’ reads a note released by Statoil.
The importance of GE’s engineers demonstrates that US could leverage its technology to increase its clout in the global oil and gas industry. Especially in a moment European companies are cutting down budgets and CAPEX, technologically advanced firms might take advantage of the situation.
“In order to respond to the growing energy demands of the world, continued investments in technology and innovation are critical to helping develop long-term, low-cost and more efficient energy solutions” Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE, commented.
The increased focus on climate change could come in handy too.
‘GE’s Energy Services provides cleaner, smarter and more efficient solutions to address the challenges of growing energy use, changing electricity demand, and climate change’ reads the company’s Growing in Europe leaflet.
The two contracts signed by GE this week adds to a previous agreement clinched on January 20, through which Schlumberger will acquire a minority equity interest in Eurasia Drilling Company Limited.
‘The agreement extends the successful long-term relationship enjoyed by the two companies within the strategic alliance signed in 2011, which has enabled deployment of a range of drilling and well engineering services to customers in the Russia land conventional drilling market’ reads a note released by the American company on January 20.
The increased American interest for Europe, Russia and North Africa became evident over the last months, also in light of gloomy upstream prospects in the United States.
According to Halliburton, its North American costumers are expected to cut spending by 25-30%. Financial Times recently wrote that global spending was revised downward by a less alarming 10-15%. Middle East, Africa and Asia should be the regions less affected by cuts.
Sergio Matalucci is an Associate Partner at Natural Gas Europe. Follow him on Twitter: @SergioMatalucci