Saturday, December 12, 2015

GE Is Looking To Buy Halliburton Drilling Assets, As Well As Some Baker Hughes Completions Operations -- December 12, 2015


December 12, 2015: see first comment. GE has a brand new facility, 52,000 square feet, north of Williston. Oppidan was the developer. This is not the first time "Oppidan" has come up in the Bakken. For more, search "Oppidan" at this website. Here is one example. Oppidan projects in the Bakken at the Oppidan website at this link.
Original Post
I think one of the most interesting companies to have watched over the years as the economy has changed has been GE.

I don't invest in GE, never have, and doubt that I ever will. But during my Air Force days we studied the company for various reasons, and I never lost interest in the company.

I was vaguely aware of their financial arm but did not pay much attention to it. I was fascinated with their early (and poorly-thought-out) move into wind energy. I don't know how their wind division is doing any more, but about two or three or four or five years ago, it was very noticeable that GE was moving out of renewable energy and into oil and gas.

I first wrote about that back in 2011, "A Second Look at GE Diversifying Into ... Oil." Then in 2013, "Two Years Ago, GE And Renewable Energy Seemed Synonymous; Now? Not So Much."

In February, 2014, there was the story that GE closed on a huge deal to provide gas turbines for Exelon's power plants in Texas. February 26, 2014, GE's Immelt, President Obama's economic czar, said "the age of natural gas is here."

Just the other day I posted a story on GE's new huge and very efficient natural gas turbines going into Pennsylvania. The list goes on and on.

Today, to add to that list, another huge story. Bloomberg/Rigzone is reporting that GE is in serious talks to acquire Halliburton's drilling assets. I assume there are at least two story lines here: Halliburton and Baker Hughes have to spin off some assets for regulators to approve their merger; and, GE probably sees a great opportunity to acquire a lot of "stuff" at a really great price. I had not read the story until just now. Here's the lede and a bit more:
General Electric Co. is in advanced talks to buy the drill-bits and drilling-services divisions of Halliburton Co., which is divesting assets to win antitrust approval for its takeover of Baker Hughes Inc.
Selling both the drill-bits and drilling-services businesses could have fetched as much as $5 billion in total for the oilfield services provider, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this year, when the units were each put on the block. It is not clear how much the decline in oil prices -- which have been hovering near six-year lows -- may have affected their respective market values.
GE is also exploring bids for other assets that Halliburton is seeking to unload, including parts of Baker Hughes’s completions operations, two of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. No final deal with GE has been reached, and Halliburton may still decide to sell some or all of the other assets to other buyers, said the people.
When it first announced plans to acquire Baker Hughes in November 2014 -- a deal valued at $34.6 billion in cash and stock deal at the time -- Halliburton said it would divest assets with revenue of as much as $7.5 billion.
The first assets put up for sale in April were Halliburton’s drill-bits and drilling services business. The former makes the tips of drills for digging wells and could fetch as much as $2 billion in a sale, people familiar with the matter said in March.
The drilling-services arm, which operates as Sperry Drilling, uses data to track and steer the direction of drill bits and may sell for as much as $3 billion, the people said at the time.
It's a long article and there is much, much more at the link.

GE had a small footprint in Williston, ND, when I was there some years ago, but I do not know if their footprint has grown or remained the same. All I remember is a relatively small facility one block east of the Million Dollar Way, well south of Walmart.

A Note to the Granddaughters

I still think Texas is one of the friendliest states in the nation. [Actually, everywhere I go in the states, with some exceptions, I find the people overwhelmingly friendly.] This morning after dropping off our oldest granddaughter at school for a cross-country track meet, I stopped at the Shell service station on the corner of Pool Road and Ira E. Woods to fill the tank. I walked into buy a cup of coffee. When I went up to the counter to pay for the coffee, I thanked the clerk for being open so ear -- it was 6:40 a.m. (I'm sure they are open 24/7). He thanked me and told me to have a "good day." No charge for the coffee.

By the way, it appears that there are at least five major brands of coffee competing for my attention. Of course, Starbucks. Then, next door when the grocery store changed ownership, they dropped Starbucks and replaced it with Peet's. For some time now, Dunkin' Donuts has been on the grocery store shelves in this area, but no free-standing franchises. That's three. Of course, there is also McDonald's. But the coffee brand that really seems to be saturating the area with promotions and visibility is something called "Community Coffee" in distinctive burnt orange/light brown packaging and cups. I had not heard of Community Coffee until recently and have not seen it on any of my cross-country travels.

Well, there it is -- it began as a small family operation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1912, but it certainly looks like it has moved to a new level. I find it better tasting than Starbucks that I have at home, but when one says Starbucks it can mean about 23 different coffees and concoctions. Right now, it appears Community Coffee has two choices, regular and decaf, although I haven't seen decaf; but then again I didn't look for decaf.

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