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After GE merger, Baker Hughes must now find niche

By David Hunn and Jordan Blum

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“When we decided to complete this merger, it was really to create a transformation in the industry,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, the new chief executive of Baker Hughes and former chief of GE Oil & Gas. “Everybody is committed to the oil and gas industry being a major part of the portfolio of GE.” … Late last year, the company spun off its hydraulic fracturing fleet into a new company, BJ Services, of which it still holds a minority stake. Analysts took that move as a sign Baker Hughes was getting out of the fracking business, which dominates North American oil production. GE’s edge in data collection But analysts said the new company can excel in other sectors of the competitive services market and bring the efficiencies that production companies increasingly demand. For example, GE’s expertise in data collection and analysis could tell oil and gas companies when to replace parts – before they break down – and how best to stimulate production in old wells. “There’s a lot of big-data solutions they’re able to provide to the oil and gas sector that haven’t been tapped yet,” said Jonathan Garrett, an analyst at energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.

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By David Hunn and Jordan Blum

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