General Electric to build $110 million oil, gas extraction research lab to study drilling techniques

OKLAHOMA CITY - General Electric officials say the company has set aside $110 million to build an oil extraction and fracking research lab in Oklahoma City.

GE Chief Technology Officer Mark Little told Business Week as many as 125 engineers and scientists could be hired in the coming months.

The lab will consider ways to improve extraction of deep oil and gas deposits, including techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. 

The researchers will also reportedly investigate several environmental concerns, like underground water usage and electricity needs of the wells. The fracking process has become increasingly controversial as its effect on drinking water and the likelihood of earthquakes have come into question.

Last week, a journal study concluded that oil drilling was responsible for a 5.6-magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma in 2011, making it the largest man-caused quake ever recorded.

READ: 'Report concludes earthquake caused by drilling, water injection' (http://bit.ly/14H7X0Q)

The 'Geology' report also stated the water injection was performed using a traditional drilling technique, and did not require the use of hydraulics.

Business Week is reporting GE is still looking for a spot to build the facility, and hasn't announced an opening date.

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