GE Begins Divesting from Baker Hughes Early

Less than one year after buying Baker Hughes (in July 2017), GE decided in June of this year it didn’t want its bright shiny new toy any more and would, over the next 2-3 years, divest itself of Baker Hughes (see GE Dumping Baker Hughes in Bid to Boost Stock Price). We figured GE would look for a new buyer and sell the whole thing all at once. But that’s not how it works in the world of high finance. GE owns 62.5% of all Baker Hughes stock (BH is, on paper, a separate company). Instead of waiting 2-3 years, GE is moving ahead now, beginning to sell some of its BH stock. Ever so gradually (don’t want to flood the market all at once). The plan, being called “mutually beneficial for both companies” by GE CEO Larry Culp, will draw down GE’s ownership to just over 50%, with an eye to completing the breakup sometime in late 2019.
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Moody’s Says Smaller Oilfield Services Cos. in Trouble from Debt

Moody’s Investor Service is sounding the alarm with respect to oilfield services (OFS) companies and debt. In a publication for Moody’s clients issued earlier this week, analysts said OFS companies don’t have the means to pay back towering debt in the short term, and “limited options” when it comes to raising equity to improve liquidity. What it means is this: Companies like Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Baker Hughes a GE Company are heading for rough waters. However, the biggies, like the three we’ve mentioned, will probably be OK. But their smaller competitors, according to Moody’s, may not be OK.
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Oilfield Serv. Co. Relocating Office & 200 People from WV to PA

In early 2017, Baker Hughes (prior to GE buying them) spun off its North American shale fracking business (“pressure pumping”) into a new, standalone company called BJ Services (see 3 Parents Give Birth to New Fracking Co: BJ Services). The “new” company involved investments and assets contributed from both Goldman Sachs and CSL Capital Management, in addition to BH. BJ Services used to exist as a standalone company before it was purchased by, and merged into, Baker Hughes in 2009–for $5.5 billion. BJ remained its own separate division within BH, but then got spun out again, back into its own company. We know, a bit confusing. Here’s what you need to know. In March 2016, BH closed its BJ operation in Mill Hall (Clinton County), PA and moved it to Clarksburg (Harrison County), WV. Now the reverse is happening. BJ, the standalone company, announced it is closing the Clarksburg operation and relocating it back to Mill Hall, along with some 200 people…
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GE Dumping Baker Hughes in Bid to Boost Stock Price

Looks like “Baker Hughes, a GE Company” will soon become just plain old “Baker Hughes” once again. This morning GE released the results of a year-long internal review. GE has its fingers in a lot of pies and wants to pull its fingers out of some of those pies. The results of the review recommend GE dump Baker Hughes (over the next 2-3 years), and also dump its healthcare division. The company will concentrate on three “complimentary” areas: aviation, power and renewable energy. The hope is that by focusing and shedding peripheral business units, the company’s financial performance, and stock price, will improve. Just last week GE was booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average after being a component of that average for over 100 years. The company’s stock was replaced on the DJIA by Walgreens. Truly humiliating. You may recall Halliburton originally wanted to buy Baker Hughes but the Obama Justice Department blocked the deal (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). Then GE came sniffing around and ended up buying BH in July last year, combining BH with GE Oil & Gas (see Baker Hughes and GE Complete Merger, World’s 1st Fullstream Co.). The resulting merged company was billed as a “fullstream” company–ticking all of the boxes in the oil and gas sector: upstream, midstream and downstream. But just four months after the merger there were signs of marriage problems (see 4 Months After Buying Baker Hughes, GE Wants to Sell It). And now it’s official. The two will be splitsville…
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Average Workers at Top Marcellus Drillers Make $100K+ Salary

The average worker who works for producers (i.e. drillers) in the Pennsylvania Marcellus makes among the highest average salaries of any industry in the state. Looking at six of the state’s top Marcellus drillers, the average worker made $113,610 last year! That’s an average taken from workers at CNX Resources, Range Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Southwestern Energy, EQT and Cabot Oil & Gas. We hasten to add not “all workers” but “average” or “median” workers–meaning there are people who make below that number and people who make well above that number. It also means the majority of Marcellus workers in those companies made at least $100,000 per year. Those working for oilfield services (OFS) companies like Halliburton, Baker Hughes and others didn’t fare quite as well, making an average of $52,000-$80,000 per year. Still, hey, it ain’t bad money! Here’s a look at the average wage for top Marcellus drillers and the OFS companies that serve them…
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Keep It…Sell It…GE Now Back to Keeping Baker Hughes

Industrial giant GE (General Electric) wooed and won the hand of Baker Hughes (BH)–the third largest oilfield services company in the world–buying/merging in Baker Hughes with GE’s Oil and Gas division in July 2017 (see Baker Hughes and GE Complete Merger, World’s 1st Fullstream Co.). But four months later, GE’s new CEO, John Flannery, said he wants out of the marriage (see 4 Months After Buying Baker Hughes, GE Wants to Sell It). Flannery said he was looking to sell all of, or part of, GE’s majority stake in what is now called “Baker Hughes, a GE Company.” Then yesterday, Flannery changed his mind again. Can anyone say, “Flaky Flannery” three times really fast? Yesterday GE said the Baker Hughes unit is now off the table and will not be sold as part of a plan to divest the company from $20 billion worth of businesses it owns. GE now “likes the combination [with Baker Hughes] a lot.” Go figure. Here’s the latest…
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4 Months After Buying Baker Hughes, GE Wants to Sell It

Industrial giant GE (General Electric) wooed and won the hand of Baker Hughes (BH)–the third largest oilfield services company in the world–buying/merging in Baker Hughes with GE’s Oil and Gas division just four months ago (see Baker Hughes and GE Complete Merger, World’s 1st Fullstream Co.). It didn’t take much for BH to say “yes” to GE’s proposal for marriage, coming off a botched attempt at marriage with Halliburton–a deal that the Obama DOJ destroyed (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). But now, four months into wedded bliss, GE has a new CEO and he wants out of the marriage. CEO John Flannery is looking to sell all of, or part of, GE’s majority stake in what is now called “Baker Hughes, a GE Company.” GE wants the nameplate on the door to just say “Baker Hughes, a Company.” Man oh man–four months and he already wants out of the marriage. What does that do to the self-esteem of the BH bride? Maybe GE can get an annulment? After all, it’s only been four months…
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Baker Hughes Oct Rig Count – US Slides by 18, PA Drops 1 Rig

The International (non-U.S.) Baker Hughes rig count for October 2017 was 951, up 20 from the 931 counted in September 2017, and up 31 from the 920 counted in October 2016. The U.S. rig count for October 2017 was 922, down 18 from the 940 counted in September 2017, but up 378 from the 544 counted in October 2016. Notice that we have almost as many rigs operating in the U.S. as the entire rest of the world (minus Canada). Canada’s rig count has improved a lot since earlier this year. However, Canada’s October rig count drooped a bit–204 in October (down 4 from September) but up 48 from October 2016. What about rig counts in the Marcellus/Utica? Pennsylvania lost one rig and ran an average of 32 rigs during October, versus Ohio running 29 rigs and West Virginia running 15 rigs, the same as September…
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US DOJ Demands Payments from GE re Unsold Water Biz

In July, GE Oil & Gas completed its merger/buyout of oilfield services giant Baker Hughes (see Baker Hughes and GE Complete Merger, World’s 1st Fullstream Co.). As is typical in these kinds of megamergers, governmental agencies that review the deal make the deal contingent on certain requirements. In the case of GE/Baker Hughes, the U.S. Dept. of Justice demanded GE sell its Water & Process Technologies business. GE agreed, and lined up a buyer (Suez, a French waste and water group). However, the deal has not happened (yet), and because there is a delay in making it happen due to “various administrative challenges,” the DOJ is demanding GE make DAILY payments–to the DOJ–as an “incentive” to get the deal done. The amount of the payments is unspecified. Where will all that money go? We don’t know, but we can certainly imagine. What do swamp-dwellers do with free money?…
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Baker Hughes and GE Complete Merger, World’s 1st Fullstream Co.

The new Baker Hughes logo, released Monday

As of Tuesday, the world now has its first and (so far) only “fullstream” company–a company that ticks all of the boxes in the oil and gas section–upstream, midstream and downstream. In October 2016 MDN brought you the news that GE Oil & Gas was making a play to buy out and merge in Baker Hughes Inc. (see Breaking: Who Needs Halliburton? Baker Hughes Merging with GE O&G). The merger faced its share of challenges, but compared to Halliburton’s attempt to buy Baker Hughes, which was denied by the Obama Dept. of Justice, this merger was a piece of cake. The newly merged company, flying under the name Baker Hughes, a GE company (NYSE ticker symbol of BHGE) has sailed by oilfield services company Halliburton to become #2 OFS company in the world. It may even be larger that #1 Schlumberger (we haven’t heard yet). As we pointed out in June, this is not some sort of 50/50 merger, this is a takeover/buyout of Baker Hughes by GE. Most of the new top management at the merged company comes from GE (see Baker Hughes, GE Release Roster of Coming Management Changes). Today is the first day the newly merged company’s stock begins to trade. It will be interesting to see at what price it trades…
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Coming GE-Baker Hughes Merger – World’s First “Full-Stream” Co.

You’ve heard of upstream, which that portion of the industry that finds and drills for natural gas and oil. You’ve heard of midstream, the pipelines and processing plants portion of the industry. And you’ve heard of downstream, which includes petrochemical plants, industrial users, and homeowners who use the stuff found and transported. But have you ever heard of “full-stream?” That would be a company that is involved, in a major way, in all three major areas of the energy business. Companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell come close, but they don’t really fit that description. They drill for oil and gas (upstream), and they have some pipelines (minimal). They do have a big presence in the downstream, with cracker plants and other petrochemical facilities. However, the first truly full-stream company is about to be born, from the merger between GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes. It will be a “molecule to megawatt” company. MDN friend Steven Heins, an energy and regulatory consultant and former vice president of communication for Orion Energy Systems, shares his observations about the impending merger and what it means…
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Trump DOJ Blesses GE Takeover of Baker Hughes, Merging Soon

During the Obama reign of terror, the world’s #2 largest oilfield services company, Halliburton, tried to buy the world’s #3 largest oilfield services company, Baker Hughes. The Obama Dept. of Justice (DOJ) killed that deal (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). It was a costly mistake for Halliburton–they had to pay Baker Hughes a $3.5 billion breakup fee. Baker Hughes was on a mission to sell itself to someone, and eventually found a new suitor last October: GE Oil & Gas (see Breaking: Who Needs Halliburton? Baker Hughes Merging with GE O&G). Since then the two have worked hard to ensure there will not be a repeat of the Halliburton disaster. Earlier this month we told you that Europe has blessed the deal (see Europe Approves GE Takeover of Baker Hughes, Co Gets a New Name). Now the Trump DOJ has blessed the deal too. GE had to agree to sell its Water & Process Technologies business (called GE Water). Small price to pay. The two maintain that the merger will take place “mid-year”. Since it’s already mid-year, we expect that translates to July or August…
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Baker Hughes May Rig Count – Steady & Holding Both US and M-U

The International (non-U.S.) Baker Hughes rig count for May 2017 was 957, up 1 from the 956 counted in May 2017, and up 2 from the 955 counted in May 2016. However, the U.S. rig count for May 2017 was 893, up 40 from the 853 counted in May 2017, and up 485 from the 408 counted in May 2016. Like last month, the U.S. rig count continues to be more than double year-ago levels. Canada’s rig count continued further into the abyss in May, falling another 23 after falling 145 last month–down to 85. However, Canada’s May rig count was 43 higher than May 2016. So perhaps it’s not yet an apocalypse for our Canadian cousins. What about rig counts in the Marcellus/Utica? Although 1 net rig changed location–from WV to OH, overall the combined PA/OH/WV rig count remained the same as last month: 68 active rigs drilling…
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Baker Hughes, GE Release Roster of Coming Management Changes

Yesterday MDN provided an update about the fast-approaching merger/buyout of Baker Hughes by GE Oil & Gas (see Europe Approves GE Takeover of Baker Hughes, Co Gets a New Name). We noted that it appears the new company, when launched, will have a new name: Bear Newco. However, would GE (and Baker Hughes) throw away the brand they’ve created over the past 100+ years in the Baker Hughes name? No, very doubtful. Which was more-or-less confirmed yesterday when Baker Hughes (and GE Oil & Gas) released the official leadership roster for the new company. We had already mentioned a few of the top names. This new list fleshes it all out–who will do what in the newly merged company, a company that will be bigger than current #2 in the world, Halliburton. The infographic (we call it a roster) of who will do what contains this name emblazoned across the top: “Baker Hughes, a GE Company.” The press release headline includes it too. So that’s what the new company name will be for branding/public purposes. Even though Bear Newco will be the company name filing paperwork with the government, the public-facing name will be Baker Hughes, a GE Company. Here’s the leadership roster for the new Baker Hughes (which doesn’t contain very much Baker Hughes)…
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Europe Approves GE Takeover of Baker Hughes, Co Gets a New Name

Last October, MDN brought you the news that Baker Hughes, the world’s third largest oilfield services company, had struck a deal to combine/merge with/sell itself to GE’s oil and gas business (see Breaking: Who Needs Halliburton? Baker Hughes Merging with GE O&G). The deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, will result in a new company that will be 65.5% owned by GE and 37.5% owned by Baker Hughes shareholders. The deal, IF it gets approved by the Dept. of Justice, will create a company with $32 billion in revenues. Make no mistake, aside from all of the “partnership” talk, this is GE buying out Baker Hughes. The CEO of the new company will be Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive of GE Oil & Gas. The board of directors for the new company will have 5 members appointed by GE and 4 members appointed by Baker Hughes. The deal, if it happens, would catapult the new Baker Hughes, which will have the name Bear Newco, past Halliburton to become the world’s second largest oilfield services company. Get this: The deal may even catapult the new company to become the world’s number one oilfield services company–eclipsing Schlumberger! As we said at the time: The question now is, will the Dept. of Justice approve the deal? Last year the Obama DOJ killed the proposed Baker Hughes merger with Halliburton (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). Perhaps in an early sign that the DOJ will approve this merger, the European Commission has given its blessing on the deal…
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Baker Hughes April Rig Count – M-U Highest in 12 Months

The International (non-U.S.) Baker Hughes rig count for April 2017 was 956, up 13 from the 943 counted in March 2017, and up 10 from the 946 counted in April 2016. However, the U.S. rig count for April 2017 was 853, up 64 from the 789 counted in March 2017, and up 416 from the 437 counted in April 2016. Did you catch that? The U.S. over the past year doubled its rig count. Of particular note is that Canada’s rig count went over a cliff in April, falling by 145 active rigs in one month. Not sure what that’s all about. What about rig counts in our neck of the woods–in the Marcellus/Utica? It was good news for our region. Pennsylvania’s average rig count was up by 2 (to 34), Ohio up 1 (to 22), and West Virginia up by 2 (to 12). Total rig count for the Marcellus/Utica was 68 active rigs in April–the highest in the past 12 months…
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