It’s been roughly a year since GE completed its buyout of Baker Hughes, and this week GE said it plans to divest its 62.5% interest in “an orderly manner over the next two to three years.” GE said it plans to concentrate on its power, aviation and renewable energy business. That has many asking where that leaves Baker Hughes? Analysts with Cowen and Co.’s equity research group wrote in a note “assuming GE’s majority stake is not transferred to a single entity, removal of a controlling shareholder should benefit Baker Hughes’ valuation.”
In Washington, global energy giants, senior U.S. officials, and energy ministers from around the globe gathered this week at the World Gas Conference. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry used his time on the podium to tout innovation and soaring U.S. oil and gas output. Hart Energy Senior Editor Joe Markman was at the conference and reports that Secretary Perry also mentioned a need for an energy approach that encompasses fossil fuels and renewable energy. Meanwhile, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he met with Perry and U.S. Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin while in Washington to discuss U.S. sanctions on Russia and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany. The U.S. has stated it opposes the pipeline mainly because it might give Russia too much power in the region.
Also, during the conference, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth and Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods both expressed concern that trade conflicts could risk relations with some of the oil majors’ largest customers around the world, mainly China and the European Union.
Finally, following last week’s OPEC meetings, Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to pump up to 11 million barrels of oil per day in July, that’s the highest in its history.