General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and Statoil’s Sustainability Collaboration has launched the call for entries for its second Open Innovation Challenge  focusing on water usage in the development of onshore unconventional oil and gas reservoirs. Through crowd sourcing, the Challenge seeks to find innovative solutions for both reducing fresh water usage and treating and reusing water from development activities—while maintaining or improving productivity.

“This collaboration with Statoil is centered on both our companies’ commitment to continued investment in technology and innovation to help develop low-cost and more efficient energy solutions. We recognize that great ideas transcend any one company or geography, which is why we’ve launched this open innovation challenge,” said Eric Gebhardt, Chief Technology Officer, GE Oil and Gas. “We invite individual innovators, institutions and companies—large and small— from around the world to co-develop potential solutions to make energy production more sustainable by improving the use of water in unconventional operations.”

Water, a precious natural resource, represents one of the greatest environmental stewardship challenges facing the oil and gas industry. Companies involved in onshore unconventional development and production, in particular, have a strong incentive to develop technologies and methods that reduce fresh water usage, as well as treat and recycle water that returns to the surface as part of their operations.

“Ideas at any scale are welcome,” said Lars Høier, Senior Vice President, Research, Development & Innovation, Statoil ASA. “Even incremental strides in improving water management can add up to significant conservation gains. Wherever possible we try to reduce freshwater usage; for example we recently successfully fractured  two wells with 100% produced water, saving 3.5 million gallons of freshwater per well – and we are eager to do more to help move the industry towards better water conservation.”

The collaboration was launched in January as an ambitious joint technology-focused program to drive industrial solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing global oil and gas production. The initiative seeks to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas development and production by accelerating the development of environmentally and economically sustainable energy solutions.

In this second challenge, up to five winning entries will win a prize of $25,000 USD each and the opportunity to be eligible to receive additional funding from an available discretionary prize pool of $375,000 USD in development funds. Also, GE Oil & Gas and Statoil will leverage their joint assets and resources to support the commercialization of the winning submissions.

The launch of the Water Challenge “Reduced Use and Reuse of Water in Onshore Operations” comes just as the Sand Challenge (“Reduced Use of Sand in Onshore Operations”) draws to a close.  The Sand Challenge focused on reducing the amount of (or replacing) sand required to drill and maintain productive wells. Finalists in that Challenge will be announced later in July. (Original Source)

Shares of General Electric opened today at $26.38 and are currently trading down at $26.225. GE has a 1-year high of $28.68 and a 1-year low of $23.41. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $27.12 and its 200-day moving average is $25.70.

On the ratings front, GE has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 26, William Blair analyst Nicholas Heymann reiterated a Hold rating on GE, with a price target of $30, which represents a potential upside of 13.7% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on June 18, Deutsche Bank’s John G. Inch maintained a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $29.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Nicholas Heymann and John G. Inch have a total average return of -1.9% and 13.0% respectively. Heymann has a success rate of 37.5% and is ranked #2800 out of 3691 analysts, while Inch has a success rate of 83.3% and is ranked #760.

The street is mostly Bullish on GE stock. Out of 7 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Buy rating and 3 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $33.00, which implies an upside of 25.1% from current levels.