December 5, 2013 / 11:41 PM / in 4 years

GE CEO says no plans to buy oil or natural gas producer

NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) - General Electric Co has no plans to buy an oil or natural gas producer, Chief Executive Jeff Immelt told Reuters on Thursday.

Ever since the conglomerate bought oil pump maker Lufkin earlier this year for nearly $5 billion, speculation has swirled on Wall Street that Immelt was itching to buy an energy producer amid the fast-paced growth of the North American shale boom.

“No, no plans to at all,” Immelt said in an interview on Thursday after a forum hosted by Esquire magazine in New York.

During the forum, Immelt said that with a hypothetical $10 billion, he would pursue several growth projects, including “buying an oil and gas company.”

When asked to clarify, Immelt said he would prefer buying energy-related companies that expand GE’s portfolio of pumps, jacks and other products, and melding them with new technology to allow energy companies to extract more oil and natural gas.

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