SPEX Group, an Aberdeen-headquartered provider of innovative technology solutions and services to the global oil and gas industry, has secured a further multi-million dollar contract with Shell for the development of a subsea tool.
The Emergency Severance Tool (EST) is due to undergo final field tests in the Gulf of Mexico later this year. SPEX, which describes the tool as ‘revolutionary’, plans to make the tool commercially available in 2014.
The EST operates at depths up to 10,000ft, and forms an integral part of the drilling riser – the large diameter pipe that connects the rig to the seabed. The EST is positioned just above the blow-out preventer (BOP).
All drilling wells feature BOP safety valves, but there is a limit to their shearing capacity, and they are often unable to shear through large diameter of heavy-walled items being run into the well – items the industry has termed non-shearables.
According to SPEX, if there is an uncontrolled event, similar to the Macondo incident, the EST is trigged and will sever the non–shearable item that is otherwise obstructing the BOP, allowing the severed drillstring to fall into the well, and enabling the BOP to safely close and seal.
As well as fully designing, manufacturing and testing the EST on behalf of Shell Houston, once the product is commercial, SPEX is licensed to manufacture, sell and service the EST on a global basis.
The Aberdeen-headquartered company has invested significantly to expand its engineering and technology innovation capability to partner with clients to develop and deliver the next generation of smart tools that solve some of the industry’s biggest problems. The EST is one of a number of innovative projects SPEX is currently working on.
Chief Operating Officer Nadir Mahjoub said: “Shell looked to us for a solution to further reduce risk offshore and help safeguard the environment if there was an incident. Our team came up with the EST.
“It is one of a number of innovative projects SPEX is working on at present and has been taken from concept trial to field trials in little more than two years Because we have exceptional people, equipment and infrastructure all under the one roof, we can work extremely quickly to help solve client problems and challenges.’’
July 3, 2013