Aberdeen, Scotland-based SPEX Group and Shell have negotiated a deal for final testing of the company’s Emergency Severance Tool (EST) later this year in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Shell looked to us for a solution to further reduce risk offshore and help safeguard the environment if there was an incident,” Chief Operating Officer Nadir Mahjoub said. “Our team came up with the EST.”

The EST, which operates at depths of up to 10,000 feet, is positioned at part of the drilling riser, just above the blowout preventer (BOP). All deepsea wells have BOP valves, but those valves have a limited shearing capacity for some large-diameter parts of the drill string run into wells. These tools are called non-shearables. The EST cuts through these non-shearables in emergency situations, allowing the severed drill string to fall into the well and the BOP to close and seal it.

SPEX plans to make this additional safety measure commercially available in 2014.

“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,” Mahjoib adds. “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.’’

While SPEX is designing, manufacturing and testing the EST for Shell Houston, SPEX will be licensed to produce, sell and service the product globally once it’s commercially available.

 SPEX provides a range of products, technology and services in the energy market. The company holds ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accreditation. For more information, visit www.spexservices.com