Visuray was born out of a simple desire to help oil companies see inside their wells, thereby eliminating downtime on rigs where each moment of uncertainty translates to thousands of dollars lost. Conventional imaging in wells is fraught with issues, not least being the fact that most wells are filled with opaque fluid. The solution has been to use X-rays that pass through all types of well fluids and then to use the backscattered X-rays to produce 2D and 3D images of the downhole hardware, even in the most opaque and troublesome well environments.
With start-up funds from Statoil, BP and Shell, we first developed the foundation for our technology. In 2005, the first successful laboratory image was taken through mud. Two years later in 2007, a prototype four meters long and nine inches in diameter was run in the Ullrigg test well just outside Stavanger. This prompted a second round of funding by our JIP partners. In early 2015, after seven years and US$90 million of investment, a 3 5/8 inch commercial wireline tool, called the VR90, was successfully tested in a well in Germany.
Today, Visuray comprises a team of more than 50 professionals from 20 countries, who have developed the world’s first Downhole X-Ray Platform (DXP). Visuray has developed cutting-edge technology and proprietary processes to deliver electronically produced radiation in an oil well at unprecedented levels of brightness in a perfectly safe manner. Coupled with the most sensitive high temperature solid state X-ray detectors, Visuray can see and diagnose problems inside oil wells with millimetric accuracy. The first commercial product stemming from the DXP is the VR90 downhole X-ray diagnostic tool. It has proven itself in the field with 100% successful jobs conducted in North America, Europe and the Middle East since 2015. In 2017, the second product, the VR90s advanced diagnostic tool, debuted with a job in Europe setting the stage for advanced diagnostic capabilities being offered to the marketplace. Having mastered the technical challenges in developing the DXP, Visuray is on the cusp of introducing a family of services that will change the way oil companies diagnose their wells for optimum productivity and safety.