Evaluative Case Study
A wide variety of valves are used in oil wells. Valves can become jammed due to scale, debris or objects lost in hole, and thus fail to either open or close properly. Operators have few options for determining the cause of the failure without pulling out the valve for inspection, a costly and time-consuming operation.
Using the VR90 downhole X-ray diagnostic service, an operator can obtain a clear image of the valve and determine the cause of the valve failure.
The image (bottom right), obtained at Visuray’s facilities, shows a flapper-type valve with a foreign object jammed between the flapper and the housing. The circular outline of the flapper is visible in the upper right of the image. The foreign object (a bolt) is seen protruding from the valve opening and out across the flapper. Combined with the VR90’s high-side indicator, this image would provide an operator with the size and location of the object obstructing the valve, and enough information to plan appropriate remedial actions.