Latest News

ConocoPhillips and Statoil Petroleum back downhole X-ray technology in joint industry project with Visuray®
A joint sponsorship development agreement has been signed to fund the development of the VR360 Diagnostic Cement Evaluation Tool.
Visuray Successfully Completes First VR90s Advanced Diagnostic Job
The operation took place in an offshore well in the Netherlands, for a major Dutch oil company.
Visuray Introduces the New VR90s Advanced Diagnostic Tool for Well Inspection
An improved version of the VR90 downhole X-ray diagnostic tool is now commercially available.
Visuray Expands Diagnostic Services on Unique Downhole X-Ray Platform
The family of tools, known as the Downhole X-Ray Platform, will have two new products added to it.
Visuray EGM May 2017: Notice
An EGM has been convened for May 10, 2017.
Visuray Downhole X-Ray Diagnostics Debut in North America
US operations has performed a job for a large exploration and production company.
Visuray Concludes Two-Well Campaign for Statoil
A second downhole X-ray diagnostic operation has been performed on a Statoil asset
visuray company office sliema malta
Visuray AGM Sep 2016: Update
All resolutions were passed
visuray crew on statoil rig offshore norway
First Downhole X-Ray Operation Offshore Norway for Statoil
Visuray has performed the first downhole X-ray diagnostic operation offshore Norway for Statoil
visuray and mayor of randaberg kristine enger
Mayor of Randaberg Visits Visuray in Norway
Kristine Enger learns about Visuray technology at tour of R&D facility
Visuray at OTC 2016 in Houston
Getting excited about going operational in North America
Visuray at 3rd Annual Well Intervention Conference
A great meeting place for well intervention decision makers
Visuray at SPE Bergen One Day Seminar
Our first time exhibiting at SPE Bergen One Day Seminar
visuray commercial well operation images taqa energy coiled tubing disconnect
First Commercial Well Operation
Successful completion of our first commercial job for TAQA Energy B.V. in Holland
visuray studying data at third successful external well test
VR90 Successfully Tested
Third external well test with no recorded failures
visuray CEO kambiz safinya with kathy ireland
Visuray on Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland
Our Group CEO discusses oil and gas X-rays with Kathy Ireland
VR90 X-Ray Tool Reveals Unknown Object
Another successful well test at a well site in Stavanger
Visuray at Germany well for field testing
Visuray Successfully Completes First Stage of Field Testing
Our first external test job in a 2500m well in Germany
An Important Milestone
VR90 has commenced testing in the Visuray Test Well
Visuray Presents Paper at SPE ATCE
X-ray Backscatter Imaging in an Oil Well
Visuray Receives Achilles Certification
We have received approval from Achilles Joint Qualification System
Visuray Nominated at the ONS 2012
We've been nominated for the ONS 2012 SME Innovation Award
Visuray’s CT to Present Paper at OTC
Our Chief Technologist will be presenting a paper at OTC 2011

Technical Papers



Operators continuously strive to improve the efficiency of well intervention activities, as any time spent on interventions is non-productive time. However, planning and executing an efficient intervention is challenging when downhole conditions or issues are uncertain. The guesswork involved often leads to a trial-and-error process during interventions. Performing diagnostic imaging at the outset of an intervention could break this inefficient cycle, but the techniques commonly used for downhole visualizations, such as video cameras, lead impression blocks and ultrasonic imaging, are not sufficiently reliable. Recently, an X-ray based wireline tool was introduced for providing downhole imaging, regardless of the well fluid. We will present a case study in which this new tool was used to assess the condition of the flapper on a downhole safety valve. The X-ray images showed that the flapper was mobile and verified that an insert downhole safety could potentially be installed. This allowed the operator to eliminate higher-risk and more costly options, and they eventually installed the insert downhole safety valve.

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During well intervention activities, one of the biggest challenges faced is uncertainty about the downhole hardware. Carrying out interventions without understanding the state of downhole equipment can be time-consuming, expensive and ultimately unsuccessful. There are several diagnostic techniques available to assess the state of downhole hardware, but none offer an efficient and reliable solution, particularly if the well fluid is opaque. Recently, an X-ray based wireline tool was introduced for providing downhole imaging, regardless of the well fluid. We will present a case study in which this new tool was run in a brine-filled onshore gas storage well in the Netherlands.

The technique uses X-rays produced by the wireline tool that backscatter from the well fluid to reconstruct the surfaces of objects in the well. The reconstructions are displayed as two-dimensional images, three-dimensional interactive renderings, or even 3D printed models. To inspect an object, the tool is run into the well to tag the object of interest. Images are then acquired and sent to the surface in real-time for viewing and analysis. Imaging can be conducted in any fluid, including oil, brine, oil/water mixtures, drilling muds, and other fluids with a large amount of suspended particulates, as well as through some solid materials. The tool is currently undergoing field testing.

We present a case study from a well in the Netherlands. During a coiled tubing intervention, the coiled tubing became stuck and disconnected downhole, leaving behind a bottom-hole assembly (BHA). Before attempting to retrieve the BHA, the client wished to verify the size and integrity of the coiled-tubing (CT) disconnect. Due to a large amount of sediment and debris in the well, the well fluids were murky and laden with particulates making it difficult to run an optical camera. The new X-ray imaging tool was run, and clear images were obtained, providing measurements with millimeter-scale accuracy of the inner- and outer-diameter of the CT disconnect. The images also revealed an unanticipated cylindrically-shaped object inside the disconnect. Post-facto offsite testing indicated that this object was likely a casting of a tube that had run through the CT disconnect and was formed from a cake of waxy material and metal shavings. The X-ray imaging results verified the client’s fishing plan and they successfully retrieved the fish on the first attempt.

The new X-ray wireline tool provides dimensionally-accurate images of downhole equipment in a manner that is quick and reliable without the need for fluid displacement or well clean-up. Additionally, visualization of objects in 3D in real-time provides a unique perspective that improves understanding of the state of downhole hardware. Altogether, this reduces the uncertainty and concomitant risk associated with well interventions, resulting in a higher success rate, less downtime, and lower cost.

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A new wireline tool that creates X-ray backscatter images of objects within a production well has been developed. Using X-rays to produce images instead of the more conventional optical video recordings offers the significant advantage that the measurement is not hindered by the nature of the production fluid. Therefore, X-ray imaging does not require the well to be specially treated in any way, saving the time and costs associated with cleaning or replacing well fluids.

The tool generates hard X-rays (>10 keV) and measures the backscattered radiation from objects and fluids directly in front of the tool using X-ray detector arrays arranged around the tool axis. Measurements of backscattered radiation are converted into three-dimensional renderings or two-dimensional images of the object using a novel fluid-based surface reconstruction technique.

Example images from operating the tool in a laboratory setting demonstrate the ability of the tool and technique to create reconstructions of objects in a variety of normal production fluids including clean water, saline water, oil,  and fluids with suspended rust particles. They reveal the maximum practical imaging depth range from the bottom nose to be approximately 10 cm. The images also demonstrate the millimeter-scale resolution and accuracy of the tool.

The images were produced with a tool exhibiting a commercially viable outer diameter. Thus, this new X-ray imaging method and wireline tool can provide improved visualization and diagnostic capabilities for a significant number of offshore production wells while avoiding the expense and inconvenience of conventional imaging techniques.

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Current technology offers the operators of well-intervention equipment little opportunity to receive accurate and real-time visual feedback from the borehole when the fluid contents are opaque. As a result, the majority of operations are performed ‘blind’ leading to extensive use of time and increased risk of material damages. In extreme cases, and in the pursuit of a clear image the well’s contents must be displaced and replaced with fluids that offer better visibility for video cameras at the possible expense of well integrity.

Previous work within the field of borehole imaging has focused upon optical cameras, ultrasound and millimeter-wave technologies. Ionizing radiation is not perturbed by the optical opacity of the well contents or refracted and distorted by flowing fluids. The paper provides detailed results of data gathered from laboratory and field testing. In addition, the paper illustrates images of objects located in a drilling-fluid-filled well. The information provided offers an overview of a new technology and method, which solves the issues surrounding in-hole imaging of infrastructure, well-integrity inspection, and lost or stuck items without the need to displace the well contents.

An overview of the development efforts involving the creation of a borehole tool which aims to solve the issue of through mud imaging, or imaging in a producing well without the need to displace the current contents to an optically clear fluid. The paper gives an overview of the steps necessary to mitigate the risk of such a development project, and an overview of the most important lessons learned. Imaging of backscattered ionizing radiation can find applications within well integrity inspection, perforation inspection, well auditing and the location and orientation of lost or stuck items within the borehole.

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