The Downhole X-Ray Platform

All of Visuray’s tools share a set of common technological elements called the Downhole X-Ray Platform. The platform currently supports these services:

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VR90 Downhole X-Ray Diagnostic Service

The world’s first downhole X-ray tool for well diagnostics, with proven success in Northern Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.
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VR90s Advanced Diagnostic Service

The second-generation downhole X-ray diagnostic tool for slimmer, hotter wells while boasting a 50% wider field of view. A Visuray Positioning Module ensures precise tool placement, and specs include resistance to sour wells.
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VRAz Corrosion Analyzer Service

The latest member of the VR90 family adapted to accurately diagnose the state of corrosion of production tubing in full 3D through scale.
 
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VR360 Diagnostic Cement Evaluation Service

A revolutionary cement evaluation tool, currently in development, that radiates X-rays outward to directly evaluate cement integrity even in double casing strings. A step change for well safety not only for new wells, but also for decommissioning old wells.

HOW THE PLATFORM WORKS

 
Conventional X-ray imaging – for example in security or medical applications – involve placing the object to be scanned between the X-ray source and detector. This physical configuration isn’t possible in an oil well. Therefore Visuray scientists developed an alternative solution called “fluid-based surface imaging” that uses an X-ray source and detectors positioned on the same side of the target object.

The technique relies on X-ray scattering within the fluid separating the target object from the X-ray source. Fluids scatter X-rays strongly, so an increase in scattered and detected X-rays means more fluid present in the field of view and correspondingly more distance to the target object. Visuray uses this effect with high-pixel resolution to reconstruct the target object in 2D and 3D with millimetric accuracy.

Wherever the well and whatever its condition, the Downhole X-Ray Platform’s family of services will see what’s happening and deliver quality images 100% of the time.

CHALLENGE CONVENTION

Five distinct technological developments and innovations lie at the heart of the Visuray Downhole X-Ray Platform:
  • First is a range of custom-designed photon-counting X-ray detectors, which include dense, pixelated arrays derived from technology developed in the medical industry, combined with customized compact photomultiplier/scintillator detectors that are used in the oil industry.
  • Second is a range of powerful X-ray sources that have been specially miniaturized and designed for high output.
  • Third is a compact, ultra-high voltage power supply enabling the source to emit high-energy X-rays.
  • Fourth, is a family of heat exchangers and downhole coolers used to control the temperature of the sources and detectors.
  • Fifth is patented data analysis and processing techniques that convert the acquired digital data into 2D and 3D images.
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IN THE PIPELINE

 
For the future, Visuray is harnessing the incredible potential of its Downhole X-ray Platform to create even more sophisticated imaging and also a source-less alternative to conventional formation evaluation logging.

A constant headache in oil production is the tubing becoming caked in scale, obstructing production, and being corroded by solid particles. The VRAz® imaging service is designed to create a 3D image of tubing with scale removed, showing tubing thickness to 1 mm accuracy. The images will permit the oil company to decide on the necessity of a workover, rather than relying on guesswork.

Visuray is also applying its Downhole X-Ray Platform for the development of a density logging tool with a response identical to classic formation density tools that use a chemical Cesium137 nuclear source. Visuray has demonstrated that a 0.01 g/cc accuracy can be achieved logging at as fast as 7,200 feet per hour, significantly faster than today’s best-in-class technology.    

The Downhole X-ray Platform is also being used to build a laboratory equivalent of a conventional neutron porosity logging tool. The Downhole X-Ray Platform therefore promises to dispense with all chemical nuclear sources for conventional logging. Visuray will market this X-ray driven logging as the VRFE72® service.  In addition to the development of this family of wireline-conveyed tools, the packaging and integration of our Downhole X-Ray Platform is also being adapted for future use in logging-while-drilling applications.
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