Key Takeaways

Visuray has pioneered a Downhole X-Ray Platform which has spawned a family of downhole inspection and characterization services that will revolutionize the way oil companies find and produce hydrocarbons.


Visuray was born out of a simple desire to help oil companies see inside their wells, where each moment of uncertainty translates to thousands of dollars lost. Conventional imaging in wells is impossible in most cases because well fluids are usually opaque. The solution is to use X-rays that pass through all types of well fluids and can produce 2D and 3D images of downhole hardware, even in the most opaque well environments.      

With start-up funding from Statoil, BP and Shell, the technology was proven in the lab and then, in 2007, in the Ullrigg test well outside Stavanger. In early 2015, the VR90 Downhole X-Ray Diagnostic Tool, a 3-5/8 inch commercial wireline tool, was successfully tested in a well in Germany. Two years later, Visuray launched a second generation X-ray tool called the VR90s Advanced Diagnostic Tool, designed for slimmer, hotter wells while boasting a 50% wider field of view. In addition, a Visuray Positioning Module has been developed to ensure perfect tool placement.

Today Visuray scientists are applying the technology of the VR90 tool to accurately diagnose corrosion in producing wells in an unprecedented manner. This latest member of the VR90 family, called the VRAz Corrosion Analyzer Tool, will produce an image of old corroded production tubing in full 3D with millimetric accuracy. We anticipate the VRAz tool to be operational by end 2019.


Currently under development is the VR360 Diagnostic Cement Evaluation tool. This radiates X-rays outward to directly evaluate cement integrity even in double casing strings. A step change for well integrity and safety, not only for new wells, but also for the decommissioning of old wells.


All of Visuray’s tools share a set of common technological elements called the Downhole X-Ray Platform. A team of more than 50 professionals from 20 countries has developed this cutting-edge proprietary technology to deliver electronically produced radiation downhole at unprecedented levels of brightness in a perfectly safe manner. Visuray technology is exclusive and unique in the industry.


For the future, Visuray is harnessing its Downhole X-ray Platform to develop 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.    

Visuray is also building upon its Downhole X-ray Platform to develop 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 service as the VRFE72 logging suite.

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.


All of Visuray’s X-ray products generate high-energy radiation electronically, without the use of chemical nuclear sources. This reduces the health and safety risk, improves environmental performance, and meets increasingly stringent governmental regulation arising from security concerns.