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Probe announces new pulsed-neutron tool

May 01, 2018
3 min read
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Probe has announced the RAS pulsed-neutron tool, a three-detector system that uses sigma and carbon-oxygen (C/O) techniques to measure reservoir fluid saturation of oil, water and gas.

The ability to accurately and reliably monitor reservoir conditions is an ongoing challenge for operators and service companies alike.  For years, the industry has relied upon systems that employ pulsed neutron technology to measure reservoir fluids behind casing and well tubulars. This technology is applied to monitor fluid contacts in the reservoir, diagnose production problems and to locate bypassed pay zones.

Full-function pulsed-neutron reservoir monitoring tools that employ sigma logging and C/O spectroscopy have been available from the major wireline service companies. 

“Operators and smaller wireline service companies had no alternative but to use the tools offered by a few major players,” said Federico Casavantes, President & CEO of Probe, a leading supplier of casedhole well logging and reservoir monitoring technology.  “Consequently, demand for a full-function pulsed-neutron tool from an independent supplier, that could offer the same – or better - reservoir saturation data, continued to escalate. This demand was also being driven by market dynamics which greatly favoured tool reliability, long-life and low total cost of ownership, all of which we are now able to fully address through our product offering.”

Specialists at Hunter Well Science, a subsidiary of Probe since December 2017, developed the tool to measure reservoir fluid saturation of oil, water and gas. It operates in three basic modes:

  • Sigma: water saturation detected via thermal neutron decay
  • C/O:  oil saturation detected with gamma spectroscopy
  • Water flow: water velocity from oxygen activation

In addition, in sigma mode, the three-detector array can be used to measure gas saturation.  For wells with limited data, the tool can make standalone porosity and lithology measurements.

Highly adaptable tool string shortest in the industry

By using modern, ruggedised electronics, the pulsed-neutron tool has been streamlined into a compact-robust device. The tool and telemetry-gamma ray casing collar locator (CCL) together constitute the shortest reservoir analysis tool string in the industry, measuring a combined 16.9 feet (5.14m).  “Its compact size makes it easier to deploy and reduces potential failure points,” said Casavantes.  “It also means that it is very versatile and can be configured to suit different conveyance types and downhole conditions.”

At the center of the pulsed-neutron tool is a rugged neutron generator that operates in temperatures as high as 160°C and has a typical service life of 1,000 hours—nearly double the lifespan of many other reservoir analysis tools.


With more than 500 successful runs completed primarily in the USA, Middle East-North Africa region, and China, it is a field-proven logging tool.   It is used in a variety of applications, particularly in casedhole and openhole completions in surface read-out and memory-operating modes, on conventional tubing, e-Line, e-Coil, conductor and conventional slickline. 

The pulsed-neutron tool, which is manufactured by Probe at its facility in Arlington, Texas, USA, is offered for purchase to oilfield service companies, NOCs and IOCs. 


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