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OIL & gas

Fossil fuels, a complex sector at the heart of the global economy 

X-ray computed tomography has a key role in the oil and gas industry, particularly at a time this sector has to quickly reinvent and improve itself, in order to win economical, but also ecological efficiency and competitivity.

Localize and extract 

Localization of new deposits remains a strategical sector for the field. Pioneers in the use of X-ray microtomography, geologists understood a long time ago how information about 3D composition of rocky samples allow to map and understand geological systems. So, exploration is both performed in the field and at the laboratory to research and characterize hydrocarbon tanks.

X-Ray Computed Tomography (X-Ray CT) helps to understand transport phenomena

The question of the ecology is pivotal for the petroleum sector which cannot, by essence, produce a renewable energy, but has to tend to be cleaner. Extraction methods constitute an essential improvement axis. X-ray imaging is widely used by this field, especially with flow experiments in which several fluids are injected into a rock sample that can be subjected to different pressures and temperatures. These experiments, performed under X-ray beam, allow to understand and qualify transport phenomena inside the rock.

In these two application fields, tomography is performed to realize the following operations:

  • Segmentation of several minerals
  • Pore networks analysis
  • Determination of the porosity distribution (volume, volume fraction, etc.)
  • Determination of the permeability
  • Research of several phases, chemical alteration,...
  • Fluid flow or mechanical simulation.


Once extracted, hydrocarbon is a raw material. Transforming operations are various and complex. They are involved in energy production, chemicals, but also plastics field and many others. In the first one, we obviously think of refinement operations, which are constantly improving with, as an example, researches on catalysts, but they also simply have quality control needs. Here some examples this kind of operations:

  • Research of crack, porosities, inclusions, materials defects

  • Surface extraction of a complex geometry sample to perform simulation (finite elements models for instance)

  • Material analysis at a submicronic scale, with or without environmental solicitation (mechanical, thermal tests, …)


The engine 

As long as the engine efficiency doesn’t reach 100%, this means we can do better! Every mechanical part of an engine can be modified in order to be improved, by lightening them, making them tougher, manufactured differently, etc. Microtomography allows, thanks to the various information it provides, to work on each of these points with retro engineering, defect identification, in various materials, from carbon to steel.

Very complex and different needs 

Operating range of tomography only for this application field stretches from big metallic parts, as cylinder heads, to microscopic samples and scanning conditions can imply an important pumps and ovens machinery. With large dimensions CT systems, like the EasyTom XL or the UltraTom, and a large power and resolution range, RX Solutions has taken up the challenge and can cover most of the laboratory and industrial needs of this field. The software and the hardware allow to reduce tomographic acquisition times to few seconds only, to follow phenomena with compatible kinetics, or on the contrary, to monitor experiments over several days.

Providing robust and high quality X-Ray Computed Tomography systems, RX Solutions can help Oil & Gas professionals to reinvent and improve themself, in order to win economical, but also ecological efficiency and competitivity.