Fishing for lost equipment? A borehole camera system is an invaluable tool.

The featured article in the February 2022 issue of Water Well Journal, entitled “The Preferred Fishing Tool”, delves into the age-old issue of what is the best method for retrieving lost tools and equipment that have fallen downhole. In this post, we will explore how a borehole camera system can prove to be an invaluable addition to your toolbox when planning your next fishing expedition.

Magnets or Junk Baskets – Which is best?

The article begins with an assessment of which tool is superior for retrieval – magnets or a junk basket. Both methods have their place depending on what item needs to be recovered, but a common issue regardless of the method used is the inability to know precisely where the lost item is located within the well.

In the early days of borehole inspection, impression blocks – blocks of a permeable material such as soap, wood, or wax – would be lowered into the borehole with hopes that the block would come in contact with the missing tool. The impression blocked would be hauled topside and the operators would attempt to decipher the impressions made on the block to help determine the topography of the borehole and the location of the lost tool.

We would go down there and make an impression off soft wood, hit it once, and bring it back and say, ‘Oh, that’s a piece of pipe that’s hanging on the sidewall.”

Marvin Magee, PE

While impression blocks provide some data as to the conditions downhole, it is vastly incomplete when compared to the photographic evidence that could be collected by a borehole camera. It was this opportunity to revolutionize downhole data collection that prompted our founder, Claude Laval Jr., to create the world’s first downhole camera. Completed in 1946, the world’s first borehole camera was over 9 feet long and weighed more than 200 lbs. Even with its immense length and weight, it represented a quantum leap forward in terms of downhole technology. For the first time, operators were able to get nearly real-time photographic evidence of the conditions within the borehole.

In the nearly 80 years since the release of the first borehole camera system live color video has become the mainstay, borehole camera systems have decreased in size and weight, and the cost of a borehole camera system has decreased dramatically.

What hasn’t changed, however, is their usefulness as a tool used for fishing.

I’d run my fishing tool down there, and if there is enough room, run my camera down in there and manipulate both at the same time. That made a world of difference. They paid for themselves time and time again. I love them.

Marvin Magee, PE

Laval Underground Surveys established the borehole camera industry nearly 80 years ago. Today, we are incredibly proud to be the market leaders. Whether you’re considering purchasing a borehole camera system for tool retrieval, assessing the conditions within a well, or to use as a form of differentiation from your competition, we have an entire portfolio of borehole camera systems to suit your needs.

Click here to learn more about our borehole camera products. Have a specific question? Click here to contact us and a member of our sales team will reach out to you.

Click here to download the full article entitled “The Preferred Fishing Tool” from the February 2022 issue of Water Well Journal.

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