X-ray Diffraction and X-ray Fluorescence (XRD and XRF)

Diversified Well Logging’s X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) provide rapid mineralogical and elemental quantitative analysis of well cuttings. This integrated Advanced Geochemical service is available both at the rig site and also in near-field laboratories. Field-based XRD and XRF bring new attention to areas of the formation that are visually homogenous by showing the mineral components and elements. No longer do you need to wait months for testing results; the data is produced and delivered in near real-time. This information is customized for finding the sweet spots for brittle zones, making more precise geo-steering decisions, and fingerprinting the well with specific mineral assemblages and marker minerals and elements.

Deeper Evaluation and Analysis

While unconventional resource plays present a unique set of challenges to operators, advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have made production from these resources commercially viable. XRD and XRF are powerful, cost-effective methods for exploiting the rich data available from well cuttings. XRD and XRF provide a deeper look at rock samples with more precision than traditional microscopic examination. These tools complement the mudlogger’s expertise in evaluating and analyzing well cuttings by offering a precise quantification of the minerals and elements. This data is logged for analysis alongside visual descriptions and engineering data, and can help provide indicators of geological history, basin maturity, low-grade metamorphism, and a characterization of lithologies.

Optimized Production and Reduced Cost

PacWest forecasts the number of horizontal frac stages in North America will increase by seventeen percent in 2014, thirteen percent in 2015, and eleven percent in 2016. (Source: American Oil & Gas Reporter, July 2014, “New Solutions Enhance Well Fracturing”) The typical North American well has approximately 25 to 50 fracturing stages, and sometimes more. Operators can spend upwards of $250,000 per stage, yet suffer very low production rates. XRD and XRF technology can help reduce the number of fracturing stages and increase the production rate of placements by targeting the “sweet spots” and brittle areas of the formation. This provides a significant reduction in costs, and can help minimize the environmental impact of fracturing.

XRD and XRF Succeeds Where Downhole Tools May Fail

XRD and XRF technology is successful in the most difficult of drilling situations, including high pressure/high temperature wells where downhole tool failure is common and expensive. When gamma becomes insignificant or other tools fail, the mineralogical data from XRD and XRF can assist in calling tops, recognizing the formations, and staying in the pay zone. Having the comprehensive understanding of rock properties that XRD and XRF provide is often required to steer these horizontal wells within a narrow pay zone while avoiding geo-hazards. XRD and XRF data also help operators design successful fracture jobs to stimulate the greatest recoverable reserves.