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FEI Launches New Core-to-Pore Imaging Workflow for Shale Gas Reservoirs

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FEI’s Natural Resources Business Unit has announced a “core-to-pore” petrography workflow for core analysis of unconventional gas reservoirs in the oil & gas industry.

The workflow includes a new automated, large-scale, high-resolution imaging method for viewing and analyzing petrographic data sets with length scales ranging from centimeters to nanometers.

Access to information at both ends of the scale is critically important to drilling and production companies working in shale gas reservoirs.

“Core-to-pore is a dedicated solution for gas shale applications. The core-to-pore workflow provides information that is of growing importance in the exploration and production of unconventional tight reservoirs that hold enormous reserves of natural gas,” said Paul Scagnetti, vice president and general manager of FEI’s Natural Resources Business Unit.

In order to optimize completion of unconventional reservoirs, like Marcellus and Barnett, geologists need to relate the fracture network observed in core samples to the nanometer-scale distribution of pores, their hydrocarbon content and permeability, and the connectiveness of the pore networks allowing it to flow to the nearest fracture for production. This is “core-to-pore” analysis.

“The large data sets generated in the analysis preserve the spatial relationships between features at all scales and facilitate quick and easy navigation,” said Scagnetti.

The new core-to-pore workflow solution can be implemented on a variety of FEI scanning electron microscope systems by adding MAPS (Modular Automated Processing System) imaging software, a QEMSCAN® petrographic analyzer, and a specific sample preparation method.

The workflow automatically acquires a grid of high-resolution electron microscope images covering the entire sample surface, and stitches them together in a coherent and correlated image data set. The software also includes a viewer for quick navigation through the data set.

The image datasets can be augmented with additional information, such as mineralogy data from QEMSCAN or three-dimensional structural data from a DualBeam™ system.

The workflow also serves as a correlative solution that provides the ability to overlay and visually correlate high-resolution electron microscope images with data from other techniques commonly found in oil & gas petrology labs, such as optical microscopy, micro-CT, or cathodoluminescence (CL).

FEI’s core-to-pore workflow solution is available now. For more information, please visit: www.fei-natural-resources.com/core-to-pore.