Geology and Petrology

The Geological Services group provides data that is used by both exploration and completion engineers. We offer both interpretation and rock-based analytical programs that are designed to accurately evaluate depositional environments, mineralogy, reservoir quality, sensitivity to drilling and completion fluids, as well as the potential and possible mechanisms for formation damage. Geological studies include sedimentology, biostraigraphy, petrographic analysis and fracture analysis.


Services Description

QEMSCAN Technology: QEMSCAN® is a fully-automated microanalysis system that provides rapid and reliable mineralogical, petrographic and metallurgical data from any inorganic, and some organic, materials. This state-of-the-art technology is used in the mining sector for mineral exploration, ore characterization, and mineral process optimization applications. It is also utilized by the oil and gas industry to reduce risk and improve extraction, based on data derived from the microanalysis of drill cuttings and cores. Drawing from the back-scattered electron (BSE) signal intensity and an Energy Dispersive Spectra (ED) Signal, mineral identities are assigned to each measurement point by comparing the BSE signal and EDS spectrum against a mineral species database or species identification program.

Coupled with AGAT Laboratories’ current analytical Rock Properties methodology such as X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), and optical microscopy, QEMSCAN® will allow us to perform superior, automated mineral identification. This includes modal mineralogy, grain size analysis and high resolution petrographic analysis of core or cuttings samples. QEMSCAN® will also be used to ensure proper estimation of the proportion of minerals from Rietveld analysis.
Fracture Analysis: A comprehensive understanding of fracture characteristics that exist within the reservoir. This is not only limited to fracture orientation but also includes origin, density, fracture pattern and potential influence on hydrocarbon migration. The core structure data obtained can be utilized by explorationists for basin analysis and individual prospect delineation as well as by explorationists during reservoir modeling, designing well drainage patterns, well completion programs and well stimulation programs.

Thin Section Petrology: The most accurate and repeatable means of evaluating the mineralogy and pore system of reservoir rock samples (core, sidewall core, drill cuttings and outcrop).  Two types of epoxy, normal blue or rhodamine-B for fluorescence under ultra-violet light, are impregnated into the rock to highlight the pore system.  Carbonate stains (alizarin Red-S for calcite and potassium ferricyanade for ferroan carbonate) and/or feldspar stain is applied to mounted thin section ground down to 30μm. The finished thin section is viewed under plane-polarized, cross-polarized and/or ultra-violet light to examine by point counting or image analysis the mineralogy, texture, diagenesis, pore system and reservoir quality of the sample.  Also any sedimentary structures, morphology, bioclasts, crystals habit, textures and fabric of the thin section are noted.  From the calculated mineralogy and pore system estimation, the reservoir quality can be estimated with references to potential reservoir problems (acid, fines migration and fresh water sensitivity).  Thin sections can also helpful in regards to environmental interpretation (especially carbonates).

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) Analysis: This provides precise identification of mineralogic composition for petrographic correlations. It is a semi quantitative analysis of a rock composition (bulk fraction) and an analysis of the clay fraction. It can provide identification of interstitial clays, control porosity and permeability, and can assist in understanding and evaluating well log data, stratigraphic logs and core logs.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM): Used to determine and identify the structure of substances and to identify individual clay minerals and their physical locations in the pore system or as a pore lining. Our SEM technology also has backscatter capabilities to measure density differences that can highlight textures and micro-pores in very fine rocks such as shales and siltstones. This data coupled with the XRD data is used by geologists and reservoir completion engineers to take engineering precautions to avoid adverse effects on the reservoir during the drilling, completion and production phases of reservoir development. Additionally we have an energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) detector which is used to confirm clays and other minerals in the SEM.

Cathodoluminescent Analysis: Utilizes the ability of minerals to emit unique wavelengths of light under electron bombardment. A thin section of the rock sample is prepared and placed under a microscope within a specialized vacuum chamber.  An electron beam is pointed at the sample and photos are taken under cathodluminescent and plane-polarized lighting.  The colour and intensity of the cathodoluminescence from the sample is used to determine what minerals are present in the sample. 

Scale and Corrosion Services: Scale and corrosion inhibitor products can be evaluated to minimize the problems associated with the identified scale formation or equipment corrosion. This can be utilized to evaluate potential production problems associated with handling and produce and/or make-up water in both the surface facilities and injection into the reservoir.

Field Consulting Services are available utilizing highly trained and experienced technical staff to evaluate production facilities and to implement recommended scale and/or corrosion inhibitor processes.

Physical Compatibility Tests confirm the types of scales that form and the rates at which they form. XRD and SEM/XES analysis are used to identify the scales formed. Water Compatibility Simulation Modeling conducted by the Slomeneq.88 thermodynamic computer program will identify any potential scale formation in produced waters or associated with the mixing of injection brines from differing formations.