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QEMSCAN WellSite Product Brochure v9

Date post: 02-Jan-2016
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QEMSCAN ® WellSite Unprecedented cuttings analysis in a field-tested solution for the well site www.fei-natural-resources.com Particles to Cuttings | Cuttings to Lithologies | Lithologies to Properties | Properties to Logs
  • QEMSCAN WellSiteUnprecedented cuttings analysis in a field-tested solution for the well site


    Particles to Cuttings | Cuttings to Lithologies | Lithologies to Properties | Properties to Logs

  • 2Advanced MudloggingQEMSCAN WellSite is a solution facilitating advanced mudlogging

    services during remote on- and off-shore drilling operations.

    Mudlogging commonly complements down-hole (in-situ) logging

    using remote sensing technologies known as wireline or logging-

    while-drilling (LWD). Rock cuttings, returned to the surface through

    the circulating drilling mud, represent the tangible evidence

    of the subsurface geology, and therefore a description and/or

    analysis of cuttings is a cost effective method to obtaining valuable

    complementary data on the stratigraphy of the drilled sequence.

    Optical description of cuttings is a common activity of mudlogging

    services; however, the process of optical cuttings description is manual,

    labor-intensive and qualitative, as echoed by well-site geologists:

    we always ask for an experienced mudlogger, but never get one.

    QEMSCAN WellSite was developed with 2 objectives in mind:


    descriptions, providing more accurate and detailed information

    than manual and qualitative methods.


    quantitative cuttings descriptions in near real-time at the well

    site, ready for seamless integration with logging data provided by

    integrated and independent service providers, particularly LWD

    and wireline.

    Whereas many emerging advanced mudlogging technologies are

    primarily bulk cuttings analysis methods, QEMSCAN WellSite is

    essentially an imaging technique providing petrographic images

    of individual particles in a mud sample. QEMSCAN WellSite uses

    this feature to digitally screen particles in a mud sample in order

    to separate cuttings particles from other particles such as cavings,


    deconvolutes a bulk sample into cuttings properties on a lithology

    basis, providing superior confidence in rock properties obtained from


  • 3Cuttings PetrographyQEMSCAN WellSite is actually an automated petrography solution

    developed since the late eighties primarily for the mining industry.

    QEMSCAN enables access to two primary components of petrography

    analysis: mineralogy and texture (i.e. microstructure). The primary

    output of QEMSCAN WellSite is 2D numerical mineral and texture

    maps of cuttings. These maps form the basis of subsequent image

    and chemical analysis on a cutting-by-cutting basis. The visual nature

    of the color-coded petrographic images make QEMSCAN WellSite

    data readily accessible to a wide range of professionals at the rig (both

    geologists and petrophysicists).

    SystemBased on a product platform consisting of a compact, rugged and

    mobile Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), energy dispersive

    spectrometers (EDS) and QEMSCAN Automated Petrography

    measurement and analysis routines, QEMSCAN WellSite has been

    designed for, and tested at, remote on- and off-shore well-site

    Schematic of the sample measurement process. The electron beam is scanned across the sample surface; at each measurement point (also called a pixel) the BSE and x-ray signals are used for mineral identification by analyzing the EDX spectrum for chemical composition and subsequent classification based on known mineral chemical compositions.

    locations. The physical dimensions easily permit placement in 30

    foot or larger mudlogging units, or even smaller

  • 4Optimized Sample Preparation WorkflowSamples for QEMSCAN WellSite are presented in the form of 30 mm

    diameter resin blocks containing an average of 1,0002,000 cuttings

    particles/block, depending on the average size of the cuttings. The


    with resin, curing the resin block, cutting and cross-sectioning the

    block with a diamond saw, and finally coating the sample surface

    with a conductive carbon film. Each device used in the sample

    preparation process has a small enough footprint to be placed on

    desktops typically found in a mudlogging unit. An additional benefit

    of the sample preparation process is that the resulting resin blocks

    improve handling and archiving, making cuttings readily available

    for complementary analysis at a later stage at a central storage or

    laboratory facility.

    Near Real-time Data AcquisitionThe development phase of QEMSCAN WellSite included two extensive

    field tests: in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, and off-shore Qatar,

    aimed primarily at testing the feasibility and value of near real-time

    data acquisition. Whereas time-to-data and throughput may vary

    significantly as a function of primary data required, these field tests

    yielded near real-time results.

    From the time cuttings are collected at the shaker station, cleaned

    and dried, it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare a resin block for

    analysis. Samples are typically loaded in the system in batches of 6,

    with measurement times of around 30 minutes per sample. The initial

    data, therefore, are available one hour after collection of cuttings from

    the first sampling horizon.

    Experience from the first two field tests has demonstrated that up

    to 35 cuttings samples can be measured in a 24 hour interval, with

    an average of 22 samples if interruptions in the drilling process are

    included. Sample preparation efficiency can exceed sample analysis

    as demonstrated by one trial where 55 samples were prepared in a

    24 hour period. At high drilling rates typically > 100 foot per hour, a

    backlog of samples may accumulate; however, during both field tests,

    drilling downtime due to e.g. cementation runs, allowed operators to

    catch up on the backlog.

    (Left) Wet cuttings sample, direct from a shale shaker, with resin impregnated block of same sample, for comparison.(Right) Multiple cuttings samples, prepared, labelled and laid out in stratigraphic order.

  • 5Three MapViews showing a cuttings sample before digital or contextual screening (left), after digital screening to remove drilling mud particles (middle), and after contextual screening to remove cavings, swarf and drilling additives (right).

    Particles to CuttingsOnce the numerical mineral maps have been acquired by the system,

    image analysis allows for digital screening to remove particles

    below a size attributed to drilling mud typically < 63 micrometers.

    Subsequent contextual screening removes particles attributed to

    caving, swarf and drilling additives, each identified on the basis of

    textural and/or compositional properties that differentiate them from

    genuine cuttings.

    Relevant parameters derived from this screening include cuttings

    versus drilling additives ratio (measure of percentage returns), or

    cuttings size and shape (measure on drilling performance and stress


    Cuttings to LithologiesThe nature of cuttings collection at a constant sampling (i.e. depth)

    interval ensures that multiple rock types (lithologies) are likely to be

    represented within a single sampling interval. While bulk cuttings

    analysis techniques cannot take this lithology variation into account,

    QEMSCAN WellSite separates the cuttings into lithology classes, using

    mineralogy and texture-based lithology classification rulesets.

    While QEMSCAN WellSite comes pre-configured with standard

    lithology rulesets, these can be customized at the well site prior to

    cuttings collection, or applied retrospectively during or after the

    drilling activities, on- or off-site.Schematic diagram illustrating that a cuttings sample may contain multiple lithologies.

  • 6Lithology to PropertiesThe next level of analysis is the determination of specific lithology

    properties, such as:









    shale plays

    A variety of preconfigured reports are available for reporting each of

    the above properties for any given batch of depth intervals. Additional

    report templates can easily be created and retained for future use.

    Lithology classes from a siliciclastic reservoir sequence.

    Property sheet for lithology class calc-cmt-si (calcareous cemented silt) based on combined cuttings. This cuttings class comprises siltstone cuttings cemented by calcite.

    calc-cmt-crs-qtz ark-crs-qtz cl-crs-qtz crs-qtz calc-cmt-si cl-si si calc-cl cl cmt uclass

  • 7Properties to LogsFinally, each of these properties can be easily exported for

    incorporation into 3rd party logging software, such as ODM, for

    subsequent interpretation by petrophysicists or reservoir evaluation

    specialists. Results from the two field tests demonstrate excellent

    consistency between the conventional mudlog cuttings descriptions

    and those obtained by QEMSCAN WellSite on the one side, but on the

    other side superior resolution and detail of mineralogy and texture,

    from which specific properties such as cuttings / additives ratio,

    lithology, clay type, or calculated matrix density can be derived with

    significant confidence.

    Retrospective Data InterrogationAnother key feature of QEMSCAN WellSite solution is that all of the

    raw data is retained in datastores (databases) that can be revisited

    retrospectively with the help of off-line software on workstations at

    oil and gas company operational centers. As insights into formation

    evaluation continue to develop, it is anticipated that these quantitative

    cuttings databases will carry significant value over time

    for historical interrogation studies.

    Collaborative DevelopmentQEMSCAN WellSite requirements have been gathered in close

    collaboration with many major oil and gas companies and service

    providers, whose input is greatly acknowledged. Furthermore, field

    tests have been conducted in Papua New Guinea in close collaboration

    with Halliburton (Houston, Texas) and OilSearch (Sydney, Australia),

    and off-shore Qatar. Further development and testing is ongoing with

    independent surface logging company GEOLOG at its R&D facilities in

    Milan, Italy.

    For a full description of the field tests, we refer to application

    notes available upon request and for download on


    Integrated ODM log juxtaposing QEMSCAN data with selected down-hole data.

  • FEI CompanyFEI is a leading developer and manufacturer of electron and ion beam

    microscopes, headquartered in Oregon, USA, and is listed on the

    New York NASDAQ Stock Market. The Natural Resources business unit

    is dedicated to the development, marketing, sales and support of

    technology solutions for the mining, oil & gas, and geosciences sectors.

    Demonstration facilities are available in Australia, The Netherlands

    and USA.

    For more information please visit: www.fei-natural-resources.com

    World HeadquartersPhone: +1.503.726.7500

    FEI Europe Phone: +

    FEI Japan Phone: +81.3.3740.0970

    FEI Asia Phone: +65.6272.0050

    FEI Australia Phone: +61.7.3512.9100

    2011. We are constantly improving the performance of our products, so all specifications are subject to change without notice.QEMSCAN, WellSite and the FEI logo are trademarks of FEI Company, and FEI is a registered trademark of FEI Company. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners. BR00?? ??-2011


    TV Certification for design, manufacture, installation and support of focused ion- and electron-beam microscopes for the Electronics, Life Sciences, Research and Natural Resources markets.