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Shale gas is an 'unconventional' source of natural gas that has greatly expanded energy reserves in North America and is expected to become a significant worldwide energy source in the coming decades.

Oil Rig

With this in mind, SGS's shale gas mineralogy services provide a host of analytical techniques such as QEMSCAN, XRD, geochemistry, SEM and more to give detailed mineralogical and textural data for your core or cuttings samples. The combination of these techniques not only allows us to derive a very detailed mineral breakdown but also provides information on the distribution of clay species and other mineral components as well as characterization of other textural properties such as degree of lamination and mineral size. From this data, we can construct a detailed mineral map to help you visualize these features and provide quantitative characterization of the rock that can be used to refine the stratigraphy, give an indication of engineering properties and help in the identification and definition of the optimal facies intervals for fracing.

SGS Advanced reservoir quality services (ARQS) gas shale applications

We combine multiple techniques such as QEMSCAN, XRD and SEM to provide a greater degree of information than any single technique alone can offer.

With these techniques combined SGS can provide:

Quantitative bulk mineralogy data

  • Quantitative analysis of the mineral constituents to trace levels
  • Identification and quantification of heavy mineral species
  • Quantification of various clay minerals including poorly crystalline clay minerals
  • Quantitative analysis of crystalline detrital quartz
  • Quantitative analysis of crystalline/amorphous biogenic quartz
  • Quantitative mineralogy data to validate wireline log response

Textural data

  • Mineral maps to visualize lamination and distribution of clays
  • Mineral maps to visualize the distribution of minerals within the sample
  • Mean mineral size data per mineral identified for direct comparison over multiple sample datasets

Lithological data

  • Quantitative lithotyping according to client-specific parameters
  • Variations in lithotype abundance to provide high resolution stratigraphy even in apparently homogeneous successions

Grain density data

  • Calculated on actual mineralogy of the sample
  • Grain density can be calculated for each lithotype encountered
  • Allows for validation of wireline logs

Estimated porosity data

  • Estimated macroporosity data QEMSCAN (typically down to 5 microns)
  • Estimated meso-to-microporosity data from detailed BSEM images

Geochemical data as appropriate to your requirements e.g. total organic carbon (TOC) allows identification of potential producing zones while inorganic geochemistry data can help validate spectroscopy logs.

For more information on how our shale gas mineralogy services can help you, contact your SGS representative.