FEI imager targets non-conventional resource analysis

‘Dual beam’ (ion plus electron) scanner builds nanoscale simulator models of shales.

Studies by the University of Oklahoma, in collaboration with Devon Energy, have shed light on the rapid decline in production observed in some non conventional gas reservoirs. 3D, nanometer-scale imagery produced by a new ‘dual beam’ scanner from FEI Company resolves kerogen, porosity and microstructure of gas shales. FEI’s Helios NanoLab dual beam system combines a scanning electron micrograph with an ion beam imager. The device has allowed researchers to determine production potential and build a simulator of nanoscale pore structure.

Prof Carl Sondergeld commented, ‘Organic is more porous than previously imagined—but pores are so small that they impose novel physical constraints on gas behavior. This hitherto un-imaged pore space explains why there is so much producible gas. The images also explain why production declines so rapidly in some unconventional reservoirs and is revising previously held beliefs about unconventional resources.’ More from www.oilit.com/links/1104_25.

This article originally appeared in Oil IT Journal 2011 Issue # 4.

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