Intertek offers a complete suite of core and geochemical analyses on shale cores designed to provide reservoir engineering, petrophysical, and production data needed in gas shale reservoirs.

The challenges facing the development of shale gas reservoirs require knowledge and expertise in the field and in the laboratory to ensure that timely and accurate data is available to optimize production and minimize risk.   Complex reservoirs demand advanced techniques to ensure that the comprehensive characterization of rocks and fluids is available.

Field Services

To support gas shale reservoir characterization requirements, Intertek provides a comprehensive suite of Total Quality Assurance services and analyses in the field.

These services include:

  • Well site core handling
  • Mobile laboratory
  • Reservoir temperature desorption systems
  • Rotary sidewall canisters (RSWC)
  • Canisters for 4" diameter core
  • Shale core preservation at the rig
  • Gas sampling from desorption canisters

Laboratory Shale Core Handling

Handling of cores in the laboratory is no less important than in the field. Shale cores are sensitive to dehydration, which can alter the data quality required for important characterization measurements. It is important to limit exposure to the environment when dealing with most shale cores.

Proper sampling of cores for detailed analysis is critical to getting optimum data. Our sampling protocols include:

  • CT imaging for fractures, density/mineralogical variation and highgrading sub-sampling
  • Sub-sampling for TOC, rock mechanics, XRD
  • Improved methods for slabbing shale cores

CT Imaging

Intertek has recently upgraded its image analysis software to the new Avizo™ software package. This advanced software package provides state-of-the-art imaging capability.

Enhanced Absorption Isotherm Measurements for Shale

Because of the relatively low organic content, shale samples typically give low precision for adsorption isotherm measurements. Intertek uses larger samples and enhanced techniques to provide high precision isotherms for shales.

Shale Core Analysis — Ultra-low Permeability Reservoirs

Shale cores provide a challenge to the industry because of their unique properties. Traditional routine or special core analysis measurement techniques do not perform well on ultra-low permeability shale reservoirs. Therefore, new "unconventional" methods are employed. Intertek employs a comprehensive suite of analyses and services to properly characterize difficult shale reservoirs. A typical suite of basic petrophysical measurements for shale reservoirs might include:

As Received Measurements:

  • Bulk density
  • Pulse decay permeability with pore pressure
  • Effective Porosity (plug)
  • Grain density
  • Swi
  • Sro (if applicable)
  • Enhanced gas isotherm

Dried Measurements:

  • Bulk density
  • Grain density
  • Absolute Porosity (crushed)

Additional Analysis

Intertek also provides additional measurements that can be important to the production of gas from shale reservoirs including:

  • Rock Eval/Total Organic Carbon (TOC)
  • Gas Composition and Isotopes
  • Brine Analysis
  • X-ray diffraction for mineral content
  • Rock mechanics for modeling hydraulic fractures
  • Fluid sensitivity - for determining the detrimental effects of drilling or completion fluids
Shale related services:

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