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TitleCore versus cuttings samples for geochemical and petrophysical analysis of unconventional reservoir rocks
AuthorSanei, HORCID logo; Ardakani, O HORCID logo; Akai, T; Akihisa, K; Jiang, CORCID logo; Wood, J M
SourceScientific Reports vol. 10, 7920, 2020 p. 1-10, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200019
PublisherSpringer Nature
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsgeochemistry; igneous and metamorphic petrology; mineralogy; fossil fuels; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; core samples; sampling techniques; sample preparation; geochemical analyses; petrophysics; pyrolysis; microscopic analyses; mineralogical analyses; drilling mud analyses; organic geochemistry; petroleum resources; hydrocarbons; reservoir rocks; wells; drilling; kerogen; bitumen; microfractures; porosity; pore size; permeability; Methodology
Illustrationsdiagrams; tables; profiles; spectra; photomicrographs
ProgramGeoscience for New Energy Supply (GNES) Shale Reservoir Characterization
Released2020 05 13
AbstractCore samples from petroleum wells are costly to obtain, hence drill cuttings are commonly used as an alternative source of rock measurements for reservoir, basin modelling, and sedimentology studies. However, serious issues such as contamination from drilling mud, geological representativeness, and physical alteration can cast uncertainty on the results of studies based on cuttings samples. This paper provides a unique comparative study of core and cuttings samples obtained from both vertical and horizontal sections of a petroleum well drilled in the Canadian Montney tight gas siltstone reservoir to investigate the suitability of cuttings for a wide range of geochemical and petrophysical analyses. The results show that, on average, the bulk quantity of kerogen or solid bitumen measured in cuttings is comparable to that of the core samples. However, total organic carbon (TOC) measurements are influenced by oil-based drilling mud (OBM) contamination. Solvent-cleaning of cuttings has been shown to effectively remove OBM contamination in light, medium, and heavy range hydrocarbons and to produce similar kerogen/solid bitumen measurements to that of core samples. Similarly, pyrolysis methods provide an alternative to the solvent-cleaning procedure for analysis of kerogen/solid bitumen in as-received cuttings. Microscopic study substantiates the presence of significant contamination by OBM and caved organic and inorganic matter in the cuttings, which potentially influence the bulk geochemistry of the samples. Furthermore, minerals in the cuttings display induced micro-fractures due to physical impacts of the drilling process. These drilling-induced micro-fractures affect petrophysical properties by artificially enhancing the measured porosity and permeability.

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