Core and Sample Studies

Core and Sample Analysis

The geological specialists at our Lab & Analytics facility, combined with the most current equipment and techniques, allow us to produce the most accurate core and sample evaluation to ensure our clients success.


The art of microscopic sample logging is the first step to understanding well-bore lithology. Defining and characterizing lithological boundaries in a comprehensive lithological log provides a framework upon which further investigation can be based. Our sample and core logging experts provide:

  • Detailed comprehensive strip log in a variety of software formats
  • Dunham and Folk classifications
  • Porosity and permeability estimates
  • Sneider classification system
  • High resolution core and sample photography
  • Detailed interpretive final report


Detailed study of thin-sections with transmitted light microscopy helps visualize textural and spatial relationships within the rock. Petrography is a crucial step in determining a rock’s physical properties which leads to a more complete understanding of your facies. Petrography provides detailed descriptions of:

  • Framework mineralogy
  • Statistical point counts
  • Diagenetic minerals
  • Cements and events
  • Porosity nature and permeability
  • Microfracturing
  • Allochems
  • Facies determination
  • Conventional petrophysical properties


XRD measures the intensity of X-rays, which are diffracted into wave patterns by the atoms in the crystal compounds (minerals) contained in a sample such as a core or cuttings. This is used to:

  • Identify mineralogical composition
  • Calibrate mineral volume calculations derived from well log data
  • Define clay components
  • Establish facies trends
  • Determine Brittleness
  • Ascertain crystalline contaminant materials


Using an intense XRF spectrometer beam focused on the sample, some of the energy is scattered and some is absorbed depending upon the sample’s chemistry. The resulting fluoresced X-rays are used to determine:

  • Elemental composition
  • Analyse major and critical trace elements in core and cuttings
  • Establish facies trends
  • Determine brittleness range potential (vs. ductility)
  • ‘Fingerprint’ geological zones
  • Ascertain contamination issues
  • Soils/ceramic/obsidian/metals analysis

Along with our leading-edge lab equipment, our Bruker Tracer portable XRF can yield near real-time, non-destructive XRF data acquisition at the worksite!


Recent interest by the petroleum industry to better characterize and understand shale hydrocarbon reservoirs has led to an increased interest in utilizing Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) technology. One of its main applications has been to characterize materials at very high magnification. SEM enables us to:

  • Observe a minute and solid specimen, or complex surface topography
  • Provide an observer with a familiar three dimensional image
  • Visualize porosity and permeability
  • Understand pore-throat geometry
  • Evaluate clay mineralogy
  • Determine microscopic structural relationships

During reservoir characterization XRF, XRD, and petrographic studies are complementary. These studies, along with SEM, are valuable tools for well-bore placement and completion planning.