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Petrographic Analysis

Petrographic analysis services are available from PTS Labs through our alliance partners. Petrographical analysis include the following essential services:


  • Thin Section Preparation and Analysis

  • X-ray Diffraction Analysis

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy Analysis

  • GPAC (Pore Attribute Characterization) Analysis

Besides offering the essential services as “stand-alone” items, we offer integrated packages to provide:

  • Integrated Rock/Log Model Development

  • Integrated Field Studies

Thin Section Preparation and Analysis

This analysis includes a basic petrographic description, including visual estimation of grain size, sorting, porosity and mineral abundances, fabric, rock classification, porosity varieties and abundances. Two (2) color photomicrographs of each sample with complete written descriptions are included.


Detailed Thin Section AnalysisDetailed thin section analysis includes measurement of mean grain size, sorting, and point count determination of mineral abundances and porosity (minimum 300 points per thin section). Results include a determination of Vshale, shale distribution, porosity varieties and abundances with a discussion of diagenesis, diagenetic sequence, porosity origins and development, controls on porosity and permeability. Point count data is presented in tabular form with two (2) color photomicrographs accompanied by detailed photomicrographs descriptions.

Scanning Electron Microscopy Analysis

The data output includes two (2) photographs at varying magnification documenting significant rock properties, pores, pore throats, clays, framework grains and cements. Deliverables include a complete written description, and elemental abundance from EDS analysis.

GPAC (Pore Attribute Characterization) Analysis

This analysis technique allows for the development of petrophysical properties on cutting and percussion sidewall cores where these measurements cannot be accurately made. This analysis significantly enhances the overall information derived from these type of rock samples. When integrated with thin section and X-ray diffraction analysis, improved understanding of reservoir potential is achieved.This analysis involves the use of backscatter imaging techniques using a scanning electron microscope on ultra polished billets. It is a unique approach that allows for a study of the pore system at much higher levels of magnification than can be obtained from performing this analysis on thin sections. Analysis requires BSI on ultra polished billet and SEM photomicrograph on fresh surface. Data results are presented in both tabular and graphical formats and includes:


  • Porosity*

  • Porosity distribution (percent primary intergranular and micro porosity)*

  • PermeabilityPore size distribution*

  • Mean pore body diameter (ferret diameter)*

  • Mean pore throat diameter*

  • Mean aspect ratio**

  • Average coordination numberPore shape factor**

  • Capillary pressure curves**Formation factor ("m")**T-2 distribution plot**

​*These are actual measured values

*Mathematically derived values

**Requires SEM analysis in conjunction with GPAC analysis

X-Ray Diffraction Analysis

XRD analysis provides semi-quantitative determination of sample mineralogy. Bulk and clay X-ray diffraction analysis is performed to aide in reservoir description and evaluation of reservoir diagenesis. The data provided in tabular format.

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