Chemical stratigraphy

Chemical stratigraphy is a reservoir correlation tool involving the interpretation of inorganic geochemical data.

Hierarchical zonations are developed using graphical and statistical techniques based on variations in key elements and ratios. Chemical stratigraphy can be utilised successfully on any stratigraphic interval from any geographic location. It has been effectively applied by RPS on a worldwide basis for many operating companies.

RPS use the following instrumentation

  • Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES)
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
  • Cold Vapour-Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry (CV-AFS)
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM EDX)

ICP-OES is used to acquire data for major elements (e.g. Si, Ca, Mg, K, Fe) and high abundance trace elements (e.g. Zr, Sr, Ba), whilst ICP-MS is used to generate data for low concentration trace elements (e.g. Cs, Ta, U) and rare earth elements (e.g. La, Ce, Yb). CV-AFS is used to measure trace levels of mercury.

The benefits

  • Employing a combination of ICP-OES and ICP-MS it is possible to generate data for over 50 elements and to achieve detection limits in the sub-ppb range.
  • The potential to correlate reservoir sections that are problematic using conventional methods due to the depositional setting or thermal degradation/dissolution
  • Capable of high resolution stratigraphy and applicable to all lithologies
  • Direct implications for provenance, weathering and diagenetic studies
  • Increasingly used to provide near ‘real-time’ data at wellsite (see Wellsite Services)

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