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Field Portable XRD and XRF for Shale Gas Drilling Efficiency


Shale deposits, unconventional rock formations containing natural gas, typically require horizontal wellbore drilling to extract the gas. Lateral lengths of shale gas can be up to 10,000 feet within the shale, traversing in x, y, and z directions, at depths as low as 20,000 feet below the earth's surface. Horizontal drilling utilizes hydraulic fracturing to connect large areas of the reservoir to the well to increase extraction rates from targeted formations.


Field portable XRD and XRF analyzers are ideal tools for finding targeted formations with speed and accuracy. They help maximize the efficiency of expensive drilling operations by quickly finding commercially viable target zones for fracturing the rock while minimizing environmental disruptions.

Delta Handheld XRF testing rocks

Portable XRD for Mineralogy

The TERRA® portable XRD analyzer quickly identifies and quantifies the mineralogy of drill cuttings to help find the right location. The analyzer directly measures dolomite, chlorite, illite, calcite, pyrite, quartz, albite, clay, feldspar, silicates, aluminosilicates, carbonates, sulfides, apatite, and more. The TERRA analyzer can be used to test along lateral lengths of shale deposits, quickly providing mineralogy to help determine fracture potential and reservoir quality. With the TERRA portable XRD, cuttings can be analyzed quickly and at closer intervals to help stay on track.

Terra XRD for Mineralogy


XRF for Metals and Elements

XRF analyzers quickly and accurately identify elements of interest for zone boundaries, fracturability, and productivity. The chemical composition of surface and bagged soils, cores, and cuttings can be measured rapidly with the DELTA® handheld XRF analyzer to determine zone boundaries and fracture potential. Field samples can be collected, split, and bagged to analyze for productivity using the TERRA XRD analyzer for mineralogy and the DELTA XRF analyzer for trace elements, as well as to reveal poorly crystalline or amorphous phases such as phosphates.


Field portable XRD and XRF aid in staying with the lateral shale gas wells as they traverse within the earth. They help keep drilling productive and on course, saving time and money as well as minimizing environmental disturbances by reducing unnecessary well drills for sustainable resourcing.

TERRA Portable XRD for Shale Gas Drilling

The TERRA analyzer makes it possible to rapidly perform mineral identification and quantification in the field, thus allowing for rapid feedback. The concept of "chasing the vein" of a given mineral strata becomes much easier with a full understanding of the mineral identification as represented in the drill cuttings. The TERRA analyzer requires loose powders of <100 mm which is easily achieved using a simple crusher and sample sieve.

Combined with simple sample preparation, the TERRA analyzer provides both ease of use and fast analysis. Directly measure clays, quartz, feldspar, dolomite and more with the field portable TERRA XRD analyzer.

Terra Portable XRD

Quantitative Analysis of terra vs present labortatory based XRD analysis

DELTA Handheld Analyzers for Shale Gas Drilling

The DELTA handheld XRF field analyzers make it possible to stay with the vein by identifying and quantifying elements that determine fracturability, productivity, and target zone boundaries. Directly measure the primary elements of interest for fracturability and productivity including Si, Mg, Ca, Al, K, Fe, and trace metals V, Cr, U, Th, Mo, and Re. Directly measure the primary elements of interest for target zone boundaries including U, Mo, Cr, V, Ni, Mn, and Re. Analyze elemental ratios, including Si/Al, Ca/K, Fe/S, Si/Ca, and Ca/Mg, for indirect measurements of silicates, aluminosilicates, carbonates, sulfides, clays, quartz, feldspar, dolomite, and more. With minimal or no sample preparation, these field portable XRF analyzers measure surface soil, bagged soil, cores, and cuttings directly at the site.

X-5000 Portable & Delta Handheld XRF

Olympus IMS
应用所使用的产品

TERRA可移动XRD系统是一款高性能、全封闭、电池操作、封闭声束型手持式XRD,可提供对材料主要成分、次要成分或微量成分进行辨别的全面概括总结,可以通过一次快速XRF扫查对钙和铀元素在被测产品中所占比例进行检测。这种极为简单的独特的采样准备技术以及样件箱体使得快速的现场分析成为可能。
DELTA矿业和地质化学手持式XRF分析仪可以即时得到检测结果,有助于决定整个程序中的下一步操作:勘探、矿石定级/处理控制、环境的可持续性。可在现场探测金属、矿物质和污染物质。GPS-GIS-XRF用于即时金属成像,既节省时间又节省成本。
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