Ingrain acquires 3D nano-scale imaging

Ingrain has acquired a 3D NanoXCT imaging system, which can show nano-scale, 3D resolution of reservoir rock's pore structures.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- Ingrain has acquired a 3D NanoXCT imaging system, which can show nano-scale, 3D resolution of reservoir rock's pore structures.

The imager is used to study complex, unconventional fields, such as tight gas sands and oil shales, as it can provide knowledge of the inner structure and expected behavior.

The 3-D NanoXCT imaging device is the first of its kind to be used outside of the microchip industry and some of the synchrotron beams. It is can focus an X-ray source onto a region as small as 20-60 microns. The device's best resolution is 0.05 microns (50 nanometers) or 1/1000th of the diameter of a strand of human hair.

"What makes the NanoXCT so exciting is its ability to focus its X-rays on a very small region of interest in order to examine the most difficult, tight pore spaces found in these tight rocks," says Dr. Avrami Grader, chief scientist. "Until now, we had not been able to obtain the necessary enhanced resolutions of these rock samples in order to understand fluid transport and rock mechanics processes that lead to effective production."

The NanoXCT creates multiple views of a rock sample by focusing its X-ray source through a condensing lens on a particular region of interest. The X-rays pass focus onto a detector to form each view. These views are then combined to create a virtual, 3-D image.

07/28/2008


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