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ABSTRACT: Videomicroscopy: Linking Wellsite Geology and the Corporate Exploration Team


Videomicroscopy is a relatively user friendly, computerized process that generates video images from well bore cuttings viewed with a microscope. While drilling a well, cuttings from the well bore are collected at the shale shaker every 10-30 feet. This `sample' of the well bore cuttings is washed, sieved, drained, and placed on the well lighted stage of a microscope for identification and description. Utilizing videomicroscopy, the image acquisition process is accomplished by positioning the sample under a microscope equipped with a video camera and the appropriate lense(s), focusing the microscope, and capturing still images from the live video signal. The resolution of the image depends on the hardware capability and software settings, the magnification of the image depending on the microscope and lenses.

Using videomicroscopy at the wellsite, cuttings are imaged at both low and high magnification, then saved onto disk. Images from the cuttings may be transmitted directly from the wellsite via modem to a remote location within 20 minutes from the time the cuttings are first collected at the shaker, or a digital morning report may be prepared and transmitted daily, which contains images of the previous days cuttings. Drilling information, microfossils and other lithologic information from the wellsite, important to engineers and explorationists, may be easily examined and influence decisions which have in the past required much more time, effort and money to resolve as a result of videomicroscopy.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90941©1997 GCAGS 47th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana