RockWash™ and Conwy Valley Systems have developed the unique RockSyze analytical method, for evaluating geometric trends
reflecting varying characteristics and quality of drill bit cuttings samples, using PhotoSTRAT™ data.
Individual cuttings samples can be interpreted subjectively by the human eye. However, the subtle variation in cuttings morphology and colour from one sample to another is difficult to achieve without optical image analysis. High resolution digital images of cuttings samples, washed and prepared using the RockWash™ system, can now be analysed using multiple image views to interpret cuttings characteristics.
The captured data is used to develop trends for an entire well, or a specific well section, for cuttings size, modality and colour.
Anomalies and trends in the data can be used to assist with both geological interpretation of cuttings and analysis of drill cuttings quality as a reflection of drilling efficiency.
Cuttings images are optically analysed as grey scales to evaluate the size and modality of cuttings of each cuttings sample. Each subsequent image is statistically compared to the previous image in order to establish whether there is a trend in cuttings size and modality.
The size and shape of drill bit cuttings is determined by a combination of the formation properties (hardness and consistency) and the drilling factors (type and size of bit, drilling parameters and mud type). A change in any of these parameters can result in an observable change in the size and morphology of cuttings.
The example well section (left) was drilled through the same siliciclastic formation from 1100m to 2200m and clearly illustrates the effect on cuttings size of a change in bit size and type after casing the well at around 1600m.
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