Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM)

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To further improve the interpretation of unconventional reservoir samples, Weatherford Laboratories’ advances in electron microscopy include the dual-beam FIB-SEM.

This technology allows 3D characterization of mineralogy and pore geometry in shale reservoirs on a nanometer scale.   The FIB-SEM combines precise ion milling with high resolution SEM imaging in the same instrument. The system can create 3D datasets of the nano-scale pore system in shale or other “tight” samples, as well as examine the minerals and organic material that compose the shale in 3D. FIB-SEM also quantifies a variety of porosity types (including organic, matrix, connected, and isolated porosities), organic material, and other mineral constituents.


Utilizing FIB-SEM is the only way to actually observe the pore system in an unconventional rock type in three dimensions

FIB-SEM technology addresses the following questions related to unconventional rock types:

  • What are the pore types?

  • What is the pore size distribution?

  • What are the controls (depositional and diagenetic) on reservoir quality?

  • What is the pore size distribution?

  • What are the best lithotypes for fracture stimulation?

  • Why does a certain well (or wells) have greater longevity than other wells in the same field?

  • What is the nature of pore connectivity?


Weatherford Laboratories’ advances in electron microscopy allows 3D characterization of mineralogy and pore geometry in shale reservoirs on a nanometer scale.