Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)


Weatherford Laboratories petrography specialists deploy cutting-edge scanning electron microscopy (SEM) technologies and analysis expertise to better understand clay origin, micropore systems, and composition.

SEM analysis is a high-magnification technique for characterization of conventional rock types. The SEM utilizes secondary and backscattered electron imaging to produce high resolution photomicrographs. Native state and/or uncoated samples can also be imaged and analyzed. SEM analysis identifies the reservoir rock’s mineral morphology and characterizes pore geometry and flow paths. This helps to not only define mineral relationship and origin, but it also determines the relationships of the minerals (particularly clays) to the reservoir’s pore network. An X-ray energy dispersive spectrometer attachment is also available, which provides comprehensive chemical and elemental analysis during the SEM evaluation.


  • Identifies the location of potentially damaging clays and other mineral components

  • When integrated with other mineralogical data, allows for evaluation of formation damage and design of remedial treatments

  • Helps identify log interpretation problems such as low-resistivity pay intervals

  • When integrated with X-ray diffraction (XRD), identifies elemental composition of various unknown materials such as scale samples, produced well material, and filter samples

Geologic study results are fully integrated with data derived from all of the other groups in Weatherford Laboratories, as well as information provided by our clients, to provide customized solutions.