The growing importance of unconventional resources is indisputable. The fine-grained, tight, heterogeneous, and anisotropic nature of both the source and the reservoir rocks in unconventional plays demands advanced scientific instrumentation to characterize their source potential, source distribution, and reservoir quality. These challenges render the conventional rock analysis protocols less than ideal.

Together with Whiting Oil & Gas Corporation, DigiM used conventional core samples from the Upper Devonian–Mississippian Bakken Formation, Williston Basin, North Dakota, U.S.A., and the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Formation, Denver Basin, Colorado, U.S.A., as examples, and characterized the pore systems and the associated organic matter habit common in these source rocks and associated unconventional tight oil reservoirs. We created a workflow that distinguishes primary organic matter (kerogen) and secondary organic matter (bitumen and oil) based on their morphology, paragenesis, and general thermal history as interpreted from high-resolution scanning electron microscopy-based technologies.

Bekken 2

Primary (kerogen) and secondary (bitumen and residue oil) organic matter in Bakken.

For more information on our work with Whiting Oil & Gas Corporation titled Primary and Secondary Organic Matter Habit in Unconventional Reservoirs, please refer to the reference section below where you can request a copy of our publication.


Primary and Secondary Organic Matter Habit in Unconventional Reservoirs, AAPG Memoir 102: Imaging Unconventional Reservoir Pore Systems. (Request a Copy)