New Technology for Nano-Scale X-Ray of Rock Pores

Ingrain, Inc. has just announced the acquisition of a NanoXCT Imaging device to be used in conjunction with their reservoir modeling capabilities to provide geoscientists an unprecedented look at the pore properties of rock samples, even oil sands. From their press release:

The 3-D NanoXCT imaging device, which is the first of its kind to be used outside of the microchip industry and some of the synchrotron beams in the country, is capable of focusing an X-ray source onto an extremely small region of interest within a rock sample — as small as 20-60 microns. The best resolution of the new device is 0.05 microns (50 nanometers) or 1/1000th of the diameter of a strand of human hair.

Click through for the links to the press release and the company website which has some nice 3D animations of oil displacing water in rock pores. The image below is a screen capture from one of those animations. (All screen captures property of Ingrain, Inc.)



$180 Million Settlement in Reservoir Failure

On December 14, 2005, the upper reservoir of the Taum Sauk pumped storage plant, a hydroelectric power plant in the Missouri Ozarks, suffered a catastrophic failure. The resulting flood severely damaged the Jonhson’s Shut-Ins State Park and swept away the park superintendent and his family. Fortunately all of them survived. (Photos by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and USGS)

Last week, the Missouri Attorney General’s office announced a settlement of $180 million between the facility’s owner, Ameren Corp. The failure reportedly was a result of negligence on the part of the company. More details after the break.