The most frustrating part of well site geology is that the most important job (good sampling) is assigned to the greenest rig hand. He'll often be found with two sample bags in his pocket blissfully scrubbing the sub or mixing mud while the sample bucket is overflowing or frozen solid. With the bucket method, acquiring decent samples requires babysitting an endless stream of new guys and explaining ad nauseam the how-to's and importance of good sample catching. The geologist can do the most professional, excruciatingly detailed descriptions but they're useless if what is being described is from somewhere other than the actual sample depth.
Alternatively, you can use the SamplePro.
SamplePro is a Godsend in my book for its simplicity, accuracy and ease of use. Other posters have covered some of the highlights which I also endorse but here's a unique anecdote.
Our task was to remain above a dipping limestone unit through the lateral (but building) section of a well. Surveys indicated we were losing hole angle and the gamma dropped from 140 AAPI to 20. Looks like the limestone caught up to us and we've got some serious steering to do right? Nope. Typically, gamma is the word of God but in this case the SamplePro samples proved otherwise.
Black shale with a 20 AAPI response? With a bucket sample it wouldn't have been a stretch to assume bad samples and start sliding high side. With SamplePro, I KNEW the sample was representative so what was up with the gamma response? Turned out the scintillator crystal or photomultiplier was fried and the gamma was wrong! It's happened again since. At the end of the day, good samples are the only tangible evidence of what you are actually drilling.
A properly maintained and operated SamplePro will get you good samples all day, every day.
“Poor sample quality is an increasing concern and this system makes a significant improvement to the quality of samples obtained at wellsite. The system also simplifies the job of sample collection for the roughneck and greatly helps the reliability and integrity of the sample. I would encourage any operators that want to get the best sample possible to try this system out.”
Doug Hayden R.P.T. (Geol)
“The Sample Pro sampling system is a useful tool for the collection of representative samples while drilling. Microscopic investigation of samples caught utilizing the Sample Pro will be far superior to those caught using a pail, scoop shovel or catching board. The sample is comprised of the entire interval & narrow zones are not omitted from the samples by careless sample collection techniques. If your lag times are correct & the samples are collected on time you will see marked lithology changes that are often missed by pail or scoop shovel sampling. As a direct result the strip log you submit will be more detailed & accurate. Consequently your client will be impressed by your ability to identify formation tops & thin zones of potential pay which otherwise may have been overlooked.”
David Nicol, M.Sc.
“I have been doing wellsite geology for 31 years. I have been using Sample Pro (client permitting) on & off for several years now and it is my preferred method of catching samples. The samples are of consistent size and are representative of the entire sample interval. The machine is easy to install and use and makes the roughneck’s job much easier. Catching the sample is a simple matter of removing the tray and replacing it with another so bucketed bulk samples and top of the bucket samples are no longer an issue, thus reducing time spent checking on the sample catchers. I have used Sample Pro in all types of weather and with all types of drilling fluid and it has worked reliably throughout.”
“I am a field Geologist and have been working on the rigs for approximately 6-7 yrs. For the last two years I have had the opportunity to use the “Sample Pro” to catch samples (as opposed to the traditional method - using a 5 gallon pail at the end of the shaker.) To be honest, when I was initially introduced to the unit, I had reservations as I was concerned about the sample quality. However, at the insistence of the office Geologist, I agreed to have it installed on a well. During the next couple of years, I used the “Sample Pro” with numerous mud systems (Gel Chem, K2SO4, KCL, Invert) and have been immensely satisfied and impressed with the results. I noticed a notable improvement with the consistency and the quality of the samples caught. Furthermore, the roughnecks (sample catchers) have also mentioned how simple and easy it is to catch samples. I truly believe that the “Sample Pro” is the best device out there for sample collection and do not hesitate recommending the use of it in the field.”
McCrae Geosciences Ltd.
“As a geologist, the most important aspect is to make multimillion dollar decisions based on very limited data from the subsurface. Drill samples are one of the most important pieces of information and their quality is one of my biggest concerns when drilling. I have used Sample Pro on several of my rigs and it has proven to deliver sample quality beyond anything I have encountered before.
I was drilling a well recently with one of the target zones being a new play in the area. We conducted a bottom hole DST in the zone which indicated it had virtually no permeability. However, because of the quality of the samples collected by Sample Pro, the wellsite geologist helped convince us that permeability was present, despite what the DST was indicating. I chose the samples and the well was completed with a steady initial production of 20 m3/d (125 bbl/d). Because of Sample Pro, we made the proper decision. Now, when I'm drilling, I always know the data I can count on the most is the samples.”
Danny Labelle, M.Sc., P. Geol.
Manager Geology, Delphi Energy Corp
“I have been a wellsite geologist for the past 25 years, and during that time, I have had to rely on samples taken using a 5 gallon pail. I have always felt that taking samples in this manner was prone to human error, and required significant amount of time and effort on my part to both train and watch over the roughneck in order to get a somewhat accurate sample. I have recently had the opportunity to work with a drilling rig which used the Sample Pro product. I believe the samples generated to be highly accurate and representative of the interval drilled. The sample quality from this device is excellent and consistent, regardless of the ROP or who is taking the sample. Use of this equipment has freed up my time to concentrate on examining and describing the samples, instead of having to supervise the taking of samples. I would definitely recommend the use of the Sample Pro sampler, and look forward to the day when it is commonplace on all rigs.”
Harley H.K. Hoiles, P. Geol.
“I have been a wellsite geologist since 1985. Getting the most reliable and representative drill cuttings samples is an integral part of acquiring the best data and providing the best interpretation. Sample collection is subject to inherent errors which affects the quality of cuttings available for analysis by wellsite geologists. The Sample Pro system eliminates the inherent errors associated with sample collection and provides good quality samples. The system works well under all drilling conditions. The system is also roughneck friendly, it makes the job of collecting samples much faster and easier. I would recommend the use of the Sample Pro system for use on any project.”
Tony Bennett, B.Sc.
“You have done excellent work designing this sample catcher machine. There is no more headache and worry about 5m representative sample. This machine has solved this problem in excellent way. I did speak with sample men and they are really happy, so this machine gives us quality and pleasure to work with.”
Llukan Kumati, Geologist
“I have been working as a wellsite geologist for over thirty years. Catching accurate representative chip samples has always been a challenge. I have used the Sample Pro unit for catching samples on three different jobs now, with both invert and gel chemical mud. It has proven to be simple to set up, simple to use, and basically indestructible. The actual catching of the sample is extremely quick and easy, so the roughnecks love it. The sample quality is superb, even during super fast PDC drilling. The service provided for initial set up and maintenance is excellent. This drill cuttings sampler is now the very best way to catch reliable samples.”
Bruce Miller, P. Geol.
Stone People Resources Ltd., Kelowna, B.C.
“We have been using the Sample Pro system on all of our wells recently and have seen huge increase in sample quality, resulting in better on the fly analysis of potential pay zones. The Sample Pro system makes everyone’s lives on the rig easier from the roughnecks right through to the well site geologists. We will continue to use the system on all of our wells because of the superior quality of the samples we obtain.”
Mark Hadley, M.Sc., P. Geol
Manager Geology, Fairborne Energy Ltd.
“I have used Sample Pro on a number of deeper wells and have been very pleased with the results. I have been able to get a decent sample description on a number of thinner sands that I don’t think I otherwise would have been able to. It appears to work well with both water based and invert muds, as I’ve used it with both. My wellsite geologist, who has been sitting wells for some 30 years, commented that these were the best samples that he had ever seen.
In exploration areas where I’ve just got to get good samples, I will continue to use Sample Pro.”
Mark Stasuik P.Geol
“I have been working as operations and wellsite geologist for the last fifteen years in the various areas of Canada and internationally. We have been using Sample Pro sampler for the past year drilling deep projects around Brazeau and Hinton area.
In recent years with the arrival of faster drilling technologies the ROP data (rate of penetration) became less reliable. While utilising PDC bits the ROP trends vary significantly and in many cases are inconsistent. As result the collection of the samples accurately representing sampled interval is even more essential to the wellsite interpretation. That is why I insist to my clients on having the sampler on my rig. I follow one simple rule “When in doubt trust the rocks”. The sampler as reliable, efficient and greatly appreciated by the rig crew tool allowed me to never doubt the main data source, unlike the ever overflowing bucket.
It takes no time catch samples, no problems of keeping up without missing samples or catching few samples at the time. With no washing involved my guys keep their hands warm and dry on the cold day. Happy rig hands = good samples! Sampler requires minimum maintenance and has no cold weather limitations. We used it in the temperatures below -35 degrees C with steam.
My processing time is much faster, and samples are caught exactly the size preferred for evaluation (2 - 4mm). This tool must stay on the wellsite. It perfectly meets today’s industry requirements and my own expectations. Here we come the bucket free shakers.”
Michael Kinzikeev, B.Sc., B. Tech-Petr.