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Mon, Sep 10


Petroleum Club of Fort Worth

FWGS September Luncheon

Application of Rapidly-Acquired Whole-Rock Elemental Data for Improved Drilling Results: The Permian Basin and Beyond Michael C. Dix - Principal Geoscientist - Premier Oilfield Group

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FWGS September Luncheon
FWGS September Luncheon

Time & Location

Sep 10, 2018, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Petroleum Club of Fort Worth, 777 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA


Event Details

Time: 11:30 am Buffet, Noon Speaker Presentation

RSVP online by Friday, September 7th at noon on the FWGS website

Cost: $27 with RSVP, $30 with no RSVP, student members eat free with RSVP (Student Members please directly email the FWGS Secretary to RSVP).

Reminder: FWGS is charged for all RSVP's, so if you RSVP and do not attend you will be contacted concerning payment.


While not widely appreciated, whole-rock elemental data has been used for improved stratigraphic correlation (chemostratigraphy) and formation evaluation since the early 1990s. Chemostratigraphy was a small but growing discipline successfully applied to sandstone reservoirs, and later to carbonates, through the middle 2000s. Two events conspired in the late 2000s to push elemental applications into the mainstream: the proliferation of unconventional plays (self-sourced, mudstone-dominated reservoirs) and significant improvements in portable XRF technology. The rich mineral diversity and trace element compositions of fine-grained rocks makes the XRF approach particularly useful, and data is now collected from well over a thousand historical and actively drilling wells per year. The Permian basin has been one of the busier geological regions in the world for the use of elemental data.

Using core-scanned XRF data as a baseline, elemental data from cuttings has proven highly effective in helping to delineate target zones in pilots wells, and more importantly in providing formation evaluation and stratigraphic cross-checks on laterals. Practical element-based models of mineralogy and brittleness have proven robust, as have well-known elemental criteria for recognizing organic richness. Because XRF data can be collected and interpreted rapidly, the results are readily used to design “engineered” completions that better group rocks of like attributes in the same frac stages.

In addition to the day-to-day use of elemental data in drilling operations, integration with other data streams allows additional insight to be gained on field-wide or basin-wide stratigraphy and reservoir distribution.


Mike Dix has 33 years of geoscience experience, 25 in the oil and gas industry and 8 in academic research. He received his B.S. (Geology) from the University of Dayton (USA) in 1981 and attended the graduate geology program at the University of Houston. He has developed expertise in sedimentary petrology, reservoir geology, elemental geochemistry / chemostratigraphy, regional geology, and fracture analysis. Prior to joining Premier Oilfield Group, he worked for Core Laboratories, the University of Houston, Westport Technology Center, Halliburton, Chemostrat, and Weatherford. In the early 1990s, Mike became interested in using inorganic elemental data to improve understanding of sandstone provenance, sediment dispersal, and sequence correlation, and to establish diagenetic and reservoir-quality signatures. While much of his work has involved integrated laboratory studies, Mike has spent a large part of the last 18 years helping to develop and implement wellsite analytical technologies such as LIBS, XRF, XRD, FTIR, and programmed pyrolysis. Mike’s work, particularly in applying elemental techniques, spans all reservoir types and includes sequences from North America, the Middle East, South America, West Africa, China, and Australia. Mike is a member of American Association of Petroleum Geologists, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Geological Society of America, Clay Minerals Society, Mineralogical Society of America, Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts, and Houston Geological Society.

Mike is originally from Hollywood, Florida. After graduating from the University of Dayton in Ohio, he moved to Houston, which has been his home and professional base for 36 years. He is married and has two children, ages 8 and 5. Most free time is spent enjoying sports and other activities with his family, including coaching soccer and taking advantage of the great museums, parks, and zoo in Houston. A self-described “science junkie”, Mike keeps up with developments in geoscience, planetary science, astronomy, and physics, and enjoys helping out with science classes at his children’s school.


  • Member RSVP - Pay Before Event

    Pay by credit card. RSVP by noon on Friday before event.

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  • Member RSVP - Pay at Event

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  • Student RSVP

    Students, please email to confirm reservation. Student RSVP no-shows will be contacted for lunch cost reimbursement.

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