Understanding the limitations and sensitivity of various techniques for quantifying mineral composition is essential for enhanced control of formation damage, e.g. in selecting a completion fluid and/or acid formulation.

This paper presents the results of a systematic evaluation of the reliability, applicability and intrinsic accuracy of the two most commonly used analytical techniques for quantitative mineral analysis: X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectroscopy. The strengths and weaknesses of each technique are related to the different scales of investigation (structural vs. molecular). The analytical accuracies of the techniques are assessed by analysing synthetic mixtures of common rock-forming minerals.

The two techniques were found to have comparable accuracies in analysing bulk mineralogy. For both techniques 90 % of the analyses of synthetic mixtures fell within 5 wt% from the actual concentrations. The results of reservoir core material were consistent with these findings. Costs and turnaround time favour FTIR. The two techniques may be used in combination to supply complementary mineralogical information on complex formations.

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