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Exploration and exploitation of increasingly complex reservoirs, along with technical challenges associated with optimizing horizontal wells into tight or unconventional pay sections, benefits from new approaches involving additional data collected in a cost- and time-effective manner. This article describes one such methodology applicable to samples that are historically viewed as containing limited value, namely, unpreserved cuttings. During this procedure, the rock is first photographed under visible and UV light, then crushed and analyzed for included hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon species with a sensitive mass spectrometry system, and finally probed for its elemental composition with a customized X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer.
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