Factors determining source rock quality include:
These characteristics are a function of original depositional setting, subsequent geological history and mineralogy.
Our capability includes:
We have undertaken comparative studies of likely US analogues of UK shale gas prospects.
The BGS Organic Geochemistry Laboratory is equipped to undertake research on the thermal maturity of shales, kerogen typing and organic richness using TOC, Rock-Eval pyrolysis and infrared spectroscopy. Gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer-pyrolysis characterisation at the molecular level is used to investigate kerogen type.
The BGS Palynology Laboratory provides supporting data and interpretations for source rock evaluation in the form of kerogen preparations for visual kerogen analysis, which identifies what makes up the organic matter in a sample and in what proportions (e.g. amorphous organic matter, woody material), and for ultra-violet fluorescence microscopy, which indicates maturity and/or oxidation of a sample.
The BGS Mineralogy and Petrology Laboratories have the expertise and facilities to carry out x-ray diffraction (XRD), petrography and microanalysis of shales, and therefore to investigate the fracture properties (brittleness versus ductility, based on clay content as determined by XRD) and porosity of shales.
Contact Ed Hough for further information or enquiries about BGS shale gas consultancy services