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Interpretive: Bitumen Analysis

XRF Solutions have also developed algorithms for determining bitumen properties. The model is used to predict porosity, oil saturation, water saturation, and an oil degradation index (viscosity proxy) using the XRF chemical data. Porosity is calculated from the predicted mineralogy. Oil saturation is calculated using S. The amount of S expected in each volume percent of oil can be calculated using the expected weight percentage of S in specific bitumen and the molecular weight of that bitumen. Using the amount of S present allows for a volume of oil to be calculated. Finally by subtracting the calculated oil value from the calculated porosity we can get estimated water saturation without directly measuring it. If Dean-Stark analyses are available the results can be compared to the XRF model for oil and water content. In some cases the amount of calculated oil is greater than the calculated porosity. This means that there is a higher S present than expected; we interpret this as an indication of more highly degraded oil. The amount of S beyond what is expected determines the level of degradation.


Figure A.  Bitumen Properties from Core Analysis in the McMurray Formation.