M.I. Phillips Geological Consultants, LLC

Since 1983              Phone +1.9407237608

Mark Phillips, Registered Geologist/MBA/MLS/PMP

Various Images of Drill Cuttings at 10x to 30x Magnification

Fluoroscope, Microscope with Digital Imaging Camera, Cuttings Samples and Processing & Testing Materiel

Dimple Dish in Fluoroscope, Dry Sample Library Box With Samples and Digital Imaging Microscope


The analysis of drill cuttings samples under a low power binocular microscope and a fluoroscope is important because in some cases this is the only lithological data captured from a well bore.  This analysis is used to identify and generally describe rock type, determine presence of hydrocarbons, and for stratigraphic correlation to electric logs and the local geology or sediments.

The drill cuttings samples are collected at the end of the flow line on a drilling rig as the drilling fluid is circulated out of the well bore and over a shaker screen.  Sampling interval is most often determined by the rate of drill bit penetration and commonly is every 10 feet.  As the rate of penetration increases the sample interval may increase due to the physical time required and the difficulties of collecting and processing the samples.  It is not uncommon during excessively high rates of drill bit penetration for the sample interval to be 30 feet, or 60 feet, or more.

After analysis and description, a dry set of the samples is saved for future reference.  A small portion of each sample is put into separate labelled envelopes and then inserted by order of depth in a library box for archiving.