Digitalcore was formed in 2009 to commercialise technology based on X-ray microtomography and data analysis of rocks. Contract research by the Australian National University for Digitalcore contributed to the success of this innovation, which improves efficiency in the oil and gas industry.
Problem: Digitalcore provides computer modeling of petrophysical properties of reservoir rocks and coal, based on X-ray microtomographic data. However, conventional tomography yielded poor mineralographic identification.
Solution: Methodology was developed for the alignment of additional 2-D mineralographic or elemental information on top of the 3-D microstructure defined by the microtomography. The researchers have successfully developed methods that automatically register images of polished sections captured by a variety of techniques after the core has been tomographically scanned. These combined maps are used to improve modelling of fluid flow or mechanical properties and contribute significantly to the company’s success with its multinational clients.
For developing digital core analysis, which allows scientists to perform virtual experiments faster and cheaper than conventional core analysis, and for bringing the technology to the global marketplace, the team behind Digitalcore won the 2012 Rio Tinto Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation.