PetroArc International Creates First High-Resolution Microscopic Digital Core Library for University of North Dakota

Share Article

PetroArc International, which specializes in creating high-resolution digital imagery for earth and life sciences, has begun the development of the world’s first high-resolution microscopic digital core library for the University of North Dakota. These technologies will allow faculty, students and researchers to access, view and interact with core, thin sections, plugs and drill cutting samples via computer from the William M. Laird Core Library anywhere on the University of North Dakota campus.

News Image
We hope our new technology will inspire and develop more minds interested in geology.

For faculty, students and researchers at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, PetroArc International has begun development of the first high-resolution microscopic digital core library; formally named the Continental Resources High Resolution Virtual Core Library. This digital library is being created, thanks to a combination of both public and private funding, including Harold Hamm and Continental Resources, Inc. and the North Dakota Industrial Commission.

Following many years of high-tech research and development, PetroArc International developed and produced a method of digitally scanning cores, thin sections, plugs and drill cuttings that can be viewed via computer utilizing their CORSystem software. “PetroArc’s technologies allow the user to interact with the imagery and to perform analytical tasks," said Dr. Christopher Prince, president of PetroArc International.

“As North Dakota continues to grow and develop from its recent oil and gas boom, we are thrilled to support scientists, students and scholars at the University of North Dakota with this unique digital library, the first of its kind,” said Nelson Heskett, vice president of PetroArc International. “We hope our new technology will inspire and develop more minds interested in geology.”

The project funding was included in the $10 million provided as a gift from Harold Hamm and Continental Resources, Inc., which created the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering in the UND College of Engineering and Mines. Another $4 million from the Industrial Commission/Oil and Gas Research Program will fund the proposal entitled "Public-Private Partnership to Support Geology and Geological Engineering Education and Research at UND's College of Engineering and Mines."

In addition, PetroArc is in discussions with additional universities across the United States that are interested in this imaging technology, which can be used to further the study of geology and petrophysics; the study of physical and chemical rock properties and their interactions with fluids. This would mean that students and researchers would no longer require access to the samples or a microscope, but can interact and perform tasks with the images via laptop or desktop computer. “One of the keys to our technologies is everyone is on the same page, students, faculty and researchers with very quick and easy access to these samples,” said Prince.

Further, the company's proprietary core scanners are fully portable and can be shipped anywhere in the world to image cores under white and ultraviolet light as well as indirect lighting to isolate surface structure and porosity, aiding in study and research. PetroArc's virtual tools, designed for geologists, include a full suite of core description tools.

PetroArc International offers the most advanced digital imaging and analysis solutions available in the world. The company’s portable core scanners, proprietary software solutions and highly trained field technicians are available to assist with imaging needs worldwide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Likewise, PetroArc’s imaging solutions are used to train future geologists, veterinarians and other medical professionals; the company offers a variety of software options specially developed for oil & gas companies and learning institutions, which alleviate the need for costly microscopes in the classroom. For more information, please visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Nelson Heskett
Visit website