mass spectrometry

Advanced technology with new field applications and real-time analysis.

Mojo is committed to staying at the forefront of the oil and gas exploration and production industry, specifically wellsite geology and geosteering disciplines, through adopting the latest technologies that will allow for the most precise and productive wells. A mass spectrometer detects molecules based on atomic mass units. Providing a picture of which organic and inorganic compounds are present within any formation and sub members of the stratigraphy. This can be used on any wellbore with the use of every type of drilling fluid (air, water and oil based muds). This technology has recently been scaled down in size making it possible to achieve lab quality quadrupole mass spectrometry results in the field in real time from drilled formation gases.

The Mojo team has integrated the new portable quadrupole mass spectrometer into its list of services. We have the experience and technical expertise to properly operate and maintain these latest generation field units. In addition to knowing how to operate this cutting-edge technology, we are able to interpret and advantageously apply data produced in field applications. Few firms can offer similar application and interpretation of this new technology. This positions us as pioneers at the next level of precision geological evaluation and geosteering.

About the technology.

The greatest mobility. The greatest accuracy. In the field.

The new portable quadrupole mass spectrometer detects molecules based on molecular mass as its predecessors did. However, advances in technology have allowed scaling down in size to create a unit that can be taken out of the lab and deployed to the field.

Previous gas detectors used in the field employed UV light to identify molecules. Molecules were separated by size and the UV could be used to determine the volume of each molecule. There are a few problems with this method. Some gases, such as helium, are so small that they cannot be detected. Heavier gases are similarly reflected and difficult to differentiate. Inference was the foundation of exploratory activity.
With this new mass spectrometer, the game has changed entirely.

In the newest model, chemical compounds are ionized, isolated and measured. Gas and evaporated liquids pass through a membrane that charges each molecule with a static electric charge then passed through a magnetic field. By reading these charged molecules, the unit can more accurately detect and differentiate the size of each individual molecule, rather than the bulk volume (classic gas chromatographs). This means we can accurately read for helium and other small inert gases, as well as create accurate readings of larger molecules. We can better quantify how much natural gas is in place versus oil or condensates. Overall, with this enhanced geochemical fingerprinting, Mojo can better evaluate reservoir quality, oil characteristics and the in-between phases. Ratios of gases can be used to detect fractures/faults, reservoir quality and estimate excessive bit wear.

In addition to providing an entirely new level of interpretive accuracy, this mass spectrometer is portable. Previous models were so heavy that they required scientists to draw samples in the field and take them to a lab for evaluation. This expensive and inefficient process did not allow for real time data analysis or aid in the daily decision making that goes into drilling successful wells.

    Mojo-Added Value

    The Analyzer uses direct quadrupole mass spectrometry to ionize, isolate, and detect the conventional C1-C5 hydrocarbons, monitor C6-C10 hydrocarbons, and distinguish the three major classes of volatile organic species (alkanes, cycloalkanes, and aromatics). The analyzer produces all of these outputs without the need for chromatographic preseparation.

    Many geological consulting services will collect the data and outsource it for interpretation. Mojo is a one-stop shop. We know how to operate the unit as well as analyze the findings of this incredibly mobile technology.

    In a truly groundbreaking development, Mojo experts can test and interpret data in the field, even in the most restrictive environments. Analytical results can be viewed on-screen locally and remotely. Collected data is also put into graphical form and distributed to the client in daily reports. This on-site interpretation makes for a quick turnaround, meaning clients save significantly and have cutting-edge data at their fingertips.


    • Exploration and field development
    • Conventional and unconventional reservoirs
    • Difficult logging environments with minimal
    log suites
    • Subtle show scenarios with low gas returns
    • Horizontal well placement (and potential geosteering applications)
    • Air drilling
    • Water and oil based drilling fluids


    • Obtain a semiquantitative continuous fluid log
    • Improve detection and characterization of formation gas at low concentrations
    • Anticipate potential high-water-saturation reservoirs ahead of testing
    • Determine liquids-enriched intervals in unconventional reservoirs of questionable maturity
    • Provide practical reservoir fluid data
    • Monitor bit wear and contributions from bit-generated gas
    • Detects Helium, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Co2 and Argon


      Mojo’s adoption of the latest portable quadrupole mass spectrometer streamlines the entire geosteering process. With enhanced data and access to formerly restrictive sites, we can help clients target the best opportunities with an improved picture of what’s in the ground and what they can expect as a ROI.

      “With experience on more than 250 wells,
      I thought I had seen it all. I had no idea we could gather such data in real-time, that we could apply technology and directly detect what’s there and not there. There’s been ‘pie-in-the-sky’ inference in the past. But
      to directly detect what is in the ground is entirely new. The target acquisition here is huge.”
      After graduating from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Geosciences, Joe spent the next
      Fifteen years garnering experience through Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas and eastern Utah. He’s completed consulting work for some of the top mineral exploration companies in the industry.
      Joe’s personally sat 100+ wells and has overseen more than 300. Joe holds special training and certification on the operation and interpretation of the newest portable quadrupole mass spectrometer.

      Call us today to see how we can maximize your next well.