Tracer Diagnostics | Overview

NCS Multistage Tracer Diagnostics, a world leader in oilfield tracing

NCS Multistage Tracer Diagnostics is a leading full-service oilfield tracer resource with more 9,000 wells traced in the U.S., Canada, and Argentina, and the Middle East. We pioneered the development of particulate tracers, which embed in the propped formation to deliver more accurate results for longer time periods, providing even more valuable diagnostic information.

AirLock DiagramFirstViewTM 3D interactive viewer


Evaluate well spacing and diagnose frac hits
Use oil tracers water tracers to locate the source of inter-well communication to help optimize well spacing. Also determine whether frac hits are propped communication, hydraulic communication, or only pressure.

Fast, economical completion design optimization
Place multiple completion designs along the lateral and use stage-specific oil tracer recovery to assess relative completion effectiveness for fast economical optimization.

Verify stage contributions
Stage-specific chemical tracers verify which stages are contributing to production.

Calculate cluster efficiency
Radioactive tracers are placed with the proppant. Poststimulation logging with gamma tools shows exactly which clusters accepted proppant.

Locate wellbore obstructions
Stage-specific tracers clearly reveal which stages are below and which are above a wellbore blockage.

Monitor waterflood sweep efficiency
Use water or gas tracers to define field connectivity by mapping the movement of injected water or gas to production wells.


Particulate oil tracers
Patented slow-release OST® oil tracers are deployed as particulates that embed in propped fractures, enabling longer term oil production evaluation compared to conventional liquid tracers. Particulate tracers also eliminate false positives that occur when using liquid-form oil tracers.

Related – “How liquid-form oil tracers generate false-positive results: a laboratory demonstration”

Particulate-water tracers
Patented slow-release WST® particulate water tracers embed in propped fractures for extended formation-water diagnostics.

Liquid frac fluid tracers
Liquid FFI™ frac-fluid identifiers facilitate identification of stage-specific fluid flowback as well as detection of frac fluid entering offset wellbores during infill completions.

Natural gas tracers
NANO® natural-gas tracers are deployed with proppant deep into the formation, where they partition into the gas phase. The inert chemicals are not naturally occurring and can be detected at extremely low concentration levels.


Chemical tracer analysis
Tracer analysis is performed using high-resolution mass spectrometry and chromatography, which detect the presence of tracers down to parts per billion. Detailed laboratory reports present clear, numerical results that make it easy for you to track well performance. Reports also include our interpretation of the results. After samples are received at our laboratories, normal turnaround for water tracers and frac fluid tracers is 3–5 business days. Oil tracer oil reports typically require 7–10 business days, and natural-gas reports typically take 7–14 business days. Custom reports may take longer.

3D interactive visualization
The FirstView™ application provides interactive, animated 3D visualization of chemical tracer recovery and well-to-well fluid communication. The viewer selectively displays stage numbers, tracer concentrations, and other key information, so you can clearly see what is happening in the formation. The viewer is included with all hard-copy reports.

We employ the three standard radioisotope (RA) tracers: iridium, scandium, and antimony. Radioactive particles are deployed with the proppant, and post- completion logging detects the radioisotopes in the near-wellbore region. Our RA logging capability includes memory gamma ray, memory spectral gamma ray, and real-time spectral
gamma ray.





LABORATORIES: Tulsa, OK, Calgary (Alberta)
SALES OFFICES: Oklahoma City, Houston, Denver, Midland, Dallas, Tulsa, Calgary (Alberta)
FIELD OFFICES: Oklahoma City, Odessa, Corpus Christi, Billings, Morgantown, Weyburn (Saskatchewan), Grande Prairie (Alberta)

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Click here for the Tracer Diagnostics Brochure  PDF