Petroleum geomechanics is defined as the interaction between the evolving earth stresses and the overburden and reservoir rock mechanical properties. A comprehensive understanding of rock mechanical behaviour is key to successful field appraisal and development. For example, 70% of the world’s oil and gas reserves are contained in reservoirs where rock failure and sand production will become a problem at some point. Wellbore stability issues have been estimated to cost the industry USD 8 billion annually. Around 80%–90% of data comes from “traditional” core and log petrophysics, but the importance of data quality control and a rigorous and consistent petrophysical interpretation is often overlooked by well construction and production engineers.
The course addresses the holistic sand management strategy implementation from geomechanics perspectives, through evaluation and implementation of appropriate solutions for minimisation of well costs and maximisation of reservoir productivity. It will look at the inter-relationships between geomechanics and operations, application of geomechanics in relation to sand production and completions, and show how geomechanics can be best applied to provide maximum value in sand management and life-of-well and field operations. The course comprehensively covers geomechanics and operational-related sand production mechanisms, laboratory simulations of sand production to provide measurement data for model calibration and validation, state-of-the-art analytical and 4-D numerical sanding predictive methodologies for life-of-well and field including scale effect, rock strength properties reduction associated with water-cut and estimation of cumulative sand volume and rate of sand production, and optimal mitigation and management of sand production taking into consideration the feasibility of deferment or elimination of sand control installation. The course is illustrated with field examples. Application of geomechanics in relation to sand production and completions in order to provide maximum value in sand management and life-of-well and field operations.
However, other technologies can often be employed to investigate properties of the earth that correlate better with the properties of interest. If the images from these technologies can be provided at appropriate resolution, and if the knowledge required for interpretation and wise application of these technologies is available within the industry, they should be used. For example, electrical methods are extremely sensitive to variations in saturation, yet surface-based methods provide very poor resolution. Reservoir compaction can be directly observed from surface deformation, and pore-volume or gas-saturation changes can be detected from changes in the gravitational field. Dramatic examples of surface deformation induced by reservoir compaction have been provided by releveling studies (involving repeated high-accuracy surveying) and satellite-based interferometry.
Content of PetroWiki is intended for personal use only and to supplement, not replace, engineering judgment. SPE disclaims any and all liability for your use of such content. The stresses on the formation imposed by the overlying overburden and tectonic forces. The stresses are at least partially offset by the fluids in the pores of the formation.
Geological effects can impact the design and successful completion of oil, gas, and geothermal wells. Understanding the stresses and pore pressures within the subsurface are important to development of a geomechanical model that can guide well design as part of an integrated process to minimize cost and maximize safety. The normals to the three orthogonal planes define a Cartesian coordinate system (x1, x2, and x3). The stress tensor has nine components, each of which has an orientation and a magnitude (see Figure 1.a). Three of these components are normal stresses, in which the force is applied perpendicular to the plane (e.g., S11 is the stress component acting normal to a plane perpendicular to the x1-axis); the other six are shear stresses, in which the force is applied along the plane in a particular direction (e.g., S12 is the force acting in the x2-direction along a plane perpendicular to the x1-axis).
Understanding rock properties and how they react under various types of stress is important to development of a geomechanical model before drilling. Some major geomechanical rock properties are described below. To first order, most rocks obey the laws of linear elasticity. In other words, the stress required to cause a given strain, or normalized length change (Δlk /ll), is linearly related to the magnitude of the deformation and proportional to the stiffnesses (or moduli), Mijkl. Furthermore, the strain response occurs instantaneously as soon as the stress is applied, and it is reversible--that is, after removal of a load, the material will be in the same state as it was before the load was applied.
This article discusses estimation of stresses encountered during drilling that could cause fracturing or formation damage in the near wellbore area. Ballooning is a process that occurs when wells are drilled with equivalent static mud weights close to the leakoff pressure. It occurs because during drilling, the dynamic mud weight exceeds the leakoff pressure, leading to near-wellbore fracturing and seepage loss of small volumes of drilling fluid while the pumps are on. When the pumps are turned off, the pressure drops below the leakoff pressure, and the fluid is returned to the well as the fractures close. This process has been called "breathing" or "ballooning" because it looks like the well is expanding while circulating, and contracting once the pumps are turned off.
One example of analysis using a trend line is the equivalent depth method illustrated in Figure 1. This method first assumes that there is a depth section over which the pore pressure is hydrostatic, and the sediments are normally compacted because of the systematic increase in effective stress with depth. When the log of a measured value is plotted as a function of depth, NCTs can be displayed as straight lines fitted to the data over the normally compacted interval. The normal compaction trend (NCT) is a straight line in log-linear space that has been fitted to the decrease in slowness as a function of depth where sediments are normally compacting. The effective stress at depth Z is equal to the effective stress at depth A, and thus, the pore pressure at depth Z is simply Pz Pa (Sz–Sa).
Rock moduli (compressibility) and elastic velocities are strongly influenced by pressure. With increasing effective pressure, compliant pores within a rock will deform, contract, or close. The rock becomes stiffer, and, as a result, velocities increase. Two examples are shown in Figure 1. The typical behavior is rapid increase in velocity, with increasing pressure at low pressures, followed by a flattening of the curve at higher pressures.