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Oil & Gas Training
and Competency Development
Competency Management system SLB NEXT

Geomechanics Applications in Heavy Oil

Geomechanics plays a critical role in successfully optimizing heavy oil/oil sands exploitation. This course can help understand the essential aspects of geomechanics in thermal operations for heavy oil production enabling an engineer or geoscientist to make better field development and operational decisions.

This course introduces the necessary fundamentals of geomechanics as applied to oil sands, effect of increased pressure and temperature on reservoir stresses and rock properties, critical elements of caprock integrity analysis, understanding expectations of regulatory boards, ground uplift, reservoir compaction and subsidence, reservoir geomechanics thermal coupled simulation, monitoring techniques for reservoir compaction/subsidence, caprock integrity, casing integrity.

Day 1

Basic Mechanics

• concept of stress/strain

• mechanical properties -Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, bulk modulus, shear modulus, bulk compressibility

• rock strength – UCS, tensile strength and shear strength

• computation of mechanical properties and strength parameters from logs,

• dynamic to static conversion of mechanical properties

Understanding Earth Stresses

• in-situ stresses, plate tectonics

• computing stress profile from logs

• pore pressure and principle of effective stress

• elasticity, plasticity, elasto-plastic, poro-elasticity and poro-elasto-plasticity

• stress measurement and calibration - min-frac/LOT/MDT tests

• basic definitions of fracture gradient and closure pressure and other terminologies used in LOT/XLOT

• how fractures are created, preferential direction, fracture growth – frac height and width

Understanding Rock Failure

• rock failure types and causes - tensile vs shear, failure theories

• description of common rock mechanical core tests

• mechanical properties from core testing

• rock strength parameters from core testing

• Mohr-Coulomb failure envelope and its use geomechanical analysis

Day 2

Mechanical Earth Modeling (MEM)

• data requirements for a typical geomechanical analysis

• process of building mechanical earth model

• log data - Dipole Sonic Imager (DSI) and Sonic Scanner

• integrating log data, core data and field stress measurements in MEM

• calibration of geomechanical model

Geomechanical effects in SAGD

• geomechanical risk scenarios

• effect of temperature on rock properties, rock strength, porosity and permeability

• thermal stresses/strains, thermal jacking, shear dilation

• effect of injection pressure – alteration in in-situ stresses, variation in horizontal and vertical stresses

• effect of cyclic injection/production (loading/unloading) on rock properties and rock strength

• reservoir compaction, subsidence, and ground uplift

Caprock Integrity Analysis

• Caprock integrity– definitions and expectations of regulatory boards

• assessing hydraulic integrity and mechanical integrity

• effect of dilation on reservoir and caprock

• effect of increased reservoir temperature and pressure on caprock

• caprock failure mechanism - tensile and shear

• fault reactivation

• geomechanics workflow for caprock integrity analysis

Day 3

Reservoir Geomechanics Coupled Modeling

• what is coupled modeling and what parameters are coupled

• common techniques - one-way and two-way coupling

• advantages and disadvantages of coupled modeling

• overview of software tools available for coupled modeling

• case study examples of caprock integrity analysis using coupled modeling

• Segmental modeling using VISAGE – near-wellbore modeling for wellbore stability analysis

Reservoir Monitoring

• overview of common monitoring techniques

• surface and down hole tools to monitor reservoir and caprock deformation

• how monitoring data are used in geomechanical caprock integrity modeling and prediction of subsidence/compaction in the reservoir

Learning activity mix

This short course is intended for engineers, geoscientists, and technologists involved in exploration, drilling, completions and production in unconventional reservoirs. Also for asset and technical managers.

Four Year Engineering and Geoscience Degree

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