What is Geomechanics?

GeoMechanics is the theoretical and applied science of the mechanical behavior of geological material. It is used to reduce risks and optimize rewards related to the mechanical failure of the reservoir, over, side and under burden formations due to oil and gas exploration and production activities.

These include but not limited to, drilling of oil and gas wells, hydraulic fracturing, water/gas flooding, depletion. A geological formation will fail when the stresses it is subjected to, exceed its strength.

The role of Geomechanics is to predict when failure would occur, assess its risks and opportunities and recommend mitigation plan(s).

Each geological formation in the subsurface (crust) is subject to stresses caused by many geological evolution and transformation factors, such as deposition (gravitational loading), tectonics, uplift, pressure inflation or deflation, stress relaxation, thermal effects. This means that stresses in the subsurface are not static through time nor can these be characterized similarly everywhere at present day. Similarly formation’s strength properties are subject to changes throughout the geological time since deposition to present day.

Any formation/reservoir geomechanical assessment starts with characterizing the stresses, strength and pressure profiles. Hence understanding the geological history of the formation of interest is crucial to its reliable geomechanical characterization.

Practical GeoMechanics is positioned to support such studies by offering geomechanics related services in the following areas:
    1. Consulting in the following areas amongst others:
      • In situ stress characterization and rock mechanical profiling
      • Borehole Stability
      • Sand Production Prediction
      • Hydraulic Fracturing (conventional and unconventional)
      • Safe operating pressure and temperature envelopes for primary, secondary or tertiary fields developments to avoid:
        • Subsidence or surface uplift
        • Fault reactivation
        • Tremors
        • Well integrity issues
    3. Definition of data gathering, work streams, appropriate use of technologies and monitoring options to address issues at hand
    5. Design, quality control, and analysis of laboratory test on core samples
    7. Independent advisory, quality assurance and reviews of studies and their outcome
    9. Training of staff in both theoretical and operational geomechanics

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