Course :: Field Development Geomechanics: A Game Changer in Harsh Economy Condition (FDG0415-14)

Houston, TX, USA

With a Special Introductory Cocktail Party on the Evening Before the Course

Houston Sketch 1



Geomechanics is a key technology to minimize risk and reduce cost in all petroleum operations from exploration to production. Geomechanics importance is even more pronounced when the low oil price creates harsh economic condition. It has been reported that geomechanics is saving several billions of dollars every year by preventing problems such as borehole failure, stuck pipe/tool, sidetracking, lost circulation, casing collapse, sand production, reservoir compaction, permeability reduction, and surface subsidence. This requires good understanding of the interaction between rock mechanical properties, in?situ stresses and petroleum operations. This multi-disciplinary course provides a concise overview of basic rock mechanics and its application to several practical problems encountered at well and field scales. This is an interactive course which will be presented in two modules: First module discusses building geomechanical models including rock property modeling, pore pressure prediction, and in-situ stress modeling; the second module reviews the applications such as wellbore stability, sand production prediction, hydraulic fracturing, naturally fractured reservoirs, and compaction-subsidence analyses.


  • Drilling, reservoir, completion, exploitation, and production engineers
  • Geoscientists, geologists, geophysicists, and petrophysicists
  • Field development managers, technical advisors, core lab personnel


Module I: Principals of Rock Mechanics and Geomechanical Earth Modeling

This module provides an introduction to the importance of geomechanics for oil and gas industry, relevant rock mechanics theories and geomechanical modeling. You will learn how to integrate geological, petrophysical and drilling information, in conjunction with well logs and core data from off-set wells to construct 1D to 3D geomechanical models. You will also learn how to verify and calibrate the model with drilling incidents and regional information.

Module II: Geomechanics Applications in Field Development

In this module, different applications of geomechanics in oil and gas field development will be discussed and several interesting case studies will be shared. This module gives you detailed information about wellbore stability, sand production prediction, hydraulic fracturing, maximizing production from natural fractures, well trajectory optimization, compaction, casing collapse and subsidence studies. You will learn how to analyze wellbore stability for generic and optimum well trajectories and define a safe operating mud weight window to minimize drilling problems; how to design well trajectory to maximize production from natural fractures; to predict and control the orientation and extension of hydraulic fractures; to evaluate the potential for sand production and how to manage it using selective or/and oriented perforation strategies.


  • Detailed course manual including hard copy of all presented material
  • Course package including soft copy of course slides, relevant books and papers
  • EXCEL program for performing geomechanical modeling
  • Relevant case histories from different regions


Dr. HAMED SOROUSH is an internationally recognized geomechanics expert with more than 18 years of experience in different applications of rock mechanics. He has conducted or managed more than 100 consulting and research projects worldwide. He is currently working for Shell as a senior geomechanics consultant in Houston Technology Center. Prior to that, He was the global geomechanics advisor for Weatherford providing project coordination, support and training for geomechanics and petroleum engineering applications. He has also worked with companies such as Technical and Soil Laboratories, CSIRO, GMI, Senergy, and PDVSA in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North Sea, and South America regions, in addition to three years of serving as a member of faculty at the Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. Dr Soroush holds BSc in Mining Engineering, MSc in Rock Mechanics and PhD in Petroleum Engineering from Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia. He has given several industry short courses for PETROLERN, SPE and EAGE and has served as scientific committee on many SPE conferences and workshops. He was selected as SPE Distinguished Lecturer for 2012 – 2013 program.


Day 1: Principals of Rock Mechanics and Geomechanical Modeling

Introduction to Geomechanics

  • Overview and history of geomechanics
  • Importance and applications of geomechanics
  • 1D to 3D Geomechanical Earth Modeling

Theories and Background

  • Theory of Stress
    • Stress tensor
    • Principal stresses
    • Effective stress
    • Stress around a borehole
  • Theory of Deformation
    • Displacement and strain
    • Rock elastic constants
    • Constitutive models
  • Theory of Failure
    • Failure mechanisms (shear, tensile and compaction)
    • Failure criteria

Geomechanical Modeling

  • Rock property modeling: Lab-base and log-based techniques
  • Pore pressure prediction
  • Stress modeling
  • Overburden stress calculation
  • Stress orientation determination
  • Minimum horizontal stress determination
  • Maximum horizontal stress estimation
  • Sources of stress perturbation
  • Field examples

Day 2: Geomechanics Applications in Field Development

Wellbore stability and lost circulation

  • Introduction to wellbore instability, effective parameters, and consequences
  • Modeling techniques and model calibration
  • Elastic, poroelastic, and elastoplastic models
  • Defining safe operating mud weight window
  • Well trajectory optimization, casing and mud design
  • Wellbore stability for deviated and horizontal wells
  • Time-dependent and chemical wellbore instability
  • Wellbore stability in fractured formations
  • Wellbore stability for UBD
  • Field examples

Sand production prediction

  • Introduction to sand production, consequences, and prediction
  • Sand management versus control
  • Borehole and perforation failure
  • Sand production prediction models: analytical, experimental, and numerical models.
  • Geomechanical solutions: selective perforating or oriented perforating
  • Sand control methods: open hole and cased hole completions
  • Field examples

Hydraulic fracturing

  • Introduction to hydraulic fracturing, history, importance, and environmental impact
  • Interval selection for fracturing shale plays and brittleness determination
  • Stress field effect on orientation and extension of hydraulic fractures
  • Fracture height containment, fracture toughness determination, and multiple fracturing

Production Optimization from natural fractures

  • Natural fractures identification and modeling
  • Productive vs. non-productive fractures: Critically Stressed Fractures concept
  • Well trajectory design for maximum production

Compaction, casing collapse, and subsidence

Please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] if you need further assistance.