Course :: Rock Mechanics Testing: From Program Design to QC (RMT0515-01)

3 – 4 Oct 2016, London, UK

With a Special Introductory Cocktail Party on the Evening of Oct 2nd


Laboratory testing of core material provides a direct measure of the rock mechanical parameters and playes a disproportionately large role in the oil and gas industry. In addition, the test data serve as a reference for the other acquisition efforts which rely on correlating the directly measured rock parameters against other parameters. Considering the high cost of acquiring, transportation and testing core, it is of paramount importance to utilize the latest rock mechanics knowledge and state of the art technologies to maximize the amount and accuracy of data acquired from drilled core. This very informative course aims in providing a complete understanding of the high value of cored samples for field development and engineering design and how they should be treated, preserved, and prepared until being tested in the lab. The course will comprehensively discuss the steps of rock mechanics testing from core visit and selection to designing a testing program, executing the program, quality control the procedure and analyzing-interpreting the results. Several case studies and test results on different conventional and unconventional reservoirs will be presented and discuss.


  • Petroleum, drilling, reservoir, completion, and production engineers
  • Geoscientists, geologists, geophysicists, and petrophysicists
  • Field development managers, technical advisors, and laboratory personnel


  • What key rock properties for oil and gas industry operations are
  • What effective parameters on rock stiffness and strength are
  • How to simulate in-situ stresses with different loading conditions in the lab
  • Correct way of core drilling, handling, transportations, and preservation
  • Standard sample preparation procedures for oilfield rock mechanics testing
  • How to prepare a comprehensive rock mechanics testing program based on project requirements
  • How to work with the lab to guarantee good quality test results
  • How to QC, analyze and interpret the test results
  • How to upscale the lab-scale results for field-scale applications


  • 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 typical rock mechanics tests analysis


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 for the rock mechanics laboratory 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:

Introduction to Rock Mechanics

  • Overview and history of rock mechanics testing
  • Importance of test results for field applications

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
  • Effective parameters on rock strength and stiffness

Core recovery and management

  • Core drilling and retrieving: whole core vs. side core
  • Core transportation and handling
  • Core preservation
  • Core visit and selection for testing
  • Selecting the right laboratory
  • Core plug preparation

Day 2:

Rock Mechanics Testing

  • Values and limitations, pros and cons
  • Understanding the needs, selecting right tests
  • Preparation and design of rock mechanics testing program
  • Execution the testing program, communicating with the lab and overseeing the procedure
  • Typical rock mechanics tests
    • Uniaxial Compressive Strength (UCS) test
    • Triaxial test: single and multi-stage
    • Direct and indirect tensile strength test (Brazilian)
    • Isostatic compressive test
    • Constant mean stress test
    • Compaction test
    • Thick-Wall Cylinder (TWC) test
    • Direct shear test
    • Acoustic wave velocity test
    • Fracture toughness test
    • Polyaxial (tru triaxial) test
  • Quality control, analysis, and interpretation of the results
  • Petrographical analysis (thin section study)
  • Index tests on small samples
    • Schmidt hammer
    • Point load test
    • Equtip tester
    • Brinel hardness test
    • Shore Scleroscope
    • Scratch testing
  • From lab-scale to field-scale (upscaling)
  • Case studies


Please do not hesitate to contact if you need further assistance.