Introduction to Geomechanics - 3 Day Course

Available as a public course
Available as a private in-house course

This course introduces attendees to the fundamental concepts underpinning any geomechanical study such as rock properties, the relationship between stress and strain, sources of stress and the components of a full stress tensor.

Techniques for estimating rock properties and the stress components are presented with related data requirements. Geomechanical implications for the petroleum industry are discussed and methods for assessing geomechanical risks of wellbore instability, fault seal integrity and sand production are addressed. 

This course is designed for anyone involved in petroleum related exploration or well planning without detailed geomechanical experience. 

Full Course Outline


  • What is geomechanics?
  • Stress, strain and failure
  • Why should you care about geomechanics?

Stress and Strains

  • The relationship between stress and strain
  • Elastic vs brittle vs plastic deformation
  • The principal stress magnitudes
  • Shear stress and normal stress
  • Stress tensor
  • Plate boundary forces
  • Effect of local structure

The in situ Stress Tensor

  • Reference states
  • Vertical stress
  • Maximum horizontal stress
  • Minimum horizontal stress
  • Andersonian classification
  • Pore pressure stress coupling
  • Rock Properties and Failure Envelopes
  • Visualising stress tensors with Mohr Diagrams

Determining Rock Mechanical Properties from Petroleum Data

  • Elastic properties
  • Rock strength

Stress determination from Petroleum Data

  • Data QC
  • Vertical Stress Magnitude
  • Stresses around a wellbore
  • Horizontal Stress Orientation
  • Interpreting Image log and calliper data
  • Minimum horizontal stress magnitude
    • Hydraulic fracture tests theory and description
  • Maximum horizontal stress magnitude
    • Breakout Occurrence and rock strength
    • Drilling induced tensile fracture occurrence and rock strength
    • Frictional Limits
    • Breakout Width
    • Stresses around Arbitrarily Inclined Wellbores
  • Wireline Stress Estimates (1D geomechanical models)
    • Rock Physics
    • Geological Environment

Petroleum Applications

  • Well Planning
  • Predictive Wellbore Stability
    • Generic WBS
    • Trajectory WBS
    • Drilling Optimisation
  • Structural Permeability
    • Fault Seal Analysis
    • Fracture Permeability
  • Sanding
  • Implications for Fracture Stimulation

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