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.
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.
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