Oilfield Geomechanics: Application to Drilling, Completions, Reservoir, Production, Geology and Geophysics

Course Description

Stress and pressure act on every reservoir, wellbore and completion. The process of drilling, production and injection will modify stresses and pressures, sometimes to the extent that the risks for failures in and around the producing wells or even at the surface increase considerably. Geomechanics is the study of the interaction between current-day stresses and pre-existing structures and lithologies. By understanding how stresses and rock properties interact, a large number of oilfield problems and operations can be addressed and optimized, including wellbore instability, sand production, fault reactivations, fracture permeability, pore pressure prediction, casing collapse and shear, compaction and subsidence, hydraulic fracturing, and more.

This course provides participants with a solid understanding of rock mechanics, rock mechanical properties, and the associated laboratory measurements and procedures used to determine these properties. Additionally, participants will learn how stresses and pressures in the earth are measured and constrained, through various tools and techniques of analysis. The participants will understand the risks for mechanical rock failure during drilling and field development, the implications of these failures over the life of the well and field, and how these can be managed and mitigated.

The course is operationally focused and designed to provide an understanding of how drilling and operating costs can be lowered, risks and uncertainties reduced, productivity increased, field development strategies optimized, well planning supported, and safety improved in conventional and unconventional reservoirs.

With 18 exercises, in-chapter and end-of-chapter class discussion questions, and hands-on demonstrations, this industry-leading class helps to ensure the participants are ready to identify the geomechanical risks hiding in every field.

The training course will provide course participants with a detailed understanding of geomechanical modeling and model applications. They will learn about:

  • Rock deformation and mechanics
  • Rock failure and rock strength
  • Determination of the in-situ stresses
  • Pore pressure prediction
  • Wellbore stability
  • Sand production prediction
  • Casing collapse and shear
  • Fractures, faults, and fluid flow
  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Compaction and subsidence

Course Objectives

Course participants will:

  • Calculate stresses, pressures, and rock properties
  • Calculate when faults will slip and determine the consequences of slip
  • Calculate stress concentrations around wellbores drilled in principal stress directions
  • Run a quick-look sand production prediction calculation
  • Gain a better understanding of their future reservoir challenges and how geomechanics affects their well planning and reservoir decisions.

Course Outline

Day 1: Overview Basic constitutive laws

  • Rock failure
  • Pore pressure
  • The tectonic stress field - basic principles
  • n-situ stress determination

Day 2: In-situ stress determination

  • Building a geomechanical model - data inputs
  • Wellbore stability
  • Fracture pressure

Day 3: Geomechanics applied to completions engineering

  • Sand production prediction
  • Casing collapse and shear Geomechanics for geology & geophysics applications
  • Fractures and faults in three dimensions
  • Fracture permeability
  • Fault leakage
  • Geomechanics applied to reservoir engineering
  • Water floods and hydraulic fracturing
  • Production effects - compaction and normal faulting in reservoirs

Participants’ Profile

This is an intermediate course for anybody interested or involved in subsurface oilfield operations. Anyone impacted by rock failures, from beginning engineers to highly experienced supervisors and managers, can benefit from understanding geomechanics.


Knowledge of oilfield operations and practices is desirable, but not necessary.

About the Instructor

Dr. David Wiprut has been working on geomechanics problems in the oil and gas industry since 1996. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2000 studying the state of stress, wellbore stability, and fault leakage in the northern North Sea. Dr. Wiprut has continued to work on similar issues with GMI and subsequently Baker Hughes since earning his degree, and has accumulated extensive experience working on geomechanics problems throughout the world. Dr. Wiprut oversees external training activities world-wide for Baker Hughes Geomechanics Services, advises on technical issues for geomechanics consulting projects, and manages the geomechanics competency and career progression program.