The state of equilibrium of a rock formation is disturbed by drilling, production or injection, resulting in changes to the mechanical state of the rock. Such changes can seriously impact drilling operations, completions infrastructure and production performance, all of which can result in unexpected cost and time overruns. Geomechanics related issues are thought to cause almost half of drilling-related NPT in HPHT, deepwater, and other challenging environments.
Without a strategy for avoiding or minimizing potential geomechanical problems, your project may cost millions more than budgeted. Today, most operators consider geomechanics analysis and planning a necessary strategic component of exploration and field development activities. Identifying potential issues, planning for and managing them, saves time and improves safety at the well site.
Geomechanical factors affect every part of the life cycle of an oil and gas reservoir. It is important to assess and manage these, from predicting drilling risks in the first well to maximizing recovery from mature assets.
The first consideration of geomechanics is often for drilling design. Wellbore stability and pore pressure analysis will establish the mud weight boundaries available to safely drill a well without costly delays or incidents.
Once in the reservoir geomechanics is an important component of the completion design, whether to avoid sanding, or to develop a stimulation strategy to enhance production.
Changes in the levels of subsurface stress during the life of an oil or gas field can induce formation compaction and subsidence, changes in permeability and fault reactivation.