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Maurice Dusseault's Course on Introduction to Petroleum Geomechanics (2011)

Introduction to Petroleum Geomechanics

This set of Presentations comprises an introductory course in Petroleum Geomechanics (Petroleum Rock Mechanics).   The presentations start by introducing the basics of rock behaviour and design, initial conditions such as stress and temperature, and then move on to applications in areas such as borehole stability and stress changes in reservoirs.  An attempt has been made to cover all of the major issues in Petroleum Geomechanics, but the materials also reflect the interests of the author to some degree.

There are approximately 35-50 hours of lecture material, depending how it is presented, and whether there are problems presented and worked out in class by participants.  The materials are suitable for 4th-year students in Petroleum Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, although the materials could be used as the basis of a late 3rd-year course providing the students have had exposure to stress and strain in earth materials such as a course in Structural and Petroleum Geology, or an introductory course in Soil Mechanics.

As a professional short course, the materials can be presented in 35 hours, or selected modules can be added or left aside.  As a courtesy, if you use these materials and develop modules of your own, develop clear problems sets, or improve these materials, please send a copy to, as I am always looking for better ways to present ideas and concepts.

Maurice Dusseault, March 25 2011.

Biography of the Author

Dr. Maurice B. Dusseault, PhD, PEng
Earth and Environmental Sciences Dept., University of Waterloo, ON, CANADA
Phone: 1 604 541 1920 (May to Dec), 1 519 888 4590 (Jan to Apr)

Maurice started teaching at the University of Alberta in 1977, after completing his degrees in Civil Engineering.  For five years he held a chair funded by the Alberta Government, intended to foster oil sands development and energy research.  Since 1982, he has been Professor of Geological Engineering, Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, University of Waterloo, teaching rock mechanics and production methods. 

Maurice carries out research in geomechanics, oil production, and novel deep waste disposal technologies.  Geomechanics issues in CO2 sequestration, hydraulic fracturing, borehole stability, steam injection, biosolids injection, and THMC coupling issues are current interests.  He has co-authored two textbooks with John Franklin (former ISRM President) and 480 full text articles and works widely with industry as an advisor and professional instructor in petroleum geomechanics.  He was a Society of Petroleum Engineers Distinguished Lecturer in 2002-2003, visiting 19 countries and 28 separate SPE sections, speaking on New Oil Production Technologies.  He has developed a number of professional short courses in subjects such as production approaches, petroleum geomechanics, waste disposal, and sand control, presented in 20 different countries in the last 10 years.  These courses are taught from a geomechanics point of view because the issues of mechanical rock behavior are so critically important to successful and environmentally benign oil and gas development.

The Petroleum Geomechanics Commission is being formed (2011) and his involvement as its president is intended to bring this area of rock mechanics more into the ISRM domain.    

Click on the links below to open the corresponding lecture on Acrobat Reader, or right-click and select "Save file as" to download it to your hard-drive.

Introduction to the Course Material

1_A Introduction to Petetroleum Geomechanics

1_B Example of Geomechanics Value

1_C The Effective Stress Concept

1_D Measuring Rock Properties

1_E Deformability

1_F Rock Strength

2_A Properties and Uncertainty

2_B Design in Petroleum Geomechanics

2_C Estimating Stresses in the Earth

2_D Rock Properties in Sedimentary Basins

2_E Petroleum Generation and Migration

3_A Geomechanics Earth Model

3_B Drilling and Borehole Stablity Introduction

3_C Drilling Stresses Pressures

3_D Borehole Stability

3_E Geomechanics and Shale Drilling

3_F Wrap-Up on Drilling and Borehole Behavior

4_A Introduction to Development, Production and Abandonment

4_B Well Testing Geomechanics

4_C Hydraulic Fracture Geomechanics

4_D Sand Production Exclusion or Management

4_E Stress Changes During Production

4_F Waste Management

4_G Other Uses for Sedimentary Basins - CO2 Storage

5_A Introduction to Different Rock Types

5_B Shales

5_C Unconsolidated Sandstones

5_D Fractured Carbonates

5_E Collapsing Geomaterials

5_F Salt

6_A Exceptional Environments

6_B Temperature and Drilling

6_C Drilling Depleted Reservoirs

6_D High Overpressure Origins and Drilling

6_E High Tectonic Stresses

6_F High Pressures and Temperatures in Thermal EOR Methods

6_G Underbalanced Drilling Conditions

6_H Geomechanics in SAGD Short

7_A Risk Conditions

7_B Compaction Risks

7_C Sanding Risk and Management

7_D Geomechanics in Heavy Oil

7_E Induced Seismicity Risks

7_F Monitoring and Risk Managemen

7_G Coupled Modeling and Understanding Risks

7_H Closure