This interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of rock mechanics, structural geology, earthquake seismology and petroleum engineering to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs.
The course considers key practical issues such as prediction of pore pressure, estimation of hydrocarbon column heights and fault seal potential, determination of optimally stable well trajectories, casing set points and mud weights, changes in reservoir performance during depletion, and production-induced faulting and subsidence. The first part of the course establishes the basic principles involved in a way that allows readers from different disciplinary backgrounds to understand the key concepts.
The course is intended for geoscientists and engineers in the petroleum and geothermal industries, and for research scientists interested in stress measurements and their application to problems of faulting and fluid flow in the crust.
Introductory Geology and Geophysics
Familiarity with principles of drilling and petroleum production
Course StaffDr. Mark D. Zoback, Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University
Arjun H. Kohli, graduate teaching assistant, Department of Geophysics at Stanford, laboratory manager, Stress and Crustal Mechanics Laboratory
- 20, 90 minute lectures (in ~20 minute segments). 2 lectures will be made available each week.
- Lecture 1 is a course overview to introduce students to the topics covered in the course. Lectures 2-17 follow 12 chapters of Dr. Zoback's textbook, Reservoir Geomechanics (Cambridge University Press, 2007) with updated examples and applications. Lectures 18 and 19 are on topics related to geomechanical issues affecting shale gas and tight oil recovery. Lecture 20 is on the topic of managing the risk of triggered and induced seismicity.
- 8 Homework assignments (and associated video modules) are intended to give students hands-on experience with a number of the topics addressed in the course.
- The course grade will be based solely on homework assignments. There will be no quizzes or exams.
- Homework assignments will be graded electronically and will consist of multiple choice and numerical entry responses.
- There will be an online discussion forum where students can discuss the content of the course and ask questions of each other and the instructors.
Textbooks & Resources
While it is not required to purchase the Reservoir Geomechanics textbook for this course, it is recommended. Lectures 2-17 follow the 12 chapters of the book. The book provides significant additional detail and explanation of the course concepts. It is available through: Cambridge University Press: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/earth-and-environmental-science/applied-geoscience-petroleum-and-mining-geoscience/reservoir-geomechanics Amazon and Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Reservoir-Geomechanics-Mark-D-Zoback/dp/0521146194
This course may not currently be available to learners in some states and territories.