Book review—Geomechanics applied to the petroleum industry

Jean-François Nauroy’s new book balances the basics, some hard math and decent narrative across drilling and production monitoring applications of geomechanics.

Oil IT Journal reported on the expanding use of geomechanics across a range of upstream activities in our December 2008 editorial. We were very interested then to receive a review copy of Jean-François Nauroy’s new book* to see if the new bases were covered.

Chapter one, ‘elements of rock mechanics,’ takes up about a third of the book, offering a reasonable balance between fairly hairy math and explanatory narrative in what appears to be an exhaustive presentation of the basics. Logging, leak-off test analysis core measurements are treated in a clear if introductory manner (the book includes 15 pages of references for those after more.) A section on modeling offers more advanced math, but no discussion of algorithms or software.

Chapter two, ‘drilling and production’ discusses drillability, wellbore stability, sand production and hydraulic fracturing with again a good balance of narrative and math. Narrative is pitched at a level suitable for execs or engineers from other disciplines who wish to bone up on geomechanics. As for the level of the math, that depends on what you did at school (this reviewer dropped out of math shortly after div grad and curl dropped in).

Chapter three, ‘geomechanics and the reservoir’ focuses on geocellular modeling and fluid flow simulators. Here there is more focus on applications with some illustrations of what appears to be a pet theme—that of coupling of geomechanical effects and production—causing ‘constants’ like permeability to change over time.

Environmental aspects are treated with illustrations of decametric subsidence in California’s San Joachim valley (caused by farming not oil and gas production) and less spectacular subsidence on Groningen and Ekofisk (which are due to oil and gas). Well abandonment, CO2 sequestration, and reservoir monitoring techniques are mentioned briefly in the final few pages. Geomechanics provides a good introduction to the basics along with broad brush coverage of applications in this increasingly important field. More from Editions Technip.

* Editions Technip, 2011, 224p. $131. ISBN 9782710809326.

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