Petroleum Related Rock Mechanics

Petroleum Related Rock Mechanics

3rd Edition - December 8, 2021

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  • Authors: Erling Fjær, Rune Holt, Per Horsrud, Arne Raaen
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128221969
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128221952

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Engineers and geologists in the petroleum industry will find Petroleum Related Rock Mechanics, Third Edition, to be a powerful resource in providing a basis for rock mechanical knowledge, which can greatly assist in the understanding of field behavior, design of test programs, and the design of field operations. Not only does this text provide specific applications of rock mechanics used within the petroleum industry, it has a strong focus on basics like drilling, production, and reservoir engineering. Assessment of rock mechanical parameters is covered in depth, as is acoustic wave propagation in rocks, with possible link to 4D seismic as well as log interpretation. Petroleum Related Rock Mechanics, Third Edition, is updated to include new topics such as formation barriers around cased wells, finite element analysis, multicomponent models, acoustic emissions and elliptical holes. It also includes updated and expanded coverage of shale reservoirs, hydraulic fracturing, and carbon capture and sequestration.

Key Features

  • Presents the basic principles behind rock mechanics from leading academic and industry experts
  • Provides a guide for engineers and geologists to use while working in the field
  • New topics included in this edition: formation barriers around cased wells, finite element analysis, multicomponent models, acoustic emissions and elliptical holes


  • Graduate students and PhD students in earth sciences and energy
  • Professionals in the petroleum industry (upstream)

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Biography
  • Foreword to the 1992 edition
  • Preface to the third edition
  • Preface to the second edition
  • Preface to the 1992 edition
  • Chapter 1: Elasticity
  • Abstract
  • 1.1. Stress
  • 1.2. Strain
  • 1.3. Elastic moduli
  • 1.4. Strain energy
  • 1.5. Thermoelasticity
  • 1.6. Poroelasticity
  • 1.7. Anisotropy
  • 1.8. Nonlinear elasticity
  • 1.9. Time-dependent effects
  • 1.10. Further reading
  • References
  • Chapter 2: Failure mechanics
  • Abstract
  • 2.1. Basic concepts
  • 2.2. Tensile failure
  • 2.3. Shear failure
  • 2.4. Compaction failure
  • 2.5. Failure criteria in three dimensions
  • 2.6. Fluid effects
  • 2.7. Presentation and interpretation of data from failure tests
  • 2.8. Beyond the yield point
  • 2.9. Failure of anisotropic and fractured rocks
  • 2.10. Stress history effects
  • References
  • Chapter 3: Geological aspects of petroleum related rock mechanics
  • Abstract
  • 3.1. Underground stresses
  • 3.2. Pore pressure
  • 3.3. Sedimentological aspects
  • 3.4. Mechanical properties of sedimentary rocks
  • References
  • Chapter 4: Stresses around boreholes. Borehole failure criteria
  • Abstract
  • 4.1. Stresses and strains in cylindrical coordinates
  • 4.2. Stresses in a hollow cylinder
  • 4.3. Elastic stresses around circular wells—the general solution
  • 4.4. Poroelastic time-dependent effects
  • 4.5. Borehole failure criteria
  • 4.6. Elliptical borehole
  • 4.7. Borehole in an anisotropic formation
  • 4.8. Beyond failure initiation
  • 4.9. Cased borehole
  • 4.10. Spherical coordinates
  • References
  • Chapter 5: Elastic wave propagation in rocks
  • Abstract
  • 5.1. The wave equation
  • 5.2. P- and S-waves
  • 5.3. Elastic waves in porous materials
  • 5.4. Attenuation
  • 5.5. Anisotropy
  • 5.6. Rock mechanics and rock acoustics
  • 5.7. Reflections and refractions
  • 5.8. Borehole acoustics
  • 5.9. Seismics
  • 5.10. Acoustic emission
  • References
  • Chapter 6: Rock models
  • Abstract
  • 6.1. Layered media
  • 6.2. Models involving porosity only
  • 6.3. Grain pack models
  • 6.4. Models for cracks and other inclusions
  • 6.5. Multicomponent models
  • 6.6. Fractured rocks
  • 6.7. Finite element analysis
  • References
  • Chapter 7: Mechanical properties and stress data from laboratory analysis
  • Abstract
  • 7.1. Core samples for rock mechanical laboratory analysis
  • 7.2. Laboratory equipment
  • 7.3. Laboratory tests for rock mechanical property determination
  • 7.4. Laboratory tests for stress determination
  • 7.5. Index tests and other characterisation tests
  • References
  • Chapter 8: Mechanical properties and in situ stresses from field data
  • Abstract
  • 8.1. Estimation of elastic parameters
  • 8.2. Estimation of strength parameters
  • 8.3. Estimation of in situ stresses
  • References
  • Chapter 9: Stability during and after drilling
  • Abstract
  • 9.1. Unstable boreholes: symptoms, reasons and consequences
  • 9.2. Rock mechanics analysis of borehole stability
  • 9.3. Time-delayed borehole failure
  • 9.4. Interaction between shale and drilling fluid
  • 9.5. Borehole stability analysis for well design: incorporating effects of nonlinear elasticity, plasticity and rock anisotropy
  • 9.6. Use of pressure gradients
  • 9.7. Beyond simple stability analysis
  • 9.8. Stability issues in different lithologies
  • 9.9. Drilling in depleted reservoirs
  • 9.10. Shale as a barrier
  • References
  • Chapter 10: Solids production
  • Abstract
  • 10.1. Operational aspects of solids production
  • 10.2. Sand
  • 10.3. Chalk
  • References
  • Chapter 11: Mechanics of hydraulic fracturing
  • Abstract
  • 11.1. Conditions for tensile failure
  • 11.2. Fracture initiation and formation breakdown
  • 11.3. Fracture orientation, growth and confinement
  • 11.4. Fracture size and shape
  • 11.5. Fracture closure
  • 11.6. Thermal effects on hydraulic fracturing
  • 11.7. Fracturing in unconventional reservoirs
  • 11.8. Microseismic monitoring of fracturing
  • References
  • Chapter 12: Reservoir geomechanics
  • Abstract
  • 12.1. Compaction and subsidence
  • 12.2. Modelling of reservoir compaction
  • 12.3. From compaction to subsidence
  • 12.4. Geomechanical effects on reservoir performance
  • 12.5. Well problems and reservoir geomechanics
  • 12.6. Some field cases: subsidence and induced seismicity
  • References
  • Appendix A: Rock properties
  • Abstract
  • References
  • Appendix B: SI metric conversion factors
  • Abstract
  • Appendix C: Mathematical background
  • Abstract
  • C.1. Introduction
  • C.2. Matrices
  • C.3. Vectors and coordinate transforms
  • C.4. Tensors and coordinate transforms
  • C.5. Eigenvalues, eigenvectors and diagonalisation
  • C.6. Rotation of the coordinate system: the Euler angles
  • C.7. Examples
  • C.8. Matrix invariants
  • C.9. Some trigonometric formulas
  • C.10. The Voigt notation spelled out
  • C.11. Elastic stability
  • C.12. The Einstein summing convention and other notation conventions
  • References
  • Appendix D: Some relevant formulas
  • Abstract
  • D.1. Elasticity
  • D.2. Elastic wave propagation in rocks
  • D.3. Rock models
  • D.4. Solids production
  • D.5. Subsidence
  • D.6. Permeability of tubes
  • D.7. Vector operators in cylindrical coordinates
  • References
  • Appendix E: Abbreviations
  • Appendix F: List of symbols
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 772
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2021
  • Published: December 8, 2021
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128221969
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128221952

About the Authors

Erling Fjær

Erling Fjær has been working at SINTEF Petroleum (formerly IKU Petroleum Research) since 1985, on topics related to rock mechanics and rock acoustics, with applications including borehole stability, sand production, seismic monitoring and logging of mechanical properties. His current position is Chief Scientist. He also holds a part time position as Adjunct Professor in geoscience and petroleum at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He has a PhD in physics from the same university.

Affiliations and Expertise

SINTEF Petroleum Research and Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Rune Holt

Rune Martin Holt is Professor at NTNU (Department of Geoscience and Petroleum) and Special Advisor to SINTEF, both in Trondheim, Norway. He holds a PhD in solid state physics from NTNU in 1980. His main area of competence is rock mechanics and rock physics applied to petroleum geoscience and engineering. The work is based on experimental, analytical, and numerical modelling. Focused areas have been shale studies related to overburden characterization for improved interpretation of time-lapse seismic as well as to aspects of borehole stability for drilling and well completion. Further work has been devoted to quantification of coring induced rock damage, both through laboratory experiments with synthetic rocks formed under stress and discrete particle numerical modelling.

Affiliations and Expertise

Norwegian University of Science and Technology and SINTEF Petroleum Research, Trondheim, Norway

Per Horsrud

Per Horsrud is currently Specialist in Drilling & Well Technology (Rock Mechanics) for Equinor ASA (previously Statoil ASA), located in Trondheim, Norway. He has been with Equinor since 1998. He holds an MS degree in Physics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (1977). He has previously held various positions with Rogaland Research Institute, Continental Shelf Institute (IKU), RockMech AS, and SINTEF Petroleum Research.

Affiliations and Expertise

Specialist in Drilling and Well Technology (Rock Mechanics) for Equinor ASA (previously Statoil ASA), Trondheim, Norway

Arne Raaen

Arne Marius Raaen has a Ph.D. (1983) in solid state physics, specializing in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He worked at SINTEF from 1984, mainly with rock acoustics and rock mechanics. From 1991 to 2016 he held positions at various offices in Statoil. In Statoil, the main activity was in rock mechanics and related fields, including water injection, and prediction and stress measurements. He has offshore experience from a period as a production engineer, and from offshore supervision of several stress measurement tests. He is presently with SINTEF, in Trondheim, Norway.

Affiliations and Expertise

IKU, Trondheim, Norway

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