Rock Mechanics


Rock mechanics is the study of how formation rock responds to forces imposed by its physical environment. Rock mechanics affects essentially every aspect of reservoir development, including well placement, drill bit selection, high-angle and horizontal drilling, deepwater drilling, hydraulic fracturing, completion operations, and production.

Failure to properly measure rock mechanics properties can cause a number of wellbore problems such as borehole instability, casing shear, subsidence, stuck pipe, and sand control issues. Together, these issues are estimated to cost the E&P industry billions of dollars each year in the form of lost or deferred production, expensive remediation, and intervention operations.

Weatherford Laboratories has the experience and analytical tools to characterize mechanical properties of reservoir rocks, including both conventional and unconventional reservoirs.

Using a sophisticated high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) rock deformation system, the Weatherford Laboratories Rock Mechanics Labs provides core-based testing and engineering analysis to help clients optimize reservoirs and enhance production. The core-based rock mechanics and rock physics data, along with engineering analyses, can be used to solve costly problems in drilling, completion, and production. 

Available Rock Mechanics Testing:

Compressive Strength Tests

  • Unconfined or triaxial compressive strength tests (single-stage or multi-stage)

Proppant Embedment Tests

  • Proppant embedment with increasing stress

Acoustic Velocity Anisotropy Analysis

  • Orientation of horizontal stress from acoustic velocities using compressional or shear waves

Pore Volume Compressibility Tests

  • Pore volume compressibility under uniaxial-strain or hydrostatic condition

Thick-Wall Cylinder Tests

  • Collapse strength of hollow cylinder sample

Brazilian Tensile Tests

  • Indirect tensile strength

Understanding geomechanical properties of the reservoir is the key component in reducing uncertainties and maximizing stimulation and completion operations.  Accurate failure criteria of reservoir rocks based on compressive strength and Mohr-Coulomb failure analysis are critical to proper implementation during the drilling and production process.