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11/26/2018

Introduction to Earth Stresses

Richard A. Plumb PhD

Presenter

Richard A. Plumb PhD


Principle,
Plumb Geomechanics, LLC

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Poll Question

What is your job function?

Objective

Explore the critical role that earth stresses have on subsurface


rock deformation and their impact oil field operations.

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Costly mistakes remind us of the risks

Blowout Solids
Production

Steam Eruption

Compaction and Subsidence.

Outline
1. Basic concepts and terminology
Stress, pressure, effective stress, strain, elasticity
2. Mohr’s circle and the Coulomb failure criterion
Stable and unstable states of stress
3. Earth stress
Reference states, pore pressure, overpressure, stress measurement,
observations
4. Impact that changes of stress and pressure have oilfield
operations

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Pressure, stress, effective stress, strain, linear elasticity

BASIC CONCEPTS

Pressure
Pressure describes forces acting in
liquids and gases
Pressure also has units F/A z

• is a scalar quantity-independent
on direction P
• acts normal to surfaces.
• units of F/A

Familiar pressures that affect rock deformation include:


reservoir pressure, pore pressure, wellbore pressure....

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Concept of stress
• Stress is defined as force intensity (F/A) in
solid bodies.

• The stress at a point, O , on a plane with area Fn F


A, is the limiting value F/A as the A
approaches 0 Fs A
O

Two types of stress


Normal stress σ Shear stress τ

Fn Fs
Fn F A A
Fs A
O

Fn Fs
σ= τ=
A A
governs volume changes governs shape changes

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Stress tensor: general coordinates

General coordinates

Six numbers are required to describe the state of stress


at any “point” in a solid body in static equilibrium:
3 normal stress components and 3 shear stress components

Stress tensor-principle coordinates


3

σ33
y
Principal coordinates
2
1

σ22
σ11

In principle coordinates, there are no shear stresses acting on principle planes.

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Effective stresses
σ33
• Porous rock deforms in response to
applied stress and fluid pressure.
• This behavior is approximated by σ22
using effective normal stress (σ ) in
σ11
elasticity or failure calculations.
• The effective normal stress is porous solid
defined:
pore
PPp p
grain
Where σ is total stress and γ is dependent on physical process

The concept of of strain


• Strain is a dimensionless measure of
Elongation ε
deformation
• Two types of strain: elongation or normal strain
(l-l0) l0
and shear strain
• Like stress, strain is a second rank tensor
• Elongations contribute to volume changes
• Shear strains measure distortion
• Strain tensor referred to principle axes:
z
γzx Shear strain γ
y
x
ψ
• Strain data come mainly from rock mechanics
laboratories

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Linear-elastic stress-strain

Axial stress
E

response: isotropic material


Axial strain

εzz σzz

εxx σxx
εyy σyy

The linear-elastic approximation applies to many rocks where strains are ~ < 10-6

The lower the prososity the better is this approximation

For example strains imposed by the passage of seismic waves is in the order of 10-8

Elastic parameters* from laboratory tests


Axial stress σa Stress vs. Strain
2V2
15000 εr εv Young’s modulus
εA
Jacket
Axial strain
Axial Stress (psi)

gauge εa Confining 10000


pressure
Radial strain Axial
Radial
gauge εr y = -20147x - 785.74
Volumetric Poisson’s ratio
y = 3947.4x - 5060.6
Linear (Axial UnLoading Fit)
Linear region
5000 y = -14519x + 1521.7
y = 2086.5x + 921.8 Linear (Radial UnLoading Fit)
Linear (Axial Loading Fit)
Linear (Radial Loading Fit)

Triaxial test specimen


0
-3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Strain (millistrain)

* Assuming isotropic material

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Construction and applications

MOHR’S CIRCLE

Constructing Mohr’s circle


τ σ1
shear stress axis

σ3

σ3 σ1 σn
Normal stress axis

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Stresses on an arbitrary plane


τ
σ1
shear stress axis

Plane of interest
β
2β σ3

σ3 σ1 σn
Normal stress axis

Stresses on an arbitrary plane


τ
σ1

τ Plane of interest

τ
2β σ3
σn
σn
σ3
σn σ1

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Coulomb failure criterion

τ is the shear strength


S0 is the cohesive strength
µ is the coefficient of internal friction
S0 σn is the normal stress on the failure plane
φ is the friction angle
φ σn

A stable state of stress

σ1
τ

σ3
S0

φ σn
σ3-Pp σ1- Pp

Use effective normal stresses when evaluating stability

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Failure due to increased Pp

τ σ1

σ3
S0

φ δP
σn
σ3- (Pp+ δP) σ1- (Pp+δP)

Center of the circle moves left by δP into a state of instability

Fault stability

µ is the coefficient of sliding friction

σn
σ3-Pp σ1- Pp

For sedimentary rocks:

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Reference states, pore pressure, stress measurement, variations of Sh

EARTH STRESS

Earth stress as a principle stress


Sv
• At earth’s surface, shear stresses
z vanish, so the vertical axis is a
principle stress axis,
y sH • by definition, the other two principle
x axes must be horizontal.
Principal axes Sh • This simplifying assumption fails: near
active faults, areas of strong
topographic relief and at salt margins.

In what follows, Sv is treated as a principle stress

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Lithostatic or vertical stress Sv


Pressure, MPa

σz

Depth, km
Z=h
σy Lithostat (Sv)
σx

0.85 psi/ft < L < 1.2 psi/ft

A lithostatic gradient of 1 psi/ft (22.6 MPa/km) is a common initial hypothesis for Sv

Hydrostatic pressure and over pressure


Pressure, MPa

Top of overpressure

σz
Z=h
σy
Depth, km

σx

Pp

Pp Sh SV
Abnormal
0.433 psi/ft < P < .465 psi/ft pore pressure

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Pore pressure regimes: ocean margins


Sea level Coastline

Top overpressure A Regime A: normally pressured sediments

B
Regime B: Type 1 overpressure due to rapid
accumulation of sediments.
3 km
Regime C: Type 2 overpressure due to fluid
expansion and hydrocarbon maturation.
High temperature >
C
100o C

100 km

After Swarbrick et al., 2011

Constraining Earth stresses


We require three principle stress magnitudes and horizontal
stress directions
• Sv can be calculated from a vertical profile of bulk density.
• Stress direction can be measured using borehole images.
• Sh can be measured by hydraulic fracturing.
• SH cannot be directly measured it can only be estimated from
modeling.

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Stress direction from


stress-induced wellbore
damage SH

location of hydraulic fractures


θ =0

θ
Sh θ θ = 90 Sh

location of wellbore breakout


wellbore surface

SH

Stress direction from borehole images

Tool drawing courtesy Schlumberger


Images courtesy HEF Petrophysical Consulting

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Hydraulic fracturing stress measurement


Pumps at surface
hydraulic fractures open
Shut in tool against Sh and propagate
toward SH

SH
Pressure gauge

PI
SH Sh Hydraulic fracture

θ Sh
wellbore
Open Hole Test Packer

Drill pipe

wellbore wall

Borehole fluid

Hydraulic fracturing pressure-time record

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Estimating SH
SH
τ

Point where
stress is analyzed

σr = Pm- Pp σ θ = 3SH- Sh- Pm-Pp
Sh Pm Sh
σ

Potential
wellbore
breakout

SH SH = 1/3(σ θ + Sh + Pm + Pp)

σ θ = effective tangential stress that satisfies

the failure condition given Sh and σ r

Dependence of Sh on Basin setting, pore pressure and lithology

OBSERVATIONS FROM MEASUREMENTS OF


EARTH STRESSES IN SEDIMENTARY ROCK

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Measurements of Shin sedimentary rock


0

Pp Features
Sv
sandstone
1000
siltstone • stress measured by
carbonate
shale hydraulic fracturing
other
2000
• sampled 43+ basins, 20
countries
Depth (m)

3000
Observations
• Shales do not relax to
4000
lithostatic stress
• No obvious lithology
5000
dependence
After Plumb 94
6000
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Stress (MPa)

Sh dependence on basin setting


Data sorted by basin setting
reveals a dependence of Sh on:
• degree of consolidation (Sv)
• lithology
• pore pressure

After Plumb 94

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Sh dependence on lithology
• East Texas basin
• Measurements in a single
well
• Sediments share a
common diagenetic
history
• Sediments are normaly
pressured
• Sh shale > Sh sandstones
(here)

Sh dependence on Pp

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Wellbore stability, sanding, reservoir deformation, hydraulic fracture containment

IMPACT OF STRESS ON OILFIELD APPLICATIONS

Well Pressure window Pw


High volume Low volume No losses Fluid loss Fluid loss
Symptoms of of cavings, of cavings No cavings Into natural into induced
instability Well flowing fractures fractures

Wellbore Pw Pw Pw Pw Pw
cross-section
STABLE window

Well pressure
Pw Low High

Pore Breakout
pressure
Sh Fracture Sv
limit pressure

SAFE window

Note: The window varies with depth and lithology

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Well Pressure: just right


SH
Compressive
strength
0
Hoop Stress σθ

θ
Sh Pwθ 90 Sh

Tensile
strength

SH Sh
SH

No mechanical failure at the wellbore surface

Well pressure too low

SH Breakouts develop

Compressive
strength
A A’
0

θ
Sh Pwθ 90 Sh
Wellbore Breakout
Hoop Stress σθ Tensile
strength

Sh Sh

SH
Shear failure at the azimuth of Sh

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Well Pressure: too high


SH
Compressive
strength
0
Hoop Stress σθ
θ
Sh Pwθ 90 Sh

Hydraulic Fracture
Tensile
strength

SH SH SH SH

Hydraulic fractures develop

Shear failure at the azimuth of Sh

Relative stability: deviated wells


SH Hoop Stress

SV Relative Stability
Well 1
Intermediate
Sh
Well 1

SV
Well 2

Well 3 SH SH
Most
Sh Well 2

SV
Example: normal faulting stress
regime, Sh< SH~ Sv Well 3
Least
Sh

Key to assessing relative stability is the difference between the far field stresses
acting in the plane perpendicular to the well axis.

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Solids production risk


UCS vs Porosity-All
Casing
350

A Pres
Reservoir sandstone
Unconfined Compressive Strength, MPa

300

No tunnel
250

Pw
200
B
GS-Reservoir

Perforations

150 Pres
Perf.
tunnel
100 Domain of solids
production risk
50
Bed A UCS < 10 MPa,
Sand Prediction
no perf. tunnel : solids exclusion
0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Sand exclusion

Porosity,
Bed B UCS > 10 MPa,
Porosity %
perf. tunnel exists: sand prediction

Drawdown-induced sand production


SV

Sh
SV
Flowing @ max
∆Pw safe ∆P
Sh

Pres σθ
Initial-static

Example: normal faulting stress σr σr σr σθ σθ


regime, Sh< SH~ Sv Pw
Sh
−∆Pwell
+∆Pwell
Sand prediction example:
UCS >> 10 MPa Stress analysis of the perforation tunnel

Failure is predicted on the sides of the tunnel when the critical drawdown pressure is reached.
No Failure, No Sand.

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Reservoir deformation
τ

Compaction criterion

Geocell φ

Example: Normal Faulting Stress


σh σv σ
Regime, Sh< SH~ Sv Initial
Initial Stress
Stress

in

Production induced compaction


τ Impact:
• loss of wells due to buckling
• decreased reservoir permeability
Shear failure • surface subsidence

Compaction activated
φ After depletion
−∆Pres
−∆Pres
*
σh σv σ

in

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Injection-induced failure
τ Impact:
• Massive solids product
• loss of wells due to shearing
Shear failure • increased reservoir permeability
• induced seismicity
*
φ
+∆Pres +∆Pres

σh σv σ

in

Impact of earth stresses on hydraulic


MAP VIEW
fracturing
SH EDGE VIEW
N Shale:

Reservoir:

Height (H) Width (W)


Pw
Sh Azimuth (θ)

“Only” 4 Unknowns ... Geomechanical Parameter


Fracture azimuth (θ) SH azimuth and magnitude of Sh and SH
Fracture height (H) Vertical profile of Sh (z)
Fracture width (W) Static Young’s modulus E
Fracture length (L) L= F(H,W, volume pumped)

When the principle stress difference is low, other factors such as natural fractures,
reservoir geometry, or rock strength heterogeneity can affect propagation path.

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Hydraulic fracture containment


Fracture Elastic
Width Moduli Profile Sh

Shale
Higher ν, Lower E

Reservoir
Sandstone

A
AA Pw A
Perforation

Lower ν, Higher E Reservoir

ν E

High bed-to-bed stress contrast limits hydraulic fracture height growth

Hydraulic fracture height growth


Fracture Elastic
Width Moduli Profile Sh

Shale
Higher ν, Lower E
B
Reservoir
Sandstone B B

Pw Reservoir
A
Perforation

Lower ν, Higher E

ν E
Low to no, bed-to-bed stress contrast (B) does not prevent fracture height growth.
Fractures can grow upward faster than they propagate into the reservoir.

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Summary
• Knowledge of contemporary stress is important for evaluating and
managing the risk of subsurface rock deformation and failure.
• It is practical to estimate the full stress tensor using commercially available
data.
• The magnitude of Sh varies systematically with Sv, Pp, lithology and basin
setting.
• Changes of stress and pressure can, and do, adversely affect oilfield
operations including: wellbore stability, compaction/subsidence, reservoir
seismicity, fracture permeability, hydraulic fracture stimulation.
• The dependence of stress on pore pressure and lithology should be
understood for each field.

QUESTIONS?

Image courtesy J. Herwanger, used with permission, EAGE Conference and Exhibition, 2010

A Geomechanical model can help reduce risk and cost of unplanned events.

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Effect of stress and reservoir pressure on


fracture permeability
high
Effective normal stress on fracture
sH
Fracture Permeability, K

Change reservoir pressure:


Pres (+) -> K (+)
sh Pres (-) -> K (-)

Natural fractures-map view low

σh
high
σH
low

effective normal stress, σn

Assumes un-cemented fractures

Important data to collect when measuring


stress
• Location of the test with respect to geologic structure
• Lithology of rock where stress is measured
• Sv (from integrated density profile)
• Pore pressure (measured or estimated from min well pressure)
• Azimuth of breakouts and extension fractures (borehole images)
• Pressure and pump rate vs. time from injection tests (LOP, ISIP, Pc,)
• Rock strength (from lab measurements on cores or log-based
estimates)

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Nomenclature
Rock Mechanics (stress analysis)
• Principle stress σ
• Effective stress σ
Earth stress:
• Principle total stresses: Sv, SH or SHmax, Sh or Shmin
• Pore pressure: Pp
• Well Pressure: Pw or Pm

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