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Investigating Stress Concentrations near Boreholes in Anisotropic Formations and the Mechanical Behavior of Drilling-induced Tensile Fractures Open Access


Other title
borehole stress
in-situ stress
image logs
numerical modeling
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Jia, Qing
Supervisor and department
Schmitt, Douglas R. (Department of Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Derek Apel (Department of Civil and Environment Engineering)
Meldrum, Al (Department of Physics)
Currie, Claire (Department of Physics)
Schmitt, Douglas R. (Department of Physics)
Department of Physics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
With the increasing exploitation of unconventional reservoirs, the demands of implementing geomechanics to improve the exploration and development process have been greater than before. Knowledge of in-situ stresses and rock failure mechanisms is key for building a comprehensive geomechanical model. Consequently, it is necessary to evaluate the state of stress in the Earth in order to design and efficiently operate engineered geothermal systems. The goal of this study is to investigate the variations of near-wellbore stress concentrations as a function of formation anisotropy, stress regimes and borehole relative orientations with respect to the in-situ stress, and then further examine the mechanical behavior of drilling induced tensile fractures. This is done by developing various MATLAB based analytical programs, creating numerical models and conducting lab simulations. Results from analytical models demonstrate that effects of formation anisotropy on borehole stress rise with increasing degree of anisotropy and the drilling-induced tensile fractures are not symmetrical when the borehole axis is not aligned with any of the in-situ stresses. Those models can also be integrated with different industry data sets to estimate the stress states in the formation of interest and enable us have better insights for drilling optimization, hydraulic fracturing design, completion planning and production maximization. Moreover, in the lab, both axial and en echelon drilling-induced tensile fractures were generated and their failure mechanisms agree with the general theory. Numerical models are not fully completed as the final goal is to develop a dynamic 3-D model based upon the current static model to simulate the lab processes in real-time.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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