Tebis Llobet, Baker Hughes, Inc.
A basic understanding of the stresses acting upon the formation is a fundamental need in any geomechanical modeling exercise. In particular, a good estimate of the overburden stress conditions the subsequent estimates of the two remaining (horizontal and mutually perpendicular) principal stresses and, as such, all the end results derived from the model.
It is, however, remarkable that very little emphasis is placed, by the practitioners, in computing the overburden stress, which stands as a comparatively “minor” task in the geomechanical modeling workflows, based on the vertical integration of the formation density.
This paper addresses the potential errors involved with this process, mainly where substantial lateral variations exist in the formation density (such as in the immediate vicinity of salt bodies or under zones of large topographical variations) and suggests a revised methodology where a more realistic estimation of the overburden stress is obtained by use of the Mindlin solution.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90260 © 2016 AAPG/SEG International Conference & Exhibition, Cancun, Mexico, September 6-9, 2016