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Time-dependent variations in effective in-situ stresses caused by changes in reservoir pressure

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The project investigated the time-dependent, stress-related reservoir behaviour caused by changes in the reservoir pressure during production. The three main objectives of the project were: to provide useful geomechanical data on hydrocarbon fields, to understand the physics behind reservoir behaviour, in terms of theoretical scenarios; and to identify an existing computer model for use in simulating field observations of stress changes. The time-dependent, stress-related behaviour of a reservoir during production is not yet fully understood within the hydrocarbon industry. Before man's intervention, hydrocarbon reservoirs were in a state of dynamic equilibrium, achieved over millions of years. Hydrocarbon extraction over time inevitably induces changes in the stress state within a reservoir. As a result, the hydromechanical characteristics of the reservoir may also change. This can affect fluid (oil, gas, water, brine or steam) flow as the reservoir is exploited. The project therefore aimed to contribute to the understanding of stress variations that occur alongside changes in pore pressure. This will in turn enable more effective development strategies to be planned.

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