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Use of Geomechanics for Optimizing Reservoir Completion and Stimulation

Strategies for Carbonates in the Campos Basin, Offshore Brazil
Zs. Nagy, F. Pacheco, Schlumberger, M. Rosa, M. Ribeiro, I. Jouti, OGX, J. Pastor, A. Grandy, S. Fluckiger,
L. Gigena, Schlumberger

Copyright 2011, Offshore Technology Conference

This paper was prepared for presentation at the Offshore Technology Conference Brasil held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 46 October 2011.
This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of OTC copyright.

A 1D Mechanical Earth Model (MEM) was built for the Albian section of a planned horizontal well in the south Campos
Basin area in order to reduce risks for well placement, completion and stimulation in a fast track development program with
reduced number of appraisal wells. Mechanical properties and stress profile along the wellbore for the design were
determined from multiple data sources including core testing, advanced acoustic, wellbore image, processed petrophysics,
micro-fracturing and in-situ formation pressure. These measurements enabled the definition of local correlations for the
studied carbonate reservoir, estimation of geomechanical properties, and the creation of input for the completion design. The
calibrated geomechanics model was used to evaluate the completion options for a horizontal well in carbonates to optimize
reserves and maximize well productivity. Based on field characteristics and mechanical properties determined from this
study, the horizontal well placement and drilling design was adjusted and an open hole completion with mechanical isolation
was proposed to enable multiple fracturing in one continuous and efficient operation.
Heterogeneous reservoirs rocks, such as carbonates, with a broadly varying porosity and permeability have presented a great
challenge with regards to completion and stimulation practices in most of the existing carbonate fields in Brazil1, 2. In the
planning phase, geomechanics has proved to be a useful tool for characterizing the location of possible barriers to fractures
growth and length of fracture propagation in layered formations. The fracture height and length are mainly controlled by the
elastic properties (Youngs modulus, Poissons ratio) and stress contrast of reservoir and bounding layers. Specifically,
longer-thinner fractures will be dominant when contrast is high and shorter fracture with height growth is more common
when contrast is low. In addition, fracture orientation is dependent on the stress state. Fracture always starts along the
wellbore due to near-wellbore stress concentrations and eventually turns towards the far-field maximum horizontal stress.
This case is common in reservoirs with natural fractures, such as carbonates, that may result in fracture tortuosity.
The prospect was discovered with Well A but carefully planned acquisition program for geomechanics characterization was
carried out in Well B, located 8.5 km north. 1D Mechanical Earth Model (MEM) was constructed to understand the
mechanical properties and stresses of the Maca Formation, which was used for basis of the subsequent drilling and
completion design of the horizontal well. The paper describes the workflow used to characterize the geomechanics properties
of the carbonate play. It also outlines the necessary input data that is required for such an investigation to guarantee a more
accurate estimation of the mechanical properties and stresses for fracture design.
The concept of a geomechanical characterization for improving fracture design has already been applied successfully in the
Carmpolis and Sirizinho fields, northeastern Brazil 3.
Reservoir Characteristics
The carbonate reservoir sequence was deposited during the Albian (Upper Cretaceous) in the south-Atlantic ocean, which
mainly consists of shallow water limestones and dolomites of the Quissam Member (Maca Formation). These rocks are
equivalent to other commercial discoveries in the Campos Basin (Garoupa, Pampo, Bicudo and Marlim Leste fields) 4.
The interval drilled in the Well B includes calcilutites and marls of the Outeiro Member (Maca Formation) of ~100m
thickness that overlays calcarenites, dolomitized limestones and dolomites in sequence from top to bottom of Quissama

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Member with ~150m thickness. The porosity in the limestone and dolomite varies between ~6 to 15% but in some sections it
is up to ~25%. Natural fractures were interpreted in all throughout the reservoir interval from the image logs.
Data Acquisition
Value of the input data from geomechanics is significant to plan and execute completion options. The geomechanical model
integrates available geological, geophysical, petrophysical, drilling, production and laboratory information to characterize the
reservoirs in terms of rock mechanics and stresses. Critical amount of information is, however, required to guarantee the
proper evaluation of the geomechanical properties of the reservoirs5. A systematic data acquisition program was; therefore,
designed for the B well, which included focused acquisition program so that reasonably accurate geomechanical
interpretations could be produced.
The Well B is located in the south part of Campos Basin, approximately 80 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro State at
a water depth of approximately 140 meters. The data acquisition proceeded in 8 hole section. Table 1 lists all important
input data that was used to construct the geomechanical model.
Mechanical Stratigraphy

Pore Pressure (Pp)

Overburden/Vertical Stress (v)
Stress Direction
Elastic Parameters E, G,
Rock strength parameters (UCS, )
Minimum Horizontal Stress (h)

Gamma ray, density/neutron, resistivity,
sonic (DTCO), Nuclear Magnetic
Resonance (porosity, permeability),
Elemental Capture Spectroscopy (total clay,
total carbonate, QFM, matrix grain
Sonic (DTCO), checkshot survey,
resistivity, in-situ pressure measurements
Density (RHOB)
Oriented multi-arm caliper, borehole
images, borehole anisotropy from radial
acoustic measurements
Sonic (DTCO & DTSM), bulk density
Sonic (DTCO & DTSM), bulk density
Sonic (DTCO & DTSM), micro-fracturing

Maximum Horizontal Stress (H)

Cuttings, core description, lab
analysis, formation markers

Mud weights from daily drilling

reports, mud logging information
Bulk density measured in the lab
Structural maps, World Stress Map
Laboratory tests on sidewall plugs
Laboratory tests on sidewall plugs
Formation integrity test during drilling
operation, drilling fluid reports
Wellbore stress model

Table 1. Sources of information used to build the geomechanics model for the Well B.

Geomechanics Characterization of the Reservoir

The 1D MEM was constructed for the reservoir interval of the Well B and the results were used in drilling and completion
programs. The MEM is defined as a mathematical representation of the in situ stresses, rock properties and pore pressure as a
function of the depth for a particular stratigraphic area6. The development of the earth model followed a detailed workflow,
which comprises 10 steps (Figure 1). Useful input data to construct a model that integrates all available information includes
formation evaluation logs (compressional and shear velocity, density, porosity, volume of clay and shale) from wireline or
logging-while-drilling; formation markers and lithology descriptions, 3-dimensional seismic information and checkshots;
drilling data and list of events from offset wells, fluid and mud logging information. Additional data, such as in-situ pressure
measurements, results of leak-off test or micro-fracturing test, oriented 4-arm caliper and image logs, and picture of cavings
can all be used to validate some of the assumptions. Laboratory measurements on cores (RCAL, SCAL and uniaxial/triaxial
testing for mechanical properties) are used to calibrate rock properties.
Mechanical Stratigraphy
The primary objective of the mechanical stratigraphy is the construction of a petrophysical description for the entire
stratigraphic section. This includes categorizing the stratigraphy into sandstones (grain-supported), shales (clay-supported),
carbonates and evaporite lithology. It makes use of the geological information to obtain the best estimate of total porosity,
clay content, calcite and anhydrite content.

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Figure 1. Schematic workflow of the 10-step process for building a Mechanical Earth Model (MEM) with useful input data for
constructing the model and to validate each step.

Laboratory Testing for Mechanical Properties on Sidewall Plugs

Cluster Analysis and Lab Program
A total of 49 sidewall plugs were acquired with the mechanical sidewall coring tool from the 8 hole section, preserved
and shipped to land where 16 samples were selected for mechanical testing using a cluster analysis method. Cluster analysis
was used to recognize the occurrence of identical data patterns along the length of interval based on log measurements7 and
resulted in four groups from each one four samples were taken. X-ray Computerized Tomography (CT) was used to image
the internal structure of the each plug for fractures or any damages/imperfections (Figure 2).
The testing program was designed with the aim to determine the mechanical properties and strength of the reservoir rock
within the depth of interest. Depending on the number of available plugs and property variation in a single cluster the testing
procedures included unconfined compression measurements and single or multi-stage triaxial compression measurements
(Error! Reference source not found. in the Appendix). Ultrasonic velocity was measured during the tests to establish the
dynamic properties of the rock samples. The setups and procedures of the tests are described in the Appendix.
Elastic Properties and Rock Strength
The elastic properties and rock strength for limestones and dolomites were derived from the results of the laboratory
measurements done on sidewall plugs and taken from the Well B. The static Youngs modulus was derived from the
correction between static and dynamic for limestones and dolomites, respectively:

.................................................................................................................................................................................... 1


.................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

where Esta is static and Edyn is dynamic Youngs modulus in Mpsi, PHIT is total porosity in v/v.
The unconfined compressive strength (UCS, in psi) was derived from the dynamic shear modulus for limestones and total
porosity for dolomites:

................................................................................................................................................ (3)
29435................................................................................................................................................................. 4

in which Gdyn is the dynamic shear modulus in Mpsi, Vp is the compressional velocity in ft/s, and PHIT is the total porosity in
Friction angles () were estimated from the laboratory tests for limestone (27.4 to 37.8 deg) and dolomite (27.8 to 34.6 deg).
Continuous log of elastic properties and rock strength were computed using Eq. (1) to (4) from dynamic measurements
derived from density and sonic wireline log measurements. Figure 3 presents a comparison between log-derived elastic
properties and UCS values and those of mechanical core tests.

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Figure 2. Sampling points were selected based on the result of the cluster analysis (left). CT images are shown to evaluate internal
structure during pre-/post-analysis (right).

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Figure 3. Comparison of core- and log-derived mechanical properties and rock strength from the reservoir section. Calibration
points derived from laboratory measurements on cores are indicated with the black dots.

In-situ Stresses
The concentration of stress around the wellbore varies according to the magnitude of in-situ principal stresses and the
orientation of the wellbore. The stress around the wellbore will determine the geometry of the hydraulic fracture and its
vertical containment.
Vertical Stress
The vertical stress was computed by integrating formation density b from the mudline to the depth of interest and adding the
weight of the water column:
........................................................................................................................................ (5)
where V is the overburden [psi]; w is the sea water density (assumed to be 1.03 g/cm3); g is the acceleration due to gravity;
zw is the water depth; z is the true vertical depth below mud line (z = TVD zw za); TVD is true vertical depth [m]; and za is
the height of kelly bushing above the sea surface.

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In the absence of a density log, is often estimated using empirical correlations such as the Amoco equation8:

.................................................................................................................................................. (6)

which allows the density to be estimated from a density fit, given parameters a (density factor), exponent b, depth z and
water depth zw.
Pore Pressure
The pore pressure profile was determined from direct in-situ pressure measurement (MDT - modular dynamic tester) and
presented a gradient of 1.72 psi/m was determined for the section. It was assumed in this study that the shales and sands are
in pressure equilibrium.
Horizontal Stresses
The minimum stresses were estimated from the poroelastic model9 and calibrated according to the results of the dual-packer
MDT micro-fracturing test, performed in the Well B. During the test, the interval of 1 meter was isolated by inflating the dual
packer arrangement and pressurized by pumping fluid until a tensile fracture was created (Figure 4). In open hole, the fracture
initiates and propagates normal to the minimum principal stress, and the plane of the fracture will be parallel to the wellbore
axis (considering v>H>h) 10. Injection was stopped and the decline of pressure was observed during the shut-in period. The
pressure was allowed to bleed-off and additional cycles were run using the same fluid and pump-rate. Parameters including
the downhole pressure and time were recorded during the test and used to evaluate in real-time the leak-off point, breakdown,
fracture propagation and fracture closure. The technique was used successfully elsewhere in offshore Brazil11; however, the
test presented in this paper has been the first attempt on carbonates.
The analysis of micro-fracturing test determined that the fracture closure pressure (Pc) is about 7350.0 psi; the breakdown
pressure (Pb) is about 9570.0 psi using G function and square-root of time plots.
The difference between the breakdown pressure and the re-opening pressure in the cycles is an indication of the tensile
strength of the formation. This difference is about 860 psi, which is approximately 1/8 of the UCS value but in zones of
natural fractures the tensile strength was assumed to be zero.

Figure 4. Pressure [psi] vs. Time [s] plot for the micro-fracturing test conducted in B well. Brown: bottom-hole pressure, blue: flowrate, turquoise: temperature.

It is not possible to directly measure the magnitude of the maximum horizontal stress; however, assuming homogeneous,
linear-elastic rocks it can be calculated as follows12:

...................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

where Pb is hydraulic-fracture pressure, Pp is the pore pressure, and T is the tensile strength for the formation. Because Pp, Pb,
h, and T are all measured or estimated during the micro-fracturing test, H was calculated from Eq. (7) and yielded around
8900 psi.
Continuous wireline measurements in the wellbore combined with the correlations established for mechanical properties
(described above) have been used to generate the 1D stress profile for the reservoir interval of the Well B (Figure 5).

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Figure 5. Stress profile for the reservoir section of the Well B. Calibration points attained from micro-fracturing test are indicated
with the black dots.

Stress Directions.
The direction of horizontal stress was determined from azimuthal acoustic data (Sonic Scanner) and image logs from Well B.
The acoustic data analysis provided the maximum horizontal stress direction in the reservoir interval by identifying the
direction of propagation of the fast-shear slowness. Borehole breakouts were identified in the interval below the reservoir and
are stress-induced enlargement of the wellbore13, 14. Breakout occurs when the stresses around the wellbore exceed that
required to cause compressive failure of the borehole wall. Around a vertical wellbore, stress concentration is greatest in the
direction of the minimum horizontal stress (h); therefore, breakouts are oriented approximately perpendicular to the
maximum horizontal stress (H) 13. An example of breakouts is shown in Figure 6.

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Figure 6. Image log data showing breakouts in the Well B between xx22 m and xx25 m. Rose-plots indicating the orientation of the
breakouts (~0/5 180/185 degrees) (bottom left) and the orientations of the fast-shear azimuth (bottom right).

Model Validation
The consistency of the MEM properties was reviewed by comparing failure limits predicted by the wellbore stability (WBS)
model with actual well measurement (drilling events and breakouts detected by the calipers). Although this is not an absolute
check, it does indicate that the model is reasonable. For instance, if a wellbore stability model is used for comparison and the
model shows failure where the caliper is in-gauge, the model would not accurately reflect what has been measured.
Supporting the Drilling Program
The correlation and model parameters established in Well B were applied in the horizontal well to calculate the new wellbore
stability window and support the placement of trajectory through the most probable open fracture system. This well, named
Well H, is a sideway from the first appraisal well in the accumulation and its location is 1.2 km east and 7.5 km south from
Well A and Well B, respectively. The upper limit of the window was of special interest to avoid any drilling fluid losses to
the formation in the 8 hole section. In addition, good quality hole needed to be maintained in the horizontal section to be
able to accommodate completion equipment. To ensure staying in the carbonate interval of highest hydrocarbon saturation,
geosteering application equipped with real-time nuclear magnetic resonance measurements was applied.

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Supporting the Stimulation Program

Mechanical properties and stresses estimated along the reservoir section of the Well C were used for calculated the expected
hydraulic fracture geometry and its orientation (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Mechanical properties and in-situ stresses for the deviated pilot well. The zone of interest for the horizontal section is
shown in the blue shaded interval.

Some of the following factors were considered in the fracture design process:
fracture may not penetrate deep to the optimum length;
fracture may connect several pay zones separated by lower permeability layers;
fracture may grow in non-productive layers;
problems with proppant placement;
fracture tortuosity, i.e., gradual or sharp fracture width restriction near the well; propagation of multiple fractures
away from the wellbore area.
The stimulation study indicated that the fracture zone was contained within the barrier and did not breach the water zone.
This result was shown to be valid even with 10% error in stress estimation (~700 psi) (Figure 8Figure 7).







Pumpingsequence:alternatingstages of



F rac ture Ha l f-L e n gth - m


FractureHalfLength m

Figure 8. Fracture simulation for the selected interval of the reservoir zone. Note the fracture containment with 10% decrease in
stress contrast of the lower barrier.

The MEM calculated for the planned horizontal well also indicated that the azimuth of the horizontal section is very close to
the direction of minimum horizontal stress. The hydraulic fracturing performed under these conditions will result in a fracture
perpendicular to the well axis. This is the preferred scenario since it enables multiple fracturing in one continuous and
efficient operation.


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Nevertheless, during the drilling operation of the Well H, fault zones with associated open, natural fracture swarms were
identified as predicted by the seismic model. In order to avoid the extension of fractures into the aquifer zone during the
stimulation operation, a. matrix acidizing treatment was carried out to create deep highly conductive wormholes to reduce
Following the conclusion of the drilling process, a drill-stem test was performed, which confirmed production potential of
40,000 barrels per day of oil with gravity of approximately 20API. A complex process of selective matrix acidizing was
used in eight well intervals, permitting better stimulation of the more than 1,000 meters of the well's extension, thereby
maximizing the oil flow15.
Recently drilled wells have also encountered hydrocarbons in the Albian-Cenomanian section, both appraisal wells from the
similar accumulations16. The production can be maximized based on better understanding of the reservoir connectivity and
geomechanical characteristics of the prospect, which require the integration of all available data into a 3-dimensional model.
A 1D MEM was developed that defined the mechanical properties and stress state for the carbonate reservoir. The
information provided by the model included pore pressure, overburden, horizontal stresses, as well as elastic properties and
rock strength, which was used as an input for the fracture design process.
In the case of the stimulation program the model results indicated that the well azimuth is near the direction of minimum
horizontal stress. In this case, the hydraulic fractures tend to propagate in the direction perpendicular to the well axis and
promote fracture growth. Due to the natural open fracture system found during drilling, only acidizing treatment was
The MEM process described in this paper significant contributed to the stimulation design of a single well. The development
of this field will be achieved with multiple horizontal wells; therefore, construction of a 3-dimensional MEM is required,
which integrates all available information to achieve maximum production.
We thank OGX Petrleo e Gs to allow us to publish the result of the geomechanics study. We also acknowledge the
Schlumberger Integrated Project Management (IPM) team (George McCallum, project director) for accommodating the
process of this project with OGX. In addition, Jesus Caas, Mariana Bressan, Guillermo Saucedo, Renzo Mimbela, Kaluan
Juk, George Spencer, James Marquardt, Raul German Rachid, Wilmar Carvalho, Guillermo Villanueva and Jerome Maniere
are indebted for their technical assistance. Review of Jose Adachi improved the content of the paper.
1. Azevedo, C.T., Rosolen, M.A., Rocha, J.D.H., Neumann, L.F., Melo, R.C.L. (2010) Challenges faced to execute hydraulic fracturing in
Brazilian pre-salt wells. ARMA 10-212.
2. Rodrigues, V.F., Neumann, L.F., Torres, D., Guimaraes, C., Torres, R.S. (2007) Horizontal well completions and stimulation techniques
A review with emphasis on low-permeability carbonates. SPE 108075.
3. Almeida, C.M.C, Melo, R.L.C., Holzberg, B., Guimaraes, C. (2008) Using open- and cased-hole sonic anisotropy and geomechanics
modeling for hydraulic fracturing evaluation: A case study Carmpolis Field, northeas Brazil. IPTC 12183
4. Cainelli, C., Mohriak, W.U. (1998) Geology of Atlantic Eastern Brazilian Basins Brazilian Geology. Part 2. 1998 AAPG International
Conference & Exibition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Short Course Notes. p. 191.
5. Chardac, O., Murray, D., Carnegie A., Marsden J.R. (2005) A proposed data acquisition program for successful geomechanics projects.
SPE 93182.
6. Plumb,R., E. Stephen, G. Pidcock, D. Lee, B. Stacey; (2000) The mechanical earth model concept and its application to high-risk well
con-struction projects, SPE59128,
7. Cook, J., Fredericksen, R. A., Hasbo, K., Green, S., Judzis, A., Martin, J. W., Suarez-Silva, R., Herwanger, J., Hooyman, P., Lee, D.,
Noeth, S., Sayers, C., Koutsabeloulis N., Marsden, R., Stage, M. G., Tan, C.P. (2007) Rocks matter: Ground Truth in Geomechanics.
Oilfield Review, 2007 autumn,
8. Traugott, M.O., 1997, Pore/fracture pressure determinations in deep water, Deepwater Sup-plement to World Oil, August, 1997.
9. Thiercelin, M.J., and Plumb, R.A. (1991) A core-based prediction of lithologic stress contrast in East Texas formations. SPE21847
10. Edwards, S.T., Bratton, T.R., Standifird W.B., (2002) Accidental geomechanics capturing in-situ stress from mud losses encountered
while drilling. SPE/ISRM 78205
11. Pedroso, C., Caas J.A., Holzberg, B., Gmach, H. (2008) Developments in wireline in-situ rock stress measurements. Rio Oil & Gas
Expo and Conference 2008, IBP2418_08.
12. Detournay, E. and Carbonell, R. (1994) Fracture mechanics analysis of the breakdown process in minifrac or leak-off tests. SPE28076.
13. Plumb, R.A., Hickman, S.H. (1985) Stress-induced borehole elongation: A comparison be-tween the four-arm dipmeter and the
borehole televiewer in the Auburn geothermal well. Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 90, no. B7, pp. 5513-5521.
14. Bell, J.S., and Gough, D.I. (1979) Northeast-southwest compressive stress in Alberta: evidence from oil wells. Earth Planetary Science
Letters, v. 45, pp. 475-482.
15. OGX Concludes Drilling of the First Production Well in the Waimea Accumulation. OGX News at public website. Accessed at July 2011.

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16 OGX Announces the Presence of Hydrocarbons in the Pipeline and Waikiki Accumulations, in the Campos Basin. OGX News at
Accessed at July 2011.

DTCO compressional slowness (us/ft)
DTSM shear slowness (us/ft)
QFM quartz-feldspars-mica
RHOB bulk density (g/cm3)
pore pressure
vertical stress or overburden
minimum horizontal stress
maximum horizontal stress
Young's modulus
shear modulus
pounds per square inch

Poisson's ratio
unconfined compressive strength
dynamic shear modulus

friction angle
MEM mechanical earth model
RCAL routine core analysis
SCAL special core analysis
measured depth
true vertical depth
computerized tomography
static Young's modulus
dynamic Young's modulus
PHIT totoal porosity
acceleration due to gravity
density of water
water depth
heigh of kelly bushing
true vertical depth below mudline
denisty at the mudline
MDT modular dynamic tester
closure pressure
breakdown pressure
tensile strength
WBS wellbore stability
barrel per minute

Setup and Procedures of Laboratory Testing for Mechanical Properties
Unconfined Compression Measurements
1. Sample size: Nominal 0.75-inch or 1-inch diameter approximately 1.5 to 2-inch length
2. Saturation: As received
3. Test temperature: Ambient conditions
4. Pore pressure: Drained to atmospheric conditions
5. Confining stress: No confining pressure
6. Test loading conditions: Instrument and mount the sample in the testing vessel
7. Initiate axial loading: at a strain rate of 1 x 10-5 in/in/s until failure
8. Unloading: On completion, unload and remove the sample from vessel, and approximately archive the sample


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Triaxial Compression Measurements

1. Sample size: Nominal 0.75-inch or 1-inch diameter approximately 1.5 to 2-inch length
2. Instrumentation: Each samplewas jacketed in a shrink-fit impermeable membrane. Before jacketing, each sample was
placed between hardened steel end-cups containing ports with dispersion grooves for pore pressure drainage and control. For
testing including ultrasonic velocity measurements, end-caps containing 1MHz transducers were used to measure P- and Swave travel times. Strain gauged cantilevers were mounted on the sample and a load cell was installed in the axial sample
stack. The cantilevers measured axial deformation (average of four measurements) and radial deformation (deformation was
measured in two orthogonal directions).
3. Test temperature: Ambient conditions
4. Pore pressure: Drained to atmospheric conditions
5. Confining stress: No confining pressure
6. Test Procedures: Each sample was installed in a triaxial pressure vessel and loading was applied using computer-controlled
servo-hydraulics. The generic loading procedure was as follows:
A small confining pressure (approximately 200 psi acting in all directions) was applied to the sample to seat the
jacket and end-cups
The confining pressure was increased at the specific loading rate until it reached a prescribed value, after which the
confining pressure was maintained constant. Strain equilibration was allowed to occur before any additional loading
An axial stress difference was then applied at a controlled axial strain rate of 1 x 10-5 in/in/s. Loading continued until
the sample failed (a peak stress had been reached) and, where possible, beyond this to determine a residual strength
value. When a material fails, it does not necessary lose all of its strength. The load-bearing capacity may stabilize
at a residual stress level. This often happens in wellbores; they have exceeded the peak strength but retain some
residual strength, sometimes precluding catastrophic collapse. In cases where strain hardening occurred (the sample
had yielded but the load bearing capacity continued to increase with additional axial deformation), testing was
terminated at an adequately large axial strain.
All stresses were removed from the sample in a controlled manner. Post-testing photography was then performed.
Ultrasonic Measurements
Ultrasonic velocity measurements are performed with piezoelectric transducers of 1 MHz resonant frequency. The
piezoelectric transducers transform electrical pulses into mechanical pulses abnd vica-versa.
Compressional and shear pulses are generated by applying a high voltage, short duration (ultrasonic frequency), electrical
pulse to one of the piezoelectric transducers using a pulse generator. This pulse is transmitted through the roch sample in the
form of an elasic wave. The receiving transducers at the opposite end of the rock sample transforms the receiving elastic
wave into electric singal that is captured using a digital oscilloscope. Based on the time required for the pulse (compressional
or shear) to travel through the specimen, the P-wave and S-wave velocities are calculated.
Ultrasonic compressional and shear wave velocities are measured as a function of confining pressure and axial stress to
evaluate changes in the rock properties during loading and failure. Ultrasonic velocities are used to calculate dynamic elastic
moduli (e.g. Youngs modulus and Poissons ratio) and for comparison and calibration of other wave propagation
measurements (e.g. sonic logging, seismic). Creating correlations between ultrasonic, logging and seismic measurements
provides a means of transferring rock properties measured in the laboratory to field measurements from well logs or seismic

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Table 2. Testing program on the samples