Petroleum exploration and production is unique in geotechnical engineering, in the extent to which it must rely on indirect observation and interpretation to assess and control field operations - carried out at considerable depth below surface. Successful field practice depends heavily on correct interpretation of observations made both before and during operations. This interpretation, in turn, depends on a good understanding of the geomechanical processes operative in the subsurface. Itasca's experience in this area - led by Itasca Houston, Inc., the Itasca office that specializes in serving the petroleum industry - has centered around providing such understanding through problem solutions to critical aspects of petroleum exploration and production that are tied directly to the mechanical behavior of rock in and around reservoirs. In addition, the continuous development and application of Itasca's state-of-the-art numerical codes by a highly trained staff has been instrumental to this success. The unique capabilities of the codes are well-suited to provide understanding of the complex nonlinear behavior of the geologic materials that are often host to petroleum engineering projects.
The geomechanics expertise of Itasca's staff and the application of its software are applicable to a range of topics in the petroleum industry that include:
- Borehole Breakout and Sanding During Production
- Mechanisms of Erosion and Sanding
- Flow in Fractured Reservoirs
- High-energy Gas Fracturing
- Seismic Characterization of Fracturing
Itasca can offer comprehensive R&D services that include an integrated approach of basic theoretical development, testing solutions, and numerical modeling. Itasca's international experience with problems in all types of geomaterials ensures the highest level of expertise for examination of problems in the petroleum industry that require expert interpretation of complex behavior at host sites.