Experimental study of mechanical properties of Shah Simsima rocks

  • Dong Wang

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Laboratory rock testing plays a key role in temporary rock mechanics both for rock classification and for engineering application. In the oil industry high quality rock property data are essential for a wide range of applications such as wellbore stability, hydraulic fracturing, sand production, seismic characterization, etc. Shah oil field is an onshore carbonate oil field located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Simsima formation of Shah is a complex, layered heterogeneous limestone and dolomite unit exhibiting considerable lateral and vertical lithological changes and variations of reservoir characteristics. The Simsima rocks are classified into 11 lithofacies and eight dominant rock types within 3 major reservoir zones. That contributes greatly to the complexity of rock testing program needed to characterize properties of Shah Simsima rocks and can be one of the reasons why Shah Simsima rocks have never been systematically tested for mechanical properties previously. Therefore it appears of essential significance to conduct laboratory tests on Shah Simsima rocks and such tests are done in this research in order to provide a database for the mechanical properties of Shah Simsima rocks. Such tests will give the first-hand information of the reservoir properties. In this study, mechanical properties of Shah Simsima rock have been characterized. In order to achieve this, a variety of rock mechanics tests have been conducted in PI's Rock Mechanics laboratory using Autolab 1500 rock testing equipment. Involved rock mechanics tests incorporate uniaxial compression tests, triaxial compression tests, Brazilian tests and Point Load index tests. These tests provide parameters such as Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, acoustic velocities, uniaxial compressive strength, cohesion, coefficient of internal friction, uniaxial tensile strength, point load strength index, etc… During this study, special attention has been put on identifying the potential relationships between various rock properties, focusing on identifying some potential empirical correlations between rock physical properties and mechanical properties for this Shah Simsima limestone formation. Then the focus concentrates on the relationship between Uniaxial Compressive Strength and Point Load Strength Index, and an empirical equation has been proposed for Shah Simsima Rocks for this matter. At the end, the Mohr Coulomb failure criterion was used to evaluate the data, and the effect of confining pressure on mechanical behavior of the Simsima rocks has also been studied. Data obtained will be used by Abu Dhabi Company for Oil Operation (ADCO) to detect, evaluate, and alleviate potential production and drilling problems. Especially, these data will contribute to the finite element modeling of the structure configuration and fracture pattern for the Shah Simsima field. It is also expected that this study can initiate the process of systematic testing of rocks and contribute to the creation of a database of local rock properties. .
    Date of AwardDec 2011
    Original languageAmerican English
    SupervisorPawel Nawrocki (Supervisor)


    • Applied sciences
    • Earth sciences
    • Petrology
    • Rocks - analysis
    • Shah Simsima rocks
    • Petroleum Geology
    • Petroleum engineering
    • 0765:Petroleum engineering
    • 0583:Petroleum Geology

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