Hamed Soroush (Shell International Exploration and Production)
By definition, rock mechanics is the theoretical and applied science of the mechanical behavior of rocks in the force fields of their physical environment. In practice, so-called “rock engineering” is concerned with the application of principles of engineering mechanics to the design and construction of structures of any type either on or in the rock, such as tunnels, mine shafts, underground excavations, open pit mines, road cuts, dams, skyscrapers, waste repositories, and oil or gas wells.
Though initially developed for mining and civil engineering purposes, geomechanics found its way into the oil and gas industry in the ’80s in order to improve hydraulic fracturing and drilling operations. In the contemporary petroleum industry, geomechanics is defined as the discipline that integrates rock mechanics, geophysics, petrophysics, and geology to quantify the response of the Earth to any changes in state of stress, pore pressure, and formation temperature.