Estimation of Mechanical Rock Properties from Laboratory and Wireline Measurements for Sandstone Reservoirs

  • Mustafa Adil Issa Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Farqad Ali Hadi Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Keywords: Rock mechanical properties, Unconfined compressive strength, Poisson’s ratio, Young’s modulus, Internal friction angle, Sand production


Mechanical rock properties are essential to minimize many well problems during drilling and production operations. While these properties are crucial in designing optimum mud weights during drilling operations, they are also necessary to reduce the sanding risk during production operations. This study has been conducted on the Zubair sandstone reservoir, located in the south of Iraq. The primary purpose of this study is to develop a set of empirical correlations that can be used to estimate the mechanical rock properties of sandstone reservoirs. The correlations are established using laboratory (static) measurements and well logging (dynamic) data. The results support the evidence that porosity and sonic travel time are consistent indexes in determining the mechanical rock properties. Four correlations have been developed in this study which are static Young’s modulus, uniaxial compressive strength, internal friction angle, and static Poisson’s ratio with high performance capacity (determination coefficient of 0.79, 0.91, 0.73, and 0.78, respectively). Compared with previous correlations, the current local correlations are well-matched in determining the actual rock mechanical properties.  Continuous profiles of borehole-rock mechanical properties of the upper sand unit are then constructed to predict the sand production risk. The ratio of shear modulus to bulk compressibility (G/Cb) as well as rock strength are being used as the threshold criterion to determine the sanding risks. The results showed that sanding risk or rock failure occurs when the rock strength is less than 7250 psi (50 MPa) and the ratio of G/Cb is less than 0.8*1012 psi2. This study presents a set of empirical correlations which are fewer effective costs for applications related to reservoir geomechanics.