Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Structure and Tectonics

Mechanical Stratigraphy, Stress and Geomechanics

Course Code: N411
Instructors:  Alan MorrisKevin Smart
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
3 days
5 sessions

Next Event

Location: Virtual
Date:  14th - 18th Nov 2022
Start Time: 14:00 GMT
Event Code: N411a22V
Fee From: USD $3,065 (exc. Tax)


Business Impact: We will explore the importance and application of stress and geomechanical analyses to energy exploration and production in both conventional and unconventional reservoirs, with emphasis on well design, borehole stability, and hydraulic fracturing.

This course will apprise course participants of key concepts in fracture characterization and analysis, stress, and geomechanics.  Participants will develop the skill sets necessary for planning and evaluating a fracture and geomechanics study.


Event Code: N411a22V
Sessions: 5 sessions
Instructors: Kevin Smart, Alan Morris
Dates: 14th - 18th Nov 2022
Start Time: 14:00 GMT
Location: Virtual
Fee From
USD $3,065 (exc. Tax)
Good Availability
Please login to book.

Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom or virtual classroom course comprising a mixture of lectures, discussion, and computer-based exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Characterize fracture types and fracture networks, conduct surveys of fault and fracture networks in order to evaluate fracture scaling and fracture connectivity, and design potential landing zones and trends for horizontal laterals in fractured reservoirs.
  2. Assess the difference between shear and extension fractures and their different effects on permeability anisotropy.
  3. Evaluate the basics of stress analysis and geomechanics, including the interrelationship between stress and strain in the context of geomechanical rock behavior. 
  4. Characterize mechanical stratigraphy based on lithostratigraphy and other information. 
  5. Assess the role of mechanical stratigraphy and stress conditions on rock deformation behavior  including fracture prediction in unconventional and conventional reservoirs. 
  6. Estimate an in situ stress field for an area of interest. 
  7. Evaluate geomechanical issues for common petroleum and unconventional resource applications such as well design, borehole stability, and hydraulic fracturing.  
  8. Plan and evaluate a geomechanics study.

 Session 1: Mechanical Stratigraphy and Fracture Basics

  • Lecture
  • Interactive Exercises

Session 2: Stress Analysis

  • Lecture
  • Exercises (outside of session)

Session 3: Stress Analysis

  • Interactive Discussion Exercises

Session 4: Geomechanics

  • Lecture
  • Exercises (outside of session)

Session 5: Geomechanics

  • Interactive Discussion Exercises

The course is intended for exploration, development and production geoscientists and reservoir and production engineers whose focus is on unconventional resources and/or conventional fractured reservoirs.

Alan Morris

Dr. Morris is a structural geologist with research experience in the quantitative analysis of rock deformation. He has studied deformed rocks at large and small scales in various locations around the world. Dr. Morris also has experience validating structural interpretations for the petroleum industry in a variety of tectonic settings; including fold thrust belts, strike-slip margins, and extensional sedimentary basins. Study areas have included the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard, the French Alps, the Appalachians, the Basin and Range Province and Colorado Plateau of the western United States, the Balcones fault zone of Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Vietnam, offshore Turkey, and the Arabian Gulf.

He is the originator and coauthor of the 3DStress® computer program for interactive analyses of the effects of stresses on faults and fractures, which received an R&D-100 award from R&D Magazine, designating it as one of the world’s 100 most significant technical accomplishments.

Dr. Morris’ current research interests include 3D stress systems and fault formation, and the geometric evolution of fault systems.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Cambridge England - Geology
BSc Imperial College England- Geology

Courses Taught
N114: Extensional Tectonics and Normal Faulting (Nevada and California, USA)
N134: Carbonate and Shale Faulting and Fracturing Field Seminar (Texas, USA)
N266: Stress and Geomechanical Analyses (West Texas USA)
N411: Fractures, Stress and Geomechanics


Kevin Smart

Dr. Smart is a structural geologist with cross training in computational solid mechanics. His expertise is in the areas of structural geology and tectonophysics, nonlinear finite element analysis, field mapping, strain and microstructural analyses, and geologic fracture analysis. Dr. Smart’s research has ranged from outcrop and microscale analyses of carbonate and clastic rocks of the Appalachian, Ouachita, and Alpine contractional orogenic and the Basin and Range and Balcones Fault Zone extensional systems to field and laboratory studies of igneous and metamorphic rocks in the Wichita Mountains, Colorado Front Range, and southeastern Alaska.

Geomechanics efforts have included diverse applications in reservoir characterization (e.g., natural fracture prediction and production-related deformation, borehole stability, induced hydraulic fracturing), analyzing thermal effects on stress state evolution, and finite element analyses of ground response to seismic events. He has also conducted NASA-sponsored research to better understand the development of pit crater chains, landslides, and wrinkle ridges on Mars.

Dr. Smart is currently part of an integrated team that performs structural geology and geomechanics technical assistance and research projects for the oil and gas industry. His work in this area includes using geomechanical models to predict fracture distributions in conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs as well as analyze the effect of complex stress fields on subsurface deformation for problems ranging from large-scale folding and faulting down to borehole stability.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of  Tennessee, Knoxville - Geology
MS University of New Orleans - Geology
BS Allegheny College - Geology, Honors

Courses Taught
N114:  Extensional Tectonics and Normal Faulting (Nevada and California, USA)
N266:  Stress and Geomechanical Analyses (Texas, USA)
N381:  Influence of Tectonics and Mechanical Stratigraphy on Natural Deformation in the Permian Basin (Texas, USA)
N411:  Fractures, Stress and Geomechanics

CEU: 2.4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.