Caprock Integrity for Thermal Recovery

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics


This one-day course is an introduction to geomechanics principles and their application to assessing caprock integrity in thermal recovery projects, including cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) and steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Topics include:

  • In-situ stresses
  • Mini-frac testing
  • Rock mechanical properties of caprocks
  • Discontinuities (bedding, fractures, faults) and their significance
  • Caprock failure mechanisms
  • Well integrity and is relationship to caprock integrity
  • Geomechanical-reservoir simulation
  • Geomechanical monitoring

Several case histories from thermal projects in Alberta will be discussed throughout the course. Participants will receive a course manual with some of the latest technical innovations in the industry, a comprehensive list of references and internet resources, and a demonstration of advanced geomechanical software.

Why Attend?

Participants will gain a better understanding of the geomechanical factors that affect caprock integrity. You will learn how to develop a field, laboratory, modelling, and monitoring plan for a typical thermal recovery project.

Who Should Attend

This course will be of interest to engineers, geoscientists, technologists, project managers, environmental coordinators, and regulators working on thermal and EOR projects.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1-day course.


Patrick McLellan, MSc, PEng, is the principal consultant with McLellan Energy Advisors Incorporated and has over 30 years of experience applying geomechanics to a wide range of E&P activities. He was the founder of Advanced Geotechnology (now Weatherford Geomechanics Services) and has conducted over 500 consulting and research projects for clients in Canada and abroad. He was the lead developer of two commercial software products for well design and geomechanical analysis. He was previously employed in technical and supervisory roles with Petro-Canada, Shell Canada, and Shell Research. He has written or presented over 150 technical papers and given more than 80 short courses on geomechanics-related topics in Canada and abroad. Pat was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2002–2003, and is a recipient of the SPE Distinguished Service Award.

He received a BSc (engineering) in geological engineering from Queen’s University in 1979 and an MSc in civil engineering (geotechnical) from the University of Alberta in 1983.

Other Courses by Instructor