Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 699–705 | Cite as

Modeling of Shales in Salt-Hydrocarbon Systems

  • Maria A. NikolinakouEmail author
  • Peter B. Flemings
  • Michael R. Hudec
Original Paper


We model the stress–strain response of shale wall rocks to large deformations associated with the emplacement of salt bodies. We further identify the implications of these stress changes for hydrocarbon exploration. We model the mudrocks as porous elastoplastic materials. We employ both static and evolutionary approach for the modeling of salt systems and show that while the static one can model actual geologic geometries, only the evolutionary approach can provide a detailed description of the stress changes associated with the emplacement of salt. Hence, the evolutionary approach can register the overall stress history of the shale wall rocks, which is essential for predicting the present-day state of stress, porosity, and pore pressure. More generally, the evolutionary approach can provide useful insights for understanding Earth processes related to salt-hydrocarbon systems.


Shales Forward modeling Salt diapir Poro-elastoplasticity Wellbore stability 



The discussed research projects were funded by the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory consortium and the University of Texas at Austin (U. T.) GeoFluids consortium. AGL is supported by the following companies: Anadarko, Apache, BHP Billiton, BP, CGG, Chevron, Cobalt, ConocoPhillips, Ecopetrol, ENI, ExxonMobil, Fugro, Global Geophysical, Hess, Ion, KNOC, McMoRan, Maersk, Marathon, Murphy, Nexen, Noble, Pemex, Petrobras, PGS, Repsol, Samson, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil, Talisman, TGS, Total, Western Geco, and Woodside. U. T. GeoFluids is supported by the following companies: Anadarko, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil, Hess, Murphy Oil, Repsol, Schlumberger, Shell, Statoil, and Total. The author received additional support from the U. T. Jackson School of Geosciences. This publication was authorized by the Director, Bureau of Economic Geology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria A. Nikolinakou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter B. Flemings
    • 2
  • Michael R. Hudec
    • 1
  1. 1.Bureau of Economic GeologyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Jackson School of GeosciencesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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