The recent revelation of vast global quantities of potentially gas- (and oil-) productive shales has paved the way for rapid advancements in understanding their geological properties, many of which affect their geomechanical properties, and ultimately reservoir operations and performance. Because of shale's unique and very intricate geological, physical and mechanical properties at all scales (from nano- to macro-scale (Abousleiman et al., 2010) compared with sandstones and carbonates, the ad-jective “unconventional” has often been applied to their characterization. Although many shale characteristics are different than those of sandstones and carbonates, and require new technologies to measure them, other characteristics, mentioned below, are similar. As such, customized conventional methodologies and concepts can be applied to exploration and production of shale gas (and oil).

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