Production of heavy oil reservoirs require stimulation via injection of viscosity-reducing materials called as stimulants. Example stimulants include: steam, chemicals, solvents and their combination. The key of these stimulations is to create additional reservoir contact so that the injected stimulants contact the heavy oil, reducing its viscosity before being produced. Reservoir geomechanics provides the most efficient mechanism to create the reservoir contact and thus, it is the first must-have step in improving production and increasing reservoir recovery factor.
Throughout the heavy oil production, geomechanics must be attended to in order to protect the reservoir containment integrity. The reservoir simulation injects significant energy and/or at a very high power to the subsurface. In addition to causing the reservoir rock fracturing, this energy or power inevitably disturbs the rock formations around the reservoir. Therefore, the sealing capacity of the caprock, casing and faults can be endangered. Integrity of these components, collectively called reservoir containment integrity, becomes very important and must be properly designed for. Otherwise, project economics and social licensing of oil/gas production will suffer.