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Stanford University

Reservoir Geomechanics

Stanford University via edX


This interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of rock mechanics, structural geology, earthquake seismology and petroleum engineering to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs.

The course considers key practical issues such as prediction of pore pressure, estimation of hydrocarbon column heights and fault seal potential, determination of optimally stable well trajectories, casing set points and mud weights, changes in reservoir performance during depletion, and production-induced faulting and subsidence. The first part of the course establishes the basic principles involved in a way that allows readers from different disciplinary backgrounds to understand the key concepts.

The course is intended for geoscientists and engineers in the petroleum and geothermal industries, and for research scientists interested in stress measurements and their application to problems of faulting and fluid flow in the crust.


  • 20, 90 minute lectures (in ~20 minute segments). 2 lectures will be made available each week.
  • Lecture 1 is an overview to introduce the topics covered in the course. Lectures 2-17 follow 12 chapters of Dr. Zoback’s textbook, Reservoir Geomechanics (Cambridge University Press, 2007) with updated examples and applications. Lectures 18 and 19 are on topics related to geomechanical issues affecting shale gas and tight oil recovery. Lecture 20 is on the topic of managing the risk of triggered and induced seismicity.
  • 8 Homework assignments (and associated video modules) are intended to give the class hands-on experience with a number of the topics addressed in the course.
  • The course grade will be based solely on homework assignments. There will be no quizzes or exams.
  • Homework assignments will be graded electronically and will consist of multiple choice and numerical entry responses.
  • There will be an online discussion forum where participants can discuss the content of the course and ask questions of each other and the instructors.

Taught by

Mark Zobach



4.9 rating, based on 11 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This class is wonderful! I'm a pore-pressure engineer and the class is extremely informative, having current geomechanic information that is not taught in school. Dr. Mark Zoback is known worldwide and the course, being given from Stanford, will no doubt look good on your résumé.
  • Ibrahim Omar Geophysicist

    Ibrahim Omar Geophysicist completed this course.

    This informative course,
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Excellent materials, highly relevant topics, top rate lecturer - what more can you ask for?
  • Shahrzad Roshankhah completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I definitely recommend this course to graduate students, post-docs, young faculty members, and professionals in geotechnical, geophysical, and petroleum engineering fields and to those from other disciplines who want to understand more about issues in fossil fuel extraction from design point of view.
    Dr. Zoback is a very well-known and respected professor in geophysics and geotechnical engineering fields.
  • Mawuli Adatsi is taking this course right now.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

  • Ming Zhang

    Ming Zhang is taking this course right now.

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    Anonymous completed this course.

  • Edwin Gomez

    Edwin Gomez completed this course.

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