Archives for February 17, 2016

Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center (RMERC) Graduate Gathering

The weekly Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center (RMERC) Graduate Gathering is held in the  RMERC Building – 1006 Kingshighway, in the conference room (room 106)

From 3:30 -420 Fridays when  MS&T classes are in session.

Anyone is welcome to attend. Please also feel free to bring a friend.

Our presenter for this Friday, February 19, 2016  is  Reza Rahimi, PhD Student in Petroleum Engineering, Adviser: Dr. Nygaard

Reza Rahimi

Title: Can Particle Size Distribution of Lost Circulation Materials Affect the Fracture Gradient?


The purpose of preventive treatment of fluid losses, i.e. wellbore strengthening, is to deliberately enhance the fracture gradient by creating and curing fractures while drilling. The effectiveness of such treatments can be affected by the lost circulation material (LCM) type, size distribution, and the fracture width. This paper investigates if the particle size distribution of preventive LCMs can change the breakdown or re-opening pressure. Hydraulic fracturing experiments were performed on concrete cores as a proxy for impermeable rocks with a low-toxicity oil-based fluid and LCM blends with different particle size distributions. Two injection cycles were performed to measure the breakdown and fracture re-opening pressures. Microscopic analysis of the fractured cores was performed to estimate the fracture width. The fracture pressure and re-opening pressure were greatly increased by including LCMs in the fluid compared to the basic drilling fluid. The experimental results indicate that selecting fluids with LCM of certain range will enhance the fracture gradient and widen the available drilling fluid window.

Federal Cybersecurity R&D Plan

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released the “Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan,” which you can find here. You can also read a fact sheet about the broader “Cybersecurity National Action Plan” here.

GAO: Rare Earth Minerals

GAO published a report entitled, “Rare Earth Materials: Developing a Comprehensive Approach Could Help DoD Better Manage National Security Risks in the Supply Chain.” Read more.

NIST seeks comments

NIST is extending the period for submitting comments related to the “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” (“the Framework”) through February 23, 2016. Read more.