Colin Watson.jpg

Colin's Expertise:

Oilfield Geomechanics




Other Geomechanics Staff
Colin Watson

Senior Technical Specialist

Colin graduated from Durham University with a degree in geology and worked for a time as a software engineer before joining GeoScience in 1997 as a geotechnical modeller. He has a love of the great outdoors and enjoys horse riding with his family on and around their farm in the far west of Cornwall.


May 1994 to Present – GeoScience Limited, Geotechnical Modeller from May 1994 and was subsequently upgraded to Wellbore Rock Mechanics Specialist:

Work carried out on geomechanical and hydrogeological investigations for oil exploration and deep radioactive waste disposal. Main topics include:

  • Borehole Stability Analysis

  • and implementation of geomechanical modelling codes

  • Geomechanical modelling of borehole conditions for derivation of drilling mud weight programmes

  • Database design from handling geomechanical, geological and hydrogeological data.

  • Coupled flow heat transport and solute transport

  • Coupled hydro mechanical processes in fracture network modelling 

Examples of specific work are shown below:

  • Geomechanical modelling of borehole stability for various clients in North Sea, Alaskan, Algerian and Middle Eastern projects

  • Design and development of geomechanics software suite for Borehole Stability Analysis, including quantitative risk assessment procedures

  • Development of FTSA (Fracture Trace Statistical Analysis) code for two plus time dimensional analysis of fracture patterns - EC funded Joule II project

  • Development of numerical minimiser for finite difference borehole solute transport code for interpreting  production log conductivity data

  • Development of NAPSAC fracture network modelling code for equivalent porous medium permeability tensor fitting – AEA Technology

  • Coupled hydro-geomechanical modelling of excavation disturbed zones - NAGRA

  • Authored review of geomechanical modelling techniques - EC funded Joule II project

  • Preliminary coupled thermal-groundwater flow modelling and thermal data collation in support of Nirex 97 Safety Assessment

  • Statistical analysis of hydraulic property field measurements – UK Nirex Ltd

  • Design and implementation of a hydrogeology database – UK Nirex Ltd


1987 to 1993 – British Rail/Western Trust & Savings Limited, Computer professional


  • Duties included Business, Systems and Technical Analysis; program and database design; implementation and coding. Training included technical and management training


1985 to 1987 – Sunderland Polytechnic, Part-time Lecturer

  • Responsible for teaching Engineering Geology to Third Year Combined Science Degree students


1983 to 1987 – Consultant


  • Part-time Engineering Geology Consultancy in association with Dr R K Taylor for British Gas and French Kier Construction for example. Involving materials testing and interpretation and reporting


1982 to 1987 – Durham University


  • Demonstrator to Geology and Engineering BSc courses and Engineering Geology MSc course


BSc, Geology, Durham University (1982)

MSc, Engineering Geology, Durham University (1983) PhD, Geotechnical Modelling, Durham University (1989)

Technical Papers

Conceptualisations of the architecture and hydrogeology of faults at Sellafield (1997). UK Nirex Science Report SA 97/025, with G.W.Lanyon, J.C.Gutmanis, T.J.Wynn.

Excavation disturbed zone: assessment of its hydraulic properties based on surface investigations (1997). MRS Conf., Switzerland, 1997, with G.W.Lanyon, S.Vomvoris, P.Blumling.