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Formation Pressure v2-1

# Formation Pressure v2-1

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Published by: Anca Maria Anistoroae on Jun 12, 2011

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11/29/2015

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This method (Eaton, 1972, 1975) can be used to calculate the formation pressure from the following
parameters:

Seismic interval velocities
Corrected drilling exponent
Resistivity / Conductivity
Sonic transit times

The method assumes that the relationship between the observed (i.e. measured) parameter, normal
parameter (i.e. if it plotted on the NCT) and the formation pressure, is dependant upon changes in the

Let FP = Formation Pressure Gradient (psi/ft)
FPn = Normal Formation Pressure Gradient (psi/ft)
S = Overburden Gradient (psi/ft)
Xo = Parameter, observed
Xn = Parameter, normal

Resistivity

FP = S −−−− (S −−−− FPn)(Ro)1.2
(Rn)

Corrected drilling exponent

FP = S −−−− (S −−−− FPn)(DCo)1.2
(DCn)

Sonic transit time

FP = S −−−− (S −−−− FPn)(∆∆∆∆Tn)3.0
(
∆∆∆∆To)

Conductivity

FP = S −−−− (S −−−− FPn)(Cn)1.2
(Co)

Example:

Taking the Corrected Drilling Exponent equation as an example:

For a given depth, DCn is the value of the exponent that would lie on the Normal Compaction Trend
(representing the value that would be produced with normal formation pressure), whereas DCo is the
actual calculated exponent value calculated for a given pressure differential.

DATALOG: ABNORMAL FORMATION PRESSURE ANALYSIS, Version 2.1, issued February 2001

DATALOG: ABNORMAL FORMATION PRESSURE ANALYSIS, Version 2.1, issued February 2001

83

At 10000ft: -

Normal Formation Pressure = 0.452 psi/ft
(8.7ppg emw)

Overburden Gradient = 1.04 psi/ft

let DCo = 1.75
let DCn = 1.85

FP = S −−−− (S −−−− FPn)(DCo)1.2
(DCn)

Actual Formation Pressure Gradient = 1.04 −−−− (1.04 −−−− 0.452)(1.75)1.2

(1.85)

= 0.490 psi/ft
= 9.42 ppg emw

The exponents (in this case 1.2) are reliable for universal use, but if sufficient data was available, they
could be refined on a regional basis. For example, if calculated formation pressure was higher than
reliable DST results, then the exponent value can be adjusted so that the calculated formation pressure
agrees with the test results.

Calculating Isodensity Lines

Although not a requirement when calculating formation pressures through computer software, isodensity
lines are a useful way of graphically representing the drilling exponent (or specific parameter) alongside
curves of increasing equivalent mudweights (representing increasing formation pressure). Again, the
process relies on the accurate determination of the overburden gradient and normal compaction trend
(which represents the normal formation pressure isodensity line).

The same formulae are used, but Xo, the observed value of the parameter, is made the subject. This
represents the value that positions the isodensity line for a given equivalent mudweight at any given
depth.

Again, taking the drilling exponent as an example:

DCo = [ 1.2

√√√√ (S −−−− FP) ] x DCn
[ (S
−−−− FPn) ]

Top of Undercompaction

Transition

DCo DCn

NCT

DCexp

10000ft

DATALOG: ABNORMAL FORMATION PRESSURE ANALYSIS, Version 2.1, issued February 2001

DATALOG: ABNORMAL FORMATION PRESSURE ANALYSIS, Version 2.1, issued February 2001

84

FP represents the value of the isodensity line being calculated
DCo represents the exponent value where the isodensity line will be plotted

From the numbers used in the previous example: -

At 10000ft,

overburden gradient = 1.04 psi/ft
normal formation pressure = 0.452 psi/ft

DCn = 1.85

Let us calculate the position, at 10000ft, for the 10.0ppg isodensity line

10.0ppg emw = 0.52 psi/ft

DCo = (1.2

√ (1.04 − 0.52)) x 1.85

= 1.67

(1.04 − 0.452)

Therefore, the 10.0ppg isodensity line at 10000ft would be plotted at a ‘drilling exponent’ value of 1.67.
This calculation should be repeated for an entire depth interval to produce a complete isodensity line.

DCexp

Formation Pressure (ppg emw)

NCT

10.0 9.5 9.0

10.5

11.0

11.5

3000

3200

3400

3600

3800

DATALOG: ABNORMAL FORMATION PRESSURE ANALYSIS, Version 2.1, issued February 2001

DATALOG: ABNORMAL FORMATION PRESSURE ANALYSIS, Version 2.1, issued February 2001

85

This type of graphical representation is ideal in that it shows the actual drilling exponent trend along with
the Normal Compaction Trend. With the isodensity lines, any deviation from the normal trend can
immediately be seen along with the estimation of formation pressure (equivalent mudweight).

In the above example: -

Normal formation pressure is 8.8ppg, shown by the drilling exponent plotting along the normal
compaction trend.

The top of an undercompacted zone is clearly evident at around 3200ft, where the drilling exponent starts
to cut back to the left. As the cutback continues, formation pressure is seen to gradually increase with
depth, reaching 10.4 to 10.5ppg emw around 3650ft.

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