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OVERPRESSURES : AN INITIATION
• 1. PRESSURE CONCEPTS 1.1. DEFINITIONS

A pressure is a force divided by the surface where this force applies.

Pressure Pascal = Force Newton / Surface m2

The official pressure unit is the Pascal

It is a very small unit:

• 1 bar = 10 5 Pascal

1 Pascal = 1 Newton/m 2

• 1 atm = 1,013 *10 5 Pascal

A practical unit on the rig is the kgf/cm 2

• 1 kgf/cm 2 = 0.981 bar

In API , the unit is the pound per square inch (psi)

• 1 bar = 14.4988 psi

Exercise 1:

 Enter a value in the yellow cell, click on result (blue cell) and press F9 to get the answer. Calculation & explanation on the last page… ..
 15 Bars = psi 155 Psi = Bars
• 1.1.1. HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE : P h

Pressure exerted by the weight of a static column of fluid

It is a function of fluid specific gravity and of vertical height of the fluid

P h = d * g * H

With Ph = hydrostatic pressure (Pascal)

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d = Fluid specific gravity (kg/m 3)

H = Vertical height of fluid (m)

g = gravity acceleration (9.81 m/s 2 )

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Using well site units, the formula becomes :

Ph = H* d

10

With

Ph= hydrostatic pressure (bar)

• d = Fluid specific gravity (kg/l)

H = Vertical height of fluid (m)

NB : the term 10 is approached, for precision, you should use 10.2 with

pressure in bars and 9.6 for pressure in bar

In API, the formula is:

Ph = 0.052 * H * d

With

Ph= hydrostatic pressure (psi)

• d = Fluid specific gravity (ppg)

H = Vertical height of fluid (ft)

Consequently, in the following sketches, the Ph is always the same:

H

Pascal was betting he could destroy a barrel with just a pint of water:

He fixed a long and thin tube on the barrel and poured the water, the volume

of water was small, but the height was enough to make the barrel explode!

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‘U tube’ effect:

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If the mud weight in the pipes and in the annulus are different, the ‘U tube’

effect is the difference of Ph in the 2 branches of the ‘U tube’ formed by

annulus and pipes

 Exercise 2: Calculate Ph in the following examples Height of fluid 1000 Fluid SG 1.5 Ph (m): (kg/l): bar: Height of fluid 1000 Fluid SG 10 Ph (ft): (ppg): psi: Exercise 3:

A heavy mud slug has been pumped, what extra volume do you get

in the mud pit ? (‘U tube’ effect)

 Pipes internal 9.1 Slug 2000 Slug SG 1.6 volume (l/m) : volume (l): (kg/l): Mud Weight 1.08 Extra (kg/l): volume in pit (l): Exercise 4: A heavy mud slug has been pumped, what is the air gap height in the pipes ? (‘U tube’ effect) Pipes internal 9.1 Slug 3000 Slug SG 1.7 volume (l/m) : volume (l): (kg/l): Mud Weight 1.10 Height of (kg/l): air gap in pipes (m) JCD 11/2002 JCD 11/2002 -3-
• 1.1.2. OVERBURDEN: S

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• At a given depth, the overburden is the pressure (applying on fluids) or stress (applying on matrix) exerted by the weight of the overlying sediments.

S = H * b

10

With

S = Overburden stress (bar)

b = Formation average bulk density (no unit)

H = Vertical thickness of overlying sediments (m)

In API, the formula is:

S = H * b * 0.433

With

S = Overburden stress (psi)

b = Formation average bulk density (no unit)

H = Vertical thickness of overlying sediments (ft)

• The bulk density of a sediment is a function of the matrix density, the

porosity and the density of the fluid in the pores.

b = (* f ) + (1-) * m

With

b

f

= Bulk density (no unit)

= Formation fluid density (no unit)

= Porosity (from 0 to 1)

m = Matrix density (no unit)

With depth, the sediment porosity will decrease under the effect of

compaction (proportional to overburden) and of course, the bulk density

will increase.

You will note that the porosity shale curve is exponential

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Relationship between porosity and depth
Porosity
Sand
Shale
Depth
Relationship between bulk density and depth
On shore
Off shore
 b
 b
2.31
2.31
Sea
botttom
Depth
Depth

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• 1.1.3. FORMATION PRESSURE: P f

Also called Pore pressure :Pp

Pressure of the fluid contained in the pores of the sediment.

• 1.1.3.1. NORMAL P f: Pf=Ph

The Pf equals the Ph due to the column of fluid in the sediment.

It depends on the density of the water(usually from 1.00 to 1.08)

• 1.1.3.2. NEGATIVE P f ANOMALY : Pf<Ph

In the following example, the outcrop is lower than the point where

the well enter the formation. The water does not reach this zone.

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• 1.1.3.3. POSITIVE P f ANOMALY: Pf>Ph

Artesian well
.In that case Pf = H*d
h * d
10
10

Hydrocarbon column

Due to the difference of densities between water and hydrocarbons, the

pressure at the top of the reservoir is almost the same that at hydrocarbon –

water contact
Pressure
gas
Water
Depth
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The formula for the pressure anomaly (excess of pressure respect to normal)

is

P hc = H * (d w – d hc )

10

With

P hc = Pressure anomaly at the top of the hydrocarbon column (bar)

H = Height of the hydrocarbon column (m)

• d w = Water SG (kg/l)

• d hc = Hydrocarbon SG (kg/l)

Note that this anomaly is proportional to the height of the hydrocarbon

column and to the diffeence of SG between water and hydrocarbon.

This anomaly can be very high in case of reservoir in a vertical lense:

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Exercise 5:

How does it work ?

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Imagine the reservoir as a U tube: C is the top of the hydrocarbon:

C
A
B
 Water SG (kg/l) 1.05 Hydrocarbon SG (kg/l) 0.25 Point A & C depth (m) 2000 Point B depth (Hydrocarbon/water contact)(m) 2590 Calculate Pf in A (bar) Calculate Pf in B (bar) Calculate Ph of the column of water AB (bar) Calculate Ph of the hydrocarbon column (bar) Calculate the Pf in C (bar) 257.20 Pressure anomaly at top of hydrocarbon (bar) 47.20

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1.2. PRESSURE REPRESENTATIONS

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• 1.2.1. EQUILIBRIUM & EQUIVALENT MUD WEIGHT

 Equivalent MW is the MW corresponding to a mud column pressure, related to depth. Equilibrium MW represents the average MW needed to counterbalance Pf. From the Ph formula, we can recover:

MW = P * 10

H

Exercise 6:

Two rigs are drilling a well in the same overpressured formation, calculate the

equilibrium MW for each rig:

 Distance from A to formation (m) 2000 Distance from B to formation (m) 1200 Pf (bar) 200 Equilibrium MW for rig A Equilibrium MW for rig B

In a well, the mud weight can be different than the equivalent MW.

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The following exercise will show you some examples:

Exercise 7:

 Well total depth (m) 2500 Mud weight in hole (kg/l) 1.22

Calculate the equivalent MW in hole in the

following occurrences:

 During a trip, the driller forgot to fill the hole and the mud level is lower than normal , its distance 150 from flow line is (m) During a Leak Off Test, the pressure reached (bar) : 20 You start circulating, the pressure losses in the annulus is (bar): 10

You can see that , according to the cases, Equivalent MW can be smaller or

bigger than actual MW in hole.

Here are some examples:

 Equivalent MW < MW Equivalent MW > MW Mud losses Leak Off Test Swabbing Circulating (ECD) Fluid influx in hole (Kick) Surge

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A pressure gradient G is the unit increase in pore pressure for a vertical

increase in depth unit, but to get consistency with MW, we will take 10m.

It is used to give a degree of consistency to pressure data: Pressure

gradient and MW will be comparable

P
G = P
in bar/10m
H
Pressure
bar
H
Depth
m
Exercise 8:
Mud weight in hole (kg/l)
1.20
1.20
(bar/10m):

As the figures are similar, MW and Pressure gradient may be plotted on the

same graph, allowing a comparison between MW, Formation pressure

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Pressure
(bar)
G
MW
FRAC
S
Pf
Depth
(m)

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1.2.3. HYDRODYNAMIC LEVEL

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We have seen that the formula P = H * d/10 allows to calculate the

pressure or the equivalent MW, you can also calculate H, which represents

the hydrodynamic level (ie: the height reached by the water in an artesian

well)

H = P * 10 + Z

 d With: H = Hydrodynamic level (m)

P= Formation pressure at depth Z (bar)

d = Formation fluid specific gravity (kg/l)

Z = Subsea depth (m)
P*10
d
H
Z
Sea level

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1.2.4. PLOT OF PRESSURE VS DEPTH

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May be used with an overlay of pressure gradient
Pf
&
Ph (due to MW) in bar
Depth
1.30
1.20
(m)
1.03

Another purpose of this type of plot is to determine the contacts between

fluids in a reservoir by tracing the trend lines of the RFT pressure data:

Pressure from RFT (bar)
Gas/oil
contact
(m)
Oil/water
contact
(m)
Depth
(m)
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1.3. STRESS CONCEPT

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Unlike liquids, solids can withstand different loads in various directions:

Imagine a cube of porous rock somewhere in the deep….

We can divide the stresses in 3 resulting forces according to the 3 directions

of space: S1 can be considered as the Overburden , S2 and S3 the tectonic

forces (open hole ovalization can give an idea of the difference between S2

and S3).
S 1 (overburden)
S
2
S
3
In
a
porous
rock,
the
fluid
may
support
part
of
the
stress
(due
to

undercompaction) and the total stress S will have 2 components:

S = Pp + (Terzaghi equation)

With S

= Total stress (bar)

Pp = Pore pressure (or formation pressure)

Effective stress (on the grains of the rock)

Consequently:

 S 1 = Pp +   S 2 = Pp +   S 3 = Pp +  

So, in theory, the formation pressure is limited by the overburden !

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• 2. ORIGINS OF NON HYDROSTATIC ABNORMAL PRESSURE 2.1. UNDERCOMPACTION (OVERBURDEN EFFECT)

Normally, the compaction increases with depth and the formation water is

expelled as the porosity decreases.

In some cases, the water cannot be eliminated in time and remains trapped

in the sediment: the main cause of overpressure is due to what is called

undercompacted shale.

Water elimination from shale depends on 3 factors:

  Clay permeability: very low  Sedimentation and burial rate: if the sedimentation rate is very high, the shale is brought very deep before the water has time to go and it remains trapped in the sediment (ie: deltaic areas)  Drainage efficiency: sand layers act as a drain and helps

water elimination, less than 15% of sand content in a shale

will cause a lack of drainage and an overpressured zone.

Terzaghi experiment

The springs represent the matrix, and the load on the upper plate

represents the overburden

S
S
S
Pf
A
B
C

A: the lower tap is closed (no drainage) and S is only supported by the

fluid:

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S = Pf

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B: The lower tap is open, water escapes and the spring/matrix bears part of

the load : At that stage, if you close the tap, you get something similar to

an undercompacted shale: the fluid is trapped in the sediment and supports

part of the overburden, causing an overpressure.

S = Pf +

C: The springs/matrix fully support the load: this is the case of a normally

compacted sediment.

Pf = Ph

S =

• One of the main cause of overpressure.

• 2.2. AQUATHERMAL EXPANSION

The volume of water increases with temperature, if it is in a sealed

environment, its pressure increases.

• Actual effect is controversial.

• 2.3. CLAY DIAGENESIS

With depth, the smectites (as Montmorillonite) will lose its adsorbed water

and transform into Illite + free water.

• Not really a cause of overpressure, but acts as a contributory

factor in case of undercompacted shale.

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• 2.4. OSMOSIS

Osmosis is the spontaneous movement of water through a semi-permeable

membrane separating two solutions of different concentrations, until the

concentration of each solution becomes equal.

A clay bed can act as a semi-permeable membrane between two reservoir

containing water with different salinity.

Pf decreases
Pure water
Osmotic flow
Clay layer
Pf increases
Salt water
• Not proven in nature and anyway minor effect if exists.

• 2.5. EVAPORITES

• 2.5.1. SEALING ROLE

Evaporites are impermeable and can make a good seal that will block

water expelled from underlying sediment, creating overpressure by

overburden effect.

• Major role in overpressure generation, specially if interlayed

with shale.

• 2.5.2. SULFATE DIAGENESIS

Gypsum is the precipitated form of CaSO 4 , transformation to Anhydrite

may occur early in the burial process:

CaSO 4, 2H 2 O (Gypsum) CaSO 4 (Anhydrite) + 2H 2 O

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The water amounts to 38% of the original volume, if it cannot be expelled,

overpressure develops. Similar increase of volume is created by

rehydration of Anhydrite .

• Minor effect as the diagenesis of gypsum to anhydrite often

occurs at shallow depth, this allows the water to escape. Rehydration of

Anhydrite is not proven on a scale that would be enough to generate

overpressure.

• 2.6. ORGANIC MATTER TRANSFORMATION

At shallow depth, bacteria will transform organic matter in biogenic methane.

From a depth of 250m, thermo chemical cracking will transform heavy

hydrocarbons to lighter ones, with increase of volume. If these processes

occur in a close environment, they create overpressure .

• Important role in overpressure generation in confined series of

shaly sands or carbonate.

• 2.7. TECTONICS

• 2.7.1. RELIEF & STRUCTURING

As already seen in chapter 1.1.3, relief can be the cause of pressure anomalies

(ie: artesian well).

• 2.7.2. REORGANISATION OF STRESS FIELD

Sediments are subjected to overburden and to horizontal tectonic stresses.

• 2.7.3. FAULTS

 Faults can create a seal and stop the water or on the contrary, bring an overpressured zone in front of a permeable zone, allowing the water to escape.

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2.8. MISCELLANEOUS

• 2.8.1. CARBONATE COMPACTION

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Normally, carbonates do not have problems of under compaction. Chalk is the

exception. Chalk is due to the deposit of tiny discs called coccoliths

(calcareous plates protecting some phytoplankton) and Chalk structure looks

like Clay structure, with the same problem of low vertical permeability.
Phytoplankton with its « shield »
of coccoliths
When phytoplankton dies, the
coccoliths deposit with a « clay
like » structure.
• 2.8.2. PERMAFROST

Typical of the artic zones, due to the fact that the sediments are. The problem

is due to unfrozen pockets (called taliks) inside the permafrost. If a talik

freeze, its volume tends to increase (remember that ice is bigger than original

volume of water), but the permafrost impedes expansion, thus creating

overpressure.

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• 3. PREDICTION & DETECTION OF OVERPRESSURE 3.1. NORMAL COMPACTION TREND

To be able to detect an overpressure linked to compaction anomaly; it is

useful to define what the normal compaction trend is.

3.2. CHARACTERISTICS OF UNDERCOMPACTED ZONES

If two zones of different potential are separated by a seal, there will be an

abrupt change in pressure.

Pressure
Hydrostatic
pressure
Overpressure
Impervious
barrier
Depth

But if the seal is not perfect we get a gradual transition zone which is easier

to detect.

Pressure
Hydrostatic
pressure
Overpressure
Transition
zone
Depth

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A plot of shale density versus depth on a semi-log scale will show the top of

the undercompacted/overpressure zone:

Log of shale density
Normal
compaction
Top of
transition
zone
Undercompaction
/Overpressure
Depth

3.3. PREDICTION

By prediction, we intend methods before drilling…

• 3.3.1. REGIONAL GEOLOGY

Study of the lithostratigraphy (do we have shale and evaporite, deltaic

formation…?), tectonics (do we have faults, diapirs…?), etc may give

indications of the possibility of overpressure.

• 3.3.2. GEOPHYSICAL METHODS

Seismic data may give some indications of overpressure.

• 3.3.3. GRAVIMETRY

A negative anomaly in gravimetry may be due to undercompacted shales.

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3.4. METHODS WHILE DRILLING

• 3.4.1. REAL TIME METHODS

• 3.4.1.1. RATE OF PENETRATION : ROP

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As compaction of the sediments increases with depth, the rate of

penetration normally declines with depth.

ROP does not depend only on lithology and on compaction, another

important factor is the Differential Pressure (P).

Differential Pressure is the difference between the Formation Pressure

(Pf) and the pressure exerted by the column of mud in the well .

Let us remember how a rock bit works on bottom:
WOB
WOB
Bit tooth
Crushed rock

Impact

Formation of a crater of crushed rock

The differential pressure will affect the cleaning of the crushed rock, if

P is too high (Ph of mud bigger than Pf), the pressure will tend to

“glue” the cuttings on bottom and ROP will reduce do to bad cleaning

of the hole.

But if P is low or even negative, the Pf will expel the cuttings from

the bottom and ROP will increase.

So, in theory, we should have a ROP curve similar to the compaction

trend:

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ROP (mn/m)
Top of
overpressure
Compaction
trend
Depth

This could be the perfect tool, but ROP is mainly affected by the drilling

parameters and this method could work only if RPM, WOB and bit

diameter were constant.

The solution is in the next chapter…

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• 3.4.1.2. ‘D’ EXPONENT

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The drilling exponent is a way to normalise ROP by eliminating the

effect of drilling parameters variation: it gives an idea of the “drillability”

of the formation. It has been optimised for shale (with less than 5% of

sand content)

The first formula was:

 1.26 – log 10  ROP  d =  RPM  1.58 - log 10  WOB 

Bit diam

with ROP in m/hour

WOB in tons

Bit diameter in inches

In order to include the effect of differential pressure, a correction has

Dc = d * Normal hydrostatic gradient

ECD

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“d” exponent interpretation

First problem: What is the best position for the normal trend (Dc n )?

A: the trend is on the right part of the Dc curve.

B: the trend is in the middle of the curve

C: the trend is on the left part of the curve.
Shale point
Sand point
d
c
d
cn
A
B
C

We know that Dc should work with pure shale, as the sand

is easier to

drill, the Dc in the sand will be to the left, so it is better to put the trend

on the right points of the Dc curve, as they correspond to the best shale

points.(A)

To understand the importance of the trend position, you must know that a

calculation of the Formation pressure can be made, using the distance

between Dc curve and its normal trend Dc n .(See chapter 4).

Roughly, the Pf curve will be a “mirror image ” of the distance between

Dc and Dcn.
Depth
d
d
c
cn
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Depth
d
d
c
cn
The use of this graph is to know what mud weight will counterbalance
the Pf.
In that case, we can see that some points of the Pf curve go over the MW
curve, but these points correspond to the sand points, and are not to be
taken in consideration. Only the red dot line (passing through te shale
points Pf) is important and is used as reference for MW selection.
If you look at the following interpretation, the trend is on the left part of
the Dc curve, consequently the Pf curve is shifted to the left and has no
point over the MW curve, which seems to be less scary, but in that case,
the actual Pf will be over the MW before we can detect it
²
Kick
Depth
d
d
c
cn

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Second problem: Are we sure that a deflection of the Dc corresponds to

an overpressure ?

If we have a shale gradually passing to a sand, the Dc will have a

deflection towards left, this can be mistaken for the starting of a

transition zone.
Dc
Shale
Sandy Shale passing
Dcn in shale
to Shaly Sand
Sand
Dcn in sand

If we compare the lithographic column and the Dc, we note that the

trends in the shale and in the sand are parallel, there is only a shift.

This shows the importance of the cuttings analysis, which is fundamental

for the Dc interpretation.

Exercise 9: (Answer is at the end)

What other different parameters will bring a shift in the Dc trend?

• 3.4.1.3. SIGMA LOG

Sigma log was developed by Agip and Geoservices to replace the D

exponent in the carbonates.

“Sigma” stands for “rock strength parameter”.

The drilling parameters used in the formula are the same that for Dc and

the interpretation is similar, with a shift of the normal trend every time

the lithology changes…

Exercise 10: (Answer is at the end)

Decide if the following parameters increase or decrease when an

overpressure by undercompaction occurs. And why !

• 3.4.1.4. TORQUE

### ?

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• 3.4.1.5. OVERPULL & DRAG

### ?

• 3.4.1.6. HOLE FILL

### ?

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• 3.4.1.7. PIT LEVEL DIFFERENTIAL FLOW STAND PIPE PRESSURE

### ?

• 3.4.1.8. L.W.D

A useful parameter given by the “Logging While Drilling” tool is the

formation resistivity and the gamma ray. Those 2 logs allows to check

the behaviour of the shale resistivity.

Exercise 11: (Answer is at the end)

In case of undercompaction, shale resistivity or ?

Why?

• 3.4.2. LAGGED METHODS

• 3.4.2.1. GAS

A good indicator of an increase of Pf is the gas “sucked” from the

formation during a trip or a pipe connection (by swabbing).
Time
A
B
C
A: Positive differential pressure
B: Positive, decreasing differential pressure (transition zone)
C: Negative differential pressure (Background gas is also
increasing)
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The problem with this method is that it depends on the velocity of the

hook when the string is pulled up; two different drillers will give two

different pipe connection gases.

A much better system is to check the “Pump off Gas”: the driller stops

the pumps without moving the string, so there is no swabbing. But you

lose the pressure losses in the annulus; the equivalent mud weight in

hole drops from ECD to MW. In that case, a gas show means that the

differential pressure is close to be negative.

Check also the gas ratios! If you have more heavy gases (ie C2/C3 is

decreasing), you enter a transition zone.

Exercise 12: (Answer is at the end)

Decide if the following parameters increase or decrease when an

overpressure by undercompaction occurs. And why !

• 3.4.2.2. MUD WEIGHT

### ?

• 3.4.2.3. MUD TEMPERATURE

### ?

• 3.4.2.4. MUD RESISTIVITY

### ?

• 3.4.3. CUTTING ANALYSIS

Direct analysis of the cuttings can bring information on an eventual

overpressure:

Cuttings are bigger and tend to be concave, lot of caving.

Shale density: plotting shale density (ie using a microsol) versus depth

can show an undercompaction:
Shale density
Top of
undercompaction
Depth

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3.5. METHODS AFTER DRILLING

Exercise 13: (Answer is at the end)

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Here is a list of electrical logs done at the end of the drill phases, which will give

indications on overpressure ? In what direction is the deflection of the curve in an

undercompacted zone?

• 1. Sonic

• 2. Resistivity

• 3. Gamma ray

• 4. Spontaneous potential

• 5. Conductivity

• 6. Caliper

• 7. Density log

• 8. Neutron log

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• 4. QUANTITATIVE PRESSURE EVALUATION 4.1. FORMATION PRESSURE EVALUATION

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Most methods to calculate Pf will compare the undercompacted shale with a

normal compaction state. A normal compaction trend is necessary.

• 4.1.1. EQUIVALENT DEPTH METHOD

Dc or Shale density or porosity log, etc
H
B
B
H
A
A
B
Depth

To every undercompacted point A correspond a normally compacted point B:

those two points have the same compaction but at different depths!

Depth H B is called “the equivalent depth”.

We can apply Terzaghi equation for Overburden pressure, (S = + Pf) .

We know that we have the same compaction in A and B, so the stress

must be the same in both points !

A  B

We can write B = S B – Pf B

and A = S A – Pf A

As A  B we have : S B – Pf B

= S A – Pf A

Or

Pf A = Pf B

+ (S A - S B )

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Exercise 14: (Answer is at the end)

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Replace the four factors by their Pf equivalent densities or Overburden

gradient in the last equation to obtain the final formula:

with: S = H * G S

10

and Pf =

H * D eq

10

D eqA = G SA

H B * (G SB – D eqB )

H A

With D eqA : Equilibrium density in A (= Formation pressure gradient)

D eqB : Equilibrium density in B (= normal hydrostatic gradient)

Z

B

Z

A

: Equivalent depth

: Depth of undercompacted shale

G SA : Overburden gradient at A

G SB : Overburden gradient at B ( very often, G SA and G SB can be

considered equals)

This method can be used to calculate Pf from the following parameters:

Dc, Shale density, Shale resistivity, Sonic, Density and porosity logs.

Give best results for Pf grad> 1.4

Exercise 15:

Calculate Pf gradient with the equivalent depth method:

Dc
H
B
B
H
A
A
B
Depth
 Mud weight in hole (kg/l) 1.30 H A 2900 H B 1900 Normal gradient 1.08 Dc in A 1.3 Overburden gradient 2.31 Pf Gradient JCD 11/2002 JCD 11/2002 -34-

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4.1.2.
RATIO METHOD
Dc or Shale density or porosity log, etc
X
X
A
B
A
B
Depth

In that case, we must found the value of the parameter (ie the Dc) at the same

depth on the normal trend:

D eqA = D eqB * X B

• X A

With D eqA : Equilibrium density in A (= Formation pressure gradient)

D eqB : Equilibrium density in B (= normal hydrostatic gradient ie 1.03)

X

B

X A

: Theorical value on normal trend

: Actual value

This method can be used to calculate Pf from the following parameters:

Dc, Shale density, Shale resistivity, Sonic, Density and porosity logs.

Give best results for Pf grad< 1.4

Exercise 16:

Calculate Pf gradient with the ratio method:

 Depth 2900 Normal gradient 1.08 Dc in A 1.3 Dcn in B 1.7 Pf Gradient

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4.1.3.
EATON’S METHOD
Dc or Shale resistivity
X
X
A
B
A
B
Depth

This method is used frequently and is adapted to the different parameters:

Shale resistivity:

D eqA = G S

(G S – D eqN ) *

Rsh O 1.2

Rsh N

With D eqN : Equilibrium density in B (= normal hydrostatic gradient)

 Rsh N : Theorical shale resistivity on normal trend (B) Rsh O : Observed value of shale resistivity (A)

G S : Overburden gradient observed at observed depth

D exponent:

D eqA = G S

(G S – D eqN ) *

Dc O

1.2

Dc N

With D eqN : Equilibrium density in B (= normal hydrostatic gradient)

 Dc N : Theorical Dc on normal trend (B) Dc O : Observed value of Dc (A)

G S : Overburden gradient observed at observed depth

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For conductivity and Sonic, the ratio is opposite (the trend of these

parameters is towards left):
Sonic or conductivity
X
X
B
A
B
A
Depth

Sonic:

 D eqA = G S – (G S – D eqN ) *  t N  3.0 t O 

With D eqN : Equilibrium density in B (= normal hydrostatic gradient)

t N

: Theorical transit time on normal trend (B)

t O : Observed value of transit time (A)

G S : Overburden gradient observed at observed depth

Conductivity:

D eqA = G S

(G S – D eqN ) *

C N

1.2

C O

With D eqN : Equilibrium density in B (= normal hydrostatic gradient)

C N

: Theorical conductivity on normal trend (B)

C O : Observed value of tranconductivity (A)

G S : Overburden gradient observed at observed depth

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Exercise 17:

Calculate Pf gradient with Eaton’s method:

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 Depth 2900 Overburden gradient 2.25 Normal gradient 1.05 Dc in A 1.3 Dcn in B 1.7 Pf Gradient from Dc Observed shale resistivity in A (Ohm.m) 0.68 Shale resistivity on normal trend in B (Ohm.m) 3.50 Pf Gradient from Shale resistivity Observed t sonic in A (sec/ft) 100 t sonic on normal trend in B (sec/ft) 80 Pf Gradient from t sonic
• 4.1.4. DIRECT OBSERVATION OF DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE

The following parameters can give a good indication of the differential

pressure: Gas (cf pump off gas), Mud losses (indicates that differential

pressure is too high), Kick (allows direct evaluation of Pf).

• 4.1.5. FORMATION TESTS

Give a direct evaluation of the Pf

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The formula for overburden pressure is (cf 1.1.2)

S

=

H * b

10

If we have an electric log for the formation density, we can use it to

calculate the overburden:

Depth
0
Formation density
3
100
Average density in
the interval
200
300
400
500
600

Then fill the following form to calculate the overburden at the end of each

depth interval:

Exercise 18:

 Interval Thickness Bulk Overburden Total Overburden bottom (m) density pressure in overburden gradient (m) (kg/l) the interval pressure (bar/10m) (bar) (bar) 150 1.06 150 S=150*1.06 15.9 G S = /10 = 15.9 15.9*10/150 = 1.06 400 1.70 250 S=250*1.70 15.9 + G S = /10 = 42.5 42.5 = 58.4*10/400 58.4 = 1.46 700 300 1.80 1070 370 1.89 182.3 1210 140 2.05 211.0 1400 190 2.02 249.4 JCD 11/2002 JCD 11/2002 -39-

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Plotting the overburden gradient versus depth gives a curve:

(bar/10m)
Depth

The equation of the curve is:

S = a (Ln(Depth)) 2 + bLn(depth) + c

The coefficients a, b and c are regional characteristics

If no density log is available, a ”hard formation” or a “soft formation” set

of coefficients a-b-c are used.

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• 4.3.1. APPLICATIONS

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 Determination of casing points
Pf
MW
FRAC (bar)
Previous casing shoe
Set casing shoe here when
Depth

Determination of maximum mud weight

Computation

of

MAASP

Pressure during a kick)

(Maximum

Allowable

Annulus

Surface

• 4.3.2. LEAK OFF TEST : L.O.T

Pump
in a well with
closed BOP’s
until the
pressure in the
well reaches
fracturation
pressure of the
formation

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The recording of the pump pressure gives the following curve:
Pressure
The pressure increases
until fracturation pressure
is reached
LOT
Pressure
Pumping
|
Stop pumping
Time

The Fracturation Pressure is:

P FRAC = P LOT + Mud Hydrostatic Pressure in the well

Exercise 19:

Calculate the FRAC (Fracturation gradient ) using the following data:

 Casing shoe vertical depth ( = LOT depth) (m) 1500 MW in hole (kg/l) 1.5 LOT pressure (bar) 25 Fracturation pressure (Bar) FRAC (bar/10m)

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S 1 (overburden)
The fracture plan is
perpendicular to the
weakest stress S
3
S
2
S
3
From Terzaghi equation, we know that: S = Pf + 

In the case of a fracturation, P FRAC = S 3

As it is impossible to know the value of 3, we assume that 3 = 1 multiplied

by a coefficient K (= Ratio of vertical to horizontal stress)

As we know S1 (Overburden), we just need to calculate K to know S 3 (and

automatically P FRAC ).

S 3 P FRAC

= P f + K* P f + K* S 1 - P f

And K =

P FRAC - P f

S 1 - P f

As we can calculate P FRAC every time we have a LOT, we can calculate K for

that depth!

Plotting K versus depth gives a curve which equation is :

Ln(K) = aLn(depth) + b

As per overburden, if no LOT is available, a ”hard formation” or a “soft

formation” set of coefficients a-b are used.

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EXERCISES CORRECTIONS

Exercise 1:

Multiply the bars by 14.4988 to get the psi. Divide the psi by 14.4988 to get the bars.

Exercise 2:

Use the formula Ph = H * d to get the Ph in bars

10

Use the formula Ph = d * H * 0.052 to get the Ph in psi

Exercise 3:

Weight of slug = slug volume * slug SG

Equivalent volume of mud = Weight of slug / MW

Extra volume = Equivalent volume of mud – Slug volume

Formula: Extra volume (metric) = Slug volume * (Slug SG 1)

MW

Pipe internal volume is useless , unless you want to calculate directly from the Ph !!:

Ph annulus

Void in pipes = Extra volume
Ph slug

Ph annulus = Ph slug

Height annulus = Ph slug * 10 / MW

Extra volume height = Height annulus – Slug height

Extra volume = Extra volume height * Pipe internal volume

Exercise 4:

Air gap in pipes is calculated by the formula (metric)

Air gap height = Slug height *(slug SG – MW)

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Exercise 5:

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Note that the Ph difference between A & B is the same than the Ph of the water

column AB.

Consequently, pressure in C is pressure in B minus the Ph of the column of

hydrocarbon

Exercise 6:

Use the following formula for both rigs:

MW equilibrium =

Pf * 10

H

Exercise 7:

• A. During a trip, the driller forgot to fill the hole and the mud level is lower than normal : calculate the Ph with the reduced column of mud:

Ph = (H - air gap) * MW

10

Then calculate the Equivalent MW = Ph * 10

H

• B. During a Leak Off Test : calculate the Ph and add the LOT pressure:

 Ph = H * MW + LOT Pressure 10 Then calculate the Equivalent MW = Ph * 10 H C. You start circulating, calculate the Ph and add the pressure losses (P): Ph = H * MW + P 10

Then calculate the Equivalent MW = Ph * 10

Exercise 8:

H

For 1 m, the pressure increment is

For 10m, we get G = MW

P = H * MW =

10

1 * MW

= 0.1 * MW

10

Exercise 9:

Change of bit type: if you run an unsuitable bit (ie a “hard bit” to drill soft

shale), you may have to shift towards right.

Change of bit diameter: after a casing you will have to make a shift

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  Drastic modification of the drilling parameters: the parameters should be optimised, Dexponent will not “correct” bad drilling parameters.  Bad hydraulics: the mud weight should not be too high.  Geological unconformity: two different states of compaction are in contact.  Deviated well: the WOB recorded is not the actual WOB at bottom (slack off). Exercise 10:  Torque  : The swelling of clay cause a decrease in hole diameter, accumulation of large cuttings or caving on the bit and stabilizers, all these problems are linked to negative differential pressure(MW too low).  Overpull and drag  : for the same reason that causes the torque to go up.  Hole filling  : Caving may fill the hole during tripping.  Pit level  : in case of kick  Differential flow  : in case of kick  Pump pressure  : in case of kick, the annulus is filled with mud and light

fluid (ie gas), so the pressure losses in the annulus will be less than with a

complete column of mud.

Exercise 11:

Shale resistivity : The undercompacted shale contains more salted water , as

salted water has a good electrical conductivity and so the resistivity decreases !

Exercise 12:

Mud Weight : An influx with salted water will make the mud density decrease.

Mud temperature

: The formation temperature gradient will increase in an

undercompacted zone.

Measuring mud temperature does not give a precise idea of the formation

temperature as all actions at surface (new mud, water

adding, mixing, trips) will modify the mud temperature. Remember also

that the mud has a cooling effect on the bit!

Mud resistivity : An influx with salted water has a good electrical conductivity

and so the resistivity decreases !

Exercise 13:

 Sonic:  Resistivity:  Gamma ray: sometimes , but interpretation doubtful Spontaneous potential Conductivity Caliper may show a shrinkage of the well diameter Density log:  JCD 11/2002 JCD 11/2002 -46-

Neutron log:

Exercise 14:

 H A * D eqA = H B * D eqB + (G SA * H A – G SB * H B ) 10 10 10 10 H A * D eqA = H B * D eqB + (G SA * H A – G SB * H B ) D eqA = H B * D eqB + G SA * H A – G SB * H B H A D eqA = G SA * H A + H B * D eqB - G SB * H B H A H A H A D eqA = G SA + H B * D eqB - G SB * H B H A H A D eqA = G SA – H B * (G SB – D eqB ) H A Exercise 19: P FRAC = P LOT + MW * H 10 FRAC = P FRAC * 10 H JCD 11/2002 JCD 11/2002 -47-

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