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GeoPressure Evaluation

updated July 8, 2004

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Introduction (1)

The purpose of this presentation is to help you to understand the


basic knowledge of Geopressure and specially to evaluate and quantify
them while drilling.

By Geopressure we intend :
n Normal Hydrostatic Pressure
n Geostatic Pressure
n Formation Pressure
n Fracture Pressure

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Introduction (2)

n The chapter 1 of this presentation will describe the basic concepts


necessary to understand the various quantities and the related
terminology.
n The chapter 2 will illustrate the principal origins of the Overpressure
phenomenon.
n The chapter 3 will describe in detail the indicators, methodologies
and algorithms applied in the right sequence, in order to detect and
quantify Overpressure, during a drilling operation.

nb : 1. all methodologies / algorithms described here belong to public domain


2. some of the material reported is refered to Abnormal pressures while
drilling (Mouchet & Mitchell – ELF – 1989)

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Introduction (3)

Formation Pressure, also called Pore Pressure, is the Pressure applied on


the fluid contained in the pore spaces of the sediment.
When a well is drilled through a sedimentary basin, the Formation Pressure
encountered might be normal, or abnormal (lower than normal or higher
than normal).

Abnormally High Formation Pressure (Overpressure) are sometimes


undesirable, since they are often unpredictable or inquantificable.
Exploration drilling may sustain heavy losses in both human and financial
terms because of incomplete knowledge of Formation Pressure.

Overpressures are hydrodynamic phenomena in which time (at geological


scale) takes a major role, and have many origins (some of them are directly
detectable while drilling, some of them ARE NOT directly detectable…)

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1. Basic Concepts

Pressure (Stress) Fracture Pressure


Pressure Gradient Matrix Stress Coefficient

Measurement Units Sealing strata

Pressure Equations Tansition Zone

Normal Hydrostatic Pressure Other Definitions

Geostatic Pressure Benefits to know Geopressures

Porosity Conclusion

Normal Compaction trend

Formation Pressure

Terzaghi Equation (1948)

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Pressure (Stress)

Relationship between Hydrostatic Pressure and Fluid Density :


P=d*H*g
P is the Pressure exercised by the weight of a static column of Fluid (Pa)
d is the average Density of the Fluid (kg/m3)
g is the acceleration due to gravity (9.81 m/s2 on the Earth)
H is the vertical height of the static column of Fluid

Consequently Pressure Gradient is defined as follows :


Pg = P / H from (P = Pg * H )
P is the Pressure exercised by the weight of a static column of Fluid (Pa)
Pg is the Pressure Gradient of the Fluid (N/m3)
H is the vertical height of the static column of Fluid (m)
Pressure Gradient is the variation of Hydrostatic Pressure per unit of height

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Pressure Gradient

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Measurement Units

Pressure : kg/cm2 (metric)


psi (API)
Pa or N/m2 (SI)
Pressure Gradient : kg/cm2/10m equivalent to kg/l or g/cc (sg) (metric)
psi/ft (API)
lbf/gal (API)
ppg equivalent to lbf/gal (API)
N/m3 or Pa/m (SI)
Fluid Density : kg/l or g/l or g/cc (metric)
lb/gal = ppg (API)
kg/m3 (SI)

Try to be coherent with the choice of measurement units : always express


Pressure Gradients in the same units than Fluid / Rock Densities or Weights.

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Pressure Equations

Standard Equations For Hydrostatic Pressure :

P = d * H / 10 (metric)
P expressed in kg/cm2
d expressed in kg/l
H expressed in m

P = d * H * 0.0519 (API)
P expressed in psi
d expressed in ppg
H expressed in ft

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Normal Hydrostatic Pressure

Is the Pressure exercised by the weight of the column of (original deposit)


water saturating the pores of the Formation (the pores are connected with the
atmosphere).
Water Density is a function of dissolved solids usually expressed as Salinity.

Water type Salinity NaCl (mg/l) Density (kg/l) Density (ppg)


Fresh Water 0 to 1500 1.00 8.34
North Sea 30000 1.02 8.51
Italy 45000 1.03 8.60
Gulf Coast 105000 1.07 8.95
Barents Sea 117000 1.07 9.00
Saturated 318000 1.20 10.01

The Normal Hydrostatic Gradient due to those waters can be expressed as


their Equivalent Fluid Weight (EMW) / Density.

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Geostatic Pressure

Is the Pressure exercised by the weight of the column of all overlying


sediments including sea water, rock matrix and pore fluid.
The Geostatic Pressure can be also called as Vertical Stress, Lithostatic
Pressure or Overburden.

from TOTAL

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Geostatic Pressure

from TOTAL

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Geostatic Pressure

It can be expressed as : Gp = daf * H * g


Where daf is the Average Formation Density, H the height of the column of
overlying sediments and g the acceleration of the gravity.

The Average Formation Density of a sediment (Bulk Density) is a function of


its Rock Matrix Density, its Porosity and its Fluid (contained in its pores)
Density.
The Average Formation Density can be expressed as :
daf = ? * df + (1 - ? ) * dm
Where ? is the Porosity of the Formation (from 0 to 1), df is its Pore Fluid
Density and dm is its Rock Matrix Density.

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Porosity of Clay

Sediment Porosity decreases under the effect of burial (compaction) and is


proportional to the increase in Geostatic Pressure.
For a specific rock, a decrease of Porosity with depth is necessarily
accompanied by an increase of Formation Density.
This fundamental feature will give us some of the tools necessary to detect
Abnormal High Formation Pressure.

1. Clay : the reduction in Porosity is essentially dependent on the Geost atic


Pressure and varies as an exponential function of the depth according to
the following equation : Ø=0.41e-0.000085D where D is the depth of the
sediment expressed in feet.
A peculiar Carbonate is Chalk (clastic sediment) which behaves like Clay
for what concerns compaction.

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Porosity / Density of Clay

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Porosity / Density (Other Rocks)

2. Sandstones, Carbonates and other : the reduction in Porosity is a


function of many parameters other than compaction, such as diagenetic
effects, original composition, sorting and so on…

In this case the measurement of the density can be performed as follows :


n Directly by weighing the specific cuttings (complicate and not very
reliable)
n Directly by an FDC log, using a radio-active source and not very accurate
in case of heterogeneous formations
n Using Amoco equation : δ = 16.3 + ((Tvd – Wd – Ag)/3125))^0.6
n Using the Sonic log and applying either :
n Gardner equation : δ = 0.23 * (10^6 / ∆tlog)^0.25
n Agip equations :

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Normal Compaction Trend

On a porosity log (Sonic, Resistivity, Normalized ROP), plotted on a semi-


logarithmic scale, the Normal Compaction Trend is the line reflecting the normal
and gradual decline of the porosity of Clay/Shale formations as a consequence of
the increase in the Geostatic stress.
Any deviation from this line will reveal a status of over -compaction or under-
compaction (Overpressure).
Continuous Compaction trend assumes a constant and uninterrupted
compaction history; that becomes unreliable when the well crosses
stratigraphical or structural boundaries, or when hiatus / uplift has occurred
during sedimentation history (sedimentological / stratigraphical discontinuities)
which cannot be easily individualized on rig site.
A good way to obtain an idea of the Normal Compaction Trend is to make a linear
regression on the surficial portion of the well.

Maximum care should be given in the recognition of the NCT; in effect, the
determination of the Formation Pressure Gradient depends upon th e position
(slope and intercept) of the NCT.

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Normal Compaction Trend

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Normal Compaction Trend

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Normal Compaction Trend

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Formation Pressure

Formation Pressure, also called Pore Pressure, is the Pressure of the fluid
contained in the pore spaces of the sediment. In a sedimentary basin three
categories of Formation Pressure can be encountered :

n Negative pressure anomaly (subnormal pressure) is below the NHP


n Normal pressure : Formation Pressure is equal to the NHP
n Positive pressure anomaly (overpressure) is higher than the NHP and
usually limited by the Geostatic Pressure

One of the main duty of a Surface Logging Company is to detect w hen The
Formation Pressure is positively Abnormal and what is the entity of this
anomaly.

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Formation Pressure

from TOTAL

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Terzaghi Equation (Effective Stress)

The Compaction Stress (Effective Stress)


is the difference between the Vertical
Stress (Geostatic Pressure) and the Effective Stress
Formation Pressure :
Es = Vs – Fp

In other words : Gp = Es + Fp
or S = s + Fp
Fluid supports
All models described later compute the ONLY fluid
Effective Stress, Es, as function of rock
porosity. Fluid supports
fluid + matrix

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Fracture Pressure

Fracture Pressure is the Pressure necessary to fracture the formation.


This Pressure is a function of the Geostatic Pressure, the Formation
Pressure and the mechanical behavior of the rock matrix of the formation (K
coefficient).
The general and empirical formulae for Fracture Pressure is :

Fp = Pp + K * (Gp - Pp)

It depends also upon :


n The various stresses present in the well bore
n The hole geometry and orientation (FpVert >> FpHoriz)
n FpONshore >> FpOffshore

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Matrix Stress Coefficient

The matrix stress coefficient reflects the mechanical behaviour of the


rock matrix of the formation and is a function of Poisson Ratio (µ) :
K = µ / (1 - µ) with 0.33 < µ < 0.45

Generally a rock can be un-cemented (Sand, Silt...), elastic (Carbonates,


Shale, Sandstones...) or plastic (Evaporites, Clay...) and recommended
values for K are the following :
n 0.50 for loose and unconsolidated Formations like Sands
or surficial intervals of off-shore wells
n 0.67 for Elastic Formations (Shales, Sandstones, Carbonates)
n 0.75 for Elastic and deep Formations (Carbonates –
Sandstones)
n 1.00 for Plastic Formations (Clays, Evaporites)
n Default value for K is 0.67

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LOT / FIT

After a casing is cemented it is mandatory to perform a FORMATION


INTEGRITY TEST OR A LEAK OFF TEST to determine the Fracture
Pressure of the formation.
Usually the Leak Off Test is conducted immediately after drilling below a
new casing shoe.
During the test, the well is shut in and fluid is slowly pumped into the well
bore to gradually increase the pressure that the formation experiences.
At some pressure, fluid will enter inside the formation, or leak off, and the
pressure starts to decrease.

The fracture pressure will be the sum of the hydrostatic pressur e at the
last casing shoe plus the leak off test pressure.

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LOT / FIT

10

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LOT / FIT

from TOTAL

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Sealing Strata (Cap Rock)

A seal is a layer of particular rock (having almost no porosity and a null


permeability) which will isolate completely the overlying sedime nts from the
underlying sediments.
In this way the fluid expulsion of the underlying sediment will be extremely
reduced and a phenomenon of under-compaction will occur below the
sealing strata, even if the thickness of the seal is not high (f ew meters are
sufficient to create a good seal).
Plastic rocks like Evaporites (Anhydrite, Gypsum, Halite) or Plastic Clay, are
perfect examples of sealing rocks.
Also, due to their inherent plasticity those rocks have a high degree of
mobility and cannot be easily fractured by tectonic stresses and any
drainage of pore fluid through fractures will be very difficult.

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Sealing Strata (Cap Rock)

Clay
Clay

Clay

Zone of higher pressure and permeability

Evaporite, Plastic Clay deposit acting as a seal

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Transition Zone

A transition zone is a very thick layer of Clay / Shale / Chalk where the
porosity and permeability will decrease slowly with the depth in function of
the Geostatic Stress until a kind of seal will be created.
The lower part of the transition zone will have almost a null permeability
and the pore fluid expulsion will not be possible anymore, generating an
under-compaction phenomenon with consequential overpressure in the
underlying sediments.
In Po Valley for instance, the very thick Formation (Marne di Gallare) is an
excellent transition zone isolating the underlying Sandstones of the
Gonfolite and the Carbonates of Scaglia and Maiolica (Pore Gradient near
by 2.2 kg/cm2/10m).

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Other Definitions

Equivalent Mud Weight, EMW :


Pressure Gradients quoted, for convenience in same units as mud weight or
mud density : kg/l, g/cc, ppg, lbf/gal…

Effective Circulating Density, ECD :


Mud Weight + Additional effect of overcoming frictional forces in borehole
during circulating : same units as above

Differential pressure : Over-balance/Under-balance :


Relationship between Mud Density, ECD and Pore gradient :
• under-balance if MWI < Pg (differential pressure is negative); beneficial for
rop and shows but dangerous and very specific
• over-balance if MWI > Pg (differential pressure is positive; decreases rop
and shows but safe and almost always used
• balance if MWI = Pg (differential pressure is null)

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Geopressure knowledge before / while drilling

Before Drilling : is necessary for a good planning of the drilling operation :


n Rig characteristics
n Casing design : shoes and dimensions (diameter, thickness and steel
grade)
n Mud design : density and chemical / rheological properties
n Choke margin : in case of blow-out

While Drilling : is fundamental for a safe and efficient drilling operation


suitable to reach the target :
n Ensure adequate mud properties to avoid : blow-out, losses, over-pull,
stuck pipes, cavings, bad rop due to overbalance…
n Change the planned casing shoe in function of unplanned Overpr essure or
Normal Pressure
n Calculate a valid Fracture Gradient (choke margin in case of kick)

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Conclusion Chapter 1

Geopressure Monitoring and Evaluation is one of the first duty of a


Surface Logging Company.

The priority to give to Overpressure Detection while drilling is absolute


because of the tremendous impact of uncontrolled blow-
blow-out (eruptions)
on persons, environment, equipment and reservoirs…

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2. Origin of Abnormal Pressures

Stress related origin (fluid compression)

Thermal origin (fluid volume expansion)


expansion )

Chemical origin (fluid volume expansion)

Dynamic Transfer (various effects)

Miscellanea (various effects)

Conclusion

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2. Origin of Abnormal Pressures

Stress related origin (fluid compression)


n Compaction Disequilibrium (Geostatic Pressure effect)
n Diagenesis with pore volume reduction
n Tectonic compression

Thermal origin (fluid volume expansion)


n Aqua-thermal pressuring
n Hydrocarbon generation / transformation

Chemical origin (fluid volume expansion)


n Clay and Sulfates diagenesis

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2. Origin of Abnormal Pressures

Dynamic transfer

n Vertical and Lateral transfers (Paleopressures)

Miscellanea
n Osmosis
n Evaporites Deposit
n Hydrocarbon Column
n Permafrost

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Stress related origin (fluid compression) 1

Compaction Disequilibrium (Geostatic Pressure effect) :

The principle behind the Geostatic Stress effect, arises from the balance
between the Geostatic Stress itself and the ability of a given formation
(mainly Argillaceous formation) to expel water contained inside its pores,
while the sediment is buried.

When sediments compact normally, their porosity is reduced at the same


time as pore fluid is expelled. At the sediment sea -water interface, the
porosity of the Argillaceous formation is up to 80%, but decreases rapidly
during the first 1000 meters (10 to 20%). Reduction in porosity becomes
more gradual at greater depths.
During burial, the increasing Geostatic Pressure is the prime cause of fluid
expulsion and if sedimentation is slow, normal compaction occurs as the
result of an overall equilibrium between the Clay permeability, the
sedimentation / burial rate and the drainage efficiency.

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Stress related origin (fluid compression) 2

Compaction Disequilibrium (Geostatic Pressure effect) :

If the sedimentation rate exceeds the equilibrium condition, Por e Pressure


will increase as a consequence.
Very often, the sedimentation rate exceeds the dewatering equilibrium,
specially in recent deltaic formations and overpressures will be very
frequent in those formations.
Also, thick layers of Clay where draining strata of Sand or Silt are absent
will increase the probability of overpressures.
Permeability barriers due to Evaporites deposits, tectonic phenomena, will
also increase the probability of overpressure.

Pore Pressure intensity is dependent on subsidence rate and dewatering


efficiency

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Stress related origin (fluid compression) 3

Compaction Disequilibrium (Geostatic Pressure effect) :

Gs = Pp + Es (Terzaghi equation)

Case 1 : normal pressure (pore fluid can expel due to sufficient drainage)
n The pore fluid will support only the overlying fluid column and the pore
gradient will be equal to the fluid density (Normal Hydrostatic Gradient).
n The Effective Stress will be equal to the Rock Matrix pressure.

Case 2 : overpressure (pore fluid cannot expel due to permeability barriers)


n The pore fluid will support a part of the Rock Matrix pressure and the pore
gradient will be higher than the fluid density.
n The Effective Stress will be less than the Rock Matrix pressure.

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Stress related origin (fluid compression) 4

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Stress related origin (fluid compression) 5

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Stress related origin (fluid compression) 6

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Stress related origin (fluid compression) 7

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Stress related origin (Chalk Diagenesis)
Diagenesis with pore volume reduction :
Carbonate precipitation.
By virtue of their texture, Carbonates do
not generally undergo the effects of under -
compaction like Clay and Shales. Chalk is
an exception and behaves rather like Clay
with respect to porosity reduction and
water expulsion during the burial. Their
initial porosity is around 70% and
decreases between 5 to 10% at 3000m.
When porosity declines to a level of 35% or
less, the mechanical compaction is
replaced by chemical compaction; CaCO3
is precipitated in the pore spaces with the
result that porosity and permeability are
diminished.
Because of their low permeability, thick
Chalk deposits may develop under -
compaction and show unusual high
porosity and very low permeability (North
Sea and Gulf Coast).

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Stress related origin (tectonic compression)

In general, where deformations occur due to tectonic stress, they cause


modifications in fluid pressure and in the distribution of masses. In this
case , sediments are subjected not only to the Geostatic Stress but also to
tectonic stress. If fluids are not able to escape, under-compaction
phenomenon will occur.
Also, tectonic action can set up stresses so rapidly (at the con trary of a
normal burial effect) that the fluid expulsion is hampered, generating severe
overpressure.

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Thermal origin (Aqua Thermal Pressuring)

Aqua thermal Pressuring :


It is a consequence of the expansion of water due to thermal eff ects in a
closed environment.
Conditions :
n The environment is completely isolated
n The pore volume is constant
n The rise in temperature takes place after the environment is isolated

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Thermal origin (Hydrocarbons Generation)

At shallow depths, organic matter contained in the sediments is broken


down by bacterial action, generating biogenic methane. In a closed
environment the resulting expansion can lead to overpressure (tr apped gas
pocket at very shallow depth).
With increase of depth, bacterial activity decreases, giving way to thermo-
chemical cracking (transformation of heavy product to a lighter one under
the influence of high temperature).
The cracking process creates hydrocarbons from organic matter and also
produces light hydrocarbons from heavy one. The transformation increases
the total volume of molecules, and therefore the volume they occupy. If this
phenomenon occurs in a closed environment, it can cause pressure to rise
and consequently Overpressure.

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Chemical origin (Clay / Sulfates Diagenesis)

Clay transformation and de-watering during the diagenesis with


consequential increase in pore water volume causes overpressure
phenomenon.
Pyrophyllite, Kaolinite, two fundamental Clay minerals can be transformed
into Montmorillonite (Smectite family) after the substitution of Si4+ cations by
Al3+ cathions. This substitution will create a negative electrical charge
compensated by the absorption of interlayer water.
Further substitution will lead Montmorillonite to release the interlayer water
(temperature, ionic activity and pressure) and to gradually change to another
mineral : Illite (Mica family).

Gypsum (CaSO4, 2H2O) is the only precipitated form of Calcium sulfate in a


sedimentation process.
The transformation of Gypsum into Anhydrite (CaSO4) occurs at a very early
stage of the burial history and 38% of water (original volume) is released.
Overpressure may therefore develop if the water cannot be expelled.

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Dynamic transfer

Vertical / Lateral transfer : Faults, Fractures, Shale or Salt Diapirs, poor


drilling practices :

The effect which faults and fractures have on the fluid pressure distribution
depends on many factors :
n Whether they form an effective seal or act as a drain
n How they displace (uplift) reservoirs and sealing strata (see next slide)
n The original distribution of sealing and reservoir sequences

Fractures, normally act as a drain (except for the Evaporites which are self-
repairing) until the mineralization will seal them.

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Dynamic transfer ( Paleopressures)

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Dynamic transfer ( Paleopressures)

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Dynamic transfer ( Paleopressures)

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Dynamic transfer ( Diapirism)

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Miscellanea (Osmosis)

Is the spontaneous movement of


water through a semi-permeable
membrane separating two solutions
of differing salinities / densities untill
the concentration of both solutions
becomes equal.
A Clay layer between two reservoirs
with formation water of differing
salinity can become a semi-
permeable membrane causing an
Osmosis phenomenon.
In a closed environment, Osmosis
will create an increase of fluid
pressure in the reservoir containing
high salinity water.

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Miscellanea (Hydrocarbon Column)

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Miscellanea (Hydrocarbon Column)

Within a (sealed) Hydrocarbon bearing reservoir (water + gas), the fluid


columns create a pressure anomaly : the force that the water exerts on the
hydrocarbons interface due to buoyancy is a function of difference in
densities between water and gas.
The pressure at the top of the reservoir (hydrocarbon column) is :
P = d * H/10 + h/ 10 * (d – dhc) (P in kg/cm2)
Where H is the height of the top of reservoir
h is the height of hydrocarbon column (m)
d is the density of water (sg)
dhc is the density of the hydrocarbon (0.25 sg fo gas and +/- 0.8 sg
for oil)

Note that the anomaly due to the buoyancy of the trapped gas is sufficient
to create a severe kick when entering inside the reservoir…!!!

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Miscellanea (Evaporites - Permafrost)

n Evaporites Deposit :
They can have a passive role in the process of overpressure, being totally
impermeable and consequently being a perfect sealing strata.

n Permafrost :
In permafrost regions, pockets of ground can exist in an unfrozen state
(Talik).
If the talik freezes (with increase of volume), the ice of the surrounding
permafrost (impermeable) will impede volume expansion and encourage
overpressure.

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Conclusion Chapter 2

Overpressures are mainly due to the Compaction Desequilibrium in Clay intervals


(Geostatic Stress effect).

Tectonic phenomena (specially diapirism of Shale or Halite) are also very


frequent and very difficult to detect; consequently they are potentially
pot entially extremely
dangerous.

All the other causes are rare and localised


localised,, due to the very specific factors
connected to them.

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3. What to do on rig site to detect & quantify Overpressures

With the drilling program given by the Operator, the Surface Logging
Engineer will have a general idea of :
n Geopressure Gradients and consequently Casing and Mud program
n Geology (lithology, stratigraphy, tectonic…)
n Eventual difficulties planned

In case of pure exploration well (wildcat), those information will be very


hypothetical; in effect, without a close off-set well, adequate for good
correlations, the only data available are the Regional Geology and some
remote (may be) Seismic data…
Consequently, while drilling, it will be necessary to use efficiently any kind
of Overpressure Indicators available.

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General Rule

In a "quiet" drilling environment, all curves monitored should follow a


smooth behavior, without sudden discontinuity or drastic change in their
general trend ( ROP, WOB, RPM, TORQUE, GAS…)
Overpressures (either light or high) encountered in underbalance
conditions will create sudden and sometimes drastic variations in many
parameters.
This does not mean that any behavior variation of the drilling environment
is due to Overpressure, but there is a good probability to think about
Overpressures and to be just all right…

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Drilling Environment

quiet

discontinuity

quiet

discontinuity

quiet

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Principal Indicators of Overpressure

Indicators linked with Rock porosity

Indicators linked with shrinking / collapse

Indicators linked with Pore Fluid Invasion

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity

Rate of Penetration (ROP)

Clay / Shale Density

D Exponent Corrected

Agip SigmaLog

Acoustic wave Transit time (Sonic Seismic)

Resistivity / Conductivity

Cap Rock (sealing strata)

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (ROP)

Normally with the increasing depth, the rate of penetration, ROP will have
the tendency to decrease, as a consequence of the natural decrease of the
porosity of the formation drilled.
So if ROP suddenly increases (drilling break), without changing the drilling
parameters (WOB & RPM) this feature will be THE FIRST VALID ALARM.

ROP should be always correlated with :


n Lithology : change of lithotype or change in the hardness (not porosity)
of the same lithotype will change ROP as well.
n Drilling parameters : WOB, RPM and HSI have a DIRECT influence on
ROP.
n Drilling bit : adequacy, reduced parameters at the beginning of the run,
suitable parameters and wear conditions can alterate ROP.
n Mud density : overbalance condition will also have negative influence on
ROP.
n Deviation conditions : severe dog-leg, or key-seating will obviously
reduce ROP.

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (ROP)

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (Bulk Density)

overcompaction

undercompaction

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (Clay / Shale Density)

Normally with the increasing depth, Clay density will have the tendency to
increase, as a consequence of the natural decrease of the porosity of the
formation drilled.
This measurement of Clay density is very delicate and difficult to perform
on rig site :
n Distinction between cavings and real drilled formation
n Choice of Clay particles among other particles
n Possible variation of the Clay lithological type
n Dynamic of the measurement : drying of sample and physical
manipulations
Those factors make this analysis very hypothetical and many Oil
Companies do not require the Clay density measurement on rig sit e.

Bulk density can be either directly measured with wireline logs or


calculated from Sonic log. Unfortunately the log is available (unless a rt
sonic log is performed) only at the end of the drilling phase.

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

Among various ways to "normalize" the ROP (neutralize the effect of the
drilling parameters), in 1966 Jorden & Shirley (Shell) developed the D
Exponent formulae deriving from the Bingham general equation :
R/N = a * (W/D)^d
The value obtained should be representative of the value the Roc k Strength
Parameter (inverse of drillability).
d = log (R/60N) / log (12W/D10^6)
where R is ROP (ft/hr), N is RPM, W is WOB (lb) and D is bit diameter (in)

In order to take into account the differential pressure effect d is corrected


as follows :
dc = d * NHG / dm
where NHG is the Normal Hydrostatic Gradient and dm is the mud density.

Rather than the mud density, the ECD should be used in this formulae. In effect,
while drilling, the dynamic density of the mud is higher than it s static one.

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

Dexp Accuracy

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

Normally with the increasing depth, D


Exponent will have the tendency to
increase following a normal compaction
trend, as a consequence of the natural Transition Zone
decrease of the porosity of the formation Transition Zone
drilled.
When D Exponent is stable (vertical), this Overpressure
means that a Transition zone is drilled.
When D Exponent decreases this means Overpressure
that Overpressure is developing rapidly.

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

Influence of bits and mud

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

Influence of lithology

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

General rules to work with D Exponent :

n calculate it with the same frequency


than the drilling parameters ( 0.25 m or 1
foot) using ECD rather than MWI (if
available).

n plot it on a semi-logarithmic scale to


neutralize the exponential shape of the
normal compaction trend (rock porosity
in normal conditions) and versus the TVD
(hydrostatic pressures are function of
height).

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

At left : D Exponent Raw calculated each foot


At right : D Exponent after cut-
cut - off and shift

General rules to work with


D Exponent :

n neutralize big discontinuities by


shifting portions of curve to "align"
the global curve

n cut-off from the original curve, all


portions of extreme values

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

At left : D Exponent after average 5 (red)


At right : D Exponent after moving weighted average (11 2.5)

General rules to work with


D Exponent :

n average the curve on 5 meters


(or equivalent 15 ft) intervals to
neutralise rumors (peaks)

n use a moving weighted


average algorithm to smooth the
curve

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

General rules to work with D Exponent :

n remove all points not corresponding to Clay/Shale layers


n draw a normal compaction trend line starting from surface and taking into
account ONLY Clay/Shale layers (use a large scale to do so : at least
1/10000)
n do not take into account the superficial part of the well (until 700 / 800m)
which is often not normally compacted.

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

Finally the D Exponent curve is ready to be Normal Compaction


interpreted : it is continuous and smooth. Trend

A linear regression (red line) has been


calculated from top to 5800ft to give an idea
of the shape of the Normal Compaction
Trend.
Transition Zone
Top of Overpressure is located at about
6000ft, followed by a Transition zone (8000ft)
and a Overpressure zone (9000ft). Overpressure

Applying Eaton or Equivalent Depth


Methods, it will be possible to calculate the
Pore Gradient.

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

Eaton Method :

Pg = Gg - (Gg - Nhg) * (Dex0bs / DexNor)^1.2

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (D Exponent)

Equivalent Depth Method :

EStress @ depth = EStress @ EquivDepth

Pp @ Depth = Gp - EStress @ EquivDepth

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (Agip SigmaLog)

Taking D Exponent as origin, Agip developed since 1974, a new Rock Strength
Parameter called Sigma_0.
The curve obtained with Sigma_0 is very similar to D Exponent, b ut the calculation of
Pore Gradient is quite different.

Sigma_T = W^0.5 * N^0.25 / D / R^0.25 + 0.028 * (7 - TVD/1000) where R is ROP (m/hr), N


is RPM, W is WOB (t), D is bit diameter (in) and TVD is true vertical depth (m)
if Sigma_T <= 1 then O = 3.25 / 640 / Sigma_T
if Sigma_T > 1 then O = (4 - 0.75/Sigma_T) / 640
deltaP = (MWI - NHG) * TVD / 10

Sigma_0 = (1 - ((1 + O^2 * deltaP^2)^0.5 - 1) / O / P) * Sigma_T


C = (0.0000088 * TVD + b) / Sigma_T (normal compaction trend with a fixed slope)

Pg = MWI - (20 * (1 - C) / TVD / O / C / (2 - C))

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (Agip SigmaLog)

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (Sonic)

The sonic log is unfortunately available only


at the end of the drilling phase. It measures
the transit time necessary for the acoustic
wave to cross vertically the formation in the
vicinity of the borehole.
Like all indicators related to porosity, transit
Normal Compaction
time will decrease gradually with the natural Trend
decrease of the porosity, until an under -
compacted zone will be encountered. In this
case the porosity will not decrease gradually
but remains stable or even increase and the Transition Zone
transit time will increase as well,
consequently to the higher volume of pore
fluid to cross.
?t in water = 170 to 200 µs/ft
Overpressure
?t in Clay = 40 to 55 µs/ft
?t in Dolomite = 38 to 45 µs/ft
?t in Salt = 67 µs/ft ?t in Steel = 58 µs/ft

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (Resistivity)

Like Sonic log and Density log, Resistivity log is unfortunately available only at the end
of the drilling phase and is suitable ONLY if applied to Shale resistivity.
A Shale rock matrix has very high resistivity depending on its porosity, the nature of
fluid contained in its pores and the dissolved salt content.
Inside normal compacted Shale formation, resistivity will increase as the consequence
of the natural decrease of porosity.
Inside under-compacted Shale, resistivity will decrease (conductivity will in crease) as
the consequence of the relative increase of porosity (more pore fluid with high
conductivity).
This is one of the oldest method for Overpressure detection but it can give wrong
indications because :
n Affected by Temperature
n Affected by Salinity Changes
n Drilling in Proximity of Salt is Problematic

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Indicators linked with Rock Porosity (sealing strata)

A seal is a layer of particular rock


(having almost no porosity and a null
permeability) which will isolate
completely the overlying sediments
from the underlying sediments. It is
very probable that below the seal,
formations will be over-pressured. So
indirectly, the seal individualization will
help to detect Over-pressured zones.
Characteristics of sealing rocks are
their high strength (no porosity) and
they will be drilled with more
difficulties : rop will decrease and D
Exponent will increase.
See example on the right ( Messinian
Evaporites in Po Valley).

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Indicators linked with Borehole Shrinking / Collapse

Torque

Overpull / Drag

Stuck pipes

Cavings (shape and volume)

Fill / Reaming

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Indicators linked with Borehole Shrinking / Collapse : Torque

Torque at bit measures the energy needed to rotate drill-string and to break down the
Rock. With depth increase, Torque will increase gradually as a consequence of the
difficulty to rotate the drill-string. So a gradual increase of Torque will NOT be
considered as an Overpressure indicator, but casual and high Tor que values (peaks)
will always indicate some anomaly in the drilling process :
n bit worn out (may be with a cone blocked)
n bit in good shape but not adequate to the formation
n steel at bottom (mainly from bit : tooth, bearings)
n drill string too much stabilized
n drilling parameters not proper to bit and formation
n high deviation (dog-leg or key seating)
n overpressure with borehole shrinking due to under -balance conditions
(next slide)

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Indicators linked with Borehole Shrinking / Collapse

While drilling an Over-pressured zone in Argillaceous formation,


with a negative differential pressure (under -balance), hole wall
may start to slough around the drill-string and cavings will build
up on stabilizers and fall to bottom on the bit, increasing Torque
abnormally.
At the shakers, the volume of cuttings will be higher than the
proper volume.

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Indicators linked with Borehole Shrinking / Collapse

While trippinp up in this situation, cavings accumulation on


the bit and stabilizers, and also the hole generally shrinking
above will have the effect to hamper the drill string movement
and the force necessary to move up the drill string will be
higher than its weight (Overpull phenomenon leading to Stuck
pipes if no movement is possible anymore).

Caution : a phenomenon of local hole Collapse can occur in


such situation, but it is rare.
Also, pipes can be stuck due to differential sticking
(overbalance condition, high filtrate and permeable formation)
and Overpressure are not responsible in this case.

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Indicators linked with Borehole Shrinking / Collapse

While trippinp down in this situation, the


weight of the drill string will be less than its
weight because of the friction of bit and
stabilizers on the bore hole of reduced
diameter (Drag phenomenon)
Also, cavings accumulation at the bottom
hole will fill the hole and it will be necessary
to Ream to reach the true bottom hole.

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Indicators linked with Borehole Shrinking / Collapse : Cavings

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

Mud Density

Mud Salinity

Gas shows

Gas Composition

Kicks

Pit levels – Flow – Differential flow –


Pump pressure – Hole filling

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

Mud Density

A decrease in the Mud Dout (Mud Din is constant) may be due to :


1. expansion of gas released by drilling of formation
2. kick of hydrocarbon gas or water due to swabbing effect
3. kick of hydrocarbon gas or water due to Overpressure
4. formation gas diffusion in the mud and expansion (under-
balance condition)
5. bubble of air after tripping or connection

Only points 3 & 4 are valid indicators of Overpressure.

Mud is the vehicle between bottom and surface. A variation in the Mud
Density out, keeping constant Mud Density in, is in anycase an indicator of
anomaly of the drilling context and must be considered as a SEVERE
WARNING_____!!!!!

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

Mud Salinity / Resistivity

A variation of the Mud salinity measured through its resistivity can be due to :
1. kick of salt water due to swabbing effect
2. kick of salt water due to Overpressure
3. formation salt water diffusion in the mud (under -balance condition)
4. drilling of salt formation (Halite)

Again, only points 2 & 3 are valid indicators of Overpressure, but like for Mud
density, casual variation of mud salinity MUST BE CONSIDERED AS SEVERE
WARNINGS.

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

Hydrocarbon Gas shows :

Gas shows can be categorized according to sources as follows :


n Drilling gas (Cutting gas) : released by the drilled
porous formation
n Produced gas : influx from formation
n Recycled gas : from mud not completely degassed
n Contamination gas : from mud products or from
Lignite

The quantity of gas measured at the surface depends on :


n Hydrocarbon content of formation drilled
n Petrophysical properties of formation drilled (porosity,
permeability)
n Volume of rock drilled
n Differential pressure
n Mud flow
n Mud characteristics : type, rheology, temperature...
n Measuring equipment : degasser, lines, analyzers...

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

Hydrocarbon Gas shows :

The quantity of gas measured at the surface depends on :


n Hydrocarbon content of formation drilled
n Petrophysical properties of formation drilled (porosity, permeability)
n Volume of rock drilled
n Differential pressure
n Mud flow
n Mud characteristics : type, rheology, temperature...
n Measuring equipment : degasser, lines, analyzers...

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

Hydrocarbon Gas shows :

Gas shows can be categorized according to types as follows :

n Drilling gas (Cutting gas) : released by the drilled porous formation (usually gives
a peak – drastic increase).
n Background gas : released by drilled non porous formation; it generally consists
of a low but steady level.
n Connection gas, trip gas : while drilling, mud density is higher than its nominal
value (annular friction). When pumps stop, mud density goes back to its nominal
value and the mud hydrostatic pressure might be more or less equ al to the
formation pressure (near balance conditions). Consequently, incr easing
connection gas will give a very reliable value of formation pressure.

Caution : swabbing effect might be the cause of high connection / trip gas.
Also, the value of differential pressure, formation porosity / permeability and the
duration of pumps stopped will have influence on the volume of connection / trip
gas.

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Swabbing effect due to drill string movement upwards

Frictional effects

Drill pipe moving upwards


between mud and A high percentage of kicks
moving drill string occur because of swabbing
create pressure during trips out of hole.
differentials across
annulus. It is vital that swab pressures
are calculated before a trip to
ensure correct tripping speed.
Main factors affecting
swab pressures are pipe
speed, mud gel strength Accumulation of
and viscosity, mud filter ++ +++ cuttings/cavings on stabiliser
++ +
cake, bit and stabiliser blades prevents equalisation
balling, blocked bit jets. of pressures during pipes
movement, resulting in
---- - pressure differential above
- --
Formation fluids and below stabilisers.
swabbed into
borehole + ++
+ ++ A similar situation can occur
++
--- - --- - above and below bit,
especially with bit balling or
blocked jets.

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

Gas Composition :

In a zone of normal compaction there


is generally less Propane (C3H8) than
Ethane (C2H6).
As a result of selective retention of
heavy components in the transition
zone, the ratio C2/C3 will fall below 1.
Propane percentage will be higher
than the Ethane one.

The presence of heavy hydrocarbons


gas (C3 and +) can be a valid
Overpressure indicator.

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole
Kick :
A kick is a critical state of negative differential pressure between the mud column
and a porous and permeable formation containing pore fluid in Overpressure. This
pore fluid can be water (fresh or salty) or hydrocarbons (gaseou s or liquid).
Formation will continuously diffuse its pore fluid inside the ho le increasing the initial
negative differential pressure until the dramatic blow-out or eruption.

Causes of a kick :
A kick will be created by the combination of two phenomena :
n A porous, permeable and fluid bearing formation has been drille d (even for few
meters).
n The differential pressure between the Formation Pressure and the hydrostatic
pressure of the mud column is negative (under -balance status).
This under-balance can be due to :
n incorrect knowledge of the Formation Pressure (mud density is too
low)
n swabbing effect
n incomplete filling of the hole during a trip up
n mud losses

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

Gas kicks are extremely dangerous due the gas expansion phenomen on :

If at 4000m with a mud density of 1.5 sg, 1 liter of gas influxes inside the hole, its
pressure will be up to 600 kg/cm2. When moving up to the surface, the annular
pressure will decrease and gas will expand according to the relation P1*V1 = P2*V2
and at surface, with a pressure of 1 kg/cm2, 600 liters of gas will be present. If bop
are not closed the bubble of gas will immediately expand in the air and burn with the
tremendous consequences that every knows.

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Indicators linked with Pore Fluid influx inside the hole

As a consequence of pore fluid invasion into the hole, the following parameters will
be affected :
1. flow out will increase drastically
2. mud density will decrease
3. differential flow will not be equal to 0 : flow out higher than flow in
4. pits levels will increase
5. pump pressure will decrease (annular density less than inside
pipes density - U tube phenomenon)
6. pump rate (spm) might increase

In such a case, immediately shut the well in (close bop) and prepare the kill
procedure

!!!!!!!!! Also...pray for BOP and Baryte to "kill the well“ !!!!!!!!!!

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Blow Out

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Blow Out

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Blow Out

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Blow Out

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Conclusions Chapter 3

Overpressure Indicators (while drilling) are various and numerous


numerous !

Unfortunately all the indicators can have another source than ef fective
Overpressure and it will up to your attention, knowledge and experience
experience to
individualize them and correlate them with the Geology and the global drilling
context.

Only doing this way, you will be able to detect abnormal situati on and give the
necessary alarm to the Operator personnel.

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Check List for Overpressure

Porosity
§ Drastic increase of Rate of Penetration (correlate with Lithology)
§ Clay / Shale Density (difficult to evaluate)
§ Decrease of Normalized ROP (D Exponent & Sigma)
§ Increase of Transit Time (when Sonic is available)
§ Decrease of Formation Resistivity (Increase of Salinity)
§ Presence of Seal (Evaporites)
§ Presence of Salt (Diapirism) Kick
§ Increase of flow out
Hole shrinking (underbalance conditions) (paddle or EM sensor)
§ Casual Torque variations (correlate with drilling conditions) § Increase in pits volume
§ Overpull (POOH) & Drag (RIH) § Decrease of MWO
§ Cavings on shakers with specific shape § Decrease of SPP
§ Reaming

Fluid Invasion
§ Decrease of Mud Density Out
§ Decrease of Mud Resistivity Out (Increase in Salinity)
§ Increase of Background Gas
§ Presence of connection and trip gas
§ Abnormal Gas Composition (C3 > C2 not absolute rule)

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The End...

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