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TAMU - Pemex

Well Control

Lesson 7
Pore Pressure
Contents
 Normal Pore Pressure
 Subnormal Pore Pressure
 Abnormal Pore Pressure
 Origins of Pore Pressure
 Origins of Pore Pressure
 Origins of Abnormal Pore Pressure
 Bulk Density and Porosity vs. Depth
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Normal and Abnormal Pore Pressures

Normal Pressure Gradients


West Texas: 0.433 psi/ft
Gulf Coast: 0.465 psi/ft
Depth, ft

Abnormal
Pressure
Gradients
Subnormal

10,000 ??
Pore Pressure, psig 3
Pore Pressure vs. Depth
0

0.433 psi/ft 8.33 lb/gal


5,000 0.465 psi/ft 9.00 lb/gal
Depth, ft

Normal Abormal
10,000

15,000
5 10 15 20
Pore Pressure, lb/gal equivalent

Density of mud required to control this pore pressure 4


Lost Returns

Kicks
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Pore Pressure

 = formation pressure

 = formation fluid pressure

 = pressure in fluid contained in the


pore spaces of the rock

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Pore Pressure
Normal pressure gradients correspond
to the hydrostatic gradient of a fresh or
saline water column

Example 2.1. Determine the pore


pressure of a normally pressured
formation in the Gulf of Mexico at 9,000’
depth.
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Pore Pressure
TABLE 2.1 -

pn = gnD = 0.465 psi/ft * 9,000 ft


pn = 4,185 psig 9
Normal Pressure

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Subnormal Pressures

Formation pressure gradients


less than normal gradients for
a given area.

Lost circulation problems and


differential sticking are
common problems in these
areas
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Subnormal pressures due to faulting

8,000’
9,000’

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Aquifer outcrops below rig

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Production of oil or gas

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Abnormal Pressures
Abnormal Pressures are formation
pressures greater than normal
pressures

Can cause severe drilling problems

There are many possible causes of


abnormal pressure

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Abnormal Pressure
All abnormal pressures require some
means of sealing or trapping the
pressure within the rock body.

Otherwise hydrostatic equilibrium back


to a normal gradient would eventually
be restored.

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Abnormal Pressure
Massive shales provide good pressure
seals, but shales do have some
permeability, so, given sufficient time,
normal pressures will eventually be
established.

It may take tens of millions of years for


a normal pressure gradient to re-occur.
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Pressure
Seals

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Abnormal pressures
Dense rocks should always be a
warning to a driller that the pore
pressure may be changing

Many abnormal pore pressure


processes are simply the reverse of
those which effect subnormal pressures

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Abnormal pressures
For example, the converse to a low
piezometric water level is abnormal
pressure resulting from an Artesian
source.

A thick gas sand that is normally


pressured at the bottom of the sand will
be abnormally pressured at the top of
the sand.
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Pore pressures
do not always
increase with
depth

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Causes of abnormal pressure
TABLE 2.2 -

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Aquifer

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Thick gas sand

2 3
P = 605 - 0.05 * 300 g = 590/1,000
= 605 - 15 = 0.590 psi/ft
= 590 psig EMW = 0.590/0.052
11.3 ppg

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p = 0.465 * 1,300
= 605 psig 24
Normal Faulting

9,000 ft
10,000 ft

4,650 psi
0.465 * 10,000 ft
0.052 * 9,000 ft
= 9.94 ppg = 4,650 psi 25
Downfaulting
Top of
Transition
Zone

Pressure may
increase

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Salt Diapirs
Salt diapirs
plastically “flow” or
extrude into the
previously
deposited
sediment layers.
The resulting
compression can
result in
overpressure.

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Salt formations

Normally pressured

Salt
Pressure at the bottom
of the salt is often
extremely overpressured

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Erosion

p
EMW =
0.052 * Depth

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Caprock Mineral Deposition

Possible precipitation of carbonate and silica minerals


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Man-Made Abnormal Pressures
Underground Casing Faulty
blowout leaks cement job

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Compaction Theory of
Abnormal Pressure
Best fits most naturally occurring
abnormal pressures

In new areas, geologic and geophysical


interpretations along with analogy to
known areas are always important

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Compaction Theory
During deposition, sediments are
compacted by the overburden load and
are subjected to greater temperatures
with increasing burial depth.

Porosity is reduced as water is forced


out.

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Compaction Theory
Hydrostatic equilibrium within the
compacted layers is retained as long as
the expelled water is free to escape

If water cannot escape, abnormal


pressures occur

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Compaction Theory
Undercompacted
Shales

Water is expelled Pore water expelled because of


from the shales increasing overburden

If the expelled water is not free to escape, abnormal


pressures may result. Sufficient compaction cannot
occur so the pore fluids carry more of the overburden
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The overburden load is supported by the
vertical stress in the grain framework
Compaction Theory
and by the fluid pore pressure

σ ob =σ eV + pp
σ ob = overburden stress
σ eV = matrix stress
pp = pore pressure

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Compaction Theory
The average porosity in sediments, generally
decreases with increasing depth - due to the
increasing overburden

This results in an increasing bulk density with


increasing depth, and increasing rock strength

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Compaction Theory
From a porosity log, we can construct a
plot of bulk density vs. depth

From this (or directly from a density log,


we can calculate overburden stress vs.
depth.

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Compaction Theory
TABLE 2.4 -

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Bulk Densities - Santa
Barbara Channel

φ = 0.37e −0.0001609 D

− Kφ D
φ = φ0 e
ρ = f (φ )

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GOM
Bulk
Densities

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Pore Pressure Prediction
Overburden Pressure vs. Depth
Porosity vs. Depth
Pore Pressure Prediction
By Analogy
By Seismic Methods
From Drilling Rate Changes

Factors that Affect Drilling Rates


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Overburden Stress
σ ob = ∫ ρb gdD
D
σ ob = 0.052 ∫ [ ρma (1 −φ ) + ρ f φ ]dD
0

setting
setting
−kφ D
φ = φ0 e
andintegrating
and int egrating

σ ob

= 0.052 ρma D −
( ρma − ρ f )φ0
1−e(−kφ D
)


 kφ 
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Example 2.5
Calculate the overburden stress at a depth
of 7,200 ft in the Santa Barbara Channel.
Compare to Eaton’s prediction.
Assume
φ o = 0.37

ρ ma = 2.6 gm/cc
kφ = 0.0001609 ft-1
ρ f = 1.044 gm/cc

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 ( ρ − ρf ) φ0 1 − e −k φD
( ) 
Solution σob = 0.052 ρmaD − ma
 kφ



 ( 2.6 − 1.044 ) 8.33 * 0.37 ( − 0.0001609*7,200 ) 


σ ob = 0.052 2.6 * 8.33 * 7,200 − * 1− e 
 0.0001609 
σ ob = 7,032 psig

Eaton’s Fig. 2.21 shows a value of :


gob = 0.995 psi/ft
So,
(σ )
ob eaton = 0.995 * 7,200 = 7,164 psig
{ Difference = 132 psi or 1.9% } 45
Overburden stress
depends upon porosity,
and porosity depends on
overburden stress
Shales are more
compactible than
sandstones.
Young shales are more
compactible than older
shales.
Limestones and dolomites
are only slightly
compactible.

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Rule of Thumb
A common assumption for sedimentary
deposits is gob = 1.0 psi/ft
This is not a good assumption in young
sediments
Eaton predicts that an overburden stress gradient
of 1 psi/ft be achieved at a depth of 20,000 ft in the
GOM

Eaton predicts that an overburden stress gradient


of 1 psi/ft be achieved at a depth of 7,400 ft in the
Santa Barbara Channel
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0.84 psi/ft 0.89 psi/ft

Eaton’s ob
Eaton’s ob stress
stress gradient for
gradient Santa Barbara
for GOM Channel

1 psi/ ft
1 psi/ ft at 7,400’
at 20,000’

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Shale porosity
depends not
only on depth
e.g. At 6,000’
depth φ varies
from 3% to 18%

Note the
~ straight line
relationship
on semilog
paper

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Eaton’s porosities
from the Santa
Barbara Channel.
The straight line is
a plot of the
equation:
φ = 0.37e-0.0001609D

At D = 0, φ =
0.37
At D = 10,000 ft
φ = 0.074

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