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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107 Revision D February 09 © 2001 Sperry

Formation Pressure Evaluation

Distributed Learning

Document No. USOP0107 Revision D

February 09 © 2001 Sperry Drilling Services

Notice

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Notice

This manual contains CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY INFORMATION and is the property of Sperry Drilling Services, a division of Halliburton Company. Neither this manual nor information contained herein shall be reproduced in any form, used, or disclosed to others for any purpose including manufacturing without the express written permission of Sperry Drilling Services. Manuals are company property and non-transferable to other employees, unless authorized by Management.

You are responsible for this manual. DO NOT leave this manual where it may be photocopied by others. This manual is designed to provide information useful for the optimal use of Sperry Drilling Services equipment. Charts, descriptions, tables and other information contained herein may have been derived from actual tests, simulated tests, or mathematical models. Although information has been carefully prepared and is believed to be accurate, Sperry Drilling Services cannot guarantee the accuracy of all information contained herein. Sperry Drilling Services reserves the right to modify equipment, software and documentation, and field equipment and/or procedures may differ from those described herein.

Trained Sperry Drilling Services personnel act as consultants to Sperry Drilling Services customers. Practical judgment and discretion must be used, based upon experience and knowledge, to review the circumstances for a particular job and then to perform the job in a professional manner. Accordingly, the information contained herein should be used as a guide by trained personnel, and no warranties, expressed or implied, including warranty of merchantability or fitness for use, are made in connection herewith. In no event will Sperry Drilling Services be liable for indirect or consequential damages arising from the use of the information contained in this manual, including without limitation, subsurface damage or trespass, or injury to well or reservoir.

All brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or organizations.

© 2001 by Sperry Drilling Services, a Halliburton Company

Unpublished work, all rights reserved.

Printed in the U.S.A.

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© 2001, Sperry Drilling Services

February 09

 

Revision D

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Introduction and Objectives

Chapter 1

Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations

Scope

This is Chapter 1 of the Distributed Learning Formation Pressure Evaluation Course.

Course title

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning

Chapter contents

This chapter contains the following information: 1.1 Introduction and Objectives 1-2 1.1.1 Introduction 1-2 1.1.2
This chapter contains the following information:
1.1 Introduction and Objectives
1-2
1.1.1 Introduction
1-2
1.1.2 Objectives
1-3
1.2 Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling
1-4
1.3 Spudding a Well – Formation Competency
1-5
1.4 Shallow Gas 1-7
1.5 Shallow Water Flows
1-7
1.6 Lost Circulation 1-10
1.7 Differential Sticking 1-11
1.8 Maintaining Rate of Penetration/Differential Pressure
1-14
1.9 Cavings 1-15
1.9.1 Shear Failure (Pressure Cavings)
1-15
1.9.2 Faulting and Fracturing
1-16
1.9.3 Hole Angle Close To Bedding Planes
1-17
1.9.4 Rubblized Zones
1-17
1.9.5 Reactive Formations
1-18
1.10 Borehole Ballooning / Breathing 1-19
1.11 Formation Damage 1-19
1.12 Drilling Kicks/Underground Blowouts
1-20
1.13 References
1-21

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Introduction and Objectives

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

1.1 Introduction and Objectives

Description

1.1.1

This section introduces the subject and describes the objectives.
This section introduces the subject and describes the objectives.

Introduction

Description

Formation pore pressure and fracture pressures place constraints upon the design

and ultimately the cost of a well. They can also be a source of significant amounts

of non-productive time in the drilling operation.

Inaccurate

estimates

Inaccurate estimates of formation pressure can significantly increase the costs of a well, from over-engineering the well design, taking kicks, encountering differential sticking, and lost circulation, to borehole instability and the loss of entire hole sections.

Accurate

estimates

The accurate determination of pore and fracture pressures is an iterative process, with pre-drilling estimates forming the basis for the well construction. Accurate whilst-drilling estimates allow the prognosis to be refined and the correct contingency plan to be implemented. Good post-well analysis allows information that is more accurate for the next well design and refinement of the basin model.

Benefits

Drilling issues

The immediate benefits from accurate predictions are:

Efficient and economic well design

Maximized ROP with minimum mud weight reducing the time and cost of drilling the well.

Improved selection of casing points during drilling maximizing safety and wellbore stability

Minimum trouble time from lost circulation, wellbore instability and influxes into the formation that prevent cost overruns caused by dealing with the immediate problem and the cost of contingencies.

A better understanding of local geology and drilling problems which improves

future well designs

This section describes the drilling issues associated with abnormal pore and fracture pressures
This section describes the drilling issues associated with abnormal pore and
fracture pressures

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Introduction and Objectives

1.1.2

Chapter

objectives

Objectives

After completing this section, you should be able to explain the following drilling problems and
After completing this section, you should be able to explain the following drilling
problems and understand the role that the relationship between mud weight and
formation pore and fracture pressure plays in their occurrence.
Formation competency when spudding a well
Shallow Gas
Shallow Water flows
Lost circulation
Borehole Balooning
Differential sticking
Maintaining ROP
Formation Caving
Formation damage
Kicks and underground blowouts

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

1.2 Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling

Purpose of

The ultimate purpose of an oil well is to allow the flow of hydrocarbons to surface in a controlled manner, or in the case of injector wells, to pump fluid from the surface into the reservoir.

drilling

Controlled

To achieve this the well is drilled in a controlled manner, then cased and cemented. When the well is being drilled, weighted drilling fluid is used to exert pressure on the formations to contain formation fluid pressures and to prevent formation collapse into the wellbore.

drilling

Mud weight

The weight of the mud has to be controlled to ensure that the pressure exerted by the drilling fluid is maintained between the formation fluid pressure and the formation fracture pressure.

Casing placement

Reasons for mud weight balance

Casing placement is dictated by the pore fluid pressure, the formation fracture pressure, and the formation stability. Casing is set to isolate zones that cannot be drilled with mud weights required deeper in the well, or zones that are unstable with time.

Standard drilling practice dictates that mud weights should be as close as possible to the
Standard drilling practice dictates that mud weights should be as close as possible
to the balance point with formation pore pressure as is deemed safe. The are
reasons for this are:
To minimise the risk of lost circulation.
To minimise the risk of differential sticking.
To minimise formation damage.
To maintain an optimum ROP.

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Spudding a Well – Formation Competency

1.3 Spudding a Well – Formation Competency

Description

Wells are drilled in both onshore and offshore locations, with the offshore environment becoming increasingly challenging. Onshore we are typically drilling into competent formations immediately and do not encounter the following issues when spudding. Offshore the first problem encountered is the lack of competency of the sediments below the seabed. To be able to drill a well to depth, drilling mud of different densities is used to maintain sufficient pressure on the formation to stop formation fluids from invading the well and maintain wellbore stability. The sediments immediately below the seabed are not competent enough to support a hydrostatic column of fluid from the rig floor. Once drilling commences the pressure acting on the formation is increased because of the ECD and the load of the sediments the drilling fluid is removing from the hole.

Surface

conductor

For shallow water depths, it is normal to pile-drive a surface conductor from a jackup or a barge to a depth where the formation is strong enough to support the pressure created by a column of drilling fluid.

Riserless drilling

As the water depths increase into deepwater 3000ft+ (914m+) and ultra deepwater 7000ft +, (2133m+) and semi-submersible rigs or drill ships must be used, it is normal to drill the first two hole sections riserless to reach a depth where the formations are competent enough. High viscosity sweeps are used to clean the hole and, mud can be used to fill the hole once it has been drilled in order to hold back the formations before the casing is run.

Deepwater

difficulty

Well comparison

One difficulty with deepwater and ultra-deepwater wells is that the overburden pressure is much lower than for a given depth below rotary table than in shallow water or on land. This means that the initial hole sections must be longer to reach the same formation competency than would be for the case found in shallow water.

Comparing two wells (see Figure 1-1), one in shallow water and one in deep water,
Comparing two wells (see Figure 1-1), one in shallow water and one in deep water,
the true vertical depth required to reach a formation that will withstand a mud
weight of 10 ppg is shown as follows. For simplicity, the formation fracture
pressure is assumed to be 2/3 of the overburden pressure.

continued

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Spudding a Well – Formation Competency

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Spudding a Well – Formation Competency, continued

Graph of

different water

depths

The well in shallow water can withstand a mud weight of 10 ppg at a
The well in shallow water can withstand a mud weight of 10 ppg at a depth of 1225
ft BRT or 1200 ft below the mud line (distance A). The well in deep water can
withstand a mud weight of 10ppg at 9400 ft BRT or 4400 ft below the mud line
(distance B).
Figure 1-1. Shallow and deepwater overburden and fracture gradients

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Shallow Gas

1.4 Shallow Gas

Description

The generation of shallow gas pockets through microbial action on organic material can be a major hazard to offshore drilling operations. These gas pockets are normally associated with highly permeable sand layers at shallow depths. The formation strength above the gas pockets is not sufficiently high enough to resist the pressures generated by the gas entering the well if it were to be shut in conventionally. The only option is to allow the gas to vent until it balances with its surrounding pressure.

Hazards to

drilling

operations

Safety concerns

The hazard to the drilling operation is that the erupting gas lowers the buoyancy of the water and can cause floating rigs to sink. For Jackup rigs the normal practice is to allow the gas to flow unregulated to surface through the conductor, where it is diverted to the flare boom. If the gas begins to flow around the outside of the conductor pipe, the erupting gas will erode the uncompacted sediments on the seabed causing the weakening or removal of the seabed around the legs of the jackup.

Standard practice when drilling in areas with a shallow gas risk is to have a
Standard practice when drilling in areas with a shallow gas risk is to have a 24-hour
watch on the sea below the rig and monitor returns using an ROV. If shallow gas
erupts to the surface, floating rigs can be moved off location to avoid the erupting
gas. Jackup rigs are normally evacuated of all non-essential personnel.

1.5 Shallow Water Flows

Description

Hazards to

drilling

operations

Shallow Water flows can occur during drilling or after casing has been set and typically occur near to the mudline to depths of ~ 5000ft (1524m) below the mudline. There is a higher risk when drilling in deepwater and ultra deepwater environments as there is a greater distance below mud line to obtain required formation strengths, causing and longer riser-less sections to avoid formation breakdown / Lost circulation. This leads to added difficulty in maintaining the correct pressure against the formation to control the flow without breaking down the shallower formations.

When the well is drilled into pressurized sands and the well is underbalanced the water
When the well is drilled into pressurized sands and the well is underbalanced the
water flows into the annulus bringing with it entrained material. This uncontrolled
fluid flow causes both the erosion of the uncased wellbore and the possibility of
packing off the assembly. The uncontrolled erosion of the wellbore can lead to
massive hole instability and the collapse and loss of the exposed section. This
causes the well to have to be re-drilled from a different location.

continued

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Shallow Water Flows

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Shallow water flows, continued

Causes There are four main causes of shallow water flows which occur during drilling or
Causes
There are four main causes of shallow water flows which occur during drilling or
after casing.
Geopressured water sand
Induced fractures
Induced storage
Transmission of pressure through cement channels
Geopressured
Sands
Geopressured sands are the most common mechanism causing SWF and are the
most damaging. For pressures to be created a sealing layer in the overburden above
permeable sand layer is required, lateral seals around sand body are also required to
trap the pressure. Two mechanisms have been identified to create the pressure in
the sand which are compaction disequilibrium and differential compaction
Compaction
Disequilibrium
Compaction disequilibrium caused by rapid sedimentation rates forces fluid out of
the surrounding shales into the permeable sand increasing the pressure within the
sand body
Rapidly Deposited
Sediment
~500ft / Million Years
Low Permeability Seal – Slow Deposition Rate
Shale / Mudstone
Dewatering Through Compaction
Overpressured Shale / Charged Sand
SAND

continued

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Shallow Water Flows

Shallow water flows, continued

Differential

Compaction

Differential compaction occurs in deltas or continental slopes where the different depths of sediment closer to shore and futher offshore create a pressure differental driving fluid laterally and charging the sand unit.

Higher Overburden Lower Overburden Low Permeability Seal – Slow Deposition Rate Silty Mudstone Lateral Fluid
Higher Overburden
Lower Overburden
Low Permeability Seal – Slow Deposition Rate
Silty Mudstone
Lateral Fluid
Transmission
Charged Sand

When a well is drilled into the pressurized body and flow commences the sand bed is compacted by the overburden as the pressure is released which continues the pressure drive. The severity of the flow depends on both the pressure the fluid is under and the extent of the sand bed which governs the volume of fluid which can be expelled.

Induced

Fractures

Induced Storage

These are fractures created by allowing the pressure to become too great in the annulus causing the pressure at the casing shoe exceeds formation strength the fracture is generated from shoe to surface. This condition can be caused by too High Static MW including cuttings load, Too High ECD while drilling Conductor

(20”)

require a riser to be in place to occur nor does it require pressurized sands.

or surface casing sections (16” or 13 ”), or Annular Packoffs. It does not

Induced storage is the charging of shallow permeable and porous sands and silts that were
Induced storage is the charging of shallow permeable and porous sands and silts
that were previously normally pressured. It occurs in deepwater sediments above
the first sealing formation and normally occurs below Structural (30”) casing shoe.
It is caused by overbalance during drilling, spotting high weight mud prior to
casing or when running casing. In Severe cases ~1hr for flow back to stabilize
Generally there is minimal risk unless sediment erosion occurs

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Lost Circulation

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

1.6 Lost Circulation

Definition

This is one of the more common drilling problems. It has been defined as the loss of drilling mud in quantity to the formation. It may occur at any depth.

Reasons for lost circulation

Lost circulation can develop in two ways. Formations with a coarse matrix are generally highly permeable and have large pore spaces, gravels for example. When drilling into such zones that the drilling mud can flow freely into the formation, overcoming the pressure of the pore fluid. Limestone formations that contain caverns or are vuggy in nature present the same problem.

Mud losses

Mud losses to cavernous and/or vuggy formations and sometimes to reefs, gravel, or other permeable zones are usually predictable in a given area because they occur in definite formations.

Hydraulic

The second method is the hydraulic fracturing of formations with no permeable zones or caverns. This can be along newly created fracture planes, or if the formation has already been fractured, by opening up these existing planes.

fracturing

Fracture opening

Note on losses

In many cases, natural fractures are impermeable under normal conditions, but if sufficient pressure is applied, they are forced open and drilling mud will be lost to the fracture. Once such a fracture opens up, the mud lost will tend to wash out and enlarge the fracture. This is serious because later pressure reductions (reduced mud weight) may not close the fracture, and so the loss of mud will continue.

It is important to realise that losses can and do occur at mud weights below
It is important to realise that losses can and do occur at mud weights below that
which is required to fracture the rock matrix.

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Differential Sticking

1.7 Differential Sticking

Definition

If a large overbalance exists between the pressure exerted by the mud column and the formation pore pressure, excessive filter cake build-up is likely, isolating the formation. In this situation, differential sticking of the pipe to the borehole wall can occur as the overbalance pressure of the drilling mud in the wellbore holds the pipe in place against lower pressured formation.

Formation forces

Effective area

The force acting on the formation is a function of the pressure differential between the wellbore and the formation, and the effective area of contact between the pipe and the filter cake.

The effective area illustrated in Figure 1-2 is the thickness of the formation that the
The effective area illustrated in Figure 1-2 is the thickness of the formation that the
pipe is in contact with, multiplied by the surface area of the embedded portion of
the pipe.
Figure 1-2. Differential sticking

continued

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Differential Sticking

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Differential Sticking, continued

Calculating

effective area

The effective area can be calculated using the following formula:

A

= 2

Hf

2 2 D − h ⎞ ⎤ ⎛ ⎜ D − h ⎟ ⎞ −
2
2
D
− h ⎞ ⎤
⎛ ⎜ D
− h ⎟ ⎞
⎡ ⎛ ⎜ D
⎟− ⎞ ⎜ ⎛ h ×
2
2
D
− d

Where Hf = thickness of the low pressure permeable formation (inches)

D

= the diameter of the borehole (inches)

d

= the outer diameter of the pipe or drill collar (inches)

h

= thickness of the mud cake (inches)

Calculating drill

collar forces

Once the effective area is known, the force (lbs/ft) acting on the drill collar can be

calculated:

Force = Δp × A × F

Where Δp = Pressure difference between the wellbore and formation (psi)

A

= Effective area

F

= Coefficient of friction between the drill collar and the mud cake

Example

Calculations

The following example illustrates the forces that can be created.

Hf = 100 feet

D

= 6.125 inches

d

= 4.75 inches

h

= 16/32 inch

So the effective area is: 2 2 ⎛ 6.125 ⎞ ⎡ ⎛ 6.125 ⎞ ⎛
So the effective area is:
2
2
⎛ 6.125
⎡ ⎛ 6.125
6.125
0.5 ⎞ ⎤
A
= 2 ×
1200
− 0.5 ⎟
⎟− ⎜ 0.5 ×
2
⎣ ⎝
2
6.125
4.75
(
)(
2
)
2
A = 2 ×1200
2.5625
− 3.0625 − 2.045
A = 2×1200
6.566 −1.035
A = 2 x 1200 x 2.3519
A = 5644 in2

continued

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Differential Sticking

Differential Sticking, continued

Results Therefore the force = Δp × A× F 1128867 lbs.ft = 2000× 5644× 0.1
Results
Therefore the force = Δp × A× F
1128867 lbs.ft = 2000× 5644× 0.1
Δp = 2000 psi = Pressure difference between the wellbore and formation
A
= 5644 = Effective area
F
= 0.1 = Coefficient of friction between the drill collar and the mud cake
Factors affecting
differential
From this it can be seen that that the following factors increase the likelihood of
differential sticking:
sticking
High wellbore pressure caused by unnecessarily high mud weight
Low formation pressure in a permeable zone
Thick permeable formations, produces a larger effective area
Thick mud cake, produces larger effective area
Larger pipe diameters
Mud cakes with a high coefficient of friction

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Maintaining Rate of Penetration/Differential Pressure

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

1.8 Maintaining Rate of Penetration/Differential Pressure

Definition

This is the difference between the drilling fluid hydrostatic pressure and the formation pore pressure, and is influential in controlling the rate at which cuttings are cleared from the bit. A high positive differential pressure may well introduce a chip hold-down effect where loose cuttings are held to the bottom of the hole.

Drill rate

decrease

Cunningham and Eenik (1959) reported from their experiments that the drilling rate decreased when mud hydrostatic exceeded formation pressure, due primarily to the chip hold-down effect, and secondarily by localized compaction and strengthening of the rock.

Experimental

evidence

In experiments, Vidrine and Benit (1968) found that ROP can be reduced by up to 70 percent as differential pressure was increased from zero to 1000 psi. They found that the sensitivity of ROP to differential pressure was greatest when large diameter bits were used. The use of excessive overbalance (over 1000-psi) means that changes in WOB, RPM, and other factors do not alter the ROP to any great degree.

Exceptions

Overbalance

increase

Fontenot and Berry (1975) suggest that, given adequate cleaning, maximum penetration rate should occur at zero differential pressure. A possible exception would be the drilling of very weak formations where a low differential pressure could cause spilling of rock into the hole.

Depth (ft) Mud Weight Formation Formation Overbalance P hyd (ppg) EMW Pressure (psi) (psi) (psi)
Depth (ft)
Mud Weight
Formation
Formation
Overbalance
P hyd
(ppg)
EMW
Pressure
(psi)
(psi)
(psi)
(ppg)
1000
12.0
624 10.0
520
104
2000
12.0
1248 10.0
1040
208
5000
12.0
3120 10.0
2600
520
10000
12.0
6240
10.0
5200
1040
15000
12.0
9360 10.0
7800
1560
Figure 1-3. Overbalance increase with depth

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Cavings

1.9

Cavings

Definition

Cavings can be generated by several different mechanisms. Shear or compressional failure of the wellbore
Cavings can be generated by several different mechanisms.
Shear or compressional failure of the wellbore
Faulting or Fracturing causing pre-existing planes of weakness in the formation
Drilling with a hole angle close to the bedding planes
Rubblized zones created near to salt domes.
Chemical effects of the mud system acting on the formation

1.9.1 Shear Failure (Pressure Cavings)

Description

Shear or

Compressional

Wellbore Failure

The Shear or compressional failure of the wellbore is caused when the compressional stresses around the wellbore are greater than the compressional strength of the rock itself. This condition occurs when the mud weight used is too low.

This creates large splintery cavings where the size and shape of the cavings are governed by the properties of the rock

Before this mechanism was fully understood it was believed that the pressure differential between the formation pore pressure and the mud weight caused the formation to explode into the wellbore.

weight caused the formation to explode into the wellbore. continued March 2007 © 2001, Sperry Drilling

continued

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Cavings

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Cavings, continued

Shear Failure Pressure Cavings

USOP0107 Cavings , continued Shear Failure Pressure Cavings 1.9.2 Faulting and Fracturing Description Blocky Cavings

1.9.2 Faulting and Fracturing

Description

Blocky Cavings

from preexisting

fractures

If a formation has been heavily fractured there is a tendency for pieces to fall into the wellbore. The size can vary from pebbles to large boulders. This type of caving can often be confused with pressure cavings. Increases in mud weight will not always stop caving of this type and may make the situation worse as mud is forced into the fracture planes.

situation worse as mud is forced into the fracture planes. continued 1-16 © 2001, Sperry Drilling

continued

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Cavings

Cavings, continued

1.9.3 Hole Angle Close To Bedding Planes

Description

If the hole is being drilled so that the hole angle is close to the bedding planes or other planes of weakness this can cause the roof of the hole to collapse where the beds are intersected. The collapse occurs as the wedge of rock that is created has very little support laterally and falls into the hole.

has very little support laterally and falls into the hole. 1.9.4 Rubblized Zones Description Formations near

1.9.4 Rubblized Zones

Description

Formations near the base of salt structures can be heavily faulted and fractured through the
Formations near the base of salt structures can be heavily faulted and fractured
through the movement of the salt in the sub surface

continued

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Cavings

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Cavings, continued

Rubblized

cavings

Document No. USOP0107 Cavings , continued Rubblized cavings 1.9.5 Reactive Formations Description Chemical effects on

1.9.5 Reactive Formations

Description

Chemical effects on the formation

Shales with a high smectite content react with the mud filtrate and hydrate. Once hydrated they will fall or swell into the borehole.

Once hydrated they will fall or swell into the borehole. 1-18 © 2001, Sperry Drilling Services

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Borehole Ballooning / Breathing

1.10 Borehole Ballooning / Breathing

Definition

Borehole ballooning or borehole breathing is caused when the ECD (equivalent circulating density) is higher than the fracture opening pressure causing mud to be forced into the formation and the ESD (equivalent static density) is less than the fracture closure pressure causing the mud to be returned to the annulus. This behavior can be misinterpreted as a kick causing time to be lost as the well is shut in and causes damage to the formation which can result in increased caving and hole instability.

Exceed FBP ONCE if no far field fractures are pre-existing Exceed FCP if fractures existing
Exceed FBP ONCE if no far field
fractures are pre-existing
Exceed FCP if fractures existing
Fracture Propagates
Fracture Reopens
ECD – Fill Fracture
Static MW – Close
Fracture
(after Gaarenstroom et al., 1993)

1.11 Formation Damage

Definition

First effect on drilling

Damage to the formation will occur when the overbalance pressure is excessive and can cause formation washouts, excessive borehole corrosion, reservoir flushing, and contamination.

This impacts the drilling operation in two ways. First the reduction in the quality of
This impacts the drilling operation in two ways. First the reduction in the quality of
the borehole can lead to instability problems, the creation of ledges, and increases
in torque and drag making the well more difficult to drill. In addition, damage to
reservoir formations may reduce their final production capability.

continued

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations Drilling Kicks/Underground Blowouts

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Formation Damage, continued

Second effect on drilling

The second is the reduction in accuracy of wireline data, and to a lesser degree
The second is the reduction in accuracy of wireline data, and to a lesser degree
FEWD data, as a poor quality borehole affects the readings. If formation fluids
have been flushed out by the drilling fluid, the depth of investigation of some tools
may be too shallow to measure actual formation fluid properties.

1.12 Drilling Kicks/Underground Blowouts

Definition

Explanation

A kick occurs when the formation pressure is greater than the pressure exerted by the mud column, and fluid, either water, gas, or oil flows from the formation into the well bore. The formation must therefore be permeable to allow fluid flow. In impermeable formations, pressure caving tends to result (see Section 4.6.1).

Kicks are usually shut in and circulated out of the well in a controlled manner.
Kicks are usually shut in and circulated out of the well in a controlled manner. In
rare circumstances, it is possible for underground blowouts to occur. This situation
arises where the fracture pressure of a formation that has not been cased off is less
than the pressure generated by the kick. Then, when the well is closed in to prevent
the formation fluids entering the well bore, the increase in pressure in the well
fractures the weaker zone and allows the fluid to flow from the high-pressure
formation to the low-pressure formation.

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Effects of Formation Pressure on Drilling Operations References

1.13

References

References

Bourgoyne Jr., A.T., Chenevert, M.E., Millheim, K.K., Young Jr., F.S.: Applied Drilling Engineering, Chapt. 6,
Bourgoyne Jr., A.T., Chenevert, M.E., Millheim, K.K., Young Jr., F.S.: Applied
Drilling Engineering, Chapt. 6, pp. 285-294, SPE Textbook Series, Vol. 2, SPE
TX, 1991.
Fertl, W.H. 1976, Abnormal Formation Pressures. Elsevier NY.
Goldsmith, R.G. 1972 Why Gas Cut Mud is Not Always a Serious Problem. World
Oil Vol. 175 No. 5, pp. 51-54.
Gretener, P.E. 1978, Pore Pressure: Fundamentals, General Ramifications and
Implications for Structural Geology. AAPG Continuing Education Course Note
Series No 4.
Vidrine, D.J., Benit, E.J.: Field Verification to the Effect of Differential Pressure
on Drilling Rate. Journal of Petroleum Technology, July 1968, pp. 676-682.

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Introduction and Objectives

Chapter 2

Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms

Scope

This is Chapter 2 of the Distributed Learning Formation Pressure Evaluation Course.

Course title

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning

Chapter contents

This chapter contains the following information: 2.1 Introduction and Objectives 2-3 2.1.1 Introduction 2-3 2.1.2
This chapter contains the following information:
2.1 Introduction and Objectives
2-3
2.1.1 Introduction
2-3
2.1.2 Objectives
2-4
2.2 Aquifers 2-5
2.2.1 Positive Effect
2-5
2.2.2 Negative Effect
2-6
2.3 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy
2-6
2.4 Uplift – Tectonic Movement, Isostatic Readjustment 2-8
2.4.1 Example 1
2-8
2.4.2 Example 2
2-9
2.5 Faulting and Fractures
2-11
2.5.1 Normal Faults
2-11
2.5.2 Reverse Faults
2-12
2.5.3 Strike-Slip Faults
2-12
2.5.4 Growth Faults
2-12
2.5.5 Fractures / Joints
2-13
2.5.6 Charged Sands
2-13
2.6 Stress Field Redistribution
2-14
2.6.1 Formation Foreshortening 2-14
2.7 Undercompaction
2-15
2.7.1 Influences on Porosity
2-16
2.7.2 Terzaghi and Peck
2-17
2.7.3 Katz and Ibrahim
2-18
2.7.4 Harkins and Baugher
2-18
2.8 Evaporite Deposits
2-21
2.8.1 Clay Diagenesis
2-21
2.8.2 Diagenetic Cap-Rocks
2-24
2.9 Osmosis
2-25
2.10 Hydrocarbon Cracking
2-26
2.11 Aquathermal Pressuring
2-27

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Introduction and Objectives

2.1 Introduction and Objectives

Description

2.1.1

This section introduces the subject and describes the objectives.
This section introduces the subject and describes the objectives.

Introduction

Overpressure

and

underpressure

Overpressure or underpressure can result from a number of different mechanisms.

Overpressure

For overpressure to develop and then be maintained, fluid flow must be inhibited or prevented. For abnormal pressures to develop, vertical and lateral sealing is required.

Defintions

Overpressure or underpressure is a transient occurrence on a geological time scale. Despite closed systems with vertical and lateral seals, it is rare for rocks to be totally impermeable, and pore fluids will eventually be redistributed to areas of lower pressure. Clays in particular have very low permeability but will still allow fluid flow over a geological time scale. Evaporites are perfect seals, but because they behave plastically, migration will eventually lead to rupture of the seal.

Therefore, it is important to have knowledge of the geological history of the sedimentary basin if effective formation pressure evaluation is to be conducted. The age of the rock, sedimentation rates, uplift, and faulting can all contribute to overpressure generation, in addition to the usual diagenetic processes of rock formation.

Formation fluid

Mechanisms for

overpressure

Formation fluid pressure increase or decrease is not necessarily consistent in origin with the deposition of the sediment, but can be induced at a later period.

Mechanisms of generating overpressure can be broadly grouped into three areas: 1. Pressure changes caused
Mechanisms of generating overpressure can be broadly grouped into three areas:
1. Pressure changes caused by hydrostatic changes relative to the normal pore
fluid pressure, such as aquifers, hydrocarbon buoyancy, uplift, faulting, matrix
stress redistribution, or the charging of beds.
2. Pressure changes caused by relative changes in compaction, either from
sedimentation processes trapping pore fluids such as undercompaction,
deposition of impermeable layers trapping pore fluids, or increases in relative
stress caused by folding or diapirism.
3. Pressure changes caused by chemical processes or temperature changes such as
clay diagenesis, osmosis, hydrocarbon cracking, or aquathermal pressuring.

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2.1.2

Pore pressure

mechanisms

Objectives

No. USOP0107 2.1.2 Pore pressure mechanisms Objectives 2-4 © 2001, Sperry-Sun a Halliburton Company April

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Aquifers

2.2

Aquifers

Description

This section describes how aquifers affect formation pore pressure.

Hydrostatic

pressure

Negative and

positive

anomalies

Differences in pore fluid pressure greater than or less than the expected normal pore pressure can be generated in permeable formations caused by differences in the height of the hydrostatic head.

In folded formations both positive and negative anomalies can develop.
In folded formations both positive and negative anomalies can develop.

2.2.1 Positive Effect

Positive pressure

In the case of an artesian well, the fluid intake point or formation outcropping is
In the case of an artesian well, the fluid intake point or formation outcropping is at a
higher altitude than the location where the well bore intersects the formation. This
causes the formation pressure to be greater than would be expected if the normal
pore pressure were calculated using the rotary table as the depth datum.
Figure 2-1. Aquifer pressuring

continued

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2.2.2 Negative Effect

Negative

anomalies

Negative anomalies can also occur if the elevation of the well is higher than the
Negative anomalies can also occur if the elevation of the well is higher than the
fluid intake point or outcropping. This anomaly can also develop in desert regions
where the water table is significantly lower than expected.
Figure 2-2. Negative pressure anomaly

2.3 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy

Description

Density

differences

In sealed reservoirs such as lenticular sand beds, dipping formations, and anticlines, oil and gas accumulates at the highest point in the structure because it is less dense than the surrounding pore water and therefore buoyant.

The difference between the density of the reservoir fluid, oil, or gas, and the density
The difference between the density of the reservoir fluid, oil, or gas, and the density
of the pore water produces an upward force within the reservoir fluid causing an
increase in pressure. The density of the reservoir fluid and the height of the column
of reservoir fluid control the size of this force.

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Hydrocarbon Buoyancy

Density effect

In the example below D1 is the depth to the top of the reservoir, and D2 is the depth to the base of the reservoir as measured from mean sea level.

the base of the reservoir as measured from mean sea level. Figure 2-3. Hydrocarbon density effect

Figure 2-3. Hydrocarbon density effect

Two calculation

methods

There are two approaches to calculating the pressure at the top of the reservoir. The first is to calculate the force caused by the buoyancy of the fluid and add it to the hydrostatic pressure of water at that depth. The second is to subtract the downward force caused by the density of the fluid from the hydrostatic pressure of water at the base of the fluid.

Calculation note

When drilling through a reservoir or thick sandstone sequence, if the pressure is known at the top, it is possible to calculate the pressure at any point through the section using these techniques. This is providing the fluid density is known, as the height of the reservoir fluid column can be back-calculated. This assumes that the formations above and below the reservoir are at the same pressure.

Calculate each

fluid separately

Depth of contact

For a hydrocarbon reservoir with gas and oil columns, the upward force or downward force (depending on the calculation method employed) generated by each fluid must be calculated separately. The results are then added together to accurately estimate increased pressures.

To predict pressures through a gas/oil reservoir, the depth of the gas/oil contact is required.
To predict pressures through a gas/oil reservoir, the depth of the gas/oil contact is
required.

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Uplift – Tectonic Movement, Isostatic Readjustment

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

2.4 Uplift – Tectonic Movement, Isostatic Readjustment

Definition

Formations that have been normally compacted can be uplifted to a shallower depth. The action of tectonic forces or the removal of stress and the readjustment of the earth’s crust once the ice sheets of a glacial period have receded can cause this.

Description

For these palaeopressures to develop, natural seals have to trap the original fluid so that it retains its pressure. In addition, a portion of the overlying strata has to be eroded, or in the case of isostatic readjustment, the additional overburden created by the ice sheets is removed.

Uplift pressure

 

2.4.1 Example 1

Uplift and

isostatic diagram

Readjustment

Figure 2-5 illustrates the concepts of uplift and isostatic readjustment. Movements of the rock bodies are relative to an imaginary datum at zero. The pressure at the base of each column does not change.

Before uplift occurs, the base of Column 1 is at depth D1. After uplift occurs,
Before uplift occurs, the base of Column 1 is at depth D1. After uplift occurs, the
base of the column rises to D2 and the top of the column rises by D2-D1. Because
the height of the column H1 has not changed, the pressure gradient or equivalent
mud weight of the fluid trapped at the base of the column does not change.

continued

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Uplift – Tectonic Movement, Isostatic Readjustment

Example 1, continued

Uplift and

isostatic

readjustment

Example 1 , continued Uplift and isostatic readjustment Figure 2-5. Uplift and isostatic readjustment Pressure

Figure 2-5. Uplift and isostatic readjustment

Pressure increase

Isostatic

readjustment

It is only after the erosion of part of Column 1 has taken place that the pressure gradient or equivalent mud weight increases at the base of Column 1, as the height of the column H2 is now less than H1.

For isostatic readjustment, the base of Column 2 is at depth D1, and there is
For isostatic readjustment, the base of Column 2 is at depth D1, and there is a
superimposed stress by the overlying ice sheet. The density of ice is 920 kg/m 3 or
0.92 g/cc or 7.67 ppg. The height of the ice sheet is H3 – H1. When the ice is
removed there will be some uplift, and the distance to the surface has decreased by
the height of the ice sheet, causing an increase in the pressure gradient or equivalent
mud weight.

2.4.2 Example 2

Formation

example

In the following example, the formations have been uplifted by 2000 feet, and 2000 feet
In the following example, the formations have been uplifted by 2000 feet, and 2000
feet of erosion has occurred.

continued

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Example 2, continued

Overpressure

development

Original

Formation

Original

Equivalent

Uplifted

New

Equivalent

depth

pressure

pressure

Mud

Depth

pressure

Mud

ft

psi

gradient

Weight

ft

gradient

Weight

psi/ft

ppg

psi/ft

ppg

10000

4650

0.465

8.96

8000

0.581

11.20

8000

3720

0.465

8.96

6000

0.620

11.95

6000

2790

0.465

8.96

4000

0.697

13.44

4000

1860

0.465

8.96

2000

0.930

17.92

Original

Formation

Original

Equivalent

Uplifted

New

Equivalent

depth

pressure

pressure

Mud

Depth

pressure

Mud

m

kPa

gradient

Weight

m

gradient

Weight

kPa/m

kg/m³

kPa/m

kg/m³

3048

32060

10.52

1073.7

2438

13.15

1340.5

2438

25648

10.52

1073.7

1829

14.02

1429.1

1829

19236

10.52

1073.7

1219

15.78

1605.5

1219

12824

10.52

1073.7

609.5

21.04

2144.7

Example of overpressure development through uplift

Effective stress

The effective stress acting on the sediment controls the bulk density and porosity. If uplift and then erosion occur, the uplifted formations will have a lower porosity and higher bulk density at a given depth, when compared to a normally compacted formation at the same depth. This is because the uplifted formation has been subjected to a greater effective stress than the normally compacted sediment during its depositional history.

Discontinuity

Fracturing

This difference in compaction produces a discontinuity at the depth of the unconformity, producing a shift in the normal compaction trend. In addition, the uplifted sediment is now being acted upon by a reduced effective stress, and is one method of creating the mechanism of unloading.

and is one method of creating the mechanism of unloading. 2-10 © 2001, Sperry-Sun a Halliburton

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Faulting and Fractures

2.5 Faulting and Fractures

Effects of faulting Faulting can have many different effects on the distribution of pressures in the sub- surface, depending upon the following conditions:

Effectiveness of the seal on the fault plane – trapping pressures or acting as a drain

Displacement of the formations – impermeable formations moved next to permeable formations

Strata distribution – the original distribution of normal and overpressured strata prior to faulting

Fractures and joints produced by minor faulting allowing communication between strata of different pressures

Water expulsion

Types of faults

Faults may prevent the expulsion of water during the compaction process, whereupon the shales in such a zone remain at abnormally high porosity.

As discussed in Chapter 2, fault systems can be classified into three different types, dependent
As discussed in Chapter 2, fault systems can be classified into three different types,
dependent upon the relative magnitudes of the principal stresses acting on the
formation.

2.5.1 Normal Faults

Description

Fault pressure

Normal faults are generated when the stress field magnitudes are Sv > Shmax > Shmin. They are created when a basin is in extension and therefore tend to be open. This allows fluid pressures to be transmitted between beds, equalising the pressures. If saturated fluids are present the fault plane (because of the localised pressure decrease) becomes a preferred location for mineral crystallisation. The formation of crystals of Calcite, Dolomite, Anhydrite, or Quartz can cause the fault plane to seal, trapping higher than expected pressures in shallower formations or lower than expected pressures in deeper formations.

It is also possible for normal faults to uplift beds, and depending on the stratigraphy,
It is also possible for normal faults to uplift beds, and depending on the stratigraphy,
relocate the ends of the bed next to impermeable formations providing lateral and
vertical sealing. Figure 2-6(a) illustrates pressure equalisation caused by the fault
plane intersecting beds. Figure 2-6(b) illustrates overpressure generation as the
lower beds charge the shallower beds.

continued

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Normal Faults, continued

Pressure

transmission

Figure 2-6(a) and (b). Fault pressure transmission
Figure 2-6(a) and (b). Fault pressure transmission

2.5.2 Reverse Faults

Description

Fault pressure transmission 2.5.2 Reverse Faults Description 2.5.3 Strike-Slip Faults Description 2.5.4 Growth Faults

2.5.3 Strike-Slip Faults

Description

Faults Description 2.5.3 Strike-Slip Faults Description 2.5.4 Growth Faults Description Growth faults can be

2.5.4 Growth Faults

Description

Growth faults can be generated during sedimentation, and are also known as synsedimentary or listric
Growth faults can be generated during sedimentation, and are also known as
synsedimentary or listric faults. They are very similar in nature to landslides, with
the top of the fault plane being close to vertical, and the base of the fault becoming
parallel to the dip of the beds.

continued

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Growth Faults, continued

Growth fault

and Fractures Growth Faults , continued Growth fault Figure 2-7. Growth fault Downstream compartment Upstream

Figure 2-7. Growth fault

Downstream

compartment

Upstream

compartment

The down-stream compartment will exhibit a thickening of the beds closer to the fault caused by the fault block slowly slipping and more sediment filling the created depression.

The base of the upstream compartment can exhibit an area of undercompacted shale (residual shale)
The base of the upstream compartment can exhibit an area of undercompacted shale
(residual shale) caused by differential compaction compared to the formations on
the downstream side of the fault plane.

2.5.5 Fractures / Joints

Description

Joints are fractures in the rock with no displacement on either side of the fracture.
Joints are fractures in the rock with no displacement on either side of the fracture.
Fractures can be created when faulting occurs, or by overpressures creating enough
stress to crack the cap rock or seal. Once the pressure has bled off the fracture will
then close.

2.5.6 Charged Sands

Description

High pressures can occur in shallow sands if the sands are charged by fluids or
High pressures can occur in shallow sands if the sands are charged by fluids or gas
from lower formations. The conduits for the movement are faults or fractures. This
condition can also result from a poor surface casing cement job, casing leak or a
blow-out in a nearby well.

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

2.6 Stress Field Redistribution

Description

Overpressure

Tectonic activity is common in nearly all regions, and modifies the force and direction of a stress field. This can, in conjunction with the overburden stress acting vertically, increase the rate of compaction of the sediment. This will only hold true if the pore fluid is allowed to escape.

Tectonic forces may develop rapidly so that fluid expulsion is reduced, causing overpressuring to develop.
Tectonic forces may develop rapidly so that fluid expulsion is reduced, causing
overpressuring to develop. If the imposed tectonic stress increases too rapidly, the
overpressure may exceed the minimum principal stress leading to hydraulic
fracture, dissipating the pressure.

2.6.1 Formation Foreshortening

Description

Foreshortening

diagram

Formation foreshortening is related to the mechanism of stress field redistribution, and occurs when the horizontal stresses are large enough to laterally compress the beds. Depending on the competency of the beds it is possible that the deeper bed warps downward and the shallower bed warps upward. This causes the middle bed to expand to fill the void. In Figure 2-8, the compression of beds A and C will generate a larger stress in the pore fluids, causing overpressure. The expansion of bed B reduces the stress in the pore fluids, causing underpressure. This mechanism is generally limited to areas of modern tectonic activity, the flanks of the Rocky Mountains, for example.

Figure 2-8. Formation foreshortening
Figure 2-8. Formation foreshortening

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Undercompaction

2.7

Undercompaction

Definition

Undercompaction, also called disequilibrium compaction, is one of the major causes of overpressure in young shale/sand sequences. Overpressure creation is dependent upon the magnitude of the overburden pressure and the ability of a formation to expel water. The rate of sedimentation is the controlling factor on how rapidly the overburden pressure increases at a given point in the sequence.

Normal

compaction

Porosity

measurements

When sediments compact normally and the pore fluid is allowed to escape, the porosity naturally decreases and the system is said to be in equilibrium.

Magara (1978) published porosity measurements in argillaceous (clay) formations from various regions around the world:
Magara (1978) published porosity measurements in argillaceous (clay) formations
from various regions around the world:
Figure 2-9. Porosity vs. depth for argillaceous sediments

continued

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Undercompaction, continued

Curve definitions

• Curve 1 – (Athy) – Permian, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma – USA • Curve 2
Curve 1 – (Athy) – Permian, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma – USA
• Curve 2 – (Won Engelwardt) – Lias, Germany
• Curve 3 – (Storer) – Miocene and Pliocene, Po Valley – France
• Curve 4 – (Magara) – Tertiary – Japan
• Curve 5 – (Dickinson) – Tertiary, Gulf Coast – USA
• Curve 6 – (J.O.I.D.E.S), ocean drilling programme

2.7.1 Influences on Porosity

Change by depth

The porosity of argillaceous ooze can be as high as 80 percent at the sediment / seawater interface. Within the first 1000 m, the porosity decreases rapidly reaching on average 20 to 30 percent. Below this depth the decrease in porosity is far slower.

Particle shape

The individual sediment particles break contact above the porosity range of 45-50 percent, and the exact porosity depends upon their shape, size, packing, and distribution. When there is no grain-to-grain contact, a plastic state results where little or no overburden stress is supported by the matrix structure and the pore fluid supports the overburden stress.

Water content

The following factors influence the water content of argillaceous sediments under applied loads and contribute to the different porosity vs. depth relationships:

Type of clay mineral

Particle size

Adsorbed cations

Temperature

pH

Expelled fluid

Once compaction causes grain-to-grain contacts in the sediment, the pore fluids start to be expelled. For sediment to remain normally pressured, the pore fluid must be expelled at a rate less than or equal to the permeability of the sediment of a given compaction.

Sedimentation

 

rate

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2.7.2 Terzaghi and Peck

Description

Terzaghi and Peck (1948) performed an experiment to simulate the role of drainage in clay compaction and proved the simple relationship

S = σ + P

Overburden pressure (S) = pressure supported by the matrix (σ) + Pore pressure (P)

σ can also be referred to as the effective stress.

Experiment

definition

The experiment consisted of a cylinder containing three metal plates. The middle plate is perforated and the plates are separated by springs. The springs simulate the matrix of the clay. A fixed volume of water is contained between the upper and lower plate. The force S is constant in all three cases.

Illustration

The force S is constant in all three cases. Illustration Figure 2-10. Terzaghi and Peck experiment

Figure 2-10. Terzaghi and Peck experiment

Cylinder A

In A, the valve is closed, trapping the water in the cylinder. Both the springs and the water support the force S. The pressure generated in the water is measured in the manometer at the left of the cylinder.

Cylinder B

In B, the valve is opened slightly to allow water to escape, simulating dewatering. In this case, more of the force S is supported by the springs and therefore the pressure of the fluid drops.

Cylinder C

Comment

In C, the valve is fully open and the system is in equilibrium, the water is supporting

a force equal to the hydrostatic pressure, and the springs support the difference between the hydrostatic pressure P and the total stress S.

It is worth noting at this point Terzaghi and Peck’s experiment only illustrates the relationship
It is worth noting at this point Terzaghi and Peck’s experiment only illustrates the
relationship derived from uniaxial compression.

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2.7.3 Katz and Ibrahim

Description

Katz and Ibrahim (1971) presented a compaction model based upon Terzaghi and Peck’s simple spring analogy explaining the compaction of an argillacous layer situated between two permeable sand layers.

Explanation of

model

Illustration

The perforated layers represent the low permeability claystones restricting fluid flow. The experiment showed that when a load is applied suddenly to the system, the water between the discs will initially support the entire load. Then after a brief time, the water begins to be forced from between the plates in either an upward or a downward direction, depending on the direction of the initial stress. As the outer plates come closer together, it becomes more difficult to force the water past them, simulating the reduced permeability. Therefore, the pressure in the central compartment becomes more difficult to dissipate, producing a higher fluid potential in the centre compartments than in the outer compartments.

Figure 2-11. Katz and Ibrahim compaction model
Figure 2-11. Katz and Ibrahim compaction model

2.7.4 Harkins and Baugher

Description

compaction model 2.7.4 Harkins and Baugher Description continued 2-18 © 2001, Sperry-Sun a Halliburton Company

continued

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Harkins and Baugher, continued

Illustration

Illustration

description

Baugher , continued Illustration Illustration description Figure 2-12. Differential dewatering A. Normal compacted

Figure 2-12. Differential dewatering

A. Normal compacted claystone dewatering occurred to underlying sandstone. B. Claystone body with a low
A. Normal compacted claystone dewatering occurred to underlying sandstone.
B. Claystone body with a low permeability at the top and bottom, trapping fluid
and increasing pressure to the centre of the bed. Bed B is normally pressured at
the top and bottom as water escapes into beds A and C. The permeability
reduction creates a normally pressured claystone seal above sand C.
C. Open sandstone, dewatering the claystone above and below, pressure slightly
above hydrostatic.
D. Overpressured claystone with equal rates of dewatering, in contact with sands
above and below.
E. Open sandstone allowing rapid dewatering, pressure slightly above hydrostatic.
F. Rapid dewatering in contact with the overlying sand creates a thin claystone
seal at the top, causing a more rapid pressure transition in the bed.
G. Sandstone is higher than normal pressure but maintains a lower hydrostatic
potential than claystone, allowing some dewatering.
H. Claystone-only dewatering to the sand above and providing a seal for Bed I.
I. Charged sand preventing dewatering of surrounding claystone.

continued

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Harkins and Baugher, continued

North Sea

The central North Sea for example contains some highly overpressured Tertiary shale sequences that have been deposited to a depth of approximately 3350 m in 60 million years. The dominant rock type for this area is soft clay or gumbo. The rapid sedimentation and the low permeability of the clays has produced these overpressured shales. Given longer geological time it is probable that compaction will continue and the fluid will be squeezed out, creating a normal pressure regime.

description

Limestone beds

Pressure transitions in undercompacted claystones are usually gradual, Carstens (1978) and others have noted how thin (1-3 m) limestone beds can act as seals to stop fluid expulsion in these clays. Such beds cause a very rapid transition of pressures across the seal and higher overpressures than would be expected from a reduction in clay permeability.

Upper sands

 

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Evaporite Deposits

2.8 Evaporite Deposits

Evaporite

influences

Evaporite deposits can influence the development of overpressure in three ways:

1. Being impermeable, they act as an ideal seal, preventing dewatering or trapping of hydrocarbons.

2. Generate overpressure through diagenetic processes.

3. Diapirism, discussed in Section 3.12.

Evaporite

characteristics

The impermeable nature of these deposits prevents the vertical expulsion of formation fluids from underlying sediments, and where lateral permeability is restricted the increasing overburden pressure will lead to overpressure below the seal. However, the ability of salts to migrate vertically (diapirism) can result in a reduction of the seal efficiency, leading to a reduction in the trapped pressure.

Diagenic

transformation

The diagenetic transformation of gypsum to Anhydrite has been proven capable of overpressure generation (Louden, 1971). Studies show that gypsum is stable below 40°C in fresh water and standard pressure and temperature, and Anhydrite is stable above this threshold. Increasing the salinity of the water has the effect of lowering the temperature threshold, reaching a minimum of 25°C in a saturated NaCl solution.

Pressure increase

Transformation

As pressure is increased, it encourages the dewatering of gypsum and increases the stability of the Anhydrite water bond.

During the transformation of gypsum to Anhydrite, a volume of water equivalent to 38 percent
During the transformation of gypsum to Anhydrite, a volume of water equivalent to
38 percent of the original gypsum volume is released. If this water is unable to
escape, then the increase in pore water volume will cause a rise in pore pressure.
This transformation tends to occur at shallow depths where seals may be ineffective.

2.8.1 Clay Diagenesis

Description

Clay diagenesis or transformation during burial is regarded as a secondary mechanism of overpressure generation,
Clay diagenesis or transformation during burial is regarded as a secondary
mechanism of overpressure generation, with some debate as to the significance of
its role. Clays are made up of various different minerals, and their relative
percentage within a clay will influence the claystone’s behaviour in the presence of
water.

continued

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Clay Diagenesis, continued

Clay mineralogy

No. USOP0107 Clay Diagenesis , continued Clay mineralogy Figure 2-13. Clay mineralogy Phylosilicates Clay or

Figure 2-13. Clay mineralogy

Phylosilicates

Clay or argillacous minerals are part of a mineralogical group known as the phylosilicates. This defines them as being composed of sheets or lattice layers that are in turn made up of tetrahedra and octohedra.

Formula

The tetrahedra are comprised of either silicon (Si), aluminium (Al), or iron (Fe 3+ ), bound with oxygen with the formula:

M 2 O 5

where M is either Si, Al, or Fe 3+ .

Pyrophyllite

The simplest clay mineral is Pyrophyllite and consists of two tetrahedral sheets bonded by Al 3+ . Pyrophyllite is electrically neutral and the sheets are connected by residual links called van der Waals bonds.

Smectite

Illites

If the silicon cations start to be replaced by aluminium cations in the tetrahedral layer, this produces a negative charge. This negative charge causes the adsorption of water and other cations. Clay minerals of this type are known as smectites. Montmorillonite is a clay type composed of smectite minerals.

Continued replacement of the silicon cations with aluminium cations increases the electrical imbalance and allows
Continued replacement of the silicon cations with aluminium cations increases the
electrical imbalance and allows potassium or calcium ions to be fixed between the
layers. The clay mineral then looses its capacity to adsorb water. Clay minerals of
this type are known as Illites.

continued

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Evaporite Deposits

Clay Diagenesis, continued

Kaolinite

Kaolinite is another mineral that makes up clays and is similar to Pyrophyllite, except that it is asymmetrical and has better thermal stability.

Water adsorption As can be seen, the mineralogical changes that clays undergo during diagenesis are an important control on their ability to adsorb water. For example, Montmorillonite has a high water adsorption capability giving it a characteristic swelling property in contact with water.

Mineral

As clay mineral transformation occurs (generally to Illite) through cation exchange,

transformation

the clay’s ability to hold water diminishes and water is expelled from the mineral structure. Continuing diagenesis will lead to the formation of Kaolinite.

Clay dehydration illustration

the formation of Kaolinite. Clay dehydration illustration Figure 2-14. Schematic dehydration of clays during burial.

Figure 2-14. Schematic dehydration of clays during burial. After Powers, 1959, Burst, 1969

Pressure effects

Studies have shown a close relationship between the burial depth and an increased percentage of
Studies have shown a close relationship between the burial depth and an increased
percentage of Illite, with a corresponding reduction of mixed layer clays. The rate
the transformation occurs and water expelled is largely governed by the temperature
and ionic activity, and to a lesser degree, pressure.

continued

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Clay Diagenesis, continued

Behavior model

Powers, 1959 (Figure 2-14 curve a), proposed a two-phase model characterised by an initial phase reducing the pore water volume through normal dewatering driven by overburden pressures. In the second phase, interlayer water is expelled first under the influence of pressure, but as burial depth increases, temperature becomes the dominant mechanism as the clay minerals convert from smectite to Illite.

Revised model

Burst, 1969 (Figure 2-14 curves b and c), added a third stage. In the first stage, free pore water is expelled under pressure. The rate of expulsion reduces as the permeability of the clay decreases. The second stage expels the “last but one molecular layer of water” under the effect of temperature. The third stage expels the remaining interlayer water.

Temperature

effect

Water volumes

Temperature plays a significant role in this process. The geothermal gradient is more important than the burial depth. Burst states that the second stage of water expulsion occurs at a temperature of 90 to100°C / 194 to 212°F.

Burst also showed how the relative volumes of water and clay varied with each phase:
Burst also showed how the relative volumes of water and clay varied with each
phase:
Initial
After 1st
After 2nd
After 3rd
deposition
dehydration
dehydration
dehydration
Percent of
100
35 28
25
original volume
Bulk density
1.32 g/cc
1.96 g/cc
2.28 g/cc
2.57 g/cc
Pore water
70.0
10.0
5.0
5.0
Interlayer water
7.0
20.0
11.0
0.0
Swelling clay
13.0
40.0
22.0
0.0
solids
Non-swelling
5.0
15.0
43.5
74.0
clay solids
Non-clay solids
5.0
15.0
18.5
21.0

2.8.2 Diagenetic Cap-Rocks

Definition

These are hardened or carbonated shale layers above zones of overpressure. Mouchet and Mitchell (1989)
These are hardened or carbonated shale layers above zones of overpressure.
Mouchet and Mitchell (1989) suggest the most probable origin is of preferential
carbonate precipitation as a consequence of underlying overpressure. Cations
precipitate from solution under varying conditions of pressure, temperature, pH and
ionic concentration. Where normally pressured clay overlies undercompacted clay,
the relative levels of these conditions change abruptly, encouraging precipitation.
Thus, diagenetic cap-rocks act to maintain a seal to underlying overpressure, similar
to evaporite deposits.

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Osmosis

2.9

Osmosis

Definition

Osmosis is the spontaneous movement of water through a semi-permeable membrane separating solutions of different salt concentrations. Movement of fluids will continue until the concentration becomes equal on each side of the membrane. Early work in the Gulf Coast region proposed this effect to explain salinity and pressure differences between reservoirs separated by clay beds.

Factors for

There are many factors on which the potential for osmosis through clay (acting as a semi-permeable membrane) depends: differential salinity concentrations, differential electrical potential, mineralogy, temperature, bed thickness, porosity, pore size, fracturing, and differential pressure.

osmosis

Proof for osmosis

Given the numerous and often exacting conditions required for osmosis to occur, its existence in
Given the numerous and often exacting conditions required for osmosis to occur, its
existence in nature can be considered uncertain and difficult to prove.

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Hydrocarbon Cracking

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

2.10 Hydrocarbon Cracking

Definition

Overpressure is often associated with zones of hydrocarbon generation, particularly in basins with kerogen source rocks. It is generally understood that the change from solid kerogen is accompanied by a volume increase of up to 25 percent. Kerogen source rocks are characterised by the narrow temperature range (relatively short time period at a constant rate of burial) over which they generate oil with a higher yield per unit volume of rock.

Accepted model

The presently accepted model for the expulsion of hydrocarbons from low permeability source rocks requires high internal pore pressures in the source rocks. This has to be sufficient to squeeze the oil out of the micropores and/or to initiate microfractures, releasing the maturing hydrocarbon liquids. However the case for volume increase associated with kerogen transformation to liquid hydrocarbons is not proven.

Kinetic control

It is conceivable that although the transformation of kerogen to liquid hydrocarbon is a kinetically controlled reaction, the build-up of high pressures may act to retard the reaction.

Cracking

Oil to gas cracking occurs at high temperatures, generally between 120 and 140°C / 248 and 284°F. Almost complete cracking to gaseous hydrocarbons (mainly methane) occurs at temperatures in excess of 180°C.

Research on

cracking

At standard temperatures and pressures (STP), one volume of standard crude oil can be shown to crack to 534.3 volumes of gas. This observation lead Barker (1990) to suggest that when the system is effectively isolated, there is an immediate and dramatic increase in pressure as oil cracks to gas. His research showed that only a 1 percent cracking of oil was necessary for the pressure to reach that of the overburden, such that fracturing is inevitable and leakage may occur.

Overpressure

locations

Biogenic gas

generation

There are several basins where the distribution of overpressure is coincident with the deeper parts of the basin. This is assumed to be where oil cracking is occurring, the Northern and central North Sea, for example.

At shallow depth, organic matter is transformed through bacterial action, and in a closed environment
At shallow depth, organic matter is transformed through bacterial action, and in a
closed environment the expansion from gas generation can result in overpressure. In
the worst case, large volumes of gas may become trapped in shallow sediments and
be released during the riserless drilling phase of the well.

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Aquathermal Pressuring

2.11 Aquathermal Pressuring

Pressure effect

Work by Kennedy & Holser (1966) first indicated that water heated in a closed vessel will increase about 125 psi/°F. Thus a formation that is completely sealed can increase by 1000 psi for a rise of only 8°F.

Formation pressure increase

For a typical sedimentary sequence, a geothermal gradient can be expected to range from 1.0 to 2.5°F/100 ft. So a sealed formation fluid pressure caused by aquathermal pressuring may range from 1.25 to 3.2 psi/ft.

Magara’s

calculations

Aquathermal

expansion

Magara (1975) used a figure of 1.4 psi/ft for the Gulf Coast and showed that by aquathermal pressuring, an overpressured sequence can become equal to the overburden pressure. For example, a shale sequence becomes isolated at 8000 feet with a pressure of 3600 psi. If this formation were buried to 20,000 feet, the pore pressure would be equal to

3600 + (12000 x 1.4) = 20,400 psi

Aquathermal pressuring could therefore account for areas where the pore pressure is greater or equal to overburden pressure.

Aquathermal expansion will only be effective if exacting conditions are met. The pore volume has
Aquathermal expansion will only be effective if exacting conditions are met. The
pore volume has to remain the same, the system is isolated, and the temperature
increases after isolation. In reality, for most sedimentary rocks, the pore volume will
adjust to the new overburden and pore pressure, and some pressure bleed-off will
occur, either from fracturing or from fluid migration.

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Diapirism

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

2.12

Diapirism

2.12.1 Salt Diapirism

Definition

Salt diapir

diagram

The upwards movement of a less dense salt deposit due to its plastic behaviour and buoyancy relative to overlying sediments can disturb the normal layering of sediments, thereby producing pressure anomalies. Overpressured zones often occur because of the faulting and folding actions associated with diapirism. Additionally, the salt may act as an impermeable seal to lateral dewatering of clays.

Figure 2-15. Salt diapir
Figure 2-15. Salt diapir

continued

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Diapirism

Salt Diapirism, continued

Formation pressure increase

Formation pressure increases can develop around salt domes for the following reasons:

1. Palaeopressure from the uplifting of deeper formation.

2. Isolated rafts above the diapir uplifted and sealed may trap significant overpressure.

3. Raised salinity levels in the surrounding formation water may generate osmotic abnormal pressures.

4. Uplifted formations pierced by the salt dome and sealed may transmit pressure to shallower depths.

Fracturing

Formations may also contain pressure transmitted from greater depths through fracturing in proximity to salt
Formations may also contain pressure transmitted from greater depths through
fracturing in proximity to salt dome.

2.12.2 Mud Volcanoes

Definition

Illustration

This mechanism, similar to salt diapirism, refers to the upward movement of a less dense plastic zone, in this case shale. These are usually associated with rapid Tertiary sedimentation and/or Late Cretaceous sediments. This type of mechanism is commonly associated with active transcurrent faults or subduction zones. For example, New Zealand, Caspian Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica.

Figure 2-16. Shale diapir / mud volcano
Figure 2-16. Shale diapir / mud volcano

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Subnormal Formation Pressures

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

2.13 Subnormal Formation Pressures

Definition

No. USOP0107 2.13 Subnormal Formation Pressures Definition 2.13.1 Artificial Production Artificial cause Subnormal

2.13.1 Artificial Production

Artificial cause

Subnormal pressures are commonly produced when hydrocarbons and/or water are produced. Unless this is compensated
Subnormal pressures are commonly produced when hydrocarbons and/or water are
produced. Unless this is compensated for by a strong water drive, it will reduce pore
pressure and cause compaction. This may in turn cause land subsidence. Where
freshwater aquifers have been tapped, the reduction in hydrostatic head can cause
subnormal pressure. Levorsen refers to the Texas Panhandle that has gradients
ranging from 0.36 to 0.39 psi/ft caused by this mechanism.

2.13.2 Precipitation

Low water table

In very arid areas such as the Middle East the water table may be found
In very arid areas such as the Middle East the water table may be found hundreds of
feet below the surface, hence underpressured formations can result. The hydrostatic
gradient commences at the water table only, causing a subnormal gradient from the
surface.

2.13.3 Potentiometric Surface

Structural relief

This mechanism relates to the structural relief of a formation and can result in under-
This mechanism relates to the structural relief of a formation and can result in
under- or overpressured reservoirs. There is a spontaneous electrical potential
between formations, which indicates the flow of electrical current. This flow of
current moves fluids through the porous media (water flows to the cathode). Strong
salinity contrasts in lenticular sand bodies that are favourable to osmotic action may
result in subnormal pressures. In the Morrow Sands (Oklahoma) there is a regional
transition from sub- to overpressures.

2.13.4 Temperature Change

Temperature

reduction

2.13.4 Temperature Change Temperature reduction 2-30 © 2001, Sperry-Sun a Halliburton Company April

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms Subnormal Formation Pressures

2.13.5 Epeirogenic Movements

Elevation change

Changes in elevation can cause abnormal pressures in some formations open to the surface laterally,
Changes in elevation can cause abnormal pressures in some formations open to the
surface laterally, but otherwise sealed. Thus, if the outcrop is raised, the formation
pressure becomes abnormally high and vice-versa. Pressure changes are seldom
caused by changes in elevation alone, since associated erosion and deposition are
also significant factors. Loss or gain of water-saturated sediments is also important.

2.13.6 Formation Foreshortening

Warping of beds

This mechanism may occur in areas of modern tectonic activity, such as along the flanks
This mechanism may occur in areas of modern tectonic activity, such as along the
flanks of the Rocky Mountains. It is suggested that during compression, upwarping
of the upper beds and downwarping of the lower beds can result. The intermediate
beds must expand to fill the voids left by this process. It is then possible for more
competent, intermediate beds to have a subnormal pressure gradient.

2.13.7 Decompressional Expansion

Reservoirs

Russel noticed that in gas reservoirs in the Appalachian Region underpressure occurred in reservoirs associated
Russel noticed that in gas reservoirs in the Appalachian Region underpressure
occurred in reservoirs associated with shales in areas that had been eroded. This
erosion may have decreased overburden pressure and temperature, and increased the
pore volume due to expansion of the crystal structure.

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Formation Pressure Generation Mechanisms References

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

2.14

References

References

Learning Document No. USOP0107 2.14 References References 2-32 © 2001, Sperry-Sun a Halliburton Company April

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Unit systems and calculations Introduction and Objectives

Chapter 3

Unit systems and calculations

Scope

This is Chapter 3 of the Distributed Learning Formation Pressure Evaluation Course.

Course title

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning

Chapter contents

This chapter contains the following information: 3.1 Introduction and Objectives 3-3 3.1.1 Introduction 3-3 3.1.2
This chapter contains the following information:
3.1 Introduction and Objectives
3-3
3.1.1 Introduction
3-3
3.1.2 Chapter Objectives
3-3
3.2 Unit Systems
3-4
3.2.1 Imperial Units
3-4
3.2.2 SI and Metric Units
3-5
3.2.3 Units for Ditch Gas Measurement
3-7
3.3 Temperature Conversions
3-8
3.3.1 Fahrenheit 3-8
3.3.2 Celsius or Centigrade
3-8
3.3.3 Kelvin 3-8
3.3.4 Conversion Factors 3-9
3.4 Formulae
3-10
3.4.1 Height and Depth
3-10
3.4.2 SI Pressure Calculation
3-10
3.4.3 Metric Pressure Calculation
3-11
3.4.4 Imperial Pressure Calculation
3-11
3.4.5 Density of Fresh Water at 20°C or 68°F
3-12
3.4.6 Density Conversion Factors
3-13
3.4.7 Derivation of 8.345 ppg Conversion from ppg to g/cc
3-13
3.5 Gradient Calculations 3-14
3.5.1 Calculation of Pressure Gradients
3-14
3.5.2 Calculation of SI gradients
3-14
3.5.3 Calculation of Metric Gradients
3-14
3.5.4 Calculation of Imperial Gradients
3-14
3.6 Mud Weight Calculations 3-15
3.6.1 Calculation of Equivalent Mud Weights
3-15
3.6.2 Calculation of SI Equivalent Mud Weight
3-15
3.6.3 Calculation of Metric Equivalent Mud Weight
3-15
3.6.4 Calculation of Imperial Equivalent Mud Weight
3-15
3.6.5 Pounds Per Thousand Feet (PPTF)
3-16
3.6.6 Depth Datum for the Calculation of Gradients and EMW
3-16

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3.7 Conversion Constants 3-18 3.8 Example calculations – Pressure, EMW, Gradt 3-22 3.8.1 SI Calculation
3.7 Conversion Constants
3-18
3.8 Example calculations – Pressure, EMW, Gradt
3-22
3.8.1 SI Calculation Examples
3-22
3.8.2 Metric Calculation Examples
3-23
3.8.3 Imperial Calculation Examples
3-24
3.8.4 Mixed Units Calculations
3-25
3.9 Hydrostatic Calculations
3-27
3.9.1 Aquifer Pressure calculations – Positive effect
3-27
3.9.2 Aquifer Pressure calculations – Negative effect
3-28
3.9.3 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy - Gas
3-29
3.9.4 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy - Calculation Method 1
3-29
3.9.5 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy - Calculation Method 2
3-30
3.9.6 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy - Notes on Both Methods
3-31
3.9.7 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy – Gas and Oil
3-31
3.10 Example Calculations – Hydrostatic, Buoyancy
3-33
3.10.1 Aquifer Pressure calculations – Positive effect
3-33
3.10.2 Aquifer Pressure calculations – Negative effect
3-34
3.10.3 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy - Gas
3-35
3.10.4 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy - Calculation Method 1
3-35
3.10.5 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy - Calculation Method 2
3-36
3.10.6 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy - Notes on Both Methods
3-37
3.10.7 Hydrocarbon Buoyancy – Gas and Oil
3-37
3.11 References
3-39
3.12 Example calculations answers
3-40
3.12.1 SI Calculation Answers
3-40
3.12.2 Metric Calculation Answers
3-41
3.12.3 Imperial Calculation Answers
3-42

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Unit systems and calculations Introduction and Objectives

3.1 Introduction and Objectives

Description

This section introduces the subject and describes the objectives.
This section introduces the subject and describes the objectives.

3.1.1 Introduction

Unit systems

Two main unit systems are in general use in the oil and gas industry: the Imperial system, and the International system of units, or SI (Système International). SI units are the latest standardisation of the metric system, with SI units being defined in 1960 and the metric system being in use since the mid-1700s.

Choice of systems

Choice of unit systems is dependent upon the operator or partner’s preferences. It is quite common to encounter a mixture of imperial, metric, and SI unit systems in use for one client.

Lack of

standardization

The lack of standardisation in the Imperial system serves only to confuse matters further. The difference between British Imperial and American gallons is a prime example.

Pore pressure

analysis

One specific requirement of pore pressure analysis is to be able to calculate pressures, pressure gradients (pressure/depth interval), and pressures expressed as an equivalent mud weight (EMW) in one or more unit systems, and in some instances to be able to convert between unit systems.

Conversion

recommendation

To minimise errors from conversions and rounding in formulae it is good practice to perform the calculations with the data all in the same unit system, and then convert the results into other unit systems.

Rig math

Example

Calculations

A number of conversion constants are in common use in the oil industry to allow calculations to be performed quickly. This is commonly referred to as rig math, and although these constants are not scientifically rigorous they are selected to minimise the effect of any inherent rounding errors when used in the appropriate way.

A set of calculation examples are provided for the students to familiarize themselves with the
A set of calculation examples are provided for the students to familiarize themselves
with the calculation of hydrostatic pressures and the use of pressure, equivalent mud
weights and gradients.

3.1.2 Chapter Objectives

Objectives

After completing this section you should be able to: 1. List the base units of
After completing this section you should be able to:
1. List the base units of the Imperial FPS and SI systems.
2. Calculate hydrostatic pressures in Imperial and SI systems.
3. Calculate hydrostatic pressure gradients and equivalent mud weights.
4. Explain how the constants 0.433, 0.0519 and 0.00981 are derived and applied.

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Unit systems and calculations Unit Systems

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

3.2 Unit Systems

Description

This section describes the different unit systems in use.

Unit systems

A Unit system is formed around a set of base units from which all other measurement units in that system can be derived. Unit systems are either coherent

or

customary. A coherent system is one where derived units can be formed from the

base units without the insertion of factors of proportionality other than unity. A

customary system originated from day-to-day customs and arbitrary standards, and

has different factors of proportionality to create derived units. For example 1 metre

100 cm = 1000 millimetres is a coherent system, and 1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches is a customary system.

=

Consistent and

A

further distinction is between consistent units (which are derived from the base

field units

units), and field units (which use a modification of the fundamental dimensions). For example in the FPS system lb/ft 2 is a consistent unit and psi (lb/in 2 ) is a field unit.

Field units

 

3.2.1 Imperial Units

Imperial system

The Imperial system actually consists of two related systems: the U.S. Customary System, used in the United States and dependencies, and the British Imperial System. The names of the units and the relationships between them are generally the same in both systems, but the sizes of the units differ, sometimes considerably.

Imperial base

units

The base unit of length is the yard (YD), the base unit of mass (weight) is the pound (lb), and the base unit of time is seconds (sec). For liquid measure or liquid capacity, the base unit is the gallon. Within the English system of measurement there are three different systems of weights: avoirdupois, troy, and apothecary.

Oil & gas base units

Conversion

problems

In the oil and gas industry it is accepted practice to use FPS as the base units (feet,

pounds and seconds). Liquid volumes are measured using the American gallons.

The Imperial units of measurement have many drawbacks: the complication of converting one to another,
The Imperial units of measurement have many drawbacks: the complication of
converting one to another, the difference between American and British units, the
use of the same name for different units (pound is a measure of both mass and
force), and the existence of three different systems of weights.

continued

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Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Unit systems and calculations Unit Systems

Imperial Units, continued

Oilfield imperial

units

Quantity Base Units Name of Unit Unit Symbol Length Foot ft Mass Pound lb Time
Quantity Base Units
Name of Unit
Unit Symbol
Length
Foot
ft
Mass
Pound
lb
Time
Second
s
Temperature
Degrees Fahrenheit
°F
Derived Units
Name of Unit
Unit Symbol
Area
Square foot
ft 2
Area
Square Inch
in 2
Volume
Cubic foot
ft 3
Volume
US gallon
gal (US)
Volume
US barrel
bbl
Density
Pound per gallon
ppg
Density
Pound per cubic foot
pcf
Velocity
Feet per second
ft/s
Force
Pound
lb
Pressure, stress
Pounds per square
inch
psi

3.2.2 SI and Metric Units

Metric system

The French devised the Metric units system in an effort to standardize weights and measures and decided that the new system would have the following attributes:

1. The system should consist of measuring units based on invariable quantities in nature.

2. All units other than the base units should be derived from these base units.

Metric system

base

SI system

The metric system is based on the decimal system; multiples and sub-multiples are always related to powers of ten.

The metric system is a dynamic system that is continually being improved to keep pace
The metric system is a dynamic system that is continually being improved to keep
pace with developments in science and technology. In 1960 the CGPM (Conférence
générale des poids et measures), or the General Conference of Weights and
Measures, defined the standards for the international system of units commonly
known as SI.

continued

April 2007

© 2001, Sperry Drilling Services

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Unit systems and calculations Unit Systems

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

SI and Metric Units, continued

SI base units

Measurement

Unit

length

metre

electric current

ampere

mass

kilogram

light intensity

candela

temperature

Kelvin

substance amount

mole

time

second

All other SI units are derived from these base units.

Metric system

alternatives

It is still common to use older metric units that are not defined in the SI system, such as degrees centigrade for temperature.

SI units

Quantity Base Units

Name of Unit

 

Unit Symbol

Length

Metre

m

Mass

Kilogram

kg

Time

Second

s

Temperature

Kelvin

K

Derived Units

Name of Unit

 

Unit Symbol

Area

Square Metre

m

2

Volume

Cubic Metre

m

3

Density

Kilogram per Cubic Metre

kg/ m 3

Velocity

Metres per Second

 

m/s

Force

Kilogram per Metre per Second Squared or Newton

Kg m/s 2 or N

Pressure, Stress

Newton per Square Metre or Pascal

N/m 2 Pa

Metric units

Multipliers

Quantity

Name of Unit

Unit Symbol

Density

Specific Gravity

sg

Temperature

Degrees Celsius

°C

Pressure

Bars (Pa x 10 5 )

Bar

Factor Name Symbol Factor Name Symbol 12 -1 10 tera T 10 deci d 9
Factor
Name
Symbol
Factor
Name
Symbol
12
-1
10
tera
T
10
deci
d
9
-2
10
giga
G
10
centi
c
6
-3
10
mega
M
10
milli
m
3
-6
10
kilo
K
10
micro
μ
2
-9
10
hecto
H
10
nano
n
-12
10
deca
Da
10
pico
p
-15
10
femto
f
-18
10
atto
a

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© 2001, Sperry-Sun a Halliburton Company

April 2007

Revision D

Formation Pressure Evaluation Distributed Learning Document No. USOP0107

Unit systems and calculations Unit Systems

3.2.3 Units for Ditch Gas Measurement

Ditch gas units

Ditch Gas units require mentioning at this stage. There are five units used that can be employed when measuring ditch gas:

1. percent

2. parts per million

3. API units

4. Canadian units

5. Bariod units

Total

combustible gas

Chromatograph

units

The total combustible gas in air from the gas trap is expressed in percent as a metric measurement or as units for the Imperial system.