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GEOPHYSICS, VOL. 79, NO. 4 (JULY-AUGUST 2014); P. D243–D252, 7 FIGS., 3 TABLES.

10.1190/GEO2013-0277.1
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Pore-pressure prediction in carbonate rock using wavelet transformation

Fu Yu1, Yan Jin1, Kang Ping Chen2, and Mian Chen1

ABSTRACT and porosity were changed, and X-ray diffraction tests were
used to measure mineral components. The small-scale fluctua-
Accurate prediction of pore pressure can assist engineers to tions of the P-wave velocity can be extracted and amplified
better work out and optimize an oilfield development plan. Be- using wavelet transformation. We found that the small-scale
cause the P-wave velocity only experiences small-scale fluctu- fluctuations of the P-wave velocity were caused by pore-
ations for pore-pressure change in carbonate rocks, existing pressure change in carbonate rocks and the large-scale fluctua-
well-known pore-pressure prediction methods are incapable of tions of the P-wave velocity depended on the rock framework.
predicting pore pressure in carbonate rocks with field-required Overpressure formation can be identified by the high-frequency
accuracy. We evaluated a new method based on the P-wave detail of wavelet transformation of P-wave velocity. A pore-
velocity decomposition and wavelet transformation to predict pressure prediction model relating the contribution from the
pore pressure in carbonate rocks. The P-wave velocity was pore fluid to the P-wave velocity was developed. This model
decomposed into contributions from the pore fluid and the rock is an improvement over existing pore-pressure prediction
framework using Biot’s theory. The effect of lithology, pore methods that mainly rely on empirical relations between the
structure, porosity, and pore pressure on P-wave velocity was P-wave velocity and the pore pressure. This new method was
studied by theoretical analysis and experiments. Rapid successfully applied to carbonate rocks in Tazhong Block,
triaxial rock-system tests were carried out to measure the P- Tarim oilfield, demonstrating the feasibility of the proposed
and S-wave velocities when pore pressure, pore structure, pore-pressure prediction method.

INTRODUCTION Currently, widely used methods for pore-pressure prediction are


based on the theory of undercompaction of argillaceous sediment
Pore pressure in subsurface formations varies from hydrostatic (Smith, 1971; Goulty, 2004; Goulty et al., 2012). Identification
pressure to as high as 95% of the overburden stress. Normal pore of overpressure formation can be made through the differences
pressure is the hydrostatic pressure caused by the column of pore between the recorded and the normal trend in P-wave velocity
fluid from the surface to the depth of interest. When pore pressure and other parameters. Empirical or semiempirical prediction tech-
exceeds the normal pressure, it is termed overpressure. Poor knowl- niques such as the Eaton’s method (Eaton, 1975) have been used
edge of pore pressure often leads to high costs and unsafe condi- to predict pore pressure in clastic rocks. When these methods are
tions such as fluid influx and well blowouts from drilling operations applied to carbonate rocks, however, they can lead to significant,
(Fertl, 1976; Flemings and Lupa, 2004). For example, in the deep- and potentially dangerous, errors, such as predicting normal pres-
water of the Gulf of Mexico, incidents associated with pore pressure sure in a highly overpressured formation. This is due to the fact
and wellbore instability accounted for 5.6% of drilling time in non- that the mechanism of pore-pressure generation for carbonate
subsalt wells (York et al., 2009). It has been well recognized that rocks is different from that for clastic rocks (Atashbari and Tingay,
pore-pressure prediction is critically important for drilling planning 2012). Measured logging data show that P-wave velocity
and operations. experiences some small fluctuations when pore-pressure changes

Manuscript received by the Editor 23 July 2013; revised manuscript received 14 January 2014; published online 10 July 2014.
1
China University of Petroleum, State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, Beijing, China. E-mail: yufu03137@126.com; jiny@
cup.edu.cn; chenmian@vip.163.com.
2
Arizona State University, School for Engineering of Matter, Transport & Energy, Tempe, Arizona, USA. E-mail: k.p.chen@asu.edu.
© 2014 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. All rights reserved.

D243
D244 Yu et al.

(Goldhammer, 1997; Zhang, 2011), and the normal trend cannot ANALYSIS OF THE P-WAVE VELOCITY
be defined. Thus, the well-established pore-pressure prediction EQUATION
methods cannot be applied to carbonate rocks (Han et al., 1986;
Li et al., 2000). In this case, precisely predicting pore pressure Acoustic wave in the formation propagates through the rock
in carbonate rocks with conventional acoustic logging data becomes framework and the pore fluid (Geertsma and Smit, 1961). Wyllie
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difficult. The central reason for the difficulty of predicting pore et al. (1958) propose the time-average equation showing the rela-
pressure in carbonate rocks is the inability to identify key param- tionship of P-wave velocity and the rock framework velocity, the
eters linking the P-wave velocity response to the pore-pressure pore fluid velocity, and porosity based on the two-phase medium
change. model. Wyllie’s equation, however, is not rigorous. Meanwhile, the
Recently, wavelet transformation has been frequently used to effect factors of the pore fluid and rock framework velocity have not
similar problems (fracture identification, fracture quantity calcula- been given; furthermore, the trend of P-wave velocity, which de-
tion, etc.) in geophysical well logging by many researchers pends on the pore fluid or rock framework, is not certain. A P-
(Sahimi and Hashemi, 2001; Tokhmechi et al., 2009). Yue and wave-velocity equation including the contributions from the pore
Tao (2006) apply wavelet transformation on resistivity logs and fluid and rock framework can be more accurately established by
extracted reservoir fluid properties. Dutta (2002) proposes that Biot’s poroelastic theory, which will provide the theoretical basis
overpressure is associated with the high-frequency component for the analysis of P-wave velocity fluctuations.
of P-wave velocity. Similarly, an original P-wave-velocity signal Based on the Biot’s poroelastic theory for fluid-saturated porous
represents the comprehensive response of all information from media, the P-wave-velocity equation takes the form of
the subsurface, which can be decomposed into a series of compo- sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
nents containing different information about rock characteristics K þ 4G∕3
VP ¼ ; (1)
such as lithology, porosity, pore structure, and pore pressure (Jiao ϕρf þ ð1 − ϕÞρs
et al., 1999; Lu and Horne, 2000; Rivera et al., 2004). We show a
way to distinguish, capture, and use the components containing where V P is the P-wave velocity, K is the bulk modulus of the fluid-
pore-pressure information from P-wave velocity by such methods saturated rock or the bulk modulus of the porous rock in undrained
because wavelet transformation provides the key for pore-pressure condition, G is the shear modulus of the porous rock, ϕ is the poros-
prediction in carbonate rocks. ity, ρf and ρs are the densities of the pore fluid and the solid grains,
To use wavelet transformation to predict pore pressure, the respectively. Because there are no shear forces associated with the
effect of pore pressure on the characteristics of the fluctuations pore fluid, the shear modulus of the pore fluid is equal to zero. Thus,
of P-wave velocity needs to be studied. The factors affecting the porous rock and the rock framework have the same shear modu-
P-wave velocity can be divided into three categories (Wyllie et al., lus of
1956; Liu et al., 1991): The first is lithology, such as mineral
composition, cementation type, grain density, and porosity; the G ¼ Gfr ; (2)
second is physical factors, such as pore pressure; and the third is
where Gfr is the shear modulus of the rock framework.
the petroliferous factor (hydrocarbon), such as fluid saturation,
The bulk modulus of the saturated rock is related to the bulk
and fluid density. The P-wave velocity properties of hydrocarbon
modulus of the rock framework, the solid grains, and the pore fluid
have been studied as a function of pressure and temperature (Rao
by the Gassmann equation (Gassmann, 1951),
and Rao, 1959). In addition, the effects of pressure, temperature,
and composition on the P-wave velocity of hydrocarbon gases  2
K
and oils have been examined (Batzle and Wang, 1992). However, Kf 1 − Kfrs
K ¼ K fr þ  ; (3)
for the specific case considered in this study, the changes of hydro- ϕ 1þ Kf K fr
carbon composition, density, and temperature are relatively small ϕK s 1 − ϕ − K s
for the reservoir, and these changes can be ignored. Thus, for the
pore fluid, it is reasonable to consider only the effect of pressure on where K f , K s , and K fr are the bulk modulus of the pore fluid, solid
P-wave velocity. It is noted that for carbonate rocks, P-wave veloc- grains, and rock framework, respectively.
ity is particularly affected by rock framework (porosity and pore When equation 3 is substituted into equation 1, the P-wave veloc-
structure) (Eberli et al., 2003) in addition to pore pressure (Wang, ity equation becomes
1997). vffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
u  2
In this paper, we first apply Biot’s theory (Biot, 1962) to express u K
u K fr þ4Gfr ∕3 K f 1− Kfrs 1
the P-wave velocity in terms of the contributions from the pore fluid VP ¼ t þ   .
and the rock framework. The effects of lithology, porosity, pore ϕρf þð1−ϕÞρs ϕ 1þ K f 1−ϕ− K fr ϕρf þð1−ϕÞρs
ϕK s Ks
structure, and pore pressure on P-wave velocity fluctuations are
then analyzed for carbonate rocks based on poroelasticity and (4)
experiments. The small fluctuations of P-wave velocity due to
the pore-pressure change are obtained from P-wave velocity decom- Equation 4 can be rearranged to
position using wavelet transformation, which is then used to build a
vffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
 2 ffi
new pore-pressure prediction model. This new model is applied to u K
uK þ 4 G 1 − Kfrs
u fr 3 fr K fr þ 43 Gfr ϕρf 1 Kf
predict pore pressure of carbonate rocks in Tazhong Block, Tarim VP ¼ t − þ  .
ð1 − ϕÞρs ð1 − ϕÞρs ð1 − ϕÞρs þ φρf ð1 − φÞρs þ ϕρf ϕ 1 þ Kf 1 − ϕ − Kfr
ϕK s Ks
oilfield. The results demonstrate the viability of the proposed pre-
diction model. (5)
Pore pressure and wavelet transformation D245

When the porous rock is dry, ρf ¼ 0, K f ¼ 0, equation 5 gives P- and S-waves were measured after 30 min to equilibrate pressure.
the P-wave velocity in the rock framework as The test results were shown in Figures 1 and 2.
sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
K fr þ 43 Gfr Experimental result and theory
V P;dry ¼ . (6)
ð1 − ϕÞρs The contribution from the rock framework to P-wave velocity
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Because carbonate rocks may possess complex pore structures,


With equation 6, the P-wave velocity in a saturated porous rock, there is no unique model relating the rock framework modulus to
equation 5, can be written as the solid grain modulus. Commonly used empirical models are
mainly Krief et al. model (Krief et al., 1990), Nur model (Nur,
vffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
 2
u K 1992), and Pride model (Pride and Berryman, 2004). We can use
u 1− Kfrs K fr þ 43 Gfr
u 2 1 Kf ϕρf
t
V P ¼ V P;dry þ  − . one of these three models and the Biot-Gassmann theory to calcu-
ð1−ϕÞρs þϕρf ϕ 1þ K f 1−ϕ− K fr ð1−ϕÞρs þϕρf ð1−ϕÞρs
ϕK s Ks late the wave velocity. Comparison with test measurement data
(7) shows that the Pride model is more accurate (Zhang et al., 2010).
The Pride model takes the following form:
In equation 7, the first term on the right side in the radical sign
denotes the contribution from the rock framework to the P-wave
K s ð1 − ϕÞ Gs ð1 − ϕÞ
velocity and the sum of the last two terms denote the contribution K fr ¼ ; Gfr ¼ ; (10)
from the pore fluid to the P-wave velocity, which can be expressed 1 þ Cϕ 1 þ 1.5Cϕ
as Δ:
  where C is a constant that denotes the coefficient of consolidation.
K fr 2 The value of C varies from 2 to 20 for sand rock, but it is greater for
1 Kf 1− Ks
Δ¼   carbonate rocks.
ð1 − ϕÞρs þ ϕρf ϕ 1 þ Kf K
1 − ϕ − Kfrs The solid grain modulus can be calculated with the equivalent
ϕK s
medium theory and a commonly used equation is the VRH model
ϕρf K fr þ 43 Gfr (Voigt, 1928; Reuss, 1929; Hill, 1952), which can be expressed as
− . (8)
ð1 − ϕÞρs þ ϕρf ð1 − ϕÞρs
X
n X
n  
X i −1
M s ¼ 0:5 Mi Xi þ ; (11)
i¼1 i¼1
Mi
Thus, the P-wave velocity equation can be fi-
nally written as
qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi Table 1. X-ray diffraction analysis result of a carbonate sample.
VP ¼ V 2P;dry þ Δ: (9)

Mineral categories and contents (%)


Potassium
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE Depth (m) Quartz feldspar Anorthose Calcite Dolomite Clay mineral (%)
P-WAVE VELOCITY
4127 0.2 / / 99.3 / 0.5
Experiments 4139 0.3 / / 99 / 0.7
A set of rock samples was gathered from a 4256 0.6 / / 97.7 / 1.7
wellbore taken in a carbonate formation in Taz- 4275 0.5 / / 98.7 0.2 0.6
hong Block at approximately 4–5-km depth. The
mineral composition of the carbonate sample
was examined using X-ray diffraction, and the results are listed
in Table 1. It is concluded from Table 1 that the calcite content ac-
counts for more than 97% of the rock, and the clay mineral content
is lower than 2%. Thus, the effect of lithology change on the veloc-
ity does not need to be considered.
Two core plugs (2.5 cm in diameter and 5 cm long) were carefully
selected to give a representative spread of porosity variations (7%
and 2%) from this set of six samples. The underground conditions
can be simulated using the GCTS RTR-1500 rapid triaxial rock
system. The P- and S-wave velocities were measured for various
pore pressures (increasing from 0 to 70 MPa) at a constant confining
pressure (90 MPa) and temperature (120°C) by using an ultrasonic
pulse-echo technique. Measurements were made at a frequency of
750 kHz for P- and S-waves, starting at 0 MPa pore pressure, rising Figure 1. P-wave velocity and S-wave velocity versus pore pressure
in steps to 70 MPa. For each pressure level, two-way traveltimes of when the porosity is 2%.
D246 Yu et al.

where Mi is the modulus of each mineral (the bulk modulus or the and
shear modulus) in GPa, Xi is the percentage of each mineral.  
ϕ
The contribution from the rock framework to P-wave velocity Gfr ¼ Gs 1− ; (13)
depends on the rock framework modulus, porosity, and the solid ϕc
grains’ density. The rock framework modulus is related to the
where Gs is the shear modulus of solid grains.
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lithology characteristics and rock framework structure (Detournay


If equations 12 and 13 are substituted into equation 8, we have
and Cheng, 1993). For stiff framework such as carbonate rocks,
the rock framework structure has no obvious changes even in  
ϕ Kf 1 1 − ϕ∕ϕc
overpressured formations (Assefa, 1994). Thus, the rock framework Δ¼ 1−m ;
modulus is basically unchanged under the same lithology character- ð1 − ϕÞρs þ ϕρf ϕ2c 1 þ Kf 1−ϕc 1−ϕ
K s ϕc
istics and rock framework structure conditions. This indicates that (14)
the contribution from the rock framework to the P-wave velocity
remains about the same. If the lithology characteristics and rock with
framework structure have small changes, then the modulus will
 
have large changes and the contribution from the rock framework ρf K s þ 43 Gs 2 K f 1 − ϕc
to the P-wave velocity will have large-scale fluctuations. In other m¼ ϕc 1 þ . (15)
ρs Kf K s ϕc
words, the large-scale trend of the P-wave velocity is determined
by the contribution from the rock framework to the P-wave velocity.
Figures 1 and 2 show the measured P- and S-wave velocities for The value of function 1−ϕ∕ϕc
varies between 0 and 1. It can be
1−ϕ
the carbonate rock samples with the same lithology characteristics shown that for m > 1:
but different porosities, 2% and 7%, respectively. The sample with
low porosity shows much higher wave velocities than the sample Δ < 0; for ϕ < ϕ~ Δ > 0; for ϕ > ϕ;
~ (16)
with a higher porosity. A porosity change corresponds to a rock
framework structure change, which causes large-scale velocity where
changes.
m−1
ϕ~ ¼ . (17)
The contribution from the pore fluid to P-wave velocity m∕ϕc − 1
It has been shown that when the porosity or pore-pressure Thus, when m > 1, the contribution from the pore fluid to the P-
changes, the P- and S-wave velocities of saturated rock can be larger wave velocity Δ can be positive, negative, or zero, depending on the
or smaller than or equal to that of the dry rock frame (Fjaer et al., porosity, the densities, the bulk compressibility of the pore fluid,
2008). The hypothesis is that the fluid-saturated porous media can and the rock framework. On the other hand, when m < 1, Δ > 0
be divided into two classes by the critical porosity (Nur et al., 1995; for all ϕ∶0 ≤ ϕ ≤ ϕc .
Mavko et al., 1998). When the porosity reaches a critical value ϕc , Figures 1 and 2 show that when the rock sample has the same
the porous media becomes a suspension of solid grains in a fluid lithology characteristics and porosity, the S-wave velocity experien-
and the bulk modulus of rock framework becomes zero. On the ces only 0.5% and 0.9% variation with pore pressure, respectively,
other hand, when the porosity is zero, the material is 100% of when pore pressure is between 0 MPa and 70 MPa. It is noted that,
the solid grains and the rock framework bulk modulus is the solid for carbonate rocks, the rock framework structure (porosity, pore
grain bulk modulus. Thus, the simplest linear model of the bulk structure, etc.) does not alter much when the pore pressure is varied.
modulus and shear modulus satisfying these requirements is However, the P-wave velocity decreases slightly when the pore pres-
sure increases, which implies that the P-wave velocity has small-
 
ϕ scale fluctuations under formation condition when the pore pressure
K fr ¼ Ks 1 − ; (12) changes. Thus, the small-scale fluctuations in the P-wave velocity
ϕc
are related to the pore-pressure change.
Commonly, the pore fluid density and rock density are about 1.0
and 2.5 g∕cm3 , respectively, and the range of porosity is from 0% to
10%. Thus, the biggest change in Δ value is about 0.04V 2P;dry . Even
in the overpressured formation, the P-wave velocity in carbonate
rocks has only small-scale fluctuations. In other words, overpres-
sure results in only small-scale fluctuations in P-wave velocity,
which equals to the contribution from the pore fluid to the P-wave
velocity.
Therefore, based on the measurement data and theoretical analy-
sis of the velocities, it can be concluded that the contribution from
the rock framework to the P-wave velocity depends on the lithology
characteristics and rock framework structure; and the change in the
rock framework will result in large-scale fluctuations of the P-wave
Figure 2. P-wave velocity and S-wave velocity versus pore pressure velocity. The contribution from the pore fluid to the P-wave veloc-
when the porosity is 7%. ity, on the other hand, depends on the pore pressure, and the change
Pore pressure and wavelet transformation D247

in pore pressure will result in small-scale fluctuations of the P-wave ψ j;k ðtÞ ¼ aj∕2 j
0 ψða0 t − kb0 Þ; (20)
velocity.

where j and k are constant. The appropriate discrete wavelet trans-


form is defined as
WAVELET TRANSFORM ANALYSIS THEORY
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Z þ∞
A significant amount of information on the subsurface formation
characteristics including pore pressure can be obtained from the P- Wfðj; kÞ ¼ fðtÞψ j;k ðtÞdt ¼ hfðtÞ; ψ j;k ðtÞi. (21)
−∞
wave velocity. The characteristics of overpressure in carbonate
rocks can be revealed by considering the contribution from the pore
fluid to the P-wave velocity using the analysis of the previous sec-
Wavelet multiresolution analysis
tion. The wavelet transformation with multiresolution analysis has
the ability to reveal local information in the time-frequency domain, Meyer (1993) proposes a smooth function with certain attenua-
to detect transient components of signals, and to analyze and extract tion properties that is a standardized orthogonal basis formed by the
signals’ local features. Because a pore-pressure change results in scale and translation. Mallat (1989) develops a multiresolution
small-scale fluctuations in P-wave velocity as discussed above, wave- analysis and provides a fast algorithm of the wavelet transform
let transformation will be used to process P-wave velocity to extract called the Mallat algorithm. In the binary discrete wavelet trans-
and amplify the small-scale fluctuations and high-frequency detail. form, the signal is divided into a low-frequency approximation
and a high-frequency detail. Then, another low-frequency approxi-
Wavelet transformation mation is made and further division of high-frequency detail is car-
ried out. This procedure is done repeatedly until the desired
The basic concept of wavelet transformation is based on the
stretching and translation of a function (Rucka and Wilde, 2006; processing results are achieved. For example, a multiscale analysis
Lee et al., 2011). Mathematically, the wavelet transformation of chart with three layer numbers is shown in Figure 3. The S is the
a signal is the crosscorrelation of the signal with a wavelet of vary- original signal, caðjÞ, and cdðjÞ are low-frequency approximation
ing central frequency. Thus, its physical meaning is to identify simi- and high-frequency detail of the jth scale, respectively, that suggest
larities between the signal and the wavelet kernel, which represents a simple relationship in the form of
the time-shifted wavelet along the signal. For a given original signal
fðtÞ, where the variable t is time or space, the continuous wavelet S ¼ ca3 þ cd3 þ cd2 þ cd1. (22)
transform is obtained by integrating the product of the signal func-
tion and the wavelet functions (Goupillaud et al., 1984):
Z   The ca3 is the low-frequency approximation that denotes the
1 þ∞ t−b
Wfða; bÞ ¼ pffiffiffiffiffiffi fðtÞψ  dt trend value of the P-wave velocity during wavelet transformation.
jaj −∞ a From the P-wave velocity equation developed above and the wave-
let multiresolution analysis equation 22, the contribution from the
¼ hfðtÞ; ψ a;b ðtÞi; (18)
pore fluid to the P-wave velocity can be defined as cd, and the for-
mula for computing cd is
where ψ  ðtÞ is the complex conjugate of the wavelet function. The
real numbers a and b are the scale and translation parameters, re-
spectively; ψ a;b ðtÞ is a family of wavelets; and Wfða; bÞ is called cd ¼ cd3 þ cd2 þ cd1. (23)
the wavelet coefficient for wavelet ψ a;b ðtÞ, and it measures the varia-
tion of signal in the vicinity of b whose size is proportional to a.
The real or complex-valued function ψðtÞ localized in time and Based on the above analysis, the selection of an appropriate type
frequency domains is used to create a family of wavelets ψ a;b ðtÞ, of wavelet function and the decomposition layer number is essential
which is a dilated or stretched version of the mother wavelet ψðtÞ, for effective use of the wavelet transformation.
defined as (Daubechies, 1990)
 
1 t−b
ψ a;b ðtÞ ¼ pffiffiffiffiffiffi ψ ; a ∈ Rþ ; b ∈ R. (19)
jaj a

This correlation between the signal and the wavelet is in the sense
of frequency content. With decreasing values of a, the wavelet
becomes more compressed, observes a smaller time window and
captures increasingly higher frequencies that are stored as partial
observations (Peng and Chu, 2004; Li et al., 2007).
The discrete form of the wavelet transformation is of practical
importance. The discrete formulas of scale parameter a and trans-
lation parameter b are given by a ¼ a−j −j
0 and b ¼ ka0 b0 , respec-
tively. Thus, the discrete wavelet is called the binary wavelet, which Figure 3. Three-layer-number structure chart of multiresolution
is defined as analysis.
D248 Yu et al.

PORE-PRESSURE PREDICTION METHOD Figure 4 shows that ca4 is the low-frequency approximation;
cd1, cd2, cd3, and cd4 are the high-frequency details of the four
Overpressured formation identification layer numbers with the wavelet transformation associated with
The P-wave velocity curve in actual logging data is less sensitive small-scale fluctuations. The sum of ca4 and cd (cd1 þ cd2 þ
to overpressure formation and it merely contains small-scale fluc- cd3 þ cd4) is equal to the P-wave velocity. It can be seen that
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tuations. Thus, an overpressured formation cannot be identified the trend of the low-frequency approximation (ca4) is basically
using unfiltered logging data directly. The use of a wavelet trans- consistent with the trend of the P-wave velocity and the value of
formation can help us to decompose the P-wave velocity, and to ca4 has large-scale fluctuations. Thus, based on the P-wave velocity
extract and amplify the characteristics of overpressure hidden in decomposition equation proposed in this paper and the wavelet
P-wave velocity measurements. A key to P-wave velocity decom- transformation, the low-frequency approximation (ca4) is the
position is to select the appropriate wavelet-basis function and de-
composition layer number using the wavelet transformation. The Table 2. Measured pore pressure and cd value in TZ-A.
selection principle is that the trend of the low-frequency approxi-
mation is basically consistent with the trend of the P-wave velocity.
According to the previous empirical results, symmetrical biorthog- Depth (m) cd (m∕s) Pore-pressure gradient (g∕cm3 )
onal wavelet base function and certain near-symmetrical orthogonal
wavelet base function are useful. Based on equation 21, taking into 4158 −15.25 1.22
account characteristics of carbonate rocks in the Tazhong Block, 4169 −27.23 1.24
db3 wavelet base function of Daubechies wavelet (Daubechies, 4200 211.52 1.20
1990) is selected to decompose the P-wave velocity with four layer 4207 94.93 1.23
numbers in the TZ-A well through screening.

Figure 4. P-wave velocity decomposition chart using the wavelet transformation and overpressure formation chart based on the measured data
in TZ-A well. The black zones show the overpressure formation, ca4, the low-frequency approximation of the fourth-layer number, denotes the
contribution from the rock framework to the P-wave velocity; cd1, cd2, cd3, and cd4 are the high-frequency details; and cd is the contribution
from the pore fluid to the P-wave velocity.
Pore pressure and wavelet transformation D249

Figure 5. The cd is the contribution from pore fluid


to the P-wave velocity, ca4, the low-frequency ap-
proximation of the fourth-layer number, denotes the
contribution from the rock framework to the the
P-wave velocity, and the black zones show the over-
pressure formations that can be identified using the
fluctuation characteristic of the high-frequency de-
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tail (cd4) in carbonate rocks in TZ-B.

Figure 6. The cd is the contribution from pore fluid


to the P-wave velocity, ca4, the low-frequency
approximation of the fourth-layer number, denotes
the contribution from the rock framework to the
P-wave velocity, and the black zones show the over-
pressure formations that can be identified using the
fluctuation characteristic of the high-frequency de-
tail (cd4) in carbonate rocks in ZG-C.
D250 Yu et al.

contribution of the rock framework to the P-wave velocity. The last where a and t are constants; i ¼ 1; 2; : : : ; n; m ¼ 1; 2; : : : ; n; m is
column in Figure 4 denotes the measured pore-pressure value using the nearest point from the prediction point that the contribution
the select formation tester. The dramatic fluctuations in the part of value from the pore fluid to the P-wave velocity turns from positive
cd4 indicate the overpressured formation, which is based on the to negative or negative to positive; V fðmÞ ; V fðmþ1Þ are two actual
comparison of the fluctuation characteristic of the high-frequency measurements of the contribution value from the pore fluid to
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detail obtained from P-wave-velocity decomposition with the mea- the P-wave velocity; Ppðmþ1Þ ; PpðmÞ are those of pore pressure;
sured pore-pressure value. In other words, in the overpressured for- V fðiÞ is the prediction point of the contribution from the pore fluid
mation, the high-frequency detail (cd4) has dramatic fluctuations. to P-wave velocity; and PpðiÞ is the prediction point of the pore
In summary, an overpressured formation cannot be identified pressure.
directly using the original P-wave velocity for carbonated rocks. Parameters of this model can be identified using regression
The high-frequency detail extracted from the P-wave velocity de- analysis:
composition, however, is a better indicator for overpressured forma-
tion. Thus, the variation of the high-frequency detail of the P-wave a ¼ −0.0041; t ¼ 2.0665. (25)
signal can serve as a tool for overpressure formation identification.
In this study, it is found that the decomposed signal curve cd4 has
some corresponding characteristics with overpressured formation. CASE STUDIES
Pore-pressure prediction model Tarim Basin, located in southern Xinjiang in northwestern China,
is a composite superimposed basin. Tazhong Block, where carbon-
From the actual drilling data, the measured pore pressure and the ate rocks are the main reservoir with mainly limestone, dolomite
corresponding cd value in TZ-A are listed in Table 2. A model for that fractures, and pores are relatively well developed, is located
pore-pressure prediction using the finite difference is proposed in the central uplift belt in Tarim Basin. Geologists and drilling
based on the data from Table 2: engineers noted the phenomenon of overpressure of carbonate rocks
PpðiÞ ¼ Ppðmþ1Þ in the Tazhong Block. However, estimation accuracy is not satisfac-
  tory using the existing prediction model. To solve this problem, the
 V fðiÞ − V fðmþ1Þ  t

þ aðPpðmþ1Þ − PpðmÞ Þ   ; (24) proposed method in this paper has been applied in the Tazhong
V −V 
fðmþ1Þ fðmÞ Block in the Tarim oilfield to verify its applicability.
Data from two wells (TZ-B and ZG-C) in
the Tazhong Block were used to demonstrate
the effectiveness of the wavelet transformation
method. The prediction results are compared
with the measured data. The following procedure
for pore-pressure prediction of carbonate rocks in
the Tazhong Block based on wavelet transforma-
tion method is used:
1) Use the db3 wavelet base function to decom-
pose the P-wave velocity with four layer
numbers. Extract the high-frequency detail
and the contribution value from the pore fluid
to the P-wave velocity.
2) The overpressured formation can be identi-
fied using the high-frequency detail (cd4) for
this block. The portion of the high-frequency
detail (cd4) with dramatic fluctuations re-
flects the overpressured formation that can
be shown using the black zone. The results
are shown in Figures 5 and 6.
3) The pore pressure can be predicted using the
proposed model by the contribution value
from the pore fluid to the P-wave velocity.
The prediction results and the measured data,
which can be from the drill stem tester were
compared, as shown in Figure 7 and Table 3.

Comparison of the results between the mea-


sured and the predicted values of pore-pressure
gradient shows that the relative error is within
Figure 7. (a) Pore-pressure gradient prediction in carbonate rocks using the proposed
model in TZ-B. (b) Pore-pressure gradient prediction in carbonate rocks using the pro- 10%. This demonstrates the validity of the pro-
posed model in ZG-C. posed approach.
Pore pressure and wavelet transformation D251

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