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# TAMU - Pemex

Well Control

Lesson 7
Pore Pressure Prediction
Contents
 Porosity
 Shale Compaction
 Equivalent Depth Method
 Ratio Method
 Drilling Rate
 dC-Exponent
 Moore’s Technique
 Comb’s Method 2
Pore pressure prediction
methods

## Most pore pressure prediction

techniques rely on measured or inferred
porosity.

## The shale compaction theory is the

basis for these predictions.

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Pore pressure prediction methods
Measure the porosity indicator (e.g.
density) in normally pressured, clean
shales to establish a normal trend line.
When the indicator suggests porosity
values that are higher than the trend, then
abnormal pressures are suspected to be
present.
The magnitude of the deviation from the
normal trend line is used to quantify the
abnormal pressure.
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Porosity should
decrease with
depth in normally
pressured shales 1. Establish “Normal”
Trend Line in good
“clean” shale

Transitio
n
2. Extrapolate
normal trend 3. Determine the
line magnitude
of the deviation

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more time to compact,
so porosities would
tend to be lower (at a
particular depth).

## Use the trend line

closest to the transition.

## Lines may or may not

be parallel.

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Equivalent Depth Method
The normally compacted
shale at depth De has the
same compaction as the
De abnormally pressured
shale at D. Thus,
σ V =σ Ve

## i.e., σ ob - pp = σ obe - pne

pp = pne + (σ ob -σ obe )

D
σ ob =σ V + pp

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Example 2.6
Estimate the pore pressure at 10,200’ if the
equivalent depth is 9,100’. The normal pore
pressure gradient is 0.433 psi/ft. The

## At 10,200’, σ ob = 1.00*10,200 = 10,200 psig

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Solution
 pp = pne + (σ ob -σ obe ) ……………. (2.13)
= 3,940 + (10,200 – 9,100)
pp = 5,040 psig

##  The pressure gradient, gp =

5,040/10,200
= 0.494 psi/ft
 EMW = 0.494/0.052 = 9.5 ppg
9
The Ratio Method
uses (Xo/Xn) to predict
the magnitude of the
abnormal pressure
We can use:
• drilling rate
Depth

• resistivities
• conductivities
• sonic speeds
Xn Xo

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Shale Porosity Indicator
Pore pressures can be
predicted:

##  Before drilling (planning)

 During drilling.

 After drilling

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Before drilling the well
(planning)

##  Analogy to known characteristics of the

geologic basin

 Seismic data

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13
Table 2.6 – Cont’d

14
Seismic Surveys, as used in conventional geophysical
prospecting, can yield much information about underground
structures, and depths to those structures. Faults, diapirs, etc.
may indicate possible locations of abnormal pressures
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Typical Seismic Section

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Under normal
compaction, density
increases with
depth. For this
reason the interval
velocity also
increases with
depth, so travel
time decreases
∆ t = ∆ tma (1-φ ) +
∆ tf φ

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Sound moves faster in
more dense medium
In air at sea level,
Vsound = 1,100 ft/sec
In distilled water,
Vsound = 4,600 ft/sec
In low density, high porosity
rocks,

## Vsound = 6,000 ft/sec

In dense dolomites,
Vsound = 20,000 ft/sec

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Example 2.7
Use the data in Table 2.7 to determine
the top of the transition zone, and
estimate the pore pressure at 19,000’
using the equivalent depth method
using Pennebaker’s empirical correlation

## Ignore the data between 9,000’ and

11,000’. Assume Eaton’s Gulf Coast
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Solution
Plot interval travel time vs. depth on
semilog paper (Fig. 2.31)

9,000 data.

## From Fig. 2.20, at 19,000’, gob = 0.995

psi/ft

(σ )
ob 19,000 = 0.995 * 19,000 = 18,905 psig
20
Equivalent Depth
Method:
From the vertical line,
Use De = 2,000’

## Ignore σ obe = 0.875 * 2,000

=1,750 (Fig. 2.20)
But,
pne = 0.465 * 2,000
= 930 psig
∆ tn ∆ to pp = 930 +
(18,905-1,750)
pp = 18,085 psig 21
Fig. 2.30 Pennebaker’s
correlation for Gulf
Coast sediments
Higher travel time means
more porosity and higher

## Example 2.7 (Table 2.7)

∆ to = 95 µ sec/ft @ 19,000’
∆ tn = 65 µ sec/ft @ 19,000’
∆ to/ ∆ tn = 95/65 = 1.46
0.95 pp = 0.95 * 19,000
= 18,050 psig
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Comparison
Pore Pressure at a depth of 19,000 ft:

 Pennebaker:

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While Drilling
 dc-exponent

 Kicks

##  Other drilling rate factors (Table 2.5)

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TABLE 2.5 -

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Penetration rate and abnormal pressure

## Bits drill through overpressured rock

faster than through normally pressured
rock (if everything else remains the
same).
When drilling in clean shales this fact
can be utilized to detect the presence
of abnormal pressure, and even to
estimate the magnitude of the
overpressure.
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TABLE 2.8 -

## Note, that many factors can influence the drilling rate,

and some of these factors are outside the control of
the operator.

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Effect of bit weight and hydraulics
on penetration rate Drilling rate
increases more
or less linearly
with increasing
hydraulics or A significant
excessive deviation from
imbedding of this trend may
the bit teeth in be caused by
the rock poor bottom
hole cleaning

0
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Effect of Differential Pressure on Drilling Rate

Differential
pressure is the
difference between
wellbore pressure
Decrease can be due to:
and pore fluid
• The chip hold down effect pressure
• The effect of wellbore
pressure on rock strength

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Drilling
underbalanced
can further
increase the
drilling rate.

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The chip hold-down effect
The mud pressure
acting on the
bottom of the hole
tends to hold the
rock chips in
place

## Important hold-down parameters:

Overbalance Drilling fluid filtration rate
Permeability Method of breaking rock (shear or crushing)
31
TABLE 2.9 -

## • Drilling rates are influenced by rock strengths.

• Only drilling rates in relatively clean shales are useful for
predicting abnormal pore pressures.
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σ ob is generally
the maximum in
situ principal
stress in
undisturbed rock

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Stresses on Subsurface Rocks

## σ ob , σ H1 , σ H2 and p all tend to increase

with depth
σ ob is in general the maximum in situ
principal stress.
Since the confining stresses σ H1 and σ H2
increase with depth, rock strength
increases.
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Stresses on Subsurface Rocks
The pore pressure, p, cannot produce
shear in the rock, and cannot deform
the rock.
Mohr-Coulomb behavior is controlled by
the the effective stresses (matrix).
When drilling occurs the stresses
change.
σ ob is replaced by dynamic drilling fluid
pressure.
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The degree of
overbalance now
controls the
strength of the
bit.

36
Rock failure caused by roller cone bit.
The differential pressure from above provides
the normal stress, σ o

## Formation fracture is resisted by the shear stress, τ o,

which is a function of the rock cohesion and the friction
between the plates. This friction depends on σ o.
37
Fig. 2.41 - Differential Pressure 0.1 in below the bit.
Vertical Stress = 10,000 psi
Horizontal Stress = 7,000 psi
Pore Pressure = 4,700 psi
(Induced
Wellbore Pressure = 4,700 psi Differential
Pressure in
Impermeable
rock.
FEM Study)

## When σ ob is replaced by phyd (lower) the rock immediately below the

bit will undergo an increase in pore volume, associated with a
reduction in pore pressure.
In sandstone this pressure is increased by fluid loss from the mud. 38
Drilling Rate as a Pore
Pressure Predictor
Penetration rate depends on a number of different
parameters.

## A modified version of this equation is:

d
W 
R = K 3 N  
 db 
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Drilling Rate as a Pore W 
d

R = K 3 N  
Pressure Predictor  db 

 R 
Or, in its most  log 
d = 60 N 
used form:  12W 
 log 106 d 
 b 

R = ft/hr
N = rpm
d = d − exponent
W = Bit Weight, lbf
d b = Bit Diameter, in
40
d-exponent
The d-exponent normalizes R for any
variations in W, db and N

## Under normal compaction, R should

decrease with depth. This would cause
d to increase with depth.
Any deviation from the trend could be
caused by abnormal pressure.

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d-exponent
Mud weight also affects R…..
dc = d (ρ n /ρ c)
where
dc = exponent corrected for mud density
ρ n = normal pore pressure gradient
ρ c = effective mud density in use
42
Example
 While drilling in a Gulf Coast shale,
R = 50 ft/hr
W = 20,000 lbf
N = 100 RPM
ECD = 10.1 ppg (Equivalent Circulating Density)

db = 8.5 in
 Calculate d and dc

43
Solution
 50 
log    
 60 * 100  − 2.079  log R 
d= = d= 60 N 
 12 * 20,000  − 1.554 
log
12 W 
log  6  
 10 6 d b 

 10 * 8.5 
d = 1.34

 ρn 
 0.465  d c = d  
dc = 1.34    ρc 
 0.052 * 10.1
dc = 1.19
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Example 2.9
 Predict pore pressure at 6,050 ft (ppg):
from data in Table 2.10 using:
 Rhem and McClendon’s correlation

 Zamora’s correlation

##  The equivalent depth method

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TABLE 2.10

d-EXPONENT
AND MUD
DENSITY DATA
FOR A WELL
LOCATED
OFFSHORE
LOUISIANA

46
Step 1 is to plot the
data on Cartesian
paper (Fig. 2.43).

## Transition at 4,700 ft?

…or is it a fault?

## Seismic data and

geological indicators
suggest a possible
transition at 5,700 ft.

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Fig. 2.43
Slope of 0.000038 ft-1

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Rehm and McClendon
 gp = 0.398 log (dcn-dco) + 0.86

## = 0.398 log (1.18 - 0.95) + 0.86

gp = 0.606 psi/ft

## ρ p = 0.606 / 0.052 = 11.7 ppg

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Zamora
From Fig. 2.44
 gp = gn (dcn/ dco )
= 0.465 * (1.18/.95)
1.18
gp = 0.578 psi/ft 0.95

 ρ p = 0.578/0.052
ρ p = 11.1 ppg
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Equivalent
Depth Method

6,050 ft,

## gob = 0.915 psi/ft

σ ob = 0.915 * 6,050
= 5,536 psi

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Equivalent
Depth Method
 From Fig. 2.43,
Equivalent Depth
= 750 ft
 At 750 ft,
σ obe = 0.86 * 750
= 645 psi
pne = 0.465 * 750
= 349 psig
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Equivalent Depth Method
 From Eq. 2.13, at 6,050 ft
 pp = pne + (σ ob - σ obe )
pp = 349 + (5,536 - 645) = 5,240 psig
 ρ p = 19.25 * (5,240 / 6,050) = 16.7 ppg

## Perhaps the equivalent depth method is not

always suitable for pp prediction using dc !!

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Overlays such as this can be
handy, but
be careful that the scale is
correct for the graph paper
being used;
the slope is correct for
normal trends;
the correct overlay for the
formation is utilized.

54
To improve pore pressure predictions
using variations in drilling rate:
Try to keep bit weight and rpm relatively
constant when making measurements
Use downhole (MWD) bit weights when
these are available. (Frictional drag in
directional wells can cause large errors)
possible. MWD can help here also.
55
Improved pore pressure
predictions
Keep in mind that tooth wear can
greatly influence penetration rates.

judgment.

## Use several techniques and compare

results.
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Moore’s Technique
Fig. 2.45

## Moore proposed a practical

method for maintaining a
pore-pressure overbalance
while drilling into a
transition.

## Drilling parameters must be

kept constant for this
technique to work.

57
Comb’s Method
 Combs attempted to improve on the
use of drilling rate for pore pressure by
correcting for:
 hydraulics
 differential pressure
 bit wear

##  in addition to W, db, and N

58
Comb’s Method
aW aN aq
 W   N   q 
R = R d       f ( p d ) f ( t N )
 3,500 db   200   96 db dn 
q = circulating rate
dn = diameter of one bit nozzle
f(pd) = function related to the differential pressure
f(tN) = function related to bit wear
aW = bit weight exponent = 1.0 for offshore Louisiana
aN = rotating speed exponent = 0.6 for offshore Louisiana
aq = flow rate exponent = 0.3 for offshore Louisiana 59
Tooth wear factor

Correction
would depend
upon bit type,
rock hardness,
and
abrasiveness

60
Differential pressure factor