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By: Taher Gomaa

Sonatrach DESQ
Formation of Geopressures
The various geological and mechanical
variables conspire to pore pressure, which
is higher or lower than the normal

The fundamental difference between

normal and abnormal pressure rock, is
that in abnormal pressures zone the pore
fluid is no longer communicate 100% with
the water table (trapped).
Formation of Geopressures
Once the fluid column has been broken, the pore pressure act
in 3 different ways:

1- It can be perfectly sealed like a balloon.

2- It may leak slowly like a punctured tire.
3- It can leak quickly and does not hold pressure
for a long time.

The criteria that determine the efficiency of the seal or cap

rock are:
1- Permeability
2- Thickness
3- Magnitude of differential pressure
4- Time over which pressure changes have occurred.
Formation of Geopressures
Measurements of formation pressure

The evaluation of formation pressure

is essential for well planning, it is
important to know the formation
pressure so the mud density is

Exploration and production database

can provide detailed information
about pore pressure estimation.
Measurements of formation pressure

Information from Seismic, Wireline logs,

FEMWD, FEL, direct methods of formation
pressure measurements (DST, RFT and
LOT) and production testing can be used.

Direct relation between petroleum

geology and drilling engineering can give
accurate ESTIMATION of formation
Measurements of formation pressure
FEMWD if available is very important, Gamma ray,
Resistivity, Neutron Porosity and formation Density
can help in estimating pore pressure.

Secondary equipment such as Mud Density sensor

(In & Out), Mud Temperature sensor (In & Out),
Mud Flow sensor and Pit Volume sensors provide
useful information for pore pressure estimation.

Drilling parameters such as ROP, formation gas

(background gas, trip gas, connection gas,etc)
and the shape and size of shale cuttings provide
good information for pore pressure estimation.
Formation Pressure Mud Density
Normal Pressure Profile
The Hydrostatic Pressure calculation can be
driven from the following equation:

P = 0.0519 * MW * DEPTH

P= Hydrostatic pressure in PSI
MW= Mud Weight in ppg
D= Vertical depth in ft

The conversion factor (0.0519) is driven

There are 7.48 gallon in one cubic ft.
There are 144 square inches in one
square ft.

Lb/gal * 7.48 gal/ft3 * 1/144 ft2/in

=7.48/144 psi/ft/lb/gal
=0.0519 psi/ft/lb/gal
The same equation can be changed for SG units:

K Pa = Density (kg/m3) * D (meter) * 0.0098

0.0098 is the constant for SG units

The equation can be modified to:

Pressure (psi) =0.0519*MW (SG)*8.34*Depth (meter)*3.281

Pressure (psi) = 1.42 * MW (SG) * Depth (meter)

Effective Circulating Density ECD
Effective circulating density is a measure of
the mud weight under circulation and
pressure, it is driven from the equation:
Effective Circulating Density ECD
Effective Circulating Density ECD
Pore Pressure Evaluation Techniques
Many methods are used to determine the
pore pressure, such as:

1-Geophysical measurement which can be

subdivided to:

* Seismic methods
* Gravity methods
* Magnetic methods

2- Drilling Parameter:
Pore Pressure Evaluation Techniques
Mud Density / Gas Cut Mud relationship:

Differential pressure is the difference between ECD and Formation

Balance Gradient and is calculated from the equation:

Substituting ECD for W gives the Differential Pressure while

drilling, it is desirable to always keep it as a positive value.
Pore Pressure Evaluation Techniques

Example to the last equation, a hole

is drilled at 2000 ft, with mud
density of 9.0 and the formation
balance gradient is 8.6 ppg. Thus:
(9.0*2000*0.0519)-(8.6*2000*0.0519)= 43 psi

For the same hole but at 15000 ft

(9.0*15000*0.0519)-(8.6*15000*0.0519)= 311 psi

Pore Pressure Evaluation Techniques

From the previous example we can

conclude that gas cut mud will be more
critical in shallow depths than deep

This is due to the fact that the deeper the

hole the greater the differential pressure,
the lower the gas influx that might influx
from the formation.
Gas cut mud is the reduction of mud weight
due to gas influx, it can be determined from
the equation:
An example for the last equation:
d= 8.5
R= 85 ft/hr
O= 0.25
Sg= 0.70
To calculate the same amount of gas at surface, we use
the equation:

Where Gva is the gas flow at surface

Gv is the gas flow at study point
P is the pressure at study point

Gva=0.731 * (7000/14.7) = 350 gal/min


W1 = Gas Cut Mud Density

W2 = Normal Mud Density
Cutting Shape
Hole Behavior
When a condition of near balance
occur, the well formation pressure
will be held by ECD and not the
mud weight.
If permeability exists, there might
be fluid influx kick.
If permeability is low, the borehole
will suffer from connection gas, trip
Hole Behavior
The parameters that indicate near
balance situation are:

1- Existence of pressured caving.

2- Drag while tripping and connection.
3- Connection gas and trip gas
The rate at which the formation can
be drilled depend on many factor
such as:
o Force applied.
o Rotary speed.
o Tooth efficiency.
o Differential pressure.
o Drilling Hydraulics.
o Matrix strength of formation.
o Formation compaction

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