Pore pressure prediction in carbonate reservoirs
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Knowledge of pore fluid pressure is essential for safe drilling and efficient reservoir modelling. An accurate estimation of pore pressure allows for more efficient selection of casing points and a reliable mud weight design. Current commonly used methods of pore pressure prediction are based on the difference between a 'normal trend' in sonic wave velocity, formation resistivity factor (FRF), or d-exponent (a function of drilling parameters) and the observed value of these parameters in over-pressured zones. The majority of the techniques are based on shale behaviour, which typically exhibits a strong relationship between porosity and pore fluid pressure. However, carbonate rocks are stiffer and may contain over-pressures without any associated influence on porosity. Indeed, the application of common pore pressure prediction methods to carbonate rocks can yield large and potentially dangerous errors, even suggesting absences or decrease in abnormal pressure in zones of high magnitude over-pressure. In some cases, the hypothesises which been in the conventional methods seems to be flawed in some cases where pore pressure decreases by depth. In this research, a new method for effective stress calculation has been obtained using the compressibility attribute of reservoir rocks. In the case of over-pressure generation by undercompaction (as occurs in most clastic over-pressured sequences), pore pressure is dependent on the changes in pore space, which is a function of rock and pore compressibility. In simple terms, pore space decreases while the formation under goes compaction, and this imposes pressure on the fluid which fills the pores. Carbonate reservoirs in two fields in Iran have been investigated to establish pore fluid pressure generation mechanisms, and to attempt new methods for pore pressure prediction in carbonate rocks. Copyright 2012, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
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