Pressures and Overpressure in the Subsurface - 3 Days Course

Course Overview:

3 Day Course
Overpressure is found in most sedimentary basins, so understanding subsurface pressures and their effects on the hydrocarbon system is a key input into developing successful exploration strategies, efficient well planning and ensuring the safe and effective exploration and exploitation of petroleum reservoirs.

This course has been officially endorsed by the Geological Society of London.

Participants will learn:

  • How pressure data affects the safe and optimal exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon reservoirs
  • How to analyse pressure data
  • How to calculate overburden and fracture gradients
  • How to use industry standard techniques to predict pore pressures in the pre-drill environment

The course is designed for geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists and reservoir/drilling engineers who have an interest in, or need to utilise pressure data in their workflows, and wish to gain a deeper understanding of the relationships between geology and overpressure. It also covers well planning, hydrodynamics and seal breach risk.

Course tutors:

The course is presented as a combination of PowerPoint based lectures and practical exercises, and familiarity with oilfield practices will be an advantage.

Course Learning Outcomes
  • The importance of pressure data
  • Understanding the system
  • Worldwide application
  • Viewing pressure data
Fundamentals of Pressure
  • Definitions & Units
  • Hydrostatic pressures & gradients
  • Lithostatic pressures & gradients
  • Fracture pressure & gradients
  • Sources & types of pressure data
  • Subsurface pressure analysis
  • Fluid pressure gradients & fluid contact
Mechanisms for Generating Overpressure
  • Disequilibrium compaction
  • Terzaghi’s Equation and a “shared overburden”
Pore Pressure Prediction
  • Pressure prediction workflow
  • Normal compaction trend analysis
  • Terzaghi’s principle
  • Eaton’s Ratio method
  • Equivalent Depth method
  • Bowers method
  • Seismic velocity based pressure prediction (an outline)
  • Basin modelling (an outline)
Reservoir vs. Shale Pressure
  • Lateral Drainage
  • Lateral Transfer
Secondary Mechanisms
  • Fluid volume increase
  • Load transfer
  • Recognising secondary mechanisms
The Use of Drilling Data
  • Why use drilling data?
  • What to look for
Well Planning
  • What is a well plan?
  • Why do we need a well plan?
  • Elements of a well plan
  • Low, Expected & High cases
  • Pre-drill vs.Real-Time
Overpressure & the Hydrocarbon System
  • Seal breach mechanisms
  • Seal capacity, seal breach & column height
  • Protected traps
  • Reservoir quality
  • Migration
  • Hydrocarbon maturation
Mapping Overpressure
  • Compartmentalization
  • Vertical & lateral seals
  • Variable hydrocarbon-water contacts
  • Tilted contacts
  • Gravity vs. drainage-driven hydrodynamics
  • Effect on reserves
Course Location

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