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Question: Why predict pore pressure?

Answer: A misconception about pore pressure prediction is its useful purpose.

There are many geoscientists and researchers who are employees of service contractors who like to think and have talked about how pore pressure saves millions of dollars and eliminates gas kicks, blowouts, stuck pipe and other pressure related and well control problems. Although the message is partially true it is not the whole story and these characteristics are not pore pressure prediction's useful purpose.

The useful purposes of pore pressure prediction are two (2):

(1) Well planning, materials and costs estimates for construction of a safe, modern well including logistics, operations planning and procedural guidelines, ( -- the goal is to have absolutely no surprises -- ) and

(2) Prospect definition, financial risk assessment, overall project viability and ranking, including basin exploration and competitive lease assessment.

Question: What technologies are needed to predict pore pressure?

Answer: More than a single technology is needed to predict pore pressure.

The technologies needed are:

  1. Geologic structural, stratigraphy and history.
  2. Drilling engineering experience of past drilling history and current practices.
  3. Seismic imaging, mapping and velocity measurements.
  4. Petrophysical and geologic details about offsetting control wells, if there are any.
  5. Simplified basin modeling (a simple geohydrologic model).


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