By Walter H. Fertl

Petroleum formation pressures

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Extra info for Abnormal Formation Pressures: Implications to Exploration, Drilling, and Production of Oil and Gas Resources

Example text

24. Theoretical values of osmotic pressure across a clay membrane (after Jones, 1969). Jones (1968)states that “the pressure difference across a simple clay bed could, under natural conditions, exceed 3500 psi [ 246 kg/cmZ3 . In known geopressured reservoirs, stepwise increments of osmotic pressure with depth through a series of bedded sands and clays could, as by a multistage pump, produce any of the reservoir pressures observed to date in the northern Gulf of Mexico Basin. ” Another practical application of some of these concepts (osmotic phenomena) has been proposed by Pirson (1967)in the use of well logs to locate osmotic entrapment of hydrocarbons.

This had previously been suggested by Hubbert and Rubey (1959), when they listed conditions favorable for development of overpressures, such as (1) large total thickness of sediments, (2) presence of clay rocks, (3) interbedded sandstones, (4) rapid loading, and (5) geosynclinal conditions in general. e. high shale/sand ratio), exceeding the structural downwrap, can cause abnormal pressures. 111 suggest that the sedimentation rates in the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast area have been very rapid since the beginning of the Pleistocene age (Jones, 1969).

It is believed that high rock pressures in the salt-bearing carbonate and sulfate-carbonate deposits in other oil fields can be explained by the same processes. Similar increase in pore fluid pressure may take place due to calcite or silica precipitation. Important in diagenesis is the occurrence of quartz grains with secondary rims (quartz overgrowth) which has been related t o the maximum depth of burial prior to trapping of hydrocarbons in the reservoir rock (Fuchtbauer, 1961). This supports conclusions drawn previously by Lowry (1956) that in hydrocarbon-bearing rocks the connate water is not sufficient to continue diagenesis.

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