Abstract

This report describes a method of obtaining information on in situ stress magnitudes at depth in sedimentary basins by using information gathered while drilling oil wells. If we assume that one of the principal stresses is vertical at a well site, principal stress magnitudes can be estimated in the following manner. Sv is equated with overburden load, which is obtained by integrating density log records. SHmin is equated with leak-off test pressures measured over short open-hole intervals and also from selected initial feed-rate pressures. SHmax is derived from the equation SHmax = 2P1P0, where P1 is the leak-off pressure or the initial feed-rate pressure, and P0 is the fluid pressure over a specified depth interval. This relationship is a simplified approximation of Hubbert and Willis' well-known equation Pb = T + 3SHminSHmaxP0, describing hydraulic fracturing around a borehole.Using this approach, stress magnitudes were estimated for 44 depth intervals in four wells drilled over the Venture structure on the Scotian Shelf, offshore eastern Canada. The information obtained between subsea depths of 815 and 5783 m provides a consistent record and points to a stress regime where SHmax > Sv > SHmin. At approximately 6000 m, Sv and SHmin may become equal. Inferred stress magnitudes in the upper 3000 m are comparable to those measured in clastic rocks in western Canada.

You do not currently have access to this article.