Abstract

Understanding pressure mechanisms and their role in porosity-effective stress relationship is crucial in pore-pressure prediction estimation, particularly in complex geologic and high-temperature regimes. Overpressures are commonly associated with undercompaction and/or unloading mechanisms; those associated with undercompaction generally possess a direct relationship between effective stress and porosity, whereas those associated with unloading do not provide such direct indications from porosity trends. The type of associated unloading mechanism can be correlated when the effective stress and velocity become distorted with the onset of unloading. In the Ravva field, the pore-pressure distribution and overpressure mechanism in the Miocene and below it is a classic example of the unloading mechanism related to chemical compaction, thereby making it difficult to resolve the magnitude and trend of pore pressures. Here, the ratio of P- and S-wave velocities (VP/VS) is analyzed from the drilled locations to understand the effects of lithology, pressure, and fluids on formation velocities and indicates a distinct decreasing trend across the overpressure formations, which I have corresponded to excess pressure resulting from chemical compaction. Across the high-pressured zones, VP/VS ratios show low values compared with normally pressured zones possibly due to the presence of hydrocarbon and/or overpressures. A velocity correction coefficient ranging 0.83–0.71 is resolved for overpressure zones by normalizing the VP/VS values across the normally pressured formations, and thereby assuring that a pore-pressure estimation using corrected velocity from VP/VS analysis shows a high degree of accuracy on prediction trends. Pore-pressure predictions based on VP/VS are a more effective and valid approach in high-temperature settings, in which numerous factors can contribute to pressure generation and a direct effective stress-porosity relationship deviates from the trend.

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