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Modified Methods of Petrophysical Pore Pressure Prediction and Static Geomodel Integration in the Delaware Basin: Modeling Overpressure Generated by Fluid Expansion


Pore pressures are a critical element in understanding and mitigating risks for drilling, completions, and production of hydrocarbons. The use of empirical pore pressure prediction methods in overpressured basins generated by compaction disequilibrium has been widely documented (Zhang, 2011). The Delaware Basin has a unique set of challenges in that it has overpressure driven by undercompaction as well as fluid expansion. This study explores the application of the Bowers compaction method (Bowers, 1995) of deriving pore pressure from acoustic slowness in shales, and also seeks to correlate pore pressure with other measurable parameters, such as Total Organic Carbon, and maturity in the Delaware basin using a large data set of drilling data, DFITs, and other pressure tests for calibration. This new inclusive petrophysical workflow can be used to generate pressure curves from measurable criteria in logged wells, or in a static geomodel. The availability of multiple logs with detailed and verified vertical pressure control decreases the uncertainty in the property model in this case. Predictive pore pressure maps can be generated across the basin to aid in well planning and drilling. Ultimately, this model can be used by multiple disciplines to understand reservoir performance and to safely drill and complete wells.