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HIGH FORMATION PRESSURES

WHILE DRILLING, WESTERN GREECE


A. Mavromatidis, Petroleum Development Oman LLC , Muscat, Sultanate of Oman,
V. C. Kelessidis, Technical University of Crete, Polytechnic City, Chania, Greece,
D. Monopolis, Technical University of Crete

– Introduction

– General geological setting

– High pressures in Deep exploration wells (EW-1 & Sidetrack of EW-


1)

– Discussion of Causes

– Conclusion and Recommendations


GREECE
Regional setting - subthrust plays

N ALBANIA N
(> 670mmboe)

ITALY B ari

Potenza
EW
Demetra Prospect
220mmbbls
Cerro Falcone Tempa Rossa

Monte Alpi

Ioannina

Igo umenitsa

S. Apennines trend
> 800mmbbls Ioannina Plateau Trend
> 400mmbbl (on block)

GREECE
0 100km 0 100km
Western Greece

EW-1

The myth is here:


Herodotus (484-425 BC) commented
on oil seeps

Drilling activity since 1940s

Oil seeps

Gas field

What else?
Stratigraphy and Petroleum Geology

IONIAN ZONE Reservoir, Seal, Source

R 1 to 4 km
maybe 8 km

SR

SR

S SR
RESERVOIR: Ionian Carbonates Reservoir Section -
Fractured Calci-turbidites and Debris flows.

WAY
THIS
UP!
Regional Seismic Lines
EW-1
Location
Top Quaternary
Top Carbonates
Posidonia Formation
Top Evaporites
Base Evaporites
Top Reservoir
Tectonic Scenarios

(a ) 20 km

(a ) 20 km

Model 1 Model 2
(b ) 20 km (b )

20 km (b ) Legend 20 km
(b )
c la s tic s
c a rb o n a te s
e v a p o r it e s
Legend
unknown lithology
20 km (b ) 20 km c la s tic s Reference Point
(c ) 20 km
c a rb o n a te s
e v a p o r it e s
unknown lithology
Legend
20 km Reference Point
(c )
c la s tic s
c a rb o n a te s
e v a p o r it e s
WELL PROGNOSIS AND HYDROCARBON GEOLOGY

2000 2000

4000 4000
Permo-Triassic ? Flysch?;

Permo-Triassic ?
carbonates ;
or both
Well Location
High Pressures
Pressure (psi)
0 1,000 3,000 5,000 7,000 9,000 11,000 13,000 15,000
0

Hydrostatic Gradient:0.453 psi/ft


Overburden Gradient: 1.04 psi/ft

1,000

Top evaporites
2,000

10 ppg 13 ppg 14 ppg 16 ppg


3,000

Kick at 3,566 m in EW-1S

Kick at 3,966 m in EW-1


4,000

5,000
DEMETRA - Pressure - speculation about pressure profile in the evaporites

Evaporite interval
– 17.5 ppg
(2.1gr/cm3)Kick @
3966m
– sidetrack
– 17.9 ppg
(2.1g/cm3) or 10k
to 11k psi)Kick @
3566m
Evaporite interval is
overpressured from about
2100m:
- hole size
- resistivity/density
Only see it when have
porosity/permeability
Potential for pressured ‘cells’ Where is
to give even higher pressure ? the base
CANNOT PREDICT evaporites?
PRESSURE!

What is the mechanism?


How? Causes of High Pressures
● Anomalously high pressure kick was totally unexpected
● No change in cuttings (anhydrite with dolomite interbeds)
● What is the pressure mechanism?

● Young & Lepley (2005); Swarbrick et al. (2002)


Undercompaction ? Young Sediments, Clay-sand lithology
Fluid expansion ? Thermal effects, clay diagenesis, HC
maturation
Tectonic Activity ? Cross along faults, overthrust, compressional
loading

● Change of lithology? Base of evaporites?


Lithology and pressures
Drilling exponent (Dxc)
Depth Lithology 0.10 1.00 10.00
1500

Different geology - only few metres distant


Lithology Mudstone, clay or shale

0 Limestone
T Q/P Fl Top evaporites
Dolomite 2000
- halite Overpressure starting?
Anhydrite
Shift due to change of bit to
Halite PDC bit ?
2500
Wide scatter but following
Chert
Prepared to encounter OP at around
‘normal’ trend
1000 Qualifiers
Carbonaceous 3900m onwards
Calcite 3000
Shift for new pdc bit?
Siliceous
Dxc of EW-1S Normal compaction line
Bitomenous 1.02 kg/lt mudweight
Dolomitic equivalent

10 20 30 40 50 60
But kick at 3566mWide scatter but following
3500

Kick at formation ‘normal’ trend


2000 pressure 17.3 ppg
Sidetrack offset from original hole (in metres)
(Lateral exaggeration x20) - drilled no problem
Kick at formation
pressure 16.5 ppg
(b) 4000
Kick off point
2833 m
Kick in EW-1S 0
0 1000 in original hole
3000 5000
Pressure (psi)
7000 9000 11000 13000

at 3566 m

3000
Overburden Gradient: 1.04 psi/ft
1000

Hydrostatic Gradient:0.453 psi/ft

Kick at EW-1 Top evaporites


2000
3966 m

4000 (a) Kick at 3,566 m


3000 in EW-1S

Kick at 3,966 m
in EW-1
4000
High Pressures Not Close to Change of Lithology,
still in Evaporites
Dolomitic lenses have been ‘pressurized’
due to flysch overpressure
EW-1

EW-1S

Smectite to illite

Faults
Gypsum – anhydrite

Intra-evaporite overpressure due to earlier


isolation of carbonate lenses/rafts within anhydrite EW-1
while they were at greater depths
EW-1S

High Pressures Close to Change of Lithology


Overpressured fluid accumulations usually encountered
Faults immediately underneath the
evaporites (Zilberman et al., 2001).

Stringers. Overpressures in the stringers occur as a result of intra-stringer charge.


Unfortunately stringers are difficult to be seen in seismic images.

EW-1

EW-1S

(b)

Hydrocarbon generation. However, no hydrocarbons in both wells. But if close to the base of the
Legend
evaporites, then gas can exert such pressures to the overlying evaporites.
Mudstone, clay or shale

ReachedLimestone
the detachment level -> overpressured sediments beneath the impermeable
evaporites characterized by extreme fluid overpressuring. Fluids ? water and/or gas.
Dolomite
Conclusions and recommendations
● No well has ever penetrated the whole
● Despite all pre-drilling preparations, Triassic evaporitic strata in the Ionian
unexpected high pressures can be Zone. More studies are important for the
encountered. Ionian Zone and generally for western
Greece, such as the pre-Apulian Zone,
● Proper post-drilling analysis could allow
which has similar lithology to the Ionian
for assessment of causes of
Zone, and the Gavrovo Zone. These
overpressure and better preparation in
studies must trace the deep evaporitic
future drilling activity.
strata and target areas where the
● Use of advanced drilling technology and evaporites will be fully penetrated.
the better formulation of drilling fluids,
capable of operating with minimal ● Drilling in western Greece should
problems under these harsh conditions. continue because, while there are some
25 oil and gas fields in Albania, only one
● The availability of better detection pore discovery has been made so far in
pressure mechanisms, like ability to see western Greece, that at west Katakolon,
ahead of bit. in offshore Peloponnesos region. This is
highly significant as it proves the
existence of a viable play and its
continuation throughout western Greece.
Holy Triad: Source Rock, Reservoir, Seal

The ‘cursed’ evaporites maybe a bless!

Let’s give it a go, let’s unravel the myth


and show Herodotus

that the mystery


liquid he reported BC fulfils part of the presen
needs