Technical Meeting and Luncheon: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2014-2015 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  

Recent Advances in Pore Pressure Prediction in Complex Geologic Environments

Dr. Alan R. Huffman SIGMA3

Presentation Abstract:

Pre-drill pressure prediction using geophysical data and methods has historically been done using very simple models and has been restricted by overly simplistic estimates of the Earth’s velocity field. Geopressure prediction techniques have started incorporating more sophisticated velocity methods such as AVO-based phase mismatch algorithms, tomography and pre-stack inversion. These technologies allow the geophysicist to obtain higher resolution estimates of the velocity field in the subsurface that can significantly improve the results of pressure prediction. These technologies permit more robust analysis of P-wave velocities in the presence of contamination from hydrocarbon effects and non-clastic rocks that have been a problem in the past.

In recent years, methods have been developed to enable robust pressure prediction in the presence of multiple pressure mechanisms including undercompaction, unloading processes (secondary pressure mechanisms) and at great depth, the onset of secondary chemical compaction. These models utilize geological and geophysical information to constrain the calibration models and the depths at which they must be applied to develop a multi- layer pressure calibration model that will accurately predict pressures for prospect-level analysis and pre-drill prediction. These models are then integrated with the velocity field and the geological and geophysical information to predict pore pressures and fracture pressures at greater depths than have been previously feasible. This methodology has been tested in multiple basins and has been proven to be effective in helping drilling engineers improve well performance through more effective mud and casing program designs that significantly reduces well costs and rig time.

Recent application of elastic and acoustic inversion in complex carbonate environments have also proven effective in predicting pressures in environments where the shales can be separated from the carbonates. The approach requires that the inverted data be decomposed into the shale and carbonate velocity trends to allow the shales to be used for effective stress prediction while the complete velocity field is used for time-depth conversion. These studies have revealed that pore pressure prediction from mixed lithology (carbonate and shale) environments is feasible using advanced inversion methods. Successful pressure prediction in this type of geology requires seismic data that is of sufficient quality to enable a robust acoustic and/or elastic inversion to be performed that can separate the shale velocities for effective stress calculation, and perform time-depth conversion from the complete velocity field If successful, the velocities for the carbonate rocks in the inversion can also be used with offset well control to calibrate reservoir quality, although this requires interpretation of lithology which can be ambiguous when the carbonates have high porosities and low velocities that approach the shale values. As the amount of shale present in the geologic section becomes smaller, the ability to predict pressures decreases. The presence of marls also presents a problem because the carbonate material within the shale suppresses the sensitivity of the shale velocity to pore pressure.

The traditional velocity-based method and the advanced inversion method will both be demonstrated with real case histories in several diverse geologic environments including an unconventional reservoir case and a complex carbonate case.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Alan R. Huffman Ph.D., is a Consulting Partner at Sigma Cubed Inc. (SIGMA3), most recently serving as Chief Technology Officer. He has more than 34 years of geosciences expertise and is often asked to lead workshops and to speak on industry technology and business trends. Prior to the SIGMA3 acquisition, Alan held the position of Chairman & CEO of Fusion Petroleum Technologies Inc. (FPTI) and was responsible for the strategic growth and expansion of the enterprise since 2003. He was the primary architect of Fusion’s rapid growth from a small consulting practice to a global business enterprise with over 300 clients and offices in multiple countries.

From 1997-2002, Alan was Manager of The Seismic Imaging Technology Center (SITC) with Conoco. In this role, he managed the geophysical technology division of Conoco, with responsibility for worldwide technology development and technical services. From 1990 to 1997, Alan was employed by Exxon Corporation, where he worked as a technology specialist on exploration and production projects in The United States, West Africa and The Far East, and was also actively involved in technology and software development.

Alan is a recognized industry expert in the fields of geopressure prediction, shallow hazards prediction, direct detection of hydrocarbons and exploration risking. He is active in industry and professional affairs, having chaired numerous technical conferences and having served on organizing committees for the SEG, AADE, AAPG and SPE. He was the recipient of the 2004 Robert H. Dott Sr. Memorial Award from The AAPG for the publication of AAPG Memoir 76, and also received the 2002 Best Paper Award from The SEG. Alan has published numerous papers in refereed journals and articles in international publications, and 40 abstracts. He has 9 U.S. patents in the field of geophysics.

Alan received a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Franklin & Marshall College in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Texas A&M University in 1990. In 1986-87, he was privileged to perform the seismic hazard analysis for the successful proposal for the Superconducting Supercollider in Waxahachie, Texas. In 1989-1990, he served as Science Manager of DOSECC, the U.S. Continental Drilling Program. Alan was also the Lyssa & Cyril Wagner Professor of Geology and Geophysics in the School of Geology and Geophysics at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK in 2003 and 2004.

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