- © 2016 Geological Society of South Africa
An accurate pore pressure prediction is vital in any risk management plan during the exploration, exploitation and development of wells in the petroleum industry. It is therefore important to understand the factors controlling these pore pressures namely, sediment compaction, overburden, lithology characteristics, hydrocarbon generation, tectonic stress, thermodynamic effects, osmosis and clay mineral transformation, which are all influenced by physical, geological, geochemical and mechanical processes. In this study we present the results of data selected from three wells: Ga-N1, Ga-W1 and Ga-AA1, which were all drilled within the Southern Pletmos sub-basin, offshore South Africa. The pore pressure in the wells was predicted using the Ben Eaton method by creating a depth dependent Normal Compaction Trend (NCT), using resistivity and sonic wireline logs. 2D seismic data were used to develop depth imaging of the pre-drilling pore pressure predictions; this was done using seismic interval velocity data and pressure data to obtain a reflection tomography extraction grid map. Detailed depth plots of overburden gradient (OBG), the Effective Stress (ES), Fracture Gradient (FG), Fracture Pressure (FP), Pore Pressure Gradient (PPG), and the Predicted Pore Pressure (PPP) were thus derived for the three wells. The overburden density varies from 2.09 gm/cc to 2.24 gm/cc between the wells, while the PPP changes from 3,405 psi to 5,062 psi within the selected reservoir intervals. The results show that most of the reservoir intervals of the three wells experience normal pore pressures (between 3000 and 4000 psi), except the reservoir intervals between depths 1868.73 m to 1875.40 m and 1880.3 m to 1887.3 m, respectively, in well Ga-W1, where significant overpressure in the pores exceeding 4000 psi was demonstrated (normal pore pressures are between 3000 and 4000 psi). The tomography extraction grid map that was generated from 2D seismic data of the wells was used to delineate the depth imaging of the pore pressure, in both overpressure and normal pressure formations before drilling, yielded good results.