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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Indonesian Petroleum Association


Proceedings of an International Conference on Petroleum Systems of SE Asia and Australasia, 1997
Pages 867-872

Fluid Pressure Studies of SE Asia Mudrocks Using Wireline Logs

Toby W. D. Harrold, Richard E. Swarbrick, Neil R. Goulty


Fluid pressure measurements are not possible in mudrocks because their permeability is too low. It is generally assumed that the pore pressures in mudrock sections follow the profile defined by measurements made in the reservoir units. Analysis of mudrock porosity values in overpressured wells from SE Asia shows that this is often not the case. Two scenarios exist to explain the origin of the measured overpressure in the section cut by the well:

Firstly the high pressure measured in the reservoirs is derived from the adjacent mudrocks which are overpressured by disequilibrium compaction or some fluid expansion mechanism (e.g., gas generation). The second situation arises where the fluid in the reservoirs is derived from deeper in the basin and arrives at the section via vertical and lateral transfer. Until an equilibrium is achieved, the aquifer pressure exceeds that of the adjacent mudrocks.

A 700m interval in one case well shows the mudrock porosity and hence effective stress remain constant, whilst in the aquifers, pore pressure increases and effective stress decreases rapidly over the same section, thus ruling out disequilibrium compaction. The constant log response in the mudrocks rules out fluid expansion generated within this interval. The overpressured fluids must therefore be derived from greater depths, and introduced preferentially into the aquifer via vertical and/or lateral transfer. The main conclusion from this analysis is that lateral and vertical transfer of overpressured fluids is important in the young Tertiary basins of SE Asia. This will therefore be a particularly important factor to consider in the risk assessment of top seal integrity of compressional anticline structures which are one of the dominant plays of the region.

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