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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Special Volumes


AAPG Memoir 76, Chapter 19: The Future of Pressure Prediction Using Geophysical Methods , by Alan R. Huffman, Pages 217 - 233
AAPG Memoir 76: Pressure Regimes in Sedimentary Basins and Their Prediction , Edited by Alan Huffman and Glenn Bowers
Copyright © 2001 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

Chapter 19
Pressure Regimes in Sedimentary Basins and Their Prediction Using Geophysical Methods

Alan R. Huffman
Conoco Inc.,
Houston, Texas


The technology of pore-pressure prediction has advanced significantly in recent years. In the future, new methods for pore-pressure prediction will routinely use shear-wave data gathered using multicomponent seismic technology. Overburden and fracture Previous HitgradientNext Hit will be predicted in three dimensions using gravity and magnetic inversion technology. Seismic inversion, both prestack and poststack, will provide refined estimates of the Previous HitvelocityNext Hit field in the subsurface, and new seismic-processing methods will allow Previous HitvelocityNext Hit anisotropy to be predicted accurately so that it can be used to predict both pore pressure and real triaxial stress fields in the earth. These new methods will be used to make advances in the prediction of pressures in nonclastic rocks and to extract information that can be used to accurately predict structural hyperpressuring in reservoirs to assist in drilling difficult wells. Pressure prediction will become a standard tool in basin-scale and prospect-scale evaluation of the hydrocarbon system and will be used to guide the exploration process. In the production environment, pore-pressure prediction will be used routinely to provide a three-dimensional model for the pressure regime in the subsurface that will be critical to effective reservoir simulation and reservoir management.

Despite all these advances, however, pore-pressure prediction will still be limited by the quality of seismic data acquisition and processing technology that is used to prepare the data and by the structural complexity of the subsurface that is to be imaged. Predictions will continue to be limited by the lack of predrill information about the state of compaction in the subsurface that is critical to a robust pressure prediction. Lastly, prediction accuracy will continue to be limited by the presence of secondary pressure in situations where Previous HitvelocityTop reversals are difficult to detect on seismic data.

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