Abnormal Formation Pressures: Implications to Exploration, by Walter H. Fertl

By Walter H. Fertl

Petroleum formation pressures

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When the solid phases are allowed to change composition (for example, by stress-induced recrystallization), there may be damping effect on diffusion, but there also may be an 40 ABNORMAL FORMATION PRESSURE ENVIRONMENTS enhancement of diffusion. Eventually a compositional gradient will parallel the pressure gradient in both the solid and dispersed phases.

G. ); composition and possible mixing of brines; and sharp subsurface pressure and temperature changes. All of these factors, or any combination of them, plus consideration of the geologic time factor, may change the physicochemical environment, causing slow lithological changes in the formation of these cap rocks as pressure seals. , will be slowed until essentially halted. Although such shales are hardened as a result of lithification, they should retain some flexibility (plasticity), permitting the pressure seal to “give” during minor movements in the earth’s crust.

In such cases, potential gas reserves should also include the migrating gas. As suggested by Kalinko (1967),it is economical to exploit such gas pools using one or two wells. Salt diapirism. Salt is known to behave plastically. During short-time tests at elevated temperatures, halite single crystals (Handin and Hager, 1958) flowed without further stress increase when the yield stress was reached. From field observations it is known that salt will behave plastically over a long period of time at lower temperatures and stresses than required during short periods in the laboratory (Muehlberger, 1959;Trusheim, 1960).

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