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Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Wellbore instability and pore pressure uncertainty contribute to more than $8 billion of planned and unplanned drilling costs each year (source: In an endeavor to improve on current pore pressure estimations Halliburton Sperry Sun, ith the support of !"#, introduced the Sigmalog as a ne pore pressure model to !u ait. $he ob%ective of this manuscript is to assess the performance and value of the ne ly introduced Sigmalog for pore pressure estimation in !u ait. Wells from several areas (Fig.1) ere studied and information from old ells using &'e(ponent and ne ells using Sigmalog ere compared. Fig 1. Map showing main fields of Kuwait. (Qureshi & Wahadan, 1 !"#

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

$b%ecti&es of pore pressure e&aluation are: Have an accurate *no ledge of formation pressure for effective ell control +stimation of formation fracture pressure in order to set limits of or*ing pressure ,eduction of the ris* of secondary ell control through the anticipation of pressure transitions Wellbore pressure analysis Hydraulics optimisation Introduction to D-exponent $he &'e(ponent is used to predict abnormally pressured formations by giving a non' dimensional number, hich is based upon the relationship bet een the ,"- and formation pressure. ($'ene'in, ())1) In a constant lithology the &'e(ponent should increase as the depth, compaction and differential pressure across the bottom increase. .pon penetration of a geopressured /one, compaction and differential pressure ill increase and ill be reflected by a decrease in the &'+(ponent, therefore an increase in pore pressure. (*a+er ,ughes -nte. 1 /). $his techni0ue or*s best in areas here a normal compaction trend can readily be developed, here the lithology is moderately constant and here overpressure is due to dise0uilibrium compaction. (0. 1warbric+, ())2) $he e0uation as developed for 1ulf #oast conditions here drilling homogeneous shale is the norm. -rior to 2332 the &'e(ponent as the preferred method of pore pressure estimation in !u ait.

Formula for uncorrected Dexponent

Formula for corrected Dexponent

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Fig(. 3bo&e and below, two graphs showing nature of 45e6ponent.

7aton8s formula

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Introduction to Sigmalog Sigmalog as developed by 1eoservices and 51I- in the mid seventies to be a more reliable overpressure prediction and evaluation techni0ue. In essence Sigmalog is an instantaneous drilling rate 6 pore pressure prediction model based in the relationship bet een ,"-, drilling parameters, roc* strength, a pseudo'differential pressure at bit and pore pressure. Whereas the &c e(ponent can be thought of as a 7normali/ed8 drill rate, the Sigmalog may be considered as representing a roc* strength parameter. (9: *:1 circa 1 !)8s) Sigmalog as developed by 1eoservice and 51I- in the -o valley region of 9rance here large sections of :imestone are drilled. If you compare the regions here each method as developed, the -o ;alley appears to be lithologically closer to !u ait rather than the 1ulf #oast here the &'e(ponent as developed. Sigmalog as introduced to provide a chec* for &'e(ponent and to improve on the limitations of the &'e(ponent. $he main limitation of &'e(ponent is that it is lithology dependant due to the fact that &'+(ponent re0uires a normal compaction trend to be stated and this trend is generally set in Shale as its is the most unvarying lithology. +ven in Shale changes in provenance and composition may render application of a single curve useless for prediction (0. 1warbric+, ())2) or suspect at least. #alcareous #laystones ill also affect the trend line. $hese ill push the trend line to the right, giving the impression of lo er pressures than are actually present. (,alliburton $&erpressure Manual, 1 ). In !u ait for e(ample, the 5hmadi Shale here the <#$ is li*ely to be set differs considerably from Shale and 5rgillaceous :imestones of the =arrat, &hruma, Sargelu and <a%mah 9ormations. $he lo er shale are generally highly calcareous and the <a%mah in particular in rich in *erogen and ell'preserved amorphous marine algal type organic matter. (F. ,. 3. 3bdullah. ())(). $he main disadvantage of Sigmalog is that is it labour intensive and re0uires a s*illed operator e(perienced in manipulating the model for trend line shifts and other maintenance. (9: *:1 1igmalog, circa 1 !)8s).


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Calculating procedure for Sigmalog When Sigmalog as first introduced, several of the published papers contained mi(ed units and incorrect e0uations resulting in programming and utili/ation problems. Observed Sigmalog 5 total roc* strength or ra Sigmalog, t is calculated from normali/ed drilling parameters as in the &c e(ponent method. $he basic e0uation is?

$his ra Sigmalog is then corrected for the effects of compaction for determining pore pressure at shallo depths.

Porosity and lithology functions $o evaluate the Sigmalog calculations porosity and lithology functions are established. $he porosity function @nA represents the time ta*en to e0uali/e the differential pressure through the cutting. $his depends on the lithology and particularly its porosity.

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

$he lithology term 9C is modeled to represent the effect of lithology and porosity on the differential pressure at the bit. i.e. ho does the type and volume of the pores affect chip hold do n or release of cuttingsD

Reference trend line When loo*ing at a Sigmalog plot, the points to the left indicate porous or fractured formations hile those on the right indicate impermeable formations such as shale or marls. .nder normal pressure and therefore, normal compaction conditions, these points form a straight line called the reference trend line, r. $he e0uation for determining the reference trend line is?

Calculating pore pressure $he pore pressure gradient (atmE)3m) at a depth of interest is calculated using the follo ing procedure. $he lithology term 9C is calculated by? 9C F r E t and this term is utili/ed in the final pressure gradient formula? 1p F df 6 GH23()'9C)IEHnC:C9(2'9C)IJ he !true Sigmalog" $he true Sigmalog o can be formulated by ad%usting t) ith the lithology function, 9C.

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

$his calculated function, the 7true Sigmalog8, is related to t) to establish the porosity of the formation. $his porosity is utili/ed to calculate interval bul* density and overburden. Sigmalog behavior 5s a general trend values of o al ays increases ith depth through shales, indicating the presence of normally compacted formations. Ho ever, hen the Sigmalog curve deviates to the left from the reference trend line (li*e the &c e(ponent) an overpressured /one is indicated. $he Sigmalog curve often dramatically shifts, brea*ing the curve into many segments. $o compensate the reference trend line has to be shifted to avoid incorrect values of pore pressure. $he factors, hich cause these abrupt shifts, can be? (i) $hose hich affect all other drilling models, e.g. drilling parameters such as rapidly varying drilling parameters, coring, mud drilling, bit type changes and hole si/e changes. (ii) $hose that are not normali/ed by the model, such as ne bits, geological factors of faults, unconformities, lithology changes etc and hydraulic effects on the drill rate. Sigmalog modeling #trend line shifting$ $he ob%ect of trend line shifting is to avoid the influences of spurious data. $herefore, as ith all models, the or*er must be careful to ensure that the reasons for ma*ing such shifts are perfectly understood. $here are no fi(ed rules concerning reference trend line shifts, but before interpreting the Sigmalog curve it is very important to be in possession of all the pertinent data such as bit records, lithologies and casing depths. $his data should be considered for the effects that may have been imposed on the Sigmalog. Having determined here the shifts in the reference trend line are re0uired they can be shifted by (i) a mathematical or (ii) a graphical solution. (i) 5 ratio method can be utili/ed hich divides the last Sigmalog value before the shift by the first Sigmalog value after the shift, and multiplies the resultant by the last trend line value before the shift. r ne F r old C (o ne E o old) (ii) 5s the hori/ontal scale for Sigmalog is linear, it is possible to measure the distance bet een old and ne Sigmalog values and shift the reference trend line by the same amount.

%ield procedure for calculating pore pressure $he calculations are made by hatever soft are pac*age is available. Ho ever the ma%ority of such pac*ages re0uire the input of the appropriate b value to compute the correct r at each depth interval. $he value of can be found by using parallel rulers on

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004 the graphical plot to produce the trend line bac* to the surface and establish the intercept value. 5lternatively the e0uation belo can the used to provide a mathematical solution. 5ssuming the value of r at K333m is 3.LM, hat is the value of D giving? 3.LM ' (3.88CK333E)333)F 3.LM'3.B4 F 3.2K F
Zero intersect SR 1.1 0.838332 Depth M Depth Ft 2 !0.122 !"2

+(cel Spreadsheet

With this data the computer can provide or plot o and r producing the calculated pore pressure, hich should be plotted alongside mud eight.

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Fig 2. 1howing the nature of 1igmalog, note the man' brea+s in the cur&e.

Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Without actual pore pressure data from 1eo'$ap -W&, =&$ or ,9$ tools it is some hat difficult to assess ho accurate the above methods of pore pressure prediction actually are. 5n accurate value of pore pressure can be ta*en from *ic* data, ho ever a *ic* in essence demonstrates a failure of pore pressure estimation. In order to assess the effectiveness of Sigmalog information from several ells has been studied and specific e(amples from each ell have been highlighted. $he old style of pore pressure estimation (pre 2332) has large %umps or steps, an e(ample being &9')3 in the 1otnia. 5t ))B33A the pore pressure %umps from )>.K to )K.M ppg and at ))8B3A the pore pressure %umps from )K.M to )8.L ppg. 5lthough these steps seem large, this very strict method of using only shale points is theoretically the most correct due to the fact that &'+(ponent is lithology dependant. Sigmalog in comparison gives a smooth natural loo*ing curve on hich each point could be valid as Sigmalog is not lithology dependant. 5nother observation about Sigmalog is that in most cases the value of Sigmalog pore pressure appears to be slightly higher than that of &'+(ponent.

NH'328 began drilling in late 2334 in the Nahrah field of <orth !u ait. It as one of the first ells to be drilled using both &'e(ponent and Sigmalog in tandem so that the effectiveness of each method could be assessed on the same ell. In the top'hole section of the ell Sigmalog and &'e(ponent are very erratic, they begin to be less inconsistent after the ,us, ho ever it is still difficult to pinpoint an e(act figure for pore pressure. (fig.;#

+rratic values

Smoother values

Fig. ; *oth 1igmalog and 45e6ponent decrease in inconsistenc' after the 0us.


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

9ollo ing the ,umaila, the curve is less variable for both &'e(ponent and Sigmalog and a good pore pressure estimate can be confidently chosen (fig. /#. 5t this stage Sigmalog and &'e(ponent follo each other closely, if not precisely. $his is probably due to the lithology being composed mainly of shale.

Fig. " *oth 1igmalog and 45e6ponent reading the same in 0umaila, 3hmadi, Wara formations. $hrough the Oubair both &'e(ponent and Sigmalog are erratic due to the very variable nature of the formation. (Fig. /#

Fig. / *oth 1igmalog and 45e6ponent are erratic in <ubair. Within the ,ata i Shale &'e(ponent and Sigmalog correspond ith one another closely (fig. =#P they begin to drift apart in the ,ata i :imestone ith Sigmalog reading slightly higher than &'e(ponent (2'4 ppg difference) (fig. !#.

Fig. = *oth 1igmalog and 45e6ponent reading same in 0atawi 1hale.


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Fig. ! 1igmalog and 45e6ponent drift apart in 0atawi :imestone. :arge shale beds indicate the base of the =a*hul and as a result &'e(ponent moves bac* to ard the Sigmalog ith pore pressure estimates less than ) ppg difference (fig. ).


45e6ponent mo&es closer to 1igmalog in Ma+hul(1hale beds#.


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004 5t the top of the Hith both models indicate an increase in pore pressure (fig. 1)#, Sigmalog sho s the greatest change (from )).B ppg to )K.3 ppg), hilst &'e(ponent rises from )3.B ppg to )2.K ppg. $he value indicated by Sigmalog of )K.3 ppg appears to be a little high, as the mud eight is only )B.B ppg, it is probably due to this over estimate that the &'e(ponent figure as used. $he mud eight as increased to )L.) ppg at the base of the Hith. )K.3 ppg

)2.K ppg Fig. 1) >ore pressure estimate increase at top of ,ith. 5t the top of the 1otnia the &'e(ponent sho s a value of )K.M ppg and the Sigmalog sho s a value of )8 ppg. 5t the base of the first Salt the &'e(ponent sho s )L.) ppg and the Sigmalog sho s )8.B ppg (fig. 11). $he mud eight is )8.K ppg. $he &'e(ponent value is preferred due to the overestimation of Sigmalog further up the hole, even though )8.3 any shale points in the salt could be suspect. ppg )K.M ppg

)8.B ppg

)L.) ppg Fig. 11 >ore pressure estimate increases in first 1alt. 5s the first 5nyhdrite is penetrated the &'e(ponent is pushed to the right to ard the trend line due to the change in lithology, Sigmalog is shifted for this change and reads )8.B ppg to )M.3 ppg (fig. 1(a&b). 5t this point a *ic* occurs during the circulation of bottoms up ith L2B psi SI&-- and 22B3 psi SI#-, giving a pore pressure calculation of )M.K ppg. $he values of Sigmalog reflect closer the actual pore pressure than &'e(ponent. $he high'pressure estimate sho n previously by Sigmalog as probably due to the trend line at )4343A being shifted too far to the right. 5 slight ad%ustment to the left ould have probably not caused the overestimation further up the hole and ould have still given an accurate pore pressure estimate in the 1otnia that could be confidently used.


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Fig. 1(a Kic+ in first 3nh'drite.

Fig. 1(b Kic+ in first 3nh'drite. $he pore pressure as *ept at )M.K ppg until the <a%mah, it is interesting to note that &' e(ponent as not recalibrated after the *ic* and therefore continues to read 4 ppg less than the &'e(ponent. 5t the base of the 1otnia both &'e(ponent and Sigmalog sho a rapid decrease in pore pressure, and at the top of the <a%mah both models are set to )B.K ppg (fig.12).

Fig. 12 4ecrease in pore pressure estimates after ?otnia. Ho ever, after the Shale bed at )4MB3A Sigmalog and &'e(ponent drift apart once again, ith &'e(ponent reading 2'4 ppg less than Sigmalog (fig. 1;).

Fig. 1; 1igmalog and 45e6ponent drift apart after shale bed.


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004 5t )>)33A an increase in pore pressure estimate is indicated by both models, Sigmalog sho s )B.8 ppg and &'e(ponent sho s )4.B ppg (fig.1").

Fig. 1" 1igmalog and 45e6ponent show increase in pore pressure at 1;1)). $he =iddle =arrat illustrates ho detailed Sigmalog can be and ho , if Sigmalog is studied closely and accurately, trends of pore pressure can be interpreted and do n hole problems may be prevented. Sigmalog pore pressure estimates ere revie ed and ad%usted t elve times in a K33A section follo ing increasing and decreasing trends ithin the formation and using connection and bac*ground gas for verification (fig. 1/). )B.8 ppg )B.B ppg )B.K ppg )B.K ppg )B.> ppg

)B.L ppg )B.B ppg

Fig. 1/ 1igmalog showing increasing and decreasing trends in detail o&er a small section in Middle Marrat, note connection gas le&els in relation to pore pressure estimates. 5t $& Sigmalog and &'e(ponent ere less than ) ppg apart, ith Sigmalog reading slightly higher.


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004 $he ell &9')2 as drilled in 233> in the &harif field. +ngineers used Sigmalog and &' e(ponent models for pore pressure estimation, using the offset ell &9')3 and &9')) comparisons can be made in the effectiveness of both models. D%-+( , D%-+) &9')3 as drilled in the summer of 233) in the &harif field, estern !u ait. $he $& of the ell as )>)33A -ore pressure estimates ranged from M ppg in the ,ata i Shale to )8.L ppg in the 1otnia. $he most significant event regarding pore pressure in &9')3 as at )4L2MA (=iddle =arrat) here ithout any indication of increasing pore pressure a sudden flo as observed, the ell as shut in ith M33 psi SI&-- and 8>B psi SI#and a B bbls gain. (1ee Fig. 1=) $he pore pressure estimate as originally )4.3 ppg based on a &'+(ponent at )2M33 ft. $he ell as *illed ith )>.8 ppg mud and losses of )BK bbls. If e compare this to &9')2 at around the same depth as the *ic* (fig. 1!) pore pressure estimates are around )B.3 ppg and at the depth here the &'e(ponent as estimated ()2M33ft) the Sigmalog sho s about )>.3 ppg, because Sigmalog is not lithology dependant the gradation can be seen throughout this section. "ne point to note about the &'e(ponent of &9')2 is that it had not been used in the traditional ay here the trend line is reset for only bit runs and hole si/e changes. $he &'e(ponent trend line has also been set for lithology changes, hydraulics changes and ,"- changes, for e(ample at the depths, M4B3A, MK>3A, )3433A, ))23BA, ))4L3A, ))BL3A, ))K23A, ))83MA, ))8BBA, )4M4BA. 5lthough this seems to give the &'e(ponent a smoother appearance and estimates that match or are close to Sigmalog, it does brea* the rule of strict &'e(ponent procedure. $he different lithologies in particular ould have a different compaction trend to that of the <#$ of the original shale.

Fig. 1= -llustrating +ic+ in Marrat, 4F51).


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

Fig. 1! -llustrating e.ui&alent depth +ic+ in Marrat, 4F51(. )B.) ppg

)B.B ppg


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004 D%-++ , D% -+) &9')) as drilled in 5ugust 2332, %ust before the introduction of the Sigmalog and it highlights very ell ho effective the Sigmalog can be. Whilst drilling the =a*hul a flo as observed at )3K28A, the mud eight as )4.2 ppg and the pore pressure estimate as )2.> ppg (set K33A from *ic* depth) (Fig. 1 ) $he ell as *illed ith )B.3 ppg and then increased to )B.L ppg due to high bac*ground gases. $he pore pressure as then recalculated to )B.3 ppg on the basis of MB3 psi SI&-- and then )B.> ppg based on the high bac*ground gas and &'e(ponent. When e compare &9')2 Sigmalog (Fig. ()) for the same section e see the pore pressure estimated at )2.B ppg (K3ft above e0uivalent *ic* depth) rising gradually to )4.3 ppg )33A from e0uivalent *ic* /one. It then rapidly increases to )B.3 ppg, the same as the calculated pressure from the *ic*. <otice that I<SI$+ &'e(ponent also sho s an increasing trend ithin this highly argillaceous limestone. $he pore pressure estimates of &'e(ponent using this lithology tend to sho less than Sigmalog and have been proven to shift the trend to the right due to the #alcium #arbonate content of the roc*. (,alliburton $&erpressure Manua, 1 ) 5 second *ic* occurred in the =iddle =arrat (Noth the &9')3 and &9')) *ic*s occurred appro( 233 ft from the top of the :o er =arrat). =ud eight as )>.3 ppg and the estimated pore pressure as )4.K pgg, the mud eight as increased to )>.2 ppg and the pore pressure as estimated to be )>.) ppg based on the high gas level of )3B3 .nits. (Fig.(1) In the same /one of &9')2 (Fig. ((), the Sigmalog sho s pressures ranging from )>.K ppg to )B.2 ppg, higher values than both &9')3 and &9')), the +#& as )B.Bppg ith no losses. Fig.1 -llustrating +ic+ in Ma+hul of 4F511


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004 Fig (). -llustrates e.ui&alent depth in 4F51(

?radual increase in pore pressure estimation.


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004 Fig.(1 -llustrates +ic+ in Marrat of 4F511

Fig.((. -llustrates the e.ui&alent depth in 4F51( Marrat.


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

$he introduction of Sigmalog has also brought about a greater understanding of &' e(ponent, its limitations and strengths. It is advisable that both models be run on every ell in order to verify one another and give increased confidence in pore pressure estimation. Ho ever, neither Sigmalog nor &'e(ponent can give definite pore pressureP they are estimates and should be treated as such. "ther factors can lead to inaccurate estimates of pore pressure including lateral transfer inflating the pore pressure at the crest of tilted reservoir relative to the overlying shales, hich their pressure prediction is made. :ithological variation and shallo overpressure create difficulty in defining the appropriate <#$, and fluid e(pansion mechanisms and chemical compaction process destroys the lin* bet een porosity and effective stress associated ith normal compaction. (0. 1warbric+ ())2) $hese factors together ith the limitations of both the aforementioned methods can lead to an underestimate of the pore pressure, hich in turn can lead to a drilling surprise. In order in minimi/e these factors and increase accuracy of pore pressure prediction in !u ait several solutions can be ta*en into consideration? (a) .sing offset ells for calibration. 5lthough this is done to a certain e(tent it could be further enhanced by an understanding of ireline and other data that is ta*en after the ell is complete. (b) $a*ing direct pressure measurements in all permeable units 6 nothing ade0uately replaces the benefit of *no ing the true pore pressures. (c) Employing multiple techniques in pore pressure prediction to help understand the uncertainty in each of the methods used. For example, employing basin modeling, seismic and wireline-based prediction techniques provide complementary results and valuable insights into the realistic range of uncertainty in prediction. (d) Recognizing that petroleum systems are both complex and diverse, and always specify a range of uncertainty in pore pressure predictions for future wells (0. 1warbric+ ())2).


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004

.sing only a handful of ells and a fe carefully selected sections cannot fully assess the effectiveness of one model in comparison to another. Ho ever, the above e(amples do highlight the limitations of &'e(ponent in variable lithologies and the increased accuracy of pore pressure predictions by Sigmalog based on *ic* data. $he Sigmalog has the great advantage of having continuous data points therefore slight changes in pore pressure trends can be follo ed closely. &espite being labour intensive and re0uiring a high level of operator s*ill Sigmalog has proven to be the highly effective model it as hoped it ould be. It has added increased confidence to pore pressure estimates and has verified estimates from previous ells. $he opportunity for error during shift changes ill be greatly reduced as engineers become increasingly familiar ith the model. $he accuracy of the estimates together ith the increase of valid data points ill ensure pore pressure trends are identified 0uic*ly. In the challenging pressure environment of !u ait the combination of specialist s*ill and *no ledge of engineers in the field of pore pressure estimation could ma*e the difference in drilling a successful ell.

5bdullah, 9.H.5P 5 -reliminary +valuation of Qurrasic Source ,oc* -otential in !u ait, 7arth and 7n&ironmental 1ciences 4epartment, Kuwait @ni&ersit', 2332 Na*er Hughes Inte0P 9ormation -ressure +valuation $echni0ues, Formation >ressure 7&aluation 0eference ?uide, Qanuary )MMK Halliburton +nergy ServicesP Ruantitative -ressure +valuation from the dc +(ponent, $&erpressure Manual, )MMM <: Nariod :ogging SystemsP Sigmalog &rilling =odel, 3pplied 4rilling Aechnolog' Manual, circa )M83As Sperry'Sun &rilling ServicesP Sigmalog, Formation >ressure Manual, - >>'B3 2333 S arbric*, ,ichard +.P #hallenges of -orosity'Nased -ore -ressure -rediction, B17? 0ecorder, September 2332 "yeneyin, = NabsP 9ormation -ressure, =Sc "il and 1as +(ploration +ngineering, 0obert ?ordon @ni&ersti', 233) Rureshi S WahadanP 5nalysis of formation pore pressure in !u ait oil fields. 1perr'5 1un manuscript, )M8B

C.?.>ar+in, Kuwait ());


Sigmalog Project Kuwait 2004