Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MSPE)


Petroleum Engineering

Document Type



The purpose of this project is to develop a pore pressure and fracture gradient prediction strategy for the Ewing Banks 910 (EW 910) area. Petrophysical and measured pressure data for eight wells previously drilled in the EW 910 area will be examined and reviewed. This strategy will help design future drilling and completion operations in the aforementioned area. Two pore pressure prediction strategies and one fracture gradient prediction strategy will be reviewed and applied to the available data. The first pore pressure prediction strategy reviewed was developed by W. R. Matthews. This strategy utilizes a geologic age specific overlay which indicates the normally pressured compaction trendline for the appropriate geologic age. After plotting the observed resistivity/conductivity data on the geologic age specific overlay, formation pore pressures can be predicted. A simple calibration of the data is required to implement this method. The second pore pressure prediction strategy reviewed was developed by Ben Eaton. Eaton developed a simple relationship that predicts the formation pore pressure knowing the normally pressured compaction trendline, the observed resistivity/conductivity data and a relationship for formation overburden stress. The fracture pressure prediction strategy reviewed was also developed by Ben Eaton. The data required for this prediction strategy is formation overburden stress, pore pressure and formation Poisson’s ratio. A relationship for the overburden stress and Poisson’s ratio can be developed or one of Eaton’s published relationships can be used. Ultimately, the Eaton fracture gradient prediction strategy results in a simple and accurate relationship provided an accurate estimate of pore pressure is available. The two formation pore pressure prediction strategies were applied to the petrophysical data. The resulting formation pore pressure prediction was compared to the measured pressure data obtained from the eight offset wells. After analyzing each pore pressure model against the available pressure data, the Eaton pore pressure prediction strategy was chosen as the best model to implement in future operations. The fracture gradient prediction strategy was implemented using the formation pore pressures estimated by the Eaton pore pressure prediction strategy. The fracture gradients predicted were within range of the fracture gradients suggested by the offset data.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

John R. Smith