Abstract

This work establishes an effective approach to predict pore pressure in the overpressured Montney Shale and overburden from sonic logs by implementing normal-trend and explicit methods. The cause of the overpressure condition in the Montney is also addressed. These two methods were selected on the basis of the study carried out by Contreras et al. (2011) that worked successfully for pore pressure prediction under subpressured conditions in parts of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). As a second objective, the stress faulting regime was determined in the study area by using Stress Polygons and data from diagnostic fracture injection test analysis as a quantification of the minimum horizontal stress. This is of paramount importance since there is not a generic theory about the stress faulting regime for most of the west region of the WCSB.

The Eaton method from sonic logs (Eaton, 1975) and the Bowers method (Bowers, 1995) were implemented in two vertical wells drilled through the Montney shale. The first part of the analysis considered two normal compaction trends but unreasonable pressure profiles were obtained and required a revision on the depositional environment. It was found that for the study area three normal compactions trends have to be considered. The Bowers method was initially implemented using both loading and unloading conditions in order to establish a safe range of pore pressure to allow successful well plans.

It is concluded that undercompaction could be masked as the only overpressure mechanism in the Montney shale in the study area. The formation experiences an inverse faulting regime that will lead to the creation of horizontal hydraulic fractures. The Eaton method using three normal compaction trends and an exponent equal to 0.9 works successfully in the study area. The Bowers method using the loading and the unloading conditions, and the specific correlation parameters were found to be suitable for the study area and can be extrapolated to adjacent future production and exploratory wells.

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