Abnormal formation pressure detection is important in drilling operations from technical and economical points of view. Moreover, the abnormality type determination while drilling helps in taking earlier decisions that may save costs and eliminate near miss problems. The available correlations for pore pressure prediction depend on well logging, formation properties, and combination of logging and drilling parameters. These data are not available for all wells in all sections. The objective of this paper is to use artificial neural networks (ANNs) to develop a classification model to classify the abnormality zones in real-time into subnormal or supernormal zones using both mechanical and hydraulic drilling parameters data. The used parameters included rate of penetration (ROP), mud flow rate (Q), standpipe pressure (SPP), weight on bit (WOB), torque (T) and rotary speed (RS). A dataset of around 2,900 data points were utilized to provide the classification model. The model classifies the pressure abnormality with high accuracy as the percentage of right classifications was around 98.9% for testing dataset and the area under the curve of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) approached 1.


Formation pressure is the pressure exerted by the fluids within the rock pore space. The normal formation pressure at certain depth originates from the weight of the saltwater column extended from the surface to the point of interest. The deviation from the normal trend can be described as abnormal which can be either subnormal or overpressure (Mouchet, J.P., and Mitchell, 1989). Normal pressure is not constant, and it depends on the amount of dissolved salts, fluid types, gas presences and temperature gradient. Commonly, normal pressure gradient is around 0.465 psi/ft (Rabia, 2002). Supernormal, also called overpressure or geopressured, is the pore pressure exceeding the normal hydrostatic pressure. This pressure is created from normal pressure in addition to an extra pressure source. The excess pressure may be attributed to different mechanical, geochemical, geothermal, geological and combined reasons (Rabia, 2002). Overpressure zones may lead to severe technical and economic issues such as kicks and blowouts. For optimum well control, it is important that not only the identification but also the magnitude of abnormal pressure should be known. Contrarily, subnormal pressure is the pore pressure lower than the normal pressure and may lead to loss of circulation and differential pipe sticking resulting in setting additional casing strings (higher drilling costs) (Rabia, 2002). Accurate real-time pore pressure prediction may provide enhanced well path and casing design, better wellbore stability analysis, effective mud program and reduced overall drilling time and cost (Tingay et al., 2009; Zoback, 2007).

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.