Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 557–580 | Cite as

Deformation Behavior of Chalk Studied Close to In Situ Reservoir Conditions

  • E. Omdal
  • M. V. Madland
  • T. G. Kristiansen
  • N. B. Nagel
  • R. I. Korsnes
  • A. Hiorth
Original Paper

Abstract

A laboratory test program, which simulated reservoir conditions of pressure and temperature, was conducted on outcrop and reservoir chalk samples of various porosities. All the samples experienced a stress path following uniaxial strain condition K 0 that led to compaction failure, i.e. pore collapse. The experiments were loaded by depletion of pore pressure conducted under load controlled conditions. This depletion phase was followed by a creep period, where time-dependent deformation was monitored. The intention of creating such reservoir condition in these laboratory experiments was to gain knowledge of the nature of chalk compaction. Chalk is an important reservoir rock for the oil and gas industry with unique storage capability with porosities up toward 50%. However, this rock is also very weak which has resulted in significant reservoir compaction and in turn severe seabed subsidence and casing failure. Mapping of the mechanical behavior of chalk in terms of deformation is thus decisive for a proper understanding of these reservoirs. The results of this study show that chalk is indeed a rate-dependent material under laboratory loading conditions as time effects were revealed as the loading rate was varied. However, the results raise uncertainty about the importance of rate dependency for chalk under completely drained conditions. Further, such high-porosity chalk suffers for substantial plastic strains and obvious strain hardening. Indeed, a relation between deformation/porosity and hardening is proposed by the introduction of real-time modulus values. Time-dependent deformation, also called creep was influenced by the depletion phase, as consolidation or transient creep influenced the deformation response for as much as 175 h after a change in load. This indicates that transient creep is dependent on the stress history. However, observations suggest the existence of a universal mechanism for steady state creep, governed by neither the initial porosity nor the stress history or chalk type, which thus seems to be an independent strain contributor. Finally, time dependence is found on the K 0 development for chalk tested at typically laboratory rates, which has been discussed as a reflection of the nature of the grain re-arrangement during failure and plastic deformation. Ultimately, such time dependence of the K 0 may contribute to the understanding of stress path data deduced from field data.

Keywords

Reservoir and outcrop chalks In situ testing Load rate Mechanical compaction Pore collapse Hardening Creep Time dependent K0 behavior 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The authors acknowledge ConocoPhillips and the Ekofisk Covertures, including TOTAL, ENI, StatoilHydro and Petoro for financing the work from the research centre COREC, and BP and the Valhall co-venturers (Hess Norge AS, A/S Norske Shell, and Total E&P Norge AS) for financial support during this work. In addition, G.G. Ramos and D. Chancellor are acknowledged for the technical support during testing of the reservoir cores at the Rock & Fracture Mechanics Laboratory at Bartlesville Technology Center.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Omdal
    • 1
  • M. V. Madland
    • 1
  • T. G. Kristiansen
    • 2
  • N. B. Nagel
    • 3
  • R. I. Korsnes
    • 1
  • A. Hiorth
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Petroleum TechnologyUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway
  2. 2.BP NorgeStavangerNorway
  3. 3.Itasca Houston Inc.HoustonUSA
  4. 4.International Research Institute of Stavanger, IRISStavangerNorway

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