Skip to main content

Sediment compaction and pore pressure prediction in deepwater basin of the South China Sea: Estimation from ODP and IODP drilling well data

Abstract

Overpressure in deepwater basins not only causes serious soft sediment deformation, but also significantly affects the safety of drilling operations. Therefore, prediction of overpressure in sediments has become an important task in deepwater oil exploration and development. In this study, we analyze the drilling data from ODP Leg 184 Sites 1144, 1146, and 1148, and IODP Leg 349 Sites U1431, U1432, U1433, and U1435 to study the sediment compaction and controls in the northern South China Sea. Sedimentation rate, sediment content, distribution area, and buried depth are the factors that influence sediment compaction in the deepwater basin of the South China Sea. Among these factors, the sediment content is the most important. The fitted normal compacted coefficients and mudline porosity for an interval of 50 m shows disciplinary variation versus depth. The pore pressure predicted from different fitted results shows varying overpressure situations. The normal compaction trend from Site 1144 reflects the porosity variation trend in stable deposition basins in the northern South China Sea. The predicted pore pressure shows overpressure at Site 1144, which is attributed to compaction disequilibrium. Nevertheless, the mixed lithology column may influence the predicted over-pressure at Site 1148, which is responsible for the confusing result. Above all, we find that sediment compaction should serve as a proxy for pore pressure in the deepwater basin of the South China Sea.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Athy, L. F., 1930. Density, porosity, and compaction of sedimentary rocks. AAPG Bulletin, 14: 1–24.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Azadpour, M., Manaman, N. S., Kadkhodaie-Ilkhchi, A., and Sedghipour, M. R., 2015. Pore pressure prediction and modeling using well-logging data in one of the gas fields in south of Iran. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 128: 15–23.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Blum, P., 1997. Physical Properties Handbook: A Guide to the Shipboard Measurement of Physical Properties of Deep-Sea Cores. Ocean Drilling Program Technical Notes, College Staion, Texas, 1–11.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  4. Bowers, G. L., 1995. Pore pressure estimation from velocity data: Accounting for overpressure mechanisms besides undercompaction. SPE Drilling & Completion, 10: 89–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bowers, G. L., 2002. Detecting high overpressure. The Leading Edge, 21: 174–177.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Briais, A., Patriat, P., and Tapponnier, P., 1993. Updated interpretation of magnetic anomalies and seafloor spreading stages in the South China Sea: Implications for the Tertiary tectonics of southeast Asia. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 98: 6299–6328.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Dasgupta, S., Chatterjee, R., and Mohanty, S., 2016a. Prediction of pore pressure and fracture pressure in Cauvery and Krishna- Godavari basins, India. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 78: 493–506.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Dasgupta, S., Chatterjee, R., and Mohanty, S., 2016b. Magnitude, mechanisms and prediction of abnormal pore pressure using well data in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, east coast of India. AAPG Bulletin, 100: 1833–1855.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Dong, D., Sun, Y., and Wu, S., 2015. Numerical simulation of the overpressure in the deep-water area of the Pearl River Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea: A case from Site 1148, ODP Leg 184. Marine Geology & Quaternary Geology, 35: 165–172 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Dong, D., Zhao, H., Wu, S., and Wu, X., 2007. SWF problem in deepwater drilling and its geophysical detection techniques. Journal of Marine Science Bulletin, 26: 114–120 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Dugan, B., and Flemings, P. B., 2000. Overpressure and fluid flow in the New Jersey continental slope: Implications for slope failure and cold seeps. Science, 289: 288–291.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Eaton, B. A., 1975. The equation for geopressure prediction from well logs. Fall Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME. Dallas, Texas, SPE5544.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Huang, B., Xiao, X., Hu, Z., and Yi, P., 2005. Geochemistry and episodic accumulation of natural gases from the Ledong gas field in the Yinggehai Basin, offshore South China Sea. Organic Geochemistry, 36 (12): 1689–1702.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Huang, B., Xiao, X., and Zhang, M., 2003. Geochemistry, grouping and origins of crude oils in the western Pearl River Mouth Basin, offshore South China Sea. Organic Geochemistry, 34: 993–1008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Jiang, T., and Xie, X., 2005. Effects of high temperature and overpressure on reservior quality in the Yinggehai Basin, South Chian Sea. Earth Science–Journal of China University of Geosciences, 30: 215–220 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Li, C. F., Lin, J., Kulhanek, D. K., Williams, T., Bao. R., Briais, A., Brown, E. A., Chen, Y., Clift, P. D., Colwell, F. S., Dadd, K. A., Ding, W. W., Hernández-Almeida, I., Huang, X. L., Hyun, S., Jiang, T., Koppers, A. A. P., Li, Q., Liu, C., Liu, Z., Nagai, R. H., Peleo-Alampay, A., Su, X., Sum, Z., Tejada, M. L. G., Trinh, H. S., Yeh, Y. C., Zhang, C., Zhang, F., Zhang, G. L., and Zhao, X., 2015. Expedition 349 Summary. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), College Station, Texas, 1–43.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Li, Q., Zheng, F., and Liu, C., 2007. Stratigraphic events across the Oligocene/Miocene boundary. Marine Geology and Quaternary Geology, 27: 57 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Liu, F., Wu, S., and Sun, Y., 2010. A quantitative analysis for submarine slope instability of the northern South China Sea due to gas hydrate dissociation. Chinese Journal of Geophysics, 53: 946–953 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  19. Pang, X., Chen, C., Peng, D., Zhou, D., Shao, L., He, M., and Liu, B., 2008. Basic geology of Baiyun deep-water area in the northern South China Sea. China Offshore Oil Gas, 20: 215–222 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  20. Prell, W. L., Wang, P., and Blum, P., 1999. Ocean Drilling Program Leg 184 Preliminary Report: South China Sea. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 7–101.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Ru, K., and Pigott, J. D., 1986. Episodic rifting and subsidence in the South China Sea. AAPG Bulletin, 70: 1136–1155.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Shao, L., Li, X., Wang, P., Jian, Z., Wei, G., Pang, X., and Liu, Y., 2004. Sedimentary record of the tectonic evolution of the South China Sea since the Oligocene–Evidence from deep sea sediments of ODP Site 1148. Advances in Earth Science, 19: 539–544 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  23. Shi, X., Qiu, X., Xia, K., and Zhou, D., 2003. Characteristics of surface heat flow in the South China Sea. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 22: 265–277.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Singha, D. K., and Chatterjee, R., 2014. Detection of overpressure zones and a statistical model for pore pressure estimation from well logs in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, India. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15: 1009–1020.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Singha, D. K., Chatterjee, R., Sen, M. K., and Sain, K., 2014. Pore pressure prediction in gas-hydrate bearing sediments of Krishna-Godavari Basin, India. Marine Geology, 357: 1–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Su, L., Zheng, J., Wang, Q., Shen, H. L., and Chen, G. J., 2012. Formation mechanism and research progress on overpressure in the Qiongdongnan Basin. Natural Gas Geoscience, 23: 662–672 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  27. Sun, Q., Wu, S., Cartwright, J., and Dong, D., 2012. Shallow gas and focused fluid flow systems in the Pearl River Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea. Marine Geology, 315: 1–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Sun, Y., 2011. The mechanism and prediction of deepwater geohazard in the northern of South China Sea. PhD thesis. Chinese Academy of Sciences (Institute of Oceanology), Qingdao (in Chinese).

    Google Scholar 

  29. Sun, Y., Zhao, T., and Qin, K., 2015. Forward modeling of compaction-driven pressure evolution: Examples from ODP 1148 site. Progress in Geophysics, 30: 607–615 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  30. Taylor, B., and Hayes, D. E., 1983. Origin and history of the South China Sea Basin. In: The Tectonic and Geologic Evolution of Southeast Asian Seas and Islands: Part 2. Hayes, D. E., ed., AGU, Washington, D C, 23–56.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  31. Tingay, M. R., Hillis, R. R., Swarbrick, R. E., Morley, C. K., and Damit, A. R., 2009. Origin of overpressure and porepressure prediction in the Baram province, Brunei. AAPG Bulletin, 93: 51–74.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Wang, P., Prell, W., and Blum, P., 2000. Exploring the asian monsoon through drilling in the South China Sea. Earth Science Frotiers, 7 (S1): 377.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Wu, S., Xie, Y., Qin, Q., and Li, Q., 2014. Shallow drilling geological disasters of oil and gas in deepwater. Exploration Engineering: Rock & Soil Drilling and Tunneling, 41: 38–42 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  34. Xie, X., Li, S., He, H., and Liu, X., 2003. Seismic evidence for fluid migration pathways from an overpressured system in the South China Sea. Geofluids, 3: 245–253.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Xie, Y., 2011. Models of pressure prediction and new understandings of hydrocarbon accumulation in the Yinggehai Basin with high temperature and super-high pressure. Natural Gas Industry, 31: 21–25 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  36. Ye, Z., Fan, H., Zhang, G., Jiang, S., and Xu, L., 2010. Investigation of shallow water flow in deepwater drilling. Petroleum Drilling Techniques, 38: 48–52 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  37. Zhang, J., 2011. Pore pressure prediction from well logs: Methods, modifications, and new approaches. Earth-Science Reviews, 108: 50–63.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Zhang, J., 2013. Effective stress, porosity, velocity and abnormal pore pressure prediction accounting for compaction disequilibrium and unloading. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 45: 2–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Zhang, Q., Liu, F., and Yang, J., 1996. Overpressure system and hydrocarbon accumulation in the Yinggehai Basin. China Offshore Oil and Gas, 10: 65–75 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  40. Zhang, Y., Xu, X., Wang, L., Wu, Y., Yuan, B., Zhu, J., He, S., and Liao, J., 2015. The accumulation process and model of overpressured low permeability gas pool in the north of South China Sea: A case study of XF13-1 overpressured gas field in XF area of the Yinggehai Basin. Natural Gas Geoscience, 26: 1679–1688 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  41. Zhu, W., Huang, B., Mi, L., Wilkins, R. W., Fu, N., and Xiao, X., 2009. Geochemistry, origin, and deep-water exploration potential of natural gases in the Pearl River Mouth and Qiongdongnan Basins, South China Sea. AAPG Bulletin, 93: 741–761.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the scientists and staff of the ODP and IODP cruises for the valuable data that they have provided. This study was funded by the Fundamental Research Program of MOST (No. 2015CB251201), the Scientific and Technological Innovation Project Financially Supported by Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (No. 2016ASKJ13), and the Natural Science Foundation of Hainan (No. ZDYF2016215). We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their comments that have helped improve the quality of this manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tuoyu Wu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Xie, Y., Wu, T., Sun, J. et al. Sediment compaction and pore pressure prediction in deepwater basin of the South China Sea: Estimation from ODP and IODP drilling well data. J. Ocean Univ. China 17, 25–34 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11802-018-3449-2

Download citation

Key words

  • normal compaction
  • pore pressure prediction
  • deepwater basin
  • South China Sea