Report: AAPG's first GTW in the Asia Pacific

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

The Asia Pacific Region saw a successful conclusion to its inaugural Geosciences Technology Workshop (GTW) which took place on the 28-29 October 2010 in Singapore. The GTW theme of “Pore Pressure and Related Issues – Special Focus: Asia Pacific” was particularly pertinent as the Asia-Pacific region contains numerous rapidly formed and highly overpressured basins and is an area in which pore pressure prediction is particularly challenging. The GTW was attended by 88 delegates and contained 23 presentations from industry experts, among whom were Keynote Presenters Richard Swarbrick of GeoPressure Technology UK and Nader Dutta of Schlumberger USA. Running alongside the GTW were two short courses on Pore Pressure and Petroleum Geomechanics, taught by Richard Swarbrick and Mark Tingay (University of Adelaide) respectively.

The technical program covered a broad range of topics on pore pressure, including advances in understanding overpressure generation and distribution, new techniques and technologies for pore pressure prediction, and case studies on pore pressures and their prediction from throughout Asia and the world. In addition to the high quality technical presentations, the GTW included significant time for interaction and networking during periods of open discussion, speaker questions to the audience, breakout groups and analysis of key issues, problems, opportunities and directions. In particular, the breakout sessions on pore pressure prediction in HP/HT environments and pore pressure problems in deepwater settings stimulated wide ranging and active discussion.

The final GTW wrap-up discussion raised three main issues singled out for specific future focus. The first key issue for future focus is in understanding overpressure generation and, in particular, the significance of overpressure generation by non-disequilibrium compaction mechanisms and how overpressures are redistributed over time. The second major issue raised was the requirement for improvements in pore pressure prediction from seismic data, such as selection of the best prediction methodologies in areas that have overpressure without associated porosity anomalies; the most appropriate seismic velocities to utilise, and; combination with geology and the potential use of frequency-based pore pressure prediction. The final major issue developed from the GTW was the need for improved communication and understanding between geoscientists conducting pore pressure prediction and the users of this data such as drillers and reservoir engineers. In particular, it was demonstrated that conducting pore pressure prediction throughout the life of the well (exploration, well planning, drilling, post-drilling review) and involvement of drillers and reservoir engineers in the prediction process were critical to continuous development of improved practices.

This inaugural Asia-Pacific GTW enabled a diverse range of geoscientists to undertake the first focussed discussions on pore pressure and form the foundations for significantly improved pore pressure prediction in this challenging region. We hope that this will be the first of many successful GTWs held in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Article contributed by Convenor Dr Mark Tingay, University of Adelaide

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