Acoustical Imaging and Mechanical Properties of Soft Rock and Marine Sediments Progress Report: January-March 2001
Description: The oil and gas industry has encountered significant problems in the production of oil and gas from weak rocks (such as chalks and limestones) and from unconsolidated sand formations. Problems include subsidence, compaction, sand production, and catastrophic shallow water sand flows during deep water drilling. Together these cost the petroleum industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The goals of this first quarterly report is to document the progress on the project to provide data on the acoustic imaging and mechanical properties of soft rock and marine sediments. The project is intended to determine the geophysical (acoustic velocities) rock properties of weak, poorly cemented rocks and unconsolidated sands. In some cases these weak formations can create problems for reservoir engineers. For example, it cost Phillips Petroleum 1 billion dollars to repair of offshore production facilities damaged during the unexpected subsidence and compaction of the Ekofisk Field in the North Sea (Sulak 1991). Another example is the problem of shallow water flows (SWF) occurring in sands just below the seafloor encountered during deep water drilling operations. In these cases the unconsolidated sands uncontrollably flow up around the annulus of the borehole resulting in loss of the drill casing. The $150 million dollar loss of the Ursa development project in the U.S. Gulf Coast resulted from an uncontrolled SWF (Furlow 1998a,b; 1999a,b). The first three tasks outlined in the work plan are: (1) obtain rock samples, (2) construct new acoustic platens, (3) calibrate and test the equipment. These have been completed as scheduled. Rock Mechanics Institute researchers at the University of Oklahoma have obtained eight different types of samples for the experimental program. These include: (a) Danian Chalk, (b) Cordoba Cream Limestone, (c) Indiana Limestone, (d) Ekofisk Chalk, (e) Oil Creek Sandstone, (f) unconsolidated Oil Creek sand, and (g) unconsolidated Brazos river ...
Date: April 1, 2001
Creator: Scott, Thurman E., Jr.; Zaman, Musharraf & Abousleiman, Younane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department