Evaluation of formation pore pressure behind the casing using borehole gravity data

Yuliy A. Dashevsky, Semen Petrov, Alexandr N. Vasilevskiy, Oleg B. Bocharov, Gleb V. Dyatlov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reliable estimates of the fluid pressure in the pore space of rocks are critical for different aspects of petroleum exploration and production including injection operations and scenarios of water flooding. Numerous approaches are available for formation pore pressure evaluation, however, these measurements become a challenge inside a cased borehole, and a list of possible options is short: either the casing is to be perforated, or the production tubing needs to be disconnected to perform the pressure tests. We present a method for through-casing evaluation of formation pore pressure without shutting down production. We suggest equipping an observation well with a borehole gravimeter and acquiring time variations of the vertical component of the gravity field. Changes in gravity occur during gas production and are related to time variations of formation pore pressure. Gravity changes obtained in the observation well are supposed to be inverted for time-dependent formation pore pressure variations beyond the casing. Our results and recommendations are based on numerical modeling of pore pressure spatial distribution during gas field exploitation and relevant changes in borehole gravity. Benchmark models were elaborated in order to consider a dynamic process of pressure changes in time and space under conditions similar to those in the Medvezhye gas field (Russia). Different modeling scenarios are considered for early and late stages of gas field exploitation. The sensitivity analysis was performed to estimate quantitatively a sensitivity of borehole temporal gravity changes to variations in formation pore pressure behind the casing. Based on resolution analysis we justify the possibility to extract the gravity measurements directly related to changes in pore pressure from the total changes in the gravity field due to reservoir exploitation. The impact of pore pressure on the gravity field measured in boreholes during the water flooding is also evaluated, and obtained results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-92
Number of pages24
JournalStudia Geophysica et Geodaetica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • borehole gravimetry
  • gas reservoir simulation
  • pore pressure evaluation


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