Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Basin Analysis

Advanced Pore Pressure Prediction Workshop: Concepts, Mechanisms, and Workflows

Course Code: N249
Instructors:  Peter Flemings
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
4 days


This advanced, hands-on workshop gives participants a strong understanding of the processes that generate overpressure in multiple dimensions and experience in predicting pressure and fracture gradient. The course evaluates the approaches to estimate trap integrity and linkages between pore pressure prediction and basin modeling. Participants also develop a greater understanding of pore pressure prediction in different tectonic environments (e.g. unconventional, thrust, and salt settings).

A better understanding of these concepts will allow the geoscientist to increase the likelihood of exploration success and decrease drilling and development costs.


Great refresher in pore pressure information. Loved the handout exercises as it made you pay attention and follow along.

Duration and Training Method

This is a four-day classroom course, which intersperses lectures with frequent practical exercises, and the use of web-based software and Excel worksheets to reinforce concepts. Approximately 60% of the course time is spent on lectures and 40% on PC-based exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Characterize pressure based on limited data.
  2. Predict pore pressure in one dimension using multiple approaches.
  3. Predict pore pressure in two- and three-dimensions using centroid approaches.
  4. Interpret and model fracture gradient.
  5. Predict trap integrity by applying pore pressure concepts.
  6. Evaluate how basin modeling is used to predict pressure.
  7. Predict pressure in thrust belt environments.
  8. Predict pressure in unconventional basins.
  9. Assess the challenges of pore pressure prediction near salt.

This advanced workshop covers:

  • Characterization of pore pressure, overburden, and fracture gradient
  • Petrophysical pore pressure prediction
  • Seismic-based pore pressure prediction
  • Estimation of trap integrity
    • Mechanical seal
    • Capillary seal
  • Compositional and mineralogical controls on shale compaction
  • Workflows for predicting pressure in 2- and 3-dimensions
    • Protected trap analysis
    • Centroid-based pressure prediction
    • Techniques for predicting sand and shale pressures
  • Basin modeling and pore pressure prediction
    • Principles and assumptions
    • Input requirements
    • Output results
    • Limitations of existing software/data
  • Predicting pore pressure and stress in different environments
    • Compressional regimes
    • Unconventional (shale) basins
    • Salt environments
  • Well Design
    • Choosing intermediate casing points and mud programs
    • Choosing appropriate mudweights for control of shallow water flow
    • Drilling implications
    • Predicting wellbore under-balance and lost circulation situations
  • Limits of current petrophysical and seismic prediction / detection techniques

Geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, drilling engineers, and other subsurface technical staff who want to develop additional expertise in the latest techniques of predicting pore pressure and fracture gradients at the well scale and the basin scale.

Peter Flemings

Dr. Peter B. Flemings is a professor and holder of the Jackson Chair in Geosystems with the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas, Austin.  Prior to joining U.T., Peter held positions at Penn State, MIT, and Columbia University. Peter has studied fluid flow and the analysis of geopressure for over 25 years.

Peter has led a research consortium, GeoFluids, for more than 15 years. He works closely with industry and academic colleagues to shed new insight into problems of overpressure and basinal fluid flow. Many of his past graduate students now play important roles in the analysis of pore pressure and stress in the energy industry. Peter focusses on the study of pressure and stress in two- and three-dimensional geological systems.

Peter has consulted internationally, and he served as an advisor to the Secretary of Energy’s well-integrity team during the BP Macondo well failure. He has published more than 85 papers.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Cornell University
MSc Cornell University - Geology
BSc Dartmouth College - Geology

Courses Taught
N249: Advanced Pore Pressure Prediction Workshop:  Concepts, Mechanisms and Workflows



CEU: 3.2 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 32 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
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