Geomechanical characterization of mud volcanoes using P-wave velocity datasets

Rashad Gulmammadov, Stephen Covey-Crump, Mads Huuse

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    Mud volcanoes occur in many petroliferous basins and are associated with significant drilling hazards. To illustrate the type of information that can be extracted from limited petrophysical datasets in such geomechanically complex settings, we use P-wave velocity data to calculate mechanical properties and stresses on a 2D vertical section across a mud volcano in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshly field, South Caspian Basin. We find (a) that the values of the properties and stresses calculated in this way have realistic magnitudes, (b) that the calculated pore fluid pressures show spatial variations around the mud volcano which potentially highlight areas of fluid recharging after the most recent eruption, and (c) that the information obtained is sufficient to provide helpful indications of the width of the drilling window. While calculations of this kind may be readily improved with more sophisticated petrophysical datasets, the simplicity of the approach we use makes it attractive for reconnaissance surveys designed to identify targets worthy of further investigation in developing our understanding of mud volcano geomechanics or which could be used to help formulate drilling strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)273-292
    Number of pages20
    JournalGeological Society Special Publication
    Early online date24 May 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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