Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geophysics (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Wayne D. Pennington

Committee Member 1

Mir Sadri-Sabet

Committee Member 2

Gregory P. Waite


Overpressure is a significant parameter during a drilling process in oil exploration. This phenomenon happens when pore pressure exceeds the limit of hydrostatic pressure in a formation and causes drastic hazards such as blow outs while drilling. This thesis focuses on the determination of possible overpressure areas and studies at three wells in Kupe Field, which is considered to be a natural-gas field in Taranaki Basin. In an effort to identify potential overpressure zones at the Kupe Field, acoustic impedance responses of 3D seismic data for three wells, along with their well log responses were evaluated.

Seismic inversion plays an important role in identifying overpressure zones. Thus, wavelet extraction, well correlation (well-tie), horizon determination and picking, then model-based seismic inversion, calibrating pressure to well logs and seismic data were applied to Kerry 3D post stack seismic data to obtain acoustic impedance and a pore pressure map, which are the important indicators of overpressure existence. With the findings of pore pressure values, we are able to predict and determine the location of overpressure zone in the Otaraoa Formation in Kupe Field. This analysis was supported by well log responses in the zone. Kupe South-1 well, Kupe South-2 well and Kupe-1 well log responses were evaluated besides their mud change parameters indicated overpressured zones. Density and sonic log responses were examined for each of three wells. The intervals of potential overpressure location determined by seismic acoustic impedance and a pore pressure that shows a reasonable consistency with well log and mud change data.