formation pressure | Energy Glossary

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formation pressure

1. n. [Geology]

The pressure of fluids within the pores of a reservoir, usually hydrostatic pressure, or the pressure exerted by a column of water from the formation's depth to sea level. When impermeable rocks such as shales form as sediments are compacted, their pore fluids cannot always escape and must then support the total overlying rock column, leading to anomalously high formation pressures. Because reservoir pressure changes as fluids are produced from a reservoir, the pressure should be described as measured at a specific time, such as initial reservoir pressure.

Alternate Form: pore pressurereservoir pressure

See: abnormal pressureabsolute pressureformationgeopressuregeostatic pressurehydrostatic pressurelithostatic pressurenormal pressureoverpressurepressure gradientshalevirgin pressure

Pressure versus depth plot
Pressure versus depth plot.

2. n. [Drilling]

The pressure of the subsurface formation fluids, commonly expressed as the density of fluid required in the wellbore to balance that pore pressure. A normal pressure gradient might require 9 lbm/galUS [1.08 kg/m3], while an extremely high gradient may need 18 lbm/galUS [2.16 kg/m3] or higher.

See: formation fluidpore-pressure gradientpressure gradient

3. n. [Well Completions]

The pressure within the reservoir rock. The formation pressure value can be further categorized as relating to flowing well or shut-in conditions.

See: naturally flowing wellshut-in pressure