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Anisotropic Poroelastic Modelling of Depletion-Induced Pore Pressure Changes in Valhall Overburden


Stress and pore pressure changes due to depletion of or injection into a reservoir are key elements in stability analysis of overburden shales. However, the undrained pore pressure response in shales is often neglected but needs to be considered because of their low permeability. Due to the anisotropic nature of shales, the orientation of both rock and stresses should be considered. To account for misalignment of the medium and the stress tensor, we used anisotropic poroelasticity theory to derive an angle-dependent expression for the pore pressure changes in transversely isotropic media under true-triaxial stress conditions. We experimentally estimated poroelastic pore pressure parameters of a shale from the Lista formation at the Valhall field. We combined the experimental results with finite element modelling to estimate the pore pressure development in the Valhall overburden over a period of nearly 40 years. The results indicate non-negligible pore pressure changes several hundred meters above the reservoir, as well as significant differences between pore pressure and effective stress estimates obtained using isotropic and anisotropic pore pressure parameters. We formulate a simple model approximating the undrained pore pressure response in low permeable overburden. Our results suggest that in the proximity of the reservoir the amplitude of the undrained pore pressure changes may be comparable to effective stresses. Combined with the findings of joint analysis of locations of casing deformation and total and effective stresses, the results suggest that pore pressure modelling may become an important element of casing collapse and caprock failure risk analysis and mitigation.


Academic article


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 257579
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 294369




  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Industry / Applied Geoscience



Published in

Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering








3115 - 3137

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