GeoPOP (Geosciences Project on OverPressure) is a multi-disciplinary research group investigating overpressure in sedimentary basins. It is led by Durham University in conjunction with Ikon Geopressure and University of Newcastle, and funded by the hydrocarbon industry.


Indonesia Overpressure Study

The known overpressured basins in Indonesia are scientifically very interesting. They are distributed in almost all geographical and geological environments. They occur in the onshore, shelf, and offshore areas (e.g. Lower Kutai Basin); in sedimentologically active (e.g. shelf and deepwater areas, Lower Kutai Basin) through inactive areas (e.g. onshore Lower Kutai Basin); and in tectonically active (e.g. East Java Basin) through relax areas (e.g. West Java Basin). It indicates that overpressure generating mechanisms may differ in each area.

For a practical point of view, the understanding of the overpressure distribution and its generating mechanism is of paramount importance for well planning, both from safety and cost considerations, and also to ensure that the target depths can be reached. As far as possible, the depths of casing points and the appropriate mud weights to be used in drilling need to be accurately estimated in advance of drilling (Mouchet and Mitchell, 1989). The recent trend of exploration area, i.e. HPHT (high pressure - high temperature) area, requires a very comprehensive knowledge of the overpressure condition. The knowledge of overpressure generating mechanism is the key to successfully predict overpressure in a sedimentary basin. In terms of petroleum system analysis, the understanding of overpressure may help in the determination of migration and trapping mechanisms, hydrocarbon-seal capacity, reservoir compartmentalization, and hydrodynamic trapping.


The World Stress Map

The World Stress Map (WSM) is a global compilation of information on the crustal present-day stress field maintained since 2009 at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. It is a collaborative project between academia and industry that aims to characterize the crustal stress pattern and to understand the stress sources. The WSM commenced in 1986 as a project of the International Lithosphere Program (ILP) under the leadership of Mary-Lou Zoback. From 1995-2008 it was a project of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities headed by Karl Fuchs and Friedemann Wenzel. Since 2012 the WSM is a member of the ICSU World Data System.

All stress information is analysed and compiled in a standardized format and quality-ranked for reliability and comparability on a global scale. The current WSM database release 2016 contains 42,870 data records within the upper 40 km of the Earth’s crust. The WSM is an open-access public database and is used by various academic and industrial institutions working in a wide range of Earth science disciplines such as geodynamics, hazard assessment, hydrocarbon exploitations and engineering. The main operational areas are:  

  • Reservoir characterization and management
  • Stability of mines, tunnel, boreholes and waste disposal sites
  • Calibration of geomechanical-numerical models
  • 4D Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) simulations
  • Hazard assessment e.g. by means of fault-slip tendency and fracture potential analysis

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