1. n. [Drilling]
The evaluation of various well parameters in an attempt to identify when the pore pressure in a drilling well is changing. A team consisting of geologists, engineers and most of the rigsite personnel usually conducts the hunt. The purpose of a pressure hunt is to detect the pore pressure transition (usually from lower to higher pressure) and safely set casing in the transition zone to maximize wellbore strength. A casing string set too shallow, while eliminating some problems associated with drilling fluid contacting the wellbore wall, may not add strength or aid in drilling deeper, perhaps abnormally pressured formations. On the other hand, if drilling is continued too deep into a transition zone, a kick may be taken that cannot be contained in the open wellbore, causing an underground blowout. The hunt team, therefore, seeks to get into the transition zone far enough to gain wellbore strength without taking a kick.