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Sand Management and Frac Pack

Sand production is an unintended consequence of oil and gas production from unconsolidated and semiconsolidated reservoirs, causing damage to surface and subsurface well equipment and reducing the hydrocarbon productivity. Sand production has been one of the major challenges facing the oil and gas industry for decades. It continues to be so, despite many advances in the modeling and predictive capabilities, deployment of sophisticated measurement and sand-control devices, and improved surface handling capabilities.

The challenge keeps growing as we move into more-complex and -mature reservoirs involving high development costs and lower recoveries. Sand production has traditionally been minimized through active means, such as installing appropriate sand-control devices, limiting drawdown (rate of production), or both. Another approach to limiting the damaging effect of sand production is to allow it to take place at a controlled rate along with hydrocarbon production. The produced solids then are removed at the surface upstream of the choke. This will allow a sustained rate of oil and gas production, simultaneously minimizing sand production’s negative effects on surface facilities. The choice of additional costs of installing sand-control equipment must be weighed against the incremental benefit derived from it, not only at the current reservoir conditions but also throughout the life of the well or field, considering depletion and associated stress change.

Safe and economical field exploitation calls for continued efforts and advancement in the understanding of rock behavior under in-situ conditions, both current and expected; accurate modeling of downhole conditions through fit-for-purpose failure models and modeling techniques and tools; and effective implementation of field strategies.

The papers I have selected touch upon some of the ongoing efforts in these areas and by no means represent a full coverage of the wide spectrum of efforts under way. Additional interesting papers involving field applications and case studies, in no way less important, have also been identified.

This Month's Technical Papers

Benchmark Helps Select Best Technique for Sand Control in Field Development

Facilities Sand-Management Techniques Fall Into Two Types: Inclusionary and Exclusionary

Nondestructive Core-Strength Tester Uses Steel Ball To Evaluate Hardness

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 158922 Unraveling the Myths Associated With Selecting Standalone Screens and a New Methodology for Sand-Control Applications by Rajesh A. Chanpura, Schlumberger, et al.

SPE 158371 Workflow To Evaluate Maximum Allowable Treating Pressures, Tubing Movement, and Tubular Limits for Deepwater Subsea and Dry-Tree Frac Packs by Marshal Strobel, Halliburton, et al.

SPE 165206 Significant Increase in Sand-Control Reliability of Openhole-Gravel-Pack Completions in ACG Field, Azerbaijan by Yoliandri Susilo, BP, et al.

Mohammed Azeemuddin, SPE, is the technical team lead for the Geomechanics and Pore Pressure Prediction Group at Chevron Energy Technology Company. His nearly 20 years of experience includes working on various aspects of geomechanics in the Gulf of Mexico, South America, Australia, the North Sea, the Middle East, Africa, and India. Previously, Azeemuddin worked for Baker Hughes; at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia; and in the field of geotechnical engineering for CH2M Hill. He holds a BS degree in civil engineering from Osmania University, India; an MS degree in geotechnical engineering from KFUPM; and a PhD degree in geological engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Azeemuddin serves on the JPT Editorial Committee and the SPE Distinguished Lecturer Committee.

Sand Management and Frac Pack

Mohammed Azeemuddin, SPE, Technical Team Lead, Geomechanics and Pore Pressure Prediction Group at Chevron Energy Technology Company

01 October 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 10

No editorial available

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