Sand Management

According to the US Energy Information Administration, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) annual average oil prices have fluctuated between $93.2 and $43.3/bbl between 2014 and 2019. The price was $76.4/bbl (WTI spot price) at the beginning of October 2018, dropping approximately 41% to $45.4/bbl on 1 January 2019, reached a peak of $66.3/bbl on 23 April 2019, and then depressed to today’s (15 August 2019) $55.1/bbl.

The lower and unstable oil prices since 2015 have continuously pushed operators and service companies to reduce costs and improve capital efficiency in all aspects of business, including sand management. This is reflective of the industry’s attention on fundamental and proven sand-control practices. This year, many published works have focused on standalone screens as the most cost-effective solution when compared with other more-expensive approaches such as gravel packing or frac packing. Screens are reliable for sand control when properly designed and used in suitable sand-prone environments. The latest technologies in this area have featured developments focusing on mitigating plugging and erosional damage.

While sand control in production wells catches much attention, water-injection wells also are subject to sand-control problems triggered by water hammer, crossflow, and backflow. Newly developed screens for water-injection wells have been demonstrated with promising results in the latest field trials in preventing formation sand from flowing back and, therefore, maximizing injectivity.

In this issue, I have selected a variety of papers with more emphasis on cost-effective sand-management practices and operations. Please read the following three paper synopses with the recommended additional readings for more information, and do not forget to attend the upcoming SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition scheduled for 30 September through 2 October in Calgary.

This Month's Technical Papers

New Model Enhances Flux Management in Sand-Control Completions

Frac-Packing Previously Gravel-Packed Well Offers Alternative to Expensive Sidetracking

Sand-Control Technology for Water Injectors Improves Well Performance

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 192090 Sand Prediction for a Cost-Effective Marginal Greenfield Development by Siti Aishah Mohd Hatta, Petronas, et al.

SPE 193697 Risk Assessment in Sand-Control Selection: Introducing a Traffic Light System in Standalone-Screen Selection by Mahdi Mahmoudi, RGL Reservoir Management, et al.

SPE 193698 Successful Installation of Standalone Screen in Challenging Environment in Umm Niqa Field by Amr Zeidan, Kuwait Oil Company, et al.

Xiuli Wang, SPE, is a consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. She was previously a senior adviser with Baker Hughes, a GE company, and vice president and chief technology officer for XGas, covering both upstream production and completion as well as midstream natural gas process and transportation. Wang also has 8 years of operational experience with BP, specializing in oil and natural-gas production, completion, and sand control. She holds a PhD degree in chemical engineering from the University of Houston, a BS degree from Dalian University of Technology, and an MS degree from Tsinghua University. Wang is the lead author of the book Advanced Natural Gas Engineering and a contributing author of the book Modern Fracturing—Enhancing Natural Gas Production, as well as an author of several technical publications. She was the associate editor in chief of the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering during 2008–11 and currently serves on the JPT Editorial Committee. In 2007, she was named the United States Asian American Engineer of the Year by the Chinese Institute of Engineers—USA. Wang was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2013–14 and was named an SPE Distinguished Member in 2014. She can be reached at

Sand Management

Xiuli Wang, SPE, Consultant

01 October 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 10

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