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Sand Production

Sand production is the migration of fines or formation sands due to the flow of fluids through the reservoir. The migration is usually unwanted as it can reduce productivity in the well; therefore testing prior to production can identify the likelihood of sand production before it becomes an issue.

For further information on this subject, please see a related paper published by COREX that may be of further interest, "Optimising Gravel Pack Performance in a High Rate Gas Development".

 

Flowrate Dependency testing

COREX have a test regime that will determine if the virgin rock itself may have damaging mechanisms due to fines migration. A flow rate dependency test will analyse the dependency of fines migration over a range of flowrates / pressures. Using reservoir core plugs, prepared to individual requirements, a series of increasing flowrates or pressure drops are performed by flowing a selected fluid. The permeability is measured after each stage, with any alteration in permeability (reduction or stimulation) seen possibly due to physically induced fines movement. Before and after test dry SEM analysis identifies whether any fines movement has occurred.

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Formation Damage and Sand Control

It is important to select the optimum fluid sequence for a well requiring sand control and to select the optimum sand control hardware for a well requiring sand control. Combing the fluids and hardware in laboratory tests to simulate the real well sequence is critical. These full sequence tests represent the closest possible simulation of real well performances and any damage which may result from combined drilling, completion and clean-up operations.

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Through these full sequence laboratory tests it is possible to optimise the fluid and hardware options to ensure well performance and sand control. Laboratory tests have often led to huge improvements in well design which have helped prevent costly mistakes in real wells. The principal of experimenting in the laboratory rather than in the field is seldom more applicable than in expensive wells with sand control."

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