ABSTRACT:

It has been increasingly realized that sand production can instantaneously bring about some positive effects besides those negative ones. The benefits of sand production are mainly to improve the porosity and permeability of reservoirs, and to reduce the drag force of fluids flowing in formations. So, proper sand production can stimulate the increase of oil production. Contraposing the dualism of sanding issues, the paper promotes a dialectic solution to the problem of sand production, which is to utilize the benefits of sanding while avoiding the defects of sanding. Various sand disposal technologies, either on surface or downhole, have been developed. However, it depends on our attitude to decide how to use them. The paper makes a detailed description to each possible consequence of sanding and dominant methods for sand disposal. In the process of finding the most optimizing solution, an independent economic evaluation model is proposed and utilized in this paper. In addition, the paper also discusses some common issues for all the existing sand prediction methods, suggesting the direction to improve sand prediction models. Meanwhile, the paper believes that the classification of sanding severity is quite important and necessary. A classification of sanding severity is proposed.

1. INTRODUCTION

Sand production is a common phenomenon in unconsolidated sandstone reservoirs. In the past, the negative effects of sand production used to attract more attention such as 1) wellbore collapse due to severe sand production, 2) downhole production equipment damage by sanding, 3) surface production facilities damage by sanding. The most commonly used solution to these sand production issues is sand control. Currently, it has been more and more realized [2] that sand production can simultaneously bring about some positive effects besides those negative ones. The benefits of sand production are mainly to improve the porosity and permeability of reservoirs, and to reduce the drag force of fluids flowing in formations. So, proper sand production can stimulate the increase of oil production. Contraposing the dualism of sanding issues, the paper promotes a dialectic solution to the problem of sand production, which is to utilize the benefits of sanding while avoiding the defects of sanding. Some other scholars ever raised the same opinions. However, theirs emphasis lies in how to make the optimum sand management plan by comparing advantages of technology itself. What undeniable at present is that all the sand disposal technologies, both on surface and downhole, have been developed and mastered, and it depends on our attitude to decide how to use them. The paper makes a detailed description to each possible consequence of sanding, and further discusses those dominant methods for sand disposal from the view of sand management. There are many possible solutions to each sanding consequence. However, in the process of finding the most optimizing solution, a comprehensive economic evaluation model is proposed and utilized in this paper instead of solutions based on the advantage of technologies. The parameters involved in the model include: rig time and day rate, sand control installation fee, original production profile (without sand control), production profile after sand control, oil price, workover day rate pre- and post sand control, cost for sand control removal, as well as costs for installation and maintenance of desanding equipment on surface.

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