ABSTRACT:

A three-phase flow large pre-packed Sand Retention Test (SRT) assembly was employed with different screen specifications for typical sand prints within McMurray Formation in Western Canada. Cumulative sand production and retained permeability are utilized as the sand control and plugging performance indicators. Measurements indicate that sand production is highly dependent on the flow dynamics and near-wellbore velocities. Most aperture sizes smaller than two and half times of the mean grain size show a good performance during liquid stages, but wider apertures dramatically failed during steam-breakthrough emulation (three-phase flow). Wire-wrapped screens exhibited an excellent flow performance due to the high open-to-Flow Area (OFA). Existing criteria provide reasonable aperture sizes, especially for finer sands and challenging conditions such as steaminflux. However, the criteria underestimate the slot aperture for coarser sands and conventional liquid production operations. This conservative approach may result in lower productivity performances and diminish the benefits of the high OFA.

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