Many of the reservoirs in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GoM) are unconsolidated sands that are highly compressible. A sand control system is typically employed for Shell Deepwater GoM wells to prevent the production of excessive sand to the facility. However, this system is prone to failure if the high pore pressure depletion from production imparts excessive compaction strain on the completion assembly. We hypothesize that compaction-induced sand production failure is the result of a buckling mechanism where a large amount of stress and strain is exerted along the most slender orientation of the well, i.e. in the axial direction. We test these concepts by estimating the axial strain experience by 87 of our Deepwater GoM wells.

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