Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand (CHOPS) is a single well technology for extracting heavy oil where sand flow is used as an enhancing way of the oil well productivity. CHOPS is a massive sand production strategy that responds to foamy oil behavior and wormhole formation, both consequences of geomechanical aspects such as elastoplastic behavior, in-situ stress state redistribution and sand liquefaction that generate a complex multiphase fluid flow (oil, gas, water and sand). Sand grains are removed from solid matrix due high pressure drawdown, but if this is great enough to destroy the internal binding forces of sand particles, sand tends to produce together with oil, thus forming wormholes. Wormhole is a space or cavity in the formation that continually increases in size and creates regions of enhanced permeability and porosity which contribute to higher oil productivity. CHOPS is an attractive and profitable alternative to the exploitation of heavy oil reservoirs around the world, especially in Latin America. Understanding geomechanical aspects such as elastoplastic behavior, stresses redistribution and sand liquefaction is relevant to model sand production during cold heavy oil production. Modeling will also help to analyze how to increase the recovery factor under geomechanical stability conditions and to reduce operational costs of heavy oil reservoirs production by this technology.

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