Sand production and its control is a major production problem encountered in almost all fields that produce from unconsolidated sandstone reservoirs. Improved sand control operations through careful application of existing techniques are presented, providing summary guidelines for optimum sand control. Areas that need additional research and development are emphasized.

Introduction

Sand production and its control is a major problem in almost all fields that produce from unconsolidated sandstone reservoirs. Sand influx into producing wells can cause reduced productivity, loss of reserves, and added expense in combating equipment erosion and sand accumulation problems. Some production problems that contribute to additional expense are sand fill-up and bridging inside the wellbore that shuts off production; erosion damage m to downhole tubular goods, safety production; erosion damage m to downhole tubular goods, safety valves, and artificial lift equipment; downhole casing and formation damage that sometimes causes premature abandonment of completions; sand accumulation in surface lines and equipment; and abrasive wear on surface chokes, valves, and pipes. In addition to the cost of these problems. The unexpected pipe leak or equipment failure presents serious safety and spill hazards, particularly in offshore and inland water locations. particularly in offshore and inland water locations. Consequently, there is a tremendous potential for increasing profits through improved sand control. The objectives of this paper are (1) to describe how Amoco Production Co. has approached this problem, (2) to Production Co. has approached this problem, (2) to provide the industry with summary guidelines for optimum provide the industry with summary guidelines for optimum sand control operations, and (3) to emphasize areas that need additional research and development.

An evaluation of Amoco's sand control problem indicated potential savings in the Gulf Coast region alone of $10 million to$15 million annually. Recognizing the financial magnitude of this problem, Amoco Production Co. established a corporate-wide Sand Control Task Force in Aug. 1973. The primary objectives of this task force were to

1. develop and initiate a long-range research program, promote new technology, and improve existing techniques, and

2. define and document technology as it applies to existing sand control techniques.

The task force was composed of 14 engineers, including personnel from all operating levels in Amoco Production Co., Amoco Canada Petroleum Co., Ltd.. and Production Co., Amoco Canada Petroleum Co., Ltd.. and Amoco International Oil Co.

To achieve the task force objectives, five specific assignments were made to five subcommittees composed of two or more task force members. Each subcommittee solicited input from other task force members but had primary responsibility for assignment performance. Final primary responsibility for assignment performance. Final results were reviewed and critiqued by all task force members. The five initial assignments were as follows:

1. To research current industry practice with the objective of documenting the best technology for existing sand control methods.

2. To develop a proposed basic and applied research program aimed at improving sand control technology. program aimed at improving sand control technology.

3. To determine and to document the best solutions for other production problems related to sand influx.

4. To evaluate and to document existing sand influx prediction techniques. prediction techniques.

5. To assemble the findings in a sand control manual for the use of engineers and field supervisors, emphasizing how to select, design, and apply the best sand control techniques for a particular situation.

JPT

P. 1664

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