This paper details the design and laboratory verification of a Shaped Memory Polymer (SMP) technology application for a sand control media in a mature field development. The definition of an extensive testing protocol enabled preliminary validation of this innovative technology, allowing replacement of more conventional Sand Control Techniques. Production results confirmed validity of selected methods, proving viability of SMP technology as an effective sand control media compared to current state of the art technologies.

The testing methodology focused on compatibility analysis of selected Drilling and Completion Fluids with the SMP from a chemical and mechanical perspective. Downhole conditions were reproduced to simulate Filter Cake flow back behavior in different cleanliness scenarios. 3D Cell with Tomography scan capacity was utilized to perform flow tests and quantify filter media responses to different drawdown scenarios, to obtain information on resultant permeability changes and specimen solid invasion. Finally, the SMP samples were tested to simulate solid control behavior using field core samples and quantify retention capacity and particle spectrum.

The laboratory activity provided important feedback to tailor field procedure in mud selection, fluid program, open hole clean-up process, deployment and SMP activation sequence, filter cake flow back and production startup process. These results are discussed and presented in form of best practices.

Effective production data presented in this paper are proving overall performance of this novel technique compared to offset wells in this mature field; well clean up timelines, production flow rates, solids control are benchmarked to historical field data, showing alignment with past performances, complete control of fines and silty particles, with no plugging trends or tendencies during production life. These results confirm validity of testing protocol to design SMP applications in challenging sand control environments, opening the path for a wider adoption of this innovative technology.


A multi well project on a jack-up platform located offshore in the Adriatic Sea - was completed with SMP as the sand face filtration device. The SMP is deployed downhole in the compacted state. Once it has reached TD, it is exposed to an Activation Fluid which allows it to expand and conform to the borehole, including washouts. As it expands and contacts the open hole ID, a positive stress is exerted on the borehole retaining the formation in place and providing sand control.

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