Sand Management refers to management of sand from its onset downhole till the handling of produced sand in the top side followed by the disposal while continuously taking safety aspects into account. It is apparent that a single discipline cannot execute this methodology as it requires a multi-disciplinary processed approach to safely produce, handle and dispose the sand. Moreover, for an operator managing multiple assets and each asset having similar issues, it is difficult to work in silos and this also increase the redundancy in tackling the issues. Furthermore, with increase in sand issues all across the regions, ad-hoc solutions became prevalent consuming more money and time.
To overcome the challenge of managing the produced and handled sand in an effective and systematic way, initiative was taken by the Operator to formulize the Central Sand Team (CST) involving various disciplines to centralize the entire effort. The objective was to avoid redundancy, standardize the efforts and efficient knowledge sharing. Each region further developed their own Regional Sand Team (RST) with representatives from each discipline. This team will then appoint a Sand Focal Points that will act as the liaison between CST and the RST. Roles and responsibilities were demarcated to both the CST and RST. The Central Sand Team (CST) focus is more on planning the strategy, developing guidelines or procedures, encourage knowledge sharing, being the centralized contract holder for few services and maintaining effective communication with regions' Sand Focal Points. Regional Sand Team (RST), on the other hand are the ones implementing the guidelines & documents and focus on sand related issues & mitigation more apparent in their own region.
The holistic approach of assimilating the entire sub-surface and surface disciplines under one umbrella to manage the sand proved effective in reducing the redundancy and coming up with effective solutions. The methodology has also proved a good knowledge transfer tool across disciplines. The sand issue which was usually tackled by individual disciplines is now being tackled collectively with proper data and complete understanding of the sand cycle.
The development of Integrated Sand Management Guidelines covers surface and sub-surface aspects. This is a unique concept resulted in a robust and comprehensive document. In addition to that, the sand erosion and transport softwarer is being developed as an application for sand erosion calculations and risk analysis. The methodology in itself is unique and can be blue print for many other operators with sanding issues.