Assessment of Sand Transport and Erosion is a crucial part of sand management. Though there are various correlations in the industry to model this, it still comes down to analysis and systematic usage of the correlations and related calculations in order to deliver a successful Sand Management plan. As part of the initiative to implement the Holistic Sand Management Approach in PETRONAS, it is crucial to establish sand erosion and deposition models. For this a user friendly software need to be developed. This software is able to model the sand erosion and deposition in the critical elements of the production system. The flexibility of programming enhanced the utility by including publicly published as well as in-house correlations establishing an efficient sand management process.
The software can run calculations as a standalone (offline) or linked to a three phase simulator software or any integrated operation platform to assess erosion and sand deposition risk online. The use of an interactive dashboard eases the complexity of user by keeping all the correlations in background while able to run sensitivities to plan a better sand risk management.
The sand transport and erosion management software not only calculates erosion rates and critical velocities for sand depositions for all lenses in production system; tubing, pipelines, bends, chokes and headers, etc. but can also be linked to a production database to calculate the cumulative metal loss and predict the remaining pipe thickness or any pipe element life.
This software helps in decision-making using (1) novel concept to obtain optimum gas-lift injection rate based on erosion risk and flowing pressure (2) generating a safe sand erosion envelop (3) back calculation of critical rate for sand deposition instead of critical velocity. Moreover the software raises flags or alarms wherever erosion or deposition risk occurs in the system. It can also run sensitivities for all the parameters that affect deposition or erosion.
The paper details the procedure involved to further validate and calibrate the in-house erosion and deposition models for effective and accurate calculations.
The software helps in the whole approach of sand management by giving insight into the erosion and sand deposition risk in production system enabling safe operation condition. This can be beneficial for design considerations during FDP formulation stage for a sand-prone field or even at later stage of production when the safe operating limit for sand production can be increased resulting in higher production. All this provides significant economic gain by replacing the hardware part (sensors) or in case of sensors available in place it will help in testing the accuracy of the correlations as well as to calibrate them to fit into real conditions.