Solid particles (sand) production in oil and gas wells can significantly affect well productivity. The negative effect can be caused by sanding up of the perforations, tubing and downhole equipment, and abrasive wear of the well completion and surface equipment. The near-wellbore zone can also be damaged. Considering this, it is critically important to be able to identify sand production intervals for the purposes of ensuring sand control and preventing the negative impact of sand production.
The paper presents a new method of locating sand production intervals using spectral acoustic logging tools, which consists of detecting signals generated by solid particles being transported by fluid flow and hitting the acoustic logging tool housing. The next generation spectral acoustic logging technology was used to identify reservoir intervals producing solid particles. The developed method was tested and utilised in a deviated well of one of the large gas fields in South East Asia, where sand production was a serious problem. Well logging operations, including spectral acoustic logging, were performed in two different production regimes. This approach not only demonstrated a good data repeatability, but also helped determine the optimum production regime of the well with sand production being under control. The acoustic logging data was processed by an adaptive recognition algorithm to identify acoustic signals generated by solid particles striking against the tool housing. The method had previously been tested in the lab.
The proposed method of identifying sand production intervals in producing wells makes it possible to locate sand production zones and define a production profile in one logging run. The obtained information was used in planning a remedial job with the objective of isolating sand production intervals in the surveyed well.