In mature basins, sand issues can account for up to 10% of all shut-in wells either due to failure of the existing downhole sand control or onset of sand production caused by pressure depletion and/or water production. Existing remedial methodology to address sand management include allowing sand production and managing it at surface, managing production rate to minimise solids production, running an insert sand screen, applying consolidation treatment or performing a remedial gravel pack. All of these methods vary in complexity, cost, risk, longevity and effectiveness and have associated weaknesses often resulting in reduced production or in extreme cases, loss of surface containment due to erosion.
A novel remedial solution was developed to enable compliant sand free production to be restored effectively and efficiently and to be compatible with thru-tubing operations, including live well deployment and single trip sand clean out. This solution includes a new filtration mechanism using an Open Cell Matrix Polymer (OCMP) filter run compressed within a sleeve to allow passage through tight restrictions which then decompresses to be conformant with a significantly larger inner diameter (ID) of the area requiring sand control when the sleeve is removed. The system has additional functionality that allows sand in the wellbore to be cleaned out in the same trip. The inclusion of both new deployment and filtration mechanisms meant that existing testing and filtration sizing criteria could not be applied.
This paper describes the unique qualification program and development of new testing practices that were undertaken to qualify the solution and enable the operating envelope of this technology to be defined.