Sand production from wells are one of the operators’ biggest nightmare as the cascading effect can cause some major harm to the surface equipment as well as lead to a costly cleanup effort. Sand sampling in gas wells is considered a rare activity due to the difficulty of containing the gas flow. The objective of this paper is to elaborate on why this activity is crucial to be performed in sand prone gas wells and more importantly the value it can bring to the asset owner. The paper will also elaborate further on the benefits of coupling the online sand sampler with the acoustic sand monitors to improve accuracy and reliability of readings
The paper will elaborate the major difference in sampling for oil wells and gas wells. Operators of oil fields have the liberty of sampling from an existing sampling point to obtain the sand count. However, obtaining the sand count in a gas well is not as straight forward as it is for oil wells hence the importance of this activity. Quantification of sand produced in gas wells are also a challenge as only amount of sand is reported from the desander flushing. The paper will contain a detailed procedure on the methods to quantify sand production as well as the process flow to determine the max sand free rates safely to meet the objectives of this project.
Some of our wells were ‘accused’ of producing sands at certain flowrates. Since the wells were not equipped with any type of permanent sand monitoring equipment, there were no conclusive ways of proving that the wells were sand free. Due to that, the wells flowrates were curtailed to protect the asset from the effect of sand production. With the completion of this activity, we could conclusively prove that the wells were free from producing sands at the existing rates. On top of that, from the process of determining the max sand free rates (MSFR) this activity gave us enough confidence to produce our wells at a proved sand free rate. In conclusion, not only does this activity allow us to prevent further production deferments, this activity also allows us to increase production by beaning up the wells if possible
This is a very flexible method that can be used as the main method to sample sand in gas wells. It is a very cost-effective method as well as logistically friendly to mobilize to even offshore fields.