Sand control technique selection in open holes has been a topic of interest since the late 90s and discussed in many papers, most comprehensively by Price-Smith et al. (SPE 85504) who proposed guidelines for selection between standalone screens, α/β packing and shunt tube packing. Proposed guidelines were based on formation characteristics (formation strength, particle size distribution, mineralogy across the well path, etc.) as well as risk (execution, reliability/longevity, etc.) and cost considerations. From a particle size distribution standpoint, their guidelines were based on the criteria proposed earlier in SPE 39437 (Tiffin et al. 1998), while risk evaluation was based on the technologies available at that time.

In this paper, we begin with a critical review of the current sand control technique selection methodologies for open-hole completions, including the way some of the risk factors are being evaluated to eliminate a given completion technique. Based on the technologies developed in the last decade, we propose a new selection methodology along with techniques/tools for proper evaluation of the risk factors. The proposed methodology significantly extends the application limits of standalone screens and α/β packing compared to what was proposed in SPE 85504 (Price-Smith et al. 2003).

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