Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) producer wells in the McMurray formation require sand control technologies that will limit sand production while minimizing production constraints caused by high pressure drops and liner plugging. Previous publications around sand control selection and sizing for SAGD producers have provided varied and often conflicting design recommendations based on the expected formation sand particle size distribution. Small scale lab testing of sand control medium is often challenged with inconsistent results and uncertainty around the appropriate normalization for test comparison and scaling up to real-world applications.
Devon Canada designed and constructed an in-house large scale liner testing apparatus to evaluate sand control technologies and determine the optimal aperture or filter size for sand types expected in the McMurray formation of the future Pike 1 SAGD project. The large scale liner testing results are presented in this paper along with the final recommendation for sand control on Pike SAGD producer wells. A brief review of the Pike McMurray sand typing and small scale liner testing is also presented.