A new sand screen design that enables collection and control of production flow from multiple sand-screen joints has been developed; the control in this design is in the form of a sliding-sleeve circulating device that is at a single point and enables flow from multiple joints. This type of functionality was developed previously for use in multiple-zone frac- or gravel-packs as a means of helping to control flows and pressures more efficiently in zones other than the one being packed. However, these early designs were less efficient in use of available geometry than the new design, which uses, 1) tall wire ribs of a wire-wrapped structure to create an annular flow space, and 2) an innovative crimping technology that uses plastic deformation of metal components to connect the annular flow space across connections between sand-screen joints during rig assembly.

Although the initial use of the new screen design was planned to provide an improvement to existing multi-zone packing systems (the new screens are already being planned for use in two deep-water lower tertiary projects in the Gulf of Mexico), alternative uses are now being envisioned for the design. Future uses may be as stand-alone or gravel-packed screens in long (probably horizontal) intervals, where a single circulating sleeve can control a longer portion of the interval. Another improvement being considered is the incorporation of passive inflow-control device (ICDs or AICDs) functionality into the single flow points for multiple screens.

Additionally, with minor modification, it is anticipated that the new screen design will be conducive to installing tracer materials in the channels between ribs of the annular flow space.

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