A unique test configuration has been utilized to investigate the flow-back properties of oil-based fluids through sand screens for openhole completions after 1-2 months suspension time. This test which simulates downhole conditions can be used to select fluid in which the screens will be suspended.

The results from the testing show that oil-based fluid with a density greater than 1.5 sg can plug the sand screen if suspended for a long period. The results show the effect of both time and temperature on the plugging tendencies. Increased temperature and time increases the risks of plugging. The use of low-solids oil-based fluid has proven to reduce the probability of plugging and will be recommended at higher fluid densities.

This paper will outline the test set-up as well as present the findings from running more than 50 different tests on different fluids. These fluids include conventional oil-based and low-solids oil-based drilling fluids at varying densities tested at temperatures from 95 to 175°C.

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