A number of completion failures have occurred recently in which screen erosion or plugging has been found to be the primary cause. The screen failures, which occurred during high-rate water packs, have been successfully duplicated in the laboratory through large scale tests. Through these tests and mathematical analyses, the mechanisms involved in the erosive screen failures have been identified. Partial plugging of the screen in the presence of fines leads to high fluid velocities, which cause erosion of the screen by the passage of solid particles through the screen openings. The time required for the erosion to reach critical levels is fairly short i.e. on the order of a few minutes. A number of design and operational guidelines have been suggested to prevent screen failures. A characteristic pressure signature of a screen failure, which can be used for diagnostic purposes, has been identified.

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