Sand production is detrimental in oil and gas production. Sand-control measures include gravel-packing, drawdown control, sand consolidation, slotted liners, pre-packed screens, and frac-and-pack. Vertical wells can use any of these methods. Extended-reach, highly inclined wells, and horizontal wells close to water tables have very few cost-effective choices like slotted liners and open-holes. To predict the potential for sand production, a perforated completion was analyzed as an elastic-plastic spherical cavity while an open-hole horizontal well was analyzed assuming cylindrical symmetry. This analytical procedure was applied to investigate the feasibility of sand-free oil production from a friable sandstone formation in the North Sea. The calculated sand-free drawdown pressure of the horizontal well is more than twice that of the vertical-perforated well, depending on the drainage radius. Subsequently, in the North Sea single-well production test, a horizontal well was drilled and supported with a slotted liner only. The field test produced oil at high rates with no measurable amounts of formation sand.

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