Sand control operations and particularly those using granular filter media such as gravel packs and frac & pack are being carried out in increasing numbers and in more demanding environments. Improvements continue to be made in terms of equipment, fluids and operations. However, with the increasing emphasis on well productivity and minimizing impairment, it is clear that a better understanding of some of the current causes of impairment is required.

The design of sand control filter media continues to be based on a limited number of discrete formation samples that are taken to be fully representative of the actual grain sizes throughout the interval of interest. It is often difficult to clearly identify the causes and location of the impairment unless expensive evaluation tools such as PLTs are utilized.

This paper presents the results of research work that have successfully resulted in an analytical tool and a new granular system that allows improved design and evaluation of sand control operations. A system for the determination of grain size and pore blocking mechanisms on a foot-by-foot basis has been developed. Furthermore a granular filter media has been devised such that permeability damage from solids migration can be reversed. The results presented are based on "flow of solid particles through porous media" principles. The work included laboratory testing for various gravels and these results are also included. Field validation was carried out with data from LDAs and an offshore deviated well.

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