This paper was prepared for the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME Symposium on Formation Damage Control, to be held in New Orleans, La., Feb. 7–8, 1974. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made. provided agreement to give proper credit is made. Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.


Excellent sand control success and high productivity completions have been realized with productivity completions have been realized with concentrated sand-in-oil slurries. However, modifications to the technique have broadened application of the process and obtained even better results. The gravel-carrying fluid has been changed from very viscous oils to a waterbase polymer system. A viscosity breaker has been included and this results in a controlled viscosity break back to a few centipoise within a predetermined time period. The process can be designed to cover a bottom-hole temperature range from 100 to 225 degrees F. Particular advantages to the systems are (1) it can be used in water injection and source wells with no fear of permeability damage, (2) oil wells should tend to clean up more easily because of the lower final viscosity of the carrying fluid, and (3) the new fluid is shear thinning, resulting in very little friction pressure while pumping, while providing good sand-carrying capacity at low pump rates. Numerous successful field tests have been conducted and the results are reported.


Numerous new and/or modified sand control systems have been developed during recent years, attempting to solve what must be considered the major production problem associated with unconsolidated sandstones.

A new water-base, viscous, nondamaging gravel pack carrying fluid has been developed that permits the placement of high sand concentrations with minimum pump pressure and rapid formation cleanup characteristics. As the system is water based, it lends itself for use in both water injection and/or source wells, as well as oil and gas wells. Numerous wells have been gravel packed using this new technique. In general, the injection wells take as much as 2.5 times more water than would have been anticipated utilizing conventional sand control methods, and the production wells produce initially "skin free" with higher production rates than demonstrated in equivalent wells completed with other sand control systems.


The water-pack sand control system is composed of a viscous, high sand concentration (15 lb/gal), water-base slurry that is placed behind a screen and liner. A listing and discussion of the basic components follows.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.