The use of high viscosity gravel pack carrier fluids in gravel packing operations has been an accepted industry practice for more than 20 years. However, experimental results obtained using an acrylic gravel pack simulator indicated completion brines were superior gravel carrier fluids when compared to viscous polymer systems. The low viscosity brines exhibited complete annular packing with very tight grain to grain compaction. The low viscosity systems also provided good perforation filling without the degree of turbulence necessary for intermixing formation and gravel pack sands. Non-viscosified completion brines have been used to complete more than 100 zones with interval lengths of < 10 ft (3.05 m) to 400 ft (121.92 m) and hole angles from vertical to 89 ° (1.55 rad) at depths in excess of 13,000 ft (3,962.4 m). The low viscosity brines have yielded excellent annular packs and exhibited superior perforation packing when compared to polymer carrier fluids. Simulator test results, gravel crushing and erosion tests, and a discussion of "Slurry Pack" versus non-viscosified carrier fluids are presented. Also, comparative field results between polymer fluids and low viscosity brines are also presented in conjunction with recommendations and procedures for gravel placement using non-viscosified completion brines.

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