Sand production is considered one of the major problems that would affect the economical value of any EOR project. The produced sand will start to accumulate in the wellbore till it kills the Well. This is done by increasing the pressure drop (both frictional and hydrostatic) in the borehole to a point where no more fluid can be produced. It can also exhibit a mechanical damage to the pipes, chokes, surface facility lines and would require continues cleaning.
There are several sand control equipment that can be installed whether in the wellbore or in the formation itself. However, these sand control equipment not only add a cost element to the whole project, but also most of them reduce the Productivity Index of the well. Consequently more wells need to be drilled in order to compensate the production loss due to the installation of sand control equipment.
This paper examines the effect of using Sucker Rod Pump (SRP) and All Metal Progressive Cavity Pump (AMPCP) on the sand production. Both pumps can handle solids to some degree, however, the mechanism of each pump will affect the building of sand arch and thus will impact the amount of sand volume produced.
By comparing the sand production profiles of two vertical wells under Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) completed in the same zone, it was found that the use of AMPCP can help reduce sand production significantly over the SRP. This is attributed to the difference in working mechanisms of both pumps. In AMPCP, the fluid is being pumped by a smooth movement, while in SRP, the upstroke and downstroke movement of the pump have an effect similar to the plunger, which adversely impact the sand arch building. As a result, SRP has a higher tendency to produce more sand compared to that of AMPCP.