An engineering approach is discussed for identifying a potentially unconsolidated reservoir in an exploratory area and controlling sand flowback by fracturing using a liquid-consolidation additive as the binding agent.

A vertical gas well targeting an exploratory reservoir was completed and hydraulically fractured to help enhance productivity. A petrophysical evaluation was performed with openhole logs, and results showed a potentially unconsolidated pay zone that posed the risk of producing formation sand.

After identifying the issue, precautionary measures were taken to help prevent sand production. An engineered solution to hydraulically fracture the reservoir using a liquid-consolidating additive as a binding agent, opposed to the conventional resin-precoated proppant, was successfully performed.

The fracturing technique enhanced well productivity and allowed sand-free high production rate of hydrocarbons. Orienting the perforations toward the maximum horizontal stress direction helped reduce tortuosity and placement of the fracturing treatment.

This paper presents petrophysical analysis, treatment design, and application, including production analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.

Evaluation of the openhole logs and understanding the criteria for potential sand-producing formations can help identify sand flowback in the early stages of well completion to promote the application of solutions that will substantially reduce/eliminate problems associated with sand flowback during the life of the well. This technique helped achieve sand control without using screens, simplifying wellbore equipment while enhancing reservoir production. Early identification of the problem minimized production losses and non-productive time (days) for the operator and potential formation sanding problems.

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