This paper discusses sand problems occurring in Horizontal Wells located in NE Alberta and NW Saskatchewan, Western Canada. These wells are completed in the heavy oil sands at 450–750 m TVD. Typical completions utilize 0.625 mm (0.025 in.) slots in liners 500m to 1200m long. The average length is approximately 900m. Some of the horizontal wells were initially very prolific at oil rates up to 70 m3/day (450 bbl/day) with no indication of sand problems. As depletion occurred, most of the wells only experienced one incident of a sand-plugging problem requiring an expensive cleanout in the horizontal liner section. The wells required more than one sand cleanout in the build section of the intermediate casing but these were relatively inexpensive. Many innovative improvements, techniques and even complete systems designed specifically for horizontal sand cleanouts have been developed in just a few years.

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