Production from weakly and unconsolidated sand formations relies on the efficiency of the employed sand control method. Performance of current sand control devices is based on surface size exclusion and depth filtration depending on their geometry and application. In this study, we investigate the possibility of using the advantage of both mechanisms in a single device.

The standard cut point test was used to determine the micron rating of different meshes in order to categorize them in different classes based on the average pore size. Different mesh weaves, namely Dutch twill, reversed Dutch twill and square mesh screens with different micron rating were investigated in terms of filtration performance. In the next step, a dead-end filtration set-up was designed and commissioned to evaluate the flow performance and sand control capabilities of mesh screens. Additionally, a new, customized sand control device was designed and included in the testing matrix to compare its performance with the common mesh screens in the market.

Dead-end filtration results indicated that by choosing the proper combination of morphology, both optimized open to flow area (OFA) and sand control could be achieved. The custom designed hybrid screen performed better compared to other investigated mesh screens with similar micron rating, in terms of both flow and filtration performance. Therefore, the customization was found to be the key parameter to achieve the optimized design. This further emphasizes that by employing the hybrid benefits of surface size exclusion and depth filtration, one can reach the optimized sand control and flow performance. Regarding the weave of different mesh screens, the results did not show any trends that could lead to a conclusion of better performance of a certain weave. Further investigations are required under different testing condition to achieve a conclusive comparison between different mesh types.

This paper investigates the possibility of customized sand control design, which uses the hybrid benefits of surface size exclusion and depth filtration to reach the optimized sand control and flow performance.

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