This paper presents the effective use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based erosion modeling to optimize the development of gravel-pack completion equipment, in this case a shunt tube isolation valve (STIV), which enables total zonal isolation following gravel-packing operations. A novel erosion- and debris-resistant approach to the design of the STIV was developed. The product development methodology incorporated the use of an iterative CFD erosion model to quantify the erosion rates on a proposed novel STIV flow conduit for gravel packing. The erosion model simulated a typical gravel-pack treatment using a multiphase fluid model of carrier fluid (8.5-ppg density) with 100,000 lbm of 30/50 proppant at 5 ppa pumped at 10 bbl/min. Multiple iterations of the flow conduit were designed and analyzed to minimize the pressure drop, the flow velocity, the erosion rate, and recirculation. This design methodology enabled a successful qualification using a full-scale erosion test, followed by successful closing and pressure tests. Expensive retesting was eliminated; post-test correlations demonstrated that the CFD model accurately predicted areas of high erosion, and the quantity of material loss was within practical limits. The development approach and modeling method provide a reliable tool for the development of new gravel-pack completion equipment and comparable products, saving time and avoiding expensive delays, failure investigations, and retesting costs.

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