Abstract

More than 70% of oil/gas reservoirs worldwide are in various degrees of unconsolidation requiring some elements of sand management. This is more so especially in the Niger Delta as activities extend to the more challenging deepwater environments of offshore West Africa.

Debate on the most effective sand management strategy has been intense for many years, with different companies adopting different strategies.

Development of appropriate strategy for the management of reservoirs with sanding problems is rather complex and requires an integrated approach to finding the optimum solution to solving the problem. This requires integration of key aspects of reservoir characterisation, drilling, completion and production technologies including sand tolerances (Seabed wellhead/flowlines, topside facilities). Mitigation of sanding requires reliable sanding prediction, precise well design, accurate technology selection as well as optimum completion strategy. These are transient phenomena requiring a life cycle real time management.

In this paper attempts have been made to address the key issues with sand management. The paper goes further to provide a case for lifecycle intelligent sand management including the current technological innovations and future challenges in terms of technology gaps

Highlights of some of the development activities ongoing at The Robert Gordon University are also presented

The paper ends with an introduction of the Sand Management Network - A Network of upstream oil and gas operating companies and service providers with interest in sand management. The Network purpose is to share successful methods and technologies as well as promote best practices in the management of sand.

Introduction

For many of the clastic reservoir sands around the world sand production is a major issue and the successful development of these assets requires having in place an effective sand management strategy. Where sand production is considered a risk the conventional approach is usually to initiate downhole control to exclude sand production using one of a number of traditional techniques such as gravelpacks, standalone screens many of which have been known to fail resulting in productivity impairment over time. This concern has led to new concept of total sand management in terms of whole development strategy covering reservoir response to failure, completion, monitoring and topside management. This total management strategy requires an integrated approach that can only result in significant benefits of increased productivity and reduced capital and operational costs via reduced remedial action.

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