The control of formation sand is the principal producing problem of oil and gas fields producing from recent clastic sediments. Sand control is very important as the value of non-renewable oil reserves increases and cost of remedial work skyrockets. Sediments of the Pliocene and younger Tertiary ages are particularly troublesome, and sand production problems may be expected whenever wells are completed in unconsolidated reservoirs. Sand failures may also occur in older formations when in-situ rock strength is reduced by poor completion and production practices.

Several factors lead to sand production. The most critical factors are formation strength, changing in-situ stresses, and fluid production rate. The problems resulting from sand influx include abrasion of downhole tubular/casing, subsurface safety valve and surface equipment; casing/tubing buckling, failure of casing or liners from removal of surrounding formation, compaction and erosion; and loss of production caused by sand bridging in tubing and/or flow lines. Also, the cost of handling and disposing of produced sand is expensive and troublesome, especially offshore, where solids must be removed from surface facilities on platforms and transported to approved disposal sites to mention a few.

There are several methods for predicting sand production. The methods include use of production data, well logs, laboratory testing, acoustic, intrusive sand monitoring devices, and analogy. The methodologies are described in details and the data needed for predicting sand production are enumerated. The techniques described in this paper are supported with examples and case studies from regions around the world known for sand production.

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