Sand production from the Sarir field became a major concern for AGOCO at the end of the 1980s when ESPs were introduced to the field. The sanding severely impaired the performance of field, and consequently led to significant economic loss.

AGOCO recognized that it was facing a major challenge in terms of understanding potential sanding risk for Sarir, and that it was necessary to design and implement a sandface completion and sand management strategy for more than 400 wells in the field. It was decided to apply a particular systematical approach, termed as Sand Management Solution (SMS), to properly address the sanding issues it was facing, which involved prediction, prevention, monitoring, and, if required, remediation activities. The first step in the SMS was to obtain a clear understanding of the cause and the mechanism for the sand production. This knowledge was required because attempts to run new completion designs without knowing the cause of the sand and understanding the risks had been proved costly, and would be likely to fail.

To this end, a SMS was implemented in Sarir field. The work started from geomechanical reservoir characterization including geomechanics core laboratory test and mechanical earth model building, sanding prediction and evaluation, and a detailed review of sanding history to understand the severity of the sanding risk and sanding mechanism. Based on this knowledge, sanding management and remedial completion measures were devised that would minimize economic loss caused by sanding and optimize hydrocarbon production.

This paper provides details of implementation of this SMS in the Sarir field, and demonstrates that a systematical approach is required when addressing sanding issues in giant mature fields such as Sarir.

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