Mitigation of sand production is increasingly becoming an important part of field development as the petroleum industry is expanding its production operations in more challenging unconsolidated rocks and depleted reservoirs with more complex well completion architecture. Reliable sand production assessment methods are essentially based on geomechanical approaches that integrate in-situ stresses, reservoir pressure and its depletion trend, rock strength, well trajectory, completion type and planned drawdown. Use of grossly empirical, often unreliable, methods to infer sand production risk could result in either unnecessary an upfront sand control cost or sand management cost during production due to unpredicted sanding.

This paper demonstrates by application to a field case in South East Asia how to develop and use a decision support system for credible sand production assessment and completion selection. Once a geomechanical model is built and sand production assessments have been carried out for a few wells by a robust sand production prediction model, the knowledge and information can be converted into a decision support system for new wells in the field. Provided the field Earth stresses and the reservoir pressure are applicable, the system then needs only a log-derived rock strength profile for sanding evaluation and decision making for new well trajectory and completion configuration. Using the existing geomechanical model, calibrated log-derived rock strength profiling and field supported sanding prediction, a simple flow chart is developed to assist well engineers to decide the completion type by taking into account the risks of sand production and hole collapse during production. The availability of such a decision support system assists the well and production engineers to follow a quick, cost-effective, simplified but sound approach for sand production assessment and completion selection as opposed to being grossly empirical, or too rigorous.

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