Design a completion system for sand control based on top technology as an alternative to the slotted-liner completions systems currently installed in extra heavy oil producing wells in unconsolidated formations.

The methodology and design are based on the resulting interpretations of Dry Sieve Analysis (DSA), Laser Particle Sieve Analysis (LPSA), and geological considerations. Based on the results of these analyses, uniformity coefficients were calculated and grain size sorting results were used to validate the completion criteria, the system type, and the open area to be used. Once these criterions were selected, the Sand Retention Test (SRT) was utilized in the laboratory to verify the performance of the design using different liner sections and core plugs specific to the area; which allowed the selection of the appropriate system. Quantifying the total recovered barrels with the new completion system was done using a nodal analysis in order to evaluate the cost benefit in a typical well.

As result of the interpretations of the tests, it was determined that the open area size of the completion system should be 200 μm, being estimated by the D10 obtained by the DSA realized to the core "A" of the Lower Morichal Formation. With the LPSA realized to the core "B", the quantity of thin grain movables less than 45 μm was estimated for the Lower Morichal Formation. All of these criteria were unified to select the completion method best suited for sand control. The results shows that the best option is metal mesh screen, which offer 150% more flow area in comparison with the slotted liner which translates to a recovery of 10% in production according to nodal analysis simulations.

While current design practices sometimes take into consideration grain size distribution and sorting, this paper highlights the added benefit of combining this approach with the laboratory results of the DSA and LPSA testing methods to ensure that production recovery is truly maximized.

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