Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) is an extensively used recovery method to produce bitumen and heavy oil from the Western Canadian oil sands. Due to the nature of these unconsolidated, heterogeneous formations, preventing sand production prevention is a concern for operators. Many different control devices are being used to prevent the production of sand, most of which consist of a controlled aperture or matrix as part of a production liner.

Wire-wrap screen (WWS) liners have been used in conventional wells around the world for many years, but they are relatively new to thermal well applications. One area of uncertainty is the relative merits of direct-wrap and slip-on variants. Potential failure modes are identified and the relative performance of these two types of WWS is compared.

The most likely damage mechanisms during well construction are different in cased-hole than in open-hole. In the former, dogleg severity plus compressive and torque loads in the base pipe are generally the limiting factor. In the latter, the major concern is concentrated contact loads between the WWS screen and the formation. During thermal operations, structural stability of common ported base pipe configurations is not a significant concern. Sand control and inflow performance depend on maintaining a consistent wrap wire aperture over wide-ranging formation stress, strain localization, and thermal load paths. In many cases the relevant design considerations are shared by the two WWS variants, but differences are identified and discussed.

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