With the aging of the SAGD projects and growing number of wells with hot-spot and sand production problems, there is a growing interest in the remedial completion with Inflow Control Device (ICD) and tubing deployed scab liner. The current study aims at better understanding the annular flow, sand transport in the annular space and the expected pressure drops and the produced sand for tubing deployed scab liner sand control solution using a large-scale experimental well simulator.
A large-scale wellbore simulator was developed to study the performance of the tubing deployed scab liner screen as remedial sand control, where the sand entry point, the concentration and PSD of the sand in addition to the flow rate and the ratio of different phases could be controlled precisely. Two-phase flow of oil and brine along with sand could be injected through different ports along the clear pipe, emulating the slurry flow entering into the wellbore. Clear pipe allows visualization of the sand transport and sand accumulation above the tubing deployed scab liner during the fluid injection. An experimental study of the performance of Wire Wrap Screen (WWS) with different aperture sizes is presented in this paper.
Results indicated the requirement of a different approach for designing the correct aperture size for remedial scab liners since using the current design sand control criteria leads to large amount of solid production. It seems that the design of aperture size for scab liners should be more toward the lower bound in comparison with the common screen designs in thermal applications. The sand entry point distance from the tubing deployed scab liner screen position was found to be the critical parameter in the sanding and flow performance of the remedial sand control. Fluid flow in the annulus causes the segregation of sand grains; finer grains are carried with fluid, while coarser grains settle closer to the injection ports. The slurry flow regime in the annulus results in continuous sand production until a stable bridge and later a stable sand bed is formed on top of the tubing deployed scab liner screen. Moreover, results showed that the main pressure drop happens across the nozzles on the tubing, while the pressure drop across the accumulated sand pack in the annulus and coupon was less significant.
This paper introduces an experimental tool for evaluating the tubing deployed scab liner performance as remedial sand control in thermal applications. The developed experimental testing and facility could help to better design and evaluate the remedial tubing deployed scab liner sand control solutions.