Large - Scale Laboratory Investigation of Sand Consolidation Techniques
- Wayne F. Hower (The Halliburton Co.) | William Brown (The Halliburton Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1961
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,221 - 1,229
- 1961. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 3 Production and Well Operations, 3.2.5 Produced Sand / Solids Management and Control, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.2.2 Perforating, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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Large-scale sand consolidation tests were conducted in an effort to determine the reasons for the successes and failures of this method of sand control. Several different consolidating materials were used in treating both clean and bentonitic sands that were packed in a chamber having a capacity of 3.3 cu ft. The results were essentially the same for all of the different consolidating materials. The data show that low-viscosity consolidating materials pumped at a relatively slow rate gave the best results. Where the formation has produced sand, the treating fluids can compress the formation, thus permitting the channeling of fluids to another horizon. Pressure-packing these zones before attempting to consolidate is recommended. Sands containing more than 4 per cent of water-swelling clays are not good candidates for consolidation. It is indicated that loose sand, particularly when it is bentonitic, can be fractured during the placement of the treating fluids.
Sand production in oil and gas wells has plagued the industry for many years, and numerous cures for this problem have been suggested. Most methods have been successful to a certain degree, but the great variety of well conditions that exist in the different areas has magnified the problem and limited the successful use of the various systems. Four review papers present a wealth of information concerning the degrees of success that have been obtained by the different sand-control methods. The bridging of sand grains by the use of gravel packs and screens has been quite successful. However, these methods do not leave the casing clear for all types of multiple completions, and the cure does not last for the production life of the well in some instances. The control of loose sands by sand consolidation with resins has never been as successful as desired. It has always been hoped that such a treatment would eliminate all sand problems for the life of the well, but initial applications, starting in the middle 1940's, were only moderately successful. Lott, et al, reported a success ratio of approximately 50 per cent and made the following conclusions: The highest percentage of successes were obtained where: a. Consolidation of a zone was made at the time of initial completion or prior to the production of sand. b. The interval treated was less than 12 ft in length. c. Between 30 and 50 gal plastic/ft of producing interval was displaced through the perforations.
REASONS FOR SAND CONSOLIDATION FAILURES
Our own experiences in the field of sand consolidation point toward the following conditions as the major reasons for the failure of sand consolidation attempts. 1. Mud-plugged perforations and mud invasion of the formation. 2. Sand in the casing covering all or part of the perforations. This sand could be either formation sand or one of the coarser sands used as propping agents in hydraulic fracturing. 3. Holes in the casing. 4. Channels behind the casing. 5. Attempting to treat too long a perforated section. 6. Too high a percentage of water-swelling clays in the formation. 7. Formations that have produced sand. Recent attempts were made to treat perforated sections ranging from 10 to 30 ft, in wells that have produced sand, by using a straddle packer that was raised and lowered through the perforations as the consolidating material was being pumped. In most instances, the pressure required to pump fluid into the formation varied considerably as the tool was raised and lowered. This suggested the possibility that significant differences in permeability were present or that only part of the formation had produced sand. There were times when a sudden break in pressure indicated that a fracture was being formed. Research conducted several years ago concerning the problem of the control of water in air and gas drilling indicated that shale sections could be fractured quite easily. In addition, it was determined that it was easier to pump fluids into shale bodies by fracturing the shale itself, or the interface between the shale and sand, than to pump into a fluid-saturated formation. Formations that produce sand are usually adjacent to shale bodies and frequently have shale streaks of various thicknesses interbedded in the sand.
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