This article presents numerical calculations that show that shooting elliptical perforations can prevent or delay sand production by modifying the state of stress around the perforation tunnel. Elliptical perforations will allow for greater drawdown values and larger depletion before sanding. In formations with anisotropic permeabilities, elliptical perforations could also significantly improve well deliverability. Explosive and charge design technology has been investigated and show the feasibility of properly creating and orienting elliptical perforations to shoot these new elliptical tunnels.
The switch from cylindrical to elliptical perforation tunnels implies a change in mentality similar to when Abbot Suger, getting away from the Roman arch, introduced Gothic architecture to Western Europe. This article uses the analogy of XII to XVth century architectural developments to present and justify attractive and feasible new ideas on well perforation.