Sand Control

Industry Challenge:

The use of horizontal wells in primary heavy oil operations offered the promise of higher flow rates due to the much greater length of reservoir exposure offered by the horizontal section of the well.

Unfortunately, this also introduced the challenge of transporting the sand produced with the oil along the horizontal section.

Typically, flow rates within the wellbore were generally too slow to transport the sand during normal production.

In addition, during well shutdowns,...

This paper is part of the World Heavy Oil Congress proceedings found on proceedings.com.

This paper is part of the World Heavy Oil Congress proceedings found on proceedings.com.

Abstract

Several operators have recently launched a new industry-wide initiative on sand control reliability. The aim of the initiative is to gain a better understanding of Sand Control Completion (SCC) systems, equipment performance, and reliability in a variety of applications. It focuses on assisting the industry to improve SCC performance and service life through sharing of reliability and failure information, operational practices, and other pertinent data. One of the key challenges in...

Abstract

Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells typically require the deployment of an open hole completion combining sand control with adequate mechanical strength to withstand: 1) aggressive installation loads—compression, torque, bending—that are characteristic of shallow horizontal wells, and 2) severe operational loads—tension, compression, collapse, burst—caused by a combination of high temperature steam injection and formation collapse around the completion.

Historically, slotted...

Abstract

Heavy oil producers in Canada have adopted the primary production strategy of encouraging sand production in a process commonly know as Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand (CHOPS). While this technique yields economic oil rates, the production of sand introduces many other operating costs and prevents the implementation of technologies, such as gathering lines, that are not compatible with massive sand production. A new concept has been proposed that takes advantage of the reservoir...

Abstract

Heavy oil producers in Canada have adopted the primary production strategy of encouraging sand production in a process commonly know as Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand (CHOPS). While this technique yields economic oil rates, the production of sand introduces many other operating costs and prevents the implementation of technologies such as gathering lines that are not compatible with massive sand production. A new concept has been proposed that takes advantage of the reservoir...

Abstract

Wire Wrapped Screens (WWS) have received more attention from Steam assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operators. A WWS is commonly fabricated with a wedge-shaped wire that is spiral-wound around a perforated base pipe to form a Wire wound Mesh (WWM). This produces a single, continuous, keystone-shaped helical slot with a large open flow area to enable for fluid flow while maintaining the structural rigidity of the base pipe and providing sand control to the wellbore.

The structural...

Abstract

To recover heavy oil and bitumen from the highly unconsolidated reservoirs of the Western Canada oilsands fields using the horizontal well method, and in particular the thermal in situ method of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), some forms of sand control, such as slotted liners and wire-wrapped screens (WWS), are generally required to limit sand production and maintain well productivity. Over the past two decades, a number experimental and analytical studies have been performed...

The Industry Challenge:

Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) requires complex well designs and completion configurations to ensure that steam can be delivered efficiently throughout the reservoir interval.

Conventional well completion approaches use multiple injection strings in “toe and heel” configurations to provide multi-point steam injection along the horizontal section of the wellbore.

The flow dynamics of these multi-string completions are extremely complicated due to heat transfer...