Several reservoirs experience the phenomenon of producing fluids with some quantities of formation solids. This phenomenon, known as “sand production”, occurs and affects many of the processes performed in a wellbore/reservoir and is one of the main factors causing problems related to project increasing costs with early equipment and facilities deterioration, low hydraulic conductivity between wellbore and reservoir and sometimes complete well lose. The objective of this article is to present a methodology for selecting sand control or sand management as strategy to implement in sanding wells. This methodology, based on literature experiences, accounts for reservoir properties, fluid characteristics and completion variables for the selection of a strategy. In order to select correctly the strategy to implement in sanding wells either sand control or sand management, a two steps methodology is proposed. The first step allows to identify the better option between sand control or sand management for each case. Based on the previous step, the second step allows to identify the best way to implement each strategy. The present methodology helps to solve the difficult decision of either implement sand control or sand management through easy steps. This, using direct information of wellbore production and reservoir variables. The use of this methodology will allow for a better and faster decision making related to sanding wellbores treatment, reducing complex and unnecessary studies when those are not required.
Sand production occurs mainly in Poorly or unconsolidated formations, when forces of fluids in movement are enough to drag grains from formation sand. Produced solids can come from either the formation face or cavities or they can be fines coming from inside the reservoir. These solids can be produced for different reasons, therefore, to face sand production it is important to know the mechanisms involved in sanding. Some variables causing sand production are: pressure drop, depletion, in situ stresses, the water weakening effect, completion, drilling, and operational conditions (Araujo, 2015). For sanding wells, three options should be analyzed: Management, control or prevention. Sand Management refers to producing fluids with sand (with equipment erosion risk) improving porosity and permeability, hence productivity. Sand Control implies including filters in the bottom hole to prevent the transport of sand along with the fluid using mechanical or chemical means (Venkitaraman, Manrique, & Poe,. 2001). Sand Prevention does not involve control methods and depends on predictive models to identify the best drilling and production parameters that can delay sanding onset as much as possible in the life of the well (Venkitaraman, Manrique, & Poe,. 2001).