Sand management is an issue pertinent to all those disciplines responsible for maturing a project. It requires leadership from the asset owner, expertise from the specialists and top quality equipment from the vendors. Excellence must span all the stages of field development for, like many aspects of well construction, "9 out of 10" is usually not good enough. For this reason guidance is proposed for management and design of sand related projects.

While sanding prediction is the first step in the process, it is only briefly mentioned in this paper, where focus is more on selected design activities for an openhole production well with sand control, namely:

  • Rock mineralogy

  • Particle size distribution testing (sieve and laser) and the definition / issues relating to fines

  • Selection of sand control system with review of the screen to openhole annulus

  • Sand retention tests

  • Screen mesh size assessment

  • Screen failure mechanisms

    • Erosion

    • Collapse and/or buckling

  • Screen ratings, increasing screen strength where possible

  • Review of statistics

Although many of the above are relevant to other well designs, no specific reference is made to frac and packs, selective or oriented perforation, sand consolidation, execution or operation of sand control, or surface sand management.

The sand management team needs to define the tasks and activities to achieve established and shared objectives, those objectives being to achieve the required well productivity, longevity and functionality.

Although these objectives are few, they can only be achieved through careful execution of the various tasks and associated activities. Many tasks are entwined between two or three objectives and need to be done in a particular order. This paper proposes a methodical workflow framework to achieve this.

In many cases the answers to design questions are dispersed amoungst an unmanageable number of papers, manuals, guidelines, training and conference proceedings and this paper goes some way to draw the threads together for some of the common design issues. In some areas, work is still to be done by our industry to clarify equipment specification, standardising definitions, test methods, and modeling techniques.

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