An experimental study was conducted on the mature Messla field to investigate the mechanism of fines migration and its contribution in formation damage. In the study, an advanced laboratory test programme was designed after investigation of production history, well performance, in-situ stress state and depletion history. The programme included critical velocity tests and pore volume Compressibility (PVC) fines migration tests. The critical velocity tests investigated the relationship between flow rate and decrease of permeability by flowing the core plug at different flow rate and concurrently measuring corresponding permeability. Additionally, alternating flow of kerosene and formation water was conducted in the tests to investigate the effect of water breakthrough on fines migration. The PVC fines migration tests were carried out by applying triaxial loading to the samples that followed the stress path of reservoir depletion to identify any critical depletion level that may damage the formation during reservoir production. Concurrently, horizontal flow measurements were made with the PVC tests to simulate production. In addition, produced fines were evaluated by using standard light microscope and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The composition of any fines collected is further identified through X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis. Through these tests, the tendency and severity of fines migration in this field were investigated and the impact of reservoir depletion on permeability was revealed. Based on the knowledge, the sandface completions were optimized to improve their performance.

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