Video: Alpha/Beta Gravel-Pack Sequence

The alpha/beta (A/B) wave placement technique is used in horizontal wells for gravel packing both long, horizontal, openhole sections that have low fracture gradients and sections containing unstable sands and shales.

During the alpha-wave progression at the start of the water-packing operation, the gravel dune makes its way evenly toward the toe, and the pressure increases slightly. Filling the toe triggers the beta wave, sending the dune back toward the heel.

If the pressure in the open hole exceeds formation fracture pressure, a gravel bridge may form and premature screenout may occur, leaving part of the screens unpacked. The AquaPac integrated water-packing system's pressure-attenuator valves reduce the length of washpipe through which the returning gravel-pack fluid must flow. Use of these valves, addition of a friction reducer to the brine, and lightweight proppants all serve to reduce friction pressure, minimizing the likelihood of inadvertently fracturing the formation or bridging off the gravel pack.

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Ensure Complete Gravel Packing and Reduce Water Cut

Inflow Control Devices
AquaPac integrated water packing system for openhole wells stabilizes the formation before and during gravel packing and prevents premature screenout. Inflow control devices (ICDs) balance flow rates across the completion, dramatically reducing water cut. Visit AquaPac System page