Technical Paper: Case Study—Sand Management Evolution in a Brownfield

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 168114
Presentation Date: 2014
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A brownfield has been in production for over 30 years. A redevelopment plan started in 2004 to revamp oil production under an alliance partnership between an Oil & Gas Company Malaysia and Schlumberger. The mentioned brownfield is a multilayered reservoir where the UCS can vary from 1,500 psi in the consolidated sand until less than 800 psi in the shallow zones.

Based on a geomechanics study and existing production history of the field, unconsolidated producer sands were identified and sand control methods were evaluated according to the degree of achieving the goals, and reducing risk, the result indicates that the Cased Hole Gravel Pack with Alternate Path System was preferential. Additional information was obtained in the latest campaign during the retrieval of gravel-pack screens in 2 sand-producing wells, which gave a better understanding of the failure mechanism in the previous gravel-pack operations.

The main changes in the design of sand control systems during 8 years includes adopting a perforating strategy of performing a mechanical backsurge, increasing shot density and charges with low debris, use of a 3-way sub tailpipe system to avoid problems associated with breaking flapper valves and debris accumulation, number of cup packers, size of screens, slurry concentration and back pressure applied during the treatment. Furthermore the evolution in the sand control management have showed benefits such as increasing the number of gravel-pack zones per well, performing longer gravel packs, installing permanent downhole gauges and using bigger tubing.

This paper presents as case study of the evolution and the impact of the sand management systems, showing the significant changes in the design and execution of gravel packs and describing the reasons for those changes. The impact is analyzed on the basis of formation damage, GP factor, execution, risks and results of the initial production.

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Complete Annular Packs in Cased and Open Holes

Alternate Path sand screens use shunt tubes to create an alternate slurry path that allows the slurry to bypass bridges and fill in voids, helping ensure a complete annular pack and eliminate screenouts.