SPE Drilling & Completion
Within the sand-control-technology sector today, there are many
sand-exclusion screen options available for use in completion design.
Sand-control screens have steadily improved with the introduction and
enhancement of metal sand-retention-media-based sand-exclusion products in the
early 1990s. However, recent catastrophic sand-exclusion failures have led some
operators and independent laboratories to perform additional testing and
quality control checks on sand-exclusion products to ensure full life cycle
This paper describes a process to select sand-exclusion products by uniquely
qualifying an individual product design, which includes retention media,
metallurgy, subcomponents, manufacturing process, and the final assembled
product. The technical evaluation is based on a two-tier qualification process
that "uniquely qualifies" products for purchase consideration. Step 1
of the process tests the sand-retention media for plugging potential and solids
retention. Step 2 then tests full-joint screens manufactured using media
qualified during Step 1 for burst and collapse to ensure the product meets
downhole performance specifications.
Recent testing has illustrated a range of significant conclusions that the
industry should be aware of:
- Published screen burst and collapse ratings are not always equivalent to
actual screen performance.
- Burst and collapse pressures are not equivalent to basepipe rating.
- Welds can vary by plant; therefore, screens may vary by manufacturing
- Excessive drainage layer gap leads to premature burst or collapse
- Not adjusting screen design for changes in metallurgy may lead to premature
- Delamination has been observed in some sintered retention media.
- Scaling a product design up or down without conducting a detailed
engineering analysis may lead to premature failures.
© 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- Original manuscript received:
12 August 2007
- Meeting paper published:
11 November 2007
- Manuscript approved:
10 April 2008
- Published online:
9 July 2009
- Version of record:
28 September 2009