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Sand Management in Poorly Consolidated Formations

5 – 6 March 2014

Baku, Azerbaijan | JW Marriott Absheron Baku

Technical Agenda


This event is multilingual. Sessions will be delivered in Azeri, Russian, and English.

Wednesday, 5 March

Session 1: Sand Production Mechanisms

Session Managers: Jamie Andrews, Fevzi Gumrah, Baghir Suleymanov and Hans Vaziri
The development of a successful sand control strategy requires an understanding of the sand production mechanisms during the life of a well. Sand failure is a two-step process

  • Step 1 relates to the mechanical failure of the bonding between sand grains
  • Step 2 concerns the erosion and transport of grains post failure

Several methodologies exist for the prediction of initial failure, ranging from simple analogue studies to analytical models and on to numerical models. The granular nature of rock makes the characterisation of sand strength a multi-parameter problem where strength cannot be captured in one simple number. Issues with limited core material, core damage and natural variation further complicate this. Modelling of step 2 can be even more challenging. By its very nature this step requires complicated models with many input parameters that often lack validation from field data where sanding tendencies have been mapped accurately.

This session presents the experiences from the Caspian region, the sand characteristics of the Caspian region reservoirs and global analogue field experiences on sand movement and production mechanisms.

Session 2: Wells Performance and Sand Management - Producers

Session Managers:  Wahaj Baig, Gabil Kelbikhanov and Lukas Ostrowski

Successful sand management is fundamental to the success of any field development in sand prone reservoirs. Highly stressed, poorly consolidated and weakly cemented producers in the Caspian region and other analogous fields face many challenges, including but not limited to a high percentage of fine grain sand particles with limited mitigation options.

Sand production is perhaps the single biggest factor contributing to production deferrals while the root cause(s) may not be fully understood. The various sandface designs, plugging scenarios, failure aspects, operational practices, performance analyses and other related topics will be addressed in the session. Views on how to approach some of these challenges will be sought in this group discussion.

Session 3: Wells Performance and Sand Management - Injectors

Session Managers: Max Baumert and Riad Salayev

Including sand control in a water injector brings benefits as well as drawbacks.  With sand control, the vulnerability to water hammer, backflow and crossflow are minimised.  But by placing a filter (ESS, WWS, gravel pack) downhole, the risk of erosion or internal plugging due to a water quality upset is introduced.

Do we see field evidence of these?  Why do some cased and perforated injectors last for many years in unconsolidated sand?  How can a cased and perforated injector be designed and operated to avoid sand-up (e.g., single zone perfs, check valve, controlled ramp during shutdown)?  Is sand control required for multi-zone (ICD/ICV) injectors?  What design yields the lowest risk of injector failure?

This session address the experience from the Caspian region as well as the global analogue field experiences on sand management in injector wells.

Session 4: Wells Surveillance and Sand Monitoring

Session Managers: Bahram Huseynov, Ilkam Mukhametshin and Randy Simonds

Quantifying the performance of any sand control method can be problematic.  Monitoring well performance and how that enables good sand management decisions and practices is an important factor in the project’s long term success.  While much focus is obviously downhole, the role of topside monitoring methods and suitability should be understood.

This session will explore various aspects of performance monitoring by well type, comparing methods of monitoring, and design factors for sand control success, especially as it relates to erosion, corrosion, and other classic failure mechanisms. Evaluation of the failure mechanisms and diagnostics will also be discussed.

Thursday, 6 March

Session 5: Sand Control: Current Status and Future Needs

Session Managers: Alan Bell, Jean-Noel Furgier, Patrick Keatinge and Mehmet Parlar

In this session, we will discuss the challenge of selecting the right sand control technique for the right application. This will cover selection criteria, best practices, performance indicators and well operating limitations.

Finding the right balance between sand control and sand management is vital. Can we compare the costs and the limitations of each?

The expectations in terms of well functionality are always increasing: robustness, allowing zone conformance, down hole flow control and surveillance, repairing capabilities, etc. Where should we set our goals?

Session 6: Sandface Failure Detection and Remediation Options

Session Managers: Stefano Buono, Colin Jones and Suzanne Stewart

The reasons for the failure of a sand control system are often difficult to determine, with numerous contributory factors.  Analysis of failures can give some potential hypotheses but it is often challenging to isolate the root cause.   The various risk factors can be identified prior to the completion of a well and the risk mitigated by proactive management of the well or field.

Once a well has failed then a remedial treatment can be used to potentially cure the sand production.  These range from simple plugs, through straddles, to chemical consolidation and through tubing sand control.  Knowledge of the whereabouts of the failure within the well is key to success, but location is also challenging. This session will discuss the detection and remediation options

Session 7: What’s New in the Marketplace

Session Managers: Neil Oakey and Agamamed Sultanov

Sand control is vital to reliable production in many sandstone reservoirs where sand can present a major challenge to well production. The petroleum industry spends or loses millions of dollars each year on sand control, or repair of issues related to its failure, including reduced production rates, remedial interventions, erosion of equipment, and sand disposal and removal.

Service providers play a major role in designing and developing new advanced sand management solutions for downhole tools and equipment, as well as surface pumping equipment, fluid processing facilities, and sand filtration/removal systems.

In this session we will learn about and discuss new solutions in development, plus those nearing release or recently released to the marketplace.

Wrap-Up Session

Session Managers: Wahaj Baig and Tarald Svanes

Summary wrap-up from all the workshop sessions.