Sand Screen Selection Laboratory Studies: How to Understand the Results of Retention Tests and What the Variations in Particle Size Analysis Mean

Drilling and Completions


This course covers the principles and practicalities of different methods of particle sizing—why different methods give different results, when these differences are legitimate and when something may have gone wrong. The course is designed to provide attendees with an overview of what is involved in producing such measurements so that results can be viewed in a more informed way. The different methods of sand retention testing (including the inherent problems with such testing) and results interpretation will also be discussed. Finally, a variety of examples for sand control selection and details of how to commission a test matrix which gives meaningful results will also be given to make data interpretation more straightforward from both particle sizing and retention testing.

Learning Level


Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend?

This course will review and highlight the best practices and proven methods for interpretation of data and correct decision making based on this data.

Who Should Attend

Users of particle size data and/or laboratory studies for selecting sand control, including completion engineers, production technologists, and research engineers.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) will be awarded for this 1-day course.

Cancellation Policy

To receive a full refund, all cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Send cancellation requests by email to; by fax to +1.866.460.3032 (US) or +1.972.852.9292 (outside US); or mail to SPE Registration, PO Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083.


Tracey Ballard is a research advisor for Weatherford Completion Systems. She is an experimentalist with over 20 years of experience and is responsible for designing, managing, and performing research studies into aspects of sand control and particle characterization both internally and in conjunction with clients. In this role she also represents Weatherford at conferences and technical workshops. She also has experience of commissioning laboratory studies for operators.

Ballard holds a BSc in geology and PhD in petroleum engineering, both from Imperial College. She has authored publications on sand control, water transport through shales, and drilling fluid formation damage.

Steve Beare is laboratory manager for Weatherford Completion Systems. He has over 30 years of oil industry laboratory experience and was responsible for setting up and currently operates a laboratory to study drilling mud/sand screen compatibility and sand screen performance research and testing. He advises on sand control selection for specific applications.

Beare holds a BA in earth sciences from Open University and HNC (Higher National Certificate) in applied physics. He has authored publications on sand control, scale control, water transport through shales, and matrix acidisation.