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Sand Management and Sand Control

In recent years, I have not seen any significant changes in the systems used for sand control, and I have been wondering why. It may have more to do with our confidence and comfort in our current approaches than with not having any Earth-shattering new ideas. The phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” is probably valid in this case.

The necessity has been evident in the ways that our industry has expanded the capabilities of the existing systems that we already use successfully. These expansions are in a great many areas—temperature, pressure, size, length, materials used, modeling capabilities, reliability, complexity, and more.

I think it is safe to say that the engineers and companies involved, in either building or using sand-control systems, have made significant strides and have added critical learnings to our industry. I expect that we will have another revolution or revelation in sand management or sand control. As an example, development of unconventional and tight-rock assets is causing our industry to develop novel approaches to the tools and the pumping processes that are used. I am already seeing some of those ideas showing up in the modifications to our proven sand-control systems.

In line with this broader scope of sand-control systems and methods, this feature, previously called Sand Management and Frac Pack, is being renamed. The new name is Sand Management and Sand Control. This new name recognizes that there is a range of systems and approaches that continue to be used by our industry as we work to provide the best approach for each asset that we develop. I am confident that you, our readers, will agree with this broader scope.

The papers selected for this feature focus on some remarkable adaptations based on standard systems and problems that we have faced for years. These papers highlight multizone applications, erosion tolerance, and shale stability and control. All of these are dealt with every day, in various ways, by completion engineers around the world.

This Month's Technical Papers

Enhanced Sand-Control System Successfully Treats Six Zones in Offshore Indonesia Well

Flow Segmentizers Reduce Erosion of Standalone-Sand-Screen Completion

Thermoelectric Nanomaterial Improves Shale Stability

Recommended Additional Reading

OTC 24884 Single-Trip Multizone Gravel-Packing Case History Improves Anticipated Production From the Berantai Field by E. Damasena, Petrofac Energy Development, et al.

SPE 169440 Design and Validation of an Improved Shunt-Tube System by A. Bonner, Halliburton, et al.

SPE 168636 Evolution of Frac-Pack Design and Completion Procedures for High-Permeability Gas Wells in Subsea Service by Vibhas J. Pandey, ConocoPhillips, et al.

R.J. Wetzel, SPE, is a drilling and completions senior adviser and team lead for the SandFace Completions Team at Chevron Energy Technology Company. He has more than 32 years of experience in all geographic areas and in various aspects of drilling, completions, and workover. Wetzel has held technical, operations, and management roles and has been involved with the design or deployment of more than 3,000 wells. In addition to supplying support for Chevron’s business units through the SandFace Completions Team, he also participates in numerous design reviews of Chevron’s Major Capital Projects around the world, with specific focus on the drilling-and-completions design selection and deployment plans. Wetzel holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee.

Sand Management and Sand Control

R.J. Wetzel, SPE, Drilling and Completions Senior Advisor and Team Lead, Chevron Energy Technology Company

01 October 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 10

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