Facilities Sand Management for the Upstream Oil & Gas Industry

Disciplines: Production and Operations | Projects, Facilities, and Construction

Course Description

Facilities Sand Management is tasked with the goal of ensuring sustained hydrocarbon production when particulate solids are present in well fluids, while minimizing the impact of these produced solids on surface equipment. Conventional sand management focuses on sand exclusion from the wellbore, either by production limits or completion design. Improper or failed completions result in high levels of sand production, and even proper completions will still pass some quantities of sand.

An inclusion paradigm that all oil & gas wells produce sand, either now or in the future, deals with co-production of fluids and solids. A solids handling methodology incorporating separation, collection, cleaning, dewatering, transport, and disposal into new or existing facilities simplifies production operations, extends facilities life, restarts shut-in wells, can improve total hydrocarbon recovery, and allows sustainable hydrocarbon production.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define and characterize oil and gas produced solids including key terms and concepts
  • Design and specify piping, valves, and instruments for facilities with solids production
  • Detail the five-step methodology for solids handling system design - separate, collect, clean, dewater, and transport – and how to integrate these steps into new or existing facilities
  • Understand the operation and specify the design for key unit processes including liquid desander, multiphase (wellhead) desander, screen-filters, cyclonic jetting, and sand cleaning systems
  • Identify a proper solids disposal route and how to design a dewatering and transport system into the solids handling system to meet the disposal requirements

Learning Level

Intermediate to Advanced

Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend

All oil and gas wells produce sand. Proper Facilities Sand Management simplifies production operations, extends facilities life, restarts shut-in wells, and can improve total hydrocarbon recovery.

Who Attends

Engineers and operators involved with design and operation of facilities (onshore, offshore, or subsea) where sand production is an issue.

Special Requirements

Participants should be familiar with oil and water treatment equipment, processes, and systems, especially separations technologies with mechanical design including ASME Section VIII for Pressure Vessels, ASME B31.3 for Process Piping, and API-6A for Wellhead Equipmentwould be useful. If appropriate, bring relevant facilities designs and sand production problems to use as in-class exercises.


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

Additional Resources

This course has a supplemental book located in our SPE Bookstore entitled Sand Control. Please check out this valuable resource!

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page. Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will. Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.


Dr. Hank Rawlins, P.E. is the Technical Director of eProcess Technologies with 25 years’ experience in the upstream oil & gas industry. He actively conducts research in Facilities Sand Management, Produced Water Treatment, and Compact Separations Systems - and blogs weekly, teaches courses, and has fiftysix publications on these topics.

Dr. Rawlins will be serving as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer for the 2018-2019 season where he will be speaking on Facilities Sand Management. Hank has served as the chair of the SPE Separations Technology Technical Section (2013-2015), was an SME Henry Krumb Lecturer (2011-2012), and co-authored the PEH Chapter on Produced Water Treatment. Dr. Rawlins holds a PhD in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, and serves as adjunct professor at Montana Tech.