Sand Control for Heavy Oil Development

Reservoir Description and Dynamics

Course Description

This course reviews fundamental sand control design for heavy oil development with a focus on cold primary production and thermal application. It goes on to detail the mechanisms, applications, and challenges of the various sand control options in both vertical and horizontal applications. It mainly focuses on a practical project requiring the participants to apply what they have learned by selecting, designing and presenting the most appropriate sand control completion for several case study wells for both cold primary and thermal application. The course reviews several field failure examples and case studies to guide engineers to better understand the factors contributing to sand control failure and how they can operate their wells to minimize the failure potential.


  • Thermal design concepts
  • Understanding the failure mechanism of sand control products and the best practices in design, installation and operation
  • Mechanical integrity of sand control
  • Life cycle integrity assessment
  • Well completion and the impact on sand control

Learning Level

Introductory to Intermediate

Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend

This training is geared towards petroleum engineers and production managers who wish to strengthen their technical understanding of sand control and to make confident purchasing decisions.

Who Attends

Completion, drilling, reservoir, and production engineers involved in sand control design, installation and operating wells with sand control completion.

Special Requirements

Laptop, each participant, for some basic exercises and electronic material distributed during the course.


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

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.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


Mahdi Mahmoudi is a graduate of the University of Alberta where he obtained a PhD in petroleum engineering. He has been involved in sand control design and evaluation testing in conventional and thermal production for over a decade. His academic and industrial background focused on drilling and well completion. Mahmoudi has authored or co-authored over 30 technical conference publications about sand control design, evaluation, drill string failure, and risk assessment in drilling and well completion. He is currently working as a research engineer developing RGL’s proLAB™.

Jeff Cyre is a drilling and completions engineer with 15 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry. Graduating in 2000 from the University of Alberta in civil engineering, he continued his education and completed a master’s in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 2002. Cyre joined Shell Oil in 2003, working offshore in the Gulf of Mexico before progressing to the unconventional oil division working on thermal projects in Wyoming, Colorado, and internationally in Jordan, Morocco and China. In 2012 he joined MEG Energy and advanced his SAGD drilling and completions experience with the second lowest cost SAGD operator in Alberta.

Vahid Fattahpour has been involved in sand control design and testing in conventional and thermal production for over 10 years in North America and the Middle East. His diverse academic and industrial background includes physical modeling and experimental test and facility design for petroleum geomechanics, rock mechanics and geotechnics in Iran, Hong Kong and Canada. Prior to working at RGL, Fattahpour was a post-doctoral research assistant at the University of Hong Kong and a post-doctoral fellow and research associate at the University of Alberta. He is currently the research and development manager in charge of RGL's proLAB. He manages R&D research projects including the design, testing and business aspects of sand control solutions. Fattahpour completed his PhD and MS in rock mechanics at the University of Tehran 2012 and achieved a BS in mining engineering at Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran in 2004.