Sanding in oil production and water injection wells has been a severe problem in a sandstone formation. Many technical solutions have been evaluated by Saudi Aramco. These solutions encompass mechanical sand exclusion methods such as screen, gravel packing, and frac and pack. Various production and completion practices such as controlling the production rate and following specific well completion guidelines to minimize sand production have failed to provide satisfactory returns.
Several limitations such as screen plugging and costs associated with deploying expandable screens make the current mechanical sand control practices more expensive. Chemical sand consolidation could present the most cost-effective remediation and prevention opportunity. Additionally, this would also allow the wellbore to be free of tools, screens and pack sands.
With the cost benefit and technical challenges in mind, a new chemical system was developed to effectively consolidate loose sand, which has caused injectivity and productivity decline and costly clean out operations. The newly develop chemical system is based on resin backbone with a curing agent to harden under reservoir temperature. A permeability enhancing additive is incorporated in the system to achieve excellent and controllable regained permeability of the consolidated sand pack.
This paper presents the new advancements in preventing wellbore sand production. The newly developed sand consolidation chemical was studied for their ability to consolidate loose sand and at the same time maintain good permeability. The new sand consolidation chemical system showed several key advantages over the current commercial products, including its easy mixing procedure and superior performance in consolidation strength and regained permeability. It was shown that the permeability enhancer incorporated in the new sand consolidation product is the key to maintain superior regained permeability. In addition, it was shown that the new product provides a controllable curing time up to several days, thereby avoiding any premature setting of the resin in the wellbore. Furthermore, the new system is also compatible with acids to eliminate any post-job production issues if the formation is acidized in the future.
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