Designing Effective Sand Control Systems to Overcome Problems in Water Injection Wells
- Hooman Sadrpanah (Schlumberger) | Robert David Allam (BP Exploration Co. Ltd.) | Andrew Mervyn Acock (Schlumberger) | Mark Robert Norris (Schlumberger) | Tom O'Rourke | Laurence Murray | Darrell John Wood (BP Exploration)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Europec/EAGE Annual Conference, 13-16 June, Madrid, Spain
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2005. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 2.2.2 Perforating, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 3.2.5 Produced Sand / Solids Management and Control, 2.4.6 Frac and Pack, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.8 Formation Damage, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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This paper provides guidance for selecting and designing optimum sand control systems for water injector wells. This guidance is based on a detailed study on issues and problems in water injection wells in the Foinaven field operated by BP.
Given openhole, stand-alone screen failures experienced on two Foinaven water injector wells, a water-injector sandface-completion study was commissioned with the following objectives: to review the issues and problems in water injector wells, propose possible solutions, and conduct engineering designs for water-injector sandface completions listed below.
Cased and perforated
Openhole stand-alone screens
Openhole gravel packs
Openhole frac packs
Cased hole frac packs
The paper summarises possible causes of sand control failure in the Foinaven field water injection wells and provides potential mitigations by selecting solutions using conventional and innovative technology.
The Foinaven field is located with the Schiehallion and Loyal fields approximately 190 km West of Shetland in Blocks 204/19 and 204/24a (Foinaven) and 204/20, 204/25a, 204/25b, 205/16 and 205/21b (Schiehallion and Loyal). All West of Shetlands reservoirs are prone to sand production and sand control is required in both producer and injector wells. Foinaven has 10 injection wells: 5 screen only completions and 5 cased and perforated completions. Schiehallion has 21 injection wells: 6 cased and perforated completions and 15 screen-only completions.
To date, sand control has been successful in Schiehallion based on injection performance. However, there have been two major failures in the Foinaven field, in which two out of the five screen completions have experienced screen failure, with sand fill tagged approximately 190 to 230 ft above the top of the screens. Mechanical screen failure was evident from coarse particle size distribution (PSD) of sand from the coiled tubing (CT) cleanouts on both Foinaven injector wells.
There are a number of issues that are common between water injectors and producers, including erosion and corrosion. However, injectors face other potential problems such as water hammer, well-to-well backflow, reservoir crossflow, thermal fractures, and gravel loss into fracture systems (Appendix 1). These issues were analyzed as part of the study and possible solutions were proposed. Completion techniques were ranked (specific to the Foinaven field) based on their effectiveness, reliability, practicality, risk and cost.
Issues and Problems in Injection Wells
The main issues concerning sand production in injection wells in addition to specific problems relating to the Foinaven field are discussed. To be able to design a successful sand control technique for future injection wells, it is first necessary to understand the different failure mechanisms.
Crossflow. The Foinaven injection wells experienced both flow between wells (subsea backflow) and crossflow between reservoir layers.
The Foinaven injectors are connected through the subsea system. Wellhead pressure data has shown that in the case of a shut-in, flow occurs between wells from the high-pressure wells to the wells with lower wellhead pressure. One solution to this problem is the use of one-way valves.
Crossflow between reservoir layers occurs when differential pressure exists between two layers. The crossflow is normally from the low-permeability layer to the high- permeability layer when the injectors are shut-in. Obviously there are exceptions caused by the geological structure, production and injection profiles, and the presence of different pressure regimes across the layers.
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