Effect of Water-Cut on Sand Production - An Experimental Study
- Bailin Wu (CSIRO Petroleum) | Chee P. Tan (Schlumberger WTA Malaysia S/B) | Ning Lu (Colorado School of Mines)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- August 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 349 - 356
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 Well Completion, 5.6.9 Production Forecasting, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.2.2 Geomechanics, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 3.2.5 Produced Sand / Solids Management and Control
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It is commonly acknowledged in the petroleum industry that water cut increases sand-production risk, and a number of possible mechanisms have been proposed. This paper presents the results of a series of laboratory perforation-collapse tests aimed at demonstrating and quantifying the water-cut effect on perforation failure and sand production.
The laboratory perforation-collapse tests were conducted on weak sandstones obtained from downhole and outcrop. The tests were performed under simulated in-situ effective stresses and drawdown conditions. Water was introduced into the flowing stream of either oil or gas at various stages of the tests to simulate water cut. The failure and sand-production processes were observed and recorded using a borescope in real time.
The results showed that the effect of water cut on perforation strength and sand production depends on the mineralogical composition of the sandstone and the degree of residual water saturation. The effect is most significant for sandstones with high clay content and low residual water saturation and is less significant for clean sandtones or those with high residual water saturation. The experimental results are discussed on the basis of the chemical interaction between water and rocks—capillary stress and relative permeability. It is concluded that water-saturation-induced rock-strength reduction is the most significant factor governing perforation failure and sand production. Although perforation failure is a prerequisite for sand production, the failure does not always lead to sand production.
Sand production in the petroleum industry is a phenomenon of solid particles being produced together with reservoir fluids. Conceptually, this process may be divided into three stages: failure of the rocks surrounding an open hole or perforation, detachment of sand grains from the failed materials, and transportation of the sand grains into the wellbore and to the surface. It costs oil companies tens of billions of U.S. dollars annually (Acock et al. 2004).
Increase in water production in the late life of oil and gas fields is inevitable, be it a result of water injection or water coning. On average, oil companies today produce 3 bbl of water for each 1 bbl of oil (Bailey et al. 2000). The effect of water cut on sand production has been a major concern in the petroleum industry. It has been observed on many occasions in the field that initiation of sand production coincides with water breakthough (Veeken et al. 1991; Bruno et al. 1996). But on other occasions, it has been observed that both events do not relate to each other, and sand production may initiate before or after water breakthough (Sanfilippo et al. 1995; Skjaerstein et al. 1997). Despite these inconsistent field observations, it is generally accepted that sand-production risk increases as a result of water production.
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