The evolution of sand control from historical water wells to recommendations for 15,000 ft+ horizontal oil/gas wells.
This summary article backgrounds the need for formation sand entry prevention in downhole producing wells from man's first dumping of rocks into water wells drilled with rock or iron tools. Thousands of years later, the oil/gas industry invented basic gravel pack and sand screen methods to prevent inflow of unconsolidated formation sands. Now the drilling of horizontal boreholes over 15,000-ft long has created ever new challenges and need for sand control in extremely long sand intervals.
The discussion covers this story with: 1) A historical review; 2) Basic barefoot, gravel pack and stand-alone screen completions; 3) Selecting sand control type for a horizontal well; and 4) Innovation for future use.
HISTORY OF SAND CONTROL
Way, way back, when early humans needed water, they dug water wells with their hands. Then they needed more water, so they began using tools to drill into sand beds. They found that they could work faster and go deeper by using a heavy rock or iron as a percussion tool, like a yo-yo, to cut through to the water bearing sand.
Water-well technology. Sand problems were born. Loose sand was coming up with the water or falling to the bottom of the well, stopping the water flow. They were able to prevent the problem by filling a small part of the well with large rocks.
Much beyond the rock-dumping era, better ways to stop sand production and maintain high water production rates were developed. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they cut holes in liners to stop sand production, and later found they could drop gravel down the annulus to form gravel packs that gave even better results. Oil companies quickly modified sand control techniques to handle deeper and dirtier wells.
Oil industry advances. Perforated liners were popular in the early 20th century, without... [continues]
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(2005, 10). Sand Control in Horizontal Wells. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Sand-Control-Horizontal-Wells-66180.html
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