A New Method for the Design and Selection of Premium/Woven Sand Screens

S Mondal and MM Sharma and RM Hodge and RA Chanpura and M Parlar and JA Ayoub, SPE DRILLING & COMPLETION, 27, 406-415 (2012).

Woven-metal-mesh sand screens, commonly known as premium screens, have been used extensively by the industry. Sand-retention testing is often executed to evaluate the performance of these screens and to establish empirical guidelines for screen-size selection. These tests are tedious, however, and the results are prone to artifacts and have been used, at best, to correlate trends in sand-retention performance with select sand-size-distribution parameters. A new method incorporating results from numerical modeling, in addition to experimental data, is presented to estimate the mass and size distribution of the produced solids in prepack sand-retention tests (SRTs) through premium screens. This method provides a fast, reliable correlation to estimate sand production through premium mesh screens when the size distribution of the formation sand is known. This paper presents results from a wide range of pre-pack sand-retention experiments. In these tests, which represent complete hole collapse, the mass of sand produced and its size distribution over time are measured. Results of 3D, discrete-element computer simulations of woven-screen geometry placed in contact with granular sandpacks of approximately 100,000 particles are also presented. On the basis of both the simulations and the experiments, a new method for screen selection is presented. This method is based on a correlation that allows one to use the entire sand-size distribution of the formation sand and to estimate the mass and size distribution of the produced sand. The method is validated by comparisons with experimental data. A new method and new correlations for estimating the mass and size distribution of produced solids in prepack tests through premium screens are presented. Key differences in sand-retention mechanisms between premium screens and wire-wrapped screens (WWSs) have been identified. The method uses the entire-formation sand-size distribution (as opposed to a single design point), and has been validated with laboratory tests. The method also helps in screening anomalous test results.

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