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Sand and chalk production

Sand production may create serious operational problems such as well loss and erosion of pipelines and process facilities, as well as environmental and safety problems. A common solution is to install sand control equipment like screens, gravel packs and frac-packs. However, SINTEF works on far more cost effective solutions like limiting and managing sand production.

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We investigate the sand onset and production rate in conditions as close as possible to the field. To this end, we combine our experimental capabilities with analytical and numerical models. We use the lab results to develop, validate and qualify our in-house sand prediction analytical and numerical models and tools for sand onset and sand rate, such as SandPredictor and SAND_FEM. Both models are well established in the industry and they offer the state of the art in sand prediction.

Chalk production and chalk influx may lead to well losses due to chalk influxes plugging the wells. Sudden chalk influxes of liquefied chalk are caused by high drawdowns and depletions and the weak, high porosity but low permeability chalk. A common solution is to stimulate the wells to increase productivity and reduce drawdowns coupled with various mechanical or other means of stabilization in place of the near wellbore chalk.

SINTEF combines modeling with realistic field experiments on chalk analogues to predict the critical drawdown to mitigate chalk influxes, the optimum depletion to prevent severe damage of the weak chalk and generally provide both operational guidelines on how to manage production in mature chalk fields and how to improve the in situ near wellbore stability of chalk.

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