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There have been several published techniques for selecting a gravel pack sand size to control the production of formation sand. The technique most widely used today was developed by Saucier.1 The basic premise of Saucier’s work is that optimum sand control is achieved when the median grain size of the gravel pack sand is no more than six times larger than the median grain size of the formation sand. Saucier determined this relationship in a series of core flow experiments where half the core consisted of gravel pack sand and the other half was formation sand as illustrated in Figure. The ratio of median grain size of the gravel pack sand and median grain size of the formation sand was changed over a range from two to ten to determine when optimum sand control was achieved.




                             Saucier’s Experimental Core
























The experimental procedure consisted of establishing an initial stabilized flow rate and pressure drop through the core and calculating an effective initial permeability (ki). The flow rate was increased and maintained until the pressure drop stabilized followed by a decrease in flow rate back to the initial value. Once again, pressure drop was allowed to stabilize and an effective final permeability (kf) of the core was calculated. If the final permeability was the same as the initial permeability, a conclusion was made that effective sand control was achieved with no adverse productivity effects. If the final permeability was less than the initial permeability, the conclusion was made that the formation sand was invading and plugging the gravel pack sand. In this situation sand control may be achieved, but at the expense of well productivity.

 

Gravel Pack and Sand Design - Gravel Pack Sand Sizing


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  40. Causes and Effects of Sand Production

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  45. Operational and Economic Influences

  46. Formation Strength Log

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