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Society of Petroleum Engineers

SPE 31087

Selection of Screen Slot Width to Prevent Plugging and Sand Production


P. Markestad, SPE, and 0. Christie, RF- Rogaland Research, and Aa. Espedal, SPE, Statoil,
and 0. R0rvik, SPE, Saga Petroleum as;

Copyright, 1996, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Inc.


This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Formation Damage Control Symposium
held in Lafayette, U.S.A., 14-15 February, 1996.
This paper was selected for presentation be an SPE Program committee following review of
information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). C_ontents of the pap.er, as
presented have not been reviewed by the society of Petroleum Eng1neers and.are subject to
correction by the author(s). The materi.al, as ~res~nted, does not necessanly reflect and
position of the society of Petroleum Engineers, 11 off1cers, or members. Papers prese~ted at
SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the soc1ety of
Petroleum Engineers. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of no.t more th~n 300
words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should con!a1n. con.splcuous
acknowledgement of where and by whom the paper was presented. Wnte L1branan, SPE,
P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax (+1) 214-952-9435.

screen depends on the largest particles in the mixture. He


suggested that screen completions should be designed with
screen slots that were 2 times wider than the d 10 of the
formation sand. He did not address the problem of screens
becoming plugged by fines from the formation sand. This
criterion has been used in California, while slot widths equal
to d 10 has been used on the U.S. Gulf Coast area (Ref. 4).
In this paper it is shown that the design criterion
suggested by Coberly, or any other criteria based on a single
point on the particle size distribution curve, can not
adequately describe either sand production or plugging of
single wrapped screen. Instead a method is developed where a
more complete description of the particle size distribution is
used to predict the plugging and sand control properties of
single wrapped screens.
The study described in this paper has been limited to one
screen type, single wrapped screens, and erosion of the
screens have not been considered. An extension of the study
is currently being planned that will include alternative screen
designs, and also compare the susceptibility of the various
screen types to erosion.

Abstract
A numerical model has been developed that addresses both
plugging of, and sand production through single wrapped
screens. The model was developed on the basis of a fractal
model for the particle size distribution of reservoir sands. A
database of sand types from the North Sea and Haltenbanken
areas was established. Principal component analysis was
used to reduce the number of significant variables in the
database, and to provide a basis for a prediction model for
critical slot widths. A series of laboratory experiments were
performed, and four critical slot widths were identified for
each sand type, defining a safe design interval for screen slot
width. A mathematical model was developed that can be
used to predict the critical slot widths for other sand types
from the area.

Description of the particle size distribution


In a traditional presentation of the results from a sieve
analysis, the accumulated mass percentage of particles larger
than a certain diameter is plotted on a semi-logarithmic
scale.
Since the particle distribution is plotted as a function of
particle mass, the distribution function will emphasise the
largest particles. When the purpose is to describe plugging
of screen slots, it is more relevant to concentrate on the
smaller particles. It is obvious that a particle matrix with
zero porosity will be able to plug a screen slot completely
as long as it contains particles large enough to be retained
by the slot.
Such a particle mixture must consist of large particles
with smaller particles that fit into the pores between the
large particles, still smaller particles that fit into the pores
between the small particles, and so on down to the
molecular level (Fig. 1). Finally, mathematical speaking,
there will be an infinite number of infinitely small particles
with an infinitely small total volume. This type of particle
size distribution is described by Kaye in Ref. 5. The
function is based on the number of particles instead of
particle mass. The accumulated number of particles larger
than a certain diameter is described by the p.ower function

Introduction
Single, wire wrapped screens with keystone shaped wire
have been used to control sand production in oil and gas
wells since the 1930's. They have the advantage over
prepacked screens in that they do not become pl~gged as
easily by drilling mud. Furthermore they functiOn as a
surface filter, where the plugging material is easily removed,
whereas prepacked screens are depth filters where plugging
material tends to get trapped inside the prepack.
Single wrapped screens do, however, have a reputation
for being susceptible to plugging and/or sand production
when designed according to the various traditional criteria
(Refs. 1 and 2). This indicates that the design criteria for
single wrapped screen completions should be revised.
Sand control with screens is basically a function of the
relationship between particle size and screen slot width. The
pioneering work was published by Coberly (Ref.3) in 1937.
Coberly concluded that spherical particles could generally be
retained when the slot width was 2.5 times the particle
diameter or smaller. He also stated that in a mixture of
particles of different size, the sand control properties of a

155

SELECTION OF SCREEN SLOT WIDTH TO PREVENT

.............

SPE 31087

PLUGGING AND SAND PRODUCTION

N(d;;,di)=K(

~ir

types in the data base. Some examples are shown in Figs.


3 and 4.

(I)

Creating a sand type database


Sieve analysis data for 97 different sand types from thre
fields (Field A, B and C) the North Sea and Haltenbanken
areas were analysed. Nine different parameters describing
particle size and particle size. distribution were calculated for
the various sands and entered in a database. These were the
standard parameters d 90, d50, d40 and d 10 , as well as the
sorting coefficient c 11 , and 4 parameters related to the fractal
particle size distribution model:
fi
which is the fractal dimension of the finer sand
fraction
f2
which is the fractal dimension of the coarser sand
fraction
Inti which is the intercept between the two straight lines
in microns
Int2 which is the mass percentage of particles larger than

In a logarithmic plot this distribution will be represented


as a straight line with the slope f. The constant K is a
proportionality constant that depends on the size of the
sample. It is not important for the sand properties.
This function is also called a fractal particle size
ditribution, and the exponent f of eq. (1) is equal to the
fractal dimension of the sand matrix.
Theoretical arguments, that are beyond the scope of this
paper, indicate that a particle distribution with 2<f <3 can
have close to zero porosity and permeability. Such a sand is
likely to plug sand control screens.
Experience from the analysis of many North Sea field
sands shows, that most sands have different values off over
and under a certain grain diameter: dk. Over dk, f is typically
larger than 2, while under dk, f is frequently smaller than 2.
In such a sand, for the part with />2 and d >db the
smaller grains more than fill up the pore space between the
larger grains, and one can expect the sand to be relatively
stable. Smaller grains can not move through the matrix of
larger grains, e.g. during fluid flow through the matrix.
Also, if dk is not too small, this part of the sand taken
separately will have a finite porosity and permeability since
it is filled with connected pores of approximate size dk.
The situation is the opposite in the part with grains
smaller than dk and f<2. The sum of sand of all grains sizes
will have a final volume, when the distribution continues
down to smaller sizes ad infinitum. One can expect this part
of the sand to be rather loose. Smaller grains do not quite
fill up the pore space between the larger grains, and may
under certain conditions be able to migrate through the
matrix of the larger grains.
If the largest grain sizes of the first part of the sand are
large enough to bridge the slots in a sand control screen,
this is a favourable sand mixture concerning sand control.
The part of the distribution withf>2 would make a stable,
permeable surrounding for the screen. The part with f<2
would be produced through sand matrix and screen slots,
rather than plugging the sand matrix. However, only the
relatively small part of the sand close to the screen would
experience a liquid or gas flow swift enough to become
mobilised and be produced.
In the laboratory experiments, plugging and sand
production only occurred on some occasions when the
inflow into the screen came from below, and a fluidized sand
bed was created. The mechanism behind this plugging is not
completely understood. However, the tendency to plug the
screen did correlate with the value of f. The sands with an
unfavourable f value for the fine particles according to the
argument above, i.e. close to 2, had the tendency to plug
larger slot widths than sand with a f close to 1. It may
seem, that the fluidization process tends to more efficiently
pack an unfavourable size distribution, and thereby further
reduce an already low permeability.
The distribution function in eq. 1 can be fitted to normal
sieve analysis data if one assumes that the sand grains are
roughly spherical and one counts the number of particles
retained by each sieve size. This was done for all the sand

Inti

Samples of data from the database are shown in Table 1.

Principal component analysis


Prior to the laboratory testing, the database was subjected to
a principal component analysis. The purpose of this
analysis was:
1. To identify typical sands for further testing.
2. To define a test matrix that would be suitable for
formulating a prediction model for sand production and
plugging of the screens.
3. To find out whether there are typical differences between
the various oil fields and other underlying structures in
the data set.
4. To identify which ones of the 9 variables in the database
that are most important for the variations in the data.
Principal component analysis is a standard method of
multivariate analysis. Very briefly explained, the
dimensionality of the data set is reduced by this method if
there is some degree of correlation between the original
variables. The first principal component, PCi, represents
the direction in the n-dimensional space of variables with
the largest correlations in the data. The second principal
component, PC2, is orthogonal to PC1 and represents the
direction with the next largest correlation, and so on until
no further useful description is achieved by adding more
principal components. The contributions from the original
variables to the principal components are called loadings,
and the set of loadings define the direction of the principal
component vectors. Each data point is characterised by a set
of score values, which are the projections, or co-ordinates,
of the datapoints on the principal component vectors.
The principal component analysis was performed on the
9 variables in the database described above.
Each significant Principal component is often interpreted
as representing a principal property, some underlying
process that manifests itself in the observed variables. In
this case analysis of the loadings show that PCi can be
considered as a general measure of absolute particle size,
while PC2 can be considered as a measure of the content and
sorting of fine particles in the sand. Sands with low scores
156

SPE 31087

P. MARKESTAD, 0. CHRISTIE, AA. ESPEDAL, 0. R0RVIK

on PCJ and PC2 are fine and badly sorted, while sands with
high scores on PCJ and PC2 are coarse and well sorted.
It was found that these two principal components were
the most important ones for describing plugging and sand
control of single wrapped screens. The first component,
PCJ, explained 48% of the variation in the data and PC2
explained 24%, in total 72% of the total variance for the
first 2 principal components.
The principal component analysis effectively reduces the
number of variables from 9 to 2.
A total of 5 sand types were chosen for laboratory
testing. The sand types and their database entries are shown
in Table 1. They were chosen on the basis of their scores
on PC1 and PC2 as illustrated in Fig. 2. Particle size
distribution curves are shown in Figs. 3,4 and 5.
The principal component analysis showed that there were
no typical variation in the particle size distribution between
the various North Sea fields. Neither were there any
significant regional difference between the North Sea and the
Haltenbanken.

pressures sensors. One measures the differential pressures


created by flow through 150 mm of sand pack well away
from the screen. The other measures the differential pressure
across the screen and 5 em of sand adjacent to the screen.
The positions of the differential pressure measuring points
is illustrated in Fig. 6.
The concept of using a flow cell filled with loose,
unstressed sand was chosen because it was felt that this
would represent the worst case situation for sand production.
Differential pressures and flow rates as indicated in
Fig. 7 were logged on a computer running a data
acquisition program. Sand production was measured in a
graduated cylinder placed below the sand trap.
The actual particle size distribution of the formation sand
was approximated by mixing a range of sands with known
particle size distribution. The cell was flooded with single
phase, synthetic seawater during all the tests since this
represents a worst case situation with no capillary forces.
Test procedures. Each sand was tested against screens
with slot widths ranging from 100 to 800 microns.
Each test .consisted of two parts. Initially the cell was
completely filled with sand and oriented with the screen at
the bottom. In this situation the screen was always in direct
contact with the sand. This corresponds to a well where the
annulus outside the screen is completely filled with sand.
In the second part of the test the cell was oriented with
the screen on top, and 3-4 em of sand was removed. This
was done to simulate an annulus that is not completely
filled with sand. In this situation liquid flowing towards the
screen will fluidize the sand and lift it towards the screen.
Fluid flow through the sand typically caused some
separation of fine material. Both sand production and
plugging did occur more easily in this situation.

Experimental procedures
Identification of main experimental parameters.
In a typical North Sea sandstone reservoir, the variation in
both particle size and distribution is large. The permeability
often varies by a factor of 100 within the reservoir. Thus,
design criteria that specifies one single optimum slot width
for each sand type are not very useful because it will be very
difficult to chose which sand to use as a basis for the design.
It would be more relevant to define a range of acceptable slot
widths for each sand type, and then attempt to select a screen
that will fit into this range for all the sand types in the
completed interval.
This approach was adopted in the present study. Four
slot widths were determined for each sand type:
d__
the largest slot size where severe plugging was
frequently observed.
d_
the smallest slot size where no plugging was
observed.
d+
the largest slot size where sand production did not
occur.
d++
the smallest slot size where continuous sand
production did occur.
The d __ and d++ slot widths should be considered as
extreme lower and upper limits that should not normally be
exceeded, while d_ and d+ are lower and upper limits for an
ideal screen design.
The other parameters that were recorded during the
experiments were:
Amount of produced sand and sand production mode
(initial, intermittent, continuous)
Permeability ratio and skin factor for each sand type, slot
width and flow rate
Nature of plugging (permanent or removable)
Particle size distribution of produced sand.
Experimental set up. The screen filtration experiments
were performed in a radial flow cell as illustrated in
Figs. 6 and 7. The experimental set-up consisted of an
adjustable pump, a radial flow cell representing a 22.5
section of a well with a 7 .5" screen, a sand trap and a fluid
reservoir. The radial cell was fitted with 2 differential

Experimental results
The critical slot widths, determined from the experiments are
presented in Table 2.

157

Discussion
General flow properties. A sand control screen will
necessarily restrict the fluid flow into the well to some
degree, even when it is functioning as intended. Intuitively,
one should expect that the degree of flow restriction would
be a function of the screen slot width, the particle size
distribution of the sand, and maybe the rate of flow through
the screen. This turned out not to be the case, however, as
the skin factor varied unsystematically between 0.0 and 0.5
for all the sands and screen slot widths. Even if the
permeability of the sand varied from 0.2 Darcy for All to
20 Darcy forB 19. This can not be considered to be a serious
flow restriction, and it can be concluded that single screen
completions will not significantly restrict well production
as long as they function as intended.
The slot area is typically only 5-10% of the total screen
area. Fluid flow will converge on the slots, and the fluid
velocity will increase by a factor of 10-20 through the
slots, depending on the slot width and the width of the
wrapped wire. The converging flow results in a differential
pressure that is higher than expected from the Darcy
equation, where it appears as the observed skin factor. In
this way the flow properties of the screen is very dependent

SELECTION OF SCREEN SLOT WIDTH TO PREVENT

SPE 31087

PLUGGING AND SAND PRODUCTION


slot width, d+, varied from 100 micron for All to 400
micron for B 10. In all the tests the risk of sand production
is underestimated by the Coberly criterion, while the Gulf
Coast criterion both over and underestimates it. The results
presented in Table 3 clearly show that other parameters
than d 10 must be important when choosing the slot width of
sand control screens.

on the permeability of a thin layer of sand immediately next


to the screen. If the permeability of this layer is decreased by
contamination by fine particles, the skin factor will be high.
If the finer particles are produced away from this sand layer,
the skin factor will be low or negative. This conclusion is
supported by Runar Mfl)ller in Ref. 6. He showed that the
fines content of the layer of sand next to a screen tends to
become reduced with time, resulting in a small and often
negative skin factor.

Prediction of critical slot widths. A mathematical


model for prediction of the critical slot widths was fitted to
the experimental data by the least squares method. Several
models, both using the principal components and various
combinations of the 9 original variables in the database,
were tested against the experimental data. The best results
were achieved with the following model

Plugging of single wrapped screens. Plugging was


defined as a situation where the differential pressure across
the screen is more than two times as high as expected from
the Darcy equation.
Plugging was never observed in the screen down
position. In the screen up position, representing an annulus
which is not completely filled with loose sand, plugging
occurred to some degree for all the tested sand types except
for All. The severity of the plugging, and the width of the
slots that can be plugged depends on the particle size
distribution of the sand. Plugging was more likely to occur
when the flow was started suddenly at a relatively high rate.
Plugging in the screen up position was initiated by the
following mechanism: When fluid was flowing towards the
screen, the finest fraction of particles from the sand was
separated from the bulk of the sand and transported towards
the screen. These particles formed a filter cake along the
screen slots with a much lower permeability than the bulk
sand, restricting flow through the screen slots. This process
was typical for situations where the flow was initiated
suddenly, corresponding to a well that is brought on stream
suddenly at a high rate.
When the rate of flow was increased gradually, the first
particles that were separated from the bulk of the sand tended
to be small enough to pass through the screens. As the fluid
velocity increased, particles large enough to be retained by
the screen was lifted. But since most of the fines had already
been produced the resulting filtercake did not have a
sufficiently low permeability to significantly restrict the
flow through the slots.
This mechanism can also explain why plugging was not
observed for the All. This sand has a very high fines
content, dominating the permeability of the bulk sand which
is very low. A filtercake consisting of the finest fraction of
the sand will not have a permeability that is significantly
different from the permeability of the bulk sand, and thus do
not reduce productivity through the screens.
The filter cake that formed along the slots when they
became plugged, was generally thin and could be easily
removed. It would often fall off by gravity alone if left
without fluid flow for some time. But some particles were
able to invade the slots and got trapped there. There are
however, no indications from the differential pressure
measurements that the trapped particles reduce the overall
flow efficiency of the screens.
Sand control properties of single screens. In
Table 3 the results from the present study are compared
with Coberly's criterion of 2d 10 (Ref. 3) and with the Gulf
Coast criterion of ld JO (Ref. 4 ). It is clear that sand is
generally produced through much narrower slots than 2
times the d 10 of the sand. The d 10 diameters are very similar
for the A 11, B 10 and C31 sands, but the largest sand free

dail

f3o + fJ/1 + fJ2t2 + fJ12t/2

(2)

Here dcrit is the predicted critical slot width, {30, ... /312 is a
set of constants, and t 1 and t2 are the score values, or coordinates, on the first two principal components. The
predicted values are compared with the observed values from
the laboratory experiments in Table 4. The difference
between the observed and predicted values are less than 50
microns which is approximately half the typical step of 100
micron between two consecutive screen sizes. This indicates
that the accuracy of the prediction model is equal or better
than the accuracy of the experiments. The accuracy of the
prediction model cannot be evaluated statistically because of
the limited number of experiments. Two more sand types
have been tested to verify the model, however, and the
observed results are very similar to the predicted critical slot
widths.
The predicted values for the critical slot widths are
plotted as a function of PC 1 and PC2 in Figs. 8 to 11.
From Figs. 8 and 9 one can see that the risk of
screens being plugged is high for fine sands and for coarse
sands with a large fraction of fine material. As expected, the
risk of plugging the screens is low for coarse, well sorted
sands. But the risk of plugging is also reduced for fine sands
with a high fines content. This is maybe surprising, but it
means that the original permeability of these sands are so
low that it is in the same range as the permeability of the
filter cake.
In Fig. 10 one can observe that sand control is a
function both of the particle size and the degree of sorting
and content of small particles. For fine sands, a low score
on PC2, indicating a badly sorted sand with a lot of fines,
will increase the risk of sand production. But for coarse sand
with high scores on PCI, a low score on PC2 will reduce
the risk of sand production.
Once the data from the principal component analysis and
the set of constants (from eq. 2) for the critical slot widths
are known, the prediction model is easily implemented in a
standard spreadsheet. A simple, user-friendly computer
program for the design of screen slot widths is currently
being developed.

158

Screen design. The screens for a completion will


typically have to be ordered long before the well is actually
drilled through the reservoir, and the screen slot width will
have to be based on samples from other wells in the area.
For this reason, the ideal solution would be to identify a

SPE 31087

P. MARKESTAD, 0. CHRISTIE, AA. ESPEDAL, 0. R0RVIK

typical screen slot width in advance that could be used for


the whole reservoir with small variations.
A possible method to achieve this is presented in
Fig. 12. Here the critical slot widths are plotted for all the
samples from Field A. Screen slot width design is then a
matter of drawing a straight, horizontal line through the
graph that intersects the critical slot width curves as seldom
as possible. A possible solution is shown in Fig. 12.
By this method one can:
Find the optimal screen slot width for a reservoir or part
of a reservoir.
Identify sand types that are well suited to screen
completions.
Identify sand types that may cause problems for the
chosen screen size.
From Fig. 12 one can see that the All and A12 may
cause sand production through the suggested slot width of
250 micron. In this case it is known from the laboratory
testing that the All sand will require a 100 micron screen,
and it may be necessary to reduce the screen size across the
A 11 sand. In general, when such potential problem sands are
identified, it will be necessary to go back and study the cotes
and find out whether these sands are typical for the reservoir,
whether they strong or weak, and whether they are likely to
produce at all.

dx = x -percentile diameter is here defined as the


theoretical sieve size that will retain X
percent of the particles by weight.
N(d ~d.)= number of particles ~di
l

K = proportionality constant
f = exponent of particle size distribution
function (and fractal dimension of sand
matrix)
ell= d4ofd90
dcrir= critical slot widths (d__, d_, d+ ord++)
/30 , /312 = constants in the prediction model
ti = score value, or co-ordinate, on principal
component i

Acknowledgements
We would like to thank Saga Petroleum as and Statoil for
the permission to publish the material; Bjarne Aas of RFRogaland Research for helpful review comments; and Jorunn
0vsthus of RF for her accurate laboratory work.
References
1. Penberthy, W. L. and Shaugnessy, C. M.: Sand
Control, SPE, 1992
2. Sparlin, D. D. and Hagen, R. W., Selection and
design of sand control methods, Course Manual,
ICCI, 1991

Conclusions
1. No sand types have been identified during the reported
work that are not suited to screen completions. For all the
sand types tested it has been possible to identify an interval
of screen slot widths that will neither be plugged nor
produce sand. The width of the design interval varies as a
function of the particle size distribution of the sand.
2. A well functioning screen represents a skin factor of
less than 0.5.
3. The risk of sand production is increased in a situation
corresponding to an open annulus, partially filled with sand.
Plugging of screens by formation sand has only been
observed in this situation.
4. The risk of plugging the screen is decreased when the
fluid flow velocity through the screen is increased gradually.
This corresponds to bringing a well on stream slowly.
5. Design criteria for screen slot width based on one
single point on the particle distribution curve can not
accurately predict neither plugging of the screens nor sand
production through the screens.
6. By introducing a fractal description for the particle
size distribution of the formation sand, and using
multivariate analysis, it has been possible to develop a
quantitative method for design of screen slot widths. The
method identifies a safe interval of slot widths where
plugging and sand production are not likely to occur.
7. The prediction model is applicable to sands from the
North Sea area and Haltenbanken, and can easily be extended
to other areas.
8. A method is proposed, where the prediction model
can be used to design screen completions for specific
reservoirs or parts of reservoirs.

3. Coberly, C. J.: "Selection of screen openings for


unconsolidated sands", Drill. and Prod. Prac., API,
1937.
4. Suman, G. 0., Ellis, R. C. and Snyder, R. E., Sand
Control Handbook, Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, 1985
5. Kaye, Brian H., Fractal dimensions in data space;
New descriptors for fineparticle systems, Particle and
particle system characterization, Vol4, No 10, 1993
6. M!ISller, R.: The influence of formation grain size
distribution on production through a sand screen,
Thesis, Stavanger College, 1994

Nomenclature
159

SELECTION OF SCREEN SLOT WIDTH TO PREVENT PLUGGING

SPE 31087

AND SAND PRODUCTION

Table 1 - Characterisation of the particle size distribution of the tested sands


Sand

d 10
[micron]

d 40

d 50

d 90

[micron] [micron]

f1

ell

f2

[micron]

lnt1

lnt2

[micron]

[%]

A11

213

109

89

38

2.91

-3.22

-8.86

173

18.47

810

219

136

126

68

1.99

-1.12

-6.49

104

60.87

C31

249

210

197

131

1.61

-0.45

-9.23

152

84.55

815

475

340

316

169

2.01

-2.20

-7.99

379

29.25

819

491

353

329

197

1.79

-0.78

-8.41

306

59.59

Table 2- Experimentally determined


critical slot widths (micron)
Sand

d __

d_

d+

d++

A11

0*

100

100

200

810

100

250

250

300

C31

0*

200

400

600

815

200

300

600

800

819

0*

100

500

800

* d __ were set equal to 0 when severe plugging of the 100


micron slot was not observed.

Table 3-The experimental data compared


with the Coberly and Gulf Coast criteria
Sand

d1o

2d1o

(Gulf Coast)

(Coi:JOOy)

A11

213

810

d+

d++

427

100

200

219

439

250

300

C31

249

498

400

600

815

475

949

600

800

819

491

982

500

800

160

SPE 31087

P. MARKESTAD, 0. CHRISTIE, AA. ESPEDAL, 0. R0RVIK

Table 4-Predicted critical slot widths compared with experimental


results
d.

d..

Sand

d+

d++

Measured Predicted Measured Predicted Measured Predicted Measured Predicted


values

values

values

values

values

values

values

values

A11

0*

100

100

100

93

200

185

810

100

79

250

249

250

273

300

351

C31

0*

21

200

201

400

377

600

550

815

200

205

300

300

600

594

800

787

819

0*

-11 **

100

100

500

512

800

827

* d__ were set equal to 0 when severe plugging of the 100 micron slot was not observed.
** Negative slot widths are artefacts of the prediction model.

++C31

++

+*

ll.

-1
+

t+

t"'+

++
/819 +
+
+

:\:

::t ~to

-q.
+

+
++
++

++ + +

++
+

t+

+
+
+
+ +
+ +
++ ++ + +
+
+
+++ + +
+
+815 +

-1
-2

-2

+ +

-3

-3

+ A11
-4

-4
-4

-2

4
PC1

Fig. 1-lllustration in 2 dimensions of fractal


Fig.2-AII the sand types in the database plotted

particle structure with porosity equal to zero.

by their scores on PC1 and PC2.

161

SELECTION OF SCREEN SLOT WIDTH TO PREVENT PLUGGING

SPE 31087

AND SAND PRODUCTION


Differential pressure points
A 11

150mm
50mm
100

100

10

10

..

~
z

0.1

0.1

0.01

Isomm

0.001
1000

L---'------'--L-..L.....J......L...L..J....L_----"---'---'-........__......._L.J...J

100
Particle size

10

250mm

(micron)

Directionofflow

~mm

Fig. 3-The fractal particle size distribution


curve for the A 11 sand.

Fig. 6-Dimensions and lay-out of radial flow cell.

819
100

..

10

10

0.1

0.1

en

i.
.

0.01

:I

0.001
L___

_l____j__L_..J........I.....L...J....Ll...-_

Particle

100
size

0.0001
1000

___..L._L-...JL....L.....J.....J.....LU

(micron)

Fig. 4-The fractal particle size distribution


curve for the 815 sand.

100

100
-~---~-~-~-~~~~~-----~-

..<:

80

en

a;
~

60

".
.

40

D.

20

0
1

10

100
Particle size

1000
(micron)

0
1 o'

Fig. 7-Experimental arrangement for studying


plugging and sand production.
Fig. 5-Accumulated percent by weight as a
function of particle size for the tested sand
types.

162