Presenting at the Offshore Well Intervention West Africa 2021 virtual conference, Bhargava Ram Gundemoni, 3M Global Solutions Specialist, explained how better sand control can lead to better productivity and profitability.
Traditional practices used for the sand control selection (SCS) process are based on mature technologies and methodologies that fail to meet the key performance drivers. The metallic filter media has erosion limits that constrict the boundary condition of the traditional SCS practices which result in failing to meet the asset productivity demand and the performance drivers not being achieved in many cases.
An alternative to the traditional sand control approach
The solution is a change of metallic filter media to ceramic filter media of the screen. 3M’s solution is achieved by integrating a full-body ceramic part in the form of rings on a pre-perforated base pipe on to which ceramic rings are stacked and held with two end caps and with an external shroud on top. The stack of ceramic rings creates a slot opening which is designed for the application spec-in. The ceramic material at the inflow offers higher erosion resistance, therefore mitigating hotspotting potential. This allows the operator a wider operating window of productivity.
Erosion constraint on the metallic filter media limits the well operating limits, limiting the productivity potential and the application envelope of applying a standalone screen system.
Using a ceramic filter media operators have proven in green fields and brown fields to shift the boundary conditions of applying stand-alone screens as demonstrated in the below picture, and achieved reduced risk to erosion failure and increase productivity. 3M Ceramic Sand Screens offers operational simplicity, reduced HSE risk to unlock production potential with faster return on investment by enabling standalone screen deployment as a simple sand control tool to address in a wider range of reservoir conditions
Standardised field-wide approach
Ceramic Sand Screens unlocks the operator methodology to achieve a simplified and standardised sand control approach in wide range of reservoir conditions and well architecture as downhole sand control system in OH, cased hole on a rig or through tubing rigless applications. Ceramic Sand Screens have been deployed and delivered success in 120+ applications with homogenous, heterogeneous, well-sorted to poorly sorted, low to high fines reservoir of sand properties.
To emphasis the effectiveness of the solution Ram presented three case studies from different regions across the globe.
Remedial sand control in a subsea re-perforated well intervention vessel in the North Sea
Customer challenge: The oil well was not operational due to depletion with a gas cap identified shallower to main zone. The operator intended to cost-effectively exploit the gas cap using rigless deployment method to add additional revenue from the existing asset. The project also needed to run a stand-alone sand screen in the open sea and through a subsea lubricator and required sub-sea well (deviated) intervention in harsh deployment conditions. The well downhole environment was extremely erosional and a reliable, robust solution was required to prevent failure at a reasonable cost.
Solution: The operator opted for ceramic sand screen deployment on a light well intervention vessel and run the screen through an e-line wireline system with an expandable packer system through open sea into the sub-sea lubricator.
Results and value creation: The operator was able to achieve production rates of 45 MMSCFD of gas sand-free through the solution. The 3M ceramic sand screen for this project was deployed successfully in April 2016 and was replicated in other wells with the same scope of work.
Marginal gas fields in Indonesia with ceramic sand screens
Customer challenge: The operator had to deal with marginal reserves with stacked reservoirs and was a low-cost environment. High flux velocity expected at sand face due to shallow and low-pressure, short intervals and needed robust and rigless deployable solution to achieve economical sense with heterogenous sand properties being a challenge.
Solution: High erosion and hot spotting resistant ceramic screens enable the operator to set across the perforation zone which are deployed on slickline with one or two pup joints depending on the perforation length.
Value creation: The operator achieved cost savings of up to 70% compared to the previous sand control approach and was able to increase reservoir deliverability by more than 200% of the average cumulative gas produced. The operator can now complete more zones per year and achieving a sand-free higher cumulative production volume, extending as a standardised approach to multiple assets as a primary sand control method.
Ceramic sand screens in high rate oil wells in Azerbaijan
Customer challenge: The operator had no sand control in place. With reservoir maturing and downhole conditions changed over time, sand production increased to a level where production targets are not achieved leading to well shut-in to integrate downhole sand control. Key challenges in selection of sand control are achieving cost-effective sand control approach without needing a rig in well conditions of high Fines, poorly distributed reservoir sand PSD with fluid flow at high flux and impingement velocity
Solution: 3M ceramic sand screens length of 203 ft, were set across 9 ⅝ inch casing perforation using coil tubing deployment method.
Value creation: The operator achieved ROI within five days based on the current oil price and was able to clock a sand-free production rate of 8000 BOPD and 46 MMSCFD gas. The operator also recorded a production gain of 2500 BOPD sand-free. Significant improvement on the PI over time exceeding the expectation of a standalone screen in such reservoir sand distribution with a low cost of deployment at reduced carbon footprint installing sand control mitigating need of a rig.
Solutions to maximise profitability
As of Oct 31 2021, 3M has completed 125 installations for sand control with users consisting of 50% oil producers and 50% gas producers. For general intervention applications 3M has maintained a manufacturing time of 6-12 weeks with variables such as size, quantity and shipping time to location.
3M remarked that the solution can help operators meet future energy policies to reduce carbon intensity for deployment with rigless approach where feasible and reduce the sand control future repairs offering a robust solution. The simple stand-alone screen and faster deployment means reducing HSE, operational risk and mean time between failures.
3M added, “There are a lot of wells globally where operators can unlock production potential from their shut-in wells due to failed primary sand control or from thin-bed reservoirs or reservoirs which have not been exploited because they are deemed un-economic and left behind the casing. 3M’s ceramic sand-screens enables an operator to approach such cases using a rig-less method, without the removal of tubing and requirement of a complex rig sand control solution. 3M has proven this at multiple fields and assets globally.”
With a field track record of 125 successful application, operators in West Africa can find proven results from similar conditions to their reservoirs as reference case study.
To learn more about Ceramic Sand Screens, visit: https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/oil-and-gas-us/ceramic-sand-screens/