Experiments and numerical simulations of gravel packed layer damage due to sand migration
Li Yanchao1,2, Li Mingzhong1, Wang Weiyang1, Wang Lei3
1.School of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao, Shandong 266580, China; 2.Downhole Company, Chuanqing Drilling Engineering Co. Ltd., Chengdu, Sichuan 610051, China; 3.Research Institute of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Beijing 100010, China
As a sand control method, the gravel packing technique has been extensively applied in oil fields because of its merits, such as effective sand control effort and high well production. Naturally, reasonable explanation of its sand control mechanism and accurate prediction of well production are vital for this technique. Among many factors, sand migration is the main factor that influences the productivity of a gravel-packed well and the technique design. In order to have a better understanding on the mechanism of gravel packed layer damage caused from sand migration and plugging and to provide a theoretical basis for well productivity prediction, the damage of gravel layer permeability, which was due to sand migration, was simulated experimentally in laboratory under different gravel-sand diameter ratios that were decided according to the reservoir characteristics of sanding in an oil field and the specific sand control technique. The results show that the migration, invasion, and bridge plug of sand particles can lead to a significant change in the permeability of gravel layer; especially the damage near the interface between formation sand and gravel layer is the most serious. According to gravel-sand diameter ratio and sand intrusion degree, there are five types of mechanism for gravel blocking sand. A dynamic mathematics model is established by linear regression to predict the plug amount of formation sand per unit volume of gravel layer, and a numerical simulation is launched to simulate the experiment. The simulated results are in agreement with experimental data, suggesting the model has significance in quantitative evaluation of the damage on gravel layer caused from the migration of formation sand particles and well productivity prediction.
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