Non-gravel packed open hole completions have become a preferred technique
when engineering economical high angle and horizontal wells. For both
conventional and expandable sand screen installations, selection of screen type
and opening is critical to retain sand and avoid excessive damage to downstream
production equipment. At the same time, plugging of screens by drilling fluid
components or produced sand, must be minimised to prevent reduction in produced
oil. A middle ground of good control of sand and unimpaired well productivity is
Typically, a simple test device, the production screen tester, or PST, has
been used as a quick field test of plugging just prior to installing screens in
a well. The test itself records the time required for a volume of mud to flow at
low pressure through an actual sample of the sand control screen. Today, in
Southeast Asia, both field and laboratory tests are used to quantify mud damage
to completion screens early in the well planning and design phase.
At Scomi Oiltools we now routinely apply a proprietary laboratory device
which quantitatively evaluates run-in-hole damage and models potential
production screen damage which often occurs after screen placement.
Global Research & Technology Centre ("GRTC") has designed and developed a novel
filtration and flow system using a specialised screen-holder that models an
integrated sequence of cake building, screen running, and flowback procedures.
Thus, a detailed evaluation for both conventional and expandable screens is
possible without repeated assembly and disassembly causing disturbance of a
developed mud cake.
GRTC is now conducting a study for Sarawak Shell Berhad using this device to
formulate a suitable synthetic-based drill-in fluid to construct a gauge hole,
with minimum formation damage, and unrestricted production through a range of
sand screen types.
Both drilling and completion engineers will appreciate the benefits provided
by Scomi's techniques and prototype equipment which are used to design and
develop fluid formulations for water based, synthetic based and formate muds.
Mud Cake Build-Up and Flowback Test Setup
here to read more about these novel techniques and equipment.
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