Fletcher et al. described the theory and case studies for preventing formation failure without screens or gravel packs. Referred to as “fracturing for sand control” the method optimizes fracture dimensions to decrease near-wellbore drawdown and prevent formation failure. Case studies include a Gulf Coast well which was fractured with 33,000 lb of 20/40 LWC, producing 10 MMSCFD.
Conventional gravel pack completions often reduce the wells productivity by increasing the completion skin. This paper describes a methodology backed by a systematic technique to predict the necessary drawdown, frac length, and conductivity to prevent formation failure and remove the completion damage. This method enables the engineer to optimize the fracture dimensions while obtaining the necessary decrease in drawdown near wellbore that would cause the unpacked perforation to fail. This technique will greatly reduce the chance for formation failure and improve the well performance without the need to gravel pack.
Author(s): Fletcher, Vastar Resources, P.A., Montgomery, C.T., Ramos, G.G., ARCO E&P Technology; Miller, M.E., Rich, D.A.
Paper Number: SPE 27899