Investigation of pore-blocking mechanism in gravel packs in the management and control of fines migration

Yann Bigno, M. B. Oyeneyin, J. M. Peden

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    The migration of fines into gravelpacks from both unconsolidated reservoirs and through the injection of fluids from the wellbore, is characterized by permeability reduction which may be gradual or instantaneous depending on the invasion process and the pore blocking mechanism. In an attempt to define the maximum allowable levels of fines that can be tolerated by a typical gravelpack which will ensure optimum production capacity over the economic life of the well, an experimental project on pore blocking mechanisms in gravelpacks was initiated in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University in order to define the gravelpack permeability decline as a function of production time. In this paper, the results of the experimental studies which show the trends of gravelpack permeability reduction as a function of the pore blocking phenomena are presented. Five prevailing pore blocking mechanisms were identified, each characterized by the profile of permeability reduction against time. Based on the characteristic profiles, specific pore blocking mechanism models were developed to quantify gravelpack impairment as a function of gravelfines size ratio, fines concentration, and fluid production rate. These models have been incorporated into a computerized well performance model which can be utilized to predict both the initial and lifetime performance of a gravelpacked well. Specific case studies, using field data, to illustrate how the well performance model can be utilized to conduct sensitivity analysis of the productivity index to fines concentration, gravel size and production time. Application of the studies to the analysis of gravelpacked well performance especially with respect to maximum allowable level of fines injection during water flooding for injection wells or formation fines production level for specific commercial gravels are presented. The paper also illustrates how the system can be used to predict possible plugging time of a typical gravelpack.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Symposium on Formation Damage Control
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 1994
    EventInternational Symposium on Formation Damage Control - Lafayette, LA, USA
    Duration: 9 Feb 199410 Feb 1994


    ConferenceInternational Symposium on Formation Damage Control
    CityLafayette, LA, USA


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