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Heavy Oil & Viscous Fluid Sand Management - Goals and Objectives of FSM Module 11 (B-FSM-186)

We now move on to Facilities Sand Management training module FSM-M11 pertaining to Heavy Oil & Viscous Fluid Sand Management. The module goals include the following items;

  • Define heavy oil and what makes it unique to FSM
  • Look at effects of fluid viscosity and density on unit operations
  • Review processing and properties of treating viscous fluids
  • Discuss process design for sand removal on heavy oil operations

The overwhelming property of heavy oil that affects sand management is fluid viscosity. Much of our discussion in these next few posts will be around that topic.

For those that may have recently started reading this blog series I will restate some of the background information so that everyone understands the basis of this technology series.

Facilities Sand Management (FSM)

In this series, which started July 28, 2017 with blog post B-FSM-001, I am covering the entire contents of my training course entitled Facilities Sand Management. This is a training course originally designed for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and has been given both at SPE and private-corporate events around the world. This course is now available on-line at www.eprocess-training.com, and covers both the design and operating philosophy, as well as unit-operations, for handling sand and solids in oil & gas production at the operating facilities.

Some basic assumptions for all the training modules in this series are;

  • Facilities: oil & gas upstream surface/subsea equipment for separation, cleaning, and energy addition (e.g., wellhead to custody transfer)
  • Sand: tiny loose pieces of rock
  • Management: to handle or direct with a degree of skill

FSM is not simply a waste stream treatment exercise…it is a critical Flow Assurance issue.

The stated objective is to increase / maximize hydrocarbons production…while reducing / minimizing operating costs.


  1. Rawlins, C.H. 2019. “Enhanced Production Through Surface Facilities Sand Management.” SPE Distinguished Lecturer presentation. Link here

Next week I will discuss heavy oil important aspects for Facilities Sand Management.

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