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Heavy Oil & Viscous Fluid Sand Management – Key Items and Technical Paper References (B-FSM-193)

This post concludes the discussion on heavy oil & viscous fluid sand management. This series was started with post B-FSM-186.

Key Takeaway Items from the Heavy Oil & Viscous Fluid training Module

  1. Heavy oil production characteristics:
  • Low WHP, low GOR, and low-med watercut
  • May have low WHT, but always includes heating component somewhere in processing
  • Always has high sand production
  1. Liquid viscosity is defining challenge for sand handling
  • Density has small effect
  • Coefficient of adhesion important overlooked parameter
  1. Other fluids encountered that have high viscosity
  • Emulsions, gels, EOR liquids, etc.
  1. Multiphase Desander or Screen can be used
  • Balance viscosity, pressure drop, and separation size
  1. Sand Cleaning requires heat/scrubbing/chemicals
  2. Sand Transport may be as oil-sand slurry



  1. Alaska Oil and Gas Association, “Heavy Oil vs. Light Oil”, http://www.aoga.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/HRES-3.10.11-Lunch-Learn-BP-Heavy-Oil1.pdf, March 2011.
  2. Boschee, P., “Sand Separation in Surface Facilities for Heavy and Extra Heavy Oil”, SPE Oil and Gas Facilities, October 2014, pp. 25-29.
  3. Chopra, S., Lines, L., Schmitt, D.R., Batzle, M., “Heavy Oils: Reservoir Characterization and Production Monitoring”, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2010.
  4. Dusseault, M.B., “CHOPS: Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand in the Canadian Heavy Oil Industry”, Alberta Department of Energy (http://www.energy.alberta.ca/OilSands/1189.asp), 2002.
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