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Sand Management Is Not a Shovel(B-FSM-003)

Inclusion Methodology does allow, or co-produce, sand to the surface for sustained production. However, most facilities and production engineers have the view that sand in the production equipment equals downtime.

If sand management is viewed as a shovel – or maintenance exercise – then the full benefit of sand co-production will not be realized.

Quadrant 3: Surface Facilities Maintenance

Goal: Try to minimize production downtime.

  • Scheduled/unscheduled maintenance for sand cleanout (e.g. shutdown and shovel)
  • Design impacts: erosion resistant chokes/valves, impact tees in piping, profile instrumentation and sand jetting in separator, pump impeller replacement, etc.
  • Operations impact: replace eroded components and manage residence time reduction from sand build-up
  • CAPEX: Low-Medium | OPEX: Medium | Production: Increase

While spares management can be a philosophy it is a reactionary approach. The focus become how do we deal with sand (as a hassle), as opposed to what benefit can sand produce.

The next post on Facilities Sand Management (Quadrant 4) introduces methods and technologies to realize performance improvement through skillful sand handling.


  1. Addis, M.A., Gunningham, M.C., Brassart, Ph., Webers, J., Subhi, H., Hother, J.A., “Sand Quantification: The Impact on Sandface Completion Selection and Design, Facilities Design and Risk Evaluation”, paper 116713, SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, CO, 21-24 September, 2008.
  2. Andrews, J., Kjørholt, H., Jøranson, H., “Production Enhancement From Sand Management Philosophy. A Case Study from Statfjord and Gulfaks”, paper 95411, SPE 6th European Formation Damage Conference, Scheveningen, The Netherlands, 25-27 May 2005.
  3. Fadillah, P.M., Ahmad, P.H., Ward, M., Fisher, A., “Gecko Wells: Bringing Sand to Surface, A Change in Well Design Philosophy”, paper 87956 presented at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13-15 September 2004.
  4. Selfridge, F., Munday, M., Kvernvold, O., Gordon, B., “Safely Improving Production Performance through Improved Sand Management”, paper 83979, Offshore Europe, 2-5 September, Aberdeen, UK, 2003.
  5. Vaziri, H.H., Lemoine, E., Palmer, I.D., McLennan, J.. Islam, R., “How Can Sand Production Yield a Several-Fold Increase in Productivity: Experimental and Field Data”, paper 63235 presented at the 2000 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, TX, 1-4 October, 2000.

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