Laboratory Analysis of a New Sand Consolidation Material for Oilfield Applications
Filbrandt, Joseph Daniel
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The production of sand can be a major issue in many young, unconsolidated sandstone formations where there is little to no cement holding the individual sand grains together. When such reservoirs are produced, quite often operators face problems with reduced well productivity and equipment failure. Because of these issues, the industry has developed numerous techniques in its effort to control formation sand production. Sand consolidation is one technology that has been studied and used since the 1940s. The theory behind sand consolidation technology is to place a liquid material which will create a grain to grain contact that will bind individual sand grains together. Most consolidation treatments contain a preflush to clean and wet the surface, the consolidating system to bind the sand grains and give residual strength, and, finally, an overflush to ensure the formation is still able to produce fluids. With the successful placement of this fluid, the sand grains will be locked in placed so that they will not be produced. The technology has gone through many phases of conception since the 1940s; however, most consolidation material that is pumped in the past has been based upon an epoxy or furan backbone. While there are many technologies available, for the purpose of my research, the epoxy technology was experimentally investigated. The testing of the fluid involved investigating numerous additives to obtain the correct residual strength of the sample, as well as the necessary retained permeability. For the epoxy fluid, the optimal preflush, epoxy system and overflush formulations were determined after 250 checkout tests. Based upon these tests, the fluid was optimized to its working time and UCS results. The optimal system included the addition of PA2 to the preflush, along with PA1 and an aromatic amine curing agent to the epoxy system. PA1 and PA2 are adhesion promoter additives which were deemed necessary as a result of the testing. This system was then tested further in a HP/HT cell. While there is still room for improvement with respect to retained permeability, the system still performs very well in terms of UCS.