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Beyond Sand Control

Maximizing hydrocarbon production from sand-prone reservoirs

More than 60% of BP’s portfolio lies in sandstone reservoirs.  These tend to be more uniform hydrocarbon reservoirs, but sandstone reservoirs pose risk of producing sand with oil and gas over time.  This impacts overall production and facilities reliability.  When excessive sand is produced, shutting-in wells is often the only option for the industry.

At BP we have been using and developing technologies to tackle sand for decades, first with mechanical solutions to hold back sand, and more recently with digital and chemical technologies.

Sand Management technologies, including downhole completion, sand predication and diagnistics, monitoring and remediation deployed in Azerbaijan: 


Downhole Completion: A range of innovative designs to drive long term well performance and reliability.  In ACG the standard completion design for producing wells is Open Hole Gravel Pack.This was real breakthrough in the early 2000s, and we still find it effective today, although it has been undergone significant enhancements since. Most of the wells are packed with natural proppant while recently non-radioactive tracer proppant has been used.


The AGTR has also looked at potential application of gravel pack completion in cased hole during the up-hole recompletion. The Cased Hole Gravel Packed completion was successfully installed in one East Azeri D06 producer D06 in 2017. 


Digital: Proprietary software to understand the physics of why sandstone fails under production conditions. Defines optimal operating parameters to produce oil without producing sand and optimises completion design.  Deployed across both ACG and Shah Deniz to assist with well operating guide


Over the last five years Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology has been extensively used for sand monitoring, where outcome contributed to optimizing drawdown to achieve maximum sand free rate and for sand shut-off intervention to isolate identified sand entry zones.


Sand Shut-Off


  • Mechanical: AGTR conducted first trial in BP in 2016 on Sand Shut-Off in an OHGP well with Expandable Patches with the pupose to isolate mechanically the sand producing intervals by installing expandable patches opposite the intermediate sand producing zones. Since then AGTR have been successful in deployment of that technology in several producers across ACG.
  • Chemical: Chemical sand treatments add strength to rock formations without blocking pore space or impairing their permeability. Comprehensive lab testing of five approved different treatments.  BP’s first offshore sand consolidation trial was completed at ACG in 2011 – well C08, where an expandable sand screen had failed: ~2 mboed production added for 4 months.