Solids/sand production is an unintended byproduct of the hydrocarbon production that, from an operational point of view, might potentially lead to undesirable consequences. This paper focuses on a study centered in the geomechanical perspective for solids production. An integrated workflow is presented to analyze the combined effect of reservoir pore-pressure, drawdown, in-situ stress, rock properties and well/perforations orientation on the onset of solid production. This workflow incorporates analyses at multiple scales: rock constitutive modeling at lab scale, 1D geomechanical models at wellbore scale along well trajectories, a 3D geomechanical model at the reservoir scale and 3D/4D high resolution reservoir - geomechanical coupled models at the well and perforation scale.
1D geomechanical models were built using log and field data, drilling experience and laboratory tests in order to characterize in situ stresses, pore pressure and rock mechanics properties (stiffness and strength) profiles for several wells. Rock shear failure mechanism was also analyzed in order to build a pre-drill model and evaluate the wellbore stability from a geomechanical point of view.
Pre-production stress modeling was simulated to obtain a representative initial stress state integrating 1D geomechanics well results, 3D dynamic model and seismic interpretations. Mechanical properties were distributed considering properties calculated in the 1D geomechanical models as input. 3D stress field was validated with in-situ stress profiles from 1D modeling results. This simulated pre-production stress state was then used as an initial condition for the reservoir - geomechanical coupled simulations. Effective stress changes and deformations associated to pore pressure changes were calculated including the coupling between reservoir and geomechanical modeling.
Finally, a 3D/4D high resolution well scale reservoir - geomechanical coupled numerical model was built in order to determine the threshold of sand production. A limit of plastic strain was obtained based on numerical simulations of available production data, DST and ATWC tests. This critical plastic strain limit was used as a criterion (strain-based) for rock failure to define the onset of sand production as a function of pore pressure, perforation orientation and rock strength. Conclusions regarding the perforation orientations related to the possibility of producing solids can support operational decisions in order to avoid undesirable solid production and therefore optimize the production facilities capacity and design to handle large amounts of solids and/or the clogging of the well.