Alternate Path Gravel Packing

L.G. Jones, C.S. Yeh, T.J. Yates, D.W. Bryant, M.W. Doolittle, J.C. Healy
1991 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition   unpublished
A new and superior gravel packing method called ALLPAK™. for alternate path gravel packing, is reported here. It has been found that gravel packing problems associated with formation of sand bridges in the annulus outside the screen can be eliminated by adding alternate flow paths for slurry flow. The alternate paths are provided by perforated shunts or secondary piping placed in the annulus, usually by attaching the tubes to the screen. Laboratory gravel pack simulator tests indicate that
more » ... indicate that essentially complete annulus packs can always be obtained, even in cases where current methods provide very poor pack efficiencies. This paper describes the laboratory experiments and field tests which verify the advantages from this new concept. SUMMARY A new completion method is described which solves the classical problem of sand bridging in conventional gravel packing. Provision of properly designed alternate slurry flow paths, through shunts or secondary piping placed in the annulus, eliminates almost all of the voids seen with common gravel packing procedures. The results from laboratory testing done on a 30-ft full-scale gravel pack simulator indicate 95-100% gravel pack efficiencies as compared to 65-80% obtained with conventional procedures, where both efficiencies are estimated by visual observations. In addition to providing superior gravel packs, the new method, called ALLPAK Tlo ', for alternate path gravel packing, also permits wider ranges in slurry rheology and pumping rates. Field test results from U.S. Gulf Coast offshore wells validate and extend the laboratory observations. References and illustrations at end of paper. 391
doi:10.2118/22796-ms fatcat:fcbesbycgjexndah6xezv2ikcu