Sand Management System
Sand from reservoir formations and proppant return is inevitable during oil and gas drilling, and it is estimated that more than half of wells require some form of sand management or sand control during operation. Wells with electric submersible pumps (ESPs) can be severely damaged by frac sand and other residual solids. This is especially true for unconventional well completions where multi-stage fracking sand backs up during production to cause pump erosion, sand accumulation, plugging, electrical/mechanical stresses and post-shutdown pump failures.
Many wells produce substantial amounts of sand and solids, making fallback the main cause of ESP failure in unconventional wells. Solids frequently trip or stop pumps during power failure, pump off and shutdown situations. Whenever a pump stops, previously pumped sand falls back and builds up. Restarting sand-plugged pumps leads to everything from damaged upper stages to burning motors, destroying the pumps and creating expensive workovers.
Many sand control completions use sand screens to filter solids at the end of the production strings. Variable grain sizes within a reservoir mean that even a carefully selected screen can only partially filter most of the grains. Sand screens quickly plug and erode, requiring lengthy sections downhole to ensure adequate performance. As a result, traditional sand screening options are time-consuming and expensive prospects.
In 2017, Forum acquired MultiLift’s field-proven sand management system and now offers the ultimate proactive sand control tools for the oil and gas industry. SandGuard™ and Cyclone™ ESP provide an essential over-and-under sand protection system to protect ESPs and radically improve well performance.
SandGuard is at the heart of the Forum MultiLift sand management system for superior sand control. This revolutionary technology captures and quarantines fallback sand to keep pump restarts trouble-free. Proven through thousands of installations, SandGuard has demonstrated enormous increases in ESP run times in sandy wells.
SandGuard installs easily and rests just above the pump discharge. This clever design captures fallback sand and solids in its inner chamber, automatically self-flushing after each shutdown to create a clean, successful ESP restart every time.
Features and Benefits
- Improves ESP life up to 1,200 percent.
- Protects pumps from sand fallback via continuous auto-flush feature.
- Captures all sand and debris falling onto pumps after shutdown, creating a clean start every time.
- Provides ESPs with softer starts that significantly improve pump life.
- Eliminates communication with annulus, resulting in zero risk of failure or fluid recirculation.
- Offers compatibility with all ESP-produced flow rates.
- Withstands the harshest downhole environments.
- Offers standard or custom connections to production tubing.
This case study from Mississippian Lime wells underscores how SandGuard dramatically increased ESP run time compared to unprotected wells. In more than 3,000 installations, extensive data has consistently shown that SandGuard improves ESP life up to 1,200 percent.
Cyclone ESP leverages proven vortex technology as part of a superior sand protection system. Applicable to onshore, offshore, deviated or horizontal wells, it prevents sand damage, extends pump run life and dramatically lowers lease operating expenses.
With one size for all flow rates, Cyclone easily retrofits to any ESP well. Because it rests directly below the pump, installation requires no downhole preparation. The high-efficiency centrifugal action separates a wider range of grain size than sand screens, sending de-sanded fluid to the pump and solids to a tailpipe below. With special metallurgical construction and no moving parts, Cyclone’s vortex technology avoids the erosion and plugging issues of traditional sand screens to provide exceptional sand control.
Features and Benefits
- Protects ESPs from sand damage.
- Extends run life to dramatically lower lease operating expenses.
- Minimizes or eliminates costly workovers, ESP replacements and lost production.
- Installs easily, featuring high reusability and one-size-fits-all casing weights.
- Allows field change of rubber elements.
- Enables quick change and rerun without leaving rig floor.
- Eliminates need to rotate motor or tailpipe.