(403a) Sand Agglomeration in Oil & Gas Reservoirs using Polymers
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 3:15pm to 4:45pm
Sand production is an age-old problem faced by the oil and gas industry which can have severe cost implications if not controlled properly. Approximately 70% of the worldâs remaining hydrocarbons are located in sand-prone reservoirs and current approaches to handle sand production are still facing many challenges. The aim of this work is to explore the use of polyacrylamide-based polymers in agglomerating formation sand and clays to improve the effectiveness of standalone sand screens. Polymer bridging interactions, charge neutralization and bare patch attraction are the three main agglomeration mechanisms being considered due to their capability of forming aggregates with superior shear resistivity and size. Preliminary results using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Laser Particle Size Analysis (LPSA) have indicated a median growth in particle size of around 5 times when treated with cationic polyacrylamides only. Multi-polymer agglomeration systems were able to produce sand agglomerates of similar sizes but with much higher resistance to shear and more able to retain its structure upon drying. The novelty of this multi-polymer agglomeration system when coupled with sand screens is in the ability to potentially provide a very cost-effective means to solve sand production issues at the source, eliminating the need for costly remedial solutions at the topside and resin-based sand consolidation methods which impair reservoir permeability.