In sandstone reservoirs, operators often face sand production problems due to the degradation of reservoir rock around the wellbore under high-velocity fluid flow. In many cases, the sand consists of fines which are not retained by stand-alone screens or gravel packs. The production of sand induces several problems such as the degradation of surface facilities (valves, pipe, pumping unit, etc.) and accumulation of sand in the wellbore. The operators often chock the well and limit its production rate, which, in addition to frequent sand cleaning jobs, affects operational costs. The degradation process starts with the erosion of the cement of the rock, with a production of fines. When the erosion of the rock is advanced, a production of large quantities of sand occurs together with sand accumulation in the wellbore.
Gulf Operations is developing SandBlock® technology for sand consolidation that will reduce the production of sand, improves oil production, increasing the recovery factor and life of the oil wells. The principle of the SandBlock® technology consists of the formation of polymeric film on pore walls, which stabilizes the rock around the wellbore and thus stops the erosion process. Such a film has to be strong enough to resist wash out by production fluids under high-velocity flow.

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