An experimental study to investigate the effect of temperature and pressure on a modified design of gravel packing with oil swelling rubber particles and unconventional rock properties

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Gravel packing is the most commonly used method to prevent sand production problems from happening in hydrocarbon producing wells. Designing and installing the gravel pack are the critical steps in its application. During installation and the production life span of the well, void spaces (holidays) may form in gravel packs. These voids provide permeable channels within the pack that allow sand to pass into the wellbore that consequently lowers the pack efficiency. This dissertation introduces a modified design for gravel packing with oil swelling rubber particles. Development of unconventional hydrocarbon resources has been promoted in the last decade. Consequently, unconventional formations have been widely studied and tested to better understanding of their characteristics and behavior under various conditions. Majority of these measurements are conducted at ambient temperature and the outcomes are applied to modeling of the rock behavior and failure in reservoir conditions, where high temperature and pressure exists, and it shall introduce erroneous errors into the results. Formation temperature may increase in various situations, which can alter rock properties, an effect that should be taken into account for accurate results. A series of experiments were conducted on core samples from three prominent unconventional basins in the United States to determine the effect of temperature and confining pressure on dynamic rock mechanical properties and permeability of the rock samples and correlating it with their mineralogy and composition. Due to very low permeability of unconventional formations, currently, hydraulic fracturing is the only solution to economically produce from these resources to enhance the formation permeability. Although water is the dominant fracturing fluid, some other fluids such as LPG (liquified petroleum gas) and nitrogen have been also utilized to fracture tight formations. Several researchers have also investigated feasibility of using other fluids, like plasma, to fracture tight formations. In this study, series of experiments were conducted on four core samples, two outcrop and two downhole samples, from Wolfcamp basin to assess effects of cryogenic treatment (thermal shocking) on permeability of the samples at downhole conditions.

Sand control, Gravel packing, Oil swelling elastomers, Temperature, Confining pressure, Permeability, Rock mechanical properties