Modeling of Sand Production in CHOPS Based upon Tensile Sand Failure and Issues with Wormhole Modeling

Wajih Naeem
Supervisor: Dr. Zhangxing John Chen
Co-Supervisor: Dr. Ron Sawatzky
Collaborator: Dr. Mike London


This presentation firstly introduces the model of the sand production due to tensile failure in reservoir caused by hydrodynamic force. Tensile failure of sand is a major cause of sand production in regions away from wellbore in CHOPS. In this model tensile sand failure is simulated using drag forces acting on the sand grains caused by heavy oil flow. Microscopic drag forces acting upon sand grains are determined to estimate the sand production in CHOPS caused by tensile failure. Secondly, the author analyses the model and describe the comparison with the field observations.

Finally, the author gives a short introduction of the wormhole modeling. Wormhole branching is very complex process to model. The interaction between the processes of sand failure, fluid transport and gas bubble nucleation and growth is very complex, details of these interactions are not known even at experimental level. More comprehensive constitutive laws are required that can be used to describe the reservoir geo mechanics e.g. stress-strain relationship considering shear thickening of oil due to sand erosion. Current description of fluid flow is based upon simple Darcy’s law; however the fluid contains suspended particles and they have interaction with fluid that needs to be considered.