Sand production is considered one of the major problems in the petroleum industry. Every year, cleaning and repair operations related to sand production and restricted production rates cosst the industry millions of dollars. These problems are magnified for horizontal or slanted wells. Additional expenses associated with sand production include clean-out and disposal of sand and workover operations to return the well to production. The revenue lost because of restricted or shut-in production is often a hidden expense and not always considered in economic calculations.
Recent advances in horizontal well technology has greatly improved the potential for heavy oil recovery. Such recovery may be hampered, however, by sanding problems associated with most heavy oil reservoirs. These reservoir sands are mostly unconsolidated and may lead to severe productivity loss problems if produced freely. Experimental evidence has shown that minimizing the annular space between the casing and the open hole is important, especially in the case of smaller wire space, lower oil viscosity, and thinner pay zone.