In preparation for the full-scale deployment of its sand management system, UK-based Darcy has completed an operator-sponsored project to demonstrate the performance characteristics of the new system. An independently verified test rig was built to replicate the harsh production conditions and simulate the geotechnical loading that could be experienced downhole due to sand laminates and shale stress conditions. The testing sequence also included tests to determine the sand retention thresholds while the Darcy system was subjected to excessive loading and circulation rates.
The company believes that previous testing already showed that the screen system shows superior mechanical strength properties over that of current forms of compliant or noncompliant sand control technology, in particular those that yield base pipe as the expansion method.
New results show that the screen has a significantly higher collapse rating than the standalone base pipe. This was attributed to the effects of Darcy’s Positive Compliance methodology.
Highlights of the testing confirmed:
• The Darcy system is capable of withstanding greater loading than that of standalone screens or the base pipe.
• The system activation chambers are robust, and the chambers maintained pressure integrity even with severe deformation of the screen.
• Sand integrity was maintained even under very heavy loading. Forces greater than 220,000 lbs were observed before sanding occurred.
“These test results prove that we are on the right track in creating a step-change in possibility for operators. These operator sponsored tests give us independent verification and demonstrate the system’s performance characteristics were better than expected, CEO Steve Bruce said.
He added, “Conventional completion methods which are well established in the market such as gravel packing and expandable screens are able to help operators address sand mobility in the near wellbore. However, they are not able to address the source of the problem, beyond the near wellbore and in the formation as Darcy’s solution does.”
Positive Compliance is a registered trademark.