Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Yazd University

2 3Drilling & Well Completion Technologies & Research Group, Research Institution of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Yazd University, Yazd


Approximately 70% of the world's hydrocarbon fields are located in reservoirs with low-strength rocks such as sandstone. During the production of hydrocarbons from sandstone reservoirs, sand-sized particles may become dislodged from the formation, and enter the hydrocarbon fluid flow. Sand production is a significant issue in the oil industry due to its potential to cause erosion of pipes and valves. Separating grains from oil is a costly process. Therefore, oil and gas-producing companies are motivated to reduce sand production during petroleum extraction. Various methods exist for predicting this phenomenon including continuous, discontinuous, experimental, physical, analytical, and numerical methods. Given the significance of the subject, this research work aims to achieve two primary objectives. Firstly, it proposes a two-dimensional numerical model based on the discrete element method to address the issues of high strain and deformation in granular materials. This method is highly reliable in simulating the mechanism of sand production in oil wells. Secondly, the production of sand is influenced by two factors: fluid pressure and stress; to evaluate changes in production from a particular reservoir, it is necessary to analyze each parameter. Two sandstone samples, similar to reservoir rock conditions, were prepared and tested in the laboratory to demonstrate sand production phenomenon. The numerical results have been verified and compared to their experimental counterparts.


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