Evaluation of Hydrophobic Coated Glass Beads for Utilization in Gravel pack

Research output: ResearchMaster's Thesis


Plugging of the downhole sand control installations by scaling, strongly impacts oil production. There are several time consuming and expensive techniques to remove and avoid this problem. However companies and research institutes are interested in cheaper ideas to prevent scaling and avoid production loss and costly conventional scale removal methods. The aim of this thesis is to investigate on the possibility to avoid or reduce scale precipitation by hiring the glass beads, to be used for sand control installations such as Gravel Packs (GP), High Rate Water Packs (HRWP) or Frack Packs (FP). Laboratory experiments were designed to evaluate the positive impact of inert proppant with smooth surface as well as to demonstrate the improvement of this effect by coating the glass beads with a hydrophobic layer. Simple laboratory methods are employed to measure the scaling trend on various proppant packs in a dynamic mode to simulate closer bottom hole flow conditions. The pressure values obtained from the experiments were compared and the observed scale build up, investigated visually under the microscope. Further a static experiment was developed as a supplementary information to understand better the impact of hydrophobicity. The choice of proppants was restricted to the man-made ceramic proppant commonly used by companies and coated and non-coated glass beads, in terms both material and size. To that end, material consisted of ceramic and both hydrophobic and normal glass. One key conclusion is that because of physical properties, glass beads demonstrated significantly higher permeability than ceramic. In addition the experiment results implies affectivity of utilizing glass beads to defer plugging problem by scaling.


Original languageEnglish
Award date19 Dec 2014
StatePublished - 2014