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Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Particle Migration and Patterning Behavior in a Gravel Pack

Bobo Luo1,*, Yunbin Xiong1, Zhuoyi Li2, Zhanqing Qu3, Fenggang Liu1, Tiankui Guo3, Zugui Yang1, Yina Shi1

1 Exploration and Development Research Institute, Zhongyuan Oilfield Company, SINOPEC, Puyang, China
2 The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
3 College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao, China

* Corresponding Author: Bobo Luo. Email:

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing 2023, 19(4), 911-928.


Due to its long lifespan and high sand-removal efficiency, gravel packing is one of the most applied sand control methods during the recovery of reservoirs with sanding problems. The blockage and retention of injected sand in a gravel pack is a complex process affected by multiple mechanisms. The majority of existing studies based on the phenomenological deep bed filtration (DBF) theory focused on the gravel pack’s overall permeability damage and failed to obtain the inner-pore particle distribution pattern. In this work, experiments and simulations were carried out to reveal the particle distribution in a gravel pack during flooding. In particular, through real-time monitoring of particle migration, the penetration depth and distribution pattern of invaded particles with different gravel-sand particle ratios, fluid viscosities and injection rates could be determined. By simplifying each unit bed element (UBE) into a pore-throat structure with four tunnels (two horizontals for discharge and two verticals for sedimentation), a new network simulation method, which combines deep bed filtration with a particle trajectory model, was implemented. Cross comparison of experimental and numerical results demonstrates the validity and accuracy of the model.


Cite This Article

Luo, B., Xiong, Y., Li, Z., Qu, Z., Liu, F. et al. (2023). Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Particle Migration and Patterning Behavior in a Gravel Pack. FDMP-Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing, 19(4), 911–928.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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