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Erosion Damage

Erosion creates both wear of a surface due in part


to impinging a slurry of particles, droplets, or
bubbles in a fluid stream.
The damage variables are related to:
The mass of the particles,
The velocity of the flowing fluid,
The distance to the target,

The most severe effects are from high speed gas


flow carrying hard, angular materials such as
formation sand, proppant, or similar debris, that
strike the surface of equipment at an oblique
angle.
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Erosion - Sand production damage


Sand production damage
in a surface connection
the problem started with
a small leak, probably
interior erosion to the
point where a seal was
lost, then the expanding
gas made the problem
much more severe.

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BP Canada 2

Maximum velocity when solids are


the the flow stream? Not much!

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Max Velocities for Particle Sizes


max vel. f/sec

Maximum flowing fluid


velocity for increasing
particle diameters.
Although smaller
particles do less damage
than larger particles (less
mass), the sheer number
of small particles can
still do a significant
amount of damage.

150
100

0.1 ft3/day
1 ft3/day

50
0
0

100

200

300

Particle size, u

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The Impingement Angle

Tubing flow with frac


fluid high velocity and
high concentration of
sand produces only
slight problems.
Problems start when the
angle of impingement is
changed.
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Max Producing Velocity

4 pipe
Max Velocity, fps

This data shows that


direct impingement is
much worse than flow
inside a pipe (flow
parallel to the pipe
wall).

4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0

Direct
impingement
1 ft3/day

1000

2000

3000

particle size, u

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Damage at the screen sharp


angle
Potential for damage
0.00001 ft3/day
3
Threshold vel. fps

Threshold
velocity for
screen like
clearances - 5
mpy limit in 316
Stainless. Gas
Flow.

from particles to
0.00001 ft3/day
sand screen sized
openings.

2.5
2
"Tee"
Direct

1.5
1
0.5
0
0

0.005

0.01

0.015

Flow Path Diameter, in


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Wirewrap Screen Erosion w/ Air

8 Gauge BAKERWELD

SLIM-PAK

Note the difference in the life or resistance of any screen to direct


impingement of a sand slurry is measured in minutes none are long
lived.
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Baker Tests

Multi-Layered Sintered Screen


Erosion

Surface damage of
a steel shell may
be minor or major,
but the real
damage is in the
wire mesh this is
very rapid.

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Baker Tests

Test Screen Erosion but be careful


of conclusions

Vector Shroud

Vector Weave

Note although it looks better the test time of a few minutes is not meaningful
in the life of a well this screen will fail a few minutes after the others not a
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significant
improvement.
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Baker8 Tests

Screen Damage from Trinidad


The damage to the
exterior screen
shows the type of
damage that a
high velocity gas
flow containing
sand.

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Trinidad9

Erosion Screen Damage from Trinidad


Upper
shroud
removed
showing
Dutch
Twill
Weave
(DTW)
Screen.
Notice that
the major
damage is
on the
seam.

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Weave
Seam

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Trinidad

10

Erosion Screen Damage from Trinidad


Upper shroud and
support screen removed
showing base pipe.
Notice that the major
damage is at the center
hole.

Plugged hole

Erosion

Considerable erosion
from outside to inside is
seen here.
Due to handling, the
material blocking some
of the
holes has fallen out.

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Erosion Screen Damage from Trinidad

Eroded center hole.

Plugged hole showing gravel/formation fines.

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Screen Plugging usually the start of the failure


The plugging, which may
be from dope, scale, rust,
mud, cement, or sand can
quickly reduce the flow
area of the screen. Since
total flow area is usually
around 10%, any loss can
be severe, focusing flow
through a few remaining
open holes and increasing
erosion.

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Plugged screen and resulting erosion

The hole in screen was probably produced by a high velocity flow


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through
one of the few remaining
unplugged ports.
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Erosion not just from produced


solids.
Erosion holes in wash
pipe (and screen) result
of using a large CaCO3
pill to control losses and
then circulating the OHGP
into place. Hot spots
amplified the flux
velocity.

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Lawrence Ramnath,
15
Trinidad, 2002

Erosion angle any angle other than


parallel (zero angle of impingement)

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Erosion more severe at the


surface
Choke body erosion at the surface
from rapidly expanding gas and
extremely high velocities.
Erosion most severe at angles not in
parallel flow.
Hard, angular particles are the most
severe.

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The bone yard..


Old equipment showing
the effects of erosion
following leak
development.

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Severe erosion damage in a choke.

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Erosion Damage exit of the choke

Erosion damage
in the exit end
high velocity
gas.

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Erosion sand slurries continue to


cut..

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Erosion in a partly open plug valve.


Never use a valve to throttle any flow
operation or venting of gas use a choke.
Valves in the flow line should be fully shut or
fully open.
A small leak through a valve will become worse
(wash out) very quickly in most cases,
particularly when solids are in the flow stream.

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Erosion in a fixed choke bean


Trinidad.

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Time to failure? A few minutes.


Notice the shape of the
eroded opening?
Most probably from a
perforating producing
formation sand.

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Erosion after breakthrough.


The high velocity that develops
after erosion breaks through
creates much more serious
erosion and much more
damage. Repair leaks
immediately and shut the well
in until they can be repaired.

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OK now both damage and a lot of


cleanup
Very fine sand
carried through a
small leak in a
surface pipe by
rapidly expanding
gas.

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Erosion from Solids in the Mud


What remains of a
rotary table on a
drilling rig after release
of solids laden mud at
extremely high
velocity.
The erosion will
enlarge the opening
until the velocity
through the opening
drops below the
threshold for metal
loss to the solids
stream.

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