Last month, I talked about gravel-packed wells. They make a very efficient well when done right. A crucial part of this is development. When a gravel pack is first installed, it lacks some steps that make a completed project.
When gravel is poured or pumped into a well, it is not settled. There are big spaces, or even voids, between grains. And the pack probably contains fines that will pass through the screen. Also, wall cake is usually not completely removed by the gravel-pack process. This is where development comes in. Gravel pack development requires three things. One, the fine components of the gravel pack, and any fines from the formation, need to be removed and developed out. Second, the wall cake must be completely removed to allow maximum production. And, finally, the gravel pack must be settled and consolidated to a stable condition so that future pumping will not disturb it.