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A customer performing plug-and-perf completions in Colorado was looking for ways to reduce costs and opted to run the new MILLITE™ lightweight frac plug from Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE). Unlike conventional plugs that contain hard, heavy components such as cast iron slips and ceramic buttons, the MILLITE plug is built completely out of a robust, engineered alloy material that is 70% lighter than conventional composite plugs, and enables smoother milling, and easier, more complete debris removal.

The trial well had a measured depth of 10,800 ft (3,292 m) and a lateral section measuring 4,400 ft (1,341 m). The completion plan called for a total of 22 plugs to be set at regular intervals.

In addition to being lighter and more compact than conventional composite plugs, the MILLITE lightweight frac plug is also wear- and preset-resistant, virtually eliminating preset risks during run-in. Because of this, the customer was able to deploy the plugs at an average speed of 750 ft/min (229 m/min). Clear pressure signatures were observed as balls were landed on the plugs at 25 bbl/min, confirming the plugs remained anchored in place during treatment diversion.

After fracturing operations were complete, a milling bottomhole assembly was deployed and all 22 MILLITE plugs were milled with zero motor stalls or short trips, reducing intervention time and minimizing coiled tubing (CT) cycling costs. A plug mill was used on the first five plugs, and a BHGE Vanguard™ plug bit was used on the remaining 17 plugs. Both the mill and the bit demonstrated excellent milling performance and the average millout time was only five minutes per plug. The plug debris easily circulated out of the well without the aid of chemicals, and the Vanguard bit showed minimal wear.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Customer wanted to accelerate plug milling and improve debris removal


  • Milled 22 lightweight frac plugs in an average of five minutes each
  • Experienced zero motor stalls
  • Required zero short trips
  • Improved hole cleaning
  • Minimized intervention time and CT cycling costs
  • Ran plugs in at 750 ft/min without any issues
  • Enabled fast frac ball pump-down operations (landed balls at 25 bbl/min)