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An operator in the Permian Basin was looking for the quickest, most economical option for post-frac intervention. They were hoping to use disintegrating frac plugs, despite low well temperatures, to eliminate post-frac milling and plug remnants left in the wellbore.

Wanting to compare several options, the operator opted to run SPECTRE™ LT disintegrating frac plugs from Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), on the same pad as a competitor. The SPECTRE is built completely out of patented controlled electrolytic metallic (CEM) material, and is the only one on the market that disintegrates fully (including elastometer) after fracturing, eliminating unexpected milling costs and/or extra cleanup costs associated with nondisintegrating plug components. The recent introduction of the SPECTRE lowtemperature (LT) disintegrating frac plug extends the reliable disintegration envelope to temperatures as low as 100˚F (37˚C)—the lowest in the industry.

The customer ran SPECTRE LT plugs on one well and a competitor’s “disintegrating” plugs on the other two adjacent wells. After running a full wellbore of 49 SPECTRE LT plugs, the customer deployed coiled tubing (CT) the following day on all three wells. The SPECTRE LT plugs successfully held through every stage of the frac, and after only 20 hours, all except six plugs had already fully disintegrated. The low-temperature, low salinity requirements of the BHGE CEM material enabled the plugs to withstand the high frac pressures, but were faster in fully disintegrating than the competitor’s plugs. The drillout time on the 50 stages averaged under 30 seconds.

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Challenges & Results
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Challenges

  • Frac plug integrity and rate of disintegration in a low temperature well
  • Elimination of post-frac milling and remnants left in the wellbore

Results

  • Eliminated significant clean out time versus traditional composite plugs
  • Saved operator 16 hours of post-frac intervention and an estimated $45,000 USD compared to the competitor
  • Saved operator 48 hours of post-frac intervention and an estimated $140,000 compared to traditional composite plugs