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An operator working in the Eagle Ford play in south Texas had drilled and cased two wells and was planning to fracture them using the plug-and-perf style completion method. Looking to reduce costs, the operator contacted Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) about combining the latest frac plug technology with proven milling expertise.

BHGE recommended deploying its new TORPEDO™ composite frac plugs to divert treatments, and then using its through-tubing milling service to rapidly drill out the plugs. The proposed milling bottomhole assembly (BHA) included a 4½-in. tricone rock bit, a 33 /8-in. VIP workover motor, and a 33 /8-in. Hydropull extended-reach tool.

The TORPEDO plug, which features a shorter, more compact design with only a single set of slips versus the traditional two sets, significantly reduces millout time compared with conventional plugs. It is also robust and impact resistant, enabling increased run-in speeds with reduced preset risk. And with hundreds of thousands of frac plugs milled to-date—including TORPEDO plug millouts in basins across the US—the BHGE through-tubing team was confident it could deliver a fast, single-trip millout on this job.

Eager to explore all possible efficiency gains, the operator agreed to deploy the new plugs in both wells and to allow the BHGE through-tubing milling service team to drill them out. A total of 26 TORPEDO plugs were run in each well and set at regular intervals across the 6,700-ft (2,042-m) laterals. The operator and the BHGE team monitored parameters at surface throughout fracturing operations and pressure signatures confirmed successful treatment diversion

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Challenges & Results
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Challenges

  • Long plug millout times
  • Difficulty circulating large plug debris out of wellbores
  • Operator needed to reduce plug-and-perf costs

Results

  • Cut plug millout times by more than 50% and saved $20,000 USD per well
  • Achieved an average plug millout time of 5.5 min across 52 plugs in two wells
  • Generated small plug cuttings and improved well cleanout
  • Milled all plugs in each well in a single trip and with zero motor stalls