.pdf asset-performance field_planning_color fit_for_purpose_color production_optimization_recovery_color kpi-box kpi-money kpi-time ::before

An operator in Colorado’s Wattenberg basin contacted Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) for a plug milling solution to deliver production in two plug-and-perf style, unconventional wells completed with 5 1 /2-in. 20 lb/ft casing.

In the first well, a total of 82 frac composite plugs were set to isolate and hydraulically fracture all the zones of interest. The plugs were installed at regular intervals at depths ranging from 7,582 ft to 17,158 ft (2,311 m to 5,230 m). For this milling operation, BHGE used a 2.875 PH-6 pipe workstring with a 4.625- in. OD Vanguard™ VG3-DO bit driven by a 3.375-in. O.D. Navi-Drill VIP™ series workover motor.

Designed for toughness

The Vanguard VG-3DO bit is specifically designed for challenging plug milling operations. Key features include selfsharpening steel teeth with increased tooth count for improved rate of penetration, a high-aspect ratio seal to maintain bit life when exposed to workover motor high RPM, and proprietary bearing technology featuring larger ball bearings designed to prevent bearing wear and the risk of loss of cones in the well.

The Navi-Drill VIP workover motor is extremely durable and reliable, capable of generating exceptional power for extended milling operations without loss of performance.

All 82 fac plugs were milled out in one run without incident. The average pump rate throughout was 4.0 bbl/min. Postjob inspection of the bit confirmed that it was full OD and that the cones were in good condition, with all bearings and seals fully intact.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Mill all plugs in one run
  • Long wells with lateral depths of 7,582 ft and 10,400 ft, total depths of 17,158 ft >17,300 ft


  • Milled a record number of frac plugs on back-to-back wells using the VG-3DO bit
  • Milled 82 and 83 (a new BHGE record) composite plugs in single trips
  • Saved a total of four days of rig time ($355,000 USD) on the two wells
  • Achieved an increase of 30% over the previous record of 66 plugs milled with the VG3DO bit