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Bridge Plug Drillouts Cleaning Practices—An Overview

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: Horizontal fracture-simulated completions remain the most reliable method of producing hydrocarbons from shale formations. The vast majority of unconventional wells are completed using the “Plug and Perf” method. This method involves using either a coiled tubing (CT) with a positive displacement motor or a jointed pipe to mill out composite plugs after fracturing operations are completed. An estimated average of 120,000 composite plugs is installed in the US alone each year. Bridge plug drillouts from milling operations tend to accumulate in horizontal wells and can cause stuck pipe incidents and loss of well control. Efficient removal of composite plugs’ debris is crucial in achieving operational efficacies and full production potential. This paper provides an overview of the various bridge plug drillouts cleaning practices adopted in horizontal wells. It discusses several case histories, showcasing how operators solved cleanout challenges. Developed mechanistic models to better understand hole cleaning are also reviewed. As more unconventional wells are being set at more extensive depths, an economical and optimized coiled tubing process becomes increasingly important. This paper focuses on delivering a more conclusive set of recommendations to increase efficiency and improve current composite plug coiled tubing cleaning-milling practices, increase operational efficiency and reduce cost.

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