In March 2018, an electric wireline (e-line) milling solution was deployed to remove a composite plug in an unconventional well in Argentina. This abstract details the planning and execution of the first composite plug removal with an e-line milling solution in Argentina.
Plug and perf hydraulic fracturing operations were halted when a composite plug became stuck in the in 5" × 21.4 lb/ft casing at 2,442 m MD in the vertical section of an unconventional well. The operator initially considered mobilizing coil tubing (CT) to mill the plug, however time constraints drove them to explore more efficient alternative options. The availability, short mobilization time, efficient rig up, and past successes of an e-line tractor and milling assembly demonstrated a clear advantage versus CT for this application.
The objective for the milling operation was to remove the composite plug and confirm unrestricted access to the next perf stage at 4,252 m MD. The successful plug milling operation on the 1st run required approximately 9.5 hours of milling. Over the next 11 hours, two additional runs with heavy milling at different depths were required to clear a path to the target depth. The use of this solution allowed the operation to continue as per the program without further interventions.
An e-line milling solution for composite plugs and other wellbore hardware is an efficient and cost- effective alternative to conventional methods. Additional benefits include a substantial decrease in HSE risk exposure by minimizing the operational footprint through a reduction of personnel and equipment.