In conjunction with the industry and basin-wide paradigm shift to drilling and completing extended laterals, Matador Resources Company (the operator) made significant plans in 2018 that would focus activity toward wells with laterals greater than one-mile. One operational hurdle to overcome in this shift change was the effective execution of removing frac plugs and sand at increased depths during a post-stimulation frac plug millout. Utilization of coiled-tubing units (CTUs) had been proven to be a successful millout method in one-mile laterals, but not without risk. Rig-assisted snubbing units coupled with workover rigs (WORs) provided for less risk with higher pulling strength capabilities and the ability to rotate tubing, but would often require operational time of up to twice that of typical coiled-tubing unit millouts. The stand-alone, rigless Hydraulic Completion Unit (HCU) was ultimately tested as a solution and proved to alleviate risks in extended lateral millouts while providing operational time and cost comparable to coiled-tubing units.
The operator has since performed post-stimulation frac plug millouts on ∼45 horizontal wells in the Delaware Basin using HCUs. The majority of these wells carried lateral lengths of over 1.5 miles. Results and benefits observed by the operator include but are not limited to the list below: 1.) Ability to safely and consistently reach total depth (TD) on extended laterals through increased snubbing/pickup force and the HCU's pipe rotating ability 2.) Ability to pump at higher circulation rates in high-pressured wells (>3,500 psi wellhead pressure) to assist in effective wellbore cleaning 3.) Smaller footprint which allows for the utilization of two units simultaneously on multi-well pads 4.) Time and cost comparable to a standard coiled-tubing millout, particularly on multi-well pads.