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Baker Hughes has announced the commercial release of its SHADOW™ series frac plug, a permanent, large-bore, flow-through frac plug designed to be left downhole after fracturing operations are complete. SHADOW plugs are a more efficient alternative to traditional composite plugs because they eliminate coiled tubing operations from the critical well path and enable reduced costs and lower HSE risks.
SHADOW plugs feature a large flow-through inside diameter (ID) and use IN-Tallic™ disintegrating frac balls, allowing production flow—with the plugs in place—as soon as fracturing operations are complete. The IN-Tallic™ frac balls, which are made with a controlled electrolytic metallic (CEM) nanostructured material, hold pressure during fracturing and disintegrate in the well when exposed to produced fluids, leaving a large ID to enable maximum production. The initial reservoir entry point is created using our Alpha™ sleeve pressure-actuated valve, rather than a perforating gun run in on coiled tubing.
Because the plugs stay in the well, they can be set beyond the reach of coiled tubing-conveyed milling tools, allowing operators to fracture longer lateral sections and maximize reservoir access. The plugs are also ideal for developments in remote locations where it may be difficult to procure intervention equipment.
The SHADOW plug was field tested on two of seven wells in the Horn River Basin while the other five wells were completed using conventional composite plugs. The wells with the SHADOW frac plugs produced at the same volume as the wells using the composite plugs. However, because the drillout phase was eliminated, the time on well was reduced by approximately two days for a cost savings of $150,000 per well.