Halliburton releases first fluid efficient, dissolvable frac plug

Halliburton, founded in 1919 is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. With over 50,000 employees, representing 140 nationalities in approximately 70 countries, the company helps its customers maximize value throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the asset. Halliburton Company has released the Illusion Spire, the first fluid efficient dissolvable frac plug. Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) released fluid efficient, a new technology that automates and enhances continuous circulation connections during the operations. Continuous circulation provides the uninterrupted flow of drilling fluid into the well throughout the process of adding or removing drill pipe joints to the drill string. In the unconventional market, the time to bring a well on production is critical. Traditional plug designs can result in suboptimal plug conveyance and excessive fluid volumes.

After the e-cd Plus system to surface control equipment, a proprietary software remotely controls all steps of the flow diversion and side port connection process that is currently completed via manual human operation. The overall system maintains a small footprint and can reduce the number of rig personnel required to safely provide continuous downhole circulation. “Our goal was to develop the industry’s most advanced frac plug that delivers increased efficiency to help operators reduce rig time and save costs,” said Mark Dawson, V.P. of completion tools. The system also helps improve success in challenging projects such as wells with narrow pore pressure/fracture gradients by keeping bottom-hole pressure and fluid properties constant, cooling equipment in high-pressure and high temperature applications and providing continuous wellbore cleaning by movement of cuttings in extended reach wells.

Since Halliburton performed the first commercial fracturing treatment in 1949, the development of specialized fracturing fluid systems has been a constant research and development focus. The fluid systems are designed to implement a treatment according to design in order to help increase production and improve the Operator’s return on investment. Designs are based on these key parameters:
1. Fluid type
2. Viscosity requirements
3. Fluid rheology
4. Economics of fluid
5. Experience with local formations
6. Laboratory data on the formation
7. Material availability
8. Proppant selection
Fluid systems optimized to these parameters can result in minimized formation and fracture face damage for maximized results. Fluid systems may be linear gels, crosslinked gels, foam or friction-reduced water.

“We designed the e-cd Plus system to meet the growing market demand for continuous circulation technology in highly regulated markets by improving safety, efficiency and reducing overall connection time to save valuable rig time,” said Daniel Casale, vice president of Testing and Subsea. “With the automated system, not only is a dual pressure barrier maintained during operations, but it has the versatility to run either as a standalone solution or to be used in managed pressure drilling operations to help reduce risk in difficult wells.” On a recent project in the North Sea, an operator was previously unable to successfully reach target depth due to poor cuttings movement and wellbore stress. They deployed the automated diversion portion of the e-cd Plus system to provide continuous circulation over two well sections and approximately 6,800 feet of total open-hole drilling. The operator successfully reached total depth and cemented the liner in each section, helping eliminate the challenges that halted operation in the previous offset well.

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