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VapR frac plugs maximize a customer’s efficiencies in the Appalachian basin

A successful frac plug run in the Utica shale play with NOV’s dissolvable and composite frac plug offerings exceeds customer expectations.

Oct 26, 2020

In plug-and-perf completion operations, customers want to maximize their efficiency by deploying dissolvable frac plug technology. The challenge has always been getting the right design and dissolvable technology to provide full zonal isolation throughout the stimulation and reliably dissolve in a timely manner. The available options are currently limited in application due to the fluid/plug interactions downhole, which is highly dependent on variant temperatures and chloride content.

A recent customer in the Utica shale play of the Appalachian basin chose to use our VapR™ dissolvable frac plug because of its minimalistic design, superior downhole performance during frac treatment, and customizable material based on the variant fluid environment. The plug was installed in combination with our Setter™ composite frac plugs.

The customer deployed multiple VapR dissolvable frac plugs with the deepest plug being installed at 16,247 ft. They were able to maximize efficiency in reducing water consumption and operation time during pump-down operations with rates up to 19 bpm and 550-ft/min line speed due to the frac plug’s robust design. During the actual frac operations, 100% of the ball seat signatures were identified, no slipping of the frac plugs was observed, and the maximum frac rate achieved was 90 bpm at 11,400-psi surface treating pressure. During one of the stages treatment was shut down due to an issue with surface equipment that left the VapR exposed to corrosive downhole fluids for a few hours. Despite long exposure in a corrosive environment, the VapR continued to hold treatment pressure, maintaining zonal isolation and maximizing performance.

There were no downhole tags observed for the frac plugs during the cleanout run that was done to mill-out the Setter composite plugs in the upper stage. This confirmed that frac plugs successfully dissolved and the operator was extremely pleased with the mill-out of the Setter composite plug and the dissolution of the VapR frac plugs.

Through the simple, unique, and minimalist design, we were able to perform the high-pressure frac stimulation and dissolve the plug well within the customer’s expected time window. Using the VapR plugs allowed the customer to begin producing the well much faster than expected.


Mohammed Munawar
Global Product Line Manager
Mohammed Munawar

Mohammed Munawar, Global Product Line Manager, Multistage Completions, provides guidance and managerial direction for multistage fracturing and stimulation technologies within the NOV Completion Tools business unit. He is a recognized technical expert in cased-hole, open-hole/cemented multi-zone frac completions, heavy oil, and sand control techniques. He has coauthored several technical papers in multiple SPE publications. Between Weatherford and NOV, Munawar spent about 15 years in the well completion space and held positions in many world-wide regions, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and the United States. He holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Al-Baath in Syria.

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