A technician works on an i-Frac tool

i-Frac CEM Sleeves

The i-Frac sleeves are ball-drop-activated multistage fracturing sleeves designed for cemented, openhole, multiple open/close, and openhole horizontal completions.

  • Description Description
  • Ruler Specifications
  • Resources Resources

The i-Frac CEM is a ball-drop-activated multistage fracturing sleeve designed for cemented horizontal completions. The system is installed as an integrated part of the lower completion string. Multiple stages can be installed in a wellbore, with each stage containing 1 to 20 sliding sleeves. Once installed, the system is cemented in place as a normal casing string, and a specially designed wiper dart is pumped from surface to ensure that the pipe inside diameter (ID) and ball seats are wiped free of cement. For each stage, one ball is pumped from surface to open all sleeves in the given stage. The fracturing job can be carried out in a continuous pumping operation with no preparation time between stages.

SPE papers:


  • Ball-drop operated
  • Designed for cemented applications
  • Configurable nozzles and shear pressures
  • 1/6-, ⅛-, 1/10-, 1/12-, and 1/16-in. seat increments
  • Between 1 and 20 sleeves per stage
  • No explosives required on location
  • Drillable cast-iron ball seats for easy mill-out
  • Proven field success across all major plays
  • Compatible with dissolvable frac ball technology – Fracturing balls degrade over a calculated time period in the presence of temperature and fluid, allowing production operations to begin with no well intervention.
  • Maximum number of stages:
    • 32 stages for 4.5 in.
    • 37 stages for 5.5 in.


  • Increased time and cost efficiency compared with traditional plug-and-perf methods
  • Able to employ continuous pumping operations
  • Excellent zonal isolation
  • Optimized fracture initiation
  • Multiple stages per well
  • Maximizes reservoir contact
  • Reduces HSE risk by eliminating the need for dedicated wireline operations
  • Decreases amount of water used compared with traditional plug-and-perf methods
  • Features millable seats for future fullbore applications


  • Fracturing/stimulation
  • Production
  • Injection
  • Acidizing

Technical Data

i-Frac CEM 15K   Seat O.D., mm (in.)  I.D.¹, mm (in.)   Length², mm (in.) Working
Pressue, kPa (psi) 
Temp., °C (°F)
 4.500 - 5.000 Flex or Flex
w/ Integrated
Fixed Seat
 135.89 (5.350)  92.71 (3.650)  1170.94 (46.100)  104,000 (15,000)  176 (350)  API and

1 Milled out diameter
2 Length may vary depending on end sub threading

  • 80-Sleeve i-Frac CEM Cemented Completion Case Study
  • A Cemented, Multi-Zone, Ball-Drop Activated Frac Sleeve Completion in the North Sea Case Study
  • Ball Drop Activated Multi-Stage Acid Frac Operation with Dissolvable Balls Case Study
  • i-Frac CEM 5.5-Inch Cemented Sleeve Installation 18 Stages with 4 Sleeves Per Stage, Using Dissolvable Frac Balls Case Study
  • i-Frac CEM 15k Specification
  • North Sea Operator Sets Record and 80 i-Frac CEM Sleeves in Extended Reach, Matrix Acidizing Completion Case Study
  • Drilling Contractor July/August 2017 - North Sea wells prove efficiency, function of multistage ball-actuated, sleeve-based stimulation system
A render displaying the i-Frac tool next to a cutout view side by side
A closeup of a technician working on an i-Frac CEM tool
A render portraying the i-Frac CEM tool in use underground
An i-Frac CEM Sleeve rests on a stand as it gets worked on by a technician.

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