Challenge: An Operator was looking for a more consistent and cost
effective solution for managing flow during Frac Plug Drill Out operations.
Typical Frac Plug Drill Out operations using a fixed position or manual choke
require continuous adjustments of the choke orifice by the choke operator to
maintain a constant flow rate. When the well produces large quantities of sand,
the choke will start to plug causing the flow rate and pressure to fluctuate
greatly. The choke operator must react quickly to avoid plugging or damaging
the well. The high sand content and high flow rates commonly seen in Frac Plug
Drill Out operations will damage the internal choke parts and sometimes cut
through the choke body. The excessive cost and down-time needed to replace
these internal components can be cost prohibitive.
Solution: The 15K AutoChoke was deployed to effectively and accurately
control near constant bottom-hole pressure while reducing plugging, choke
cutout, and non-productive time. A field trial was arranged in Carthage, TX
that would involve the drill-out of 14 plugs.
Results: The responsiveness of the 15K AutoChoke throughout the field
trial was fast and predictable. The 15K AutoChoke required minimal manual
adjustments during the operation. Crew members commented that it made their job
easier as the flow rate stayed more consistent than with a fixed position
choke. The unique 15K AutoChoke shuttle design automatically adjusts the
orifice to pass varying sized sand slugs without choke operator intervention.
After the job finished, inspection revealed minimal wear to the internal
components and the 15K AutoChoke was reassembled with the same internal parts
for the Operator’s next Frac Plug Drill-Out.