Specific Challenge

Use a coiled tubing unit to mill out composite frac plugs

Region - United States Region - United States

North Dakota, Williston Basin

Region - United States


  • Use a coiled tubing unit to mill out composite frac plugs in extended-reach laterals
  • Uncertainty about whether the millout would succeed 
  • Potential for lost or stuck bottomhole assembly


  • Set Illusion dissolving frac plugs in the toes of the wellbores 
  • Illusion plugs help eliminate the need for milling to remove them from the wellbore


  • Illusion frac plugs were set as deep as 20,911 ft (approx. 6,400 m) 
  • The coiled tubing unit easily cleaned out the wells, with no bottomhole assembly issues 
  • Operator saved time and reduced overall completion costs.


To reduce cost and completion time, an operator in the Williston Basin opted to use a coiled tubing unit to mill out composite frac plugs. But there were concerns about the capability to mill out the composite plugs in the extended-reach laterals. Halliburton Illusion® frac plugs were installed in the first few stages of several wells, and the operator was able to quickly drillout to the total depth of each well without any issues.


The operator had been using a workover rig to mill out composite frac plugs after completing the stimulation treatment. But to reduce cost and completion time using the plug-and-perforate technique, they decided to use a coiled tubing unit for the millout. The revised approach raised concerns that they would not be able to mill through the composite at great depths, as well as the potential for intervention costs should the coiled tubing bottomhole assembly get lost or stuck.


Halliburton recommended using Illusion dissolving frac plugs instead of composite plugs in the toes of the wells. The self-removing nature of the Illusion plug helps eliminate the need for milling to remove them from the wellbore. 


plugs set


Illusion frac plug setting depth with no issues


saved in intervention time


The Illusion frac plugs were pumped and set as much as 20,911 feet deep (approx. 6,400 meters) without any issues. With very little material in the toes of the wellbores, the coiled tubing unit easily cleaned out the wells. After installing over 60 plugs, only twice did the coiled tubing unit encounter debris that required milling near the setting depth of the plugs. When milling was required, the time was substantially reduced compared to composite frac plug mill times.

By reducing the risk of stuck or lost bottomhole assembly components, Halliburton saved the operator as much as $200,000 and several days of intervention work. Mitigating the concerns over cleaning out the wellbores with a coiled tubing unit saved the operator time and money, and allowed them to reduce the overall cost of their completions.

Frac Plugs

Reduces risk and cost associated with conventional plug removal

The Illusion frac plug not only helps alleviate the cost and time of plug mill-out operations, but it also helps remove the risk associated with coiled tubing.

Download Data Sheet
Illusion Frac Plug
Illusion Frac Plug

Related Products

Illusion® Dissolvable Frac Plugs

Illusion® Dissolvable Frac Plugs

This high-performance frac plug provides zonal isolation of the wellbore during stimulation treatment and customized dissolution times


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