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Ball and Seat

In order to activate each sleeve, a properly sized ball is pumped along with a fracturing fluid inside the well. Each ball is smaller than the opening of all of the previous sleeves, but larger than the sleeve it is intended to open. Seating of the ball exerts pressure at the end of the sliding sleeve assembly, causing it to slide and open the frac ports. Once the port is opened, the fluid is diverted into the open hole space outside of the completion assembly, causing the formation to fracture.


At the completion of each fracturing stage, the next larger ball is injected into the well, which open the next sleeve, and so on, until all of the sleeves are opened and multiple fractures are created in the well. The main advantage of this completion technique is the speed of operation which also reduces costs.


Typically, ball sizes are staged in .250" or .125" increments. It is important to understand that this process is not without risk of failure and should only be undertaken after considerable research and consideration. Frac plugs are designed to seal from above the plug only. Each plug uses a plastic fracturing ball that seals on top of the mandrel. The fracturing ball is free to float off the mandrel with pressure or flow from below the plug. This allows immediate flow back of all zones following treatment.

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