Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20050236161 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/111,230
Publication dateOct 27, 2005
Filing dateApr 21, 2005
Priority dateApr 23, 2004
Also published asCA2562019A1, CA2562019C, DE602005021874D1, EP1743081A1, EP1743081B1, WO2005103437A1
Publication number11111230, 111230, US 2005/0236161 A1, US 2005/236161 A1, US 20050236161 A1, US 20050236161A1, US 2005236161 A1, US 2005236161A1, US-A1-20050236161, US-A1-2005236161, US2005/0236161A1, US2005/236161A1, US20050236161 A1, US20050236161A1, US2005236161 A1, US2005236161A1
InventorsMichael Gay, Sarmad Adnan, John Lovell
Original AssigneeMichael Gay, Sarmad Adnan, John Lovell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Optical fiber equipped tubing and methods of making and using
US 20050236161 A1
Abstract
The present invention relates to an optical fiber equipped tubing and methods of making and using the same. The optical fiber equipped tubing comprises a fiber optic tube deployed within a tubular, the fiber optic tube having at least one optical fiber disposed within a duct, the duct typically being a metallic metal compatible with wellbore environments. The present invention also relates to a method of making an optical fiber equipped tubing comprising pumping a fluid into a tubular and deploying a fiber optic tube into the tubular by propelling it in the flow of the pumped fluid. The present invention also provides a method of communicating in wellbore using a fiber optic tube disposed within a wellbore tubular. In certain embodiments, this communication may be combined with a wireless communication system at the surface. In certain embodiments, the tubular may be coiled tubing and the fiber optic tube may be deployed in the coiled tubing while the tubing is spooled on a reel or while the tubing is deployed in a wellbore.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(26)
1. An optical fiber equipped tubing comprising a fiber optic tube disposed within a tubular.
2. The tubing of claim 1 wherein the fiber optic tube comprises more than one optical fiber.
3. The tubing of claim 1 wherein the fiber optic tube comprises a duct comprising a metallic material.
4. The tubing of claim 1 wherein the tubular is coiled tubing.
5. The tubing of claim 4 wherein the coiled tubing is spooled on a reel.
6. The tubing of claim 4 wherein the coiled tubing is deployed in a wellbore.
7. The tubing of claim 1 wherein the fiber optic tube is internally pressurized.
8. The tubing of claim 1 wherein the fiber optic tube further contains an inert gas.
9. The tubing of claim 1 wherein the fiber optic tube further contains a gel.
10. A method of making an optical fiber equipped tubing comprising
pumping a fluid into a tubular; and
deploying a fiber optic tube into the fluid as pumped in the tubular, the tube having at least one optical fiber disposed therein,
wherein the flow of the pumped fluid propels the tube along the tubular.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein the tubular is coiled tubing.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein the fluid is pumped into the coiled tubing whilst the tubing is at least partially spooled on a reel.
13. The method of claim 11 wherein the fluid is pumped into the coiled tubing whilst the tubing is deployed in a wellbore.
14. The method of claim 10, wherein the at least one optical fiber is disposed in the fiber optic tube in an inert environment.
15. A method of communicating in a wellbore comprising
deploying an optical fiber equipped tubing into a wellbore, said tubing comprising a fiber optic tube having at least one optical fiber disposed therein, the fiber optic tubing being disposed in the tubing by fluid flow;
determining a property in the wellbore; and
transmitting the determined property via at least one of the optical fibers disposed in the fiber optic tubing.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein the property is determined by the least one optical fiber.
17. The method of claim 15 further comprising disposing at least one sensor in the wellbore, wherein at least one sensor determines the property.
18. The method of claim 15 wherein the determined property is transmitted from the wellbore to the surface.
19. The method of claim 15 further comprising deploying an apparatus into the wellbore and transmitting a signal to the apparatus via at least one of the optical fibers disposed in the fiber optic tubing.
20. The method of claim 15 wherein the tubing is coiled tubing and the step of deploying the tubing comprises unspooling the coiled tubing from a reel into the wellbore.
21. The method of claim 20 further comprising the step of retrieving the coiled tubing from the wellbore by spooling the coiled tubing onto the reel.
22. The method of claim 21 wherein the apparatus is conveyed on the tubing into the wellbore.
23. The method of claim 15, further comprising transmitting a signal from the surface via at least one of the optical fibers.
24. The method of claim 15 wherein the transmission includes wireless communication.
25. The method of claim 24 wherein said fiber optic tubing is disposed on a reel and a wireless apparatus is mounted on the reel.
26. The method of claim 15 wherein more than one optical fiber is disposed within the fiber optic tubing; and further comprising disposing more than one sensor in the wellbore, wherein at least two of the sensors determines a property, each determined property being transmitted on different ones of the optical fibers within the fiber optic tubing.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application 60/564,934 filed Apr. 23, 2004.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to oilfield operations and more particularly methods and apparatus using fiber optics in coiled tubing operations in a wellbore.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Coiled tubing operations are used commonly in the oilfield industry, for example to pump fluids to a desired location in the wellbore or to manipulate oilfield assemblies. One advantage of coiled tubing is that it is provided on reels such that coiled tubing is unreeled as it is inserted into a wellbore for a particular use and then reeled or spooled back on the reel as it is extracted from the wellbore. Coiled tubing reels may be conveniently stored or moved, and spooled coiled tubing may be transported on a trailer, flat, or truck. The use of coiled tubing as a different type of wellbore conveyance in wellbore applications is increasing, resulting in an increasing need for downhole apparatus and methods adapted for use with coiled tubing. Difficulties inherent with using conventional downhole electromechanical apparatus with coiled tubing include lack of power to the downhole apparatus and the lack of telemetry from the downhole apparatus to the surface.
  • [0004]
    It is known to use conventional wireline in coiled tubing to provide communications between downhole operations and the surface, including transmitting uphole data measured by a variety of wellbore tools and transmitting commands downhole to effect a variety of operations. Use of wireline cable in coiled tubing presents logistical challenges, however, such as installation of the wireline cable in the coiled tubing and the reduced fluid capacity of the coiled tubing owing to the space taken by the wireline cable.
  • [0005]
    The addition of wireline to a coiled tubing string significantly increases the weight of a coiled tubing string. Installation of the wireline into the coiled tubing string is difficult and the wireline is prone to bunch into a “bird nest” within the coiled tubing. This, and the relatively large outer diameter of wireline compared to the internal diameter of coiled tubing, can undesirably obstruct the flow of fluids through the coiled tubing, such flow through the coiled tubing frequently being an integral part of the wellbore operation. Furthermore, some fluids routinely pumped through coiled tubing, such as acid, cement and proppant-bearing fracturing fluids, may have an adverse affect on the integrity or performance of wireline cable. In addition, pumping fluid down the coiled tubing can create a drag force on the wireline cable owing to the frictional force between the fluid and the surface of the cable.
  • [0006]
    Installation of wireline or other electrical cable into coiled tubing is difficult and cumbersome as its weight and bending stiffness can contribute to a high friction force between the cable and the interior of the coiled tubing. Methods for installing wireline in coiled tubing are discussed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,573,225 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,699,996, each of which is incorporated herein by reference. The methods described in each of these patents require a significant installation apparatus at the surface to overcome the high frictional force between the cable and the coiled tubing and to convey the cable into the coiled tubing. The size of such an apparatus makes it unfeasible for use in some operations, particularly in offshore operations.
  • [0007]
    Use of optical fiber in various applications and operations is increasing. Optical fiber provides many advantages over wireline when used as a transmission medium such as small size, lightweight, large bandwidth capacity, and high speed of transmission. A significant challenge to using optical fibers in subterranean oilfield operations is that the free hydrogen ions will cause darkening of the fiber at the elevated temperatures that are commonly found in subterranean wells. The use of optical fiber in wireline cable is known such as that described in U.S. Pat. No 6,690,866 incorporated herein in its entirety by reference. This patent teaches adding a hydrogen absorbing material or scavenging gel to surround the optical fibers inside a first metal tube. This patent also teaches that wireline cable disclosed therein requires significant tensile strength and teaches that this strength can be obtained by rigidly attaching the first metal tube to the interior of a second metal tube. Both teachings can significantly add to the cost and weight of the cable. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,630, incorporated herein in its entirety by reference, a method of deploying a remote measurement apparatus in a wellbore, the apparatus comprising a conduit in which a fiber optic sensor and a fiber optic cable is disposed, the cable being propelled along the conduit by fluid flow in a conduit. In GB Patent 2362909, incorporated herein in its entirety by reference, a method is proposed for placing sensors that relies upon first installing first a hollow conduit into the coiled tubing and then subsequently pumping a single fiber into that conduit. None of these patents teach or suggest propelling an optically enabled conduit or cable into a tubular using fluid flow.
  • [0008]
    Methods of installing optical fibers in tubulars often are directed towards installing the optical fiber by pumping or dragging the fiber into the tubular. In U.S. patent application Publication 2003/0172752, incorporated herein by in its entirety by reference, methods for installing an optical fiber through a conduit in a wellbore application using a fluid, wherein a seal is provided between the optical fiber and the conduit are described. To install an optical fiber in coiled tubing using these methods would require 1) unreeling the coiled tubing, 2) extending the coiled tubing (either in a wellbore or on the surface) and 3) deploying the optical fiber. Such a process is directed toward the installation of a single optical fiber in a tubular; it is time consuming and thus costly from an operational perspective. Furthermore, these methods are directed toward installing a single optical fiber in a tubular and are not conducive to installation of multiple fibers in a tubular. In addition, these methods do not contemplate recovery or reuse of the optical fiber.
  • [0009]
    Use of multiple optic fibers however may provide advantages in many situations over the use of a single optical fiber. Using multiple fibers provides operational redundancy in the event that any particular fiber becomes damaged or broken. Multiple fibers provide increased transmission capacity over a single fiber and permit flexibility to segregate different types of transmissions to different fibers. These advantages may be particularly important in downhole applications where access is limited, environmental conditions may be extreme, and dual-direction (uphole and downhole) transmission is required. Using multiple optical fibers also allows an individual optical fiber to be used for a specific apparatus or sensor. This configuration is useful as some sensors, such as Fabry-Perot devices, require a dedicated optical fiber. The configuration also is useful for sensors with digital telemetry for which a separate fiber may be required. Sensors using Fiber-Bragg grating for example require a separate fiber from the fiber used for carrying digital optical telemetry.
  • [0010]
    For clarity, the term “duct” is used herein to identify a small tube or hollow carrier that encompasses an optical fiber or fibers. The term “optical fiber” refers to a fiber or a waveguide capable of transmitting optical energy. The term “fiber optic tube” or “fiber optic tether” is used to identify the combination of an optical fiber or multiple optical fibers disposed in a duct. The term “fiber optic cable” refers to a cable, wire, wireline or slickline that comprises one or more optical fibers. “Tubular” and “tubing” refers to a conduit to any kind of a round hollow apparatus in general, and in the area of oilfield applications to casing, drill pipe, metal tube, or coiled tubing or other such apparatus.
  • [0011]
    Various methods of manufacturing fiber optic tubes are known. Two examples are laser welding, such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,852,790, incorporated herein in its entirety, and tungsten inert gas welding (TIG) such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,366,362, incorporated herein in its entirety. Neither patent teaches or suggests the insertion of such tubes into a spooled tubular by fluid flow.
  • [0012]
    Therefore it may be seen that there exists a need for an apparatus, methods of making, and methods of using fiber optic tubing disposed in a tubular, and in particular, a need for such an apparatus and methods of using in wellbore applications.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0013]
    The present invention comprises optical fiber equipped tubing and methods of making and using the same. In a broad sense, the present invention comprises an optical fiber equipped tubing comprising a fiber optic tube deployed within a tubular. In many embodiments, the fiber optic tube comprises a metallic material, and in some embodiments, the fiber optic tube comprises more than one optical fiber. In many embodiments, the fiber optic tube will be constructed in an inert nitrogen environment so that the optical fiber or fibers therein are not exposed to hydrogen or water during manufacturing. The tubular may be, in particular, coiled tubing. In another embodiment, the present invention relates to a method of making an optical fiber equipped tubing comprising pumping a fluid into a tubular, deploying a fiber optic tube into the fluid as pumped in the tubular, such that the flow of the pumped fluid propels the tube along the tubular. When the tubular is coiled tubing, the fiber optic tube may be deployed in the coiled tubing while the tubing is spooled on a reel or while the tubing is deployed in a wellbore. In another embodiment, the present invention provides a method of communicating in a wellbore comprising deploying an optical fiber equipped tubing having at least one optical fiber disposed therein, the fiber optic tubing being disposed in the tubing by fluid flow; determining a property in the wellbore; and transmitting the determined property via at least one of the optical fibers disposed in the fiber optic tubing. In some embodiments, the least one optical fiber senses the information for transmitting. The method may also comprise disposing at least one sensor in the wellbore, with the sensor determining the property, and the sensed information transmitted to the surface via the optical fiber in the fiber optic tube. In other embodiments, more than one sensor may be disposed in the wellbore, each sensor transmitting its sensed property over a different optical fiber in the coiled tubing. In many embodiments the optical fiber or fibers will be attached to a wireless communication device via a pressure bulkhead so that the optical signal can readily transmitted to a surface computer while the coiled tubing is being spooled into and out of the wellbore. In some embodiments, the present invention provides an apparatus that is deployed into the wellbore and in communication with the surface for receiving signals or transmitting sensed information over the fiber optic tubing.
  • [0014]
    While a particular embodiment and area of application is presented as an exemplar, namely that of fiber optic equipped coiled tubing useful for wellbore applications, the present invention is not limited to this embodiment and is useful for any application wherein a fiber optic equipped tubing is desirable.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 3 shows a typical configuration for coiled tubing operations.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0019]
    The present invention provides an optical fiber equipped tubing and methods of making and using. The optical fiber equipped tubing of the present invention comprises one or more fiber optic tubes disposed in a tubular. An embodiment comprises a method for installing one or more fiber optic tubes in reeled or spooled tubing such as coiled tubing. Another embodiment provides a method for installing one or more fiber optic tubes in coiled tubing deployed in a wellbore.
  • [0020]
    Within the present invention is the unexpected recognition that a fiber optic tube may be deployed a tubular by pumping the fiber optic tube in a fluid without additional structure or protection. Methods of pumping cables into a tubular are generally considered infeasible owning to the inherent lack of compressional stiffness of cables. Furthermore, the teachings of fiber optic cables suggest that a fiber optic tube needs additional protection or structure for use in a wellbore environment. Thus it is counter-intuitive to consider deploying a fiber optic tube directly in a tubular without encapsulating the tube in additional layers, providing a protective coating, or encompassing it in armor. Similarly it is counter-intuitive to consider deploying a fiber optic tube directly through fluid pumping.
  • [0021]
    An advantage of the optical fiber equipped tubing of the present invention is that the fiber optic tube possesses a certain level of stiffness in compression, leading it to behave more similar mechanically to coiled tubing than does cable or optical fiber alone. As such, use of a fiber optic tube inside coiled tubing avoids many of the slack management challenges presented by other transmission mechanism. Furthermore, the cross-section of a fiber optic tube is relatively small compared to the inner area within coiled tubing, thus limiting the possible physical influence that the fiber optic tube could have on the mechanical behavior of coiled tubing during deployment and retrieval. The small relative diameter of the fiber optic tube combined with its light weight make it more tolerant of pumping action, which is advantageous to avoid the “bird-nesting” or bundling within the coiled tubing that commonly occurs when installing wireline in coiled tubing. Moreover, as slack management problems are avoided in the present invention, optical fiber equipped coiled tubing may be deploying into and retrieved from a wellbore at a quicker rate than coiled tubing with wireline.
  • [0022]
    Referring now to FIG. 1, optical fiber equipped tubing 200 is shown having tubular 105 within which is disposed fiber optic tube 211. In FIG. 1, fiber optic tube 211 is shown comprising duct 203 in which a single optical fiber 201 is disposed. In other embodiments, more than one optical fiber 201 may be provided within fiber optic duct 203. Surface termination 301 or downhole termination 207 may be provided for both physical and optical connections between optical fiber 201 and one or more borehole apparatus or sensor 209. The optical fibers may be multi-mode or single-mode. Types of borehole apparatus or sensor 209 may include, for example, gauges, valves, sampling devices, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, distributed temperature sensors, distributed pressure sensors, flow-control devices, flow rate measurement devices, oil/water/gas ratio measurement devices, scale detectors, actuators, locks, release mechanisms, equipment sensors (e.g., vibration sensors), sand detection sensors, water detection sensors, data recorders, viscosity sensors, density sensors, bubble point sensors, composition sensors, resistivity array devices and sensors, acoustic devices and sensors, other telemetry devices, near infrared sensors, gamma ray detectors, H2S detectors, CO2 detectors, downhole memory units, downhole controllers, perforating devices, shape -charges, firing heads, locators, and other devices.
  • [0023]
    Referring to FIG. 2A, a cross-sectional view of the fiber optic equipped tubing 200 of FIG. 1 is shown. Within tubing 105 is shown a fiber optic tube 211 comprising optical fiber 201 located inside duct 203. Referring to FIG. 2B, another embodiment of the present invention is shown in cross-sectional view in which fiber optic equipped tubing 200 has more than one fiber optic tube 211 is disposed in tubular 105 and in which more than one optical fiber 201 is disposed within duct 203 in at least one of the fiber optic tube 211.
  • [0024]
    In fiber optic tube 211, an inert gas such as nitrogen may be used to fill the space between the optical fiber or fibers 201 and the interior of the duct 203. The fluid may be pressurized in some embodiments to decrease the susceptibility of the fiber optic tube to localized buckling. In a further embodiment, this laser-welding technique is performed in an enclosed environment filled with an inert gas such as nitrogen to avoid exposure to water or hydrogen during manufacturing, thereby minimizing any hydrogen-induced darkening of the optical fibers during oilfield operations. Using nitrogen to fill the space offers advantages of lower cost and greater convenience over other techniques that may require a buffer material, gel, or sealer in the space. In one embodiment, the duct 203 is constructed by bending a metal strip around the optical fiber or fibers 201 and then welding that strip to form an encompassing duct using laser-welding techniques such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,852,790. This gives a significant reduction in the cost and weight of the resulting fiber optic tube 211 compared to other optical cables previously known in the art. A small amount of gel containing palladium or tantalum can optionally be inserted into either end of the fiber optic tube to keep hydrogen ions away from the optical fiber or fibers 201 during transportation of the optically enabled tubing 200.
  • [0025]
    Materials suitable for use in duct 203 in fiber optic tube 211 of the present invention provide stiffness to the tube, are resistant to fluids encountered in oilfield applications, and are rated to withstand the high temperature and high pressure conditions found in some wellbore environments. Typically duct 203 in a fiber optic tube 211 is a metallic material, and in some embodiments, duct 203 comprises metal materials such as Inconel™, stainless steel, or Hasetloy™. While fiber optic tubes manufactured by any method may be used in the present invention, laser welded fiber optic tubes are preferred as the heat affected zone generated by laser welding is normally less than that generated by other methods such as TIG, thus reducing the possibility of damage to the optical fiber during welding.
  • [0026]
    While the dimensions of such fiber optic tubes are small (for example the diameter of such products commercially available from K-Tube, Inc of California, U.S.A. range from 0.5 mm to 3.5 mm), they have sufficient inner void space to accommodate multiple optical fibers. The small size of such fiber optic tubes is particularly useful in the present invention as they do not significantly deduct from the capacity of a tubular to accommodate fluids or create obstacles to other devices or equipment to be deployed in or through the tubular.
  • [0027]
    In some embodiments, fiber optic tube 211 comprises a duct 203 with an outer diameter of 0.071 inches to 0.125 inches (3.175 mm) formed around one or more optical fibers 201. In a preferred embodiment, standard optical fibers are used, and duct 203 is no more than 0.020 inches (0.508 mm) thick. While the diameter of the optical fibers, the protective tube, and the thickness of the protective tube given here are exemplary, it is noteworthy that the inner diameter of the protective tube can be larger than needed for a close packing of the optical fibers.
  • [0028]
    In some embodiments of the present invention, fiber optic tube 211 may comprise multiple optical fibers may be disposed in a duct. In some applications, a particular downhole apparatus may have its own designated optical fiber, or each of a group of apparatuses may have their own designated optical fiber within the fiber optic tube. In other applications, a series of apparatus may use a single optical fiber.
  • [0029]
    Referring now to FIG. 3, a typical configuration for wellbore operations is shown in which coiled tubing 15 is suitable for use as tubular 105 in the present invention. Surface handling equipment includes an injector system 20 on supports 29 and coiled tubing reel assembly 10 on reel stand 12, flat, trailer, truck or other such device. The tubing is deployed into or pulled out of the well using an injector head 19. The equipment further includes a levelwind mechanism 13 for guiding coiled tubing 15 on and off the reel 10. The coiled tubing 15 passes over tubing guide arch 18 which provides a bending radius for moving the tubing into a vertical orientation for injection through wellhead devices into the wellbore. The tubing passes from tubing guide arch 18 into the injector head 19 that grippingly engages the tubing and pushes it into the well. A stripper assembly 21 under the injector maintains a dynamic and static seal around the tubing to hold well pressure within the well as the tubing passes into the wellhead devices under well pressure. The coiled tubing then moves through a blowout preventor (BOP) stack 23, a flow tee 25 and wellhead master valve or tree valve 27. When coiled tubing 15 disposed on coiled tubing reel 10 is deployed into or retrieved from a borehole 8, the coiled tubing reel 10 rotates.
  • [0030]
    Fiber optic tube 211 may be inserted into the coiled tubing 15 through any variety of means. One embodiment comprises attaching a hose to the reel 10 to the other end of which hose is attached a Y-joint. In this configuration, fiber optic tube 211 may be introduced into one leg of the Y and fluid pumped into the other leg. The drag force of the fluid on fiber optic tube 211 then propels the tube down the hose and into the reel 10. It has been found, that in preferred embodiments wherein the outer diameter of the tether is less than 0.125 inches (3.175 mm), a pump rate as low as 1-5 barrels per minute (2.65-13.25 liters per second) is sufficient to propel the tether the full length of the coiled tubing even while it is spooled on the reel.
  • [0031]
    In the method and apparatus of the present invention, a fluid, such as gas or water, may be used to propel a fiber optic tube 211 in a tubular 105. Typically, fiber optic tube 211 is disposed in an unrestrained manner in the pumped fluid. As the fluid is pumped into the tubular, the fiber optic tube is permitted to self-locate in the tubular without the use of external apparatus such as pigs for conveyance or placement or restricting anchors. In particular embodiments, the fluid is pumped and the fiber optic tube or tubes are deployed into coiled tubing while it said coiled tubing is configured in a spooled state on a reel. These embodiments provide logistical advantages as the fiber optic tube or tubes can be deployed into the coiled tubing at a manufacturing plant or other location remote from a wellsite. Thus the optical fiber equipped tubing of the present invention may be transported and field-deployed as a single apparatus, thereby reducing costs and simplifying operations.
  • [0032]
    The optical fiber equipped tubing 200 of the present invention may be used in conventional wellbore operations such as providing a stimulation fluid to a subterranean formation through coiled tubing. One advantage of the present invention is that fiber optic tube 211 tolerates exposure to various well treatment fluids that may be pumped into the coiled tubing; in particular, the fiber optic tube or tubes of the present invention can withstand abrasion by proppant or sand and exposure to corrosive fluids such as acids. Preferably the fiber optic tube is configured as a round tube having a smooth outer diameter, this configuration providing less opportunity for degradation and thus a longer useful life for the fiber optic tube.
  • [0033]
    The optical fiber equipped tubing of the present invention is useful to perform a variety of wellbore operation including determining a wellbore property and transmitting information from the wellbore. Determining includes, by way of example and not limitation, sensing using the optical fiber, sensing using a separate sensor, locating by a downhole apparatus, and confirming a configuration by a downhole apparatus. The optical fiber equipped tubing of the present invention may further comprise sensors such as fiber optic temperature and pressure sensors or electrical sensors coupled with electro-optical converters, disposed in a wellbore and linked to the surface via a fiber optic tube 211. Wellbore conditions that are sensed may be transmitted via fiber optic tube 211. Data sensed by electrical sensors may be converted to analog or digital optical signals using pure digital or wavelength, intensity or polarization modulation and then provided to the optical fiber or fibers in fiber optic tube 211. Alternatively, optical fiber 201 may sense some properties directly, for example when optical fiber 201 serves as a distributed temperature sensor or when optical fiber 201 comprises Fiber-Bragg grating and directly senses strain, stress, stretch, or pressure.
  • [0034]
    The information from the sensors or the property information sensed by optical fiber 201 may be communicated to the surface via fiber optic tube 211. Similarly, signals or commands may be transmitted from the surface to a downhole sensor or apparatus via fiber optic tube 201. In one embodiment of this invention, the surface communication includes a wireless telemetry link such as described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/926,522, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference. In a further embodiment, the wireless telemetry apparatus may be mounted to the reel so that the optical signals can be transmitted while the reel is rotating without the need of a complicated optical collector apparatus. In yet a further embodiment, the wireless apparatus mounted to the reel may include additional optical connectors so that surface optical cables can be attached when the reel is not rotating.
  • [0035]
    It is to be appreciated that the embodiments of the invention described herein are given by way of example only, and that modifications and additional components can be provided to enhance the performance of the apparatus without deviating from the overall nature of the invention disclosed herein.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4366362 *Feb 3, 1981Dec 28, 1982Ishikawajima-Harima Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaAll position TIG welding process
US4852790 *Mar 4, 1988Aug 1, 1989K-Tube CorporationApparatus and method for continuous manufacture of armored optical fiber cable
US5121872 *Aug 30, 1991Jun 16, 1992Hydrolex, Inc.Method and apparatus for installing electrical logging cable inside coiled tubing
US5435351 *Mar 29, 1993Jul 25, 1995Head; Philip F.Anchored wavey conduit in coiled tubing
US5503370 *Jul 8, 1994Apr 2, 1996Ctes, Inc.Method and apparatus for the injection of cable into coiled tubing
US5566706 *Oct 20, 1995Oct 22, 1996Harpenau; Richard J.Siphoning device to attain desired water level in pools and the like
US5573225 *May 6, 1994Nov 12, 1996Dowell, A Division Of Schlumberger Technology CorporationMeans for placing cable within coiled tubing
US5599004 *Dec 13, 1994Feb 4, 1997Coiled Tubing Engineering Services, Inc.Apparatus for the injection of cable into coiled tubing
US5667706 *May 3, 1996Sep 16, 1997Westinghouse Electric CorporationApparatus and method for laser welding the inner surface of a tube
US5699996 *Mar 20, 1996Dec 23, 1997Schlumberger Technology CorporationMethod for placing cable within coiled tubing
US5804713 *Sep 20, 1995Sep 8, 1998Sensor Dynamics Ltd.Apparatus for sensor installations in wells
US5892176 *Nov 5, 1996Apr 6, 1999Phillip E. PruettSmooth surfaced fiber optic logging cable for well bores
US5950298 *Dec 4, 1997Sep 14, 1999Koninklijke Kpn N.V.Method for inserting a cable-like element into a tube coiled in or on a holder
US5992250 *Mar 26, 1997Nov 30, 1999Geosensor Corp.Apparatus for the remote measurement of physical parameters
US6009216 *Nov 5, 1997Dec 28, 1999Cidra CorporationCoiled tubing sensor system for delivery of distributed multiplexed sensors
US6404961 *Jul 23, 1998Jun 11, 2002Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Optical fiber cable having fiber in metal tube core with outer protective layer
US6496624 *Apr 13, 1999Dec 17, 2002Nippon Telegraph And Telephone CorporationOptical waveguide device for optical wiring and manufacturing method therefor
US6496625 *Feb 3, 2000Dec 17, 2002Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Transmission cable optical fiber protector and method
US6497290 *Mar 5, 1997Dec 24, 2002John G. MisselbrookMethod and apparatus using coiled-in-coiled tubing
US6557630 *Aug 27, 2002May 6, 2003Sensor Highway LimitedMethod and apparatus for determining the temperature of subterranean wells using fiber optic cable
US6644402 *Feb 16, 1999Nov 11, 2003Schlumberger Technology CorporationMethod of installing a sensor in a well
US6690866 *May 3, 2002Feb 10, 2004Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Optical fiber cable for use in harsh environments
US6828547 *Jan 3, 2003Dec 7, 2004Sensor Highway LimitedWellbores utilizing fiber optic-based sensors and operating devices
US6847034 *Sep 9, 2002Jan 25, 2005Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Downhole sensing with fiber in exterior annulus
US7420475 *Aug 26, 2004Sep 2, 2008Schlumberger Technology CorporationWell site communication system
US20020007945 *Apr 6, 2001Jan 24, 2002David NeurothComposite coiled tubing with embedded fiber optic sensors
US20020125009 *Apr 29, 2002Sep 12, 2002Wetzel Rodney J.Intelligent well system and method
US20030172752 *Dec 4, 2002Sep 18, 2003Kluth Erhard Luther EdgarApparatus for the remote measurement of physical parameters
US20040045705 *Sep 9, 2002Mar 11, 2004Gardner Wallace R.Downhole sensing with fiber in the formation
US20040112596 *Dec 17, 2002Jun 17, 2004Williams Glynn R.Use of fiber optics in deviated flows
GB2386625A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7241966 *Nov 4, 2004Jul 10, 2007Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.Wafer level package fabrication method using laser illumination
US7420475 *Aug 26, 2004Sep 2, 2008Schlumberger Technology CorporationWell site communication system
US7561776 *Jul 14, 2009Petrospec Engineering Ltd.Method of preventing hydrogen darkening of optic fibre
US7603011Nov 20, 2006Oct 13, 2009Schlumberger Technology CorporationHigh strength-to-weight-ratio slickline and multiline cables
US7646953Jan 12, 2010Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Fiber optic cable systems and methods to prevent hydrogen ingress
US7896070 *Apr 11, 2008Mar 1, 2011Schlumberger Technology CorporationProviding an expandable sealing element having a slot to receive a sensor array
US7946350 *May 24, 2011Schlumberger Technology CorporationSystem and method for deploying optical fiber
US8090227Dec 18, 2008Jan 3, 2012Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Purging of fiber optic conduits in subterranean wells
US8113284May 4, 2006Feb 14, 2012Schlumberger Technology CorporationUse of distributed temperature sensors during wellbore treatments
US8150226 *Mar 29, 2005Apr 3, 2012Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi Energia S.R.L.Method and apparatus for manufacturing an optical cable and cable so manufactured
US8235127Aug 13, 2010Aug 7, 2012Schlumberger Technology CorporationCommunicating electrical energy with an electrical device in a well
US8312923Nov 20, 2012Schlumberger Technology CorporationMeasuring a characteristic of a well proximate a region to be gravel packed
US8374475 *Feb 12, 2013Draka Comteq B.V.Optical waveguide assembly, storage device, and method for installing an optical waveguide
US8406590Mar 26, 2013Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi Energia S.R.L.Apparatus for manufacturing an optical cable and cable so manufactured
US8573313 *Apr 3, 2006Nov 5, 2013Schlumberger Technology CorporationWell servicing methods and systems
US8646529Jul 12, 2012Feb 11, 2014Schlumberger Technology CorporationMethod and system for treating a subterranean formation using diversion
US8839850Oct 4, 2010Sep 23, 2014Schlumberger Technology CorporationActive integrated completion installation system and method
US8903243Sep 17, 2010Dec 2, 2014Schlumberger Technology CorporationOilfield optical data transmission assembly joint
US8942527Mar 22, 2011Jan 27, 2015Baker Hughes IncorporatedExtended temperature fiber optic cable design
US8991492Jul 18, 2011Mar 31, 2015Schlumberger Technology CorporationMethods, systems and apparatus for coiled tubing testing
US9151866May 3, 2012Oct 6, 2015Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Downhole telemetry system using an optically transmissive fluid media and method for use of same
US9175523Sep 23, 2011Nov 3, 2015Schlumberger Technology CorporationAligning inductive couplers in a well
US9175560Jan 26, 2012Nov 3, 2015Schlumberger Technology CorporationProviding coupler portions along a structure
US9249559Jan 23, 2012Feb 2, 2016Schlumberger Technology CorporationProviding equipment in lateral branches of a well
US9285547Nov 24, 2014Mar 15, 2016Schlumberger Technology CorporationOilfield optical data transmission assembly joint
US9377598Dec 12, 2011Jun 28, 2016Weatherford Technology Holdings, LlcFiber optic cable systems and methods to prevent hydrogen ingress
US20060044156 *Aug 26, 2004Mar 2, 2006Sarmad AdnanWell site communication system
US20060049155 *Nov 4, 2004Mar 9, 2006Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.Wafer level package fabrication method using laser illumination
US20070122104 *Nov 29, 2005May 31, 2007Petrospec Engineering Ltd.Method of preventing hydrogen darkening of optic fibre
US20070227741 *Apr 3, 2006Oct 4, 2007Lovell John RWell servicing methods and systems
US20080118209 *Nov 20, 2006May 22, 2008Joseph VarkeyHigh strength-to-weight-ratio slickline and multiline cables
US20080185144 *Apr 11, 2008Aug 7, 2008Schlumberger Technology CorporationProviding an expandable sealing element having a slot to receive a sensor array
US20090166042 *Dec 18, 2008Jul 2, 2009Welldynamics, Inc.Purging of fiber optic conduits in subterranean wells
US20090266537 *Apr 8, 2009Oct 29, 2009Henning HansenCombination injection string and distributed sensing string for well evaluation and treatment control
US20090266562 *Jun 10, 2008Oct 29, 2009Schlumberger Technology CorporationSystem and method for deploying optical fiber
US20100013663 *Jul 16, 2008Jan 21, 2010Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Downhole Telemetry System Using an Optically Transmissive Fluid Media and Method for Use of Same
US20100014818 *Mar 29, 2005Jan 21, 2010Luis Sales CasalsMethod and apparatus for manufacturing an optical cable and cable so manufactured
US20100089571 *Nov 13, 2009Apr 15, 2010Guillaume RevellatCoiled Tubing Gamma Ray Detector
US20100155059 *Dec 1, 2009Jun 24, 2010Kalim UllahFiber Optic Slickline and Tools
US20100178020 *Jul 15, 2010Draka Comteq B.V.Optical Waveguide Assembly, Storage Device, And Method For Installing An Optical Waveguide
US20110140907 *Jul 30, 2009Jun 16, 2011Saber LimitedDownhole communication
US20120211235 *Feb 16, 2012Aug 23, 2012Smith David RConduit assembly and method of making and using same
US20140219056 *Feb 4, 2013Aug 7, 2014Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. ("HESI")Fiberoptic systems and methods for acoustic telemetry
WO2008001310A1Jun 26, 2007Jan 3, 2008Schlumberger Canada LimitedMethod and system for treating a subterraean formation using diversion
WO2011043768A1 *Oct 7, 2009Apr 14, 2011Ziebel, AsCombination injection string and distributed sensing string
WO2012112799A2 *Feb 16, 2012Aug 23, 2012David Randolph SmithConduit assembly and method of making and using same
WO2012112799A3 *Feb 16, 2012Apr 24, 2014David Randolph SmithConduit assembly and method of making and using same
WO2012128900A3 *Feb 28, 2012Nov 15, 2012Baker Hughes IncorporatedExtended temperature fiber optic cable design
WO2013134201A1 *Mar 5, 2013Sep 12, 2013Shell Oil CompanyLow profile magnetic orienting protectors
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/380, 166/66, 166/242.1
International ClassificationE21B17/20, E21B47/12
Cooperative ClassificationE21B47/123, E21B17/206
European ClassificationE21B47/12M2, E21B17/20D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 5, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GAY, MICHAEL G.;ADNAN, SARMAD;LOVELL, JOHN R.;REEL/FRAME:016221/0953;SIGNING DATES FROM 20050421 TO 20050506