|Publication number||US20060037745 A1|
|Application number||US 11/150,836|
|Publication date||Feb 23, 2006|
|Filing date||Jun 10, 2005|
|Priority date||Jan 16, 2001|
|Also published as||DE10201631A1, US8230913, US8397804, US8776876, US20020107562, US20110214855, US20120181017, US20130180706, US20140299331|
|Publication number||11150836, 150836, US 2006/0037745 A1, US 2006/037745 A1, US 20060037745 A1, US 20060037745A1, US 2006037745 A1, US 2006037745A1, US-A1-20060037745, US-A1-2006037745, US2006/0037745A1, US2006/037745A1, US20060037745 A1, US20060037745A1, US2006037745 A1, US2006037745A1|
|Inventors||Barrie Hart, Craig Johnson, L. Schetky|
|Original Assignee||Schlumberger Technology Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (31), Referenced by (17), Classifications (28), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of and claims the benefit of priority to U.S. application Ser. No. 10/050,468, filed Jan. 16, 2002, which application is incorporated herein by reference; the present application also claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/261,749, filed Jan. 16, 2001, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/296,875, filed Jun. 8, 2001, which applications are incorporated herein by reference.
This invention relates generally to expandable devices, and particularly to devices formed from one or more expandable cells that facilitate transition of the device from a contracted state to an expanded state.
In a variety of applications and environments, it would be beneficial to have a device able to transition from a contracted state to an expanded state. Such devices can comprise planar members, tubular members, rectangular members and a variety of other configurations. Exemplary applications include medical applications in which expandable devices, such as stents, are deployed at a desired location and then expanded. Another exemplary application comprises the use of expandables in the retrieval of various fluids, e.g. oil, from subterranean locations.
For example, fluids such as oil, natural gas and water are obtained from subterranean geologic formations (a “reservoir”) by drilling a well that penetrates the fluid-bearing formation. Once a wellbore has been drilled to a certain depth, the borehole wall typically is supported to prevent collapse. During the drilling and use of a wellbore, various tubular members, such as liners, casings, sandscreens, etc. are deployed within the wellbore.
Various methods have been developed for radially expanding tubulars by, for instance, pulling an expansion mandrel through the tubular to plastically deform the tubular in a radially outward direction. Such an approach, however, requires a large amount of force to achieve the desired expansion.
The medical industry, oil industry and a variety of other industries utilize certain types of expandables or would benefit from the use of expandables in numerous applications. However, there are very few existing devices that are readily expandable at a desired location. Of the devices that do exist, substantial forces are required to create the expansion. Also, substantial plastic deformation often occurs which can limit the selection of available materials for a given expandable device. The present invention is directed to overcoming, or at least reducing, the effects of one or more of the problems set forth above.
The present invention relates generally to expandable devices that may be used, for example, in subterranean environments. In one embodiment of the invention, the expandable device comprises one or more expandable cells that facilitate expansion of the device. By way of example, a tubular may be formed with a plurality of expandable cells that facilitate radial expansion of the device from a collapsed or contracted state to an expanded state. A variety of cell types and cell designs may be utilized depending on the application and desired parameters of the expandable device.
The invention will hereafter be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements, and:
FIGS. 18A-C are schematic views of an alternative embodiment of the present invention;
FIGS. 22A-B are partial side elevational view of an embodiment of the present invention in the contracted and expanded positions respectively;
FIGS. 23A-B are partial side elevational views of an embodiment of the present invention in the contracted and expanded positions respectively;
FIGS. 24A-B are side elevational views of an alternate embodiment of an expandable cell in its contracted and expanded positions, respectively;
FIGS. 25A-B are side elevational views of a cell similar to that illustrated in FIGS. 24A-B deployed in its contracted and expanded positions, respectively;
FIGS. 26A-B illustrate another embodiment of expandable cells displayed in their contracted and expanded positions, respectively;
FIGS. 27A-B illustrate another embodiment of expandable cells displayed in their contracted and expanded positions, respectively;
FIGS. 28A-B illustrate another embodiment of expandable cells displayed in their contracted and expanded positions, respectively;
FIGS. 29A-B illustrate another embodiment of expandable cells displayed in their contracted and expanded positions, respectively;
FIGS. 30A-B illustrate another embodiment of an expandable cell displayed in its contracted and expanded position, respectively;
FIGS. 31A-C illustrate a cell with energy storage members moving from a contracted state to an expanded state;
FIGS. 35A-D illustrate an exemplary locking mechanism moving through various stages from a closed position to an open, locked position;
FIGS. 36A-D illustrate another embodiment of the locking mechanism of
FIGS. 40A-B illustrate an individual expandable cell and a plurality of expandable cells, respectively, combined with corresponding locking mechanisms;
FIGS. 41A-B illustrate another embodiment of combined expandable cells and locking mechanisms in collapsed and expanded positions, respectively; and
While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
The following describes a variety of expandable devices that utilize expandable cells to facilitate expansion of the device from a contracted state to an expanded state. Various expansion techniques, expandable cell designs, and locking mechanisms are described, and typically the description is related to one or more exemplary applications. For example, the cells are described for use in tubular components, such as tubulars used in the oil production industry. However, this application is only an exemplary application to demonstrate the applicability of the various cells and locking mechanisms described herein. The description should not be construed as limiting the application of such expandable devices to the particular environments or applications described herein. Rather the techniques for formulating expandable devices can have a wide range of applications in other environments and industries.
As described below, exemplary expandable devices may or may not comprise bistable cells. Whether bistable or not, the expandable cells facilitate expansion of a given device between a contracted state and an expanded state for a variety of operations or procedures. The selection of a particular type of expandable cell depends on a variety of factors including environment, degree of expansion, materials available, etc.
Bistable devices used in the present invention can take advantage of a principle illustrated in
Bistable systems are characterized by a force deflection curve such as those shown in
The force deflection curve for this example is symmetrical and is illustrated in
Bistable structures, sometimes referred to as toggle devices, have been used in industry for such devices as flexible discs, over center clamps, hold-down devices and quick release systems for tension cables (such as in sailboat rigging backstays).
Instead of using the rigid supports as shown in
An expandable bore bistable tubular, such as casing, a tube, a patch, or pipe, can be constructed with a series of circumferential bistable connected cells 23 as shown in
The geometry of the bistable cells is such that the tubular cross-section can be expanded in the radial direction to increase the overall diameter of the tubular. As the tubular expands radially, the bistable cells deform elastically until a specific geometry is reached. At this point the bistable cells move, e.g. snap, to a final expanded geometry. With some materials and/or bistable cell designs, enough energy can be released in the elastic deformation of the cell (as each bistable cell snaps past the specific geometry) that the expanding cells are able to initiate the expansion of adjoining bistable cells past the critical bistable cell geometry. Depending on the deflection curves, a portion or even an entire length of bistable expandable tubular can be expanded from a single point.
In like manner if radial compressive forces are exerted on an expanded bistable tubular, it contracts radially and the bistable cells deform elastically until a critical geometry is reached. At this point the bistable cells snap to a final collapsed structure. In this way the expansion of the bistable tubular is reversible and repeatable. Therefore the bistable tubular can be a reusable tool that is selectively changed between the expanded state as shown in
In the collapsed state, as in
In the expanded state, as in
One example of designing for certain desired results is an expandable bistable tubular string with more than one diameter throughout the length of the string. This can be useful in boreholes with varying diameters, whether designed that way or as a result of unplanned occurrences such as formation washouts or keyseats within the borehole. This also can be beneficial when it is desired to have a portion of the bistable expandable device located inside a cased section of the well while another portion is located in an uncased section of the well.
Bistable collars or connectors 24A (see
Alternatively, the bistable connector can have a diameter smaller than the two expandable tubular sections joined. Then, the connector is inserted inside of the ends of the tubulars and mechanically fastened as discussed above. Another embodiment would involve the machining of the ends of the tubular sections on either their inner or outer surfaces to form an annular recess in which the connector is located. A connector designed to fit into the recess is placed in the recess. The connector would then be mechanically attached to the ends as described above. In this way the connector forms a relatively flush-type connection with the tubular sections.
A conveyance device 31 transports the bistable expandable tubular lengths and bistable connectors into the wellbore and to the correct position. (See
A deployment device 33 can be incorporated into the overall assembly to expand the bistable expandable tubular and connectors. (See
An inflatable packer element is shown in
A mechanical packer element is shown in
An expandable swage is shown in
A piston type apparatus is shown in
A plug type actuator is illustrated in
A ball type actuator is shown in
Radial roller type actuators also can be used to expand the bistable tubular sections.
The final pivot position is adjusted to a point where the bistable tubular can be expanded to the final diameter. The tool is then longitudinally moved through the collapsed bistable tubular, while the motor continues to rotate the pivot arms and rollers. The rollers follow a shallow helical path 66 inside the bistable tubular, expanding the bistable cells in their path. Once the bistable tubular is deployed, the tool rotation is stopped and the roller retracted. The tool is then withdrawn from the bistable tubular by a conveyance device 68 that also can be used to insert the tool.
Power to operate the deployment device can be drawn from one or a combination of sources such as: electrical power supplied either from the surface or stored in a battery arrangement along with the deployment device, hydraulic power provided by surface or downhole pumps, turbines or a fluid accumulator, and mechanical power supplied through an appropriate linkage actuated by movement applied at the surface or stored downhole such as in a spring mechanism.
The bistable expandable tubular system is designed so the internal diameter of the deployed tubular is expanded to maintain a maximum cross-sectional area along the expandable tubular. This feature enables mono-bore wells to be constructed and facilitates elimination of problems associated with traditional wellbore casing systems where the casing outside diameter must be stepped down many times, restricting access, in long wellbores.
The bistable expandable tubular system can be applied in numerous applications such as an expandable open hole liner where the bistable expandable tubular 24 is used to support an open hole formation by exerting an external radial force on the wellbore surface. As bistable tubular 24 is radially expanded, the tubular moves into contact with the surface forming wellbore 29. These radial forces help stabilize the formations and allow the drilling of wells with fewer conventional casing strings. The open hole liner also can comprise a material, e.g. a wrapping, that reduces the rate of fluid loss from the wellbore into the formations. The wrapping can be made from a variety of materials including expandable metallic and/or elastomeric materials. By reducing fluid loss into the formations, the expense of drilling fluids can be reduced and the risk of losing circulation and/or borehole collapse can be minimized.
Liners also can be used within wellbore tubulars for purposes such as corrosion protection. One example of a corrosive environment is the environment that results when carbon dioxide is used to enhance oil recovery from a producing formation. Carbon dioxide (CO2) readily reacts with any water (H2O) that is present to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). Other acids can also be generated, especially if sulfur compounds are present. Tubulars used to inject the carbon dioxide as well as those used in producing wells are subject to greatly elevated corrosion rates. The present invention can be used to place protective liners, e.g. a bistable tubular 24, within an existing tubular to minimize the corrosive effects and to extend the useful life of the wellbore tubulars.
Another exemplary application involves use of the bistable tubular 24 as an expandable perforated liner. The open bistable cells in the bistable expandable tubular allow unrestricted flow from the formation while providing a structure to stabilize the borehole.
Still another application of the bistable tubular 24 is as an expandable sand screen where the bistable cells are sized to act as a sand control screen. Also, a filter material can be combined with the bistable tubular as explained below. For example, an expandable screen element can be affixed to the bistable expandable tubular. The expandable screen element can be formed as a wrapping around bistable tubular 24. It has been found that the imposition of hoop stress forces onto the wall of a borehole will in itself help stabilize the formation and reduce or eliminate the influx of sand from the producing zones, even if no additional screen element is used.
The above described bistable expandable tubulars can be made in a variety of manners such as: cutting appropriately shaped paths through the wall of a tubular pipe thereby creating an expandable bistable device in its collapsed state; cutting patterns into a tubular pipe thereby creating an expandable bistable device in its expanded state and then compressing the device into its collapsed state; cutting appropriate paths through a sheet of material, rolling the material into a tubular shape and joining the ends to form an expandable bistable device in its collapsed state; or cutting patterns into a sheet of material, rolling the material into a tubular shape, joining the adjoining ends to form an expandable bistable device in its expanded state and then compressing the device into its collapsed state.
The materials of construction for the bistable expandable tubulars can include those typically used within the oil and gas industry such as carbon steel. They can also be made of specialty alloys (such as a monel, inconel, hastelloy or tungsten-based alloys) if the application requires.
The configurations shown for the bistable tubular 24 are illustrative of the operation of a basic bistable cell. Other configurations may be suitable, but the concept presented is also valid for these other geometries.
Also, a resin or catalyst 85 may be used to allow the seal 84 to harden after setting. In one alternative embodiment a resin or other flowable material is placed between the layers of seals 84 (as in
In alternative embodiments, the well conduit has a plurality of bistable cell packers 80 formed thereon. In yet another alternative embodiment, a portion or portions 91 of the well conduit in addition to the packer portions 80 are formed of bistable cells so that these other portions also undergo expansion (see
Referring to FIGS. 18A-C, an alternative design of the present invention is illustrated in a schematic, partial cross-sectional view. The expandable packer is shown in the retracted and expanded states, respectively, and in partial side elevational view (
A seal 84 may be attached to the slats 92 to provide the seal for the packer. Although shown in the figures as folded, the seal 84, may have other characteristics that facilitate its ability to expand with the slats 92 and tubular 82. Also, the seal 84 may have other characteristics previously mentioned (e.g., resin, internal seal, etc).
It should be noted that although described as a packer, the present invention may be used to provide isolation over a long length as opposed to a traditional packer or downhole tool which generally seals only a relatively short longitudinal distance. Thus, the present invention may be used in a manner similar to a casing to provide isolation for an extended length.
In one example, illustrated schematically in
Referring generally to FIGS. 22A-B, an alternative embodiment of the present invention is disclosed. The device shown in these figures may be used as a packer, hanger, casing patch, or other device requiring expansion and is generally referred to herein in reference to these figures as an expandable tubular 120 for ease of description. The expandable tubular 120 comprises a series of cells 122 formed therein, such as by laser cutting, jet cutting, water jet cutting or other manufacturing methods. The cells 122 are oriented such that a number of longitudinal struts 24 are formed on the expandable tubular 120. Thus, as shown in the figures, the longitudinal struts 124 lie between longitudinal lengths of cells 122 with the cells 122 having relatively thinner struts 126 extending between adjacent longitudinal struts 124. As shown in the figures, as the adjacent longitudinal struts 124 are moved longitudinally relative to one another (e.g. in opposite directions), the cells 122 open to expand the structure radially. Not all of the longitudinal struts 124 must move; alternate longitudinal struts 124 may be moved while the other struts remain stationary. The relative movement of the longitudinal struts 124 provides the expansion of the cells 122 and the expandable tubular 120. This type of cell is an example of an expandable cell that is not bistable.
A locking mechanism 128 may be used to maintain the expanded position of the expandable tubular 120. As shown in FIGS. 22A-B, the expandable tubular may comprise one or more locking mechanisms 128 spaced along the length of the expandable tubular 120 and spaced radially about the expandable tubular 120. One embodiment of the locking mechanism is shown in FIGS. 23A-B. In the embodiment shown, the locking mechanism 128 comprises a detent (or finger) 130 extending from one longitudinal strut 124 and cooperating with a set of ratchet teeth 132 provided on another longitudinal strut 124. The ratchet teeth 132 extend from a ramp area 134 of the longitudinal strut 124 to accommodate for the relative movement of the detent 130 to the longitudinal strut 124 having the ratchet teeth 132. The ratchet teeth 132 generally allow movement of the detent 130 thereon in a first direction associated with the expansion of the expandable tubular 120, and prevent movement of the detent 130 in the opposite direction. Once in the expanded position, the detent 130 acts as a locked strut preventing retraction of the expandable tubular 120. To increase the structural integrity of the expanded tubular 120 and to resist forces tending to move the expandable tubular 120 from an expanded state or position to a reduced position. The expandable tubular 120 may include a plurality of locking mechanisms 128.
Although shown as a ratchet, as an alternative the locking mechanism may have fewer discrete positions, such as one, in which the detent locks in the fully expanded position only. In another embodiment the detent may comprise a resilient finger biased toward an extended position that snaps into a groove in an adjacent longitudinal strut 124. Likewise, the adjacent struts 124 may each have resilient detents that cooperate to lock the device in the expanded position only upon the tubular 120 achieving the expanded position. These are only a few examples of the many possible alternatives for the locking mechanism 128.
Also, various other tubular expansion mechanisms and expandable cells may be utilized such expandable tubulars and other devices. For example, details of one type of expandable cell are illustrated in
During movement from the compressed state to the expanded state and depending upon the environmental conditions as well as the materials used, material thickness and other design parameters of the cell and devices formed from the cell, some areas of the cell and struts may experience plastic deformation. In
Another factor in determining the positioning of the thinned portions 140 is the number, placement, and design of the linkages. Although shown in the figures as having a uniform thickness, the linkages 142 may also have a variation in thickness to further tailor the expansion, contraction, and other characteristics of the cell as desired. Therefore, in one broad aspect of the inventions, at least one of the struts 21, 22 has a thickness that varies. Also, other factors may be considered in placement of the thinned portions 140 and the thickness variations of the struts 21, 22. Also, the thinned portions may occur at the intersection of the struts 21, 22.
Referring generally to
As the plurality of expandable cells 150 is moved from the contracted state illustrated in
In another embodiment illustrated in
As the plurality of cells are moved from the contracted state illustrated in
Another expandable cell embodiment is illustrated in
With reference to
Of course, with any of these types of bistable cells, the degree of expansion may be limited by an external barrier. For example, if the bistable cells are used to form a tubular, the tubular may be expanded against a wellbore wall that prevents the cells from moving to their fully expanded condition. Typically, the size of the tubular is selected to permit expansion of the cells at least past the point of maximum deformation. Thus, depending on the material used, the cells may actually cooperate to apply an outwardly directed radial force against the wellbore wall.
Referring generally to
As cells 220 are expanded from a contracted state, illustrated in
A double horn cell design is illustrated in
In the example illustrated, each double horn cell 234 has two outer horn spring members 240, coupled to one thick strut 236, and two inner horn spring members 240, coupled to the next adjacent thick strut 236. One thin strut 238 is coupled to each cooperating pair of inner and outer horn spring members via appropriate hinge regions 242. Thus, as the double horn cells 234 are moved from the contracted state illustrated in
Other forms of spring elements also may be utilized in facilitating expansion of a variety of cell types. For example, in
Another type of spring system is illustrated in
To secure the overall device, e.g. tubular, in the expanded position, a locking mechanism may be utilized to prevent the individual cells from contracting. Exemplary locking mechanisms may be associated with individual cells, or they may be located at one or more positions along the expandable device. In
As the device, e.g. tubular, is expanded, ratchet finger 264 is flexed away from an adjacent support surface 270, as illustrated best in
Another exemplary locking mechanism 272 is illustrated in
During expansion of the tubular or other device, divergent portions 282 are drawn through constricted region 284 (see
Another exemplary locking mechanism 284 is illustrated in
Referring generally to
Ratchet surface 312 may incorporate ratchet teeth to engage the end of the corresponding ratchet finger 310. As the expandable cell 302 is transitioned from its contracted state, as illustrated in
Another embodiment of the system is illustrated in
The locking mechanisms also may be used in cooperation with expandable cells that are not necessarily bistable cells. For example, in
In this embodiment, locking mechanism 336 comprises a post 338 having external teeth 340. Post 338 is slidably received within an opening 342 defined by one or more flexible fingers 344 having engagement tips 346 that engage teeth 340. Fingers 344 flex outwardly to allow teeth 340 to slide past engagement tips 346 as the cell is expanded, but engagement tips 346 prevent post 338 from moving in a direction towards the contracted state. Thus, once expandable cell 330 is expanded, locking mechanism 336 prevents contraction of the cell.
A similar design is illustrated in
It also should be noted that expandable devices, such as expandable tubulars, can be formed with a variety of cells and locking mechanisms having differing configurations, such as changes in size or type, as illustrated schematically in
It will be understood that the foregoing description is of exemplary embodiments of this invention, and that the invention is not limited to the specific forms shown. For example, the expandable cells can be combined into a variety of tubulars and other expandable structures; the size and shape of the expandable cells and locking mechanisms can be adjusted; the types of material utilized can be changed depending on the specific application; and a variety of mechanisms may be used to expand the cells. Also, the various cells can be formed by a variety of techniques including laser cutting, jet cutting, water jet cutting and other formation techniques. These and other modifications may be made in the design and arrangement of the elements without departing from the scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
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|International Classification||E21B33/124, E21B43/10, E21B33/12, E21B43/08, E21B43/16, A61F2/06, E21B17/00, E21B41/02, E21B33/127, A61F2/90|
|Cooperative Classification||A61F2/91, E21B33/124, E21B43/105, E21B33/1277, E21B43/164, E21B43/086, E21B43/108, E21B41/02, E21B43/103, E21B33/1208|
|European Classification||E21B33/124, E21B43/08S, E21B43/10F, E21B43/10F1, E21B33/127S, E21B33/12F, E21B43/10F3|
|Dec 22, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LUCE, FORWARD, HAMILTON & SCRIPPS, LLP, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: REAFFIRMATION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SECURITY AGREEMENT AND SUPPLEMENTAL PLEDGE DEED;ASSIGNOR:KENTUCKY OIL TECHNOLOGY, N.V.;REEL/FRAME:022012/0717
Effective date: 20081208
|Feb 3, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: KENTUCKY OIL TECHNOLOGY, N.V., NETHERLANDS
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:022194/0011
Effective date: 20090112
|Jul 7, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KENTUCKY OIL TECHNOLOGY, N.V.;REEL/FRAME:024643/0460
Effective date: 20100428