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Publication numberUS20060042801 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/924,684
Publication dateMar 2, 2006
Filing dateAug 24, 2004
Priority dateAug 24, 2004
Publication number10924684, 924684, US 2006/0042801 A1, US 2006/042801 A1, US 20060042801 A1, US 20060042801A1, US 2006042801 A1, US 2006042801A1, US-A1-20060042801, US-A1-2006042801, US2006/0042801A1, US2006/042801A1, US20060042801 A1, US20060042801A1, US2006042801 A1, US2006042801A1
InventorsMatthew Hackworth, Craig Johnson, Martin Prado, Jose Garcia
Original AssigneeHackworth Matthew R, Johnson Craig D, Martin Prado, Garcia Jose F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Isolation device and method
US 20060042801 A1
Abstract
An isolation device that has a metal bladder that is deformed downhole, such as by hydroforming. Certain aspects of the present invention include methods for implementing and using the isolation device, manufacturing techniques for making the device, sleeve properties and other device components. It is emphasized that this abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract, which will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. 37 CFR 1.72(b).
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Claims(65)
1. A well isolation device, comprising:
a base pipe;
a tubular sleeve formed of a metal material and having end portions;
a seal between each of the end portions of the sleeve and the base pipe;
the base pipe, the sleeve, and the seals defining a cavity;
a fluid passageway in communication with the cavity;
the sleeve is inflatable from a retracted state to an inflated state in response to application of pressurized fluid in the cavity.
2. The well isolation device of claim 1, further comprising:
a valve in the fluid passageway configured to substantially maintain the pressurized fluid in the cavity.
3. The well isolation device of claim 2, wherein the valve is a check valve.
4. The well isolation device of claim 2, wherein the valve is an inflation valve.
5. The well isolation device of claim 1, wherein the fluid passageway communicates with one of a well annulus, an interior of the base pipe, and a control line.
6. The well isolation device of claim 1, further comprising a stiffening ring on the end portion of the sleeve.
7. The well isolation device of claim 1, further comprising a jacket on the sleeve.
8. The well isolation device of claim 7, wherein the jacket comprises a sealing material.
9. The well isolation device of claim 7, further comprising:
a central portion of the sleeve between the end portions having a smaller diameter than the end portions; and
the jacket is on the central portion.
10. The well isolation device of claim 1, wherein the end portions of the sleeve are fixed positionally relative to the base pipe.
11. The well isolation device of claim 1, wherein:
a first of the end portions of the sleeve is fixed positionally relative to the base pipe;
a second of the end portions of the sleeve may move axially relative to the base pipe.
12. The well isolation device of claim 11, further comprising a ratchet adapted to restrict the motion of the second of the end portions to one direction.
13. The well isolation device of claim 1, wherein the sleeve is plastically deformed during inflation.
14. The well isolation device of claim 1, wherein the sleeve comprises a material having a strain of greater than 10%.
15. The well isolation device of claim 1, wherein the sleeve comprises a material having a yield stress of less than or equal to 60 ksi.
16. The well isolation device of claim 1, wherein the sleeve is formed of a material selected from low carbon steel, normalized low alloy steel, austenitic stainless steel alloy in the annealed condition, and austenitic nickel alloy.
17. The well isolation device of claim 1, further comprising a fluid passageway providing fluid communication between the cavity and the well annulus.
18. The well isolation device of claim 1, further comprising a valve in the second fluid passageway adapted to selectively establish communication between the well annulus and the cavity.
19. The well isolation device of claim 1, further comprising a valve adapted to selectively establish communication between a well annulus and the cavity.
20. The well isolation device of claim 19, wherein the valve is positioned in the fluid passageway.
21. The well isolation device of claim 19, wherein the valve comprises:
a piston adapted to selectively permit and restrict tubing pressure into the cavity; and
a rupture disk adapted to selectively permit communication from a well annulus to the cavity.
22. The well isolation device of claim 1, further comprising an inflation material in the cavity.
23. The well isolation device of claim 22, wherein the inflation material comprises a swelling elastomer.
24. The well isolation device of claim 22, wherein the inflation material comprises a two-part foam.
25. The well isolation device of claim 1, wherein the tubular sleeve is corrugated.
26. A well isolation device, comprising:
a metal bladder mounted to a base pipe;
the metal bladder is inflatable from a retracted state to an inflated state in response to application of pressurized fluid through a fluid inlet; and
a valve in the fluid inlet configured to substantially maintain the pressure in the bladder.
27. The well isolation device of claim 26, further comprising an elastomeric jacket on an exterior surface of the bladder.
28. The well isolation device of claim 26, wherein the bladder has an end that is free to move axially relative to the base pipe.
29. The well isolation device of claim 28, further comprising a ratchet adapted to restrict the motion of the end to one direction.
30. The well isolation device of claim 26, wherein the bladder comprises a material having a strain of greater than 10%.
31. The well isolation device of claim 26, wherein the bladder comprises a material having a yield stress of less than 60 ksi.
32. The well isolation device of claim 26, further comprising a valve adapted to selectively establish communication between a well annulus and an interior of the bladder.
33. The well isolation device of claim 26, further comprising an inflation material in the bladder.
34. The well isolation device of claim 33, wherein the inflation material comprises a swelling elastomer.
35. The well isolation device of claim 33, wherein the inflation material comprises a two-part foam.
36. The well isolation device of claim 33, wherein the metal bladder is corrugated.
37. A method of providing annular isolation in a well, comprising:
hydroforming a metal bladder between a base pipe and an outer well conduit using pressurized well fluid; and
maintaining the pressure in the bladder using a valve.
38. The method of claim 37, further comprising improving collapse resistance of the bladder with pressurized fluid in the bladder.
39. The method of claim 37, further comprising establishing fluid communication between an interior of the bladder and a well annulus.
40. The method of claim 37, further comprising allowing one end of the bladder to move axially in one direction relative to the base pipe.
41. The method of claim 37, further comprising providing an inflation material in the bladder.
42. A packer element, comprising a metal sleeve packer element comprising a material having a strain of greater than 10%.
43. The packer element of claim 42, wherein the sleeve packer element comprises a material having a yield stress of less than 60 ksi.
44. The packer element of claim 42, wherein the sleeve is formed of a material selected from low carbon steel, normalized low alloy steel, austenitic stainless steel alloy in the annealed condition, and austenitic nickel alloy.
45. The packer element of claim 42, wherein the sleeve packer element is corrugated.
46. A well isolation device having an inflatable bladder, comprising:
a first valve adapted to selectively establish fluid communication between a source of inflation pressure and an interior cavity of the bladder;
a second valve adapted to selectively establish communication between a well annulus and the interior cavity of the bladder.
47. The well isolation device of claim 46, wherein the source of inflation pressure is a tubing pressure.
48. The well isolation device of claim 46, wherein the source of inflation pressure is an annulus pressure.
49. The well isolation device of claim 46, wherein the source of inflation pressure is a control line pressure.
50. The well isolation device of claim 46, wherein the first valve comprises a piston adapted to selectively permit and restrict fluid flow between from the source of inflation pressure into the interior cavity.
51. The well isolation device of claim 50, further comprising:
a spring that biases the piston to a closed position; and
a J-slot mechanism that selectively holds the piston in an open position.
52. The well isolation device of claim 50, wherein the piston has a backside referenced to a well pressure.
53. The well isolation device of claim 46, wherein the second valve comprises a rupture disk adapted to selectively permit communication from a well annulus to the cavity.
54. The well isolation device of claim 46, wherein the valve further comprises a check valve adapted to equalize the pressure between the interior cavity and the well annulus as the well isolation device is run in a well.
55. The well isolation device of claim 46, wherein the first valve is an electric valve.
56. The well isolation device of claim 46, wherein the second valve is an electric valve.
57. A method of energizing a well isolation device having a bladder that is positioned in a well, comprising:
inflating the bladder of the well isolation device;
closing an inflation inlet of the well isolation device;
establishing fluid communication between an interior of the bladder and a well annulus.
58. The method of claim 57, further comprising:
rupturing a rupture disk to establish fluid communication between an interior of the bladder and the well annulus.
59. The method of claim 57, further comprising:
equalizing the pressure between the interior of the bladder and the well annulus as the well isolation device is run in the well.
60. The method of claim 57, wherein the establishing step further comprises establishing fluid communication with a high-pressure side of the well annulus.
61. A well isolation device, comprising:
an inflatable bladder having an interior, the inflatable bladder adapted for inflation from a retracted state to an inflated state;
a valve adapted to selectively provide fluid communication between a well annulus and the interior of the inflatable bladder.
62. The well isolation device of claim 61, wherein the valve comprises a rupture disk.
63. The well isolation device of claim 61, wherein the valve comprises an electric valve.
64. The well isolation device of claim 61, wherein the valve further comprises a valve component adapted to selectively establish fluid communication between a source of inflation pressure the interior of the inflatable bladder.
65. A method of manufacturing an isolation device, comprising:
forming a metal plate into a tubular sleeve;
placing the sleeve onto a base pipe;
connecting and sealing opposing end portions of the sleeve to the base pipe.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of Invention. The present invention relates to the field of isolation in a well. More specifically, the invention relates to a device and method for isolating annular portions of a well as well as related systems, methods, and devices.

SUMMARY

One aspect of the present invention is an isolation device or packer that has a metal bladder that is deformed downhole to create a seal. Other aspects are discussed in detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The manner in which these objectives and other desirable characteristics can be obtained is explained in the following description and attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of an isolation device of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a portion of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 shows the portion of FIG. 2 with the sleeve inflated.

FIG. 4 illustrates a different embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows yet another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates still another embodiment of the present invention having a relief port.

FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of the present invention in which the inflation fluid is supplied from an exterior of the isolation device and is controlled using a valve.

FIG. 8 shows an embodiment of the present invention in which the inflation pressure is supplied through a control line.

FIGS. 9 a-c illustrate a valve implemented in the present invention.

FIG. 10 shows another isolation device of the present invention that includes the valve of FIGS. 8 and 9 implemented in an embodiment of the present invention as well as other components.

FIG. 11 illustrates another isolation device of the present invention in cross section in which the sleeve is corrugated.

It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following description, numerous details are set forth to provide an understanding of the present invention. However, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these details and that numerous variations or modifications from the described embodiments may be possible.

The present invention relates to various apparatuses, systems and methods for establishing isolation in a well. One aspect of the present invention relates to an isolation device or packer that has a metal bladder that is plastically deformed downhole, such as by hydroforming. A metal sleeve is inflated and plastically deformed to create the isolation seal. Other aspects of the present invention, which are further explained below, relate to methods for implementing and using the isolation device, manufacturing techniques for making the device, sleeve properties and other device components.

As an example, FIGS. 1 through 3 illustrate an isolation device 10 having a base pipe 12 which has end connections 14 for connecting to completion or other well tubing, not shown. Positioned about the periphery of the base pipe 12 is a tubular metal sleeve 16, which has end portions 18. The base pipe 12 and the sleeve 16 are generally concentric although non-concentric tubes may also be used. Connecting rings 20 sealingly connect the end portions 18 of the sleeve 16 to an exterior of the base pipe 12. The connections may be welded or connected by other methods. Also, the sleeve 16 may be alternatively connected and sealed directly to the base pipe 12. The device 10 may employ other types of seals between the sleeve 16 and the base pipe 12. For example, one or more ends of the sleeve 16 may be free to move longitudinally relative to the base pipe 12 in which case a moving seal is used.

The sleeve 16 is formed of a metal material capable of withstanding downhole conditions. Materials suitable for the deformation needed (e.g., by hydroforming the sleeve 16) are materials with significant plastic strain prior to reaching the tubes ultimate strength (i.e., a plastic strain greater than 10% and more preferably at least 20%). Additionally, the selected material may have a relatively low yield stress between 10 and 60 ksi. Using a material with a yield stress that is sufficiently low is useful so that excessive pressures are not needed to deform the material. The low yield stress may be particularly important in downhole applications where high pressure may damage other well equipment or the well. Examples of materials that may be used include low carbon steels, normalized low alloy steels, austenitic stainless steel alloys in the annealed condition (304, 316, etc.), and austenitic nickel alloys such as INCOLOY 825. In addition, the sleeve 16 preferable has a low elastic relaxation so that is maintains its shape after inflation.

The thickness, material, and other design properties of the sleeve 16 are selected to allow inflation of the sleeve 16. In the embodiment shown, the sleeve 16 is free of voids or radial passageways therethrough so that the sleeve can hold pressure without relying on additional sealing materials (e.g. without requiring an elastomer or other coating to assist in holding the inflation pressure). The base pipe 12 however is generally designed and selected to withstand the inflation pressures without experiencing significant deformation.

Stiffening rings 22 surround each of the end portions 18 of the sleeve 16. The stiffening rings 22 restrict outward radial movement of the end portions 18 (i.e., during inflation of the sleeve). The stiffening rings 22 thereby protect the connections of the sleeve 16 to the connecting rings 20, and the base pipe 12, by preventing bending at the connection. An optional jacket 24 is placed on the sleeve 16, such as by bonding. The jacket 24 may be formed of an elastomer, resin, or other material. The jacket 24 may be used to improve the seal between the sleeve 16 and the well 25 (see FIG. 3), to protect the device 10, or for other purposes.

A fluid passageway 26, or inlet, extends between an interior of the base pipe and a cavity 28 formed between the base pipe 12, sleeve 16, and connecting rings 20. The fluid passageway 26 in the figure ports to the base pipe interior and thereby communicates the tubing pressure to the cavity 28. In alternate designs the fluid passageway 26 may communicate with the well annulus or with a control line that extends to the surface or to some other region in the well (e.g., an annulus above a packer).

In one method of manufacturing the isolation device 10, a metal plate is formed into a tubular sleeve 16 (e.g., by rolling and then welding the abutting ends). Note that the sleeve 16 could also be machined or cold drawn. The sleeve 16 is placed on the base pipe 12 by sliding the sleeve 16 onto the base pipe 12. Finally, the sleeve 16 is connected and sealed to the base pipe 12.

In operation, pressure applied to the cavity 28 through the fluid inlet 28 deforms the sleeve 16 causing it to expand outward against the surrounding well conduit 25. FIG. 3 illutrates the sleeve 16 in the inflated state. During expansion, the sleeve undergoes significant plastic deformation so that the sleeve 16 remains in the inflated state. Note that the end portions 18 remain undeformed because the stiffening rings 22 restrain them. Outward expansion of the sleeve 16 is constrained by the well conduit 25 and the sleeve 16 tends to conform to the contour of the abutting well conduit 25. The conformance of the sleeve 16 to the well conduit 25 helps to improve the seal of the isolation device 10.

FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention in which the central portion 30 of the sleeve 16 has a smaller diameter than the end portions 18 when in the contracted state. In the figure, the central portion 30 of the sleeve 16 is shown as abutting or nearly abutting the base pipe 12. The jacket 24 placed on the central portion 30 is thus protected when the device is in the retracted state (e.g., when the device 10 is run into the well).

In addition, one of the connecting rings 20 a shown in FIG. 4 is free to move longitudinally relative to the base pipe 12. The other connecting ring 20 b is fixed relative to the base pipe 12. As the sleeve 16 inflates, the connecting ring 20 a is free to slide on the base pipe 12 to accommodate axial length changes of the sleeve 16. A seal 32 (such as an elastomeric seal, a seal stack, or other seal) provides a seal between the movable connecting ring 20 a and the base pipe 12.

In FIG. 5, an inflation material 34 is placed within the cavity 28. In one embodiment, the inflation material 34 is a swellable elastomer. During the initial inflation, the fluid pressure inside the bladder (sleeve 16) provides the isolation contact stress with the formation. Over time, the swelling elastomer inside the bladder 16 swells to take up the internal volume and supply long-term support for the sealing bladder 16. With this method, if the metal bladder 16 looses pressure integrity for some reason, the swelling elastomer inflation material 34 has filled the majority of the volume, maintaining the formation sealing force. In addition, the swelling elastomer may assist in the inflation of the sleeve 16.

Another inflation material 34 that may be used in the present invention is a two-part foam (e.g., silicone foam, elastomer foam, urethane foam). The foam components are combined as they are injected and swell the element until it touches the formation. The foam would cure into a solid mass, keeping the element engaged to the formation. A service or running tool or a control line may be used to inject the materials into the cavity. Alternatively, the materials may be stored in the cavity and kept separate until a predetermined time and then combined (e.g., as by opening a valve or rupturing a container). The isolation device 10 may employ other types of inflation materials 34 as well.

FIG. 6 shows schematically a sleeve 16 that has a pressure relief port 36, or passageway, built into the expanded metal bladder 16 to achieve equilibrium from the high-pressure zone (P1). The relief port 36 may include a valve to permit one-way flow into the bladder 16. In the illustration below, if the pressure at P1 is larger than the pressure at P2, the internal pressure of the metal bladder, P3, will become equal to the pressure at P1.

FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of the present invention in which the inflation fluid is supplied from an exterior of the isolation device 10 and is controlled using a valve 38. In this embodiment, the fluid inlet 26, or passageway, within the base pipe 12 communicates with the cavity 28 and an exterior of the isolation device 10 (e.g., with the well annulus). The valve 38 allows fluid pressure to enter the bladder 16 during inflation of the isolation device 10, and maintains the fluid pressure within the bladder 12 once the inflation is complete.

For example, the valve 38 may restrict or prevent fluid from exiting the cavity 28 through the fluid passageway 26. The valve 38 may take many forms, including a check valve or an inflation valve. Inflation valves, such as those used in inflation packers, use pistons controlled by springs and shear pins with the intent of permanently trapping a pressurized fluid inside the bladder. The design of these valves generally allows control of the pressure at which inflation begins, pressure at which inflation ends, and permanently closing of the bladder communication at inflation end. Examples of some ECP-type valves are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,776,396, 4,711,301, and 4,260,164 and in U.S. patent application No. 2003/0183398. Other types of valves 38 may also be used in the present invention. The sleeve 16 may be designed to inflate at reasonable pressures within the wellbore. Maintaining the pressure within the bladder 16 will support the bladder 16 and improve its resistance to collapse and its ability to hold pressure and better perform the isolation function of the isolation device 10. Thus, the valve 38 performs an important step of maintaining a pressure within the bladder 16 to support the bladder 16 and improve its collapse resistance.

FIG. 8 shows an embodiment of the present invention in which the inflation pressure is supplied through a control line 40. In this embodiment, the fluid inlet 26 within the base pipe 12 communicates with the cavity 28 and a control line 40. The control line 40 may extend to the surface of the well or to some other region in the well (e.g., an annulus above a packer). In one embodiment, pressure is maintained in the bladder 16 through the control line 40. In the event of a leak, for example, additional pressure is applied through the control line 40 to maintain the pressure. As discussed previously, maintaining the pressure within the bladder 16 improves the collapse resistance of the bladder 16 and improves its performance.

Note also that in the embodiments of FIGS. 7 and 8, no jacket is applied to the sleeve 16. The sleeve 16 directly seals against the well conduit 25. As discussed previously, the jacket 24 is optional in some embodiments.

FIGS. 9 a-c illustrate a portion of an isolation device 10 of the present invention in which the base pipe 12 defines a plurality of fluid passageways 42 therein. A valve 44 controls the flow through the passageways 42. The valve 44 and passageways 42 provide a similar function to the relief ports 36 discussed in connection with FIG. 6. Specifically, the valve 44 allows selective unidirectional communication from the annulus (i.e. high pressure side) to the interior cavity 28 of the bladder 16. The valve shown in the figures is used in an isolation device 10 that is inflated using tubing pressure. Other valves may be used and the configuration may change depending upon the inflation mode, or the source of inflation fluid or pressure (e.g., the use of control line inflation or annulus inflation). A first passageway 42 a communicates with the cavity 28 and tubing port 46, which communicates tubing pressure into the first passageway 42 a and, thus, into the bladder cavity 28. Piston 48 positioned in first passageway 42 a has a J-slot 50 and a set of seals 52. The J-slot 50 operates to position the piston 48 in either a retracted, open position (FIG. 9 b), or an extended, closed position. A spring 54 biases the piston 48 to the closed position (FIG. 9 c). As shown in the figures, in the open position, the first passageway 42 a communicates with the tubing port 46; in the closed position, the piston 48 covers the tubing port 46 and the seals 52 prevent communication with the first passageway 42 a.

Each of the passageways 42 a-c communicates with the well annulus. A lateral passageway 55 provides communication between passageway 42 b and passageway 42 a at the backside of the piston 48 (distal the tubing port 46). The piston 48 uses the annulus or well pressure as a reference pressure and the communication between passageways 42 a and 42 b as shown helps to ensure that the reference pressure is supplied to the back side of the piston 48.

Passageway 42 c is in fluid communication with passageway 42 a. Check valve 56 allows fluid to enter the bladder cavity 28 via the passageways 42 c and 42 a, but prevents fluid from exiting the cavity 28.

A rupture disk 58 in passageway 42 b restricts the flow of fluid from the annulus to the bladder cavity 28 until after the disk 58 is ruptured (e.g., as by supplying a sufficient rupture pressure).

Thus, the valve 44 has (1) a piston 48 that closes communication between the tubing and inflated bladder 16, (2) a rupture disk 58 that opens bladder 16 to unidirectional annulus pressure, (3) a check valve 56 that protects the rupture disk 58 from hydrostatic pressure during RIH (“run in hole”) and prevents an atmospheric chamber in the bladder cavity 28, and a spring 54 and J-slot 50 that change the piston 44 position from open to closed. In operation, the valve 44 shown follows a specific series of events relating to the pressure applied to the inflating bladder 16. Initially, the J-slot 50 holds the piston 48 in the open position during RIH and as shown in FIG. 9 b. Once the isolation device 10 is in the desired location, the pressure in the tubing is increased to inflate the bladder 16. During inflation, the pressure from the tubing moves the piston 44 against the 54 spring as the pressure increases. At a critical pressure, the piston 48 fully compresses the spring and the J-slot rotates to the next position. The bladder 16 is fully inflated. When the pressure reaches the rupture pressure, the rupture disk 58 breaks and opens the bladder cavity 28 to the annulus pressure (e.g., on the high pressure side of the isolation device 10). With the rupture disk 58 open, the bladder pressure decreases and the spring 54 moves the piston 48 to the closed position (FIG. 9 c) isolating the bladder-cavity 28 from the tubing pressure. With the rupture disk 58 blown (open) and the tubing port closed, the bladder cavity 28 is free to communicate with one side of the wellbore annulus (e.g., the high pressure side). Exposing the cavity 28 to the high-pressure side of the annulus creates a energized seal.

FIG. 10 shows an isolation device 10 of the present invention having a valve 44 (discussed above in connection with FIGS. 9 a-c) provided in the base pipe 12 thereof. One of the connecting rings 20 a is free to move longitudinally relative to the base pipe 12. As the sleeve 16 inflates, the connecting ring 20 a is free to slide on the base pipe 12 to accommodate axial length changes of the sleeve 16. A seal 32 provides a seal between the movable connecting ring 20 a and the base pipe 12. A ratchet 60 of the device 10 allows the connecting ring 20 a to move one direction relative to the base pipe 12 (i.e., toward the other connecting ring 20 b as a result of sleeve inflation) and prevents movement in the opposite direction. The ratchet 60 thereby helps to lock the sleeve 16 in the inflated position and further resist collapse.

FIG. 11 illustrates yet another embodiment of the present invention in which the sleeve 16 is corrugated when in the contracted state. The corrugations, or folds, increase the expansion range of the sleeve 16.

Although only a few exemplary embodiments of this invention have been described in detail above, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined in the following claims. For example, although the above description discusses hydraulic and mechanical systems for maintaining the pressure in the bladder 16 and for establishing fluid communication between the bladder cavity 28 and the high pressure side of the annulus, the isolation device 10 could employ electrical systems such as electric valves and solenoid valves or chemical or explosive systems (which could also be used for inflating the bladder 16). In the claims, means-plus-function clauses are intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents, but also equivalent structures. Thus, although a nail and a screw may not be structural equivalents in that a nail employs a cylindrical surface to secure wooden parts together, whereas a screw employs a helical surface, in the environment of fastening wooden parts, a nail and a screw may be equivalent structures. It is the express intention of the applicant not to invoke 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6 for any limitations of any of the claims herein, except for those in which the claim expressly uses the words ‘means for’ together with an associated function.

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/387, 166/187
International ClassificationE21B33/12
Cooperative ClassificationE21B29/10, E21B43/103, E21B33/13
European ClassificationE21B33/13, E21B29/10, E21B43/10F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 24, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HACKWORTH, MATTHEW R.;JOHNSON, CRAIG D.;PRADO, MARTIN;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:015726/0820;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040805 TO 20040823