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Publication numberUS20060065407 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/954,683
Publication dateMar 30, 2006
Filing dateSep 30, 2004
Priority dateSep 30, 2004
Publication number10954683, 954683, US 2006/0065407 A1, US 2006/065407 A1, US 20060065407 A1, US 20060065407A1, US 2006065407 A1, US 2006065407A1, US-A1-20060065407, US-A1-2006065407, US2006/0065407A1, US2006/065407A1, US20060065407 A1, US20060065407A1, US2006065407 A1, US2006065407A1
InventorsRobert Rufey
Original AssigneePatterson Services, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method for handling umbilical or control lines for tubing of a well
US 20060065407 A1
Abstract
A sliding spider (10) for supporting tubing (T) through a rig floor includes a fixed gate (60) and a movable body (30). The fixed gate (60) is fixedly positioned on a base assembly (20) and is positioned adjacent one side of the tubing (T). The fixed gate (60) has a pair of locking ribs (66) for engaging the movable body (30) and has a roller (68) mounted atop the gate (60) for guiding a line (L) past the gate (60). The movable body (30) is positioned on the base assembly (20) adjacent another side of the tubing (T). The movable body (30) defines an open throat (32) for the tubing (T) and has first and second body portions (41 a-b) connected together by a hinge pin (44). The movable body (30) slides on the base assembly (20) to an advanced position over an opening (24) in the base assembly (20) such that the tubing (T) is positioned through the open throat (32) of the body (30). When in the advanced position, a pair of ribs (46) on movable body (30) engages the pair of ribs (66) on the fixed gate (60) to lock the body portions (41 a-b) around the tubing (T). Slips (54) are moved within the open throat (34) to engage the tubing (T) so that sections of tubing can be added or removed during well operations. An arm assembly (70) is pivotably attached to the fixed gate (60) for guiding one or more lines (L) and moving them nest to the tubing (T) for clamping.
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Claims(39)
1. An apparatus for handling one or more lines for tubing, the tubing and one or more lines passing through an opening in a floor of a rig, the apparatus comprising:
a spider positioned adjacent the opening and being engageable with the tubing; and
an arm having a proximal end adjacent the spider and being pivotable about the proximal end to move the one or more lines relative to the tubing.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an actuator attached between the pivotable arm and the spider for pivoting the arm relative to the tubing.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the actuator is hydraulically operated.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the arm comprises first and second members being interconnected together, each member having the proximal end pivotably connected to the spider.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a means on the arm for guiding the one or more lines.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a device mounted on the arm and guiding the one or more lines.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the device is adjustable on the arm.
8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the device comprises at least one roller mounted on the arm.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the at least one roller defines a plurality of slots for guiding a plurality of the lines.
10. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the device comprises a plurality of rollers mounted on the arm for guiding a plurality of the lines.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a second arm having a proximal end connected to the spider and being pivotable about the proximal end to move the one or more of the lines relative to the tubing.
12. An apparatus for handling one or more lines for tubing, the tubing and the one or more lines passing through an opening in a floor of a rig, the apparatus comprising:
an arm having a proximal end connected to a fixed position adjacent the tubing and being pivotable about the proximal end relative to the tubing; and
a device mounted on the arm for guiding the one or more lines.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising an actuator attached to the pivotable arm for pivoting the arm relative to the tubing.
14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the actuator is hydraulically operated.
15. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the arm comprises first and second members being interconnected together, each member having the proximal end pivotably connected to the fixed position.
16. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the device is adjustable on the arm.
17. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the device comprises at least one roller mounted on the arm.
18. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the at least one roller defines a plurality of slots for guiding a plurality of the lines.
19. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the device comprises a plurality of rollers mounted on the arm for guiding a plurality of the lines.
20. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising a second arm having a proximal end connected to a fixed position adjacent the tubing and being pivotable about the proximal end relative to the tubing.
21. An apparatus for handling a plurality of lines for tubing, the tubing and the lines passing through an opening in a floor of a rig, portions of the lines being clamped to the tubing according to an arrangement, the apparatus comprising:
a body positioned adjacent the tubing; and
a device positioned on the body, the plurality of lines being arrangeable on the device substantially according to the arrangement in which the portions of the lines are clamped to the tubing, the device guiding the plurality of lines in the arrangement as the lines pass through the opening.
22. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the device comprises a roller assembly defining a plurality of circumferential slots, each slot accommodating at least one of the lines.
23. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the roller assembly comprises at least one roller having the plurality of circumferential slots.
24. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the roller assembly comprises a plurality of rollers, each roller having at least one of the circumferential slots and accommodating at least one of the lines.
25. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the portions of the lines are clamped to the tubing according to a first arrangement, and wherein the circumferential slots have a second arrangement substantially equivalent to the first arrangement.
26. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the body is fixed in position relative to the tubing.
27. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the body is movable relative to the tubing.
28. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the body on which the device is positioned comprises a gate of a spider.
29. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the body on which the device is positioned comprises a pivotable arm movable relative to the tubing.
30. An apparatus for handling a plurality of lines for tubing, the tubing and the lines passing through an opening in a floor of a rig, portions of the lines being clamped to the tubing according to an arrangement, the apparatus comprising:
means for arranging the plurality of lines according to the arrangement in which the lines are clamped to the tubing;
means for mechanically guiding the arranged lines while the lines are moved through the opening;
means for mechanically moving the arranged lines relative to the tubing; and
means for mechanically holding the arranged lines adjacent the tubing while the lines are clamped to the tubing in the arrangement.
31. The apparatus of claim 30, wherein the means for mechanically moving includes means for hydraulically moving.
32. A method of handling one or more lines for tubing using a guiding device positioned on an arm, the tubing and the one or more lines passing through an opening in a floor of a rig, the method comprising not necessarily in sequence:
guiding the one or more lines with the guiding device on the arm while the tubing and lines are moved through the opening;
moving portion of the one or more lines relative to the tubing by pivoting the arm relative to the tubing; and
holding the one or more lines adjacent the tubing with the arm while the lines are clamped to the tubing.
33. The method of claim 32, further comprising arranging a plurality of the lines according to an arrangement in which the lines are clamped to the tubing by placing the lines in arranged slots of the guiding device.
34. The method of claim 33, further comprising maintaining the arranged lines in the arrangement with the device on the arm while clamping the arranged lines to the tubing.
35. A method of handling a plurality of lines for tubing, the tubing and lines passing through an opening in a floor of a rig, portions of the lines being clamped to the tubing according to an arrangement, the method comprising not necessarily in sequence:
arranging the plurality of lines according to the arrangement in which the lines are clamped to the tubing;
mechanically guiding the arranged lines while the tubing and lines are moved through the opening;
mechanically moving the arranged lines relative to the tubing; and
mechanically holding the arranged lines adjacent the tubing while the lines are clamped to the tubing in the arrangement.
36. The method of claim 35, wherein the act of arranging the plurality of lines comprises placing the lines in arranged slots of a guiding device.
37. The method of claim 35, wherein the act of arranging the plurality of lines comprises placing the lines in circumferential slots define in at least one roller.
38. The method of claim 35, wherein the act of mechanically moving the arranged lines relative to the tubing comprises pivoting an arm relative to the tubing.
39. The method of claim 35, wherein the act of mechanically moving includes hydraulically moving.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The subject matter of the present disclosure generally relates to a spider for supporting a tubing string of a well and more particularly relates to a spider for supporting tubing of a well being slideable relative to a fixed gate, having an arm assembly for handling umbilical or control lines.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sliding spiders are known in the art. One example of a sliding spider is the 350-ton Deepwater Sliding Spider by Bilco Tools, Inc. The sliding spider is used to support a tubing string of a well when sections of tubing are added or removed. For example, the spider is rigged up on a drilling rig by a series of steps beginning with placing the spider's base plate over the rotary table. The base plate contains a hole through which the tubing passes. The sliding assembly is placed on top of the base plate such that the slip assembly may slide over or away from the hole in the base plate as desired by the operator. Tubing is run through the hole in the base plate and the rotary table. When a section of tubing is to be added to a tubing string, the sliding spider is slid toward the tubing. A gate on the spider is left open so that the tubing fits within an open throat of the spider. An operator then closes the pivoting gate and locks the free end of the gate with a pin. Typically, sliding spiders are particularly useful when an umbilical or one or more control lines are run along the tubing to carry electrical or optical wiring or hydraulics to downhole equipment or sensors. Closing the gate on the sliding spider may be difficult when a large umbilical (e.g., an umbilical with a 4-inch diameter) is run adjacent the tubing. For example, operators may have to force the umbilical next to the tubing in order to close the gate.

After closing the gate, the operator lowers slips into a bowl of the spider, which engage the tubing. While the spider holds the tubing, a section of tubing is added to the end of the string using tongs and other devices. After the section has been added, an elevator holds the tubing string, and the slips on the spider are disengaged from the tubing. The string is then lowered through the opening in the rig floor. As the tubing is lowered, the umbilical or control lines are clamped to the tubing using protector clamps Because the sliding spider typically will not allow the clamps to pass through the open throat of the spider after applying the clamp, the spider is withdrawn, and the tubing and clamp can be lowered through the opening in the rig floor. When the elevator reaches a location near the sliding spider, the sliding spider is again engaged with the tubing to hold the tubing string so that the process can be repeated and a new section of tubing can be added.

Clamping an umbilical or control line to the tubing can require considerable effort by operators. For example, operators have to push an umbilical against the tubing and apply the protector clamp around the tubing and umbilical. When the umbilical has a large diameter (e.g., 4-inch diameter), pushing and holding the umbilical next to the tubing for attaching the clamp may be difficult. In other examples, more than one line may be used with the tubing. Operators must arrange the lines to match the spacing or arrangement on a protector clamp intended to clamp the lines to the tubing and then hold the multiple lines while they are clamped to the tubing. In addition, the operators must feed the multiple control lines down the hole as the tubing is lowered to prevent entangling the lines. For these reasons, clamping umbilical or control lines to the tubing can use valuable rig time to complete. Reducing the time required to clamp the lines to the tubing at each joint can create a significant reduction in running time and cost.

The subject matter of the present disclosure is directed to overcoming, or at least reducing the effects of, one or more of the problems set forth above.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In one embodiment according to certain teachings of the present disclosure, an apparatus for handling one or more lines for tubing includes a spider and an arm. The tubing and the one or more lines pass through an opening in a rig floor. The spider is positioned adjacent the opening and is engageable with the tubing. The arm has a proximal end adjacent or connected to the spider and is pivotable about the proximal end to move the one or more lines relative to the tubing. Preferably, an actuator is attached between the pivotable arm and the spider for pivoting the arm relative to the tubing. The arm can include first and second members being interconnected together, and each member can have the proximal end pivotably connected to the spider. A device is mounted on the arm and guides the one or more lines. The device is preferably adjustable on the arm. In one embodiment, the device includes at least one roller mounted on the arm and defining a plurality of slots for guiding a plurality of the lines. In another embodiment, the device includes a plurality of rollers mounted on the arm for guiding a plurality of the lines. In yet another embodiment, the apparatus includes a second arm having a proximal end connected to the spider and being pivotable about the proximal end to move the one or more of the lines relative to the tubing.

In another embodiment according to certain teachings of the present disclosure, an apparatus for handling one or more lines for tubing includes an arm and a device mounted on the arm. The tubing and the one or more lines pass through an opening in a floor of a rig, and the tubing is engageable by a spider on the rig floor. The arm has a proximal end fixedly positioned adjacent the spider and is pivotable about the proximal end relative to the tubing. Preferably, an actuator is attached between the pivotable arm and the spider for pivoting the arm relative to the tubing. The arm can include first and second members being interconnected together, and each member can have the proximal end pivotably connected to the spider.

The device mounted on the arm guides the one or more lines. The device is preferably adjustable on the arm. In one embodiment, the device includes at least one roller mounted on the arm and defining a plurality of slots for guiding a plurality of the lines. In another embodiment, the device includes a plurality of rollers mounted on the arm for guiding a plurality of the lines. In yet another embodiment, the apparatus includes a second arm having a proximal end fixedly positioned adjacent the spider and being pivotable about the proximal end relative to the tubing.

While the embodiments described above include an arm have a proximal end adjacent or connected to the spider, one skilled in the art will appreciate that an arm according to the present disclosure can be positioned in a variety of locations to move the lines relative to the tubing. For example, a proximal end of the arm can be anchored to the rig floor or other location such that movement of the arm moves the device and the lines engaged with the device relative to the tubing. In addition, the arm need not be pivotable but can be slideable or otherwise moveable. In general, then, the arm is movable relative to the tubing such that moving the arm moves the one or more lines relative to the tubing. In addition, embodiments of the arm are envisioned where the device is located between the proximal and distal ends of the arm or is located on the distal end of the arm.

In yet another embodiment according to certain teachings of the present disclosure, an apparatus for handling a plurality of lines for tubing includes a body positioned adjacent the tubing and includes a device positioned on the body. The tubing and the lines pass through an opening in a floor of a rig, and portions of the lines are clamped to the tubing according to an arrangement. The plurality of lines are arrangeable on the device substantially according to the arrangement in which the portions of the lines are clamped to the tubing, and the device guides the plurality of lines in the arrangement as the lines are passed through the opening.

In one embodiment, the device includes a roller assembly defining a plurality of circumferential slots, and each slot accommodates at least one of the lines. The roller assembly can include at least one roller having the plurality of circumferential slots. Alternatively, the roller assembly can include a plurality of rollers with each roller having at least one of the circumferential slots for accommodating at least one of the lines. The body on which the device is positioned can include a gate of a spider. Alternatively, the body on which the device is positioned can include a pivotable arm movable relative to the tubing.

In yet another embodiment according to certain teachings of the present disclosure, an apparatus for handling a plurality of lines for tubing is disclosed. The tubing and the lines pass through an opening in a floor of a rig, and portions of the lines are clamped to the tubing in an arrangement. The apparatus includes: means for arranging the plurality of lines according to the arrangement in which the lines are clamped to the tubing; means for mechanically guiding the arranged lines while the lines are moved through the opening; means for mechanically moving the arranged lines relative to the tubing; and means for mechanically holding the arranged lines adjacent the tubing while the lines are clamped to the tubing in the arrangement. The means for mechanically moving can include means for hydraulically moving.

In yet another embodiment according to certain teachings of the present disclosure, a method of handling one or more lines for tubing using a guiding device positioned on an arm is disclosed. The tubing and the one or more lines pass through an opening in a floor of a rig. The method includes not necessarily in sequence: guiding the one or more lines with the guiding device on the arm while the tubing and lines are moved through the opening; moving portion of the one or more lines relative to the tubing by pivoting the arm relative to the tubing; and holding the one or more lines adjacent the tubing with the arm while the lines are clamped to the tubing.

In yet another embodiment according to certain teachings of the present disclosure, a method of handling a plurality of lines for tubing is disclosed. The tubing and lines pass through an opening in a floor of a rig. Portions of the lines are clamped to the tubing in an arrangement. The method includes not necessarily in sequence: (a) arranging the plurality of lines according to the arrangement in which the lines are clamped to the tubing; (b) mechanically guiding the arranged lines while the tubing and lines are moved through the opening; (c) mechanically moving the arranged lines relative to the tubing; and (d) mechanically holding the arranged lines adjacent the tubing while the lines are clamped to the tubing in the arrangement.

In another embodiment according to certain teachings of the present disclosure, the hole in the base plate is of sufficient size to allow all currently known wellhead assemblies to pass through the hole. This allows passage of a tubing hanger assembly and running tools.

The foregoing summary is not intended to summarize each disclosed or potential embodiment or every aspect of the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing summary, preferred embodiments, and other aspects of subject matter of the present disclosure will be best understood with reference to a detailed description of specific embodiments, which follows, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an elevation view of an embodiment of a sliding spider according to certain teachings of the present disclosure, where the sliding spider is shown in a withdrawn position.

FIGS. 2A-2B respectively illustrate an elevation view and a cross-sectional view of the sliding spider of FIG. 1, where a line is shown moved adjacent the tubing.

FIGS. 3A-3B respectively illustrate a plan view and a cross-sectional view of a portion of the sliding spider, where the sliding spider is shown in an advanced position.

FIGS. 4A-4B respectively illustrates a plan view and an elevation view of the sliding assembly and slip assembly for the sliding spider.

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of the sliding spider showing an end of the sliding assembly.

FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate various views of the base assembly and fixed gate assembly of the sliding spider.

FIGS. 7A-7C illustrate various views of the arm assembly of the sliding spider.

FIGS. 8A-8C illustrate embodiments of roller assemblies for the sliding spider.

FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of the sliding spider having multiple arm assemblies.

While the disclosed sliding spider 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. The figures and written description are not intended to limit the scope of the inventive concepts in any manner. Rather, the figures and written description are provided to illustrate the inventive concepts to a person skilled in the art by reference to particular embodiments, as required by 35 U.S.C. § 112.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A. Overview of the Sliding Spider

Referring to FIG. 1, an embodiment of a sliding spider 10 according to certain teachings of the present disclosure is illustrated in an elevation view. The sliding spider 10 includes a base assembly 20, a sliding assembly 30, a slip assembly 50, and a fixed gate assembly 60. The base assembly 20 is positioned over an opening in a rig floor (not shown). For example, the base assembly 20 can be positioned above the rotary table. The sliding assembly 30 is movably or slideably positioned on the base assembly 20 on one side of the tubing T, and the fixed gate assembly 60 is fixedly mounted on the base assembly 20 on an opposite side of the tubing T. One or more actuators 83 move or slide the sliding assembly 30 on the base assembly 20 relative to the tubing T and the fixed gate assembly 60. The slip assembly 50 is mounted atop the sliding assembly 30 and includes a slip plate 52 having slips 54 attached by hinges 56. Preferably, the slip plate 52 and slips 54 are movable up and down by actuators 85 mounted on the sliding assembly 30. In FIG. 1, the slip assembly 50 is shown in an elevated position.

In a preferred embodiment, the sliding spider 10 includes an arm assembly 70. The arm assembly 70 is pivotably attached to the gate assembly 60 by a pivotable connection 73, and an actuator 87 preferably moves or pivots the arm assembly 70 relative to the tubing T. The arm assembly 70 has a roller or guide assembly 74 for guiding umbilical or control lines L for the tubing T, as disclosed below.

The several components of the sliding spider 10 are preferably modular, allowing the spider 10 to be conveniently assembled/disassembled on a rig. For example, the base assembly 20 is a separate component that can be pre-slung and moved into position on the rig floor by a crane when assembling the spider 10. Likewise, the sliding assembly 30 is also a separate component that can be pre-slung and moved into position onto the base assembly 20. The fixed gate assembly 60 is also a separate component and attaches to the sliding assembly 30, as described below. Finally, the arm assembly 70 is a separate component that attaches to the gate assembly 60. It is believed that having the various modular components of the sliding spider 10 as discussed above may require only about one hour of assembly time to rig up.

B. Overview of the Operation of the Arm Assembly

During well operations, the tubing T as well as one or more lines L are raised or lowered through openings (not shown) in the base 20 and rig floor. As used herein and in the appended claims, “tubing” refers to production tubing, risers, or other tubulars used in well operations. As used herein and in the appended claims, “line” refers to a control line, an umbilical, a flat pack, smaller tubing, or other device used for carrying electronic or optical wiring, fluids, or hydraulics to downhole equipment and sensors. As is known, an umbilical is typically a bundle of several, smaller control lines and can be about 4-inches in diameter, for example. As is also known, a flat pack is typically a collection of several lines aligned together in a flat arrangement.

In FIG. 1, the sliding assembly 30 is shown in a withdrawn position and is disengaged from the tubing T and the fixed gate assembly 60. With the sliding assembly 30 disengaged, the tubing T and one or more lines L are allowed to move through the openings (not shown) in the base assembly 20 and the rig floor. The roller or guide assembly 74 mounted on the arm assembly 70 is shown retracted. The one or more lines L are typically fed from and onto a spool (not shown) above the rig floor. In some instances, the lines L may not pass on the roller assembly 74. This may be the case when one or more smaller diameter lines are being used, for example. In other instances while the arm assembly 70 remains retracted, the one or more lines L may pass on the roller assembly 74, which guides the lines L as they are feed from and onto the spool. This may be the case when a large diameter umbilical is being used, for example. In addition, a roller or guide 68 mounted on the fixed gate assembly 60 guides the one or more lines L passing the fixed gate assembly 60.

At certain points along the tubing T, the one or more lines L are clamped to the tubing T with a clamp (not shown). To attach the clamp, the one or more lines L are moved adjacent the tubing T with the arm assembly 70. If the one or more lines L are not already aligned on the roller assembly 74, an operator may simply gather the lines L and arrange them on roller assembly 74. For those instances where the lines pass on the roller assembly 74, the lines L may already have their preferred arrangement for clamping to the tubing. The actuator 87 pivots the arm assembly 70 about its hinged connection 73 with the gate assembly 60, and the one or more lines L are, therefore, brought adjacent or substantially parallel to the tubing T, as shown in FIG. 2A.

With the lines L held adjacent the tubing T with the arm assembly 70, operators can then place the clamp C shown in FIG. 2A about the tubing T and the one or more lines L. In a preferred embodiment described in more detail below, the roller assembly 74 preferably maintains the lines L in a preferred arrangement for clamping to the tubing. It is believed that the sliding spider 10 with arm assembly 70 can reduce the running time by one and a half to two minutes per joint.

As a further benefit, when the sliding assembly 30 is retracted, one or more hole covers can be positioned in a suitable rectangular area over the opening 24 in the base plate 26. The rectangular area is best visible from the side as area 29 in FIG. 2B when the sliding assembly 30 is retracted. Two halves with cutouts for the tubing T can be laid in the rectangular area 29 to cover the openings 24. The covers can be added and removed during operation. During the clamping procedure, the covers can prevent bolts and tools from falling into the openings and into the rotary table, etc.

C. Overview of the Operation of the Sliding Assembly

At certain points during well operations, the tubing string T handing through the opening in the rig floor must be supported while sections of tubing above the rig floor are added or removed using tongs and other well equipment. To support the tubing T, the sliding assembly 30 is moved to an advanced position to engage the tubing T and the fixed gate assembly 60. As best shown in FIG. 3A, the sliding assembly 30 defines a throat 32 for positioning of the tubing T longitudinally through the sliding assembly 30 when the assembly 30 is advanced towards the fixed gate assembly 60. The throat 32 has an open side 33 at one end of the sliding assembly 30 to allow for lateral passage of the tubing T when the assembly 30 is advanced and withdrawn. The throat 32 also forms a slip well or bowl 34 for positioning of the slips 54 when lowered into the throat 32. Preferably, slip cups 58 are mounted in the well 34 for the slips 54.

To support the tubing T, the slip assembly 50 is held in an elevated position, and the sliding assembly 30 is advanced towards the fixed gate assembly 60. FIGS. 3A-3B show a portion of the sliding spider 10 with the sliding assembly 30 in an advanced position towards the tubing T and the fixed gate assembly 60. Once advanced, the tubing T is positioned through the throat 32 of the sliding assembly 30, and an end of the sliding assembly 30 engages the fixed gate assembly 60. As best shown in FIG. 3A, locks or ribs 46 on the sliding assembly 30 engage locks or ribs 66 on the fixed gate assembly 60 to substantially lock the sliding assembly 30 about the tubing T.

Once the sliding assembly 30 is engaged with the fixed gate assembly 60, the slip plate 50 is lowered by the actuators 85, and the slips 54 are positioned within the slip well 34 of the throat 32, as best shown in FIG. 3B. Grip pads 55 on the slips 54 engage the surface of the tubing T, and the weight of the tubing T wedges the slips 54 between the tubing T and the bowl 34 formed within the body 40. The slip cups 58 accommodate possible pivoting of the tubing T while engaged by the slips 54.

Given the foregoing overview of the sliding spider 10, more detail descriptions of each of the assemblies 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 of the sliding spider 10 are discussed below.

D. Sliding Assembly

Referring generally to FIGS. 3A-3B, 4A-4B, and 5, details of the sliding assembly 30 will be discussed. FIG. 3A shows a plan view of a portion of the sliding spider 10 with the slip plate 52 partially cutaway to expose the slip well 34 and slips 54, and FIG. 3B shows a cross-sectional view of the portion of the sliding spider 10 in FIG. 3A. FIG. 4A shows a plan view of the sliding assembly 30 with the slip plate 52 partially cutaway to expose the slip well 34 and slips 54, and FIG. 4B shows a cross-sectional view of the sliding assembly 30 with two of the slips 54 and slips cups 58 not shown for clarity. FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the sliding spider 10 showing an end of the sliding assembly 30 relative to the fixed gate assembly 60.

As best shown in the plan views of FIGS. 3A and 4A, the sliding assembly 30 includes a body 40 having first and second body portions 41 a-b. Inter-fitting ends 42 of the body portions 41 a-b are coupled by a hinge pin 44. Each end of the body portions 41 a-b near the open side 33 of the throat 32 has an inside lock or rib 46, which protrudes from the end of the body portion 41 a-b toward the fixed gate assembly 60. As best shown in the perspective view of FIG. 5, the ribs 46 extend substantially along the entire height of the body portions 41 a-b. The ribs 46 preferably have indentions formed along their inside edge, and the outside edges of the ribs 46 are preferably uniform and extend substantially along the entire height of the body portions 41 a-b. As best shown in FIG. 3A, the inside ribs 46 engage complimentary locks or ribs 66 on the fixed gate assembly 60 when the sliding assembly 30 is in the advanced position and engages the fixed gate assembly 60.

As best shown in the cross-sections of FIGS. 3B and 4B, the body portions 41 a-b define the throat 32, which has the open side 33 and the slip well 34 for slips 54 of the slip assembly 50 described below. The sliding assembly 30 includes a top member 37 a and a base member 37 b with the body 40 positioned between the top and bottom members 37 a-b. As best shown in FIG. 3B, this unit (37 a, 37 b, and 40) is mounted atop a sliding platform 36, which slides atop the base assembly. Details of the sliding platform 36 and base assembly 20 are discussed below with reference to FIGS. 6A-6C.

As shown in the plan view of FIG. 4A, lift actuators 85 are positioned at the outer corners of the sliding assembly 30 and are positioned between the top member (not shown) and the bottom member 37 b. The lift actuators 85 lift and lower the slip assembly 50, which is described in more detail below. Preferably, the lift actuators 85 are pneumatic pistons, although other actuators or a lever and linkage can be used to move the slip assembly 50.

E. Base Assembly

Referring to FIGS. 6A-6C, details of the base assembly 20 will be discussed. In FIGS. 6A-6C, the base assembly 20 is illustrated respectively in a plan view, a side cross-sectional view, and an end view. Only the sliding platform 36 of the sliding assembly 30 is illustrated for clarity. As best shown in the side cross-section of FIG. 6B, the base assembly 20 includes a base 22 and a base platform 26. The base 22 can mount adjacent the rotary table in a rig floor (not shown). The base platform 26 is mounted atop the base 22, and pins 27 may be used to hold and align the base platform 26 to the base 22.

The base 22 and base platform 26 each define an opening 24 for passage of the tubing T. In one embodiment, the openings 24 can have a diameter of about 21-inches, which may accommodate most anchor assemblies and subsea test trees used on deepwater rigs. Preferably, the openings 24 are designed to permit passage of a tubing hanger assembly and running tools currently available. The diameter of the opening 24 in a preferred embodiment is approximately 21-inches because the largest assembly/tool structures currently in use have a diameter of about 19.50-inches. The openings 24 also have slots 23 that extend to the edges of the base 22 and base platform 26. The slots 23 accommodate the line L and also allow the base 22 and base platform 26 to be positioned on the rig floor when tubing T is present.

The sliding platform 36 of the sliding assembly has an opening 38 that is generally complementary to, but smaller than, the openings 24 of the base 22 and platform 26. The sliding platform 36 also has a slot 39 that is complementary to the slots 23 of the base 22 and base platform 26. As best shown in FIG. 6A, track rails 28 are mounted along sides of the base platform 26. As best shown in the end view of FIG. 6C, side edges of the sliding platform 36 ride within the track rails 28 of the base assembly 20, and the track rails 28 guide the sliding platform 36 as it slides over the base platform 26 to and from the openings 24.

As best shown in FIG. 6A, two actuators 83 are preferably used to move or slide the sliding platform 36 (and hence, the sliding and slip assemblies) on the base platform 26. Each actuator 83 has one end attached to the base platform 26 and has another end attached to a turret 48 on the end of the sliding platform 36. The ends of the actuators 83 preferably attach to the base platform 26 and the sliding platform 36 with hinged connections 84. In addition, each of the actuators 83 are preferably protected by a cover, although only one actuator 83 is shown with a cover in FIG. 6A. The actuators 83 are preferably hydraulically operated, although other types of actuators can be used.

F. Fixed Gate Assembly

As shown in FIGS. 6A-6C, the fixed gate assembly 60 of the sliding spider includes a gate body 62, outside ribs 66, and a roller 68. As best shown in FIG. 6A, the gate body 62 is attached to the base platform 26 across the slot 23 in the base platform 26. In the present embodiment, the gate body 62 is attached using a back plate 63 having a lower end 64 bolted to the base platform 26. Also, the gate body 62 has turrets 67 bolted to the rails 28 mounted to the base platform 26. In this way, the gate assembly 60 can be fixedly mounted or removed from the base platform 26, as desired.

The outside ribs 66 protrude from the gate body 62 and extend substantially along the entire height of the gate body 62. (As noted above with reference to FIGS. 3A-3B, the ribs 46 on the end of the sliding assembly 30 fit within the space separating the ribs 66 on the fixed gate assembly 60 when the sliding assembly 30 engages the gate assembly 60.) The roller 68 is mounted atop the gate body 62 with a mounting 69 and is positioned above the slots 23 in the base 22 and base platform 26. The roller 68 facilitates the running of the line L when moving the tubing T through the slots 23 and base openings 24. The roller 68 facilitates movement of the line L past the fixed gate assembly, and the line L positions within the open side 33 of the throat 34 and through the slot 23 in the base opening 22 without substantial impediment.

G. Slip Assembly

Referring generally to FIGS. 3A-3B and 4A-4B, the slip assembly 50 includes a slip plate 52 and a plurality of slips 54. The slip plate 52 mounts atop the sliding assembly 30. In one embodiment, the slips 54 can be manually moved up and down relative to the sliding assembly 30 using a lever and linkage mechanism (not shown), such as is known in the art. Preferably, ends of lift actuators 85 on the sliding assembly 30 are attached to the slip plate 52 for hydraulically or pneumatically lifting and lower the plate 52. In an alternative embodiment, however, the slips 52 can be inserted into and removed from the slip well 34 by hand, in which case the slip plate 52, hinges 56, and actuators 85 may not be necessary.

As best shown in FIG. 4A, the slip plate 52 defines an opening 53 for the tubing T with an open slot for advancing and withdrawing the tubing T when the sliding assembly 30 is moved. The slips 54 are attached to the slip plate 52 with a plurality of hinges 56. In the present embodiment, three slips 54 are preferably used to engage the tubing T. The slips 54 are positioned approximately about every 120-degrees around a central axis of the bowl or slip well 34 of the sliding assembly 30.

When the lift actuators 85 are operated, the slip plate 52 can be raised or lowered to move the slips 54 out of and into the slip well 34 formed in the sliding assembly 30. As best shown in FIG. 4B in which only one slip 54 is shown for clarity, each slip 54 is generally wedge shaped and has a grip 55 attached to an inner side of the slip 54. The slips 54 are attached to the slip plate 52 by a plurality of hinges 56 so that the slips 54 extend downward towards the slip well 34 of the sliding assembly 30. As shown in FIG. 3B when the slip plate 52 is lowered, the grips 55 of the slips 54 are positioned against the outside of the tubing T, and the slips 54 act as wedges to grip the tubing T. The slip well 34 preferably has pivot members or slip cups 58 against which the slips 54 position when engaging the tubing. The slip cups 58 oppose inclined surfaces of the slips 54 and allow the slips 54 to pivot relative to the sliding assembly 30. Preferred embodiments of slips 54 and slip cups 58 are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,335,756 to Penisson, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

H. Arm Assembly

In the disclosed embodiments, such as shown in FIG. 1, the sliding spider 10 includes the arm assembly 70. However, alternative embodiments of the sliding spider 10 having the sliding assembly 30 and the fixed gate assembly 60 need not necessarily include the arm assembly 70. In addition, the arm assembly 70 disclosed herein need not be used with the disclosed sliding spider, but can be used with other spiders or well equipment.

Referring to FIGS. 7A-7C, the arm assembly 70 is illustrated in side, front, and end views. The arm assembly 70 includes parallel arms 72 and a roller or guide assembly 74. The roller or guide assembly 74 is mounted on a distal end of the parallel arms 72. The arms 72 have pivot members 73 on proximal ends of the arms 72 for pivotably connecting to a portion of the sliding spider. Preferably, the pivot members 73 attach to complementary members (elements 65) attached to the back plate (63) of the fixed gate assembly (60), as shown in FIGS. 6A-6C. However, the proximal ends 73 of the arm assembly 70 can be pivotably connected to other portions of the sliding spider (not shown), such as the base assembly 20. Alternatively, the arm assembly 70 can be pivotable relative to the tubing, but not necessarily pivotably connected to the sliding spider. For example, a proximal end of the arm assembly 70 can be anchored to the rig floor or other location such that movement of the arm assembly 70 moves the guide assembly 74 and the lines engaged with the guide assembly 74 relative to the tubing. In addition, the arm assembly 70 need not be pivotable but can be slideable or otherwise moveable. In general, then, the arm assembly 70 is movable relative to the tubing such that moving the arm assembly 70 moves the one or more lines relative to the tubing. In addition, embodiments of the arm assembly 70 are envisioned where the guide assembly 74 is located at locations on the arm assembly 70 other than at the distal end shown in the illustrated embodiments.

As best shown in FIG. 7B, the arms 72 have an intermediate member 71 attached therebetween to connect to a mechanism or actuator for moving the arm assembly 70. In one embodiment, the arm assembly 70 can be manually pivoted relative to the tubing using a lever and linkage mechanism (not shown) attached between the sliding spider (not shown) and the arm assembly 70. In a preferred embodiment and as best shown in FIG. 1, an actuator 87 is used to move the arm assembly 70 relative to the tubing. The actuator 87 has one end pivotably attached to turrets on the interconnecting member 71 and has another end pivotably attached to the fixed gate assembly 60. Preferably, the actuator 87 is hydraulically operated, although other types of actuators can be used. When operated, the actuator 87 moves or pivots the arm assembly 70 and the roller or guide assembly 74 relative to the tubing T.

As best shown in FIG. 7C, the roller or guide assembly 74 includes a roller 75, side turrets 76, hinged connections 77, and an adjustment knob 78. Although the present embodiment of the assembly 74 includes one roller, other embodiments of the roller assembly can include one guide or roller with slots for a plurality of lines or can include a plurality of guides or rollers for handling a plurality of lines. Such alternative embodiments are disclosed below with reference to FIGS. 8A-8C.

In the present embodiment, the roller 75 rotates about a pin, which passes through the side turrets 76. Ends of the side turrets 76 are pivotably attach to one of the parallel arms 72 by the hinge connections 77. The adjustment knob 78 has a screw passing through a threaded opening in a plate connecting the turrets 76. The knob 78 can be rotated to change the pivot position of the roller 75. Adjusting the knob 78 allows an operator to adjust the position of the roller 75 to accommodate various diameters of lines when the arm assembly 70 is pivoted adjacent the tubing.

In the present embodiment, the arm assembly 70 uses the roller 75 to guide a line and reduce friction as the line passes the end of the arm assembly 70. Alternative embodiments of the roller assembly 70 can include devices other than a roller for guiding a line and/or reducing friction of the line past the end of the arm assembly 70. In one alternative embodiment, for example, a guide mounted on the distal end of the arm assembly 70 can be used instead of a roller. The guide can be generally concave or U-shaped and can have a friction-reducing surface, which can be composed of a brush material or the like. The cup or U-shape of the guide can substantially hold the line on the distal end of the arm assembly 70, and the friction-reducing surface can be used to reduce friction of the line as it is passed over the guide.

I. Alternative Roller Assemblies

Because more than one line may be used with tubing in a well operation, embodiments of the roller assembly 70 on the distal end of the pivotable arm assembly 70 are preferably capable of handling multiple lines. Moreover, the roller 68 on the fixed gate 60 can also be capable of handling multiple lines. Referring to FIGS. 8A-8B, embodiments of alternative roller systems and rollers are illustrated for handling multiple lines. The alternative roller systems and rollers can be designed to handle various numbers and diameters of lines particular to an implementation. Therefore, the alternative roller systems and rollers disclosed herein are not meant to be exhaustive and are only illustrative of exemplary implementations.

Rollers disclosed herein can be composed of a suitable material, such as metal, Teflon, or UHMW. Furthermore, bearings, spacers, and the like can be used to reduce friction of the rollers. In addition, the embodiments of the roller systems and rollers disclosed below can be used with the arm assembly 70 and/or the fixed gate 60 disclosed herein.

1. Embodiment of Roller with Multiple Slots

Referring to FIG. 8A, an embodiment of a roller 100 for guiding one or more lines is illustrated. The roller 100 is preferably contoured to fit the contour of a body T, which can be an umbilical line or can be tubing that the roller is intended to be moved adjacent. The roller 100 is rotatable about a pin 166 attached between turrets 76, such as those on the roller assembly disclosed above with reference to FIGS. 7A-7C. Spacers 118 are preferably used between both ends of the roller 100 and the turrets 76.

The roller 100 includes a plurality of slots or guides 111, 112, and 113 formed circumferentially in the roller 100. The lines L1, L2, and L3 fit separately into the slots 111-113. In the present embodiment, three slots 111-113 are shown, but other embodiments of the disclosed roller 100 can have more or less slots depending on the number of lines to be used with the tubing. Moreover, the sizes, depths, and spacing of the slots can differ depending of the particular lines to be used and the arrangement of the protector clamp intended to clamp the lines to the tubing. As is known in the art, protector clamps are used to clamp the lines to the tubing at regular intervals, such as at every joint. Therefore, the positioning of the slots 111-113 in the roller 100 can be designed to best position or arrange the lines for the intended clamp. The present embodiment of roller 100, as well as the other embodiments of roller assemblies and rollers disclosed herein, enables operators to arrange and guide the lines according to the arrangement the lines are intended to be clamped to the tubing, which can save valuable rig time.

For example, the body T may represent the tubing of a well operation. Therefore, the concave contour of the roller 100 can be formed to the contour of the tubing, and the roller 100 can be designed with the number, sizes, depths, and spacing of the slots 111-113 that best suits the intended arrangement for clamping of the lines to the tubing body T. In another example, the body T may represent a “large” umbilical line, which can be 4-inches in diameter, for example, and the lines L1-L3 can be smaller control lines. Therefore, the concave contour of the roller 100 can be formed to the contour of the umbilical line B, and the roller 100 can be designed with the number, sizes, depths, and spacing of the slots 111-113 that best suits the intended arrangement for clamping of the lines L1-L3 to the umbilical line B and tubing.

2. Embodiments of Multiple Rollers

Referring to FIG. 8B, an embodiment of a roller system 120 having multiple rollers 121, 122, and 123 for one or more lines is illustrated. The rollers 121, 122, and 123 are positioned on a roller pin 116 connected between turrets 76. The rollers 121, 122, and 123 are preferably designed with a contour of a body T, which can be a “large” umbilical line or tubing. Each roller 121, 122, and 123 separately rotate about the pin 116, and each roller 121, 122, and 123 has a slot or guide for one of the lines L1-L3. A plurality of spacers 118 are used to reduce interference between the rollers 121, 122, and 123 and to maintain the spacing between the rollers 121, 122, and 123. As noted above, more or less rollers can be used in the present embodiment, and the number, sizes, depths, and spacing of the slots and rollers 121, 122, and 123 can differ depending on the particular lines to be used.

Referring to FIG. 8C, another embodiment of a roller system 130 having multiple rollers 131, 132, and 133 for one or more lines is illustrated. The rollers 131, 132, and 133 are positioned on a roller pin 116 connected between turrets 76. The rollers are preferably angled to substantially fit a contour of a body T, which can be a “large” umbilical line or tubing. Each roller 131, 132, and 133 separately rotates about the pin 116, and each roller 131, 132, and 133 accommodates one of the lines L1-L3. A plurality of spacers 118 are used to reduce interference between the rollers 131, 132, and 133 and to maintain the spacing between the rollers 131, 132, and 133. As noted above, more or less rollers can be used in the present embodiment, and the number, sizes, and spacing of the rollers can differ depending of the particular lines to be used. Although one pin 116 is shown in FIG. 8C, other embodiments can have a separate pin for each roller 131, 132, and 133 and can have additional turret members for supporting the separate pins.

3. Embodiment of Multiple Arm Assemblies

Referring to FIG. 9, an embodiment of a multiple arm assembly 140 for one or more lines is illustrated in a plan view relative to a base 20 and a fixed gate assembly 60. In the present embodiment, the multiple arm assembly 140 includes three arms 141, 142, and 143, but other embodiments can have more or less arms. Each arm 141, 142, and 143 is pivotably attached to the base 20 or fixed gate assembly 60, and each arm 141, 142, and 143 has a roller 144 for guiding one or more lines (not shown). The arms 141, 142, and 143 can be similar to the arm assemblies (70) disclosed above with reference to FIGS. 7A-7C, for example. The rollers 144 can each be similar to the roller assemblies (74) also disclosed above with reference to FIGS. 7A-7C. In addition, the arms 141, 142, and 143 can be each operated by an actuator (not shown) similar to that disclosed herein. Although only one roller 68 is shown on the fixed gate assembly 60, multiple rollers 68 can be positioned on the fixed gate assembly 60 for each of the arms 141, 142, and 143. These multiple rollers 68 may be positioned at different elevations to avoid interference with one another.

The foregoing description of preferred and other embodiments is not intended to limit or restrict the scope or applicability of the inventive concepts conceived of by the Applicants. In exchange for disclosing the inventive concepts contained herein, the Applicants desire all patent rights afforded by the appended claims. Therefore, it is intended that the appended claims include all modifications and alterations to the full extent that they come within the scope of the following claims or the equivalents thereof.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7201233 *Nov 3, 2004Apr 10, 2007Bilco Tools, Inc.Arm for moving flexible lines at a well site
US7419008 *Apr 29, 2006Sep 2, 2008Campisi Frank JPower slip
US7610965 *Sep 24, 2004Nov 3, 2009Bilco Tools, Inc.Arm for moving flexible lines at a well site
US7779902Sep 20, 2007Aug 24, 2010Bilco Tools, Inc.Arm for moving flexible lines at a wellsite
US8225875 *Apr 30, 2008Jul 24, 2012Frank's Casing Crew And Rental Tools, Inc.Method and apparatus to position and protect control lines being coupled to a pipe string on a rig
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/384, 166/77.1, 175/423, 166/379
International ClassificationE21B19/22
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/12, E21B19/10
European ClassificationE21B19/12, E21B19/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 12, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIS-CHALMERS TUBULAR SERVICES, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PATTERSON SERVICES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017917/0059
Effective date: 20050901
Sep 30, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: PATTERSON SERVICES, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RUFEY, ROBERT W.;REEL/FRAME:015863/0881
Effective date: 20040929