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Publication numberUS20060207767 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/308,324
Publication dateSep 21, 2006
Filing dateMar 16, 2006
Priority dateMar 17, 2005
Also published asCA2501463A1
Publication number11308324, 308324, US 2006/0207767 A1, US 2006/207767 A1, US 20060207767 A1, US 20060207767A1, US 2006207767 A1, US 2006207767A1, US-A1-20060207767, US-A1-2006207767, US2006/0207767A1, US2006/207767A1, US20060207767 A1, US20060207767A1, US2006207767 A1, US2006207767A1
InventorsMark ANDREYCHUK
Original AssigneeFrac Source Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Support apparatus for a lubricator in a coil tubing operation
US 20060207767 A1
Abstract
A support system for a lubricator to prevent the lubricator from deflecting during coil tubing operations, particularly on slant wells. A support member is connected to the lubricator through truss members for supporting the lubricator in tension or in compression, depending upon whether the support member is placed above or below the lubricator. A coil tubing injector is provided which is capable of manipulating the supported lubricator axially along a path coaxial to the wellhead to permit fine adjustment with the wellhead.
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Claims(43)
1. A support apparatus for a lubricator having one or more tubular lubricator sections and connecting between a coil tubing injector and a wellhead, the support apparatus comprising:
one or more support members adapted to extend substantially parallel to the lubricator and at least one of which is spaced above or below the lubricator for supporting the lubricator along a substantially linearly extending path, the support member being supported at a first end at the injector; and
one or more connecting members adapted to be connected between at least a portion of the one or more support members and at least a portion of the lubricator for reducing deflection along the lubricator.
2. The support apparatus of claim 1 comprises one support member.
3. The support apparatus of claim 1 wherein one of the one or more support members is spaced substantially vertically above the lubricator and is connected at a first end to the coil tubing injector.
4. The support apparatus of claim 1 wherein one of the one or more support members is spaced substantially vertically below the lubricator.
5. The support apparatus of claim 1 wherein at least one of the one or more connecting members is adapted to be connected to each of the plurality of tubular lubricator sections.
6. The support apparatus of claim 1 wherein the one or more support members further comprise a plurality of support segments, the segments being fastened to one another using fasteners.
7. The support apparatus of claim 2 wherein the one support member further comprises a plurality of support segments, the segments being fastened to one another using fasteners.
8. The support apparatus of claim 1 wherein the support apparatus is adapted to support the lubricator between the injector and a slant wellhead.
9. The support apparatus of claim 6 wherein the plurality of support segments further comprise:
a cooperating socket formed in a first end of each of the plurality of support segments; and
a pin extending from a second end of each of the plurality of support segments, wherein the plurality of support segments are fastened by mating the pin at the first end of each of the plurality of support segments into a cooperating socket at the second end of a subsequent of the plurality of support segments.
10. The support apparatus as described in claim 6 further comprising:
a plurality of brackets extending outwardly from each of the plurality of support segments so as to engage auxiliary fastening means for connection between brackets of subsequent of the plurality of support segments.
11. The support apparatus of claim 7 wherein the plurality of support segments further comprise:
a cooperating socket formed in a first end of each of the plurality of support segments; and
a pin extending from a second end of each of the plurality of support segments, wherein the plurality of support segments are fastened by mating the pin at the first end of each of the plurality of support segments into a cooperating socket at the second end of a subsequent of the plurality of support segments.
12. The support apparatus as described in claim 7 further comprising:
a plurality of brackets extending outwardly from each of the plurality of support segments so as to engage auxiliary fastening means for connection between brackets of subsequent of the plurality of support segments.
13. The support apparatus of claim 1 wherein the one or more connecting members further comprise:
one or more truss members adapted to extend transversely between the one or more support members and the lubricator; and
one or more angled truss members adapted to extend between the support member and the lubricator.
14. The support apparatus of claim 13 wherein the one or more support members each further comprise a plurality of support segments and each lubricator section is supported by one of the plurality of support segments and first and second transverse truss members and first and second angled truss members, wherein
the first and second transverse truss members are adapted for connection to first and second ends of the lubricator section; and
the first and second angled truss members are adapted to extend from the first and second ends of the lubricator section to substantially a centre of one of the plurality of support segments.
15. The support apparatus of claim 1 wherein the one or more connecting members are adapted for connection to each of the plurality of lubricator sections using clamps.
16. The support apparatus of claim 1 wherein the one or more connecting members are integral with each of the plurality of lubricator sections.
17. A method for supporting a lubricator between a coil tubing injector and a wellhead, the method comprising:
providing a plurality of supported lubricator sections, each supported lubricator section having
a lubricator section;
one or more support members extending along the lubricator section, at least one of which is spaced above or below the lubricator for supporting the lubricator section along a substantially linearly extending path; and
one or more connecting members connected between the one or more support members and the lubricator section;
engaging a first end of the lubricator section of a first supported lubricator section with the coil tubing injector;
fastening a first end of one or more subsequent supported lubricator sections of the plurality of supported lubricator sections to a second end of a previous supported lubricator section, in series, for assembling a supporting lubricator having a length sufficient to extend from the injector to the wellhead; and
aligning the assembled coil tubing injector so as to position the substantially linearly extending supported lubricator along a path coaxial with an axis of the wellhead so as to permit connection between the supported lubricator and the wellhead, the supported lubricator being supported from deflection along the path to the wellhead.
18. The method of claim 17 wherein each support member is spaced substantially vertically above each lubricator section, further comprising:
connecting a first end of the support member of the first supported lubricator section to the coil tubing injector.
19. The method of claim 18 wherein each support member further comprises a plurality of brackets extending therefrom above the support member, and following fastening the at least a second supported lubricator section to the second end of the first supported lubricator section, the method further comprising:
connecting auxiliary fasteners between the brackets of each adjacent support member for further supporting the supported lubricator from deflection.
20. The method of claim 17 wherein the wellhead is a slant wellhead further comprising:
tilting and manipulating the coil tubing injector axially so as to permit alignment of the assembled supported lubricator along an angled path coaxial to the slant wellhead.
21. The method of claim 17 wherein the wellhead is a slant wellhead further comprising:
tilting and manipulating the coil tubing injector axially and laterally so as to permit alignment of the assembled supported lubricator along an angled path coaxial to the slant wellhead.
22. In a system for injection of coil tubing into vertical or slant wellbores having a wellhead attached thereto, the combination comprising:
a coil tubing injector supported within a carriage in a derrick, the injector and carriage being moveable along the derrick, the injector being tiltable and capable of axial movement in the carriage so as to direct coil tubing at a variety of angled paths therefrom;
a lubricator engaged with and cantilevered from the coil tubing injector and extending along an angled path coaxial to an axis of the wellhead for passage of the coil tubing therethrough; and
a support apparatus for supporting the substantially linearly extending lubricator from deflection along the angled path to the wellhead,
wherein once aligned along the angled path to the wellhead through tilting of the injector, the injector and supported lubricator are manipulated axially along the path for fine adjustment to permit connection of the lubricator with the wellhead.
23. The system of claim 22 wherein the support apparatus further comprises:
one or more support members adapted to extend substantially parallel to the lubricator and at least one of which is spaced above or below the lubricator for substantially linearly supporting the lubricator thereon, the support member being supported at a first end at the injector; and
one or more connecting members adapted to be connected between at least a portion of the one or more support members and at least a portion of the lubricator for reducing deflection along the lubricator.
24. The system of claim 23 wherein the one or more connecting members further comprise:
one or more truss members adapted to extend transversely between the one or more support members and the lubricator; and
one or more angled truss members adapted to extend between the support member and the lubricator.
25. The system of claim 24 wherein the one or more support members each further comprise a plurality of support segments and each lubricator section is supported by one of the plurality of support segments and first and second transverse truss members and first and second angled truss members, wherein
the first and second transverse truss members are adapted for connection to first and second ends of the lubricator section; and
the first and second angled truss members are adapted to extend from the first and second ends of the lubricator section to substantially a centre of one of the plurality of support segments.
26. The system of claim 25 wherein the plurality of support segments further comprise:
a cooperating socket formed in a first end of each of the plurality of support segments; and
a pin extending from a second end of each of the plurality of support segments, wherein the plurality of support segments are fastened by mating the pin at the first end of each of the plurality of support segments into a cooperating socket at the second end of a subsequent of the plurality of support segments.
27. The system of claim 22 wherein the coil tubing injector comprises:
a carriage for mounting the injector in the derrick, the carriage being moveable along the derrick;
a saddle pivotally connected to the carriage;
a coil tubing injector adjustably supported in the saddle;
means for pivoting the saddle and injector supported therein for tilting the saddle and injector relative to the carriage for alignment of the injector with a wellhead; and
means for axially adjusting the injector within the saddle adapted for permitting fine adjustment of the injector with the wellhead.
28. The system of claim 27 further comprising:
spaced apart opposing substantially vertical sleeves formed in the saddle; and
an injector frame for supporting the injector in the saddle, the frame being telescopically housed within the sleeves in the saddle for permitting axial movement of the injector therein relative to the saddle.
29. The system of claim 27 wherein the means for adjusting the injector within the saddle comprises one or more hydraulic actuators connected between the injector frame and the saddle for permitting the injector frame to be moved axially within the saddle sleeves.
30. A coil tubing injector arrangement supportable in a derrick for injecting coil tubing into a wellbore comprising:
a carriage for mounting the injector in the derrick, the carriage being moveable along the derrick;
a saddle pivotally connected to the carriage;
a coil tubing injector adjustably supported in the saddle;
means for pivoting the saddle and injector supported therein for tilting the saddle and injector relative to the carriage for alignment of the injector with an axis of a wellhead of the wellbore; and
means for axially adjusting the injector within the saddle adapted for permitting fine adjustment of the injector with the wellhead.
31. The injector arrangement of claim 30 further comprising:
spaced apart opposing substantially vertical sleeves formed in the saddle; and
an injector frame for supporting the injector in the saddle, the frame being telescopically housed within the sleeves in the saddle for permitting axial movement of the injector therein relative to the saddle.
32. The injector arrangement of claim 31 wherein the means for adjusting the injector within the saddle comprises one or more hydraulic actuators connected between the injector frame and the saddle for permitting the injector frame to be moved axially within the saddle sleeves.
33. The injector arrangement of claim 30, wherein the derrick comprises two spaced apart masts, further comprising:
carriage brackets located on opposing sides of the injector and the saddle and connected to the derrick, each connected to one of the two spaced apart masts by a C-shaped channel member slideably engaging each mast;
upper and lower transverse members extending between the carriage brackets; and
a transverse sleeve formed on the saddle for pivotally housing the upper transverse members therein for permitting pivoting of the saddle and injector relative to the carriage.
34. The injector arrangement of claim 31 wherein the means for pivoting the saddle and injector is one or more hydraulic actuators connected between the injector frame and the lower transverse member, the one or more hydraulic actuators being pivotally connected to the lower transverse member.
35. The injector arrangement of claim 31 further comprising:
a subframe for supporting the injector on the injector frame.
36. A coil tubing rig adapted for injecting coil tubing in a slant wellbore comprising:
a mobile carrier;
a derrick pivotally mounted to the mobile carrier;
a carriage mounted the injector in the derrick, the carriage being moveable along the derrick;
a saddle pivotally connected to the carriage and being moveable relative thereto;
a coil tubing injector adjustably supported in the saddle;
means for pivoting the saddle and injector supported therein for tilting the saddle and injector relative to the carriage for alignment of the injector along a path with a wellhead connected to the slant wellbore; and
means for axially adjusting the injector within the saddle adapted for permitting fine adjustment of the injector with the wellhead.
37. The coil tubing rig of claim 36 further comprising:
a support apparatus for a lubricator, having one or more tubular lubricator sections, connecting between the coil tubing injector and the wellhead, the support apparatus comprising:
one or more support members adapted to extend substantially parallel to the lubricator and at least one of which is spaced above or below the lubricator for substantially linearly supporting the lubricator thereon, the support member being supported at a first end at the injector; and
one or more connecting members adapted to be connected between at least a portion of the one or more support members and at least a portion of the lubricator for reducing deflection along the lubricator.
38. The coil tubing rig of claim 37 comprising one support member.
39. The coil tubing rig of claim 37 wherein one of the one or more support members is spaced substantially vertically above the lubricator and is connected at a first end to the coil tubing injector.
40. The coil tubing rig of claim 37 wherein the one or more connecting members further comprise:
one or more truss members adapted to extend transversely between the one or more support members and the lubricator; and
one or more angled truss members adapted to extend between the support members and the lubricator.
41. The coil tubing rig of claim 37 wherein the one or more support members each further comprise a plurality of support segments and each lubricator section is supported by one of the plurality of support segments and first and second transverse truss members and first and second angled truss members, wherein
the first and second transverse truss members are adapted for connection to first and second ends of the lubricator section; and
the first and second angled truss members are adapted to extend from the first and second ends of the lubricator section to substantially a centre of one of the plurality of support segments.
42. The coil tubing rig of claim 41 wherein the plurality of support segments further comprise:
a cooperating socket formed in a first end of each of the plurality of support segments; and
a pin extending from a second end of each of the plurality of support segments, wherein the plurality of support segments are fastened by mating the pin at the first end of each of the plurality of support segments into a cooperating socket at the second end of a subsequent of the plurality of support segments.
43. A method of operating a mobile service rig according to claim 36 for servicing a slant wellbore comprising:
positioning the mobile service rig adjacent a slant wellbore;
connecting a first supported lubricator section to the injector;
connecting one or more additional supported lubricator sections to the first supported lubricator section for forming a substantially linearly extending supported lubricator supported from deflection resulting from manipulation of the injector;
raising the carriage in the derrick for raising the saddle and injector to an operational height;
actuating the means for pivoting the saddle and injector supported therein for tilting the saddle and injector relative to the carriage for aligning of the injector with a wellhead connected to the slant wellbore; and
actuating the means for axially adjusting the injector within the saddle adapted for permitting fine adjustment of the injector with the wellhead for connection of the supported lubricator thereto;
actuating the injector for injecting coil tubing through the lubricator to the wellhead and into the wellbore; and
performing a service operation through the coil tubing.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The apparatus relates to the field of lubricators used in coil tubing operations in the petroleum industry and more particularly to apparatus for supporting lubricator segments connected between a coil tubing injector and a wellhead.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventionally, coil tubing operations, such as wellbore stimulation and workover operations, have been performed on vertical wellbores using vertical derricks and coil tubing injectors which are moveable vertically within the derrick. Further, it is known to provide injectors carried in cradles which are movable in two planes, vertically and horizontally to better align the injector with the wellbore.

With the introduction of directional wellbores and particularly with slant wellbores, it is known to provide vertically-actuable coil tubing injectors on a derrick which can be slanted in at least one vertical plane to orient the injector with the wellbore and permit movement of the injector along the wellhead axis. In some cases the chassis stabilizer's of the rig are also manipulated somewhat to provide tilt in a second vertical plane.

Applicant is also aware of injectors which rotate and tilt relative to a trolley and to a derrick along which the trolley slides. The injector is moveable up and down the derrick using a winch mechanism and is capable of being adjusted, using hydraulic cylinders, in an out of the derrick and to rotate and tilt relative to the derrick to roughly align the injector with the wellbore.

Injectors are typically connected to the wellhead through a lubricator which is comprised of a plurality of lubricator sections which are connected by unions. Each of the lubricator risers may weigh as much as 300-400 lbs and may be rated to handle pressures in the order of about 5000 psi for stimulation or workover operations and the like. Conventional lubricators are designed to be used for vertical wellbores and thus are not designed to handle additional loads placed on them during alignment, connection and operations in a slant wellbore. Additionally, movement of a tiltable injector in any direction causes increased stress loads to be placed on the lubricator which may already be placed under tension as a result of the injection operations. Further, the lubricator may sag, deflect or to bind during injection operations and may not be capable of withstanding the high pressure loads for which they are designed.

Clearly what is required is means for supporting the lubricator during injection, either to a vertical wellbore or to a slant wellbore, particularly when injected using an injector capable of being rotated and tilted for alignment with the wellbore.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a coil tubing rig coupled to a slant well and having an injector arrangement and lubricator support apparatus according to embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view according to FIG. 1, viewed from below;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a supported lubricator section according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an integrated, supported lubricator section according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of a supported lubricator wherein a support member is positioned substantially vertically above lubricator sections and having auxiliary fasteners connecting therebetween;

FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of a coil tubing injector support according to an embodiment of the invention (the injector removed for clarity of the support);

FIG. 7 is front perspective view according to FIG. 6 and illustrating an embodiment of a supported lubricator connected thereto;

FIG. 8 is a rear perspective view according to FIG. 6, the injector support mounted in a derrick having spaced apart masts;

FIG. 9 is a front view of an injector according to an embodiment of the invention, the injector mounted in a derrick having spaced apart masts and having a supported lubricator according to FIG. 5 connected thereto;

FIG. 10 is a perspective rear view according to FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a perspective front side view according to FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a side schematic illustrating the injector sub-frame and injector frame telescopically mounted in a saddle (the injector, and derrick removed and a tilt bracket shown in dotted line for clarity);

FIG. 13 is a side schematic according to FIG. 12 illustrating tiling of the saddle using an hydraulic actuator;

FIG. 14 is a side schematic according to FIG. 13, the injector having been tilted;

FIG. 15 is a side schematic according to FIG. 14, the injector having been moved axially relative to the saddle;

FIG. 16 is a partial schematic of an embodiment in which the support apparatus is spaced substantially vertically above the lubricator; and

FIG. 17 is a partial schematic of an embodiment in which the support apparatus is spaced substantially vertically below the lubricator.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A support apparatus prevents deflection of a lubricator along a path coaxial with a wellhead. In the case of a slant well, the path is angled, an injector being tilted to align the lubricator with the wellhead for connection thereto with the result that the lubricator is placed into tension or compression. The support apparatus, which provides a linearly extending support member which is connected to the lubricator sections such as through truss members, prevents deflection along the path preventing sagging or binding and ensuring the lubricator is operative at the pressures for which it is designed.

In a broad aspect a support apparatus, for a lubricator having one or more tubular lubricator sections and connecting between a coil tubing injector and a wellhead, comprises: one or more support members adapted to extend along the lubricator and at least one of which is spaced above or below the lubricator for substantially linearly supporting the lubricator thereon, the support member being supported at a first end at the injector; and one or more connecting members adapted to be connected between at least a portion of the one or more support members and at least a portion of the lubricator for reducing deflection along the lubricator.

If the support member is positioned above the lubricator, the support member is placed into tension, being cantilevered from the injector and the support member is connected to the injector to further support the lubricator. Preferably, auxiliary fastening means, such as turn buckles, chain boomers and the like, are connected between support member sections to brackets extending from the support member for supporting sections of the support member and lubricator while in tension.

Alternatively, the support member may be positioned below the lubricator, placing the lubricator into compression. The support member need only be supported at the injector and auxiliary fastening means may or may not be used. Further, a plurality of support members may be spaced circumferentially above and below the lubricator for forming a support cage, each of the support members being connected to the lubricator. Preferably, one of the one or more support members is substantially vertically above or below the lubricator.

In a further broad aspect a method for supporting a lubricator between a coil tubing injector and a wellhead, comprises: providing a plurality of supported lubricator sections, each supported lubricator section having a lubricator section; one or more support members extending substantially parallel to the lubricator section one of which is spaced substantially vertically therefrom for supporting the lubricator section thereon; and one or more connecting members connected between the one or more substantially linearly extending members and the lubricator section; engaging a first end of the lubricator section of a first supported lubricator section with the coil tubing injector; fastening a first end of one or more subsequent supported lubricator sections of the plurality of supported lubricator sections to a second end of a previous supported lubricator section, in series, for assembling a supported lubricator having a length sufficient to extend from the injector to the wellhead; and aligning the assembled coil tubing injector so as to position the supported lubricator along a path coaxial with an axis of the wellhead so as to permit connection between the supported lubricator and the wellhead, the supported lubricator being supported from deflection along the path to the wellhead.

In a system for injection of coil tubing into vertical or slant wellbores having a wellhead attached thereto, the combination comprises: a coil tubing injector supported within a carriage in a derrick, the injector and carriage being moveable along the derrick, the injector being tiltable and capable of axial movement in the carriage so as to direct coil tubing at a variety of angled paths therefrom; a lubricator engaged with and cantilevered from the coil tubing injector and extending along an angled path coaxial to an axis of the wellhead for passage of the coil tubing therethrough; and a support apparatus for supporting the lubricator from deflection along the angled path to the wellhead, wherein once aligned along the angled path to the wellhead through tilting of the injector, the injector and supported lubricator are manipulated axially along the path for fine adjustment to permit connection of the lubricator with the wellhead.

A coil tubing injector arrangement supportable in a derrick for injecting coil tubing into a wellbore comprises: a carriage for mounting the injector in the derrick, the carriage being moveable along the derrick; a saddle pivotally connected to the carriage; a coil tubing injector adjustably supported in the saddle; means for pivoting the saddle and injector supported therein for tilting the saddle and injector relative to the carriage and derrick adapted for alignment of the injector with an axis of a wellhead; and means for axially adjusting the injector within the saddle adapted for permitting fine adjustment of the injector with the wellhead.

A coil tubing rig adapted for injecting coil tubing in a slant wellbore comprises: a mobile carrier; a derrick pivotally mounted to the mobile carrier; a carriage mounted the injector in the derrick, the carriage being moveable along the derrick; a saddle pivotally connected to the carriage and being moveable relative thereto; a coil tubing injector adjustably supported in the saddle; means for pivoting the saddle and injector supported therein for tilting the saddle and injector relative to the carriage and derrick adapted for alignment of the injector along a path with a wellhead connected to the slant wellbore; and means for axially adjusting the injector within the saddle adapted for permitting fine adjustment of the injector with the wellhead.

A method of operating a mobile service rig as described for servicing a slant wellbore comprises: positioning the mobile service rig adjacent a slant wellbore; connecting a first supported lubricator section to the injector; connecting one or more additional supported lubricator sections to the first supported lubricator section for forming a substantially linearly extending supported lubricator supported from deflection resulting from manipulation of the injector; raising the carriage in the derrick for raising the saddle and injector to an operational height; actuating the means for pivoting the saddle and injector supported therein for tilting the saddle and injector relative to the carriage and derrick adapted for aligning of the injector with a wellhead connected to the slant wellbore; and actuating the means for axially adjusting the injector within the saddle adapted for permitting fine adjustment of the injector with the wellhead for connection of the supported lubricator thereto; actuating the injector for injecting coil tubing through the lubricator to the wellhead and into the wellbore; and performing a service operation through the coil tubing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Embodiments of the invention may be used for operations relating to both vertical and slant wellbores, however for the purposes of the description found herein, embodiments of the invention are described in the context of a slant wellbore. Those of skill in the art will understand that this in no way limits the use of embodiments of the invention to slant welbores.

As shown in FIG. 1, a coil tubing injector 10 is supported in a derrick 11 and is connected to a wellhead 12 by a lubricator 14 for injection of coil tubing 15 therethrough. The lubricator 14 typically comprises one or more lubricator sections 16. Multiple sections 16 are connected to one another by unions 18 for forming the lubricator 14. The lubricator 14 extends axially from the injector 10 to the wellhead 12 along one of a variety of angled and substantially linearly extending paths determined by the angle of the wellhead 12 relative to the ground. Typically wellheads 12 can vary from about 90 degrees relative to the ground in a vertical wellbore to about 30 degrees relative to the ground in a slant wellbore. In the case of wellheads 12 which are angled less than 90 degrees, the lubricator 14 becomes cantilevered from the injector 10 as it extends along a path coaxial with the wellhead 12.

Injection of coil tubing 15, such as for the purposes of servicing a wellbore and other such operations, is accomplished using a mobile coil tubing rig 30 having an injector arrangement 50 comprising an injector 10 supported in a support assembly or carriage 31, moveable substantially vertically along the derrick 11. The lubricator 14 is connected to the injector 10. Preferably, the injector 10 is further adjustably supported for permitting the injector 10 to be tilted and moved side to side relative to the derrick 11 and moved axially relative to the support 20 for adjusting the alignment of the lubricator 14 for connection to the wellhead 12. The movement of the injector 10 positions the lubricator 14 along the path to the wellhead 12 which, particularly in the case of slant wellheads, may be angled. The lubricator 14, if unsupported may deflect from a linear path during use. Deflection of the lubricator 14 may cause binding during injection operations and may compromise the lubricator's ability to withstand the high pressure loads for which lubricators are typically designed. Thus, the support apparatus 20 disclosed herein prevents deflection of the lubricator 14 and the problems associated therewith.

In an embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIGS. 1, and 6-15, an injector arrangement 50 is capable of being manipulated so as to align the injector 10 and lubricator 14, supported according to embodiments of the invention described below, to the wellhead 12. More particularly the injector arrangement 50 is capable of being tilted, moved laterally relative to the derrick 11 and, more particularly, moved axially within the injector arrangement 50 to permit the fine control necessary for connection to the wellhead 12 without the need to tilt the derrick 11 and to minimize connection time and maximize efficiency of a coil tubing operation.

Lubricator Support Apparatus

In an embodiment of the invention and having reference to FIGS. 2-5 and 16-17, a lubricator support apparatus 20 is engaged at a first end 22 to the injector 10. The lubricator support apparatus 20 comprises one or more support members 21 and one or more connecting members 24, such as a web or truss members, extending between the one or more support members 21 and the lubricator 14 for supporting the lubricator 14 from deflection along a substantially linearly extending path from the injector 10 to the wellhead 12. Preferably the connecting members 24 are truss members. The path is along the axis of the wellhead 12. The one or more truss members 24 are connected between at least a portion of the lubricator sections 16 and the one or more support members 21 for supporting the lubricator sections 16 thereon and for reducing stress loading on the lubricator 14.

In one preferred embodiment, a single linearly extending support member 21 is used. The support member 21 is spaced substantially parallel to and above or below the lubricator 14 by the truss members 24, which are fastened to both the lubricator 14 and the support member 21.

The support member 21 can be formed from a plurality of substantially linearly extending support segments 26 which are fastened together using fasteners, such as pins 28 and cooperating sockets 29, for forming the substantially linearly extending support member 21.

Preferably, one or more connecting members 24 are connected between each of the lubricator sections 16 and a corresponding support segment 26 for forming a supported lubricator section 40. Further, use of corresponding support segments 26 and truss members 24 connected therebetween permits the lubricator support apparatus 20 to be readily constructed of a length required to support the lubricator 14, regardless the length of the lubricator 14.

In one embodiment as shown in FIG. 3, one or more truss members 24 are unitary with the support segments 26 and are connected to the lubricator sections 16 through fasteners, such as clamps 25. In an alternate embodiment, as shown in FIG. 4, the one or more truss members 24 are unitary with both the support segments 26 and with the lubricator sections 16.

Preferably, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the truss members 24 comprise one or more transverse truss members 24 t which extend transversely between the support segments 26 and the lubricator sections 16 and one or more angled truss members 24 a which extend at an angle therebetween. Most preferably, there are two transverse truss members 24 t and two angled truss members 24 a. One transverse truss member 24 t extends between a first end of the support segment and a first end of a lubricator section 16. The second transverse truss member 24 t extends between a second end of the support segment and a second end of a lubricator section 16. The two angled truss members 24 a extend, one from the first end of the lubricator section 16 and the second from the second end of the lubricator section 16, each angling to be connected to the support segment 26 at about a center C of the support segment 26.

Having reference to FIGS. 2, 5 and 16 and in particular to FIG. 5, in an embodiment wherein the support member 21 is spaced substantially vertically above the lubricator 14, the support member 21 is placed into tension when the injector 10 is tilted and is therefore restrained in tension, through connection at the first end 22 to the injector arrangement 50, for further supporting the support apparatus 20. Additionally, a plurality of brackets 41 extend outwardly from each of the support segments 26 forming the support member 21 to which auxiliary fastening means 42, such as turn buckles, chain boomers or the like, are engaged between support segments 26 for further supporting the support apparatus 20 and maintaining tensile connection between the support segments 26.

As shown in FIG. 17, in an embodiment wherein the support member 21 is spaced substantially vertically below the lubricator 14, the support member 21 and lubricator 14 are placed into compression and therefore the support member 21 need only be supported at the first end at the injector arrangement 50 and auxiliary fastening means 42 need not be used. The brackets 41 and auxiliary fastening means 42 can however be used, in any event, for additional stability, such as during rig up.

In another embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 7, a plurality of support members 21 may be used, spaced substantially parallel to, and circumferentially above and below the lubricator 14 for forming a cage about the lubricator, each of the support members 21 being connected to the lubricator 14 by truss members 24, both angled 24 a and transverse 24 t.

Injector Arrangement

Having reference to FIGS. 6-15, and in a preferred embodiment of the invention, the injector arrangement 50 provides the ability to manipulate the injector 10 and supported lubricator 14 for connection to the wellhead 12 which may be oriented at a variety of angles relative to the ground.

As previously stated, the injector 10 is carried in the carriage 31, the carriage 31 being moveable vertically along the derrick 11. The derrick 11 preferably comprises two longitudinally extending, spaced apart masts 51,51 which are elevated to a substantially vertical position relative to the rig 30 using conventional means, well known in the art. Movement of the injector arrangement 50 along the derrick 11 is typically through a winch 52 connected thereto.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the injector 10 is supported by an injector subframe 43 in an L-shaped injector frame 44 which is telescopically connected to a saddle 32 for axial movement of the injector 10 and lubricator 14 relative to the saddle 32. More particularly, the saddle 32 comprises a pair of spaced apart opposing substantially vertical sleeves 33 in which the injector 10 housed in the subframe 43 and the injector frame 44 is supported for movement axially therein.

In an embodiment of the invention, the injector 10 is supported directly on a modified L-shaped injector frame 44 eliminating the additional weight of the injector subframe 43.

The saddle 32 is pivotally mounted to the carriage 31 through upper and lower transverse members 34,35 which extend between carriage brackets 36 located on opposing sides of the injector 10 and saddle 32 and connected to each of the masts 51,51 via C-shaped channel members 37 which slideably engage the masts 51,51 for movement therealong.

Preferably the saddle 32 is pivotally connected to the upper transverse member 34, such as by brackets 38 and a transverse sleeve 39 through which the upper transverse member 34 extends. Further, the saddle 32 is slideably connected on the upper transverse member 34 and the lower transverse member 35 to permit lateral movement therealong between the masts 51,51 of the derrick 11.

In order to manipulate the injector arrangement 50 relative to the derrick 11 and along a path parallel, and more particularly coaxial with the axis of the wellhead 12, actuators 45, 46, 47 are connected between the injector arrangement 50 and the saddle 12.

Best seen in FIGS. 6, 8 and 15, an axial actuator 45, such as a hydraulic cylinder, is connected between the injector frame 44 and the saddle 32 so as to permit axial movement of the injector 10 and injector frame 44 guided within the opposing substantially vertical sleeves 33, relative to the saddle 32. After adjusting one or both of the angular and lateral alignment of the injector 10 and lubricator 14, axial movement of the injector 10 and lubricator 14 permits fine adjustment of the lubricator 14 with the wellhead 12 and permits ease of connection thereto.

Best seen in FIGS. 12-15, actuation means 46, such as one or more hydraulic actuators for tilting the injector arrangement 50, are connected between the saddle 32 and the lower transverse member 35 for pivoting the injector 10 and lubricator 14 to align with the path toward the wellhead 12. Preferably tilt brackets 48 are connected to the outside of each substantially vertical sleeve 33 at a downwardly extending angle, adjacent a bottom end 51, to permit attachment of the hydraulic actuators 46 between the saddle 32 and the lower transverse member 35 on each side of the saddle 32. The hydraulic actuators 46 are fastened at a first end 53 to the tilt brackets 48 and are pivotally connected at a second end 54 to the lower transverse member 35. As the hydraulic tilt actuators 46 extend for tilting a bottom end 55 of the injector arrangement 50 away from the derrick 11, the second end 54 of the tilt actuator 46 pivots about the lower transverse member 35 to permit the bottom end 55 of the injector arrangement 50 to move outwardly therefrom as the saddle 32 pivots about the upper transverse member 34.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, one or more lateral actuators 47 are connected between one of the opposing carriage brackets 36 and the saddle 32 so as to move the saddle 32 and injector 10 laterally therealong relative to the derrick 111 for lateral adjustment of the injector 10 and lubricator 14 to align with the wellhead 12.

In use

In operation, the mobile rig 30 is positioned adjacent the wellhead 12 and the derrick 111 is raised to a substantially vertical position. A first supported lubricator section 40 is connected to the injector 10. Preferably, the first supported lubricator section 40 remains permanently connected to the injector 10. The carriage 31 is raised in the derrick 11. As the carriage 31 is raised, subsequent trussed lubricator sections 40 are connected to a previous supported lubricator section 40, in series, to assemble the support member 21 and for forming the supported lubricator 14 of sufficient length to span between the injector 10 and the wellhead 12.

More particularly, supported lubricator sections 40 are positioned beneath the injector 10 typically using a mobile crane. The supported lubricator sections 40 are supported on a stand (not shown) on the ground after which the carriage 31 and the injector 10 are manipulated, typically laterally and axially, first to attach a first supported section 40 and thereafter to permit connection of the unions 18 on the adjacent supported lubricator sections 40 and to align the pin 28 on one support segment 26 with the co-operating socket 29 of the next support segment 26.

Best seen in FIGS. 2 and 5 and in the embodiment wherein the support member 21 is spaced vertically above the lubricator sections 16, auxiliary fastening means 42 are further connected between the brackets 41 of adjacent supported lubricator sections 40 for further supporting the lubricator 14 which is in tension.

Once the supported lubricator 14 is assembled, the carriage 31 is raised and lowered within the derrick 111 to a desired operational height and the injector 10 is manipulated angularly, laterally and axially, as required, to align the now substantially linearly extending and supported lubricator 14 with the wellhead 12. After connection of the supported lubricator 14 to the wellhead 12, coil tubing (not shown) can be injected therethrough by the injector and service operations and the like can be performed on the wellbore.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7478677 *Jun 22, 2006Jan 20, 2009Xtreme Coil Drilling Corp.Coiled tubing/top drive rig and method
US7549468Dec 12, 2006Jun 23, 2009Foremost Industries Ltd.Coiled tubing injector system
US7798237 *Aug 30, 2007Sep 21, 2010Nabors Alaska Drilling, Inc.Enclosed coiled tubing rig
US8191637 *Dec 5, 2005Jun 5, 2012Xtreme Coil Drilling Corp.Method and apparatus for conducting earth borehole operations
US8397801 *Dec 9, 2011Mar 19, 2013Xtreme Drilling And Coil Services Corp.System, method and apparatus for conducting earth borehole operations
US8672043Nov 3, 2010Mar 18, 2014Nabors Alaska Drilling, Inc.Enclosed coiled tubing boat and methods
US20120080180 *Dec 9, 2011Apr 5, 2012Wood Thomas DSystem, Method and Apparatus for Conducting Earth Borehole Operations
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/379, 166/77.2
International ClassificationE21B19/22
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/22
European ClassificationE21B19/22
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 17, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: CENTURY OILFIELD SERVICES INC., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FRAC SOURCE INC.;REEL/FRAME:022836/0413
Effective date: 20081003
Owner name: FRAC SOURCE INC., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ANDREYCHUK, MARK;REEL/FRAME:022836/0335
Effective date: 20051215