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Publication numberUS20070000668 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/556,902
PCT numberPCT/NO2004/000146
Publication dateJan 4, 2007
Filing dateMay 14, 2004
Priority dateMay 15, 2003
Also published asCA2525637A1, EP1642000A2, WO2004101417A2, WO2004101417A3
Publication number10556902, 556902, PCT/2004/146, PCT/NO/2004/000146, PCT/NO/2004/00146, PCT/NO/4/000146, PCT/NO/4/00146, PCT/NO2004/000146, PCT/NO2004/00146, PCT/NO2004000146, PCT/NO200400146, PCT/NO4/000146, PCT/NO4/00146, PCT/NO4000146, PCT/NO400146, US 2007/0000668 A1, US 2007/000668 A1, US 20070000668 A1, US 20070000668A1, US 2007000668 A1, US 2007000668A1, US-A1-20070000668, US-A1-2007000668, US2007/0000668A1, US2007/000668A1, US20070000668 A1, US20070000668A1, US2007000668 A1, US2007000668A1
InventorsMatheus Christensen
Original AssigneeMatheus Christensen
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Internal running elevator
US 20070000668 A1
Abstract
The invention relates to a lifting tool for handling of a pipe-string pipe length for joining and lowering or lifting and disassembly of conductor, casing, risers, drill string, or similar in a bore hole or well. The invention also relates to a lifting system for lifting or lowering pipe length and pipe-string, for joining and lowering or lifting and disassembling of conductor, casing, risers, drill string, or similar in a bore hole or well. The lifting system comprises a lifting tool with a lifting part and a support part connected to an elevator apparatus which is mounted to a top drive and where the lifting tool lifting part shall operate in conjunction with a power slip which is configured to receive and hold in a fixed position a standing pipe length or pipe-string. Finally the invention comprises a method for lifting of pipe length for joining of pipe length to a pipe-string, including conductor, casing, risers, or similar for use in a bore hole or well with the use of a lifting system and lifting tool according to the invention.
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Claims(88)
1-87. (canceled)
88. A lifting tool for handling of a pipe-string (2) and pipe sections (3,4) during joining and lowering or lifting and disassembly of conductors, casings, risers, drill strings or similar in a bore hole (160) or a well (161), the lifting tool comprising
a lifting part (20) comprising a coaxial, rod (47) and a connection part (5) for connection to and receiving lifting force from a drive unit or top drive (60) or derrick crane (60); and
a hydraulic system (40) arranged for retaining and holding the lifting part (20) against either or both of the outer or inner surface of an end of the pipe sections (3,4) or the pipe string (2);
a lifting nipple (32) with a hollow coaxial lifting nipple axle (36), a lifting nipple cone (37), and a lifting nipple flange or collar (33) which is located between the lifting nipple axle (36) and the lifting nipple cone (37) and further arranged for transfer of load to the lifting tool, in which the lifting nipple (32) is arranged concentric about the piston rod (47) and arranged for movement along the piston rod (47), in which the lifting nipple (32) is arranged for carrying the entire or part of the weight of the pipe section (3,4) or the resulting pipe-string (2), and in which the lifting nipple cone (37) is provided with external generally horizontal grooves or external central threads (34) and arranged for screwing into and out of the end of a pipe section (3,4), characterized in
that the lifting part (20) is arranged for rotation about the central axis of the piston rod (47), such that the lifting part (20) with the pipe section (3,4) is arranged for a controlled joining of the pipe section (3,4) with a generally upright pipe section or pipe string (2) located below preferably joining by screwing the pipe section (3,4) into the end of the pipe section or pipe string (2);
that the lifting part (20) after the joining of the pipe section (3,4) with the pipe string (2) is arranged for supporting the entire or part of the weight of the resulting pipe string (2); and
that the lifting part (20) is pivotable about a horizontal axis and arranged for grasping a pipe section (3,4) from a generally horizontal or nearly horizontal position.
89. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) is arranged for circulation of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid or fluid mixture via a flexible hose (7) on the connection part (5) of the lifting tool and via the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool.
90. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) also comprises a coaxial guide tube (38) arranged concentric about the piston rod (47).
91. A lifting tool according to claim 90, in which the lifting nipple (32) is arranged concentric about the coaxial guide tube (38), and in which the lifting nipple (32) is arranged for movement along the coaxial guide tube (38) during screwing into and screwing out of the pipe section (3,4).
92. A lifting tool according to claim 90, in which external threads (38 a) are arranged on the coaxial guide tube (38) for engagement with internal, generally horizontal grooves or threads (35) on the lifting nipple (32).
93. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) further comprises a housing (16) with a top plate unit (17) or a top plate (21), and in which the housing (16) comprises a main lifting shoulder (18) and a base plate (19).
94. A lifting tool according to claim 93, in which the top plate unit (17) comprises
at least one, preferably two disc shaped plates (17 a,b), each with a central opening,
one or more web sections (17 c) arranged for stiffening the top plate unit (17) and oriented generally normal to and between the top plates (17 a,b), and in which the web sections (17 c) are fixed to the top plates (17 a,b) preferably by a welded connection;
a mounting plate (149) arranged on an outside of the upper plate (17 a); and
a self lubricating bushing arranged between a lifting collar (48) on the piston rod (47) and the other top plate (17 b).
95. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) further comprises a nipple rotation system (90) arranged for screwing into and screwing out of the lifting nipple cone (37) of the lifting nipple (32) in a threaded portion of an end of the pipe section (3,4) to be lifted or loosened.
96. A lifting tool according to claim 95, in which the nipple rotation system (90) comprises one or more hydraulic motors (91), each provided with a gear sprocket (93) on a gear axle (94).
97. A lifting tool according to claim 95, in which the top plate unit (17) comprises a cylinder (17 d) with a spindle system (17 e) for inlet (95), outlet (96) and case drain (97) passages for hydraulic oil connection to the nipple rotation system (90), in which the cylinder (17 d) is arranged concentric about the piston rod (47) and axially centered in the top plates (17 a,b).
98. A lifting tool according to claim 92, in which the lifting nipple axle (36) of the lifting nipple (32) is provided with external vertical grooves or splines (36 a) and arranged for engagement by and for being rotated by one or more gear sprockets (93) in the nipple rotation system (90).
99. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) also comprises
an adapter (6) which is connected to a high pressure hose (7) with a swivel (7 a) by means of a union (7 a), for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture from the drive unit or top drive (60),
a bolted goose neck connection (8), preferably with a swivel, for conveying drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mix to the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20), connected to a manifold or wear adapter (9) for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture from the drive unit or top drive (60).
100. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) is pivotably arranged in an elevator apparatus (70) which is arranged about the piston rod (47), preferably in a recess or lifting shoulder (13) on the piston rod (47).
101. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) further comprises a tilting arm (10) with one end (10 a) arranged concentric about the piston rod (47), and the other end (10 b) is connected to a telescopic hydraulic lifting cylinder (61), preferably by means of a chain connection or other suitable attachment means.
102. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) comprises
an entry cone or expanding packing or mud packer (140), preferably an elastomer packing (140), arranged concentric about the piston rod (47), and arranged for entry in one end of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe string (2) and for expansion against the inner surface of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe-string (2) upon activation of the lifting tool, in which the entry cone (140) is attached to the piston rod (47) by means of a bolted connection (143,144); and
a funnel shaped entry guide (141) with a compliant support ring (146), in which the entry guide (141) is arranged for receiving and encompassing the end of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4), and to contact and clamp against the external surface of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4).
103. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the piston rod (47) comprises a hollow fluid passage (147) for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture and a hollow fluid passage (148) for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture.
104. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the hydraulic system (40) is a double acting or bi-directional piston cylinder mechanism which includes a hydraulic cylinder (42) with a piston cylinder base (44), a piston cylinder plate (41) and a hydraulic piston (43) which is arranged concentric about and fixed to the axial piston rod (47).
105. A lifting tool according to claim 104, in which the hydraulic system (40) also comprises:
an inlet fluid passage (51) for hydraulic oil connection to one side of the hydraulic piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42); and
an outlet fluid passage (52) for hydraulic oil connection to the other side of the hydraulic piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42);
in which the inlet passage (51) and the outlet passage (52) run through the piston rod (47) from the manifold (9).
106. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool comprises a wedge system which is arranged for grasping and holding the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4) to be lifted, and in which the wedge system includes at least one set of opposing outer (24) and inner (29) wedge segments or wedge rings, preferably with a sealing segment or sealing ring (29 a) arranged on one side of the wedge ring or wedge segment (29) facing the external surface of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4), and where the inner surface of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4) is engaged by the entry cone (140).
107. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the lifting part (20) further comprises a coaxial bearing cylinder (22) with a top plate (22 a) and a guide or stop plate (22 b), where the coaxial bearing cylinder (22) is arranged for guiding the lifting nipple (32) into the correct position during screwing into the pipe section (3,4).
108. A lifting tool according to claim 107, in which the main lifting shoulder (18) is arranged for positioning adjacent to the guide or stop plate (22 b) when the lifting tool is activated, and in which the guide or stop plate (22 b) is arranged for positioning adjacent to the lifting nipple flange or collar (33) when the lifting nipple (32) is screwed into the threaded section of one end of the pipe section (3,4).
109. A lifting tool according to claim 107, in which the nipple rotation system (90) is attached to the coaxial bearing cylinder (22) by means of one or more mounting brackets (92).
110. A lifting tool according to claim 90, in which the coaxial bearing cylinder (38) is connected to a spring system (39) for compensating and equalizing the tension forces between the external horizontal grooves or threads (34) of the lifting nipple cone (37) and internal horizontal grooves or threads (3 a) in one end of the pipe section (3,4), and between the internal horizontal grooves or threads (34) of the lifting nipple (32) and the external horizontal grooves or threads (38 a) on the coaxial bearing cylinder (38).
111. A lifting tool according to claim 109, in which the spring system (39) comprises two or more helical springs (38) or helical collar (38).
112. A lifting tool according to claim 110, in which the hydraulic cylinder (42) with the piston cylinder base (44) is attached to one side of the top plate (22 a) bearing cylinder (22), and in which the spring system (39) with the coaxial guide tube (37) is attached to the top plate (22 a) of the coaxial bearing cylinder (22) on the opposite side of the hydraulic cylinder (43) and piston cylinder base (44).
113. A lifting tool according to claim 88, where one or more independent sensors (15) is arranged in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool, preferably spring loaded pressure sensors, to determine the position of the lifting nipple (32) with respect to the end of the pipe section (3,4), and where each sensor (15) is connected to a limit switch (14).
114. A lifting tool according to claim 93, where the housing (16) comprises one or more inspection openings.
115. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which one or more lugs are arranged on the lifting nipple flange (33) of the lifting nipple (32), for manual operation of the lifting nipple (32), preferably with the use of a lever or crow-bar.
116. A lifting tool according to claim 104, in which hydraulic oil is supplied by a preferably radial inlet (50) on the support part (5) and via a generally vertical passage (51) for hydraulic oil through the piston rod (47) and with a radial outlet for hydraulic oil from the piston rod (47) under the piston (43) to move the piston (43) upwards.
117. A lifting tool according to claim 116, in which hydraulic oil is supplied from the upper part of the hydraulic cylinder (42) above the piston (43) to drive the inner wedge rings (29) downward such that the outer wedge segments (24) with friction surface (27) retract from and release the inner wall of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4).
118. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the piston rod (47) comprises
a fluid passage (147) arranged for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture, and
a fluid passage (148) configured for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture.
119. A lifting tool according to claim 88, in which the piston rod (47) comprises a lifting collar (48) arranged for transfer of load from the piston rod (47) of the lifting tool to the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool.
120. A lifting tool according to claim 101, in which lifting part (20) of the lifting tool comprises a locking mechanism for the lifting tool,
in which a slotted hub (5 a) is arranged concentric about and attached to the piston rod (47), and in which the tilting arm (10) is compliant, preferably with a spring loaded joint (10 a) in the tilting arm (10), and
where the compliant tilting arm (10, 10 a) is arranged for movement from an initial position and passively downwards into one of the slots in the slotted hub (5 a) to an operating position, for locking of the entire lifting tool against rotation of the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool.
121. A lifting tool according to claim 120, where the spring loaded joint (10 a) is arranged for release of the tilting arm (10) upon retraction of the spring loaded joint (10 a) from a position where the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool has been rotated from the initial position and back to the initial position.
122. A lifting tool for handling of a pipe string (2) and pipe sections (3,4) during joining and lowering or raising and disassembling of conductors, casings, risers, drilling strings or similar in a bore hole (160) or well (161), in which the lifting tool comprises
a lifting part (20) which comprises an axial piston rod (47) arranged through, and a connection part (5) for connection to and receiving lifting force from a drive unit or top drive (60) or derrick crane (60); and
a hydraulic system (40) which is arranged for retaining and holding the lifting part (20) against the inner surface of an end of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe string (2);
a wedge system with inner wedge segments or inner wedge rings (29) attached to the piston rod (47), in which the inner wedge segments or wedge rings (29) are arranged for movement in an axial direction inwards under ramped surfaces of the outer wedge segments (24) and thereby press the outer wedge ring segments radially outward, characterized in
that the outer wedge segments are provided with a radially oriented friction surface (27) to engage the inner surface of the pipe section (2,3,4),
that the outer clamping ring-segments (24) is arranged for being forced directly or indirectly downwards by a top plate (21) with a hydraulic cylinder (42) connected to the top plate (21), the hydraulic piston (43) of the cylinder (42) being attached to the piston rod (47), which is arranged for forcing the inner wedge rings (29) upwards in relation to the outer wedge segments (24) and thereby expands the friction surface (27) outwards to grip the inner diameter of the casing (2),
that the lifting part (20) is arranged for rotation axially about the piston rod (47), such that the lifting part (20) with the pipe section (3,4) is arranged for a controlled joining of the pipe section (3,4) with the a generally upright pipe section or pipe string (2) located below, preferably joining by screwing into the pipe section (3,4) into a the pipe section or pipe string (2),
that the lifting part (20) after the joining of the pipe section (3,4) with the pipe string (2) is arranged for supporting the entire or part of the weight of the resulting pipe string (2), and
the lifting part (20) is pivotable about a horizontal axis and arranged for grasping a pipe section (3,4) from a generally horizontal or nearly horizontal position.
123. A lifting tool according to claim 122, where the inner wedge rings (29) are attached to the piston rod (47) via a coaxial bearing cylinder (22), which itself is attached to a coaxial base plate (39), and which in turn is attached to the piston rod (47) with a lower intermediate piece (48) and locked by a hex nut (143,144).
124. A lifting tool according to claim 122, where the outer wedge segments (24) and inner wedge rings (29) of the lifting part (20) are arranged in pairs in several levels between the base plate (30) and top plate (21).
125. A lifting tool according to claim 124, where outer wedge segments (24) of the lifting part (20) are separated in the axial direction by spacer rings (26).
126. A lifting tool according to claim 122, where the hydraulic system (40) is a double acting or bidirectional piston cylinder mechanism which includes a hydraulic cylinder (42) with a piston cylinder base (44), a piston cylinder plate (41) and a hydraulic piston (43) which is arranged concentric about and attached to the axial piston rod (47).
127. A lifting tool according to claim 126, in which hydraulic oil is supplied via a preferably radial inlet (50) on the connection part (5) and via a generally vertical passage (51) for hydraulic oil through the piston rod (47) and further including a radial outlet for hydraulic oil from the piston rod (47) under the piston (43) for activating the the piston (43) to move upwards.
128. A lifting tool according to claim 127, in which hydraulic oil is supplied from the upper portion above the piston (43) to the hydraulic cylinder (42) so as to drive the outer wedge rings (24) downward such that the inner wedge segments (29) with packing or packing ring (29 a) retract from and release the inner wall of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4).
129. A lifting tool according to claim 122, in which the lifting part (20) is arranged for circulation of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid or fluid mixture via a flexible hose (7) on connection part (5) of the lifting tool and via the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool.
130. A lifting tool according to claim 122, in which the lifting part (20) further comprises
an adapter (6) which is connected to a high pressure hose (7) with a union (7 a), for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture from a drive unit or top drive (60), and
a bolted goose neck connection (8), preferably with a swivel, for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture to the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20), connected to a manifold or wear adapter (9) for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture from the drive unit or top drive (60).
131. A lifting tool according to claim 122, in which the lifting part (20) is pivotably arranged in an elevator apparatus (70) arranged about the piston rod (47), preferably in a recess or lifting shoulder (13) on the piston rod (47).
132. A lifting tool according to claim 122, in which the lifting part (20) further comprises a tilting arm (10) with one end (10 a) arranged concentric about the piston rod (47), and the other end (10 b) is connected to a telescopic hydraulic lifting cylinder (61), preferably by means of of a chain connection or other suitable attachment means.
133. A lifting tool according to claim 122, where the lifting part (20) comprises an entry cone or expanding packing or mud packer (140), preferably an elastomer packing (140), arranged concentric about the piston rod (47), arranged for entry in one end of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe string (2) and for expansion against the inner surface of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe string (2) upon activation of the lifting tool, where the entry cone (140) is attached to the piston rod (47) by means of a bolted connection (143,144).
134. A lifting tool according to claim 122, in which the piston rod (47) comprises
a fluid passage (147) arranged for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture, and
a fluid passage (148) arranged for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture.
135. A lifting tool according to claim 122, in which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool further comprises an indicator system arranged for one or more independent sensors (15) in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool, preferably spring loaded pressure sensors, for determining position of the entry cone (140) with respect to the end of the pipe section (3,4), and where each sensor (15) is connected to a limit switch (14).
136. A lifting tool according to claim 132, in which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool comprises a locking mechanism for the lifting tool,
in which a slotted hub (5 a) is arranged concentric about and attached to the piston rod (47), and in which the tilting arm (10) is compliant, preferably with a spring loaded joint (10 a) in the tilting arm (10),
in which the compliant tilting arm (10, 10 a) is arranged for movement from an initial position and passively downwards into one of the slots in the slotted hub (5 a) to an operating position, for locking of the entire lifting tool against rotation of the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20).
137. A lifting tool according to claim 136, in which the spring loaded joint (10 a) is arranged for release of the tilting arm (10) upon retraction of the spring loaded joint (10 a) from a position in which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool has been rotated from an initial position and back to the initial position.
138. A lifting tool for handling of pipe strings and pipe sections (2,3,4) during joining and lowering or raising and disassembling of conductors, casings, risers, drilling strings or similar in a bore hole (160) or well (161), in which the lifting tool comprises
a lifting part (20) comprising an axial piston rod (47), and a connection part (5) for connection to and receiving lifting force from a drive unit or top drive (60) or derrick crane (60);
a hydraulic system (40) which is arranged for retaining the lifting part (20) against the outer surface of one end of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe string (2)
a wedge system in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool with one or more sets of inner wedge segments (29) and outer wedge segments or wedge rings (24), in which the lifting part (20) with the wedge system is arranged for grasping about the end of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe string (2) below the threaded section of the end of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe string (2); characterized in
that the wedge system is arranged to be self locking such that the weight of the pipe section (3,4) or pipe string will act to increase the gripping and locking effect of the lifting force, thus ensuring secure gripping/locking in the event of the loss of hydraulic fluid pressure,
that the lifting part (20) is arranged for rotation axially about the piston rod (47), such that the lifting part (20) with the pipe section (3,4) is arranged for a controlled joining of the pipe section (3,4) and a generally upright pipe section or pipe string (2) located below, preferably by screwing the pipe section (3,4) into the end of pipe section or pipe string (2),
that the lifting part (20) after the joining of the pipe section (3,4) with the pipe section or pipe string (2) is arranged for supporting the entire or part of the weight of the resulting pipe string (2), and
that the lifting part (20) is pivotable about a horizontal axis and arranged for grasping a pipe section (3,4) from a generally horizontal or nearly horizontal position.
139. A lifting tool according to claim 138, in which the lifting part (20) is arranged for circulation of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid or fluid mixture via a flexible hose (7) on the connection part (5) of the lifting tool and via the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool.
140. A lifting tool according to claim 138, in which the hydraulic system (40) is a piston hydraulic system (40) having a hydraulic piston (43) connected to the piston rod (47) and arranged in a hydraulic cylinder (42), an in which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool further includes
an outer housing (16) with a top plate (21), and where the housing (16) comprises a lifting shoulder (18) and a base plate (19) with a central opening for a pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4) to be grasped;
a coaxial bearing cylinder (22) with a guide or stop plate (22 b), a bearing cylinder plate (22 d) with a central opening, a center plate (22 e) and an inner bearing cylinder (22 f);
in which the pressure under the piston (43) upon application of hydraulic fluid pressure forces the piston (43) with the piston rod (47) and the outer housing (16) upwards together with the base plate (19) of the outer housing (16) and the outer wedge segments or rings (24), such that the bearing cylinder (22) and the stop plate (22 b) with the inner wedge segments (29) is forced downwards with respect to the outer wedge segments or rings (24) with the result that inner wedge segments (29) are forced inwards to engage and grasp the outer surface of pipe section (2,3,4).
141. A lifting tool according to claim 138, where the piston rod includes a lifting collar (48) arranged for transfer of load from the piston rod (47) of the lifting tool to the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool.
142. A lifting tool according to claim 140, where the outer housing (16) includes a top plate unit (17).
143. A lifting tool according to claim 142, in which the top plate unit (17) comprises
at least one, preferably two disc shaped plates (17 a,b), each with a central opening,
one or more web sections (17 c) arranged for stiffening the top plate unit (17) and oriented generally normal to and between the top plates (17 a,b), and where the web sections (17 c) are fixed to the top plates (17 a,b) preferably by a welded connection;
a mounting plate (149) arranged on an outside of the upper plate (17 a); and
a self lubricating bushing arranged between the lifting collar (48) on the piston rod (47) and the second top plate (17 b).
144. A lifting tool according to claim 138, in which the lifting part (20) also comprises
an adapter (6) which is connected to a high pressure hose (7) with a swivel (7 a), for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture from a drive unit or top drive (60),
a bolted goose neck connection (8), preferably with a swivel, for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mix to the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20), connected to a manifold or wear adapter (9) for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mix from the drive unit or top drive (60).
145. A lifting tool according to 138, in which the lifting part (20) is pivotably arranged in an elevator apparatus (70) arranged about the piston rod (47), preferably in a recess or lifting shoulder (13) on the piston rod (47).
146. A lifting tool according to claim 138, in which the lifting part (20) further comprises a tilting arm (10) with one end (10 a) arranged concentric about the piston rod (47), and the other end (10 b) is connected with a telescopic hydraulic lifting cylinder (61), preferably by means of a chain connection or other suitable attachment means.
147. A lifting tool according to claim 138, in which the lifting part (20) comprises a funnel shaped entry guide (141) with a compliant support ring (146), in which the entry guide (141) is arranged for receiving and encompassing the end of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4) and to contact and clamp against the external surface of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4).
148. A lifting tool according to claim 138, where the piston rod (47) comprises
a fluid passage (147) arranged for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture, and
a fluid passage (148) arranged for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mixture.
149. A lifting tool according to claim 138, in which the hydraulic system (40) is a double acting or bidirectional piston cylinder mechanism which includes a hydraulic cylinder (42) with a piston cylinder base (44), a piston cylinder plate (41) and a hydraulic piston (43) which is arranged concentric about and attached to the axial piston rod (47).
150. A lifting tool according to claim 149, in which hydraulic oil is supplied by a preferably radial inlet (50) on the connection part (5) and via a generally vertical passage (51) for hydraulic oil through the piston rod (47) and with a radial outlet for hydraulic oil from the piston rod (47) under the piston (43) for activating the the piston (43) to move upwards.
151. A lifting tool according to claim 149, in which the hydraulic system (40) also comprises:
an inlet fluid passage (51) for hydraulic oil to one side of the hydraulic piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42); and
an outlet fluid passage (52) for hydraulic oil to the other side of the hydraulic piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42);
in which the inlet passage (51) and the outlet passage (52) run through the piston rod (47) from the manifold (9).
152. A lifting tool according to claim 149, where hydraulic oil is supplied from the upper part of hydraulic cylinder (42) above the piston (43) to drive the outer wedge segments or rings (24) downward such that the inner wedge segments (29) with packing or packing ring (29 a) retract from and release the inner surface of the of the pipe section or pipe string (2,3,4).
153. A lifting tool according to claim 138, in which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool further comprises an indicator system arranged for one or more independent sensors (15) in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool, preferably spring loaded pressure sensors, to determine position of the lifting part (20) with respect to the end of the pipe section (3,4), and where each sensor (15) is connected to a limit switch (14).
154. A lifting tool according to claim 146, where the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool comprises a locking mechanism for the lifting tool,
in which a slotted hub (5 a) is arranged concentric about and attached to the piston rod (47), and where the tilting arm (10) is compliant, preferably with a spring loaded joint (10 a) in the tilting arm (10),
in which the compliant tilting arm (10, 10 a) is arranged for movement from an initial position and passively downwards into one of the slots in the slotted hub (5 a) to an operating position, for locking of the lifting tool against rotation of the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool.
155. A lifting tool according to claim 138, in which the spring loaded joint (10 a) is arranged for release of the tilting arm (10) upon retraction of the spring loaded joint (10 a) from a position to which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20) has been rotated from an initial position and back to the initial position.
156. A lifting system for lifting or lowering pipe section (3,4) and a pipe-string (2), during joining and lowering or lifting and disassembly of conductors, casings, risers, drill strings, or similar in a bore hole (160) or well (160), wherein the lifting system comprises
a lifting tool with a lifting part (20) and a connection part (5) connected to an elevator apparatus (70) which is connected to a top drive (60) and in which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool shall co-operate with a power slip (150) which is arranged for receiving and supporting a generally upright pipe section or pipe-string (2); characterized in
that the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool is arranged for removable installation in an elevator apparatus (70);
that the elevator apparatus (70) is arranged for controlling the orientation of lifting part (20) of the lifting tool such that the lifting tool may engage and grip the end of a pipe section (3,4) and be activated;
that the elevator apparatus (70) and lifting tool upon application of lifting force to and activation of the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool are arranged to lift the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20) with the pipe section (3,4) for joining with or connecting to the generally upright pipe section or pipe-string (2) below; and
the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool is arranged for being pivotable about a horizontal or generally horizontal axis in the elevator apparatus (70), so as to grasp an end of a pipe section (3,4) arranged in a generally horizontal or nearly horizontal position, and be engaged against the inner surface, the outer surface or both the inner and outer surface of one end of the pipe section (3,4).
157. A lifting system according to claim 156, wherein the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool is arranged for removable installation in the elevator apparatus (70) on an upper part or lifting shoulder (13) on a piston rod (47) included in the lifting tool (20).
158. A lifting system according to claim 156, wherein the lifting tool and the connection part (5) of the lifting tool (20) are arranged for application or circulation of drilling fluids, drilling mud, cement or other fluid or fluid mix to the bore hole or well (160).
159. A lifting system according to claim 156, wherein the lifting system further comprises a rotation apparatus (power tongs) (80) which is arranged for rotation of the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20) with the pipe section (3,4) about the piston rod (47), to achieve a controlled in-screwing of the pipe section (3,4) in the generally upright pipe section or pipe-string (2) located below, and in which the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20) after the joining of the pipe section (3) with the pipe-string (2) is arranged for to supporting the entire or part of the weight of the resulting pipe-string (2).
160. A lifting system according to claim 156, wherein the lifting tool is arranged for receiving lifting force from the top drive (60) for activating the lifting tool, such that the lifting tool after activation of the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20) against the inner surface, the outer surface, or both the inner and outer surfaces of the pipe section (3,4), is enabled to lift the pipe section (3,4) or pipe-string (2,3,4), and move to a rotary table (161) for joining of the pipe section (3,4) with the generally upright pipe string (2) located below.
161. A lifting system according to claim 156, wherein the lifting system further comprises a tube feeding machine for feeding of pipe section (3,4) to the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool.
162. A lifting system according to claim 161, wherein the lifting system comprises a manipulator arm (170) for moving the far end of the pipe section (3,4) from the tube feeding machine (180) to a vertical position over the generally upright pipe section or pipe-string (2).
163. A lifting system according to claim 159, wherein the rotation apparatus (80) comprises a clamping apparatus, or a first set of power tongs (81) which are arranged for retaining the pipe section or pipe string (2) in a fixed position, and a torque apparatus or a second set of power tongs (82) arranged for rotation of the lifting part (20) and pipe section (3,4) for joining with the pipe section or pipe string (2) by means of a torque or rotation motor.
164. A method for lifting of pipe sections for joining of pipe sections (3,4) to a pipe string (2), such as conductors, casings, risers or similar, for use in a bore hole or well (160) by means of a lifting system and a lifting tool according to the preceding claims 1-76, in which the method comprises the following steps:
the pipe section (3,4) is brought to the start position in proximity to the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20);
the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool grasps the end of the pipe section (3,4) which is or will become the upper end of the pipe section (3,4);
the lifting part (20) is activated for engagement with at least one of the inner or outer surfaces of pipe section (3,4) by means of a hydraulic system (40);
a drive unit, top drive or derrick crane (60) lifts the lifting tool with the pipe section (3,4) to the vertical or nearly vertical position over a generally upright pipe section or pipe-string (2) arranged below;
the second, opposite end of the pipe section (3,4) is joined with the generally upright pipe section or pipe string (2) below, thus forming an extended resulting pipe string (2);
the resulting pipe-string (2) is lowered and retained in place by means of a wedge system (power slip) (150) which is arranged for to retaining the pipe section or pipe string (2) in a drill floor;
the resulting pipe-string (2) is released from the wedge system or power slip (150) such that it is suspended from the drive unit or top drive (60) and the lifting tool;
the resulting pipe string (2) is lowered and again retained in place by the wedge system or power slip (150); and
the lifting tool is released from the end of the resulting pipe string (2); characterized in
that the step of grasping the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20) involves that the lifting tool is arranged in an elevator apparatus (70), and that the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool is rotated about a generally horizontal axis in the elevator apparatus (70), by means a tilting arm (10) which in one end is fastened to the connection part (5) of the lifting tool and in the other end connected to a lifting cylinder (61) mounted on the drive unit or top drive (60), from a generally vertical initial position to an engagement position with the pipe section (3,4) which is arranged in a generally horizontal or nearly horizontal position.
165. A method according to claim 164, wherein the method further comprises the following step:
the connection part (5) of the lifting tool is removably arranged in the elevator apparatus (70), preferably in an upper part or lifting shoulder (13) on the piston rod (47), prior to the pipe section (3,4) being brought to the lifting tool.
166. A method according to claim 164, where the method also comprises the following step:
the pipe section (3,4) is moved forward to the lifting tool lifting part by means of a tube feeding machine and into engagement with the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20) prior to activating the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool (20).
167. A method according to claim 166, wherein the method also comprises the following step:
as the pipe section (3,4) is moved forward on the tube feeding machine, the opposite end of the pipe section (3,4) is moved into position above the generally upright pipe section or pipe string (2) by a manipulator arm (170); and
the lifting tool and the pipe section (3,4) is lowered to the generally upright pipe section or pipe string (2) arranged below for joining with the pipe section or pipe string (2).
168. A method according to claim 164, wherein the method further comprises the following step:
joining of the pipe section (3,4) and the pipe string (2) is achieved by screwing the opposite, lower end of the pipe section (3,4) into a threaded section of the upper end of the generally upright pipe section or pipe string (2) through rotation of the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool with the pipe section (3,4) about the central axis of the lifting tool by means of a rotation system (80).
169. A method according to claim 164, wherein the method further comprises the following step:
upon activation of the lifting tool, a wedge system (24,29) in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool is engaged against one or both of the inner and outer diameters of the pipe section (3,4) by means of a piston hydraulic system (40).
170. A method according to claim 169, wherein the method further comprises the following step:
upon activation of the lifting tool, an entry cone (140) or expanding packing (140) is forced against inner wall of the pipe section (3,4).
171. A method according to claim 166, wherein the method also comprises the following step:
screwing of a lifting nipple (32) into a threaded section of the upper or following upper end of the pipe section (3,4), preferably by means of a nipple rotation system (90).
172. A method according to claim 169, wherein the method also comprises the following step:
upon release of the lifting tool from the pipe section or pipe string (2), the wedge system (24,29) in the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool is disengaged from the end of the pipe section or pipe string (2) by means of a hydraulic system (40), such that the lifting tool may be moved to the finish or standby position.
173. A method according to claim 171, wherein the method also comprises the following step:
upon release of the lifting tool from the section or pipe string (2), the lifting nipple (32) is unscrewed from the threaded end of the pipe-string (2), preferably by means of a nipple rotation system (90), or manually by means of a manual release system for the lifting nipple (32), and thereafter the wedge system (24,29) is released from the end of the pipe section or pipe string (2).
174. A method according to claim 164, wherein the method also comprises the following step:
progress of entering the pipe section (3,4) into the lifting part (20) is monitored by a sensor system, preferably with one or more independent sensors (14,15), each being connected to a limit switch, which serves to stop the movement of the pipe section (3,4) at the proper moment for avoiding damage to the the pipe section, and for indicating proper centering of the lifting part (20) of the lifting tool with respect to the end of the pipe section (3,4) to be engaged by the lifting tool.
Description

This invention relates to a system and tool for handling and lifting oil & gas well casing sections/strings during connecting and installation or extraction and removal of casing/conductor, production casing, risers, drill strings, or other tubular goods, in a well/bore hole. This invention also encompasses a method for use of a lifting tool for this purpose.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Lifting and joining of pipe lengths to a standing pipe string with current technology is a time consuming and complicated task. Existing solutions require that a lifting apparatus for pipe lengths, to be installed on a top drive mounted pipe handling machine or derrick crane, and removed for each pipe length to be joined. Between lifting operations a drilling fluid, for example drilling mud, is circulated with special purpose equipment to maintain pressure in the bore hole. After each lifting operation and removal of the lifting tool, drilling circulation equipment must be installed on the top drive or derrick crane. When the next casing section shall be lifted into place, the drilling fluid circulation equipment must be removed and the lifting tool re-installed. This is a costly time consuming process, which commonly requires 4-5 hours to complete.

There is a need for a lifting system and tool, which reduces the time required to complete the lifting and joining procedure to an absolute minimum, where the lifting and joining operation is performed with the same tool. There is also a need for the ability to circulate drill fluids via the lifting tool without the requirement to install additional equipment. Furthermore there is a need for a lifting tool which can handle varying pipe sizes/diameters.

DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART

Known methods of lifting and joining pipe lengths utilise a primitive chain and hook system for grasping and lifting the connecting nipple. A nipple is configured for connection to and from a threaded end of a pipe length to be lifted. The pipe section together with the installed nipple can be lifted by a chain and hook system as illustrated in FIG. 15, which shows a nipple installed and removed at the top of a threaded pipe length.

FIG. 16 illustrates a lifting clamp of known art positioned near the upper end of a casing length which is equipped with a protecting nipple at the top and coupling at the bottom. The nipple and coupling are removed from the casing held in place in the drill deck before lowering of the casing section.

FIG. 17 illustrates how a casing section end is grasped with a clamp according to known art and how the casing length and casing string are screwed together with power tongs. The applicants' Norwegian patent, NO. 307876, relates to a lifting tool for lifting of pipe lengths/lengths. The lifting tool according to NO. 307876 encompasses a separate entry section or elastomer/elastomer-composite packing which expands upon activation of the lifting tool against the inside diameter of the casing section to be lifted. This lifting tool however is not configured for rotation about its' axial axis or for circulation of drilling fluids.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention includes three versions of a lifting tool for handling of a pipe length during joining, lowering, or removal and disassembly of conductor, casing, risers, drill strings or similar in a bore hole or well as stated in claims 1, 37 and 55.

The invention also encompasses a lifting system for lifting or lowering pipe lengths (3,4) and drill string (2), during joining and lowering or removal and disassembly of conductor, casing, risers, drill strings or similar in a bore hole (160) or well (160) as stated in claim 74.

Finally the invention includes a method for lifting of pipe lengths for joining such (3,4) to a pipe string (2), similarly for casing, risers, drill strings or similar in a bore hole or well (160) as stated in claim 82.

The lifting system and lifting tool according to the invention have several advantages; the ability to lift a pipe length for joining with a standing pipe string, the ability to rotate about the tool axis for joining of the pipe length with the pipe string, and the possibility of filling or circulating drilling fluid to the bore hole via the lifting tool. The lifting tool can also be used with several different pipe dimensions.

Additional advantages and details of the invention are stated in the listing of dependent claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings (figures) illustrate a lifting tool according to the invention in a first version where the lifting tool is oriented within the inner diameter of the pipe length to be lifted (Internal Running Elevator, IRE), a second version where the lifting tool includes an internal running nipple (Internal Running Nipple Thread Elevator, INTRE) and a third version where the lifting tool is external running (External Running Elevator, ERE).

FIG. 4 a-b to FIG. 12 a-b, where the method for lifting and joining of a pipe length and pipe string are illustrated, show the IRE and INTRE configurations of the lifting tool. The method can be illustrated with similar figures for the ERE configuration of the lifting tool.

FIG. 1 a—is a schematic partial section view of the lifting tool according to the invention, here shown in the internal running configuration (IRE)

FIG. 1 b—is a schematic partial section view of a part of FIG. 1 a which shows the details of a central piston rod and hydraulic passages for the lifting tool.

FIG. 2 a-b—is a schematic partial section view of another configuration of the lifting tool according to the invention, here shown in a configuration where the lifting tool encompasses a lifting nipple which is threaded into the end of a pipe length to be lifted (INTRE). FIG. 2 a shows a lifting tool in the deactivated condition, ready to grip the end of a pipe length, and FIG. 2 b shows a lifting tool in the activated condition.

FIG. 3 a-c—is a schematic section view of another configuration of a lifting tool according to the invention, here shown in a configuration where the lifting tool has a chuck (wedge) mechanism which grips the pipe length end on the outside diameter. FIG. 3 a shows the lifting tool in the deactivated condition ready to grip the end of a threaded pipe length, FIG. 3 b shows the lifting tool in the activated condition.

FIG. 4 a-b—is a schematic partial section view of a lifting tool according to the invention, where the lifting tool positions of engagement (near horizontal) and vertical are shown.

FIG. 5 a-b—is a schematic partial section view showing the lifting tool in the deactivated condition, and a pipe length which is to be joined with another section or string, where the section to be joined is positioned in a tube feeding machine (TFM) and ready for engagement of the lifting tool.

FIG. 6 a-b—is a schematic partial section which illustrates a lifting tool ready for engagement with the end of a pipe length.

FIG. 7 a-b—is a schematic partial section view of the lifting tool activated with the end of a pipe length, achieved by moving the pipe length forward in the sub-horizontal position and into the end of the lifting tool.

FIG. 8 a-b—is a schematic partial section view of the lifting tool in the activated condition with a magnified partial section view of the lifting tool.

FIG. 9 a-b—is a schematic partial section view of the lifting tool lifting the end of the pipe length such that the opposite end slides toward another section or string (2).

FIG. 10 a-b—is a schematic partial section view where the lifting tool has lifted the pipe length to an almost vertical position where it can be made ready for joining with the other section or string (2).

FIG. 11 a-b—is a schematic partial section view showing how the first pipe length is joined with the other section with the help of the lifting tool according to the invention.

FIG. 12 a-b—is a schematic partial section view which shows the pipe length in the lowered position held by a Power Slip in the drill floor. The lifting tool can then be disengaged from the pipe length, and positioned to receive the next pipe length from the pipe handling machine.

FIG. 13—is a schematic view of a top-plate-unit according to the invention embodiment of lifting tool with lifting nipple.

FIG. 14—is a schematic section view of one possible configuration of the piston rod, where the lifting tool encompasses an internal running lifting nipple. The piston rod in this configuration has hydraulic oil passages connecting the nipple rotation system to the lifting tool hydraulic system, a passage for drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluids, and a passage for venting of air during the fluid circulation process.

FIG. 15—shows an installed and removed nipple of known art on the end of a threaded pipe length, and a primitive chain and hook system for grasping and lifting of the nipple.

FIG. 16—illustrates a lifting clamp of known art, placed near the upper end of a pipe length, where the pipe length is equipped with a protective nipple on the top and a coupling on the bottom, where the coupling on the bottom is removed and the nipple on the top of the standing pipe length in the drill floor is removed prior to lowering.

FIG. 17—shows how a pipe length is held in position with the help of a clamp of known art and how the pipe length and string are screwed together with the help of power tongs.

The invention will now be described with reference to the attached drawings listed above.

Detailed description of the invention, with preferred embodiments.

Lifting Tool with Internal Running Lifting Nipple (INTRE)

FIG.______ shows a schematic partial section view of a configuration of the lifting tool according to the invention, here shown in a configuration where the lifting tool encompasses a lifting nipple which is screwed into the end of a pipe length to lifted (INTRE). FIG. 2 a shows the lifting tool in the inactive/deactivated condition, ready to connect to the threaded end of a pipe length, and FIG. 2 b shows the lifting tool in the activated condition.

The lifting tool can manipulate and lift oil & gas well casing strings (2) and sections (3,4) during connecting and installation or extraction and removal of casing or conductor, casing, risers, drill strings, or other tubular goods, in a well (160) or well bore (160). The lifting tool consists of a lifting part (20) with a coaxial piston rod (47), a mounting interface part (5) for connection to a top drive (60) providing lifting force, or derrick crane (60), and a hydraulic system (40) which is designed to hold the lifting part (20) fixed to either the inner or outer diameter of the end of the pipe length (3).

The novel aspects of this lifting tool are the lifting nipple (32) with a coaxial multi-passage tubular lifting nipple axel (36), a lifting nipple cone (37), and a lifting nipple flange (33), which is positioned between the lifting nipple axel (36) and the lifting nipple cone (37) and designed to transfer load to the lifting tool. The lifting nipple (32) is situated concentrically about the piston rod (47) and arranged for movement along the piston rod (47). Furthermore the lifting nipple (32) is arranged to carry all or part of the weight of the pipe length (3,4) or the resulting joined pipe string (2).

The lifting nipple (32) entering cone or lifting nipple cone (37) is equipped with external helical threads (34) such that it can be threaded in or out of the end of the pipe length (3,4).

The lifting part (20) in a preferred embodiment can be arranged for rotation about the piston rod (47) axis, such that the lifting part (20) with the pipe length (3,4) is capable of a controlled threading of the pipe length (3,4) into a standing pipe length or pipe-string (2), and where the lifting part (20) after the pipe length (3,4) joining with the pipe-string (2) is designed to hold the completed pipe length-sting (2) total weight.

An additional advantage provided by the lifting tool according to the invention is that the lifting part (20) can be rotated about a horizontal axis and configured for connection to a horizontal or nearly horizontal pipe length (3,4). The rotational movement of the lifting tools lifting part can be achieved by fixing the lifting tool in a rotary bearing in the lifting device (70), which engages the piston rod (47), preferably in a recess or lifting shoulder (13) on the piston rod (47). A tilting arm (10) can facilitate rotation of the lifting part (20). The tilting arm (10) in one embodiment has one end (10 a) arranged concentrically around the piston rod (47), and the other end (10 b) which is connected to a telescoping hydraulic lifting cylinder (61) mounted on the top drive (60), preferably with a chain or other suitable connection.

The lifting tool lifting part (20) can preferably include a locking mechanism, where locking slots (5 a) are oriented concentrically around and connect to the piston rod (47), where the tilting arm (10) is movable under pressure, preferably with a spring loaded joint (10 a) in the tilting arm (10), and where the movable tilting arm (10,10 a) is arranged for movement from an initial unlocked position passively engaging upon rotation of the lifting part (20) in one of the locking slots in the slotted flange (5 a) to a locked position, preventing rotation of the entire lifting tool.

The spring loaded joint (10 a) is arranged for unlocking the tilting arm (10) upon retraction of the spring loaded joint (10 a) from a position where the lifting tool lifting part (20) has moved from an initial position and returned to the initial position.

An additional advantage provided by a lifting tool according to the invention is that circulation of drilling fluids, cement or other fluids to the bore hole or well (160), can be achieved via the lifting tool. Drilling fluid can for example be supplied via a flexible hose (7) at the lifting tools support anchor (5) and via the piston rod (47) within the lifting tool lifting part (20). The lifting tool lifting part (20) can for this purpose encompass a connector (6) which is attached to the flexible hose (7), preferably a high pressure hose (7) with the help of a union (7 a) and a bolted goose neck connection (8), preferably with a swivel, for transfer of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid to the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20), connected to a manifold or adapter (9) for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid form the top drive (160).

FIG. 14 shows a section view of one embodiment of the piston rod (47) in the lifting tool, where the piston rod encompasses an axial cylindrical passage (147) designed for flowing drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid and another axial cylindrical passage (148) for venting of air during the application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the lifting tool lifting part (20) encompasses an additional housing (16) with a top plate unit (17) or top plate (21). This housing (16) is arranged with a main lifting shoulder (18) and a bottom plate (19). The top plate unit is shown in FIG. 13, and can in one possible embodiment include at least one, and preferably two circular plates (17 a,b), each with a center hole, with one or more web sections (17 c) arranged to stiffen the top plate unit (17) and arranged principally normal to and between the top plates (17 a,b), and where the web sections (17 c) are attached to the top plates (17 a,b) by welding, a mounting plate (149) arranged on the outside of the upper top plate (17 a), and a self-lubricating bushing (21 a) arranged between a lifting flange (48) on the piston rod(47) and the other top plate (17 b). The lifting flange (48) is among others arranged to transfer load from the lifting tool piston rod (47) to the lifting tool lifting part (20).

To rotate the lifting nipple (32), the lifting tool lifting part (20) can include a nipple rotation system (90), which is arranged for screwing the lifting nipples' (32) nipple cone (37) in and out of the threaded end of a pipe length (3,4), which is to be lifted or loosened. The nipple rotation system (90) can include one or more hydraulic motors (91), each equipped with a gear sprocket (93) mounted on a gear sprocket axle (94).

The lifting nipples' (32) lifting nipple axle (36) can also be arranged with external splines (36 a) and engaged by one or more gear sprockets (93) of the nipple rotation system (90) to provide rotation.

The top plate unit (17) can include a cylinder (17 d), preferably with a rotary hydraulic port coupling (17 e), for inlet (95), outlet (96) and case drain (97) for hydraulic oil from the nipple rotation system (90), where the cylinder (17 d) is arranged concentric to the piston rod (47) and radially centered in the end plates (17 a,b). The lifting part (20) can also include a cylindrically formed coaxial bearing cylinder (22) with a top plate (22 a) and a steering/stop plate (22 b), where the coaxial bearing cylinder (22) is arranged to guide the lifting nipple (32) into the correct position for screwing into the pipe length (3,4). The main lifting shoulder (18) on the lifting tool housing (16) is preferably arranged to rest against the steering/stop plate (22 b) when the lifting tool is activated, and where the steering/stop plate (22 b is arranged to rest against the lifting nipple flange (33) when the lifting nipple (32) is screwed in to the threaded end of the pipe length (3,4).

The nipple rotation system (90) can be attached to the coaxial bearing cylinder (22) with the use of one or more attachment brackets (92).

For centering of the lifting tool in the pipe length (3,4), the lifting tool lifting part (20) can also include a coaxial guide tube (38), which is arranged concentric to the piston rod (47). The lifting nipple (32) then can be arranged concentric to the coaxial guide tube (38) and the lifting nipple is then arranged to move along the coaxial guide tube (38) during the in and out screwing of the pipe length (3,4). There can be arranged external threads (38 a) on the coaxial guide tube (38) to engage with the internal threads (35) on the lifting nipple (32).

The coaxial guide tube (38) can be attached to a spring compensation system (39) to accommodate tension forces between the lifting nipple cone (37) external threads (34) and the internal threads (3 a) in the end of the pipe length (3,4), and between the lifting nipple (32) internal threads (34) and the external threads (38 a) on the coaxial guide tube (38). The spring system (39) can for example consist of two or more helical springs (39) or a spring flange (38).

The lifting tool lifting part (20) can also encompass an entry cone or expanding packing (142) (mud packer), preferably consisting of an elastomer element (140), arranged concentrically about the piston rod (47), configured for entry into the end of a pipe length (3,4) and to expand against the internal diameter of the pipe length (3,4) upon activation of the lifting tool. The entry cone (140) can be attached to the piston rod with the use of a bolted connection (143,144) or another appropriate attachment method. The lifting part can also include an entry cone (141) with a pliable support ring (146), where the entry cone (141) is configured to enclose the end of the pipe length (3,4) or pipe-string (2,3,4), contact and clamp the outside diameter of the pipe length or pipe-string (2,3,4).

The lifting tool hydraulic system (40) is preferably a double acting hydraulic cylinder mechanism consisting of a hydraulic cylinder (42) with a cylinder base (44) and cylinder head (41) and a piston (43) arranged concentric and attached to the axial piston rod (47).

Activation of the lifting tool can by accomplished by supplying pressurised hydraulic oil via a preferably radial inlet (50) in connection with the anchor part (5) and via a primarily vertical hydraulic passage (51) for hydraulic oil through the piston rod (47) and with a radial outlet for the hydraulic oil from the piston rod (47) under the piston (43) to activate the piston (43) upwards. Similarly, deactivation is achieved when pressurised hydraulic oil is supplied from the hydraulic cylinder (42) upper part over the piston (43) to drive the internal clamp rings (29) downwards such that the outer clamp segments (24) with friction coating (27) are retracted from and release their grip on the inner diameter of the pipe length (3,4).

The hydraulic system can also include a supply passage (51) for hydraulic oil to one side of the hydraulic piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42), and an outlet passage (52) for hydraulic oil to the other side of the piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42), where the inlet passage (51) and the outlet passage (52) run through the piston rod (47) from the manifold (9).

The hydraulic cylinder (42) with the cylinder base (44) is preferably connected to one side of the bearing cylinder (22) top plate (22 a), and where the spring system (38) with the coaxial guide tube (37) is connected to the bearing cylinder (22) top plate (22 a) on the opposite side of the hydraulic cylinder (43) and cylinder base (44).

The lifting tool lifting part (20) includes a clamp system which is arranged to grip a pipe length or pipe-string (2,3,4) which is to be lifted, and where the clamp system consists of at least one set of opposing outer clamping ring segments (24) and inner clamp ring segments (29), preferably with a sealing segment or seal ring (29 a) arranged on one side of the inner clamping segment (29), which seal against the outer diameter of the pipe length or pipe-string (2,3,4), and where the pipe length or pipe-string (2,3,4) inner diameter is engaged by the entry cone (140).

There can be arranged an indicator or sensor system as a part of the lifting tool lifting part (20). The lifting part (20) can for example include one or more independent sensors (15), preferably spring loaded pressure sensors, for determination of the lifting nipple (32) position with reference to the end of the pipe length (3,4), and where each sensor (15) is connected to a limit switch (14).

The outer housing (16) can also include one or more inspection ports. This can be an advantage both for normal inspection and in the event of a mechanical failure in the nipple rotation system (90) or the lifting nipple (32) has become stuck or jammed. Should the lifting nipple become stuck a manual release system can be used. This system encompasses one or more lugs or slots on the lifting nipple flange (33), for manual manipulation with the use of pry bars or levers.

Internal Running Lifting Tool(IRE)

FIG. 1 a is a schematic partial section of a version of a lifting tool according to the invention, here shown as a lifting tool with internal running lifting part (IRE). FIG. 1 b is a magnified schematic section view of FIG. 1 a, which shows details of a central piston rod (47) and a part of the hydraulic system (40) of the lifting tool.

The lifting tool can manipulate and lift oil & gas well casing strings (2) and sections (3,4) during connecting and installation or extraction and removal of casing or conductor, risers, drill strings, or other tubular goods, in a well (160) or bore hole (160). The lifting tool consists of a lifting part (20) with a coaxial piston rod (47), a mounting interface part (5) for connection to a top drive (60) providing lifting force, or derrick crane (60), and a hydraulic system (40) which is designed to hold the lifting part (20) fixed to the inner diameter of the end of the pipe length (3).

The novelty of this lifting tool is that the lifting tool lifting part (20) includes a clamping system with internal clamping segments or clamping rings (29) attached to the piston rod (47), where the internal clamping segments or clamping rings (29) are configured to move in an axial direction inwards under the outer clamping segments (24) and thus press the outer clamping segments (24) radially outward, where the outer clamping segments are equipped with radially oriented friction surface (27) to grip the inner diameter of the pipe length (2), where the outer clamping segments (24) are pressed directly or indirectly by a top plate (21) which a hydraulic cylinder (42) connected to the top plate (21), and where the hydraulic cylinder (42) piston (43) is fixed to the piston rod (47) which itself drives the inner clamping rings (29) upwards in relation to the outer clamping segments (24) and thus causing the friction surface (27) to expand outwards and grip the inner diameter of the casing section (2).

The lifting tool lifting part (20) in the preferred embodiment is configured for rotation about the axial piston rod (47), such that the lifting part (20) with the pipe length (3,4) is configured for a controlled treading of the pipe length (3) onto a standing pipe-string (2), and where the lifting part (20) is configured for carrying part or all of the weight of the standing pipe-string (2).

The lifting part (20) inner clamping rings (29) can be attached to the piston rod (47) via a bearing cylinder (22), which is attached to a coaxial base plate (30), which in turn is fixed to the piston rod (47) with an adapter (48) and locked in place with a hex nut (143,144).

The lifting part (20) outer clamping segments (24) and inner clamping rings (29) are preferably arranged in pairs in several levels between the base plate (30) and top plate (21). The outer clamping segments (24) can also be separated axially by spacing rings (26).

The lifting tool hydraulic system (40) is preferably a double acting hydraulic cylinder mechanism consisting of a hydraulic cylinder (42) with a cylinder base (44) and cylinder head (41) and a piston (43) arranged concentric and attached to the axial piston rod (47).

Activation of the lifting tool can by accomplished by supplying pressurised hydraulic oil via a preferably radial inlet (50) in connection with the anchor part (5) and via a primarily vertical hydraulic passage (51) for hydraulic oil through the piston rod (47) and with a radial outlet for the hydraulic oil from the piston rod (47) under the piston (43) to activate the piston (43) upwards.

Deactivation of the lifting tool is achieved when pressurised hydraulic oil is supplied from the hydraulic cylinder (42) upper part over the piston (43) to drive the internal clamp rings (29) downwards such that the outer clamp segments (24) with friction coating (27) are retracted from and release their grip on the inner diameter of the pipe length (3,4).

The lifting part (20) is preferably capable of rotation about a horizontal axis and configured for grasping a horizontal or near horizontal laying pipe length (3,4).

An additional advantage provided by a lifting tool according to the invention is that circulation of drilling fluids, cement or other fluids to the bore hole or well (160), can be achieved via the lifting tool. The lifting tool can be configured for circulation of drilling fluids via a flexible hose (7) connected to the lifting tool support (5) and via the piston rod (47) in the lifting tool lifting part (20).

The lifting tool lifting part (20) can for this purpose encompass a connector (6) which is attached to the flexible hose (7), preferably a high pressure hose (7) with the help of a union (7 a) and a bolted goose neck connection (8), preferably with a swivel, for transfer of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid to the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20), connected to a manifold or adapter (9) for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid form the top drive (60).

The lifting tool lifting part (20) can be hung free to rotate from the elevator device (70) from the piston rod (47), preferably via a shoulder or recess on the piston rod (47).

A tilting arm (10) can facilitate rotation of the lifting part (20). The tilting arm (10) in one embodiment has one end (10 a) arranged concentrically around the piston rod (47), and the other end (10 b) which is connected to a telescoping hydraulic lifting cylinder (61) mounted on the top drive (60), preferably with a chain or other suitable connection.

The lifting tool lifting part (20) can preferably include a locking mechanism, where locking slots (5 a) are oriented concentrically around and connect to the piston rod (47), where the tilting arm (10) is movable under pressure, preferably with a spring loaded joint (10 a) in the tilting arm (10), and where the movable tilting arm (10,10 a) is arranged for movement from an initial unlocked position passively engaging upon rotation of the lifting part (20) in one of the locking slots in the slotted flange (5 a) to a locked position, preventing rotation of the entire lifting tool. The spring loaded joint (10 a) is arranged for unlocking the tilting arm (10) upon retraction of the spring loaded joint (10 a) from a position where the lifting tool lifting part (20) has moved from an initial position and returned to the initial position.

The lifting tool according to claim 37, where the lifting part (20) encompasses an entry cone or expanding packing (140) (mud packer), preferably an elastomer packing (140), arranged concentric to the piston rod (47), arranged for entering the end of a pipe length (3,4) and to expand against the pipe length (3,4) inner diameter upon activation of the lifting tool, and where the entry cone (140) is fixed to the piston rod via a bolted connection (143,144).

The piston rod (47) can in one embodiment (see FIG. 14) encompass a passage for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid or fluid mix, and another passage (148) for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid or fluid mix.

The lifting tool lifting part (20) can also be configured for one or more independent sensors (15), preferably spring loaded pressure sensors, for determination of the entry cone (140) position with reference to the end of the pipe length (3,4), and where each sensor (15) is connected to a limit switch (14).

External Running Lifting Tool (ERE)

FIG. 3 a-b are schematic views of another embodiment of a lifting tool according to the invention, here shown in a configuration where the lifting tool encompasses a clamping system which grips the outside diameter of one end of a pipe length or pipe-string. FIG. 3 a shows a lifting tool in the inactive or deactivated condition, ready to grip the top of a threaded pipe length, FIG. 3 b shows the lifting tool in the activated or engaged condition.

The lifting tool can manipulate and lift oil & gas well casing strings (2) and sections (3,4) during connecting and installation or extraction and removal of casing or conductor, risers, drill strings, or other tubular goods, in a well (160) or bore hole (160). The lifting tool consists of a lifting part (20) with a coaxial piston rod (47), a mounting interface part (5) for connection to a top drive (60) providing lifting force, or derrick crane (60), and a hydraulic system (40) which is designed to hold the lifting part (20) fixed to the outer diameter of the end of the pipe length (3).

The novelty of this lifting tool is that the lifting tool lifting part (20) includes a clamping system with one or more pairs of internal clamping segments or clamping rings (29) and outer clamping segments (29), where the lifting part (20) with the clamping system is configured to grip the outer diameter of the end of a pipe length (3,4) below the threaded section of the pipe length (3,4), and where the clamping system is configured to be self locking such that the pipe length (3,4) own weight will increase the clamping force and thus prevent any loss of grip on the pipe length (3,4) in the event of hydraulic system failure.

The lifting part (20) is preferably capable of rotation about a horizontal axis and configured for grasping a horizontal or near horizontal laying pipe length (3,4); and where the lifting tool lifting part (20) in the preferred embodiment is configured for rotation about the axial piston rod (47), such that the lifting part (20) with the pipe length (3,4) is configured for a controlled threading of the pipe length (3) onto a standing pipe-string (2), and where the lifting part (20) is configured for carrying part or all of the weight of the standing pipe-string (2).

One of the many advantages provided by a lifting tool according to the invention is that circulation of drilling fluids, cement or other fluids to the bore hole or well (160), can be achieved via the lifting tool. The lifting tool can be configured for circulation of drilling fluids via a flexible hose (7) connected to the lifting tool support (5) and via the piston rod (47) in the lifting tool lifting part (20).

The piston rod (47) can encompass a lifting flange (48) configured to transfer load forces from the lifting tool piston rod (47) to the lifting tool lifting part (20). The piston rod (47) can also include a passage to accommodate the addition of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mix and another passage for venting of air during the addition of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mix.

The lifting part (20) can encompass a connector (6) which is attached to a high pressure hose (7) with a union (7 a), for the addition of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mix from the top drive (60); and a bolted goose neck connection (8), preferably with a swivel, for application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mix to the piston rod (47) in the lifting part (20), connected to a manifold or adapter (9) for venting of air during application of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement, or other fluid or fluid mix from the top drive (60).

The lifting tool lifting part (20) is hung free to rotate from the elevator device (70) from the piston rod (47), preferably via a shoulder or recess (13) on the piston rod (47).

A tilting arm (10) can facilitate rotation of the lifting part (20). The tilting arm (10) in one embodiment has one end (10 a) arranged concentrically around the piston rod (47), and the other end (10 b) which is connected to a telescoping hydraulic lifting cylinder (61) mounted on the top drive (60), preferably with a chain or other suitable connection.

For gripping the pipe length (3,4) the lifting part (20) can encompass an entry cone (141) with a compliant support ring (146), where the entry cone (141) is configured to envelope an end of the pipe length or pipe-string (2,3,4) and clamp against the outside diameter of the pipe length or pipe-string (2,3,4).

The lifting tool hydraulic system (40) is preferably a double acting hydraulic cylinder mechanism consisting of a hydraulic cylinder (42) with a cylinder base (44) and cylinder head (41) and a piston (43) arranged concentric and attached to the axial piston rod (47).

Activation of the lifting tool can by accomplished by supplying pressurised hydraulic oil via a preferably radial inlet (50) in connection with the anchor part (5) and via a primarily vertical hydraulic passage (51) for hydraulic oil through the piston rod (47) and with a radial outlet for the hydraulic oil from the piston rod (47) under the piston (43) to activate the piston (43) upwards.

Deactivation of the lifting tool is achieved when pressurised hydraulic oil is supplied from the hydraulic cylinder (42) upper part over the piston (43) to drive the internal clamp rings (29) downwards such that the outer clamp segments (24) with friction coating (27) are retracted from and release their grip on the inner diameter of the pipe length (3,4).

The lifting tool hydraulic system (40) can also include a supply passage (51) for hydraulic oil to one side of the hydraulic piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42), and an outlet passage (52) for hydraulic oil to the other side of the piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42), where the inlet passage (51) and the outlet passage (52) run through the piston rod (47) from the manifold (9).

There can be arranged an indicator or sensor system as a part of the lifting tool lifting part (20). The lifting part (20) can for example include one or more independent sensors (15), preferably spring loaded pressure sensors, for determination of the lifting nipple (32) position with reference to the end of the pipe length (3,4), and where each sensor (15) is connected to a limit switch (14).

The lifting tool lifting part (20) can preferably include a locking mechanism, where locking slots (5 a) are oriented concentrically around and connect to the piston rod (47), where the tilting arm (10) is movable under pressure, preferably with a spring loaded joint (10 a) in the tilting arm (10), and where the movable tilting arm (10,10 a) is arranged for movement from an initial unlocked position passively engaging upon rotation of the lifting part (20) in one of the locking slots in the slotted flange (5 a) to a locked position, preventing rotation of the entire lifting tool. The spring loaded joint (10 a) is arranged for unlocking the tilting arm (10) upon retraction of the spring loaded joint (10 a) from a position where the lifting tool lifting part (20) has moved from an initial position and returned to the initial position.

The lifting tool preferred embodiment comprises:

    • a lifting part (20) which encompasses a coaxial piston rod (47), and a support part (5) for attachment to and receive lifting power from a top drive or derrick crane (60)
    • a hydraulic system (40) which is configured to lock the lifting part (20) to the outer diameter of the end of a pipe length (3,4), where the hydraulic system (40) with a hydraulic piston (43) connected to the piston rod (47) and arranged in a hydraulic cylinder (42)
    • a clamping system I the lifting tool lifting part (20) with one or more pairs of inner (24) and outer clamping segments (29), where the lifting part (20) with clamping system is configured to grasp the end of a pipe length (3,4)
    • an outer housing (16) with a top plate (21), and where the outer housing (16) encompasses a main lifting shoulder (18) and base plate (19) with a central opening for receiving a pipe length (2,3,4) to be grasped
    • a bearing cylinder (22) with a guide or stop plate (22 b), a bearing cylinder base (22 d) with central opening, a center plate (22 e) and an internal bearing cylinder (22 f); where the pressure on the piston (43) upon application of hydraulic pressure pushes the piston (43) and the piston rod (47) and the outer housing (16) upwards together with the outer housing base plate (19) and the outer clamping segments (24), such that the bearing cylinder (22) and the stop plate (22 b) with the inner clamping segments (29) are pushed downwards in relation to the outer clamping segments (24) with the result that the inner clamping segments (29) are forced inwards to clamp against the pipe length (3,4) outer diameter.

The outer housing (16) can also include a top plate unit (17), for example as described earlier for the INTRE and IRE. The outer housing top plate unit (17) can include at least one and preferably two plates (17 a,b), each with a central opening; one or more web sections (17 c) configured for stiffening of the top plate unit (17) and oriented primarily normal to the and between the top plates (17 a,b), and where the web sections (17 c) are attached to the top plates (17 a,b) preferably with a welded connection; a mounting plate (149) arranged on the outside of one of the plates (17 a); and a self lubricating bushing arranged between a lifting flange (48) on the piston rod (47) and the other top plate (17 b).

A major advantage of this embodiment is that the clamping system is self-locking wand will develop increased locking force as the weight carried by the lifting tool increases (weight energised locking).

Lifting System

FIGS. 4 a-b to 12 a-b illustrates how a lifting system according to the invention can function.

The lifting system can lift or lower pipe length (3,4) and a pipe-string (2), during joining and lowering or lifting and disassembling of conductor, casing, riser, drill string or similar in a bore hole (160) or well (160). The lifting system consists of a lifting tool with a lifting part (20) and a support part (5) connected to an elevator device (70) which is mounted in a top drive (60) and where the lifting part (20) shall work in conjunction with a power slip (150) which is configured to receive and hold a standing pipe length length or pipe-string (2);

The novelty of the lifting system is described as follows:

  • the lifting tool lifting part (20) is configured for easy installation and removal from an elevator device (70);
  • the elevator device is configured to orient the lifting part (20) such that the lifting tool can engage the end of a pipe length (3,4) and be activated;
  • the elevator device (70) and the lifting tool upon the application of lifting force and activation of the lifting tool lifting part (20) is configured to lift the lifting tool lifting part (20) with the pipe length (3,4) for joining with or mounting on the pipe-string (2) below; and
  • the lifting tool and lifting tool support part (5) are configured for application or circulation of drilling fluid, drilling mud, cement or other fluid or fluid mix to the bore hole or well (160).

The lifting tool lifting part (20) can be configured for replaceable/removable use in the elevator device (70), preferably in an upper section or lifting shoulder (13) of the piston rod (47). The lifting tool lifting part (20) can also be configured for about a horizontal or near horizontal axis, in the elevator device (70), to engage an end of a horizontal or near horizontal pipe length (3,4), and to grip the inner or outer diameter of the end of the pipe length (3,4).

The lifting system in another embodiment of the invention encompasses a rotation apparatus (power tongs) (80) which is configured for rotation of the lifting tool lifting part (20) with the pipe length (3,4) about the piston rod (47), for a controlled threading of the pipe length (3,4) together with the standing pipe-string (2), and where the lifting tool lifting part (20) is configured to carry all or part of the resulting load of the resulting pipe length (2).

The rotation apparatus (80) can for example include a clamping device, or a pair of power tongs (81) which are configured to hold fixed a pipe length or pipe-string (2), and a torque device or second set of power tongs (82) configured for rotation of the lifting part (20) and pipe length (3,4) for joining with the pipe-string with the help of a torque or rotation motor.

The lifting tool can be configured to receive lifting force from a top drive (60) for activation of the lifting tool, such that the lifting tool after activation of the lifting tool lifting part (20) against the pipe length (3,4) inner or outer diameter, is capable of lifting the pipe length (3,4) or pipe-string (2,3,4), and directed to a rotary table (161) for joining of the pipe length (3,4) with the pipe-string (2) below.

A pipe handling machine (tube feeding machine) can be arranged for placing pipe length (3,4) in position for engagement by the lifting tool lifting part (20).

The lifting system can also include a manipulator arm (170) for placing the far end of a pipe length (3,4) from the pipe handling machine (180) to the vertical position over the standing pipe-string (2) below.

The elevator device can be of any type. One example us such an elevator device appropriate for use is the BX-Elevator, manufactured by VarcoBJ, USA, which has replaceable adapters for differing pipe length diameters, however other types of elevators can be used. On such elevator device (70) can include and elevator (71), where the elevator (71) is mounted capable of rotation in two link arms (75), where a hydraulic motor is used for rotation of the elevator (71) about the axis defined by the link arm supports, and which is held by a clamping mechanism, preferably a parallel link (76), such that the link arms do not rotate in relation to each other. The elevator (71) encompasses adapters (74) for varying pipe length diameters and the elevator itself is available in different sizes.

Method for Lifting of Pipe lengths for Joining to a Pipe String

The method for lifting of pipe length (3,4) for jointing to a pipe-string (2), as well as conductor, casing, risers, or similar for use in a bore hole or well (160) with the use of a lifting system and lifting tool is illustrated in FIG. 4 a-b to 12 a-b. The method includes the following steps:

  • the pipe length (3,4) into position with the lifting tool lifting part (20)
  • the lifting tool lifting part (20) engages one end of the pipe length (3,4) which will be the upper end of the pipe length (3,4)
  • the lifting part is activated by a hydraulic system (40) to clamp the inner or outer diameter of the pipe length (3,4)
  • a top drive or derrick crane (60) lifts the lifting tool with the pipe length (3,4) to the vertical or near vertical position over a standing pipe length or pipe-string (2)
  • the lower end of the now vertical or near vertical pipe length (3,4) is joined with the standing pipe-string (2) below to create a lengthened pipe-string (2)
  • the resulting pipe-string (2) is lowered and held in position by a power slip (150) which is configured to hold the pipe-string (2) in the drilling deck
  • the resulting pipe-string (2) is released from the power slip (150) such that it hangs from the top drive (60) and lifting tool
  • the resulting pipe-string (2) is lowered and again held in place by the power slip (150); and
  • the lifting tool is released from the end of the resulting pipe-string (2)

The method can also include the following step:

  • the lifting tool support part (5) is placed or held in the elevator device (70), preferably it an upper part or lifting shoulder (13) on the piston rod, prior to the pipe length (3,4) being positioned for engagement by the lifting tool

The method can also include the following step:

  • the lifting tool lifting part (2) is rotated about a predominantly horizontal axis in a elevator device (70), with the help of a tilting arm (10) which in one end is fixed to the lifting tool support part (5) and in the other end to a lifting cylinder (61) if the top drive (60), from a predominantly vertical initial position to a position ready for engagement with the horizontal or near horizontal pipe length (3).
  • the pipe length (3) is moved forward and into the lifting tool lifting part with the help of a tube feeding machine (TFM) for activation of the lifting tool lifting part (20)

The method can also include the following step:

  • as the pipe length (3) is moved forward on the tube feeding machine (TFM), the other end of the pipe length (3) is moved to the standing pipe-string (2) by a manipulator arm (170); and
  • the lifting tool and pipe length (3) are lowered to the standing pipe-string (2) for joining with the standing pipe-string (2)

The method can also include the following step:

  • joining of the pipe length (3) and the pipe-string (2) is accomplished by threading of the opposite end of the pipe length (3) into the threaded end of the pipe-string (2) through rotation of the lifting tool lifting part in the upper end of the pipe length (3) about the lifting tool main axis with the use of a rotation system (80).

The method can also include the following step:

  • upon activation of the lifting tool a clamping system (24,29) in the lifting tool lifting part (20) clamps against one or both of the pipe length (3,4) inner and outer diameters with the use of a piston hydraulic system (40).

The method can also include the following step:

  • upon activation of the lifting tool an entry cone or expanding packing (140) is pressed against the pipe length (3,4) inner diameter.

The method can also include the following step:

  • threading of a lifting nipple (32) into the threaded end of the upper or next upper end of the pipe length (3,4), preferably with the help of a nipple rotation system (90).

The method can also include the following step:

  • upon release of the lifting tool from the pipe-string (2), the clamping system (24,29) in the lifting tool lifting part (20) is released from the pipe-string (2) end with the help of the hydraulic system (40), such that the lifting tool can be moved to a start position.

The method can also include the following step:

  • upon release of the lifting tool from the pipe-string (2), the lifting nipple (32) is screwed out of the threaded end section of the pipe-string (2), preferably with the help of the nipple rotation system (90), or manually with the help of a manual release system for the lifting nipple, and thereafter release the clamping system (24,29) from the pipe-string (2) end.

The method can also include the following step:

  • progress in the feeding of the pipe length (3) is monitored by an indicator system, preferably with on or more independent sensors (14,15) each connected to a limit switch, which ensure that the feeding of the pipe length is stopped at the appropriate moment to avoid damage to the end of the pipe length, and which indicates centering of the lifting tool lifting part (20) in the end of the pipe length (3,4) to be grasped by the lifting tool.
    Example of Method for use of a Lifting System According to the Invention, Where the Lifting Tool Encompasses an Internal Running Lifting Nipple

The following describes an example of the method for joining of pipe length (3,4) and pipe-string (2).

The lifting tool hangs from an elevator and is swung/tilted up with the help of a lifting cylinder (61) to the desired angle, such that the angle between the lifting cylinder (61) and the vertical axis of the rotary table (161) matches the angle between the horizontal plane and the central axis of the pipe length (3) laying ready for the tube feeding machine (TFM). Thereafter the pipe length (3) is driven into the lifting tool until the indicator or sensor system (14,15) shows that the pipe length has come into the proper position. Furthermore the lifting tool is activated by a hydraulic system (40). A clamping system with outer clamping segments (24) and inner clamping segments (29,29 a) clamp about the pipe length (3) outer diameter with the required force. An internal running entry cone, or elastomer packing or cylinder (140) expands outward against the inner diameter of the pipe length (3) such that the required holding force is generated, and the lifting tool is centered in the pipe length (3). Should the lifting tool fail to be properly centered in the pipe length, there is a risk that the lifting nipple (32) could be subjected to an amount of bending due to its own weight, which can result in damage to the threaded end section of the pipe length. This can result in the requirement that the pipe length must be removed and replaced, which is a time consuming and expansive operation.

The lifting nipple (32) is screwed into the threaded end section of the pipe length with the help of the nipple rotation system 90.

When the lifting tool is engaged into the end of the pipe length (3), there is an automatic locking of the lifting tool to the tilting arm (10) to prevent rotation of the pipe length (3) during the threading in of the lifting nipple (32) while the pipe length lays in the tube feeding machine.

The lifting process begins with the top drive providing lifting force to and lifting the elevator device (70) with the lifting tool and the pipe length (3), simultaneously the tube feeding machine (TFM) drives the pipe length towards the rotaty table or rotary table axis (161). The hydraulic system for the top drive (60) lifting cylinder (61) and elevator device is released. The pipe length is thereafter lifted to the primarily vertical position. A manipulator arm holds and leads the opposite end of the pipe length (3) to be handled in the rotary table (161).

When the lifting tool has lifted the pipe length (3) into the primarily vertical position for joining with the standing pipe-string (2) below held in place by the power slip (150), the connection between the lifting tool and the lifting cylinder (61) is loosened such that the lifting tool lifting part (20) with the pipe length (3) is free to rotate about the primary axis of the lifting tool.

A power tong set (81) is placed on the pipe-string (2) which is held by the power slip or clamping arrangement and holds the pipe-string (2) in the fixed position, to prevent rotation of the pipe length or pipe-string. A second set of power tongs (82) engage the opposite end of the pipe length (3) which is to be screwed into the pipe-string (2) which is held by the power slip or clamping arrangement (150), and begins threading the pipe length (3) onto the pipe-string (2) held by the clamping arrangement or power slip (150).

The resulting pipe-string (2) is lifted such that the power slip can release its grip on the pipe-string (2). Thereafter the resulting pipe-string (2) is lowered to a position where it can again be held in place by the power slip (150).

The lifting tool is released by un-screwing the lifting nipple (32), and subsequently operating the hydraulic piston (43) on the piston rod (47) in the hydraulic cylinder (42) downwards such that the clamping system in the lifting part (20) and the entry cone (141) are released from the pipe-string (2) outer diameter, and the entry cone (140) is disengaged from the pipe-string (2) inner diameter and returns to its original form. The lifting tool can now be lifted to the desired standby position. A new pipe length is fed forward, and the process can start again as needed.

The lifting system with a lifting tool according to the invention has several advantages; it can lift a pipe length (3) for joining with a standing pipe-string (2) below, the lifting tool lifting part (20) can rotate about the piston rod (47), and it is possible to fill or circulate drill fluid via the lifting tool to the bore hole, for example drilling mud, to maintain pressure in the bore hole or well (160). The lifting tool can also be used with varying pipe length dimensions. The lifting nipple in the lifting tool with internal running lifting nipple (32) can be manufactured with varying thread types, while the lifting nipple flange (33) threads are matched to the lifting shoulder on the lifting tool.

LIST OF PART NUMBER REFERENCES

  • 1 lifting tool
  • 2 a second pipe length or pipe string
  • 3 the first length of pipe to be lifted and joined with pipe length or pipe string (2)
  • 4 a third pipe length to be joined with the first pipe length (3)
  • 5 connection piece
  • 6 adapter for supply of drilling fluid, drilling mud
  • 7 high pressure hose for drilling fluid, drilling mud
  • 8 bolted goose neck connection, preferably with swivel
  • 9 manifold/adapter for hydraulic fluid and venting of air
  • 10 tilting arm for lifting assistance
  • 11 compensating joint, for example a spring loaded joint
  • 10 b locking system for prevention of rotation of lifting part (20) during in-threading of lifting nipple
  • 11 internal threads in the end of a pipe length (3,4) or pipe string (2)
  • 12 external threads in the other end of a pipe length (3,4)
  • 13 recess/lifting shoulder on the piston rod (47)
  • 14 limit switch
  • 15 indicator or sensor system to verify that the lifting tool has the proper position with respect to the pipe length to be lifted; can be a spring loaded indicator to determine when the lifting nipple is in the correct position for lifting, preferably one or more sensors which are independent of each other where each sensor is connected to a limit switch (14)
  • 16 housing for internal running lifting tool with threaded nipple or clamping system, in fixed position
  • 17 top plate unit for lifting part (20)
  • 17 a,b circular disks/plates with central hole
  • 17 c web stiffeners welded into position between 17 a,b to stiffen the top plate unit 17
  • 17 d cylinder with spindle system for inlet (95), outlet (96) and case drain (97) of hydraulic oil for the nipple rotation system (90)
  • 17 e spindle system
  • 18 main lifting shoulder
  • 19 base plate for top plate unit (17)
  • 20 lifting part
  • 21 top plate of lifting part (20)
  • 21 a self lubricating bushing positioned between the top plate unit (17), or top plate (21), and lifting flange (48) on the piston rod (47)
  • 21 b
  • 22 bearing cylinder
  • 22 a top plate for bearing cylinder (22)
  • 22 b guide or stop plate with lifting flange (22 c)
  • 22 c lifting flange
  • 22 d bearing cylinder plate with central hole
  • 22 e central plate
  • 22 f inner bearing cylinder
  • 23 metal inserts
  • 24 outer clamping segments or outer clamping rings
  • 25 mounting ring for bolts (31 a) which hold base plate (30)
  • 26 distance pieces/spacing rings
  • 27 friction coating
  • 28 metal or composite friction inserts
  • 29 inner clamping segments or inner clamping ring
  • 29 a gasket on the inner clamping segments or inner clamping ring
  • 30 base plate for lifting part
  • 31 a bolts which fasten base plate (30)
  • 31 b bolts which fasten entry cone (140)
  • 31 c bolts for fixing ring (146)
  • 32 lifting nipple
  • 33 lifting nipple flange
  • 34 external threads on the lifting nipple cone (36)
  • 35 internal threads on the lifting nipple
  • 36 hollow coaxial lifting nipple axle
  • 36 a external threads on lifting nipple axle
  • 37 lifting nipple cone
  • 38 coaxial guide tube
  • 38 a external threads on the coaxial guide tube (38)
  • 38 b internal threads on the coaxial guide tube (38)
  • 39 spring system, spiral springs or spiral krans
  • 40 hydraulic piston
  • 41 piston cylinder plate
  • 42 hydraulic cylinder
  • 43 piston
  • 44 piston cylinder base
  • 44 a base gasket in the hydraulic cylinder (42)
  • 45 bolts for fastening of the hydraulic cylinder (42) to the piston cylinder base (44)
  • 46 a,b first and second o-rings
  • 47 piston rod
  • 48 lifting flange on piston rod (47)
  • 48 a spacer
  • 49 piston rod hex nut for base plate
  • 50 inlet for hydraulic oil
  • 51 inlet passage for hydraulic oil to one side of the piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder (42)
  • 52 outlet passage for hydraulic oil from the other side of the piston (43) in the hydraulic cylinder
  • 53
  • 60 torsionally rigid support/derrick crane/drive unit/top drive/drilling machine
  • 61 telescopic hydraulic driven lifting cylinder with chain connection to tilting arm (10)
  • 62 support arrangement for mud/hydraulic hose
  • 64 support for link arms which are capable of rotation about a horizontal axis
  • 65 bearing
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 70 elevator device, for example a BX elevator where there is an arrangement of removable adapters for differing pipe diameter, where the adapters can include lifting shoulders. Found on most drill rigs/production ships.
  • 71 elevator
  • 72 hydraulic motor for rotation of elevator (71)
  • 73
  • 74 removable adapters for elevator (71)
  • 75 link arms, one or more capable of rotation anchored in the elevator (71)
  • 76 clamp/parallel link for holding link arms such that they do not rotate with respect to each other
  • 80 rotation apparatus
  • 81 power tongs/clamping device one or more sets, first to hold lowered pipe string (2)
  • 82 power tongs/clamping device one or more sets, second to rotate lifting tool with pipe string (2)
  • 83 torque/rotation motor for rotation of lifting part (20) and pipe length (3,4) to be joined with lowered pipe string (2)
  • 90 nipple rotation system
  • 91 hydraulic motor
  • 92 mounting bracket for hydraulic motor
  • 93 gear sprocket for rotation of lifting nipple
  • 94 axle for gear sprocket (93)
  • 95 inlet passage for hydraulic oil to hydraulic motor (91)
  • 96 outlet passage for hydraulic oil from hydraulic motor (91)
  • 97 case drain passage
  • 100
  • 110 swing damper
  • 120 inspection opening
  • 121 lugs for manually loosening lifting nipple (32) for example with the use of a lever/bar, in the event that it is required, for example a fault in the nipple rotation system hydraulic passages.
  • 130
  • 140 entry cone
  • 141 entry guide
  • 142 expanding elastomer or rubber seal/mud packer
  • 143 fastening bolt for piston rod
  • 144 distance pieces/spacer washers for fastening bolt (143)
  • 145 seal plate between piston rod (47) and
  • 146 backing ring
  • 147 passage for drilling fluid, drilling mud
  • 148 passage for venting of air
  • 149 mounting plate for disk on top of top plate unit
  • 150 power slip, clamping system in the drill floor which is configured for holding a pipe length or pipe string (2)
  • 151 inner clamping ring in power slip
  • 152 outer clamping ring in power slip
  • 153 rotary support table
  • 154 hydraulic motor which control opening and closing of rotary support table (153)
  • 155 doors in the power slip (150)
  • 160 bore hole or well
  • 161 rřrsenter
  • 170 manipulator arm
  • 180 tube feeding machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20120024603 *Jan 18, 2010Feb 2, 2012Bernhard PrevedelApparatus for a pipe string of a geological drill hole, pipe string, method for operating a geological drilling gear and method for producing a pipe string for a geological drill hole
US20130133899 *Nov 29, 2011May 30, 2013Keith A. HollidayTop drive with automatic positioning system
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/380, 175/85, 166/77.52
International ClassificationE21B19/18, E21B19/15, E21B19/06
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/155, E21B19/06
European ClassificationE21B19/15B, E21B19/06