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Publication numberUS20070169939 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/538,228
Publication dateJul 26, 2007
Filing dateOct 3, 2006
Priority dateAug 23, 2002
Also published asWO2008042945A2, WO2008042945A3
Publication number11538228, 538228, US 2007/0169939 A1, US 2007/169939 A1, US 20070169939 A1, US 20070169939A1, US 2007169939 A1, US 2007169939A1, US-A1-20070169939, US-A1-2007169939, US2007/0169939A1, US2007/169939A1, US20070169939 A1, US20070169939A1, US2007169939 A1, US2007169939A1
InventorsScott Costa, Larry Kendziora
Original AssigneeShell Oil Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wellbore casing and method of forming same
US 20070169939 A1
Abstract
A method of forming a well bore casing for insertion in a well bore, according to which a first casing section is coupled to a second casing section and a seal is provided between the coupled portions of the sections.
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Claims(43)
1. A well bore casing for insertion in a well bore, the casing comprising:
a first casing section;
a second casing section coupled to the first casing section; and
a sleeve extending in a coaxial relationship with the coupled sections and in an overlapping relation to at least a portion of the sections,
the sleeve adapted to melt in response to the application of energy to the sleeve and flow around the joint between the coupled sections to produce a surface-to-surface air tight metallic seal.
2. The casing of claim 1 further comprising threads provided on the first casing section, and threads provided on the second casing section that engage the threads on the first casing section to couple the sections, and wherein the melted sleeve flows around at least a portion of the threaded sections.
3. The casing of claim 1, wherein the sleeve extends around the casing sections, and wherein the energy causes the sleeve to collapse against the sections before it melts.
4. The casing of claim 1, wherein the sleeve extends within the casing sections and wherein the energy causes the sleeve to expand against the casing sections before it melts.
5. The casing of claim 1 wherein a portion of the first casing section is coupled to a portion of the second casing section, and wherein at least a portion of the sleeve extends in an overlapping relation to the coupled portions of the casing sections.
6. The casing of claim 1 wherein a channel is defined between the casing sections and wherein a portion of the melted sleeve flows into the channel.
7. The casing of claim 1 further comprising an apparatus disposed proximate to the casing sections for producing the energy in the form of a magnetic impulse.
8. The casing of claim 1 wherein the diameter of an end portion of one casing section is less that that of the remaining portion of the one casing, and wherein the diameter of an end portion of the other casing section is greater than that of the remaining portion of the other casing section and interlocks with the end portion of the one casing section to couple the sections.
9. The casing of claim 8 further comprising at least one raised ridge ring extending radially from the end portion of one casing section and into a groove formed in the end portion of the other casing section.
10. A well bore casing for insertion in a well bore, the casing comprising:
a first casing section having a threaded portion;
a second casing section having a threaded portion threadedly engaging the threaded portion of the first casing section to couple the sections;
a space defined between the coupled threaded portions; and
an insert disposed in the space for providing a seal between the coupled threaded portions.
11. The casing of claim 10, wherein the insert comprises a metallic material
12. The casing of claim 10 wherein the insert comprises a first layer having a first modulus of elasticity; and at least one additional layer having a second modulus of elasticity that is different from the first modulus of elasticity.
13. The casing of claim 12, wherein one of the layers comprises copper; and wherein the other layer comprises cadmium.
14. The casing of claim 12, wherein the modulus of elasticities of the layers are less than the modulus of elasticities of the casing sections.
15. The casing of claim 12 wherein one of the layers provides a fluidic seal; and wherein the other layer provides a micro fluidic seal.
16. The casing of claim 10 further comprising a sleeve extending in a coaxial relationship with the casing sections and in an overlapping relation to at least a portion of the threaded portions of the sections; the sleeve adapted to melt in response to the application of external energy to the sleeve and flow around the joint between the threaded portions to produce a surface-to-surface air tight metallic seal over the threaded portions.
17. A well bore casing for insertion in a well bore, the casing comprising:
a first casing section having a tapered end portion; and
a second casing section having a flared end portion extending over the tapered end portion; and a material extending between the tapered end portion and the flared end portion to couple the casing sections.
18. The casing of claim 17 wherein the material flashes in response to it increasing in temperature caused by rotation of at least one casing section.
19. The casing of claim 17 further threads formed on the tapered end portion, and threads formed on the flared end portion and in engagement with the threads on the tapered end portion.
20. A method of forming a well bore casing for insertion in a well bore, the method comprising:
coupling a first casing section to a second casing section;
positioning a sleeve extending in an overlapping relation to at least a portion of the sections; and
melting the sleeve so that it flows around the joint between the coupled sections to produce a surface-to-surface air tight metallic seal.
21. The method of claim 20 wherein the step of coupling comprises placing the sections in a threaded engagement, and flowing the melted sleeve around at least a portion of the threaded sections.
22. The method of claim 20, wherein the sleeve extends around the casing sections, and further comprising collapsing the sleeve against the sections before the step of melting.
23. The method of claim 20, wherein the sleeve extends within the casing sections and further comprising expanding the sleeve against the sections before the step of melting.
24. The method of claim 20 wherein a portion of the first casing section is coupled to a portion of the second casing section, and wherein at least a portion of the sleeve extends in an overlapping relation to the coupled portions of the casing sections.
25. The method of claim 20 further comprising forming a channel between the casing sections, and wherein a portion of the melted sleeve flows into the channel.
26. The method of claim 20 further comprising applying energy, in the form of a magnetic impulse, to the sleeve to melt it.
27. The method of claim 20 wherein the diameter of an end portion of one casing section is less that that of the remaining portion of the one casing, and the diameter of an end portion of the other casing section is greater than that of the remaining portion of the other casing section, and wherein the step of coupling comprises interlocking the end portions.
28. The method of claim 20 further comprising inserting at least one raised ridge ring extending radially from the end portion of one casing section and into a groove formed in the end portion of the other casing section.
29. The method of claim 20 further comprising the step of expanding the casing sections radially outwardly towards the wall of the well bore.
30. A method of forming a well bore casing, the method casing comprising:
providing threads on a portion of a first casing section;
providing threads on a portion of a second casing section;
engaging the threads on the first casing section portion with the threads on the second casing section portion to couple the sections; the threads being sized so as to form a gap between the engaged threads; and
disposing an insert in the gap for providing a seal between the engaged threads.
31. The method of claim 30 wherein the insert is a metallic material.
32. The method of claim 30 wherein the insert is formed by a first layer having a first modulus of elasticity; and at least one additional layer having a second modulus of elasticity that is different from the first modulus of elasticity.
33. The method of claim 32 wherein one of the layers is copper; and wherein the other layer is cadmium.
34. The method of claim 32 wherein the modulus of elasticities of the layers are less than the modulus of elasticities of the casing sections.
35. The method of claim 32 wherein one of the layers provides a fluidic seal; and wherein the other layer provides a micro fluidic seal.
36. The method of claim 30 further comprising disposing a sleeve in a coaxial relationship with the casing sections and in an overlapping relation to at least a portion of the threads; and melting the sleeve so that it flows around the joint between the threaded portions to produce a surface-to-surface air tight metallic seal over the threaded portions.
37. The method of claim 36 wherein the step of melting comprises applying energy to the sleeve.
38. The method of claim 36 wherein the step of melting comprises applying magnetic impulses to the sleeve.
39. The method of claim 30 further comprising the step of expanding the casing sections radially outwardly towards the wall of the well bore.
40. A method of forming a well bore casing, the casing comprising:
positioning a tapered end portion of a first casing section over a flared end portion of a second casing section; and
providing a material between the end portions; and
increasing the temperature of the material to flash the material and couple the sections.
41. The method of claim 40 further comprising rotating at least one of the casing sections to increase the temperature of the material and flash the material.
42. The method of claim 40 wherein threads are formed on the tapered end portion and threads are formed on the flared end portion, and further comprising engaging the threads.
43. The method of claim 40 further comprising the step of expanding the casing sections radially outwardly towards the wall of the well bore.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    The present application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/525,402, attorney docket no. 25791.120.05, filed on Feb. 23, 2005, which is the National Stage patent application for PCT patent application serial number PCT/US2003/025676, attorney docket number 25791.120.02, filed on Aug. 18, 2003, which claimed the benefit of the filing dates of(1) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/405,394, attorney docket no 25791.120, filed on Aug. 23, 2002, and co-pending U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/405,610, attorney docket 29751.119, filed on Aug. 23, 2002, the disclosure of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • [0002]
    This application is related to the following co-pending applications: (1) U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (2) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/510,913, attorney docket no. 25791.7.02, filed on Feb. 23, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,702, filed on Feb. 25, 1999, (3) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/502,350, attorney docket no. 25791.8.02, filed on Feb. 10, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,823,937 which issued Nov. 30, 2004, which claims priority from provisional application 60/119,611, filed on Feb. 11, 1999, (4) U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (5) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/169,434, attorney docket no. 25791.10.04, filed on Jul. 1, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/183,546, filed on Feb. 18, 2000, (6) U.S. Pat. No. 6,640,903 which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (7) U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,471, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/512,895, attorney docket no. 25791.12.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,841, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (8) U.S. Pat. No. 6,575,240, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/511,941, attorney docket no. 25791.16.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,907, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (9) U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,640, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/588,946, attorney docket no. 25791.17.02, filed on Jun. 7, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/137,998, filed on Jun. 7, 1999, (10) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/981,916, attorney docket no. 25791.18, filed on Oct. 18, 2001 as a continuation-in-part application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (11) U.S. Pat. No. 6,604,763, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/559,122, attorney docket no. 25791.23.02, filed on Apr. 26, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/131,106, filed on Apr. 26, 1999, (12) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/030,593, attorney docket no. 25791.25.08, filed on Jan. 8, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/146,203, filed on Jul. 29, 1999, (13) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/143,039, attorney docket no. 25791.26, filed on Jul. 9, 1999, (14) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/111,982, attorney docket no. 25791.27.08, filed on Apr. 30, 2002, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/162,671, attorney docket no. 25791.27, filed on Nov. 1, 1999, (15) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/154,047, attorney docket no. 25791.29, filed on Sep. 16, 1999, (16) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/438,828, attorney docket no. 25791.31, filed on Jan. 9, 2003, (17) U.S. Pat. No. 6,564,875, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/679,907, attorney docket no. 25791.34.02, on Oct. 5, 2000, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,082, attorney docket no. 25791.34, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (18) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/089,419, filed on Mar. 27, 2002, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,012 which issued Feb. 24, 2004, attorney docket no. 25791.36.03, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,039, attorney docket no. 25791.36, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (19) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/679,906, filed on Oct. 5, 2000, attorney docket no. 25791.37.02, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,033, attorney docket no. 25791.37, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (20) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/303,992, filed on Nov. 22, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.38.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/212,359, attorney docket no. 25791.38, filed on Jun. 19, 2000, (21) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/165,228, attorney docket no. 25791.39, filed on Nov. 12, 1999, (22) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/455,051, attorney docket no. 25791.40, filed on Mar. 14, 2003, (23) PCT application US02/2477, filed on Jun. 26, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.44.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/303,711, attorney docket no. 25791.44, filed on Jul. 6, 2001, (24) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/311,412, filed on Dec. 12, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.45.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,443, attorney docket no. 25791.45, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (25) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/322,947, filed on Dec. 18, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.46.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,645, attorney docket no. 25791.46, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (26) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/322,947, filed on Jan. 22, 2003, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,976,541 which issued Dec. 20, 2005, attorney docket no. 25791.47.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/233,638, attorney docket no. 25791.47, filed on Sep. 18, 2000, (27) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/406,648, filed on Mar. 31, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.48.06, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/237,334, attorney docket no. 25791.48, filed on Oct. 2, 2000, (28) PCT application US02/04353, filed on Feb. 14, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.50.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/270,007, attorney docket no. 25791.50, filed on Feb. 20, 2001, (29) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/465,835, filed on Jun 13, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.51.06, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/262,434, attorney docket no. 25791.51, filed on Jan. 17, 2001, (30) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/465,831, filed on Jun 13, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.52.06, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/259,486, attorney docket no. 25791.52, filed on Jan. 3, 2001, (31) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/452,303, filed on Mar. 5, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.53, (32) U.S. Pat. No. 6,470,966, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/850,093, filed on May 7, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.55, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (33) U.S. Pat. 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No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (35) PCT Application US02/25608, attorney docket no. 25791.58.02, filed on Aug. 13, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/318,021, filed on Sep. 7, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.58, (36) PCT Application US02/24399, attorney docket no. 25791.59.02, filed on Aug. 1, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/313,453, attorney docket no. 25791.59, filed on Aug. 20, 2001, (37) PCT Application US02/29856, attorney docket no. 25791.60.02, filed on Sep. 19, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/326,886, attorney docket no. 25791.60, filed on Oct. 3, 2001, (38) PCT Application US02/20256, attorney docket no. 25791.61.02, filed on Jun. 26, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. 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  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    This invention relates generally to oil and gas exploration, and in particular to forming a well bore casing from a series of casing sections to facilitate oil and gas recovery.
  • [0004]
    During oil exploration, a well bore typically traverses a number of zones within a subterranean formation. Well bore casings are often formed in the well bore by a series of casing sections that are coupled to one another, usually by threaded connections. In many of these installations the coupled casing sections are plastically deformed and radially expanded to the inner wall of the well bore.
  • [0005]
    However, the coupling between the threaded connections is often insufficient to permit the transmission of energy through the casing sections from the surface to the downhole location. Also, the threads of the threaded connections are easily damaged and, as such, may permit undesirable leakage between the inside of the casing and the exterior of the casing. Further, if the connected casing sections are radially expanded and plastically deformed, the threaded connections can be compromised during the expansion process.
  • [0006]
    The present invention is directed to overcoming the above problems.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTIONOF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0007]
    FIG. 1 is a fragmentary cross-sectional schematic illustration of a casing section disposed in a well bore.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional schematic illustration of the casing section of FIG. 1, along with an aligned additional casing section.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional schematic illustration of the casing sections of FIG. 2 in a threaded, coupled engagement.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 4 is a view similar to that of FIG. 3, but depicting a sleeve surrounding portions of the casing sections.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 5 is a view similar to that of FIG. 4, but depicting a magnetic impulse apparatus associated with the components of FIG. 4.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5, but depicting the magnetic flux and resultant force fields generated by the magnetic impulse apparatus of FIG. 5.
  • [0013]
    FIGS. 7-9 are views similar to that of FIG. 4 but depicting alternate embodiments of the assembly of FIG. 4.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 10 is a partial sectional view of an alternate embodiment of a component of the embodiment of FIG. 9.
  • [0015]
    FIGS. 11 and 12 are views similar to that of FIG. 3 but depicting alternate embodiments of the assembly of FIG. 3.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0016]
    Referring to FIG. 1, the reference numeral 10 refers to a well bore 10 that traverses a subterranean formation 12. A tubular casing section 14 is positioned within the well bore 10 and is shown partially for the convenience of presentation. As shown in FIG. 2, a tubular casing section 16 is also positioned in the bore and is adapted to be coupled to the casing section 14. To this end, the inner wall of an end portion of the casing section 14 is provided with threads 22, and the outer surface of the corresponding end portion of the casing section 16 is provided with complementary threads 24. Thus, the sections 14 and 16 can be threadedly engaged by applying torque to one member and rotating it in the proper direction relative to the other member. A small groove 16 a is formed in the outer surface of the casing section 16 between the uppermost thread 24 and the non-threaded portion of the member, for reasons to be described. The outer diameter of the casing section 14 is the same, or substantially the same, as the outer diameter of the non-threaded portion of the casing section 16.
  • [0017]
    In the coupled position of the sections 14 and 16 shown in FIG. 3, a channel 30 is defined by the groove 16 a (FIG. 2) and the corresponding end of the casing section 14.
  • [0018]
    Referring to FIG. 4, a sleeve 40 overlaps a portion of the coupled portions of the sections 14 and 16, as well as a portion of the casing section 16 extending adjacent the threads 24. The sleeve 40 is preferably fabricated from electrically conductive material that is suitably malleable or flowable so that it can be shaped mechanically. Examples of such a material are copper, aluminum, light metal, metal alloys, and steel alloys, it being understood that other metal alloys with suitable electrical conductivity and with suitable malleability or suitable flow behavior may also be used.
  • [0019]
    The inside diameter of the sleeve 40 is slightly larger than the outside diameters of the sections 14 and 16 so that a cylindrical gap 44 is formed between the sleeve 40 and the sections 14 and 16, respectively. The radial thickness of the sleeve 40 is less than the radial thickness of each casing section 14 and 16.
  • [0020]
    As shown in FIG. 5, a magnetic impulse energy apparatus 50 is provided and includes an impulse conductor ring 52 extending around the sleeve 40 and having an axial dimension slightly greater than that of the sleeve. The inside diameter of the ring 52 is slightly larger than the outside diameter of the sleeve 40, thereby defining a cylindrical gap 56 therebetween. The ring 52 is operatively connected to an impulse generator 54, such that magnetic impulse power flows from the generator and circumferentially around the ring. The impulse generator is conventional and is disclosed generally (but not in the context of the present invention), for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,444,963; 5,586,460; 5,953,805, as well as on the web page of Magnetic-Physics, Inc. (http://www.magnet-physics.com/st_magnetopuls.html), the disclosures of which are incorporated by reference.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6 is similar to that of FIG. 5 but depicts the magnetic fields generated by the apparatus 50 and applied to the structure of FIG. 5. In particular, the impulse generator 54 provides a magnetic impulse to the conductor ring 52, causing a magnetic field 60 to be produced and simultaneously cause a counter-current magnetic pulse 62 to be produced that extends into the sleeve 40. An extremely high concentration of magnetic flux 64 extends in the gap 56 between the sleeve 40 and the ring 52 and generates a relatively large force field F that is directed radially inwardly from the ring 52 towards the sleeve 40. The force field F collapses the sleeve 40 onto the corresponding portions of the sections 14 and 16. As the force field F continues to increase, the malleable material of the sleeve 40 melts and flows around the joint between the interlocked sections 14 and 16 and into the channel 30. This produces a surface-to-surface air tight metallic seal entirely over the threaded coupling between the sections 14 and 16 that aids in retaining the members together.
  • [0022]
    In addition to providing the sealing functions discussed above, the sleeve 40 protects the corresponding exterior surfaces of the tubular sections 14 and 16 during handling and insertion of the members within the well bore 10. In this manner, extensive damage to the exterior surfaces of the tubular sections 14 and 16 is prevented that could otherwise cause stress concentrations that could result in a catastrophic failure, especially during subsequent radial expansion operations that are described below. Also, misalignment that could result in damage to the threads 22 and 24 is avoided, or at least reduced. In addition, the sleeve 40 provides a significant resistance to any relative rotation between the coupled tubular sections 14 and 16. The sleeve 40 may also provide an indication of the quality of the threaded coupling between the sections 14 and 16. For example, if the sleeve 40 can be easily rotated, that would indicate that the first and second casing sections, 14 and 16, are not adequately coupled.
  • [0023]
    According to the embodiment of FIG. 7, two tubular casing sections 80 and 82 are provided that are similar to the sections 14 and 16 of the previous embodiments, but vary to the extent that the threads formed on the latter members are eliminated and a different interlocking system is provided.
  • [0024]
    In particular, the casing section 80 is provided with a stepped inner diameter that defines an end portion 80 a having a larger inner diameter than that of the remaining portion of the member. Similarly, the casing section 82 is provided with a stepped outer diameter that defines an end portion 82 a having a smaller outer diameter than that of the remaining portion of the member.
  • [0025]
    Three axially-spaced, raised ridge rings 84 a, 84 b, and 84 c extend radially from the portion 80 a of the member 80, and a series of corresponding grooves are formed in the member 80 b that are located and sized so as to receive the respective rings.
  • [0026]
    To couple the sections 80 and 82, the end portion 82 a is placed in the end portion 80 a with the end portions flexing slightly to permit the rings 84 a, 84 b and 84 c in the portion 80 a to extend into their respective grooves in the portion 82 a. In this coupled position, a gap 84 is defined between the end of the portion 80 a and the shoulder defined by the end portion 82 a.
  • [0027]
    A sleeve 86, which is identical to the sleeve 40 of the previous embodiment except for size, extends over the interlocked portions 80 a and 82 a. The axial length of the sleeve 86 is slightly greater than that of the interlocked portions 80 a and 82 a so as to extend around a portion of the sections 80 and 82 adjacent the interlocked portions. The inner diameter of the sleeve 86 extends around the sections 14 and 16 with minimum clearance to provide sealing and to force the portions 80 a and 82 a into their interlocking relationship. The radial thickness of the sleeve 86 is less than the radial thickness of the casing section 14 and the casing section 16.
  • [0028]
    It is understood that the magnetic impulse energy apparatus 50 of FIGS. 5 and 6 can be applied to the arrangement of FIG. 7 in the same manner as discussed above, so as to develop the magnetic flux and the force fields described above. Thus, when the force field is sufficiently high, the malleable material of the sleeve 86 melts and flows around the joint between the sections 80 and 82 and into the gap 84. This produces a surface-to-surface air tight metallic seal entirely over the coupling between the sections 80 and 82 that aids in retaining the members together. The use of the sleeve 86 thus also provides the advantages of the sleeve 40 of the previous embodiment.
  • [0029]
    According to the embodiment of FIG. 8, two tubular casing sections 90 and 92 are provided that are similar to the tubular sections 14 and 16 of the embodiments of FIGS. 1-6, but vary to the extent that the threads formed on the latter members are eliminated and a different interlocking system is provided.
  • [0030]
    In particular, the tubular section 90 is provided with a stepped inner diameter that defines an end portion 90 a having a larger inner diameter than that of the remaining portion of the member. Similarly, the tubular section 92 is provided with a stepped outer diameter that defines an end portion 92 a having a smaller outer diameter than that of the remaining portion of the member.
  • [0031]
    A sleeve 94, which is identical to the sleeves 40 and 86 of the previous embodiments except for size, extends within interlocked portions 90 a and 92 a in a coaxial relationship. The axial length of the sleeve 94 is greater than that of the interlocked portions 90 a and 92 a, and the outer diameter of the sleeve 94 is less than the inner diameters of the sections 90 and 92 so as to define a cylindrical gap 96. The radial thickness of the sleeve 94 is less than the radial thickness of the section 90 and the member 92.
  • [0032]
    The magnetic impulse energy apparatus 50 of the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6 is provided within the sleeve 94 so as to develop the magnetic flux and the force fields discussed in the latter embodiment. In particular, the ring 52 of the apparatus 50 is less than the inner diameter of the sleeve 94 so as to define a cylindrical gap 98. As in the previous embodiment, the magnetic impulse generator 54 is operatively connected to the ring 52.
  • [0033]
    In operation, the generator 54 provides a magnetic pulse to the conductor ring 52, causing a magnetic field to be produced and simultaneously causing a counter-current magnetic pulse to be produced that extends into the sleeve 94. An extremely high concentration of magnetic flux thus enters the gap 98 between the sleeve 94 and the ring 52 and generates a relatively large force field that is directed radially outwardly from the ring 52 towards the sleeve 94, thereby expanding the sleeve across the gap 96 and into engagement with the inner surfaces of the coupled sections 90 and 92. This forms sealing interfaces between the outside surfaces of the sleeve 94 and the corresponding inner surfaces of the sections 90 and 92. As the force field increases, the malleable material of the sleeve 94 melts and flows over the corresponding surfaces of the sections 90 and 92 to produce a surface-to-surface air tight metallic seal entirely over the coupled sections 90 and 92 that aids in retaining the members together.
  • [0034]
    Referring to the embodiment of FIGS. 9 and 10, two tubular casing sections 114 and 116 are positioned within the well bore 10, and are shown partially for the convenience of presentation. A series of threads 122 are provided on the inner surface of the end portion of the member 114, and complementary threads 124 are formed on the outer surface of the corresponding end portion of the casing section 116. The threads 122 and 124 are sized so that a gap is formed when they are engaged, and a layer 126, of a material to be described, is disposed in the gap.
  • [0035]
    It is understood that, prior to coupling the sections 114 and 116, the layer 126 can be attached to either the threads 122 or the threads 124 in any conventional manner such as by deposition, or the like.
  • [0036]
    The material forming the layer 126 is preferably a material that is softer than the sections 114 and 116, and examples include plastic or metals such as copper, zinc, cadmium, tin and alloy. Alternately, the layer 126 can be formed of an exothermic alloy material having a low melting temperature during joining and a much higher temperature after solidification of the solid joint as a result of plastic deformation, stress and/or temperature.
  • [0037]
    The above gap between the teeth 122 and 124 can be filled by a single layer 126 or by two or more multiple, stacked, abutting layers. In the latter context, FIG. 10 depicts an example in which four stacked abutting layers 126 a, 126 b, 126 c, and 126 d are provided in the gap. Each layer can be identical to the layer 126 with the exceptions noted below.
  • [0038]
    One or more of the layers 126 a, 126 b, 126 c, and 126 d can be different from the remaining layers. For example, one or more of the layers 126 a, 126 b, 126 c, and 126 d can have a different modulus of elasticity and, as such, can be fabricated of a different material, than the others. Thus, the layer 126 a, for example, could be fabricated from a relatively soft material such as copper, and the layer 126 b could be fabricated from a relatively hard material, such cadmium. In this case, the copper layer 126 a would plastically deform to seal along the entire joint surface and the cadmium layer 126 b would provide a micro-sealing layer. Also, one or both of the other layers 126 c and 126 d could have a different modulus of elasticity and form another micro-seal.
  • [0039]
    Also, the layer 126, and/or one or both of the layers 126 a and 126 d could be in the form of flux that melts when heated and bonds to the adjacent threads 122 and 124 to form a relatively strong soldered joint having a relatively high melting temperature. Further, the layer 126 and/or one or more of the layers 126 a, 126 b, 126 c, and 126 d could be of a material that has a relatively low initial melting point during any deformation and/or or heating, and has a higher melting point after the deformation and/or heating.
  • [0040]
    Further, the layer 126 and/or one or more of the layers 126 a, 126 b, 126 c, and 126 d may be of an exothermic material that initially releases energy upon stress or heat input thereby melting or plastically flowing at one temperature, and, subsequently, without the further release of such heat energy having a higher melting point or plastic flow temperature.
  • [0041]
    According to another embodiment, the layer 126, and/or one or more of the layers 126 a, 126 b, 126 c, and 126 d can be fabricated of a reactive bonding agent that, when reacted, forms a seal and bond between the sections 114 and 116. The bonding agent can be reacted in several manners to form the seal and the bond. For example, the bonding agent can be reacted by the pressure and/or heat when the connection is made and/or when torque is applied to the connection. Also, the increase of pressure and/or temperature when running the casing sections 114 and 116 into the well can cause the bonding agent to react. Further, a downhole tool could be used to excite the bonding agent downhole. Still further, a protective layer could be placed over the bonding agent to protect it from air, water, etc. and could later be removed using the makeup and/or torque of the connection, so that air, water, or any of the above techniques could then be used to react the bonding agent. Since the bonding agent is conventional, it will not be described in detail.
  • [0042]
    It is understood that the sleeve 40 of the embodiment of FIGS. 4-6, the sleeve 86 of the embodiment of FIG. 7, or the sleeve 94 of the embodiment of FIG. 8 could be placed around the coupled sections 114 and 116 and function in the same manner as described above.
  • [0043]
    According to the embodiment of FIG. 11, two tubular casing sections 130 and 132 are positioned within the well bore 10 and are shown partially for the convenience of presentation. An end portion 130 a of the section 130 is tapered in a radial direction along its axial length, and the corresponding end portion 132 a of the section 132 is flared outwardly to a degree that the inner surface of the flared end portion can engage the tapered outer surface of the end portion 130 a to define an interface along which a material 136 is disposed. The material 136 can be of a type that flashes at a certain elevated temperate that can be achieved when the casing sections 130 and 132 are rotated relative to each other.
  • [0044]
    According to the embodiment of FIG. 12, two tubular casing sections 140 and 142 are positioned within the well bore 10, and are shown partially for the convenience of presentation. An end portion 140 a of the casing section 140 is tapered in a radial direction along its axial length, and the corresponding end portion 142 a of the casing section 142 is flared outwardly.
  • [0045]
    A series of threads 146 are provided on the outer surface of the end portion 140 a, and a series of corresponding threads 148 are provided on the inner surface of the flared portion 142 a. The threads 146 and 148 are in threaded engagement to couple the members 140 and 142. It is understood that, as an option, the material 140 of the previous embodiment can be placed between the engaging threads 146 and 148 and functions in the same manner as described above.
  • [0046]
    In each of the above embodiments, the coupled casing sections can be radially expanded and plastically deformed in a conventional manner and/or using one or more of the methods and apparatus disclosed in one or more of the following: (1) U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (2) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/510,913, attorney docket no. 25791.7.02, filed on Feb. 23, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,702, filed on Feb. 25, 1999, (3) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/502,350, attorney docket no. 25791.8.02, filed on Feb. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/119,611, filed on Feb. 11, 1999, (4) U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (5) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/169,434, attorney docket no. 25791.10.04, filed on Jul. 1, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/183,546, filed on Feb. 18, 2000, (6) U.S. Pat. No. 6,640,903 which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (7) U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,471, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/512,895, attorney docket no. 25791.12.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,841, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (8) U.S. Pat. No. 6,575,240, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/511,941, attorney docket no. 25791.16.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,907, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (9) U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,640, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/588,946, attorney docket no. 25791.17.02, filed on Jun. 7, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/137,998, filed on Jun. 7, 1999, (10) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/981,916, attorney docket no. 25791.18, filed on Oct. 18, 2001 as a continuation-in-part application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (11) U.S. Pat. No. 6,604,763, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/559,122, attorney docket no. 25791.23.02, filed on Apr. 26, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/131,106, filed on Apr. 26, 1999, (12) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/030,593, attorney docket no. 25791.25.08, filed on Jan. 8, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/146,203, filed on Jul. 29, 1999, (13) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/143,039, attorney docket no. 25791.26, filed on Jul. 9, 1999, (14) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/111,982, attorney docket no. 25791.27.08, filed on Apr. 30/2002, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/162,671, attorney docket no. 25791.27, filed on Nov. 1, 1999, (15) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/154,047, attorney docket no. 25791.29, filed on Sep. 16, 1999, (16) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/438,828, attorney docket no. 25791.31, filed on Jan. 9, 2003, (17) U.S. Pat. No. 6,564,875, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/679,907, attorney docket no. 25791.34.02, on Oct. 5, 2000, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,082, attorney docket no. 25791.34, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (18) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/089,419, filed on Mar. 27, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.36.03, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,039, attorney docket no. 25791.36, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (19) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/679,906, filed on Oct. 5, 2000, attorney docket no. 25791.37.02, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,033, attorney docket no. 25791.37, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (20) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/303,992, filed on Nov. 22, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.38.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/212,359, attorney docket no. 25791.38, filed on Jun. 19, 2000, (21) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/165,228, attorney docket no. 25791.39, filed on Nov. 12, 1999, (22) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/455,051, attorney docket no. 25791.40, filed on Mar. 14, 2003, (23) PCT application US02/2477, filed on Jun. 26, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.44.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/303,711, attorney docket no. 25791.44, filed on Jul. 6, 2001, (24) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/311,412, filed on Dec. 12, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.45.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,443, attorney docket no. 25791.45, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (25) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/, filed on Dec. 18, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.46.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,645, attorney docket no. 25791.46, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (26) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/322,947, filed on Jan. 22, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.47.03, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/233,638, attorney docket no. 25791.47, filed on Sep. 18, 2000, (27) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/406,648, filed on Mar. 31/2003, attorney docket no. 25791.48.06, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/237,334, attorney docket no. 25791.48, filed on Oct. 2, 2000, (28) PCT application US02/04353, filed on Feb. 14, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.50.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/270,007, attorney docket no. 25791.50, filed on Feb. 20, 2001, (29) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/465,835, filed on Jun. 13, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.51.06, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/262,434, attorney docket no. 25791.51, filed on Jan. 17, 2001, (30) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/465,831, filed on Jun. 13, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.52.06, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/259,486, attorney docket no. 25791.52, filed on Jan. 3, 2001, (31) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/452,303, filed on Mar. 5, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.53, (32) U.S. Pat. No. 6,470,966, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/850,093, filed on May 7, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.55, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (33) U.S. Pat. No. 6,561,227, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/852,026, filed on May 9, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.56, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (34) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/852,027, filed on May 9, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.57, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (35) PCT Application US02/25608, attorney docket no. 25791.58.02, filed on Aug. 13, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/318,021, filed on Sep. 7, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.58, (36) PCT Application US02/24399, attorney docket no. 25791.59.02, filed on Aug. 1, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/313,453, attorney docket no. 25791.59, filed on Aug. 20, 2001, (37) PCT Application US02/29856, attorney docket no. 25791.60.02, filed on Sep. 19, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/326,886, attorney docket no. 25791.60, filed on Oct. 3, 2001, (38) PCT Application US02/20256, attorney docket no. 25791.61.02, filed on Jun. 26, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/303,740, attorney docket no. 25791.61, filed on Jul. 6, 2001, (39) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/962,469, filed on Sep. 25, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.62, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,640,903 which issued Nov. 4, 2003), which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (40) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/962,470, filed on Sep. 25, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.63, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,640,903 which issued Nov. 4, 2003), which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (41) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/962,471, filed on Sep. 25, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.64, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,640,903 which issued Nov. 4, 2003), which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (42) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/962,467, filed on Sep. 25, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.65, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,640,903 which issued Nov. 4, 2003), which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (43) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/962,468, filed on Sep. 25, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.66, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, (now U.S. Pat. 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  • [0047]
    In the event that the coupled casing sections are expanded in accordance with one or more of the techniques disclosed in one or more of the patent applications cited above, the surface-to-surface air tight metallic seal provided by the sleeves 40, 86 and 94 holds the sections together during the expansion process and increases the collapse strength of the casing sections. Also, the sleeves 40, 86 and 94 prevent, or at least reduce, crack propagation during the radial expansion and plastic deformation and provide fluid-tight, metal-to-metal seals between the interior surface of the sleeves and the exterior surfaces of the casing sections to prevent fluidic materials from passing through the threaded connections. Furthermore, following the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the casing sections, the sleeves 40, 86 and 94 are maintained in circumferential tension and the casing sections are maintained in circumferential compression, thus permitting axial and/or torque loads to be transmitted through the sleeves.
  • [0048]
    It is understood that, in the embodiment of FIGS. 9 and 10, the thickness of the layer 126 or the layers 126 a, 126 b, 126 c and 126 d is calculated in order to fill the above gap before and after the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the casing sections 114 and 116 in accordance with one or more of the above techniques.
  • Variations
  • [0049]
    It is understood that variations may be made in the foregoing without departing from the scope of the invention. Examples of some of the variations are as follows:
      • The lengths of the sleeves 40, 86 and 94 can vary.
      • In the embodiment of FIG. 7, the ridge rings 88 a, 88 b, and 88 c can be formed on the casing section 82 rather than the casing section 80 and can take shapes and sizes other than that shown and described.
      • In the embodiment of FIG. 10, the number and thicknesses of the layers disposed in the gap between the threads can vary.
      • The sleeve 40 of the embodiment of FIG. 4-6, the sleeve 86 of the embodiment of FIG. 7, and/or the sleeve 94 of the embodiment of FIG. 8 can be used in one or more of the embodiments of FIGS. 9-12.
      • The magnetic impulse energy apparatus 50 of the embodiments of FIGS. 6 and 8 can be used in one or more of the embodiments of FIGS. 7, and 9-12.
  • [0055]
    Although illustrative embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, a wide range of modification, changes and substitution is contemplated in the foregoing disclosure. In some instances, some features of the present invention may be employed without a corresponding use of the other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the invention.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7793721Mar 11, 2004Sep 14, 2010Eventure Global Technology, LlcApparatus for radially expanding and plastically deforming a tubular member
US8997877 *Apr 5, 2011Apr 7, 2015Advanced Joining Technologies, Inc.Riser components and methods for making the same
US20110240304 *Oct 6, 2011Waldron Douglas JRiser components and methods for making the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/302, 166/57, 166/242.6, 166/380
International ClassificationE21B17/00, E21B36/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/106, E21B43/103, F16L13/0236, E21B17/042, F16L13/0209
European ClassificationE21B43/10F2, E21B17/042, E21B43/10F, F16L13/02B, F16L13/02C3
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 16, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: ENVENTURE GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY, L.L.C., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:COSTA, SCOTT;KENDZIORA, LARRY;REEL/FRAME:019022/0988;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070115 TO 20070313