US 2755864 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A. VAUGHN WELL PACKERS July 24, 1956 4 SheetsmSheet Filed June '7, 1952 d I @Nw n 1 .EHWY A ATTORNEYS A. VAUGHN WELL. PACKERS July 24, 1956 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 7, 1952 /4/frecz Vaag/1n INVENTOR.
Z. MAW 6M A. VAUGHN WELL PACKERS July 24, 1956 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 /l/frea Vavn INVE 0R BY y@ z. M XJ6/Mu ATTORNEKS July 24, 1956 A. VAUGHN 2,755,864
WELL PACKERS Filed June 7, 1952 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 /l/fred Vaag/m JNVENTOR.
QM z, m@
/4 TTOR/VE YJ Unite States Patent 'i WELL PACKERS Alfred Vaughn, Shreveport, La., assignor to Tri-State Oil Tool Company, Inc., Shreveport, La., a corporation of Louisiana Application June 7, 1952, Serial No. 292,256
7 Claims. (Cl. 166-139) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in well packers, and particularly to the releasable type of well packers which are used in various operations in a well bore such as cementing, acidizing, repressuring of wells, and the like.
One object of this invention is to provide an improved well packer having packing and anchoring members adapted to be set against movement in a well pipe, in which said members are releasable by the application of a positive axial force to the actuating expander for said anchoring member by the rotation of an inner mandrel and a sleeve associated therewith.
An important object of this invention is to provide a well packer including a packing means and an anchoring means, the anchoring means being movable into a set position against the well casing by an expander means and normally releasable therefrom by longitudinal movement of an inner mandrel, but capable of being released by rotation of said inner mandrel to elect a cooperation between said expander means and a sleeve mounted on the mandrel.
Another object is to provide a well packer having packing and anchoring members and a mandrel extending axially therethrough, wherein the mandrel has keyed thereto a sleeve which is adapted to abut a tubular body supporting said anchoring member and while in abutment to axially move an actuating expander for said anchor member relative thereto to effect a positive release of said anchoring member from its set position within a well pipe.
The construction designed to carry out the invention will be hereinafter described togther with other features thereof.
The invention will be more readily understood from a reading of the following specification and by reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, wherein an example of the invention is shown, and wherein:
Figure 1 is a vertical sectional View of the packer of this invention, illustrating the positions of the parts thereof as the packer is being lowered into the well casing.
Figure 2 is a View similar to Figure l, but illustrates the relationship of the parts of the packer after the anchoring means and the packing means have been set against the well casing.
Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure l, but illustrates the relationship of the parts of the packer after the packing means and the anchoring means have been released from their set position with the well casing by a rotation of the inner mandrel.
Figures 4, 4A, and 4B, are vertical sectional views which together illustrate the details of the well packer of this invention.
Figure 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken on line 5 5 of Figure 4.
Figure 6 is a horizontal sectional view taken on line 6 6 of Figure 4A.
Figure 7 is a view partly in elevation and partly in Patented July 24, 1956 ICC section illustrating the details of the coupling means for' the inner mandrel and the outer tubular body.
Figure 8 is a horizontal sectional view taken on line 8-8 of Figure 7.
In the drawings, the numeral A designates the well packer of this invention, which is adapted to be positioned within a well pipe or casing P for carrying out various operations in the well bore, such as cementing and the like. The well packer A is adapted to be raised and lowered, and otherwise operated, by a tubular string C which extends to the surface of the well bore and which has connection with a tubular mandrel 10. This tubular mandrel 10 extends axially or longitudinally through an outer tubular body 11 and is releasably connected thereto by a releasable connecting means 12 during the raising and lowering of the packer within the well pipe P. 'Ihe tubular mandrel 10 is composed ofan upper section 10a and a lower section 10b which are rotatably connected by a swivel means 14, whereby the upper section 10a may be rotated relative to the lower section 10b. The lower section 10b of the mandrel 10 has connected thereto a tubular string C which extends below the packer to the desired depth for cementing or for performing other operations. For sealing off the well pipe P, a packing means 15 is provided which is mounted on the lower mandrel portion 10b, and is adapted to be laterally distorted into sealing position with the well pipe by a longitudinal movement of the mandrel 10, as will be explained. An anchoring means 16 is provided on the tubular body 11 for anchoring the packer A in a particular position within the well pipe P. The anchoring means 16 includes an expander 17- which is threadedly connected to a sleeve 1S. This sleeve 18 is mounted on the upper mandrel portion 10a by a key 19 so that the mandrel 10 may move longitudinally or axially relative to the sleeve 18 but is capable of imparting rotational movement thereto.
Friction shoes 2t) are mounted on the tubular body 11 and constantly engage the well pipe P in order to provide an initial retention of the body 11 in a particular position within the well pipe P prior to the setting of the anchoring means 16. The packing means 15 and the anchoring means 16 are set by releasing the connection 12 and lifting upwardly on the tubular mandrel 10 and are normally released by lowering of the mandrel 10 axially. However, if the anchoring means 16 and the packing means 15 will not release upon such lowering of the mandrel 10, the packer of this invention is so constructed that the rotation of the mandrel 10 imparts a longitudinal movement to the expander 17 to effect a release of the packing means 15 and the anchoring means 16.
In Figures 4, 4A, and 4B, therein can be seen the details of the well packer of this invention. Referring now to Figure 4 and also to Figure 7, it can be observed that the releasable connecting means 12 which connects the mandrel 10 to the tubular body 11 includes a split nut 21 which is composed of three segments 21a. The internal surface of each of these nut segments 21a has thereon threads 22 of the buttress type which are adapted to mate with similar buttress threads 23 on the periphery of the upper portion of the mandrel 10. The nut segments 21a are confined between a ring 26 and a tapered shoulder 24 on a cap 25. As can be seen, the cap 25 is threadedly connected to the tubular body 11 and the segments of the said nut 21 each has an external tapered surface 29 which is adapted to engage the tapered shoulder 24 of the cap ZS The nut 21 is urged upwardly by a spring or similar resilient means 27 which is positioned between the ring 26 and a projection 28 on the tubular mandrel 11, whereby the nut 21 is normally urged upwardly so that the tapered surface 29 contacts the tapered shoulder 24 ofthe cap 25.
However, the split nut 21 can move longitudinally against the action of the spring 27 when a downward pressure is exerted thereon. For example, when the threads 23 are disposed above the threads 22, downward movement of the mandrel will force the split nut 21 downwardly against the action of the spring 27 and will also move the tapered surface 29 away from the tapered shoulder 24 so that the segments of the nut 21 may move radially or expand within the body 11. This radial movement permits the threads 23 on the mandrel 1t) to slide within the threads 22 on the nut 21 without the necessity of rotation to engage them, so that in effect, coupling 12 is of the spear type.
A Longitudinal slots 3i) are provided between each of the split nut segments 21a for the reception of guide pins 31 which are mounted on the body 11. These guide pins 51 permit longitudinal and radial movement of the split nut segments 21a but do not permit rotational movement thereof relative to the tubular body 11. Thus, when it is desired to remove the connection between the threads 22 and 23, as shown in Figure 4, the rotation of the mandrel 10 cannot rotate the nut segments 21a; therefore the separation of the mandrel 10 from the body 11 is effected by disengagement of the threads 22 and 23 upon a relative rotation of the mandrel 10 with respect to the body 11. The threads of the nut 21 are preferably left handed, so that in rotating the pipe string the lengths of pipe making up the string are not disconnected; thus, to separate the threads 22 and 23, the mandrel is rotated to the right.
The friction shoes 2() are mounted on the body 11 below the releasable connecting means 12, and each shoe fits within a recess 33 in the body 11, Springs 34 are mounted in each recess 33 and fit within notches 35 in each of the friction shoes 20 to resiliently urge the friction shoes radially outwardly into contact with the well pipe P. These springs 34 are illustrated as coil springs but it will be appreciated that other resilient means could be utilized. To limit the outward movement of the shoes 20, a stop plate 36 is secured to the body 11 for engagement with the lower end of each friction shoe 20, while the upper end of each shoe 20 is engaged by the lower end 11a of the cap 25. As will be appreciated, other types of friction means, such as friction springs or other types of friction shoes, could be utilized in place of the friction shoes 20 illustrated in the drawings.
The anchoring means 16 is shown as including a cylindrical expander 17 which has a plurality of outwardly tapered steps 38 which are adapted to fit within corresponding inwardly tapered notches 39 in the slip segments 40. The slip segments 40 are normally urged inwardly by the coil springs 41 disposed at the upper and lower ends thereof and retained in position by retainer plates 42 mounted on the tubular body 11. Therefore, when the expander 17 and the slip segments 4% are in the position shown in Figure 4A, the anchoring means is out of engagement with the well pipe, but upon movement of the expander 17 in a longitudinal direction relative to the slip segments 40 the tapered surfaces 38 and 39 coact to urge the slip segments 40 radially outwardly into anchoring engagement with the well pipe.
Conversely, when the slip expander 17 is moved in an opposite longitudinal direction with respect to the slip segments 40, the outward force of the expander on the slips is relieved and the springs 41 can urge the slips 40 into their retracted or released position from the well pipe.
Formed on the upper end of the expander 17 is a cylindrical extension 45 which has a larger internal diameter than the inside diameter of the expander 17. A sleeve 18 is disposed between the extension 45 and the mandrel 10 and has connection with the extension 4S by the internal threads 46 on the extensions 45 and the external threads 47 on the sleeve 18, which threads 46 and 47 are preferably left handed. The sleeve 18 is slidably keyed to the mandrel 10 by the key 19 so that the sleeve 18 is slidable or longitudinally movable relative to the mandrel 10 but is rotatable therewith, so that upon rotation of the mandrel 10 to the right a similar rotation is imparted to the sleeve 1-8. Such rotation of the sleeve, when the extension 45 of the expander is held stationary, will result in a movement or travel of the extension and expander relative to the sleeve since said sleeve will be in effect unscrewed from the bore of the extension. On the upper end of the sleeve 18 there is mounted a bearing, such as the ball bearing 48, which is adapted to contact an abutment 50 on the inside of the body 11 when the sleeve 18 is moved upwardly by the rotation of the mandrel 10, as will be explained.
As previously pointed out and as best seen in Figure 4B, the mandrel 10 is formed of two sections, an upper section lila and a lower section 10b, which arc connected by a swivel means 1.4. The swivel means 14 includes a swivel collar Stia which, for assembly purposes, is connected to the upper mandrel portion 10a through a ring 51. The lower end of the swivel collar 50a has a lug 52 extending radially inwardly into the bore of the collar Sita for mating engagement with a corresponding lug 53 mounted on the lower mandrel portion 10b and above the lug 52. A bearingmember such as the lower bearing 55` shown in Figure 4B, is provided above the lug 53 and below the ring 51, whereby the upper mandrel portion may rotate relatively to the lower mandrel portion 10b. Seal rings 56 are preferably provided above the bearing 55 to prevent damage to the bearing 55 from well fluids which may be of a corrosive or otherwise detrimental nature.
As best seen in Figure 4B, the expander cone 17 has a cylindrical housing 58 extending therefrom and to which is connected a retainer plate 59. This retainer plate 59 is adapted to contact the upper surface or edge 60 of the resilient packing element 61 of the packing means 15. This packing element 61 is preferably formedof rubber or other similar elastic material, and is adapted to be laterally distorted into sealing contact with the well pipe P. A lower retainer plug 63 which has. a shoulder 64 extending radially therefrom is mounted on the mandrel portion 10b below the packing element 61 so that upon upward movement of the mandrel 10 the retainer plug 63 contacts the lower surface 62 of the packing element 61 and carries the element 61 into contact with the upper retainer plate 59 whereby further upward movement of the mandrel 10 causes an urging of the retainer plug 63 toward the retainer plate 59. When the retainer plate 59 is held stationary, as will be hereinafter explained, an upward force is applied to the lower end of the element 61 through the lower plug 63 and thereby effects a lateral distortion of the packing element 61.
In the operation of the well packer of this invention, the packer is first lowered into the well pipe or casing P upon the pipe string C which is controlled from the surface on the derrick oor (not shown), with the parts in the position shown in Figure l. In such position, the mandrel 10 is connected to the tubular body 11 which carries the gripping slips 40, and said slips are retracted as is the packing element 61. When the packer A has reached the position in the well pipe at which it is to be set, the releasable coupling or connecting means 12 is disconnected by a rotation of the mandrel 10, such rotation being accomplished through the tubular string C which extends to the well surface. This operation `disconnects the mandrel 10 from the tubular body 11 and since the body 11 carries the gripping slips, while the expander 17 is supported by the mandrel, the disconnection of the connecting means 12 releases the mandrel and expander for independent longitudinal movement with respect to the body and gripping slips.
As has been noted, it is preferable that the threads of the coupling or connection 12 be left handed so that the rotation of the mandrel is to the right. The threads 46 and 47 which connect the sleeve 18 with the expander 17 are also left handed, and it is possible thatthere might be some unscrewing of the sleeve 18 with respect to the expander extension 45. However, since the number of threads 46 and 47 are much greater than the threads 22 and 23 of coupling 12, it is apparent that atmost the sleeve 18 will be only slightly moved with respect to the extension 45 during the uncoupling action.
After the mandrel has been disconnected from the tubular body, the body is supported within the well pipe by the friction shoes 20 which are in frictional engagement with the bore of the pipe, and since the gripping slips are carried by the body, said slips are maintained in a stationary position in the well pipe. The mandred 10 is then moved upwardly relative to the tubular body and to the slips, and through the lower plug 63 a force is transmitted upwardly against the packing element 61 and then against the cylindrical housing 58 which forms the lower end of the expander assembly. This upward force causes the expanded to be moved upwardly with respect to the stationary gripping slips, whereby the coacting surfaces of the expanded and the slips will move the slips into a gripping position as illustrated in Figure 2. As soon as the slips engage the casing or well pipe, further upward movement of the expander is halted, and a subsequent upward movement of the mandrel will apply an endwise force to the packing element 61, which force will be sucient to distort the packing element into its sealing position as shown in Figure 2. In the iinal operating position, the slips are engaged and the packing element 61 is in sealing position, whereby cement may be passed downwardly through the inside of the tubular mandrel 10 from the well surface or other suitable operations may be performed within the well below the packer.
When it is desired to release the packing means and the anchoring means 16 from their set positions, it is normally only necessary to move the tubular mandrel 10 downwardly relative to the body 11 by a non-rotative longitudinal movement, which would first release the packing means 15 and then release the anchoring means 16 from their set position. The releasable connecting means 12 could then be connected by simply spearing the threads 23 into the split nut 21 which radially expands to receive such threads 23. The packer would then be in position to be raised or lowered in the well pipe as desired.
However, it is generally found that either or both of the anchoring means 16 and the packing means 15 become stuck in the well casing P to such an extent that they cannot be released by simply lowering the inner mandrel 10. Assuming the parts are in the position shown in Figure 2 and the anchoring means 16 and the packing means 15 are stuck in the well pipe, it is then necessary to rotate the mandrel 10 to effect a separation by a positive force applied to the expander 17 and to the body 11. As will be observed in Figure 2, the bearing 4S on the sleeve 18 is disposed somewhat below the abutment or shoulder 50 on the body 11 when the anchoring means 16 and the packing means 15 are in their set position. However, upon rotation of the mandrel 10, rotation is imparted to the sleeve 18 through the key 19 so that the sleeve 1S moves upwardly relative to the expander 17 due to the coaction between the threads 46 and 47 on the expander 17 and sleeve 18, respectively. At this time the expander is held stationary to permit this coaction by reason of said expander being wedged behind the slips which are in engagement with the well pipe. The rotation of the mandrel is preferably to the right, since the threads 46 and 47 are preferably left hand threads, and such rotation is continued until the bearing 48 contacts the abutment 50 on the body 11, at which point further upward movement of the sleeve 18 relative to the body 11 is prevented. Since the slips 40 are in engaging position with the well pipe P, the body 11 cannot move upwardly, even though rotation of the mandrel 10 is continued. Therefore, continued rotation of the mandrel 10 causes the sleeve 18 n its effort to further unthread from the extension to apply an upward force to the body 11 through the shoulder 50, thereby tending to urge the slips carried by the body in an upward direction. At the same time, the coaction between the threads 46 and 47 is tending to urge the extension 45 and the expander in a downward direction, and this relative movement between the expander and the slips results in a release of the slips 40 from engagement with the pipe. Thus, it can be seen that a positive force is applied to the body 11 and at the same time an opposite force is applied to the expander 17, which telescopes the expander 17 within the slips 40 to permit retraction of said slips.
If the packing means 15 is also stuck in the well pipe P, the lowering of the expander 17 also effects a release of the packing means 15 since the housing 58 is connected to the expander 17 and is lowered therewith. Such housing 58 forces downwardly on the packing element 61 with sutlicient force to release same from a sealing position with the well pipe P. As previously pointed out, the swivel 14 permits the rotation of the upper portion 10a of the tubular mandrel 10 even though the packing means 15 is stuck within the well pipe. After the slips 16 and the sealing means 15 have been released from the well pipe, the tubular mandrel 10 is lowered so that the connecting means 12 is again engaged, whereby the packer may be moved within the wellV pipe as desired. Before another cementing operation is performed, the packer is preferably pulled to the surface and the tubular mandrel 10 is rotated to the left to reset the sleeve 18 in a fully telescoped position with the extension 45 as shown in Figure l.
The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention is illustrative and explanatory thereof and various changes in the size, shape and materials, as well as in the details of the illustrated construction may be made, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A well device adapted to be positioned within a well bore and including, a mandrel, an expander rotatably mounted on the mandrel and capable of limited longitudinal movement thereon, an outer tubular body surrounding the mandrel and expander and movable longitudinally with respect to the mandrel and with respect to the expander, gripping means carried by the tubular body and having surfaces adapted to coact with the expander upon a longitudinal movement of the expander relative thereto for moving the gripping means into and out of gripping position, friction means also carried by the body and engageable with the wall of the well bore for frictionally suspending the body and its gripping means in a stationary position within the well bore, whereby the mandrel and expander may be moved longitudinally with respect to the gripping means to expand the same into gripping position, a sleeve slidably keyed on the mandrel between the mandrel and the expander, a tubular extension on the expander surrounding the sleeve, and inter-engaging threads on the sleeve and extension whereby when the extension and expander are held against rotative movement and the mandrel and sleeve are rotated, the extension and expander are moved longitudinally with respect to the gripping means.
2. A well device as set forth in claim l, together with an expansible packing element mounted on the mandrel below said housing, said element being confined between an abutment on the mandrel and the lower end of the body when said body is secured within the well bore by the gripping means, whereby an upward movement of the mandrel with respect to the body will distort the packing element into sealing position.
3. A well device as set forth in claim l, together with a releasable coupling between the mandrel and tubular body, said body being secured against longitudinal movement relative to the mandrel and expander with the gripping means retracted when said coupling is in its connected position, said mandrel being movable longitudinally of the body when the coupling is released.
4. A Well device adapted to be positioned within a well pipe and including, a mandrel having an enlargement on its lower portion, an annular packing element surrounding the mandrel and supported upon said enlargement, an expander member surrounding the mandrel and slidable thereon with its lower end engaging and supported upon the packing element, a tubular housing surrounding the mandrel and expander and movable longitudinally with respect to t'he expander and mandrel, pipe-gripping slips mounted on the body and adapted to coact with the expander when the expander and slips are moved with respect to each other, whereby the slips are moved into and out of gripping position by said expander, friction means carried by the body and engageable with the wall of the well pipe for frictionally supporting the housing and slips so that the mandrel and expander may be moved longitudinally with respect thereto to control actuation of the slips, a sleeve slidably keyed on the mandrel and having threaded engagement with the expander, whereby when the expander is held against rotation by reason of its contact with the gripping slips when the latter are in gripping position, a rotation of said sleeve by the mandrel will result in the sleeve traveling upwardly with respect to the expander, slips and tubular body, and an abutment within the body engageable by the sleeve for applying a force to the body in one direction and a simultaneous Cil force to the expander in the opposite direction upon con tinued subsequent rotation of the sleeve with respect to the expander.
5. A Well device as set forth in claim 4, wherein the threaded engagement ybetween the sleeve and expander is made by left-hand' threads.
6. A well device as set forth in claim V4, together with a swivel connection in the mandrel between the key connection of the mandrel to the sleeve and the enlargement on the mandrel which supports the packing element, whereby that portion of the mandrel adjacent the packing element may remain stationary while the remainder thereof may rotate to cause travel of said sleeve.
7. A well device as set forth in claim 4, together with a releasable coupling between the upper portion of the mandrel and the upper portion of the tubular housing, whereby when said coupling is in connected position the housing is secured against movement with respect to the mandrel and expander with the gripping slips in a retracted position.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,338,370 Wilson Ian. 4, 1944 2,442,529 Clark lune l, 1948 2,564,240 Ware Aug. 14, 1951 2,689,612 Sawyer Sept. 21, 1954