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Publication numberUS2812025 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 5, 1957
Filing dateJan 24, 1955
Priority dateJan 24, 1955
Publication numberUS 2812025 A, US 2812025A, US-A-2812025, US2812025 A, US2812025A
InventorsDoherty Wilfred T, Teague James U
Original AssigneeDoherty Wilfred T, Teague James U
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Expansible liner
US 2812025 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 5, 1957 Filed Jan. 24, 1955 EXPANSIBLE LINER 5 Sheets-Sheet l James 0. Tea 09 W//fre0 7. Do/iefzy INVENTORJ BY ZM/M 1957 J. u. TEAGUE ET AL 2,812,025

EXPANSIBLE LINER 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 24, 1955 James 0. Teague W/hrec/ 7T Duke/f9 INVENTORS ATTORNEYS United States Patent EXPANSIBLE LINER James U. Teague and Wilfred T. Doherty, Houston, Tex.

Application January 24, 1955, Serial No. 483,746

9 Claims. (Cl. 166-207) The present invention relates to well tools useful in methods of lining one or more sect-ions of the inside of a drilled well bore, such as drilled for oil, sulphur, brine Water, fresh water and the like, and, more particularly, to an expansible liner to effect a seal between sections of the outside wall of the liner and the wall of the drilled hole or if the Well is cased, then between the inside of the casing and the outside of the liner.

In the drilling and production of well bores and the like, such as oil wells, sulphur, brine water and the like, it would be advantageous to provide an expansible liner for lining one or more portions or sections of the well bore so that the inner diameter of the liner is near or close to the same as that of the drilled hole or casing thereby resulting in an opening of maximum diameter through the liner which permits operations below the liner without materially reducing the size of the hole drilled or the size of the drilling or other tools used therebelow. It would also be advantageous to provide such a liner which may readily be removed from the well bore if such is desired. Also, it would be advantageous to provide a liner for sealing oif a section of a well bore for testing the formation traversed by the well bore to determine its fluid or gas content without the time and expense of easing the full depth of the well through the particular formation or sand to be tested.

It would also be advantageous'to. provide an expansible liner for sealing off undesired perforations or openings in casing in a well bore for the purpose of shutting off the production of undesired fluid or gas or for closing certain ports of perforater sections of casing to protect them from the effects of pumping cement or acid into the formation opposite the perforated casing, for example as is often done in the completion and repair of oil wells, as well as in other cases where it is desirable to close ofli portions of a perforated section of casing in a well and yet leave an opening of a size suificient to permit work to effectively be done below the closed off section.

It is therefore a major object of the present invention to provide an expansible liner for lining well bores, both cased and uncased, and an expansible liner therefor which provides an opening of maximum diameter through the sealed off or lined portion which permits work to effectively be done therebelow.

A further object of the present invention is the provision of a liner for lining sections of well bores at the faces of formations traversed by the well bores so that formation tests of these formations may be made without the necessity or expense of casing the ,full depth of the ,well. through the formation or sand to be tested.

Still a furtherobject of the present invention is the provision of an expansible liner for individually lining or sealing off formations such as heaving shale, thosetwith abnormal pressures, sloshing and other troublesome therethrough in order that further drilling or other opera- 2,8 12,025 Patented Nov. 5, 1957,

ice

tions may be performed and yet at the same time provide an opening therethrough of a size sufiicient not to interfere with drilling or other operations therebelow.

Yet a'further object of the present invention is the provision of a liner for sealing oif sections of undesired perforations or openings in casings or closing certain portions of perforated sections of casing for various purposes, such as shutting off production of undesired fluid or gas and protecting the perforated sections from the effects of pumping cement or acid into the formation opposite the perforated casing and in all instances leave an opening of a size sufficient to permit work to effectively be done below the closed off portion with a minimum of interference.

A still further object of the present invention is the provision of means for sealing otf portions of well bores, cased or uncased, of the character mentioned whichis economical, which may be performed quickly and readily and which is reliable in use and provides a minimum of interference for operations through the sealed or closed off portion with a maximum opening therethrough so that work may be performed therebelow.

Still a further object of the present invention is the provision of an expansible liner or packer which may be lowered through restricted portions in the well bore, such as cased off portions, and lowered below the restricted portion and expanded into sealing or lining position with the walls of the well bore.

Other and'further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will appear as the description of preferred examples of the invention proceeds, which are given for the purpose of disclosure, and which are taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, where like character references designate like parts throughout the several views, and where Figure 1 is a diagrammatic, side elevation, partly in section, illustrating an expansible liner according to the inventionand adapted particularly for use in testing a formation and illustrating the expansible liner as it is being lowered into the well bore,

Figure 2 is a view similar to that of Figure 1 but illustrates the liner in expanded position adjacent the formation for the purpose of lining the Wall of the formation so that a test thereof may be made,

Figure 3 is a view similar to that of Figures 1 and 2 but illustrates the expansible liner expanded in place in the well bore adjacent the formation with the setting tool detached therefrom and being removed from the well bore, Figure 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view, illustrating an expansible liner according to theinvention disposed about a hydraulic setting tool for lowering the liner into place in the well bore and there expanding the liner into sealing or lining position with the Walls of the well bore or the casing, as the case may be,

Figure 5 illustrates a modified expansible liner constructed in accordance with the invention,

Figure 6 illustrates a further modified form of expansible liner constructed according to the invention, 1

Figure 7 is a diagrammatic, side elevation, in section, illustrating a pack-off liner according to theinvention in place and effectively packing off a section of uncased Well bore through the formation so that drilling or other operations therebelow may effectively be accomplished, Figure 8 is a side elevational view, partly in section, illustrating a modified form of setting tool for expanding a liner into position in the well bore, and

Figure 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 9-9 of Figure 8 and looking in the direction of useful in testing formations is illustrated. In these figures, *the numeral designates an uncased well bore which has a formation 12 which is desired to be tested for its pore content, such as gas or fluid therein. The expansible liner is generally indicated by the reference numeral 14 and is lowered into place in the well bore by means of the string of pipe '16 extending to the surface of the ground, not shown, to which string of pipe 16 is connected a setting tool, generally indicated by the reference numeral 18, which in turn is secured to the expansible liner 14.

For making formation tests it is necessary to provide a seal above and below the formation or that portion of the formation being tested in order to seal off the formation from drilling fluid which normally is in the .well boreduring drilling operations so that uncontamina'ted pore fluid may be obtained. For this purpose a pair of axially spaced packing bands or packers 20 may be disposed about the expansible liner 14, which packers or packing bands may be formed of any flexible, resilient or deformable material, for example, neoprene, rubber and the like so that upon expanding the liner 14 .the packers 20 sealingly engage the walls of the well bore 10 adjacent the formation 12 which is to be tested. Intermediate of the packers 20 the body of the expansible liner 14 may be slotted or provided with a screen, such as indicated by the reference. numeral 22 so that pore fluid from the formation 12 may be received interiorly ,of the expansible liner 14 for the purpose of making a test. If desired the body of the liner 14 intermediate the packers 20 may be imperforate and after the liner .is expanded into place in the well bore, this intermediate portion may be perforated in the same manner as when a complete string of casing has been cemented in the Well bore. In this case the spaced packings 20 may be in the form of a solid tubular sheath, surround- Ling the .liner 14. When the liner 14 is perforated, the intermediate portions of the packer will also be perforated. Any conventional perforating means and method maybe used and no description thereof is deemed neces- .sary.

It will be understood that the expansible liner 14 may be lowered into the well bore on a cable rather than the pipe 16. In this case, the expansible liner may be expanded and set by an explosive, such as detonating prima cord interiorly thereof as well as in other ways.

Before referring to details of construction of specific apparatus of the invention it is seen that an expansible liner 14 is provided which may be lowered into an un cased well bore adjacent a formation 12 to be tested and there expanded into place and the expanding mechanism retrieved to line or seal ofi a section of the well bore at the particular formation to be made without the necessity of completely casing the well. A conventional formationtester may then be lowered into the well bore and a .test made of the formation in the usual manner. As there are many formation testers in widespread use, and the formation testers form no part of the present invention, no description thereof is deemed necessary. It should be noted, however, that, if desired only the top packers 20 or any number thereof or an elongate tubular sheath may be utilized.

Referring now to Figure 4, the expansible liner 14 and setting tool 18 areillustrated in detail. Referring first to the expansible liner 14 the packing elements 20 are each supported at their exposed ends by the retaining rings 24, which retaining rings may be made of metal or other suitable material and which are secured to the body 26 of the expansible liner 14. These re- ,taining rings are for the purpose of confining and supporting the packer or packer rings 20 about the body 26 of theexpansible liner 14.

' The body 26 maybe of the solid type illustrated in Figure 5 or may be of a longitudinally split type illustratedin Figure 6.

For convenience of reference, in the examples of the liners illustrated in Figures 5 and 6 the same reference numerals are used as those in Figure 4 with the addition of the letters a and b, respectively, for similar parts. Referring now to Figure 5, the body 26a is a solid bodyand is thin-walled and tubular which may be formed of any material of the desired ductility and strength. Suitable material for this purpose, by way of example, is iron, brass, steel, copper and any other material which may be expanded beyond its elastic limit so that it 'is deformed and remains in deformed shape in sealing or lining position against the walls of the well bore. It is noted that this material must be a fairly soft material but yet must be one which may be expanded beyond its elastic limit so that its tensile strength when expanded is sutficient to overcome pressures and withstand temperatures of the order in the well bore where used. Thus, material such as lead and other materials which readily flow under pressure and which do not have the tensile strength to withstand pressures of the order in the well bore where used without flowing would not be satisfactory for the purpose. It should be noted, however, that more than one liner may be expanded into place to give the strength required. For example, a first liner may be expanded into place, a second liner expanded into place inside the first liner and this continued until the required strength is obtained. Thus, it is only necessary that the material be strong enough so that one or more of the liners withstand the pressures, but the material should not be readily fiowable at all times, such as lead and the like.

Referring now to the form of expansible liner illustrated in Figure 6,. the expansible liner 14b may have a body 26b formed of any desirable material of the strength necessary to be used in the well bore. In this form of the invention the expansible liner 14b is longitudinally split as at 28 and mating buttress threads or longitudinally extending coarse threads or ratchet teeth 30 are provided on the overlapping ends 32 of the body 26b. Thus, in this form of the invention when the body 26b of expansible liner 14b is expanded into position the buttress or ratchet type threads 32 extending longitudinally of the expansible liner 1411 will be engaged and effectively and reliably maintain the expansible liner 14b in extended position.

It should be noted that in the case of all these expansible liners a thin-walled body section is provided which is generally tubular in configuration and which is of an external diameter smaller than the hole into which it is to be placed and, in the event there are restrictions in the well bore above the place the liner is to be expanded into position, it is of a diameter sufficient to pass therethrough. Also, in the form of the expansible liners in which they are longitudinally split and have overlapping portions, the overlapping portions are such as to permit complete expansion into sealing engagement with the walls of the well bore and still provide suflicient overlap to completely seal or line the particular section of well bore or casing desired.

Referring again to Figure 4, the expansible liner 14 is shown secured to the setting tool 18. This may beaccomplished in any preferred manner such as by threading the upper and lower ends of the expansible liner 14 to the cones 34'which in turn are threaded or otherwise secured to the mandrel 36 of the setting tool 18. These cones 34 are disposed exteriorly of the setting tool and cooperate with the interior cones 38 which are threadedly or otherwise secured to the setting mandrel 36 to securely hold the flexible bag 40, which extends the length of the setting tool 18 in position about the mandrel 36.

The bag 40 may be formed of any suitable and flexible material, such as rubber, so that it might be expanded to thereby expand the expansible liner 14 disposed thereabout.

Disposed interiorly of the bag 40 are one or more ports or openings 42 in the mandrel 36 for the purpose of supplying fluid pressure to the interior of the bag 40 for expanding the same and thereby expanding the expansible liner 14. The upper end of the mandrel 36 may be threadedly or otherwise secured to the string of pipe 16 extending to the surface and the lower end may be provided with an opening or port 44 so that fluid may be circulated through the expanding tool and liner while raising or lowering the tool and/ or liner in the well bore and which includes a valve seat 46 upon which the drop valve 48 seats when dropped into position.

In setting an expansible liner with the setting tool illustrated in Figure 4, the expansible liner is attached to the setting tool 18 as described and the mandrel 36 is threadedly or otherwise secured to a string of pipe 16 and lowered into a well bore adjacent a formation 12 to be tested, such as illustrated in Figure 1. As the setting tool and liner are lowered into the well bore fluid circulates upwardly through the interior of the mandrel 36 and the manipulating string of pipe 16. After the desired location to make a formation test is reached, as previously mentioned, the drop valve 48 is dropped from the surface in the manipulating string of pipe 16 and it seats on the valve seat 46 thereby effectively sealing off the opening 44 at the lower end of the mandrel 36. Pressure may then be applied to the interior of the flexible bag 40 through the ports 42 in the mandrel 36 and this may be accomplished by placing drilling fluid within the operating string of pipe 16 and the mandrel 36 under pressure by pumps, not shown, at the surface. Pressures of the order to overcome the elastic limit of the body 26 of the expansible liner may be used if the expansible liner is of the type illustrated in Figure 5 or lesser pressures may be used if the expansible liner is of the type illustrated in Figure 6 until the expansible liner 14 is expanded into position, as best seen in Figure 2. In this case the packing bands 20 sealingly engage the walls of the well bore 10 adjacent the formation 12 and eifectively seal off the area therebetween so that pore fluid from the formation confined between the packing bands 20 may flow through the openings 22 into the interior of the body 26 of the expansible liner 14. In the event an elongated tubular sheath-type packing is utilized, the expansible liner 14 and packing along a substantial length of the liner is expanded.

It should be noted that as the body 26 of the expansible liner 14 expands it automatically disengages itself at each end from the cones 34 so that the setting mechanism is automatically released from the expansible liner.

An overshot may then be run down the interior of the string of pipe 16 and the mandrel 36 and the drop valve 48 retrieved. This may be accomplished by running the overshot on a wire line. No detailed description thereof is deemed necessary. The setting mechanism or tool 18 may then be raised from the well bore, as best seen in Figure 3, and a conventional formation tester set inside the liner 14. Thus fluid from the formation flows through the slots, openings or perforations 22 into the interior of the formation testing tool.

It should be'noted that one or more or all of the packing bands 20 may be omitted from the liner, such as illustrated in the fragmentary views in Figures 5 and 6 and in the pack off type liner 14c illustrated in Figure 7, although one or more packing bands or packers may be used with these liners.

Referring now to Figure 7, it is seen the liner 140 may be lowered into the uncased well bore 10c and a section thereof packed or sealed off by the liner 140, such as the formation 120, which is desired to be bypassed and in which it is desired to have a maximum opening through the closed ofi portion so that drilling or other operations in the well bore 10:: may be performed below the packed off section. It should be noted that the expansible liner. 14c may be either of the solid body type such as illus-v trated inFigure 5 or the longitudinally split body type such as illustrated in Figure 6. Also, if required, an additional liner may be expanded into place inside the liner 140.

Thus, the expansible liner may be used for packing off or lining formations desired to be bypassed for numerous reasons and includes the method of lowering an expansible liner into a well bore adjacent a section of uncased formation desired to be lined or sealed off, expanding the liner in place adjacent this formation and withdrawing the expanding tool whereby a thin-walled section of liner is positioned in the well bore which effectively and reliably seals off the section of the well bore 10 through the formation 120.

As best seen in Figure 6 it should be noted that all forms of the expansible liner may include the anchors 50 which are pivotally secured to the body 26b, such as by the bosses 62 and which are yieldingly forced outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore by means of the springs 54 disposed between the body 26b and the anchors 50. Adjacent the free extremities of the anchors 50 there are provided the openings 56 through which a wire or other anchor restraining means may extend. Thus, in lowering the expansible liner into the well bore the spring 58 maintains the anchors 59 in retracted position, which is in a position generally parallel to the sides of the body 26b of the expansible liner 14b and upon expanding the liner 14b the wire 58 is broken thereby permitting the springs 54 to urge the anchors 50 outwardly and to engage the sides of the well bore and assist in maintaining the liner in position. It will be understood that these anchors may be omitted from or added to any of the expansible liners constructed according to the invention.

Referring now to Figures 8 and 9, a modified form of setting tool is illustrated for expanding the liner 14.- Referring now to these figures, the expansible liner 14 is shown assembled about the mechanical type setting tool 18d. In this particular expanding tool, a body 56 is provided in which the mandrel 36d is slidably mounted and yieldingly maintained in an upward position by means of the spring 58 disposed between the body 56 and the mandrel 36d and engaging the inwardly extending stop shoulder 60 on the body 56 and the shoulder or piston like member 62 disposed at the upper end of the mandrel 36d. The piston 62 has the packing 64 and has an opening 66 throughout its length which terminates in a valve seat 46d at its upper end which cooperates with the drop valve 48d to close the passage in the mandrel 36a for actuating the mandrel.

Axially spaced pairs of arms 63 are provided which terminate in the contact members 70 which engage the inner wall of the expansible liner 14. The fingers or arms 68 extend through the slotted portions 72 of the body 56. The contact members 70 are supported on the extending rest shoulders 74 of the body 56.

In expanding a liner into place in a well bore with the mechanical expander of Figures 8 and 9, the liner 14 is assembled upon the expander 18d as illustrated in Figures 8 and 9 and lowered into the well bore to the desired formation on the lower end of a manipulating string of pipe. On lowering the assembled unit in the well bore, drilling fluid is free to flow in through the ports 44d up through the passage 66 in the mandrel 36d and out the upper end and into the string of pipe, not shown, to which the body 18d is connected. When the desired location is reached the drop valve 48d is dropped from the surface of the pipe in the interior of the string of manipulating pipe and it seats on the valve seat 46d. Fluid within the string of pipe extending to the surface is then placed under pressure which lowers the piston 62 and thereby the mandrel 36d thereby causing the arms 68 to move outwardly due to the fact that they swing upwardly inasmuch as their outer ends are held inan upward position by the stop shoulders 74 on the body 56. After the liner 14 has been expanded into position the pressure may be released thereby permitting the mandrel 36d to be moved upwardly by the spring 58 which releases the arms 68 and contact member 70 from the liner 14. It is noted that the upper end of the drop valve 48d is provided with a shouldered portion so that a conventional overshot may be lowered to grip the valve 48d and retrieve it as in the case of the expanding tool 18 illustrated in Figure 4. The expanding device 18d may then beremoved from the well bore and drilling mud will circulate through the device as in the case when it is lowered into the well bore but, of course, in the opposite direction.

No more detailed description of expanding devices is deemed necessary as any type expanding device may be used, either mechanical, hydraulic or a combination of both.

In connection with the liners, as previously mentioned, it should be noted that a series of liners may be placed inside of one another, if desired, in order to build up a lined or sealed off section of desired strength in the event the particular liner utilized is not of suflicient strength for the particular purpose.

It is therefore apparent that the present invention is well adapted to carry out the objects and attain the ends and advantages set forth as well as others inherent therein. Also, numerous changes in details of construction may be made which will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art and which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An expansible liner for lowering into a well bore and expanding into position therein for lining a section of wall thereof comprising, a generally tubular, elongate, thin-walled, metal body, said body being longitudinally split along its length, the longitudinal ends of said body overlapping one another, and ratchet teeth on said overlapping ends extending longitudinally substantially the length of the body whereby on expansion of said liner said ratchet teeth engage and prevent collapsing of the liner.

2. An expansible liner for lowering into a well bore and expanding into position therein for lining a section of wall or casing thereof comprising, a generally tubular, elongate, thin-walled, metal body adapted to be radially expanded into engagement with the section of wall, at least one packing ring surrounding the body for radial expansion into sealing engagement with the section of wall or casing on expansion of said body as aforesaid, said body being longitudinally split along its length, longitudinally-extending, overlapping mating ends along the split, and ratchet teeth on the overlapping ends extending longitudinally substantially the length of the body whereby upon expansion of said liner said ratchet teeth engage and prevent collapsing of the liner.

3. An expansible liner for lowering into a well bore and expanding into position therein for lining a section of wall or casing thereof comprising, a general tubular, elongate, metal body of integral construction and formed of a material capable of being expanded beyond its elastic limit and remain in deformed position, and at least one packing ring surrounding the body for radial expansion into sealing engagement with the section of wall or casing on expansion of said body as aforesaid.

, 4. An expansible liner for lowering into a well bore and expanding into position therein for lining a section of wall therein comprising, a generally tubular, elongate, thin-walled, metal body adapted to be radially expanded into engagement with the section of wall, a plurality of anchors circumferentially-spaced about the body of the liner, means yieldingly forcing the anchors outwardly into engagement with the wall, and means restraining outward movement of such anchors but releasable upon radial expansion of said body to thereby release said anchors.

5. An expansible liner for lowering into a well bore and expanding into position therein for lining a section of wall therein comprising, a generally tubular,.elongate, thin-walled, metal body adapted to be radially expanded into engagement with the section of wall, and at least one packing ring surrounding the body for radial expansion into sealing engagement with the section of wall on expansion of said body as aforesaid.

6. The expansible liner of claim 5 where the body is longitudinally split along its length and is provided with longitudinally extending, mating ends along the split, and engageable means along the ends restraining collapsing of the liner when engaged.

7. The expansible liner of claim 5 including means in the body establishing fluid communication of the interior of the body with said section of wall.

8. An expansible liner for lowering into a well bore and expanding into position therein for lining a section of wall therein comprising, a generally tubular, elongate, thin-walled, metal body adapted to be radially expanded into engagement with the section of wall, a pair of axially-spaced packing rings surrounding the body for radial expansion into sealing engagement with the section of wall on expansion of said body as aforesaid, and means in the body between said packing rings establishing fluid communication of the interior of the body with said section of wall.

9. An expansible liner for lowering into a well bore and expanding into position therein for lining a section of wall therein comprising, a generally tubular, elongate, thin-walled, metal body adapted to be radially expanded into engagement with the section of wall, and fluid passage means disposed in the body establishing fluid communication of the interior of the body with said section of wall.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/207, 166/191, 277/339, 166/386
International ClassificationE21B43/02, E21B43/08, E21B43/10
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/086, E21B43/105, E21B43/108
European ClassificationE21B43/10F1, E21B43/08S, E21B43/10F3