US 2815817 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 10, 1957'l M. B. CONRAD WELL PACKER AND SETTING PPARATUSA'THEREFOR 4 IN1/Emol; ./dAer/.fv ,3. CoA/enza,
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WELL PACKER AND SETTING APPARATUS THEREFOR Filed July 10, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Je 113g; 2r ,4 i', y n
. INVENToR. MA/aT//v B. COA/@A0,
Y B ffm@ M/wm rroe/VEYS WELL PACKER AND SETTING APPARATUS THEREFOR Martin B. Conrad, Downey, Calif., assignor to Baker Oil Tools, Inc., Vernon, Calif., a corporation of California Application July 10, 1950, Serial No. 172,971
17 Claims. (Cl. 166-187) The present invention relates to subsurface well tools, and more particularly to well packers, and apparatus for setting such packers in well bores, which. apparatus may also elect dumping ofl the contents of the bailers upon the set packers.
Conditions are encountered in well bores requiringthe use of a well packer that must be expanded to a considerable extent in effecting a seal with the wall of a well bore or casing. As an example, a well packer may be required to pass through a well casing and be packed olf against the wall of an open hole below the casing having a diameter of two to three times the inside diameter of the casing. Heretofore, diculties have been encountered in providing a packer having such a large range of expansion, which still possesses adequate strength when in a set condition.
nited States Patent The packer all too often is incapable of withstanding the n.
loads or pressures imposed upon it.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved well packer capable of being expanded to a considerable extent into rm sealing engagement with the wall of a well enclosure, such as the wall of an open or uncased well bore.
Another object of the invention is to provide a well packer having a packing element that can be inflated to effect its expansion against the wall of a well enclosure, but which cannot be inflated beyond a certain point; thereby precluding its rupturing or bursting.
A further object of the invention is to utilize a fluent and hardenable material for inating the packing element of a well packer; so as to produce a solid packer or plug in the well bore that cannot retract from its expanded condition.
Yet another object of the invention is to utilize a fluent material for inilating the packing element of a well packer, which material does not contract, and preferably expands, upon hardening, in order to insure against loosening of or leakage around the packer.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide a well packer embodying an inatable packing element, in which the material for inating the element is contained within the packer itself. I
Another object of the invention is to provide a well packer, especially of the inflatable type, in which the tendency for the packer to tilt after being set in the well bore is minimized. In this connection, cementitious material dumped on the set packer can be instrumental in holding the packer substantially centered in the well bore.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a setting tool and well packer combination capable of being run together in a well bore on a wire line running-in string, in which the setting tool is instrumental in inflating and expanding the packing element of the packer at the desired setting point in the well bore.
a well bore ou a running-in string, preferably a wire or v iiexible line, in which the setting tool eects inflation and Patented Dec. 10, 19157 ICC expansion of the packing element of the packer and is automatically released from the packer after the latter has been fully set in the well bore. In its more limited aspects, this objective contemplates the prevention of the setting tool from subjecting the packing element to an inilation pressure differential exceeding a predetermined maximum, or of electing inllation of such element beyond a predetermined amount.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus to be run in a well bore on a running-in string, such as a wireline, to effect inilation and setting of a packer, deposition of cementitious material on the set packer, and automatic release of the setting tool and cementitious material depositing portions of the apparatus from the set packer.
This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other objects which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of a form in which it may be embodied. This form is shown in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification. It will now be described in detail, forthe purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention; but it is to be understood that such detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.
Referring to the drawings:
Figures 1 and la together constitute a longitudinal section through a well apparatus disposed in a well bore, Fig. la constituting a lower continuation of Fig. l;
Fig. 2 is a view similar toFig. la, illustrating the packer in set condition in the well bore, with the contents of the bailer dumped upon the packer, and the setting tool and bailer released from the packer;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged longitudinal section of the lower portion of the apparatus shown in Fig. la;
Fig. 4 is an enlarged longitudinal section of the packer portion of the apparatus in an expanded position;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged cross-section taken along the line 5 5 on Fig. 4.
The apparatus disclosed in the drawings includes a well packer A of the inflatable type that is adapted to be run in a well bore B andset therein'ata desired location. After the packer has been set, it may be desired to dump cementitious material C thereupon contained within a dump bailer D suitably associated with the packer. This bailer may actually constitute the lowerportion of a tool E for setting the packer Ain the well bore, which tool is secured to the lower end of a wire line running-in string F, by means of which the entire combination of apparatus is lowered through the well bore.
The well packer A is designed to have an extensive range of expansion; to enable its running through a well casing (not shown) having a substantially smaller inside diameter than the diameter of an open portion B of the bore hole in which the casing is disposed.
This packer may include a central elongate body 10, that may be in the form of a cylindrical rod having a piston 11 threaded onto its lower end. This piston is slidable within acylinder sleeve 12, whose upper end is threaded onto a lower support or abutment 13 for an inflatable packing sleeve 14. One manner of securing the lower end of the packing sleeve 14 permanently to the abutment 13 is to dispose the inwardly directed lower flange 15 of the packing between the flange 16 of the lower abutment and a clamp ring 17 engaging the upper end of the cylinder sleeve 12. The'abutment flange 16 and ring 17 are spaced from one another, and are shaped in such manner as to provide an outwardly diverging annular groove 18 receiving vthe correspondingly shaped packing flange 15, in the nature of a dovetailed joint. Tightening of the cylinder sleeve 12 on the abutment 13 against the lower ring 17 rmly clamps the packing auge between the abutment ange 16 and ring 17, and prevents its pulling out.
An upper abutment 19, which is initially spaced from the lower abutment 13, is secured to the upper end of the inatable packing sleeve 14 in a similar manner. Thus, the abutment flange engages the underside of the upper packing ange 21, against which an upper clamp ring 22 is forced by a suitable nut 23 threaded upon the abutment. Tightening of this nut 23 obviously clamps the packing ange 21 between the ring 22 and the abutment ange 20.
The upper abutment 19 is slidable upon the body 10, and is spaced a substantial distance above the lower piston 11. This relationship of parts, which is illustrated in Fig. la, may be maintained initially by one or more shear screws 24 extending between the upper abutment 19 and packer body 10. When in this relationship, a substantial space exists within the packing sleeve 14, lower abutment 13 and cylinder sleeve 12, and between the upper abutment 19 and piston 11, in which a fluent substance 25 may be contained, for the purposel of expanding or inflating the packing sleeve 14 to a considerable extent. This uent substance 25 may be a liquid, which remains in liquid form at all times; or it may be a material, such as cement slurry, which will set and harden after the packing has been inated outwardly, to provide a solid packer or plug within the well bore B.
With the packer parts arranged as illustrated in Fig. la, in which the packing sleeve 14 is in its retracted position, it can be lowered through the well bore to the desired location at which it is to be set against the wall of the hole. When this point is reached, the body 10 is movable upwardly and the upper abutment 19 relatively downwardly, which effects a shifting of the lower piston 11 and upper abutment 19 toward one another. As a result, the fluent substance 25 within the packer bulges or inflates the packing sleeve 14 outwardly, until it contacts the wall of the hole B. The extent of this outward inflation is limited by engagement of the upper abutment 19 and lower abutment 13 with each other, and by engagement of a shoulder 26 on the piston with the lower end 27 of the lower abutment, which functions as a suitable stop. When the parts engage one another, further expansion or inilation of the packing sleeve 14 cannot take place, regardless of the forces imposed upon the body 10 and the upper abutment 19.
In place of expanding the packing sleeve 14 to its fullest extent, provision may be made for preventing the uent material 25 within the well packer from being subjected to a pressure that exceeds a predetermined maximum, in the manner described hereinafter. In this way, bursting of the packing sleeve 14 is avoided.
Although the packer abutments 13, 19 can move toward one another, as a result of the upward movement of the body 10 within the upper abutment, return or downward movement of the body is prevented by a suitable one-way lock device. As disclosed in the drawings, this device includes a split sleeve 28 frictionally engageable with the exterior of the body 10, and having cam surfaces 29 inclined in a downward and inward direction engaging companion cam surfaces 30 in the upper abutment 19. In the event that the body 10 tends to move downwardly and the upper abutment 19 relatively upwardly, the cam surfaces 29, 30 force the ring 28 inwardly into rm gripping engagement with the .body 10, and prevent such action from occurring. It is, accordingly, evident that the body 10 cannot move downwardly from the position illustrated inFig. 2, and, as a consequence, the fluent material 25 within ,the packer is prevented from returning from the interior of the inated sleeve 14 back into the initial connesof the packer and its cylinder sleeve 12. Leakage of this fluent material from within the well packer may .also be prevented by a suitable seal ring 31, such as an 0 ring, contained within a groove 32 in the upper abutment 19, and slidably engaging the exterior of the body 10. Similarly, a piston ring 33 is disposed in a ring groove 34 in the piston 11 for slidable sealing engagement with the inner wall of the cylinder sleeve 12.
Although a liquid or uent material 25, such as cement slurry, or a liquid thermosetting synthetic resin, may be used in the packer in accomplishing its inflation to the desired extent, the filling material may possess such characteristics as to expand, or at least not contract, upon hardening within the well packer, thereby insuring the maintenance of a tight seal against t-he wall of the bore hole B. An example of a material which does not contract upon setting to the solid state, and which may actually expand, is a mixture of Portland cement, sand and metal oxides sold under the trade-name of Embeco, to which suicient water has been added.
It is'preferred to run the well packer in the well bore on a wire line F, set it at the proper location, disconnect the setting tool E, and retrieve the latter to the top of the well bore. The setting tool disclosed in the drawings includes a cylinder sleeve 40 in which a piston 41 is slidably mounted. This piston is initially disposed adjacent the lower end of an upper head 42 threaded into the sleeve 40, and has a depending piston rod 43 secured to it which extends through a lower head 44 secured to the lower end of the cylinder sleeve. Leakage along the piston 41 is prevented by suitable piston rings 45 slidable along the wall of the cylinder sleeve; whereas leakage along the rod 43 is prevented by suitable rod packing rings 46 mounted in the lower head 44 and slidably engaging the surface of the rod.
The packer A is set as a result of downward movement of the piston 41 within the cylinder 40 and relative upward movement of the cylinder along the piston. Inasmuch as the packer body 10 is moved upwardly and the upper abutment 19 downwardly in effecting inilaton and setting of the packer in the well bore, the cylinder 40, 42, 44, which moves upward, is connected to the body 10; and the piston 41, which moves downward, is connected or caused to exert downward force on the upper abutment 19. This relationship of parts is accomplished by threading the upper end of a tubular actuating mandrel 47 into the lower end of the lower cylinder head 44, the lower end of this mandrel being threaded onto the upper end of a tension mandrel 48, whose lower end is, in turn, threaded into a head 49 threaded onto the upper end of the packer body 10. The portion of the packer body projecting above the upper abutment 19 has a reduced diameter section 50 to weaken the body at that point and enable its rupture when the setting tool E is to be disconnected from the well packer A.
The piston 41 has an anvil or cross-piece 51 extending transversely through it below the lower head 44, which anvil projects in opposite directions through a pair of longitudinally extending slots 52 in the actuating mandrel 47 and into a setting ring 53 slidable along the exterior of this mandrel. A setting sleeve 54 is threaded, or otherwise secured, to the ring 53 and extends downwardly along the actuating man-drel 47, being connected or threaded into the upper end of another setting sleeve or cylindrical barrel 55 extending along the tension mandrel 48 and head 49. A ring 56 is threaded onto the lower end of this barrel 55, extending along the clamp nut 23 into engagement-with the upper clamp ring 22.
A gasunder pressure is developed in the cylinder 40 for the purpose of moving it upwardly and the piston 41 and piston rod 43 relatively downwardly. This gas under pressure may be produced from the burning of a power charge 57, or railway flare, that may be in stick form and disposed in a combustion chamber 58 provided within the upper cylinder head 42. This power charge 57, which contains its own source of oxygen, has its upper end ignited by a cartridge 59 mounted within a gunbarrel 60 in the upper end of the head 42, and clamped between the head and a cable head 61 threaded into the former member. The wire line F is suitably secured to the cable head 61, in a known manner.
The blank cartridge 59 has a heating filament 62 therein electrically connected to the conductive wire or core 63 of the wire line F.
When the electric circuit through the heating lament 62 is completed, the cartridge 59 is fired, the flame issuing therefrom igniting the upper end of the power charge Si?. This charge burns at a comparatively slow rate (for example, taking from one to sixty seconds, or more, to be completely consumed), for the purpose of gradually building up a gaseous pressure in the cylinder above the piston 41. This pressure forces the piston 41 downwardly in the cylinder, the downward force being transmitted through the piston rod 43, cross-piece 51, setting ring 53 and setting sleeves 54, 55, 56 to the upper clamp ring 22 and upper abutment 19.
rThe cylinder dit, 42, M is urged in the opposite direction by the gas under pressure, the upward movement and upwardly directed thrust being transferred from the cylinder through the actuating mandrel 47, tension mandrel 138 and head 49 to the packer body 10. When the pressure in the cylinder has exceeded a predetermined value, the shear screw 24 is disrupted, which enables the piston 41 to move downwardly and the cylinder to move upwardly, moving the upper abutment 19 and the lower packer piston 11 toward one another. During such movement, the distance between the upper abutment and packer piston is decreased, which forces the fluent material 25 in an outward direction within the packing sleeve 1li, inflating and bulging the latter outwardly toward the wall of the well bore B. Such relative movement of the piston il and cylinder 4i), 42, 44, and of the packer parts, may continue until the packing sleeve 14- has been inflated to the maximum extent, in which the abutments 19', 13 engage one another, and the lower piston 11 engages the lower abutment. The pressure can continue to increase in the cylinder 44D, and when it reaches a value corresponding to the ultimate strength of the reduced section 54) of the body lil, the latter is pulled apart or disrupted, automatically eifecting disconnection of the setting tool E from the well packer A, and allowing the tool to be elevated to the top of the well bore by the wireline F.
Instead or disrupting the body 1t) at its reduced diameter section 5t) when the metallic parts of the packer engage each other solidly, as described above, disruption may occur before the parts reach this condition. As the packing sleeve 14 is forced outwardly against the hole wall, as a result of the pressure imposed upon the fluent material 25, such pressure increases. If the pressure reaches a predetermined maximum value before the metallic parts of the packer engage each other solidly, the tensile pull on the reduced diameter portion 50 of the body may he suicient to effect disruption of the body at that section. Thus, by properly selecting the area of the reduced diameter section 50 of the body, the maximum pressure imposed upon the inflating material 25 in the packercan he predetermined, to avoid the subjecting of the iluent material to an inordinately high pressure that might burst the packing sleeve 14, and thereby cause failure of the packer in the well bore.
ln addition to setting the packer and effecting automatic release of the setting tool E from the packer, it is possible, with the apparatus illustrated, to dump cementitious material C upon the set packer. To accomplish this objective, the lower setting sleeve 55 may form a container or barrel portion of a dump bailer D. Cementitious material C may be placed within the bailer through a suitable opening or window 70 in theupper portion of the barrel, such material being prevented from dropping from the bailer, prior to disruptionof the packer d body 10 at its reduced diameter portion 50, by causing the body 10 and upper abutment 19 to function as a closure for the barrel 55. Thus, the barrel ring 56 extends along the clamp nut 23, leakage between the two being prevented by a suitable seal ring 71 in the nut engaging the interior of the barrel ring 56.
When the power charge 57 is ignited, the packer A is set in the well bore in the manner described above. During the setting operation, the cementitious material C remains within the barrel 55. However, upon disruption of the body at its reduced diameter portion 58, the setting tool E is disconnected from the packer A, and this tool, including its barrel 55, can be elevated away from the set packer A, lifting the barrel ring 56 off the nut 23, and allowing the contents C of the barrel to dump on top of the packer or plug. When this cementitious material C hardens, it forms a cement plug supplementary to the packer A, insuring against leakage through such sealed or plugged portion of the well bore.
It is to be noted that the packer body 10 projects substantially above the upper abutment 19 and the remaining portions of the packer after the latter has been fully set in the well bore B (Fig. 2). Accordingly, the cementitious contents C of the bailer barrel 5'5 are dumped in the well bore around this body 1t). In view of the length of the entire apparatus in the well bore, the body 10 is disposed substantially centrally, or coaxially, of the well bore B, and, upon hardening of the cementitious material C around the body 10, the maintenance of such centering is insured. As a result, any subsequent striking of the body lt, as by another well tool, would be incapable of tilting the body, which action might cause failure of the well packer A, inasmuch as it might correspondingly tilt the packing sleeve 14, which is bearing against the wall of the open hole B. The hardened cement C around the upwardly projecting body 10 effectively locks the packer A in a coaxial relation within the well bore B, and insures that the seal of the packing sleeve 14 against the Wall of the hole will be maintained.
lt is, therefore, apparent that a well packer A has been provided having a large range of expansion, rendering it particularly adaptable for setting in an open or uncased well bore B. The material 2S for inflating ythe packer may be self-contained within the packer itself. The inflating material is caused to expand the packer by the setting tool E, which is automatically released from the packer after the latter has been set fully in the well bore B, with assurance that the packing sleeve 14 cannot bel expanded beyond a predetermined volumetric amount, and that it cannot be subjected to bursting pressures. In addition, to eiect setting of the packer, the setting tool is also instrumental in dumping cementitious material C on top of the packer as an incident to release of the tool E from the packer A. This cementitious material C cooperates with the packer itself, to hold the latter in a substantially centered position within the well bore B.
The inventor claims:
l. In a well packer: a body; a packing element around said body adapted to be inated by a fluent medium contained and sealed within said packing element; an abutment movable along said body and secured to said element; means attached to said body and movable with said body toward said abutment to subject said medium to a pressure greater than the pressure externally of said element to force said medium within said element in a laterally outward direction to inate the latter; and stop means engaging said abutment and means to limit the extent of inflation of said element.
2. In a well packer: a body; a packing element around said body adapted to be inflated by a fluent medium contained and sealed within said packing element; a irst abutment movable along said body and secured to said element; a second abutment secured to said element; means attached to said body and movable with said body toward said rst abutment to subject said medium to a pressure greater than the pressure externally of said elemeans for relatively moving said piston means in said cylinder means to expand said packing and break said readily disruptable means, whereby said setting tool is removable to deposit said cementitious material around said extended body portion. y
15. In well packer apparatus: an elongate body; a normally retracted packing around said body and disposed a substantial distance below the upper end of said body when expanded outwardly so as to leave an extended body portion projecting upwardly from said expanded packing; a setting tool for said packer apparatus comprising a cylinder; a piston slidable in said cylinder; readily disruptable means detachably securing said cylinder to said body; means for transmitting the force exerted by said piston to said packing when said piston moves relative to said cylinder, said force transmitting means being capable of containing cementitious material; and means in said cylinder for moving said piston downwardly in said cylinder and said cylinder relatively upwardly to expand said packing and break said readily disruptable means, whereby said setting tool is removable to deposit cernentitious material from said force transmitting means around said extended body portion.
1.6. In a well packer: a body; a packing element around said body adapted to contain and be inated by a iluent medium; an abutment movable along said body and secured to one end of said element, the other end of said element being operatively connected to said body; means for moving said body and abutment longitudinally with respect to each other in one direction to force said medium into said element and inate the latter; and co-engag- 10 ing means on said body and abutment for securing them together against relative longitudinal movement in the direction opposite to said one direction to hold said packing element inated.
17. In a well packer: a body; a packing element around said body adapted to contain and be inflated by a luent medium; an abutment movable along said body and secured to one end of said element; means attached to said body and the other end of said element and movable with said body toward said abutment to force said medium into said element to inflate the latter; stop means engaging said abutment and means to limit the extent of inflation of said element; and lock means between said body and abutment to secure said body to said abutment against movement with respect thereto in one longitudinal direction to hold said packing element inflated.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,342,927 Ruthven lune 8, 1920 1,850,218 Thomas Mar. 22, 1932 2,177,601 Smith Oct. 24, 1939 2,189,937 Broyles Feb. 13, 1940 2,201,096 Kerman May 14, 1940 2,202,173 Straub May 28, 1940 2,222,750 Litolff Nov. 26, 1940 2,228,243 Baker Jan. 14, 1941 2,338,369 Williams Jan. 4, 1944 2,467,801 Baker Apr. 19, 1949 2,492,212 Dailey Dec. 27, 1949 2,618,344 Turechek et al Nov. 18, 1952 Dec. 10, 1957 H. w. DouGLAss 2,815,818
APPARATUS FCR SHUTTINC nowN ENGINES oN OCCURRENCE CE CERTAIN EAILUREs Filed Dec. 8. 1955 OXI- DANT :2:22- I E "-1- 14g! 4/ 40 INVENTOR. H0 WARD M DOUGLASS M7? BY @JZ ATTORNEYS