US 2822874 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 11, 1958 c. c. BROWN COMBINATION PACKER AND WELL CONTROL DEVICE Filed Feb. 25, 1954 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 I 5 7 all- 4 f a ll j z ll,
C C. .Bro vvn INVENTOR.
4 TTORNf Y Feb. 11, 1958 Filed Feb. 25, 1954 C. C. BROWN COMBINATION PACKER AND WELL CONTROL DEVICE Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
AKTOR/VEY Feb 11, 1958 c. c. BROWN 2,822,874
COMBINATION PACKER AND WELL CONTROL DEVICE Filed Feb. 25, 1954 3 Sheets-Sheet s C. C. Bro wn INVENTOR.
47 any ATTORNEY COMBINATION PACKER AND WELL CONTROL DEVICE Cicero C. Brown, Houston, Tex. Application February 25, 1954, Serial No. 412,465 Claims. (Cl. 166-119) This invention relates to well tools and particularly to a well packer having a control valve connected therewith for controlling the fi-ow of fluids in' a well in which the packer is installed.
In the production of earth fluids, such as oil and gas, the producing strata are ordinarily sealed off from non-productive strata by means of an expandible packer installed in the well bore, communication between the producing strata and the surface being effected by means of a string of pipe, commonly referred to as the tubing, which extends through the packer.
After completion, it is often necessary to rework or repair the well. Ordinarily, it is necessary to kill the well before repair or reworking operations may be conducted, particularly where high fluid pressures exist in the well. In order to efiectively kill the well it is cornmon practice to fill the well bore with high specific gravity mud or other fluid in order that the packer and other equipment may be safely withdrawn from the well. Such practices are expensive, troublesome and frequently hazardous to the productive potentialities of' the well.
The present invention has for its primary object the provision of a packer and control valve device which can be set in the well on a string of tubing and which, by simple manipulation of the tubing string from the surface, is operable to effectively shut off or re-open communication with the producing formations as may be required in connection with reworking and repair operations, without the necessity of filling the well with heavy mud and the like, which must subsequently be removed from the well bore.
An important object of this invention is to provide a packer and control valve device, operable to control the flow of earth fluids into the well and which can be readily removed from the well when necessary.
A further object is the provision of a combination well packer having a control valve, said control valve being operable by manipulation of the tubing string through the packer body to open and close communication between the earth formations and the producing string, and the packer being set and released also by manipulation of the tubing string.
A more specific object is to provide an expansible packer having its setting and release elements threadedly connected to a tubing string whereby the packer may be set or released by relative rotation of the tubing string, said packer supporting a control valve operable by longiatent 0 tudinal movement .of thetubing string relative to the packer.
Other and more specific objects and advantages of this invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing which illustrates one useful embodiment in accordance with the present invention.
In the drawing:
Figs. 1A, 1B, and 1C, taken together, comprise a longitudinal view, partly in section, showing the complete ICC structure mounted on a tubing string, the parts of the packer elements being in inactive positions, as when the device is being run into a well, and the control valve being shown in open position;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of the packer elements showing the parts thereof in the positions occupied when the packer has been set;
Fig. 3A is an elevational view, partly in section, of the uppermost portion of the device showing the positions occupied by the parts thereof, when the control valve is in the closed position;
Fig. 3B is a fragmentary view, partly in longitudinal section, of the lowermost portion of the device including the control valve, the latter being shown in the closed position; and
Fig. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of Fig. 1B.
Referring first to Figs. 1A, 1B, and 10, the device comprises a generally tubular well packer assembly, designated generally by the numeral 5, a tubular body, des-v ignated generally bythe numeral 6, extending through the bore of the packer assembly and on which the packer assembly is mounted, a control valve structure, designated generally by the numeral 7, which is connected to the lower end of body .6 below packer assembly 5, and a tubular operating stem, designated generally by the numeral 8,which exten'dsslidably through the bore of body 6, and is connectible at its upper end to a string of tubing 9, whereby the device may be inserted in a well having its bore wall'lin'ed by the usual casing 10 (Fig. 2), the stem forming an extension-of the tubing string.
As may best be seen in Fig. 1B, packer assembly 5 includes a pair of longitudinally spaced metallic collars 11-11. Each collar has connected to its inner end a tubular mandrel 12, which mandrels project axially toward each other. The exterior surfaces of the inner ends of the mandrels 12 are provided with inwardly tapered conical surfaces 13. A tubular slip cage 14 surrounds the tapered ends of the mandrels 12 and has its opposite ends secured to the mandrels at points spaced from the tapered ends of the mandrels by means of a plurality of circumferentially spaced threaded pins 15 which extend radially through the walls of the mandrels and project slightly into the bores of the mandrels. The outer ends of pins 15- are received in elongated slots 16 provided in the wall of cage 14 whereby the mandrels are free to slide longitudinally relative to cage 14. Cage 14 is provided intermediate its ends with a plurality of elongated windows 17 in which are mounted correspondingly shaped. slips 18 which are radially movable in the windows 17. The outer faces of the slips are provided with the usual serrations or teeth for engagement with casing 10- and the inner faces of slips 18 are provided with oppositely tapering surfaces 19-19 engageable by the tapered surfaces 13 on the adjacent ends of the mandrels 12, whereby axial movement of the mandrels towardeach other will. urge slips 18 radially outwardly to cause their outer toothed surfaces to engage casing 10. As best seen in Fig. 4, slips 18 areprovided along their inner longitudinal edges with laterally extending flanges 20-20 which are adapted to engage the side edges of windows 17 to limit outward movement of the slipsfrom the cage. The exterior of cage 14 has mounted thereon a plurality of circumferentially spaced longitudinally extending, outwardly bent bow springs 21 which are adapted to frictionally engage casing 10.
Secured in the outer ends of collars 11 are a pair of annular sealing elements 22 22, the inner ends ofwhich abut the adjacent ends of mandrels 12. The bore walls of the sealingelements are made substantially flush with the bore walls of mandrels 12-12. Sealing elements 22-22 are constructed of rubber or like flexible, resilient material.
The external diameter of the portion of body 6 which extends through the bore of packer assembly is made appreciably smaller than the internal diameters of sealing elements 22 and mandrels 12 to provide an annular space 23 therebetween. Thread sections 24-24 are provided on the exterior of body 6 at points substantially opposite collars 11. A tubular sleeve 25 is mounted on body 6 to extend into each of the annular spaces 23 from the outer ends thereof at the opposite ends of thepacker assembly. Sleeves 25 have internal thread sections 26-26 engageable with the thread sections 24-24 on body 6. The outer surfaces of sleeves 25 are made smooth to be freely slidable relative to the adjacent surfaces of sealing elements 22 and mandrels 12. The walls comprising the inner ends of sleeves 25 are provided with elongated longitudinally extending slots 27-27 in which the inwardly projecting ends of pins are slidably received. The outer. ends of sleeves 25 carry enlarged tapered cones 28-28 surrounding body 6 which are adapted to radially expand sealing elements 22 when the sleeves are moved axially inwardly relative to the sealing elements and to permit the sealing elements, by reason of their resilient construction, to contract when the sleeves are axially retracted relative to the sealing elements. Sleeves 25 are counterbored from their outer ends to provide stuffing boxes 29 in which packings 30 are seated to form fluid-tight seals between the sleeves and the. exterior of body 6. Gland bushings 31 are screwed into the outer ends of the stuffing boxes to compress the packings, the bushings being slidable on the exterior of body 6.
The packer assembly described is more or less typical of a class of packers referred to in the art as mechanical set packers, that is, a type in which advancement and retraction of the setting mandrels is effected by positive mechanical means, such as the screw-thread arrangement heretofore described. This is in contrast with the other general class of packers, which are referred to as pressure set packers, in which advancement and retraction of the mandrels is eflEected by applying thereto or removing therefrom the weight of the operating string, or by differential fluid pressures across the packer. The me chanical set packers do not depend upon the weight of the operating stem or on differential fluid pressures for their operation. It will be understood, therefore, that packer assembly 5 is intended to exemplify the general class of mechanical set packers, and that other specific forms of this type of packer may be employed in the combination structure contemplated by the present invention.
Body 6 extends above packer 5 (Fig. 1A) and has threadedly secured to its upper end a tubular head 32 having an internally thickened wall 33 extending longitudinally therein to a point somewhat below the upper end of head 32. The thickened wall portion of the head is provided with a J-slot 34 opening through the upper end of wall 33. Head 32 includes an outer sleeve 32:: which is secured to the exterior of wall portion 33 enclosing J-slot 34 and extending above the upper end of wall portion 33.
The lower end of body 6 extends below packer 5 (Fig. 1A) and carries the valve structure 7. The latter cornprises an elongated tubular casing 35 closed at its lower end by a screw plug 36. The. upper end of casing 35 is counterbored at 36a to form an upwardly facing internal shoulder 37. The counterbore 36a is internally threaded to threadedly receive the lower end of body 6. A tubular bushing 38 is mounted in counterbore 36a and is clamped therein between shoulder 37 and the lower end of body 6 when the latter is screwed into the counterbore. The bore of bushing 38 is made somewhat smaller than that of casing 35 to form an annular abutment 39 which extends into the bore of the casing. A plurality of circumferentially spaced radial ports 49 are provided in the wall of casing 35 at a point somewhat below abutment 39. A tubular sleeve valve, designated generally by the numeral 41, is slidably mounted in the bore of casing 35 and comprises a tubular body 42 having an annular boss 43 on the exterior thereof intermediate the ends of body 42. Annular packings 44-44 are mounted on the exterior of body 42 adjacent the opposite ends of boss 43 and are adapted to form seals between body 42 and the inner wall of casing 35 on opposite sides of boss 43. Gland bushings 45-45 are screwed on the opposite ends of body 42 to compress the packlngs Boss 43 is so positioned on body 35 relative to its upper end that when the latter is in engagement with abutment 39, boss 43 will be in registration with ports 40 and packings 44 will form seals between body 42 and casing 35 on opposite sides of ports 40, as may be seen in Fig. 3B. A strong coil spring 46 is mounted in compression between the lower end of valve 41 and plug 36, thereby urging or biasing the sleeve valve toward the closed position.
As best seen in Figs. 1A and 3A, operating stem 8 includes a tubular body section 47 having a head member 48 connected to its upper end, head member 48 having an internally threaded box 49 at its upper end for connection to tubing string 9. The intermediate portion of head member 48 carries a radially projecting lug 50 which is adapted to be received in the J-slot 34. Upper and lower annular seals 51 and 52, respectively, are mounted on the exterior of head member 48 to seal with the interior of head 32 above and below the J-slot when head member 48 has been fully inserted into head 32 in the course of operation of the device, as will be subsequently described. The lower end portion of body section 47 is provided with a plurality of radial ports 53. The length of body section 47 from lug 50 to its lower end will be made such that when lug 50 is engaged in J-slot 34 and has moved to the bottom thereof, as in the position shown in Fig. 1A, the lower end of body section 47 will extend through the bore of body 6 a sutficient distance to engage the upper end of sleeve valve 41 and to move the latter downwardly in casing 35 to a point below ports 40.
The operation of the device is as follows:
The parts will be assembled in the positions occupied in Figs. 1A, 1B and 1C and connected to tubing string 9. Lug 50 will be locked in the J-slot in order to thereby secure packer 5 and body 6 to the operating stem and thence to the tubing string. In Fig. 1A lug 50 is shown just at the point of entry into the short leg of the J-slot. With lug 50 locked in the J-slot, the lower end of stem section 47 will be holding valve 41 in its lower or open position. In this position, any fluid in the well bore may flow through ports 40 and 53 to the interior of the tubing string, thereby permitting free movement of the device through the fluid to the point at which the packet is to be set, this point usuallly being just above the producing strata. Sleeves 25 carrying cones 28 will initially be in axially retracted positions on body 6 so as to be out of expansive engagement with sealing elements 22.
Bow springs 21 will be in frictional engagement with casing 10 and will tend to resist the downward movement of the device but this resisting force will be readily overcome by the weight of the tubing string which will be exerted through lug 50 against the bottom of J-slot 34 (Fig. 1A), which will push the tool downwardly through the casing until the point is attained at which packer 5 is to be set. When the setting point has been attained, the tubing string will be rotated in a direction to cause sleeves 25 to be moved axially inwardly toward each other. The rotation of the tubing string will be transmitted through the engagement of lug 50 in J-slot 34 to body 6.
Sleeves 25 which are secured to the packer structure, as described, will be held against rotation by the engagement of bow springs 21 with casing 10 but rotation of body 6 relative to sleeves 25 will act through the threaded connections between body 6 and. sleeves 2 5 to move the latter toward each other.' This movement will cause cones 28 to engage sealing, elements .22 and to urge the mandrels 12 toward each other and into engagement with the tapered inner faces of slips 18 which will thereby be thrust radially into gripping engagement with casing setting the slips and thereby locking the packer against further downward movement. At the same time cones 28 will enter sealing elements 22 and expand them radially into sealing engagement with the casing. The packer is thus fully set, the parts occupying the positions shown in Fig. 2, and it will be noted that this operation is accomplished by rotation of operating stem 8 and body 6 relative to the packer through an appropriate number of turns of the engaged threads 24 and 26. Although any suitable arrangement of the threads may be employed, it is found preferable to so arrange them that setting of the packer may be effected by left-hand rotation of the tubing string and operating stem. When the threads are arranged for this left-hand rotation, the J-slot will be formed, as illustrated, with the closed leg of the slot positioned to receive lug 50 during left-hand rotation. It will be understood that parts of the J-slot will be reversed in position when the thread arrangement is such as to set the packer by right-hand rotation of the tubing string.
With the packer set, as described, valve 41 will be in the open position, as illustrated in Fig. 1C, and fluids from the producing strata may flow through ports 40 and thence through ports 53 to the interior of the operating stem and thence upwardly through the tubing string to the surface. The well may now be produced in the normal manner.
When it becomes necessary or desirable to re-work or repair the well or to perform any other operations therein during which it is desired to cut off the flow of fluid into the well from the producing formations, the tubing string will be rotated in the right-hand direction to place lug 50 in alignment with the open leg of the J-slot, thereby releasing the connection between the operating stem and body 6. The tubing string may now be drawn upwardly, drawing lug 50 out of the J-slot, as illustrated in Fig. 3A, and this upward movement will withdraw the operating stem from body 6. As the operating stem is drawn upward, it will release valve 41 which will then be forced upwardly by the pressure of spring 46 until it engages abutment 39, as best seen in Fig. 3B, whereupon the valve will close ports 40 and cut off further flow into the well above the packer. Since valve body 42 has an open axial bore and the lower end of valve casing 35 is closed, it will be seen that the fluid pressures interiorly of the valve casing will be balanced on both sides of the valve. The valve will thus be readily held in the closed position by the thrust of spring 46. With the valve closed, the entire string of tubing and operating stem 8 may be withdrawn entirely from the well and the entire bore of the well above the packer will be open for the conduct therein of any desired operations, without interference or danger from high pressure fluids in the formation.
When the reworking or other operations have been completed, the tubing string and operating stem may be re-inserted in the well and the operating stem thrust downwardly through the bore of body 6 until its lower end again engages the upper end of valve 41, and by application of the weight of the string thereto valve 41 will be forced downwardly to the open position. At the same time lug 50 will be re-engaged with J-slot 34 and by a partial rotation to the left will be locked in the closed leg thereof to maintain the valve in the open position.
As will be seen from the foregoing, once the packer device, in accordance with this invention, has been set in a well it may be left there throughout the producing life of the well, if desired, but the tubing string may be withdrawn as often as desired for conducting various operations in the well without killing the well with mud as is required by more conventional practice.
Wbeneyer it, becomes desirable or necessary ,to with draw the packer device from the well, the tubing string and stem may be rotated relative .to the packer in a direction to cause threaded sleeves 25 to be axially retracted, This will allow sealing elements 22 to contract and will withdraw mandrels 12'frorn engagement with slips 18, which will thus be freed to move inwardly into cage .14. Then with lug 50 locked in the closed leg of the 'J-slot, upward pull may be applied to the tubing string to pull the entire structure upwardly from thewell.
It will be understood that numerous alterations and modifications may be made in the details ofthe illustrative embodiments, within the scope of the appended claims but without departing from the spirit of this invention.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters, Patent is:
1. A combination packer and well control device, comprising, a tubular body having a closed lower end, a packer assembly of the mechanical set type mounted on said body above said lower end for sealing and gripping engagement with a well wall, ports in the body between the packer assembly and the closed lower end, valve means carried by the body to control communication between the interior and the exterior of said body through said ports below the packer assembly, means to close said valve means, and a tubular operating stem longitudinally reciprocable in the bore of said body to control opening and closing of said valve means, said valve means being constructed and arranged to be unaifected by variations in fluid pressures interiorly of the body when the valve means is in the port-closing position.
2. A combination packer and well control device, comprising, a tubular body having a closed lower end, a packer assembly of the mechanical set type mounted on said body above said lower end for sealingand gripping engagement with a well wall, ports in the body between the packer assembly and the closed lower end, valve means carried by the body including a valve member axially movable in the bore of said body through said ports to control communication between the interior and exterior of the body below the packer assembly, means to move said valve member to port-closing position, and a tubular operating stern longitudinally reciprocable in the bore of said body to control the movements of said valve member between open and closed positions, said valve member being constructed and arranged to be unaffected by variations in fluid pressures interiorly of said body when the valve member is in the port-closing position.
3. A combination packer and well control device, comprising, a tubular body, a packer assembly of the mechanical set type mounted on said body for sealing and gripping engagement with a well wall, valve means including a tubular valve casing secured to said body below the packer assembly and closed at its lower end, radial ports in said valve casing above said lower end, a sleeve valve having an open axial bore axially slidable in the valve casing between an upper port-closing position and a lower port-opening position, means resiliently biasing said sleeve valve to the upper port-closing position, a tubular operating stem slidable through the bore of said body into and out of axially compressive engagement with said sleeve valve for controlling the port-opening and port-closing movements thereof, and a J-type releasable connection between said stem and said body.
4. A combination packer and well control device, comprising, a tubular body, a packer assembly of the mechanical set type mounted on the body and including well-wall gripping and sealing elements radially expansible and contractible by rotation of said body relative to said elements, a tubular valve casing secured to said body below the packer assembly and closed at its lower end, radial ports in said valve casing above said lower end, a sleeve valve having an open axial bore axially slidable in the valve casing between an upper port-closing position and a lower port-opening position, means resiliently biasing said sleeve valve to the upper port-closing position, a tubularv operating stem slidable through the bore ofsaid body into and out of axially compressive engagement with said sleeve valve for controlling" the port-opening and port-closing movementstthereof, and releasable connection means between said body a'ndsaid stein operative when engaged to transmit rotation of said stem to said body. t
5. A combination packer and well control device as defined by claim 4 wherein said sleeve valve has an annular boss on the exterior thereof adapted to cover said ports whenithe valve is in the port-closing position, and annular packing elements above and below the boss adapted to seal between the sleeve valve andthe casing above and below said ports when the valve is in the portclosing position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Collingwood Apr. 28, 1908 Ford May 21, 1940 Bassinger Feb. 4, 1941 Boynton Nov. 10, 1942 Church et a1 Dec. 15, 1942 V Otis Feb. 29, 1944 Crickmer Aug. 28, 1945 Ragan Dec. 18, 1951 Ware Feb. 12, 1952 Carothers et al Nov. 16, 1954 Brown Oct. 9, 1956