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Publication numberUS3072204 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 8, 1963
Filing dateJul 15, 1959
Priority dateJul 15, 1959
Publication numberUS 3072204 A, US 3072204A, US-A-3072204, US3072204 A, US3072204A
InventorsBrown Cicero C
Original AssigneeBrown Oil Tools
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gravel packing apparatus for wells
US 3072204 A
Images(6)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 8, 1963 c. c. BROWN GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS FOR WELLS Filed July 15, 1959 6 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. C/CE/PO CEROW V ATTORNEY Jan. 8, 1963 Filed July 15, 1959 C. C. BROWN GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS FOR WELLS 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 0 3 C/CERO C. BROWN INVENTOR.

A T TORNE Y Jan. 8, 1963 c. c. BROWN 3,072,204

GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS FOR WELLS Filed July 15, 1959 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. CICERO c. BROWN oo u Man 0' aan ana-oc...

600 t 0M0 0 0 #0 O 0 a 00 0 0 o eo w ou o ab o obl 00 r n vo A T'T'ORNE v Jan. 8, 1963 c. c. BROWN 3,072,204

GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS FOR WELLS Filed July 15, 1959 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 7/ E I! K 20 Q 74 In A TTORNE V Jan. 8, 1963 c. c. BROWN GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS FOR WELLS 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 15, 1959 C/CERO CZBROW/Y INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS Jan. 8, 1963 c. c. BROWN 3,072,204

GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS FOR WELLS Filed July 15, 1959 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVENTOR.

C/CERO C BROWN A TTORNE Y5 3,072,204 Patented Jan. 8, 1963 fire 3,072,204 GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS FOR WELLS Cicero C. Brown, Brown Oil Tools line, PA). Box 19236., Honston, Tex. Fiied July 15, 1959, Ser. No. 827,255 10 (Ilaims. (Cl. 175230) This invention relates to the gravel packing of wells and more particularly to an improved tool assembly for use in gravel packing.

Gravel packing is employed to form a filter body in the annulus between the wall of a relatively unconsolidated oil producing formation in a well bore and the production pipe. Normally the latter includes a section of pipe, commonly termed a liner, having a plurality of narrow spaced-apart slots or having screen-covered openings through which the formation fluids enter the production pipe from the formation while the gravel body interposed between the liner and the formation Wall serves to support the unconsolidated formation, while, at the same time, aiding in screening out fine sand, and the like from the fiuid, so that cleaned fluids may enter the production pipe. Heretofore gravel packing tools have comprised separate liner setting tools and gravel placing devices which have been relatively complicated in form and subject to various types of difficulties in setting them in place in the well bore and in conducting the gravel packing operation.

It is a primary object of the invention, therefore, to provide a simplified tool structure or assembly which includes both a liner hanger and packer, as well as a gravel packing tool, all combined into a compact, easily operated and eflicient gravel packing assembly.

Another important object is the provision of a crossover arrangement in the gravel packing assembly by which fluid may be selectively circulated through the tubing or inner pipe string to the annulus below an intervening seal packer or in the reverse direction from the annulus to the tubing string.

Still another object is the provision of a tool assembly including a hydraulic pressure-actuated liner hanger in combination with a seal packing for the well bore and crssover means to selectively deliver actuating pressure fluid to the liner hanger and washing fluid to the production formation, as well as gravel-carrying fluid for packing the annular spaced between the formation and the liner.

A more specific object is the provision, in a gravel packing assembly of the character described, of ports between the inner and outer strings, and sleeve valve arrangements operable for controlling the several ports during the conduct of the several stages in the setting and releasing of the gravel-packing tools and in the conduct of the gravel packing operation.

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 drawings which illustrate several useful embodiments in accordance with this invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal quarter-sectional view of the gravel packing tool assembly in accordance with one embodiment of this invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are enlarged scale fragments of some of the principal parts of the assembly, the parts being in the positions occupied respectively during two stages in the operation of the device;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of the tool in the well, the parts being illustrated in the positions occupied while the tool assembly is being run into the well;

FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8 are views generally similar to FIG.

4, but illustrating the positions of the parts of the tool assembly at ditterent stages in the operation thereof;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 9--9 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is a generally diagrammatic longitudinal sectional view of a modified form of the tool assembly shown in a well with the parts in the position occupied during running-in of the tool;

FIG. 11 is a view generally similar to FIG. 10, showing the parts of the assembly at a subsequent stage in the operation thereof;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged quarter-sectional view of the principal portions of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 10 with the parts in positions occupied during one stage of the operation of the assembly;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line lit-13 of FIG. 12;

FIGS. 14, 15 and 16 are sectional-fragmentary views illustrating the details of some of the parts of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 10.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 9, the structure includes a tubular liner hanger body 20, the lower end of which is threadedly connected to the upper end of a connector collar 21, the lower end of which is threadedly received in the upper end of a tubular liner 22, which includes a section of slotted pipe or screen 23, of the type conventionally employed in gravel packing operations, the slots being indicated at 24. The lower end of liner 22 is closed by a plug 25. The upper end of body 24} of the liner hanger is threaded internally to receive the lower end of the tubular body 26 of a conventional seal packer (FIGS. 1 and 2). The upper end of packer body 26 carries an end ring 27 extending over the exterior of the body and carrying, in depending relation thereto, an annular resilient seal member 28 abutting which is positioned a downwardly and inwardly tapering conical expander 29 which is slidable on the exterior of packer body 26. A cylinder 30 is slidably telescoped over the exterior of the upper end portion. of hanger body 20, being seated in its lowermost position on a shoulder ring 31 secured to the exterior of body 20. A shear pin 32 serves to temporarily secure cylinder 30 to body 20 when the cylinder is resting on shoulder 31. A seal ring 33 is mounted in the bore wall of cylinder 3% near its lower end to form a slidable fluid-tight seal about the exterior of body 2% Near its upper end, the bore of cylinder 30 is reduced in order to form the cylinder head 34, which is disposed in a close sliding fit about the exterior of packer body 25 and is provided with an annular seal ring 35 forming a fluid-tight seal between the bore of head 34 and the exterior of packer body 26. A space 36 is provided between cylinder head 34% and the upper end of hanger body 2% and this space is in communication with a longitudinally extending passageway 37 pro vided by clearance between the exterior of hanger body 2t and the bore of cylinder 39. Passage 37 communicates at its lower end with one or more ports 38 extending radially through the wall of hanger body 20 at a point above seal ring 33. Ports 38 communicate with pressure fluid supply passages, as will be subsequently described.

A plurality of radial discharge ports 39 are provided in the wall of hanger body 20 at a point below shoulder ring 31. These ports 39 constitute the major outlets from the interior of the tool assembly to the exterior thereof, as will be more fully described hereinafter.

The upper end of cylinder head 34 carries a plurality of angularly spaced toothed slips 4% which are secured to the upper ends of resilient arms 41, the lower ends of which are appropriately secured to the upper end of cylinder head 34. The slips 40 are adapted to slide over the conical surface of expander 29 in response to the relative movements of cylinder 30.

Extending into the bore of packer body 26, through its upper end, is a tubular mandrel 42, the upper end of which is threadedly received in a coupling 43 which is, in turn, adapted to be connected to a tubing string T (FIGS. 4 to 8), which leads to the top of the well and serves as an operating string through which fluids of various kinds are conducted into the bore of mandrel 42. A should-er ring 44 is secured about the exterior of mandrel 42 at a point just beneath coupling 43 and a roller bearing 45 is suitably mounted between shoulder ring 44 and the lower end of coupling 43. It will be understood that shoulder ring 44 is adapted to rest on the upper end of end ring 27 and is employed to transmit the weight of the tubing string to the packer body when the mandrel is lowered sufficiently. Mandrel 42 may then be rotated by rotation of the tubing string while the shoulder ring rests on end ring 27. The lower end of mandrel 42 threadedly receives the upper end of a nipple 4a which has a bore 57 communicating with the bore 42:: of the mandrel, and is generally flush therewith. Nipple 46 forms an upward extension of a cross-over head 48 which extends into the bore of hanger body 29 and carries at its lower end a reducer coupling 49, to the lower end of which is secured a tubular stem Stl by means of a collar 51. The external diameter of stem b is substantially less than the internal diameter of liner 22 and extends through the bore of liner 22 to a point adjacent the lowermost slots or screened openings 24 in liner 22, the lower end of stem 50 being open. A tubular releasing sleeve 52 is concentrically interposed between crossover head 48 and the inner wall of hanger body 2b. This sleeve is normally slidable longitudinally in packer body 2%, but is temporarily held against movement in its uppermost position by means of a shear screw 53 which extends through the wall of hanger body 20 into sleeve 52 (FIGS. 1 and 2). At its lower end releasing sleeve 52 is provided with an annular seat 54 which is adapted to receive the upper end of a coiled compression spring 55, the lower end of which is received in a similar seat 56 (FIG. 1) formed in the upper end of collar 21 interiorly of hanger body Ztl. This spring serves to urge releasing sleeve 52 toward its uppermost position when shear screw 53 has been broken, as will be subsequently described. The upper end of releasing sleeve 52 defines a shoulder 57 which is adapted to abut the lower end of packer body 26 when the releasing sleeve is in its uppermost position, as illustrated particularly in FIGS. 1 and 2. A longitudinal groove 53 is formed in the outer wall of releasing sleeve 52 extending from a point above shear screw 53 for a she-rt distance, and is adapted to receive an indexing screw 5h which projects inwardly through the wall of hanger body 20 to prevent relative rotation between releasing sleeve 52 and hanger body 20 while permitting limited relative longitudinal movement therebetween when shear screw 53 has been released. -A seal ring 60 is disposed circumferentially in the exterior of releasing sleeve 52 just above spring seat 54- and is adapted to form a fluid-tight slidable seal between the lower end portion of releasing sleeve 52 and the lower end of hanger body 2%. A sirnlar seal ring 61 is provided about the upper end of releasing sleeve 52 to form a fluid-tight slidable seal with the bore of hanger body 20, seal ring bl being positioned to be above ports 38 when the releasing sleeve is in its uppermost position, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. A section of coarse threads 62 are provided on the interior of releasing sleeve 52 near its upper end and are adapted to mesh with complementary threads 63 formed on the exterior of cross-over head 48 near its upper end. These threads are provided to permit release of the cross-over head 48, mandrel 42, and stem 5%? from the tool assembly at a suitable stage in the operations, as will be subsequently described. A seal ring 64 is provided between the exterior of cross-over head 48 and the bore of releasin'gsleeve 52 at a point just below threads 62 and 63.

A plurality of fluid passages 65extend radially through the body of cross-over head 43 providing communication between bore 47 of the cross-over head and a corresponding plurality of ports 6d provided through the wall of releasing sleeve 52, ports 66 being in registration with passages when the cross-over head and releasing sleeve are connected together by the threads 62 and 635, as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. Ports 66, at their outer ends, communicate with an annular channel 67 which extends longitudinally along the exterior of releasing sleeve 52 and provides fluid communication between ports 66 and ports 33, thereby providing fluid communication from here 47 of the cross-over head through fluid passages 65 and ports 65, thence by way of channel 67, ports 38, and passages 37 into the space 3&5 defining the interior of cylinder 3 Through this interconnecting series of ports and channels, pressure fluid may be transmitted from the operating string through the bore of mandrel 42 and crossover head 45 into cylinder 3 to actuate the liner hanger, as will be subsequently described.

Circumferential seal rings 6% are mounted in the exterior of releasing sleeve 52 at a point just below ports 65 and are arranged to form a slidable fluid-tight seal with the bore of hanger body 2th at a point ab ve ports 39 when the releasing sleeve is in its uppermost position, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. These seal rings 68 will move below ports 39 when the releasing sleeve and crossover head are lowered relative to hanger body 2% at a stage in the operation of the device, as will be subsequently described. Cross-over head 43 is provided with a plurality of vertically extending fluid channels 70 which by-pass passages 65, as may best be seen in H6. 9. The lower ends of channels 7% communicate with bore 47 through radial ports 71.

A sleeve valve is mounted in bore 47 for controlling passages 55 and ports 71, and this sleeve valve includes a tubular body 72 which is slidably disposed in bore 47 and is provided at its upper end with a tapered seat 73 for reception of a suitable closure member, such as a ball B. At a point intermediate its ends, sleeve valve body 72 is provided with a plurality of radial ports 74 which are adapted to be moved into and out of registration with ports 71, the portion of the valve body above ports 74 serving to open and close the inner ends of fluid passages as, depending upon the position of the valve body, as will be subsequently described. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, sleeve valve body 72 is in its uppermost position at which both passageways 65 and ports 71 are closed ofi. Seal rings 75 and 76 are mounted in the exterior surface of sleeve valve body 72 and longitudinally spaced to seal between the Valve body and the bore wall of crossover head 45-5 at points above and below passages 65. Another pair of longitudinally spaced seal rings '77 and '73 are positioned in the exterior of sleeve valve body '72 to seal between the sleeve valve and the bore wall of cross-over head 48 at points above and below ports 71 when the sleeve valve body is in its uppermost or portclosing position, illustrated in F168. 1 and 2. A snap ring 79 is suitably mounted in the exterior of sleeve valve body 72 at a point above lower seal ring '73 and is adapted to engage a groove formed in the interior wall of reducer coupling 49, whereby to releasably lock the sleeve valve body in its uppermost position. t will be understood that by exertion of sufi icient downward pressure on the upper end of valve body '72, snap ring 79 can be compressed sumciently to force it out of groove 8% and allow the sleeve valve body to be moved downwardly. A second snap ring groove 81 is adapted to receive snap ring '79 when the sleeve valve has travelled downwardly a sufiicient distance to place the snap ring 79 opposite groove 81. At this position sleeve valve body 72 will be locked in a position placing ports '74 in registration with ports "ll, and the upper end of the sleeve valve body'will have moved to a point below passages 65, thereby Opening the latter to communication with bore 47 of the cross-over head (FIG. 3).

The above-described assembly is operated in the following manner: The structure is assembled as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, wherein shear screws 32 and 53 serve to hold the parts in their relatively inactive, unset positions. Mandrel 42 will thus be in its elevated position in which shoulder ring 44 will be elevated a short distance above end-ring 27, as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 4.

The assembly is then run into a well W, which is lined with a casing C to a point somewhat above the producing formation F through which the screen portion of the liner is set. It will be understood that liner 22 may include blank sections, as well as the perforate or screen sections, depending upon the extent of the formation and the portions thereof from which it is desired to produce formation fluids.

When the tool string has attained the position opposite formation F at which it is to be set, circulation of washing fluid may be initiated by pumping the fluid down through the bore of tubing T, mandrel 42 and stem 5%, the fluid flowing out of the open end of stem 50 near the lowermost openings 24 in screen section 23 and out through the openings into the annulus, and thence upwardly to the surface. It will be understood, of course, that circulation can be conducted while the tool string is being lowered into the well. The washing fluid, circulated as described, may be employed to clean the slotted pipe or screen and to wash out the face of the formation F to provide more capacity for the reception of gravel when the latter is introduced. The initial positioning of the assembly is illustrated in FIG. 4. It will be seen also that when the parts of the assembly are in the initial running-in position, sleeve valve body 72 will be positioned to close the inner ends of passages 65 and ports 71, the valve body being retained in this position by the seating of snap ring 79 in groove 80. No fluid can, therefore, pass from the interior of the cross-over head to the exterior thereof, except as it may flow down through stem 56 and up past the assembly through the annulus.

When the tool assembly has been lowered to the desired position in the well bore, a closure member, such as ball B, will be dropped through the tubing string and pumped down with the fluid in the system until it rests on seat 73 at the upper end of sleeve valve body 72, thereby closing off the portion of the bore of the string below the upper end of sleeve valve body 72. As pressure is applied to the ball, the sleeve valve body and the closure ball will be forced downwardly, snap ring 79 being thereby compressed and forced out of groove 8t}. This downward movement will continue until snap ring 79' engages groove 81. will be uncovered and ports 7d in the sleeve valve body will be in registration wtih ports '71 in the crossover head (FIGS. 3 and 5). Uncovering of passages 65 will then allow the pressure fluid to flow through these passages 65 and ports 66 to channel 67, and thence upwardly through ports 38 and channel 37 into cylinder space 36 where the pressure of the fluid will be exerted against the lower face of cylinder head 34. When this pressure has attained a magnitude great enough to shear screws 32, the latter will break and allow cylinder 39 to move upwardly (FIGS. 3 and 5), thereby moving slips 4t? upwardly and outwardly over the tapered surface of expander 29, and thereby wedgiug slips 4t? into gripping engagement with the wall of casing C, thus anchoring the liner string to the casing.

Since, at this stage of operations, there is no other outlet from the interior of the tubing string, except to eylinder 3f), the fluid pressure thus exerted will act very quickly to anchor the slips. This position is best shown in FIG. 5.

When the slips have been anchored, the tubing string is lowered sufficiently to bring shoulder ring 44 into contact with end ring 27 (FIG. 6) and sufficient weight is applied through the tubing string to move packer body 26 downwardly relative to slips it). Since the latter are now wedged between casing C and expander 29, the latter will remain stationary and the result will be to cause com- At this point, the inner ends of passages 65 pression between end ring 27 and expander 29 of seal member 28, which will then be expanded radially to form a fluid-tight seal between the packer body and the wall of casing C.

Lowering of tubing T in the manner just described, will apply suflicient downward pressure on the cross-over head 48 and releasing sleeve 52 to break shear screws 53 and allow these elements to move downwardly relative to hanger body 20, spring 55 being compressed by this movement. This downward movement of the crossover head and releasing sleeve will bring passages 65 and ports 66 into registration with discharge ports 39 in the hanger body (FIG. 6). Fluid circulation may now .be developed through these registering openings from the interior of the tubing string into the annulus, downwardly therethrough into openings 24 in the screen portion 23 of the liner, and thence upwardly through the open lower end of stem 50. The fluid flowing upwardly through stem 5% will then pass through sleeve valve ports 74 into ports 71 in the cross-over head, and thence through vertical passages 70, from which the fluid will flow upwardly between mandrel 42 and packer body 26 through circulation slots 14a provided in shoulder ring 44 into the annulus between tubing string T and casing C above the seal formed between casing C and packer body 26 by seal member 28. Thus, fluid circulation is reversed, passing downwardly through the tubing and crossing over to the annulus between the liner and the formation face below the casing seal and back up through the interior of the tool assembly to the annulus above the seal. This reverse circulation of the fluid may be employed to additionally wash-out or cavitate the face of formation F, providing an enlarged capacity for gravel in order to increase the thickness and volume of the supporting body of gravel. Gravel G (generally a coarse sand) of the size conventionally employed for this type of well treatment will be introduced with the fluid flowing into the annulus between the formation and the liner, and will be deposited between the liner and the formation face, as indicated in FIG. 6. The gravel, being of such size as not to pass through slots 24-, is, therefore, deposited in the annulus and will fill up this space to whatever height is desired to pack the annulus. Fluid accompanying the gravel will be strained through the gravel and will flow through the openings 24 into the lower end of stem 50 and return to the annulus above the seal member 28 in the manner previously described.

When gravel packing has been completed, as described, the cross-over head, stem 50 and mandrel 42 are withdrawn from the assembly. This is accomplished as illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, by picking up the tubing string sufliciently to raise ports 66 and passages 65 out of registration with discharge ports 39, thereby cutting off the circulation of fluid to the annulus below the casing seal formed by seal member 28. With the tubing string in its elevated position, the string will be rotated to the right a suflicient number of turns to unscrew threads 62 on the cross-over head from threads 63 in the releasing sleeve (FIG. 8), and the operating string, including mandrel 42, cross-over head 48 and stem 50, can then be withdrawn from the hanger and packer structure. When the tubing string is initially picked up and then when these interior elements of the structure are removed, spring 55 will be released from its previously compressed position and will urge releasing sleeve 52 to its uppermost position, thereby maintaining ports 66 out of registration with discharge ports 39 and preventing any by-pass ing of fluid from the exterior to the interior of the assembly.

When the operating string and its connected elements have thus been withdrawn, a production tubing string equipped with a conventional packer may be run into the liner and set therein to provide the production string for the well. This equipment -and its operation are entirely conventional and form no part of the present invention.

It will be understood that when the interior elements of the assembly are withdrawn the weight of the liner will maintain seal member 28 in its set or expanded position.

FIGS. 10 to 16 illustrate another embodiment of the present invention, the differences comprising, primarily, means by which the assembly, as it is run into the well, may be employed to underream the uncased portion of the well bore, and particularly to cut away the surface of formation F, both to remove any surface portions thereof which may have become plugged by mud, and to enlarge the capacity or" the space into which the gravel is to be deposited.

In accordance with this modification, the lower end of liner 22 is modified by replacing shoe 25 by an extension 84 of liner 22. Extension 84% has connected thereto a tubular underreamer body 85, a choke body as slidably mounted in the bore of body 85. the choke body having a restricted axial bore 87 therethrough. Underreamer body 35 has an internal annular shoulder 33 at its lower end limiting the downward movement of choke body 86, and having a central aperture 89 registering with choke bore 87. Underreamer body 85 has a pair of longitudinal slots 90 intermediate its ends on diametrically opposite sides thereof. Pivoted in the upper end of slots 9t? on pivot pins 91 are underreamers 92 which are adapted, when swung outwardly to the position illustrated in FIG. 10, to cut away the wall of well W in response to rotation of the tool assembly. Pawls 93, mounted near the inner ends of underreamers 92, extend into the bore of body 85 and project into an annular recess '94 formed in the exterior of choke body 85 intermediate its ends. The upper end wall 95 of recess 94 is adapted to engage pawls 93 in response to downward movement of choke body 86 to thereby swing underreamers 92 outwardly to the position illustrated. Seals 96 and 97 are provided at the opposite ends of choke body 86 between the choke body and underreamer body at points above and below slots 9t It will be seen that fluid being pumped downwardly through the interior of liner 22 will flow through choke bore 87 and due to the restriction formed by the latter, will urge choke body 86 downwardly, thereby causing underreamer 92 to be projected outwardly.

Secured to the lower end of underreamer body 95 is a shoe 9% having openings 99 therein and provided with a downwardly opening check valve V, of generally conventional form, so that fluid flowing downwardly through bore 87 will pass through valve V and openings 99 into the well bore, the check valve being operative to prevent return flow of fluid therethrough. The lower end of stem 50 is enlarged to form a valve casing we provided near its lower end with radial openings llfil (see particularly FIG. 14). A difierent type sleeve valve 1492 is slidably mounted in valv casing 1th having externally enlarged section 1% adjacent its upper end, fitted with a circumferential seal ring 104 to seal between the sleeve valve and the wall of casing 1% above openings M31. The lower end of valve M92 is engaged by an annular seal W mounted in the wall of casing 1% below ports ltll. Thus fluid entering the interior of casing through ports 1011 will tend to lift valve 102 out of sealing engagement with seal 105 and thereby open the bore of the valve to communication with ports MP1 (FIG. 14). A coil spring 1% is mounted in compression between the uper end of valve casing 10d and sleeve valve 1% to normally urge the latter to its downward or closed position. The lower end of valve casing 100 is provided with a reduced diameter tubular extension 167, which extends slidably through an internal constriction 108 formed in the bore of liner extension 84. Constriction-llilS is provided in its inner periphery with a seal ring M9 to form a fluid-tight seal between extension 107 and constriction 1%.

A further modification is made in the cross-over head and the packer body to provide means for releasably locking the operating string to the hanger body, whereby the operating string may rotate the entire assembly without causing threads 62 and 63 to become disengaged by this operation. For this purpose, the upper end of cross-over head 48 is modified slightly to provide an upwardly extending flange 110, as best seen in FIGS. 12, 15 and 16, which is provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced longitudinal slots 111. Mounted on the inner face of flange 11d, opposite slots 111, are detent arms 112 on the upper ends of which are mounted rectangular lugs 113 which project radially outwardly through slots 111 into registering slots i14- forrned in the lower end of packer body 26 which concentrically surrounds flange llltl. The upper and lower edges 115 and 116 of dogs Eli; are tapered downwardly and upwardly, respectively.

In the running-in position, shown in FIG. 10*, the assembly so far as the positions of the cross-over head 48, releasing sleeve 52, cylinder 3t and the other related parts are concerned, are as previously described. Dogs 113 will be latched into slots 114, as best seen in FIG. 15. As the tool assembly is run into the well, fluid will be circulated downwardly through the bore of the operating string through stem St in exactly the same manner as described. This fluid will flow through the bore of differential valve body res and stem extension 167 and thence through the bore of liner extension 84 and choke bore 87. The restriction formed by the latter will, as previously noted, force choke body 86 downwardly projecting underreamers @2 to the reaming position and the fluid will then pass through valve V and openings Q9 into the annular space between the tool assembly and the well wall. The operating string will be rotated as the assembly is being lowered into the wall from a point below casing C in order to accomplish the underrearning of formation F, as desired. This rotation will not affect the threaded connection between the cross-over head and the releasing sleeve because of the locking engagement of dogs 113 in slots 114.

When underrearning has progressed to the point at which it is to be terminated and the liner assembly is to be set, ball B will be dropped into the bore of the tubing string, just as in the previously described embodiment, and fluid pressure will be exerted through the bore of the string in order to move sleeve valve body 72 to the position corresponding to that shown in FIG. 5, whereupon the anchor can be set in the manner previously described. Following this operation, the tubing string is lowered to the same position illustrated in FIG. 6, at which fluid passages es and ports 65 will register with discharge ports 39, as seen in FIG. 11, in order to establish reverse circulation through the annulus and back up the bore of liner 22. Lowering of the operating string to set shoulder ring 44 on packer body 26 and thereby compress seal 28, will also cause dogs 113 to move downwardly out of locking slots 114-, thus releasing the operating string for rotation relative to the liner hanger.' When circulation into the annulus through discharge ports 39 is begun, carrying gravel G into the annular space between the wall of formation F and liner 22, the fluid will flow through openings 24, as in the previous instance, and will pass through ports lltlll into valve casing ltlfl Where its pressure will be exerted against the larger area of the differential valve defined by enlargement 1%, thereby lifting sleeve valve 1692 to the open position, illustrated particularly in FIG. 14, and allowing the fluid flowing into the liner to flow upwardly through the bore of sleeve valve 102 and thence through stem 50, sleeve valve ports 74 and channels 70, into the annulus above seal member 28, all as in the previously described embodiment.

When the gravel packing has been completed and it-is desired to remove the mandrel 42 and its attached elements from the interior of the liner, the tubing string will be rotated in order to release threads 62 from threads 63. Since dogs 113 will be below and out of engage ment with slots 114, this relative rotation can be effected without any difficulty to thereby release cross-over head 48 from releasing sleeve 52, just as in the previously described embodiment. When this release has been effected, the operating string can be elevated and the tapered end surfaces 115 on the dogs will engage the upper ends of slots 114 and will be forced inwardly against the resistance of detent arms 112 to allow the dogs 113 to pass into the interior of packer body 26, thereby allowing the mandrel and its attached elements to be withdrawn from the liner and leaving the liner in its gravel packed position, as previously described, and ready to receive the operating string in the conventional manner.

Withdrawal of the mandrel and its attached elements will, of course, withdraw the differential valve and the extensions of stem 50 and will leave in the well the reaming elements, as well as valve V, the latter, however, will, of course, close against return circulation of fluid and will create no problem in connection with production, since this will take place through openings 24, all of which will be located above the reaming elements.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that this invention provides a relatively simple assembly of apparatus combining the liner hanger, the liner, and the gravel packing elements in a compact, easily manipulated assembly. The reverse circulation arrangement will also permit circulation of fluid from the interior to the exterior of the assembly below a seal between the inner and outer strings and in the reverse direction, as may be desired.

It will be understood that various modifications and changes may be made in the details of the illustrative embodiments Within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit of this invention.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patents is:

l. A gravel packing assembly for wells, comprising, a liner hanger including a tubular body having means for connecting its lower end to a perforate liner, means including anchor elements and a resilient seal element mounted on the body, means carried by the body cooperating with said anchor and seal elements to actuate the same for anchoring the body to a well wall and for sealing between the body and the well wall, a plurality of radial discharge ports through the wall of said body below the seal means, a tubular mandrel extending through the bore of the body and connectible to an operating pipe, a. generally tubular cross-over head co-axially connected to the mandrel within said bore of the body, said crossover head having a plurality of radial passages communicating between the bore of the head and the exterior thereof, flow passages extending longitudinally of the cross-over head and by-passing said radial passages, the lower ends of said flow passages communicating with the bore of the cross-over head at points below said radial passages, means introducible in the bore of the cross-over head for closing the bore of the cross-over head at a point between the inner ends of said radial passages and said lower ends of said flow passages whereby to direct fluid from the interior of the mandrel above the closure means into the radial passages and fluid from the interior of the mandrel below the closure means into said flow passages, said cross-over head having limited longitudinal movement relative to the hanger body between upper and lower positions adapted to move said radial passages into and out of registration with the radial discharge ports of the hanger body, and means releasably connecting the crossover head to the hanger body.

2. An assembly according to claim 1 including means whereby said anchor elements are fluid pressure-actuated, said last-mentioned means including fluid pressure-responsive means movably mounted on the body in operable relation to said anchor elements, and means for supplying fluid pressure to said fluid pressure-responsive means from the interior of said body.

3. An assembly according to claim 1 including means for actuating said anchor elements by fluid pressure, said means including a cylinder slidably mounted on the exterior of the hanger body, wall-gripping slips carried by the cylinder, an expander mounted on the body above the cylinder to urge the slips outwardly into gripping engagement with the Well wall in response to relative upward movement of the cylinder, and pressure fluid supply channels extending through the wall of the hanger body and communicating between said radial passages and the interior of said cylinder.

4. An assembly according to claim 3 wherein said anchor elements are actuatable by pressure fluid applied thereto through said radial passages after the bore of said cross-over head has been closed.

5. A gravel packing assembly for wells, comprising, a liner hanger including a tubular body having means for connecting its lower end to a perforate liner, means including anchor elements and a resilient seal element mounted on the body, means carried by the body cooperating with said anchor and seal elements to actuate the same for anchoring the body to a well wall and for sealing between the body and the well wall, a plurality of radial discharge ports through the wall of said body below the seal means, a tubular mandrel extending through the bore of the body and connectible to an operating pipe, a generally tubular crossover head co-axially connected to the mandrel within said here of the body, said cross-over head having a plurality of radial passages communicating between the bore of the head and the exterior thereof, flow passages extending longitudinally of the crossover head and by-passing said radial passages, the lower ends of said flow passages communicating with the bore of the cross-over head at points below said radial passages, means introducible in the bore of the cross-over head for closing the bore of the cross-over head at a point between the inner ends of said radial pasages and said lower ends of said flow passages whereby to direct fluid from the interior of the mandrel above the closure means into the radial passages and fluid from the interior of the mandrel below the closure means into said flow passages, said cross-over head having limited longitudinal movement relative to the hanger body between upper and lower positions adapted to move said radial passages into and out of registration with the radial discharge ports of the hanger body, and a sleeve member concentrically interposed between said cross-over head and the inner wall of the hanger body, thread means releasably connecting the crossover head to the sleeve member, said sleeve member having radial openings through the wall thereof registering with said radial passages, means restraining rotation between the sleeve member and the hanger body while permitting said limited longitudinal movement thereof with the cross-over head, and spring means resiliently urging the sleeve member toward said upper position.

6. An assembly according to claim 5 including means whereby said anchor elements are actuatable by pressure fluid applied thereto through said radial passages after the bore of said cross-over head has been closed, said lastmentioned means including fluid pressure-responsive means movably mounted on the body in operable relation to said anchor elements to actuate the latter, and means providing fluid pressure communication between said radial passages and said fluid-responsive means.

7. A gravel packing assembly for wells, comprising, a liner hanger including a tubular body having means for connecting its lower end to a perforate liner, means including anchor elements and a resilient. seal element mounted on the body, means carried by the body cooperating with said anchor and seal elements to actuate the same for anchoring the body to a well wall and for sealing between the body and the well wall, a plurality of radial discharge ports through the Wall of said body below the seal means, a tubular mandrel extending through the bore of the body and connectible to an operating pipe, :1 generally tubular cross-over head connected to the mandrel within said bore of the body, said cross-over head having a plurality of radial passages communicating between the bore of the head and the exterior thereof, flow passages extending longitudinally of the cross-over head and 'by-passing said radial passages, the lower ends of said flow passages communicating with the bore of the crossover head at points below said radial passages, a sleeve member concentrically interposed between said cross-over head and the inner wall of said hanger body, thread means releasably connecting said cross-over head to said sleeve member, said sleeve member having radial openings through the wall thereof registering with the outer ends of the radial passages in the cross-over head when the latter is connected to said sleeve member by said thread means, said cross-over head and sleeve member when connected together having limited longitudinal movement relative to the hanger body to move said registering openings and radial passages into and out of registration with the radial discharge ports of the hanger body, releasable means between the sleeve member and the hanger body initially holding the sleeve member and cross-over head in a position at which said registering openings and radial passages are out of registration with said radial discharge ports, sleeve valve means slidably mounted in the bore of the cross-over head for movement between upper and lower positions respectively closing and opening communication between the bore of said cross-over head and the inner ends of said radial passages and of said lower ends of said flow passages, and closure means introducible through the bore of the mandrel into the bore of the sleeve valve means for closing off the bore of the mandrel at a point between the inner ends of said radial passages and said lower ends of said flow passages when the sleeve valve means has moved to said lower position.

8. A gravel packing assembly for wells, comprising, in combination with a well liner having a perforate screen section, a liner hanger including a tubular body connected to the upper end of the liner, means including fluid pressure actuated anchor elements and a resilient seal element mounted on the body, fluid pressure actuating means carried by the body cooperating with said anchor and seal elements to actuate the same for anchoring the body to a well wall and for sealing between the body and the well wall, a plurality of radial discharge ports through the Wall of said body below the seal means, a tubular mandrel extending through the bore of the body and connectible to an operating pipe, a generally tubular cross-over head co-axially connected to the mandrel within said bore of the body, a tubular stern co-axially connected to the bore of the cross-over head and extending through the interior of the liner to a point adjacent the closed lower end thereof, said cross-over head having a plurality of radial passages communicating between the bore of the head and the exterior thereof, flow passages extending longitudinally of the cross-over head and by-passing said radial passages, the lower ends of said flow passages communicating with the bore of the crossover head at points below said radial passages, means introducible in the bore of the cross-over head for closing the bore of the cross-over head at a point between the inner ends of said radial passages and said lower ends of said flow passages whereby to direct fluid from the interior of the mandrel above the closure means into the radial passages and fluid from the interior of the mandrel below the closure means into said flow passages, said cross-over head having limited longitudinal movement relative to the hanger body between upper and lower positions to move said radial pas sages into and out of registration with the radial discharge ports of the hanger body, and means releasably connecting the cross-over head to the hanger body.

9. In a gravel packing assembly for wells according to claim 8, underreaming means mounted on the lower portion of said liner and rotatable in response to rotation of said assembly as it is lowered into the well for underreaming the wall of the Well bore.

10. A gravel packing assembly for wells according to claim 9 wherein said underreaming means includes underreaming elements outwardly projectible relative to said liner, and means carried by the liner operable in response to fluid pressure applied through the interior of said liner to project said underreaming elements.

References Qited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,207,334 Reynolds et al. July 9, 1940 2,224,538 Eckel et al. Dec. 10, 1940 2,297,308 Layne Sept. 29, 192

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3134439 *Jun 27, 1960May 26, 1964Gulf Oil CorpGravel packing apparatus
US3253655 *Nov 14, 1963May 31, 1966Brown Oil ToolsLiner setting and crossover cementing tool for wells
US3259188 *Nov 18, 1963Jul 5, 1966Shell Oil CoCarbohydrate sand consolidation
US3260309 *May 14, 1965Jul 12, 1966Brown Oil ToolsLiner cementing apparatus
US3291220 *Apr 17, 1964Dec 13, 1966Cicero C BrownHydraulic set liner hanger
US3645335 *Nov 27, 1970Feb 29, 1972Camco IncSliding sleeve assembly for a hydraulically set well packer
US4049055 *Apr 30, 1971Sep 20, 1977Brown Oil Tools, Inc.Gravel pack method, retrievable well packer and gravel pack apparatus
US4180132 *Jun 29, 1978Dec 25, 1979Otis Engineering CorporationService seal unit for well packer
US4540051 *Jan 17, 1985Sep 10, 1985Baker International CorporationOne trip perforating and gravel pack system
US4700777 *Apr 10, 1986Oct 20, 1987Halliburton CompanyDownhole tool
US4745975 *Mar 23, 1987May 24, 1988Larry Ray PriceWater well completion apparatus and method of use
US6752206 *Jul 20, 2001Jun 22, 2004Schlumberger Technology CorporationSand control method and apparatus
US7699105 *May 7, 2008Apr 20, 2010Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Gravel/frac packing
Classifications
U.S. Classification175/230, 166/51, 166/120, 166/212
International ClassificationE21B43/02, E21B43/04
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/045
European ClassificationE21B43/04C