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Publication numberUS3142339 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 28, 1964
Filing dateJun 30, 1958
Priority dateJun 30, 1958
Publication numberUS 3142339 A, US 3142339A, US-A-3142339, US3142339 A, US3142339A
InventorsBrown Cicero C, Cochran Chudleigh B
Original AssigneeBrown Oil Tools
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hydraulically-actuated well packers
US 3142339 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 28, 1964- c. c. BROWN Em. 43,142,339

HYDRAULICALLY-ACTUATED WELL PACKERS I 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 30. 1958 f July 28, 1964 C. C, BROWN ETAL 3,142,339

HYDRAULICALLY-ACTUATED WELL PACKERS Filed June 30, 1958 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 July 28, 1964 c. c. BROWN ETAL 3,142,339

HYDRAULICALLY-ACTUATED WELL PACKERS Filed June 30, 1958 l 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent O 3,142,339 HYDRAULICALLY-ACTUATED WELL PACKERS Cicero C. Brown and Chudleigh B. Cochran, Houston, Tex., assignors, by direct and mesne assignments, t Brown Oil Tools, Inc., Houston, Tex., a corporation of Texas Filed June 30, 1958, Ser. No. 745,611 14 Claims. (Cl. 16e-122) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in hydraulically-actuated well packers.

The usual well packer ordinarily includes gripping elements or slips which are engageable with the wall of the well bore or the well casing therein to support the packer assembly against downward movement with the bore; but such slips do not function to prevent an upward movement of the assembly within said bore. In certain instanceswhere a portion of the weight of the well pipe or tubing string is utilized to initially expand and subsequently maintain the packing element of the assembly in sealing position, such weight of the string acts to resist upward displacement of the assembly by excessive pressure which may build up therebelow. However, where pressure below the assembly builds upY excessively, the tubing weight may be insuilicent to prevent the undesired upward displacement. Also in those packers where the packing element of the assembly is expanded and maintained in sealing position by a hydraulic pressure, it is not necessary to impose tubing weight on the assembly and pressure from below tends to displace the assembly upwardly. It has, therefore, become the practice to provide holddown means in the form of auxiliary gripping elements or slips for the purpose of retaining the assembly against any upward displacement by pressure from below. In the prior patent to Brown No. 2,765,853, an auxiliary holddown means is illustrated in connection with a mechanically set packer wherein the said holddown means is actuated by the pressure from below the packing element.

It is one object of this invention to provide an improved well packer assembly which is adapted to be set hydraulically and which includes a holddown means in the form of auxiliary gripping elements, for locking the packer assembly against upward displacement within the well bore.

An important object is to provide a well packer assembly wherein the anchoring means and packing element thereof are moved into set position by the application of a hydraulic pressure, together with an auxiliary holddown means which is operated by the same hydraulic pressure which effects setting of the packer.

Another object is to provide a hydraulically-actuated packer assembly having a main anchoring means for supporting the assembly against downward movement within the well bore and an auxiliary holddown means for locking the assembly against upward displacement within the well bore; both the holddown means and the anchoring means being actuated by the same pressure with the structure being such that the holddown means is actuated first after which the anchoring means is moved into gripping position.

Still another object is to provide a packer assembly, of the character described, wherein the operating pressure which actuates the holddown means and the anchoringk means is trapped within a closed area and is maintained against both of said means so long as the packer is in a set position; release of said pressure to allow retractionv of the holddown means and of the anchoring means being effected by a manipulation of the pipe string on` which the assembly is mounted, whereby removal of the packer when desired may be accomplished.

Other objects will appear hereinafter.

3,142,339 Patented July 28, 1964 ICC The construction designed to carry out the invention will be hereinafter described, together with other features thereof.

The invention will be more readily understood from a reading of the following specification and by referencev to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, wherein an example of the invention is shown, and where- FIGURE l is a schematic cross-sectional View of a well packer assembly constructed in accordance with the invention, and illustrating the holddown or auxiliary anchoring elements in set position;

FIGURE 2 is a similar view, showing both the holddown elements and the main slip elements in set position;

FIGURE 3 is a similar View, illustrating the assembly in fully set position with the packing element thereof in sealing engagement with the well casing;

FIGURE 4 is a View, similar to FIGURES l to 3, with the various parts of the assembly in their respective positions during release and removal of the assembly;

FIGURE 5 is a view, partly in section and partly in elevation of the upper portion of the well packer assembly;

FIGURE 5A is a continuation of FIGURE 5 illustrating the lower portion of the assembly;

FIGURE 6 is a horizontal, cross-sectional view, taken on the line 6-6 of FIGURE 5A, and

FIGURE 7 is a horizontal cross-sectional view, taken on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 5A.

In the drawings, the numeral 10 designates the usual well bore (FIGURES l to 4') which is lined with the well casing 11. The improved well packer assembly is adapted to be mounted upon a lowering pipe or mandrel 12 which is connected in the usual well pipe or tubing string T. The packer assembly includes an elastic packing element or sleeve A, an anchoring means in the form of gripping slips'B and an auxiliary holddown means in the form of a plurality of gripping elements C. As will be explained in detail, the holddown gripping elements C, as well as the `anchoring means B and the packing'element A, are adapted to be moved into set position by hydraulic pressure and the sequence of operation of the packer assembly is schematically illustrated in FIGURES l to 3.

Referring to FIGURE l, the well packer assembly has been lowered within the well casing 11 to the desired-position and hydraulic pressure has been applied to the holddown gripping elements C which are shown engaged with the wall of the well casing to prevent an upward movement of the upper portion of the assembly. After the gripping elements C have engaged the well casing, continued applicationv of hydraulic pressure moves the anchoring means or slips B into gripping position with the casing; thereafter, the continued application of pressure is transmitted through a piston element D to the upper end of the elastic packing element A and said element is deformed radially outwardly into sealing contact with the wall of the well casing to close the annular space between the casing and the tubing string T. This position of the parts is illustrated in FIGURE 3, wherein the holddown gripping element C, the anchoring means B and the packing element A are all in their respective set positions. When so set, the anchoring'means B supports the packer assembly against a downward movement within the casing while the gripping element C of the holddown means locks the assembly against upward displacement within the well bore.

It is thus assured that the packer is maintained in its set position at the desired elevation.

As will be explained in detail, release of the pressure acting against the operating piston D of the packing element A, against the slip or anchoring mechanism B and the gripping element C of the holddown is released by a manipulation of the tubing string T. As shown in FIG- URES 1 to 4, the upper end of the mandrel 12, which has connection with the tubing string T, is formed with lefthand threads 13, which engage complimentary left-hand threads 14 at the upper end of the packer assembly. By rotating the tubing T and mandrel 12 to the right, the threads 13 are disengaged from the packer assembly and the tubing string and mandrel may be raised to the position illustrated in FIGURE 4. In such position a pressure release port 15 in the lower portion of the mandrel will permit release of pressure from the area communieating with piston D, anchoring means B and holddown elements C, whereby these parts may return to their normal positions. At the same time, a pressure equalizing port 16 in the upper portion of the mandrel 12 moves above the packer assembly and equalizes pressures across said packer whereby removal is facilitated.

The details of construction of the improved packer assembly are illustrated in FIGURES and 5A. As shown in these figures, the mandrel 12 extends downwardly through the entire packer assembly and the upper end of said mandrel is threaded at 17 to the lower end of the tubing T, the left-hand threads 13 being formed on the external portion of the lower end of the tubing.

The packer assembly proper includes an upper body portion 18 which surrounds the upper portion of the mandrel 12. This body 18 is formed with the internal left-hand threads 14 which co-act with connecting lefthand threads 13 on the tubing T and a suitable seal 19 is formed above this threaded connection. The lower portion of the body 18 is formed with a conical section or slip expander 20 which is preferably made integral therewith. A plurality of radial openings 21 are provided in the body 18 and within each opening 21, one of the holddown gripping elements C are mounted. As shown in FIGURE 5, each gripping element C is substantially cylindrical in cross-section and is formed with external gripping teeth 22. Suitable packing rings 23 seal between each gripping element C and the wall of the opening 21. A coil spring 24, having its inner end confined within a recess 25 of the gripping element and its outer end engaged with a retaining bar 26, functions to normally urge the gripping element C inwardly toward its retracted position, whereby the gripping teeth 22 on the element are within the confines of the external periphery of the body 18.

Above the gripping elements C, the body 18 is formed with a release port or passage 27 which extends radially through the body and which has its inner end communicating with the space between the bore 18a of the body and the external surface of the mandrel 12. A sealing ring 28 mounted in a groove provided in the wall of the bore of the body 18 seals ol between the body and the mandrel below the relief port 27. With the mandrel connected to the body in the manner shown in FIGURE 5, the pressure equalizing port 16 provided in the mandrel is located just below the sealing ring 28 and to seal off this port a second sealing ring 29 is mounted in a groove formed in the wall of the bore of the body 18. It is thus evident that with the parts in the position shown in FIGURE 5, the equalizing port 16 is sealed off; also any pressure introduced into the space between the mandrel 12 and the bore 18a of the body 18 can not pass upwardly past the ring 29. Instead, this pressure will be directed against the inner surface of each of the circular gripping elements C and when this pressure is suicient, each element will be moved radially outwardly against the tension of its return spring 24. It is, therefore, obvious that pressure may be built up with the bore of the body 1S to urge the grirpping element C outwardly into contact with the wall of the well casing in the manner shown in FIGURES 1 to 3.

An elongate tubular sleeve 30 surrounds the mandrel 12 and has its upper end threaded at 31 to the bore of the cone or expander member 2) formed on the lower end of the upper body portion 18. The sleeve 30 extends downwardly and has its lower end threaded externally at 32 to connect with a lower annular body 33. With the upper body 1S of the assembly connected to the tubing T through the left-hand connection of the threads 13 and 14, this body is suspended from or supported by the tubing. The elongate sleeve 30, being attached to the lower end of the body, is also suspended from the tubing and it carries the lower body member 33 at its lower end. Mounted upon the lower body 33 is the annular elastic packing element or sleeve A which, upon the application of endwise pressure, is adapted to be distorted or deformed outwardly into sealing engagement with the wall of the casing. The packing element A surrounds the sleeve 30 and may undergo movement longitudinally with respect thereto upon the application of an Aendwise force to said element. Engaging the upper end of the packing element A is a slidable piston 34 which also surrounds the tubular sleeve 30. The extreme lower portion of the piston 34 has a diameter substantially equal to the normal external diameter of the packing element but the remainder of the piston element is reduced and is conned within a cylinder 35, the lower portion of which surrounds said piston, As is clearly shown in FIGURE 2, the annular piston 34 is, in effect, confined between the tubular sleeve 30 and the cylinder 35 and suitable packing rings 36 and 37 seal between the piston and said sleeve and said cylinder.

The cylinder 35 has its upper end connected to a slip carrying collar 38 and the gripping slips 39 of the anchoring means B have their lower ends attached to the collar 38. The inner inclined surfaces 39a of the slips co-act with the inclined surface 20a of the expander or cone 20 and it will be evident that when the slips move upwardly relative to the cone, said slips are moved radially outwardly whereby gripping teeth 40, formed on said slips, will engage with the wall of the well casing.

Upward movement of the slips 39 with respect to the expander or cone 20 is adapted to be effected by hydraulic pressure which is introduced into the area 41 immediately above the annular piston 34 through a port 42 which is provided in the tubular sleeve 30. The port 42 communicates with the annular space 43 which is formed between the tubular sleeve 30 and the external surface of the mandrel 12. When pressure is introduced into the area 41 above the annular piston 34, this pressure acts downwardly against the upper surface of the piston; at the same time, it acts upwardly against a piston collar 44 which is confined Within the upper end of the cylinder 35 between said cylinder and the sleeve 30, suitable packing rings 45 and 46 sealing off around the piston collar. The upper end of the piston collar is adapted to abut the lower end 38a of the slip carrier and thus the admission of pressure fluid into the area 41 will act against the piston collar 44 in an upward direction and against the annular piston 34 in a downward direction.

The cylinder 35, as explained, surrounds the annular piston 34 and has its lower end connected thereto by a shear pin 47 (FIGURE 5A). When the pressure conducted into the area 41 between the annular piston 34 and the piston collar 44 builds up sufficiently to shear the pin 47, the cylinder 35 is disconnected from the annular piston and the cylinder may be moved upwardly relative to the piston. This upward force is transmitted from the piston collar 44 against the underside of the slip carrier 38, and, thus, the slips are moved upwardly relative to the expander cone 20. At this time, the expander cone 20, being on the body 18, is attached to the tubing and is held stationary by such tubing. Also, the tubular sleeve 30, being attached to the expander cone, carries the lower body portion 33 and holds this body portion stationary. The packing element A and the annular piston 34, being supported upon the body portion 33, are also held stationary during the movement of the cylinder 35 upwardly to effect a setting of the slips. To permit free l?" ai) sliding movement of the piston collar 44 during the slip setting operation, a relief port 48 is formed in the upper end of the cylinder 35 just below the lower surface 38a of the slip carrier 3S.

After the slips 39 have been set, continued application of pressure into the area 41 will result in the application of a force downwardly on the piston 34. Setting of the slips, of course, prevents further upward movement of the piston collar 44 on the sleeve 31B. The downward force exerted against the annular piston 34 after the slips have been set results in moving said piston downwardly and applying an endwise force to the packing element A. The lower body 33 attached to the sleeve 30 and through said sleeve to the stationary cone 20 will support the lower end of the packing element A; and the endwise force applied to said packing element by the movement of the piston 34 moves said packing element into its full sealing position.

For controlling the application of pressure, first to the gripping. element C of the holddown means, then to the gripping slips 39 of the anchoring mechanism B and nally to the packing elementy A, as above described, the body portion 33 which is carried by the lower end of the sleeve 30 includes a valve unit generally indicated at V in FIGURE A. As shown in this ligure, the body 33 is provided with a longitudinal passage 50 having its upper portion reduced at 51; this upper portion communicates through a radial port 52 with the annular space 43 between the mandrel 12 and the sleeve 30. The lower end of the passage 5l)l communicates through the inlet port 15 with the bore of the mandrel 12. The valve unit V, which is insertable within the enlarged portion 50 of the passage, includes a valve body 54 having threaded connection with the passage 5i) by means of the threads 55.

Said valve body has an angular passage 56, the upper end of which is in communication with the reduced portion 51 of passage 50 and is therefore in communication with the port 52 leading to the annular space 43, which is formed between mandrel 12 and sleeve 30. The lower end 56a of the valve passage communicates with the inlet port 15. The passage 56 of the valve body 54 has a pair of valve seats 57 and 58 formed therein, and a springpressed ball 59 is adapted to co-act with the seat 57, while a similar spring-pressed ball 60 co-acts with the seat 58. The valve body 54 is suitably sealed by sealing rings 54a within the passage 50, and the bore of the body 33 is properly sealed with the external surface of the mandrel by sealing. rings 61.

. With the above arrangement, it will be obvious that a communication is established between the bore of the mandrel 12 through inlet port 15, through the valve body 54, past the check valves 5g and 60, and then through passage 51 and port 52 with the annular space 43 between the mandrel 12 and sleeve 30. The valves 59 and 60 function to permit pressure fluid to be forced into the annular space 43 but prevent the pressure from escaping from said space. The annular space 43 extends upwardly throughout the packer assembly and communicates with the space 43a which is formed between the exterior of the mandrel 12 and the bore 13a of the upper body portion 18. In this manner, when pressure uid is introduced through the inlet port from the bore of the mandrel 12, such pressure may enter the annular spaces 43 and 43a to act against the gripping elements C of the holddown means. At the same time, the pressure from the annular space 43 may pass through the port 42 into the area 41, which is that area between the annular piston 34 and the piston collar 44, which parts, as above explained, actuate the anchoring mechanism B and set the packer element A.

It is believed that the operation of the apparatus is obvious from the foregoing. The parts are connected as shown in FIGURES 5 and 5A and are suspended from the tubing string T. The assembly is then lowered into the well casing to the proper position at which the packing element A is to be set. At this time, the

mandrel 12 has its bore completely open so that circu lation downwardly therethrough may be accomplished. The gripping elements C of the holddown means and the slips 39 of the anchoring mechanism B are in their retracted position and the packing element A is in its normal undistorted or nonsealing position.

In order to accomplish a setting of the packer, a suitnble closure in the form of a ball 62 (FIGURE 4) is llropped downwardly through the mandrel and engages a seat 63 formed in the lower portion of the mandrel at some point below the inlet port 15. In place of the ball, any suitable plug or closure could be employed. When the downward llow through the tubing string T and mandrel 12 is halted by means of the ball 62 or other closure, pressure may be built up within the bore of the mandrel and such pressure will be directed through the inlet port 15 in the lower portion of the mandrel and past the check valves 59 and 60 (FIGURE 5A) and finally through port 52 into the annular space 43. This pressure will travel upwardly through the annular space 43 and to the annular space 43a and will also low through port 42 into the area 41 between the annu-v lar piston 34 and piston collar 44.

At this time, the cylinder 35 which surrounds the annular piston is secured theretol by the shear pin 47 and a. predetermined pressure force will be necessary before the cylinder 35 can be moved upwardly to accomplish a setting of the slips 39. The strength of the shear pin 47 is greater than the strength of the return springs 24 which are associated with the gripping elements C of the holddown means. Therefore, as pressure is built up in the annular spaces 43 and 43a, the pressure will initially move the gripping elements C of the holddown means radially outwardly as shown in FIGURE 1. This will occur prior to any movement of the cylinder 35 and, therefore, the upper body portion 18, which is secured to the tubing T, is locked against movement in the well casing as soon as the elements C have their teeth engaged with the wall of the casing and prior to setting of the slips 39 of the anchoring means B.

After engagement of the gripping elements C of the holddown means, continued increase of pressure in the annular space 43 and within the area 41 above the annular piston 34 and beneath the piston collar 44 will shear the pin 47 to permit the piston collar 44 to move upwardly; such movement transmits an upward motion to the slip carrier 3S and cylinder 35 and causes the gripping slips 39 of the anchoring mechanism B to ride upwardly on the expander or cone 20 and thereby move into a set position as illustrated in FIGURE 2.

After the gripping slips 39 have set, further upward movement of the piston collar 44 and cylinder 35 is impossible and the continued application'of pressure within the area 41 will result in a downward force being applied to the annular piston 34. Such downward force slides the piston downwardly along the sleeve 30 and applies a direct endwise force to the upper end of the elastic packing element A to deform the same outwardly into sealing position as illustrated in FIGURE 3. The lower end of the packing element A is, of course, supported by the lower body 33 which is directly attached to the sleeve 30 and said sleeve is supported by the upper body 18 which is firmly anchored against movement in either direction by the gripping elements C of the holddown means and the gripping slips 39 of the anchoring means B.

After the packer is moved into set position, it is possible to remove the ball 62 by reducing pressure in the upper portion of the tubing string so that the formation pressure below the ball will flow said ball to the surface; thereafter normal flow of well fluids through the tubing string may be carriedout. If desired, other types of closures, such as the well-known plug, which may be retrieved by wire line, may be employed in place of tbe ball. Since the check valves 59 and 60 will trap the pressure in the annular spaces 43 and 43a and the area 41, the gripping elements C and the slips 39 will be retained in set position; also the packing element A will remain in its sealing position. Normal operations can, therefore, be carried on through the tubing string and the packer will be held in its proper set position. It is noted that the gripping slips 39 of the anchoring mechanism B support the assembly against downward movement within the well casing while the gripping elements C of the holddown means maintain the packer against upward displacement within the casing. Therefore, any buildup of pressure below the packer can not displace the packer upwardly out of position.

When it is desired to release the packer and remove the same from the well bore, it is only Anecessary to rotate the tubing T to the right and this will result in a disconnection of the left-hand threads 13 and 14 which have connected the tubing to the upper body 18 of the packer assembly. After the tubing is disconnected from the upper body 1S, the tubing string and mandrel are lifted upwardly in the manner shown in FIGURE 4. Such upward movement moves the inlet port 15 upwardly above the upper seal ring 61 and establishes communication between the bore of the mandrel and the lower end of the annular space 43. When such communication is established the pressure which has been trapped in the annular space 43 and the other areas 43a and 41, is relieved and all of the parts may return to their original positions. At the same time that the inlet port 15 is effecting a release of the trapped pressure, the equalizing port 16 has moved first into communication with the port 27 which allows dumping of any liquid above the assembly and effects equalization of pressures above and below the packer, after which said port moves upwardly above the portion 18 of the packer assembly (FIGURE 4) to maintain a communication between the bore of the tubing and the annulus. An abutment or annular shoulder 64 is formed on the lower end of the mandrel below the inlet port 15 and is adapted to engage the lower end of the body 33, whereby the tubing may be utilized to retrieve the entire assembly from the well bore.

From the foregoing it will be seen that a simple and eicient hydraulically-actuated packer is provided Wherein an anchoring means for supporting the packer against downward movement in the well casing and a holddown means for preventing upward displacement of said assembly are both actuated by a hydraulic pressure. The arrangement is such that the gripping elements C of the holddown means are rst actuated to lock the upper portion of the assembly against upward movement; this portion of the assembly carries the expander cone which coacts with the slips of the anchoring mechanism. Thereafter, continued application of the pressure sets the gripping slips of the anchoring means B and then subsequently the packer element is distorted into sealing engagement. The pressure which actuates the various parts is trapped within the area adjacent such parts so that the packer is maintained in its set position without the necessity of holding a pressure within the bore of the tubing string. However, whenever it is desired to release the packer, it is only necessary to manipulate the tubing string to effect a release of the pressure and an equalization of pressures across the entire assembly whereby all of the hydraulically-actuated elements may return to their initial positions. The assembly is then retrieved merely by removing the tubing string from the well bore. Although a particular type of back check assembly is illustrated in FIGURE A, wherein a double check valve arrangement is provided, it is obvious that any suitable type of back check may be employed. So long as the pressure is trapped in the annular space 43 and its communicating areas to assure that the gripping elements, gripping slips and packing element remain in their respective set positions, the purposes of the invention will be accomplished.

The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention is illustrative and explanatory thereof and various changes in the size, shape and materials, as well as in the details of the illustrated construction, may be made within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What I claim is:

1. A well packer assembly adapted to be lowered on a well tubing string within a well bore and including, a tubular support connected in the tubing string, an upper body surrounding the support and connected to the tubing string, radially movable gripping means mounted in the body and movable into gripping position by the application of uid pressure thereto, anchoring means including an expander and co-acting gripping slips surrounding the support below said upper body, pressureoperated means including a piston and cylinder which are movable relative to each other mounted on the support below the anchoring means, an annular packing element having its lower end supported by the tubing string and located below the pressure-operated means, said pressure operated means coacting with said anchoring means and said packing element upon actuation of said pressure operated means to move said gripping slips into gripping position and thereafter apply force to the packing element to set the same, passage means for conducting a pressure fluid from the tubing string and bore of the support to the gripping means of the upper body to actuate said gripping means, and additional means communicating with the passage means for conducting said pressure fluid to the pressure-operated means to actuate the same and thereby move the gripping slips into gripping position and subsequently set the packing element.

2. A well packer as set forth in claim 1, together with means in said passage means for trapping the pressure uid which is acting against the gripping means of the upper body and which is applied to the pressure-operated means, whereby the gripping means, the gripping slips and the packing element will remain in set position even though pressure in the tubing string and support is relieved.

3. A well packer as set forth in claim l, together with means in said passage means for trapping the pressure iluid which is acting against the gripping means of the upper body and which is applied to the pressure-operated means, whereby the gripping means, the gripping slips and the packing element will remain in set position even though pressure in the tubing string and support is relieved, the connection between the upper body and the tubing string being releasable whereby the tubing string and support may be disconnected and moved longitudinally relative to the remainder of the packer assembly, and means in said tubular support and co-acting with the passage means which conducts pressure fluid to the gripping means and to the pressure-operated means operated by such longitudinal movement of the support for releasing the trapped pressure fluid to permit release of the gripping means and gripping slips and to unset the packing element.

4. A well packer assembly adapted to be lowered on a well tubing string and including, a tubular support connected in said tubing string, an upper body surrounding the support and attached to the tubing string, radially movable gripping elements mounted in the upper body and movable outwardly into gripping position by the application of fluid pressure thereto, a slip expander formed on the lower end of the body, gripping slips surrounding the support below the expander and movable relative to the expander to move the slips into gripping position, a sleeve extending downwardly from the expander and surrounding the support in spaced relation to form a passage means, pressure-operated means mounted on the sleeve below the gripping slips and including a piston and cylinder which are movable with respect to each other, a packing element surrounding the sleeve having its upper end engaged by one of the movable members of the pressure-operated' means and its lower end supported by the tubing string, port means for conducting a pressure fluid from the'bore of the tubular support to the passage means and to th'ev gripping elements in the upper body, and additional means for conducting said pressure fluid from the passage means to the pressureoperated means to cause relative movement of the piston and cylinder of said means to thereby move the gripping slips into gripping position and thereafter apply endwise force to the packing element'to distort the same into sealing position.

5. A Well packer assembly as' set forth in claim 4, together with frangible means initially connecting the piston and cylinder of the pressure-operated means to each other to prevent relative movement of the piston and cylinder until suicient pressure is applied to the pressureoperated means to fracture said frangible means.

6. A well packer assembly as set forth in claim 4, together with means in said passage means for trapping the pressure uid which is applied to the gripping elements and to the pressure-operated means, whereby the gripping elements, gripping slips and packing element will be maintained in set position even though pressure in the tubing string and tubular support is relieved.

7. A well packer assembly as set forth in claim 4, together with means in said passage means for trapping the pressure uid which is applied to the gripping elements and to the pressure-operated means, whereby the gripping elements, gripping slips and packing element will be maintained in set position even though pressure in the tubing string and tubular support is relieved, the attachment between the upper body and tubing string being releasable by rotation of the tubing string relative to the body to permit longitudinal movement of the tubing string and support relative to the remainder of the assembly, and means actuated by such longitudinal movement of said support for releasing the trapped pressure iluid acting against the gripping elements and pressure-operated means to thereby release the gripping elements and gripping slips and unset the packing element.

8. A well packer assembly adapted to be lowered on a well tubing string and including, a tubular support connected in said string, an anchoring means including gripping slips and an expander mounted on the support, said slips being movable relative to the expander in a longitudinal direction on the support whereby said slips are moved to a gripping or nongripping position in accordance with their position with respect to the expander, a packing element surrounding the support and having its lower end supported by the tubing string, said packing element being spaced below the gripping slips, a pressure-operated means including a piston and cylinder mounted on the support and interposed between the gripping slips and the packing element, said cylinder and piston being movable longitudinally within limits upon the support, said piston and cylinder being secured one to the gripping slips and the other to the packing element, actuation of said pressure-operated means which moves the piston and cylinder relative to each other first effecting movement of the gripping slips into gripping position and thereafter applying an endwise force to the packing element to distort the same into sealing position, and passage means for conducting a pressure fluid from the tubing string and bore of the support to the pressure-operated means to actuate the same.

9. A well packer assembly as set forth in claim 8, together with frangible means for initially connecting the piston and cylinder of said pressure-operated means to each other, whereby a predetermined pressure must be applied to said operating means to effect relative movement of the piston and cylinder with respect to each other.

10 10. A well packer assembly as set forth in'claim 8, together with means in said passage means for trapping the pressure acting against the pressure-operated means, whereby the gripping slips and packing element remain in set position even though pressure in Athe tubing string and support is released.

11. A well packer assembly including,

a tubular support,

an elastic packing element mounted on said support,

anchoring means mounted on said support for anchoring said packing element against downward movement within a well bore,

holddown means mounted on said support for locking the packing element against upward displacement within said well bore,

passage means communicating-the bore of the support with the holddown means for conducting a fluid pressure to theholddo'wn means to actuate said holddown means and lock said packing element against upward movement in the well bore,

port means communicating with said passage means for conducting the same uid pressure which actuated said holddown means from said passage means to said anchoring means to actuate the same and anchor said packing element against downward movement in the Well bore,

and means for also applying the fluid pressure which has actuated the holddown and anchoring means against said packing element to deform the same into sealing engagement with the well bore to move said holddown means, anchoring means and packing element into fully set position while said support remains stationary.

12. A well packer assembly as set forth in claim 11,

together with means coacting with the conducting means associated with the holddown means and with the anchoring means for trapping the actuating pressure to maintain the holddown and anchoring means and the packing element in set position.

13. A well packer assembly as set forth in claim 11,

together with means coacting with the conducting means associated with the holddown means and with the anchoring means for trapping the actuating pressure to maintain the holddown and anchoring means and the packing element in set position,

and a release port in the support and adapted to be moved into a release position with respect tosaid conducting means for releasing the trapped pressure to thereby unset the holddown and anchoring means and the packing element when the support is moved relative to the remainder of the assembly.

14. A well packer assembly adapted to be lowered on a well tubing string and including,

a tubular support connected in said string,

an anchoring means including gripping slips and an expander mounted on the support,

said slips being movable relative to the expander in a longtiudinal direction on the support whereby said slips are moved to a gripping or non-gripping position in accordance with their position with respect to the expander,

a packing element surrounding the support and having its lower end supported by the tubing string,

said packing element being spaced below the gripping slips,

a pressure-operated means including a piston and cylinder mounted on the support and interposed between the gripping slips and the packing element,

actuation of said pressure-operated means which move the piston and cylinder relative to each other rst effecting movement of the gripping slips into gripping position and thereafter applying an endwise force to the packing element to distort the same into sealing position,

passage means for conducting a pressure uid from the tubing string and bore of the support to the pressure-operated means to actuate the same,

means in said passage means for trapping the pressure acting against the pressure-operated means,

whereby the gripping slips and packing element remain in set position even though pressure in the tubing string and support is released, and

means comprising a release port in the support and movable by manipulation of the support relative to the pressure-operated means for releasing the trapped pressure to thereby release the gripping slips and unset the packing element.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Strom May 23, Baker Apr. 19, Webber Sept. 9, Baker Mar. 10, Ragan et al Nov. 23, Brown Oct. 9, Binkley June 18, Church Sept. 24, Long Dec. 3, Conrad Feb. 4, Dale et al. Sept. 30, Evans July 26, Brown May 2, Brown June 20, Brown Apr. 2,

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Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/122, 166/217
International ClassificationE21B33/1295, E21B33/12
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/1295
European ClassificationE21B33/1295