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Publication numberUS3177703 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 13, 1965
Filing dateDec 2, 1963
Priority dateDec 2, 1963
Publication numberUS 3177703 A, US 3177703A, US-A-3177703, US3177703 A, US3177703A
InventorsHelfer Paul E, Jones Marvin R, Waters Louis A
Original AssigneeCameron Iron Works Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for running and testing an assembly for sealing between wellhead conduits
US 3177703 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P 3, 1965 L. A. WATERS ETAL 3,177,703

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RUNNING AND TESTING AN ASSEMBLY FOR SEALING BETWEEN WELLHEAD CONDUITS Filed Dec. 2, 1963 3/a 5/ [GU/J ,4. Wafers 44 g Pau/ f. f/e/fer Marv/r2 R. done: 46 INVENTORJ outlets for the returns in the casing head.

United States Patent O METHOD AND APPARATUS FUR RUNNEJG AND This invention relates to an improved method and apparatus for running an annular assembly into a space between wellhead conduits for sealing thereacross and then testing the assembly for leakage. In one of its aspects, it relates to a method and apparatus especially well suited for running and testing the seal assembly shown' and described in a copending application entitled Wellhead Apparatus," Serial No. 179,400, filed March 13, 1962, by Marvin R. Jones, and assigned to the assignee of the present application.

In this earlier application, a well casing is suspended within and sealed off with respect to the bore of a casing head by means of a casing hanger made up of a separate mandrel and sealing assembly. The mandrel, which is connected to the upper end of the well casing and seated on a bowl in the bore of the casing head, provides flowways which connect the space beneath it with the space above it. In this manner, upon landing of the mandrel to suspend the casing, and as the casing is cemented within the well bore by the circulation of cement downwardly therethrough, the returns are free to pass upwardly through the flow'ways. As explained in the earlier application, such an arrangement is especially well suited for use in underwater Wells, since it does not require side Instead, the returns, upon passage through the flowways, will flow u'pwardly to the water level through the annular space between the cementing pipe connected to the hanger mandrel and the conductor extending upwardly from the easing head.

is also operative to expand a normally collapsed seal ring of the assembly into sealing engagement with the bore of thecasing head.

At any rate, when the seal assembly is so anchored and disposed for sealing across the space between the hanger mandrel and easing head here, it is necessary to test the seal in order to determine if it will hold the desired pressure. For this purpose, it has been the practice to release the running tool from the seal assembly and pull it from Within the wellhead and then run a test tool into the well casing for sealing with respect thereto. The rams of a blowout preventer connected above the casing headare then closed about a tubular conductor on which the test tool is run to iso ate a portion of the wellhead above the seal assembly, and pressure fluid is introduced in the isolated wellhead portion for testing the seal. Even when the test is successful in the sense that the seal assembly holds the desired test pressure, this requires two trips into and out of the we1ll'1ead-one for In the event the seal assembly does not hold the de- 3,177,7h3 Patented Apr. 13, 1965 sired pressure, it is then necessary to pull the test tool and run another tool, which maybe the same one upon which the seal assembly was run, for either further manipulating the seal assembly to tighten the expandable seal ring, or, if necessary, releasing the seal assembly from its anchoredrclationwith respect to one or both of the mandrel and bore and, when required, permitting the seal ring to be collapsed in order that the seal assembly may be pulledfrom within the wellhead. This, of course, results in a repetition of the procedure above mentionedi.e., therunning of a'further seal assembly as well as the rerunning of the tool for testing same. Furthermore, even if the seal assembly can: be. further manipulated to hold the desired pressure, this can only be determined by an additional run of the test tool;

An object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for running and testing a seal assembly of this general type with only one trip into and outof the wellhead.

Another object is to provide a single tool for running such a seal assembly into sealing position within the wellhead, testing it while so disposed, andthen either permitting it to remain within the wellhead, in the event the test is successful, or retrieving it from within the Wellhead ter above described which is of compact and inexpensive construction. y

In the drawings, wherein like reference characters are used throughout to designate like parts:

FIG. 1 is a view, partly in elevation andpartly in vertical section, of a running and testing tool constructed in accordance with the present invention and attached to a seal assembly during lowering of said assembly between the bore of a casing head and a casing hanger mandrel seated within such bore;

P16. 2 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 1, but in which the seal assembly has been run on the tool intothe space for sealing thereacross and anchored with respect toboth the casing hanger mandrel and the bore of the casing head, and further wherein the rams of a blowout preventer connected above the casing head have been closed upon the tubular conductor from which the running tool is suspended so as to isolate a portion of the wellhead above the seal assembly preparatory to testing same;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional View of the running tool and a portion of the seal assembly, as seen along broken line 33 of FIG. 1; and p PEG. 4 is another crosssectional view of the running tool and part of the seal assembly, as seen along broken line 4-4 of FIG. 1.

As more fully sliown and described in the aforementioned copending application, the Wellhead shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and designated in its entirety by reference character 10, including a casing head ll having a bore 12 therethrough and connected at its lower end to the upper end of an outer Well casing 13. As Well known in this art, the Well casing extends downwardly from the Wellhead into the well bore. On the other hand, the

upper end of the casing head 11 is connected to and sealed with respect to the lower end of a spool 14 by means of a coupling 15 or the like and a seal ring 1'6 held theredistance. conductor has a bore therethrough providing a continuabetween. A blowout preventer 17 is connected to the upper end of the spool 14 by bolts 18 extending through their adjacent flanges, and these parts may also be sealed with respect to one another in any suitable manner, such as by means of conventional ring gaskets.

The blowout preventer 17 has rams 19 which are movable between the open positions of FIG. 1 and the closed positions of FIG. 2. In the latter position, recess 20 .on the inner ends of the rams are adapted to seal about a pipe within the bore of the preventer so as to close same, as will be described more fully hereinafter. As shown in FIG. 2, a conductor 21 is connected to the upper end of the blowout preventer by means of bolts 22 and extends therefrom to the upper end of the wellhead, which, in the case of an underwater well, may be a considerable Each of the. spool, blowout preventer, and

tion of the bore 12 through the casing head so as to pass well tools which may be received in the casing head bore.

There is a conical seat 23 within the casing head bore upon which a casing hanger mandrel 23a has been seated to suspend an inner well casing 24 within the outer well casing 13. More particularly, and again as more fully shown and described in the aforementioned copending applications, the mandrel 23 includes an inner tubular portion 25 and an outer portion 25a having a conical surface conforming to the seat 23 and an upper supporting surface 26 at the lower end of an annular space between the upper end of tubular mandrel portion 25 and the bore 12 of the casing head. This annular space is connected to the annular space beneath the mandrel portion 25 and between well casings 13 and 24 by means of flowways 27a formed in the mandrel between ribs connecting its inner and outer portions 25 and 25a.

In the use of this apparatus, the mandrel 23a is lowered through the bore of the wellhead and into seated position by means of a conventional running tool (not shown) adapted to be made up with threads 27 about the upper end of tubular portion 25a of the mandrel. As described in the aforementioned patent application, these threads are preferably of the easy type, so that the running tool threads may be broken out from them upon rotation in a direction opposite to that for making them up without unthreading the connections of the string on which the running tool is suspended. At any rate, when the mandrel has been run and seated, and its running tool has been retrieved from within the wellhead, a seal assembly 28 is run into the wellhead for disposal within the annular space previously described between the mandrel and bore of the casing head. That is, after the inner well casing 24 has been run and cemented in place, as previously described, it is necessary to seal oil the flowways 27a through the mandrel 23a and thus the annular space between the well casings 13 and 24. Although the running and testing tool to be described is particularly well suited for running and testing this particular seal assembly in connection with the space between this particular casing hanger mandrel and casing head, it is contemplated that such tool may have other uses and that, in a broad sense, the upper end of the tubular portion 25 of the mandrel and the bore 12 of the casing head provide spaced wellhead conduits between which this or another seal assembly is to be disposed for sealing thereacross.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the seal assembly 28 includes a sleeve 29 having threads 30 on the lower end of its inner diameter for making up with the easy threads 27 on the hanger mandrel. A gland nut 31 is carried about the sleeve to support a seal ring 31a thereabove, and a conicalexpander 32 above the seal ring 31a supports anchoring slips 33 about its downwardly and outwardly tapering outer surface. As can be seen from a comparison of FIGS. 1 and 2, as the sleeve threads 30 are made up with mandrel threads 27, the lower end of the sleeve 29 moves downwardly into the upper end of the space b 4. tween the inner and outer portions 25 and 25a of the mandrel and nut 31 seats on supporting surface 26 of the outer mandrel portion 25a.

There is a flange 34 extending outwardly from the upper end of the seal assembly sleeve 29 above the anchoring slips 33, so that, as the sleeve continues to make up with the portion 25 of the mandrel, the flange will bear upon the anchoring slips to force downwardly against the expander 32. The expander is in turn forced downwardly against the upper end of the seal ring 31a, so that, by virtue of its support from the nut 31 resting upon supporting surface 26, such seal will expand from the normally collapsed position shown in FIG. 1 to the position shown in FIG. 2 for sealing tightly between the seal assembly sleeve 29 and bore 12 of the casing head. At the same time, the anchoring slips 33 will move downwardly and outwardly along the expander 32 into anchoring relation with respect to the casing head bore.

Thus, upon complete makeup of the seal assembly with respect to the casing hanger mandrel, it is anchored both by the engagement of threads 30 with threads 27 as well as by biting of the teeth of slips 33 into the bore of the casing head. Also, as described in the aforementioned copending application, an O-ring 29a is carried by the sleeve 29 above threads 30 so as to seal against the mandrel portion 25 above threads 27 when the seal assembly is fully made up with the mandrel. This seal, together with the expanded seal ring 31a, will therefore seal across the space between such mandrel portion and the bore of the casing head.

This making up of the seal assembly with respect to the hanger mandrel is responsive to rotation of the seal assembly sleeve in one direction--for example, the right in looking down upon the assembly. As described in the aforementioned copending application, however, the anchoring of the seal assembly to both the hanger mandrel and bore of the casing head, as well as the expansion of the seal ring 31a, may be released upon rotation of the seal assembly sleeve in the opposite directionfor example, to the left. That is, as will be appreciated from the foregoing, initial reverse rotation of the seal assembly sleeve relative to the mandrel will relieve the downward force on the anchoring slips 33 and the seal ring 31a and further rotation will release the threads 30 from the threads 27 so that the seal assembly may, if desired, be retrieved from within the wellhead. As previously noted, this may be necessary in the event the seal assembly will not hold the desired test pressure.

The tool of the present invention is not only capable of running the seal assembly 28 into sealing position and manipulating it in such a manner as to anchor it within the space across which it seals, but is also capable of testing the seal assembly for leakage and then, depending on whether or not the test is successful, either releasing the assembly and retrieving it from the wellhead with the tool or detaching from it to permit it to remain in sealing position within the wellhead as the tool is retrieved. For this purpose, and as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, such tool comprises a body 35 having a chamber 36 with an open upper end for connection with the lower open end of a tubular conductor 37. More particularly, the open upper end of the chamber 36 is threaded to receive the threads 38 about the lower end of the conductor 37, so that the tool body is suspended from such conductor for running with it within the wellhead bore. The tubular conductor may, of course, be raised and lowered as desired by well known hoisting apparatus disposed at the upper end of the wellhead.

The seal assembly 28 is releasably attached to the body of the running and testing tool by means of a plurality of spring-pressed balls 39 received within sockets 40 about the tool body, as best shown in FIG. 4, and pressed outwardly against reduced inner ends of the sockets by means of springs 41 disposed between the back ends of the balls and the inner ends of the sockets. Thus, and

again as best shown in FIG. 4,.the balls 39 are normally urged to a positioninwhich they protrude outwardly from the sockets to engage-beneath an inwardly extending annular flange l2 about the upper end of the seal assembly sleeve 29; More particularly, these balls may be 'pressedinwardly againstthe force of the springs 41 to permit them to be'moved beneath the flange 42 so as to supportthe seal assembly in the manner shown inFIGS.

between the.hanger.mandrel and the casing head bore,

thefthreads 30 on the seal assembly body are free to make up with the threads 27 on the hanger mandrel and the reduced'lower end 43 of the-body is free totmove downwardly inside of the portion of thetmandrel. In this way, an upwardly facing cup-type. packer 4 carried about fromit for reception within radially extending grooves 48 formed in the upper end of the seal assembly sleeve 29. More. particularly, and as will be obvious from the drawings, the torque pins are lined up with the grooves 48 as the seal assembly is releasably attached to the tool body 35 by forcing of the spring-pressed balls 39 beneath the flange 42. Of course, the vertical spacing of the spring-pressed balls and the torque pins will hold the torque pins down within the grooves 48 until such time that the tool body is released from attachment to the seal assembly by forcing of the spring-pressed balls 3'9 from beneath the flange 42.

Upon rotation ofthe tubular conductor 37 so as to rotate the tool body 35, the torque pins 47 will, of course, r nanipul ate the seal assembly sleeve 29 by transmitting torque thereto. Thus, for example, when the seal assembly 28 has been run into the space between the hanger mandrel and the casing head bore, the tool body maybe rotated to the right so as to apply a right-hand torque to the seal assembly body for connecting the threads with the threads 27 on the tubular portion 25 of the hanger mandrel. As previously noted, this making up of the threads 30 and 27 not only anchors the seal assembly with respect to the hanger mandrel, but also expands the seal ring of the seal assembly into engagenient with the casing head bore 12 and anchors the seal assembly with respect to such bore.

When the seal assembly is fully made up with the hanger mandrel, as above described, the packer 44 will be disposedw-ithin the inner well casing 24 to seal between the-tool body and such well casing, as shown in FIG. 2. At this time, the rams 19 of the blowout preventer 1 7 may be moved from the open position of FIG. 1, in which they permitted the seal assembly to be run through the bore of the wellhead, to the closed position of .FIG. 2 in which they seal about the tubular oon ductor 37 and thus across the annular space between the bore ofthe wellhead and thetubular conductor. At this time, the annular portion of the wellhead between the tool body 35 and the-bore of the wellhead, as well as between/the blowout preventer rams 19 and the seal pro- .vided by the seal assembly, is isolated from the remainder of. the. ,wellhead.

' As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, there are a series of ports 49 in the tool body connecting the chamber as therein with the exterior of the body above the sealing engagement of packer 44 with inner mandrel portion 25.

assembly for repair orreplacement.

There is also a port 49min the lowerend portion ofthe tool body which connects the chamber 36 with the body exterior below the seal betweenthe packer and. said mandrel portion. Whenthe tool is used to test in the manner illustrated, the port 49ais closedby aplug 491) so that pressure fluid which is conducted downwardly through the conductor 37and into the chamber 36 of the tool body will be directed outwardly through the ports 49 into.

theisolated wellheadportion. When suchfl uid is ,pressured up to the desired level, the operator can observe whether or not the isolated space holds pressure.

In some cases, however, the operator may notwish to introduce the test pressure through the conductor 37. In particular, he mayv wish toleave the conductor open to the inner casing 24. For this purpose, theplug 49b: may be removed from port .490 and the side ports .,49 may be closed by suitable plugs (not shown). .As a res ult, the chamber 36 will be closed intermediateitsupper end and the seal provided by packer44 so thatitwill. contain test pressure in the isolated wellhead space above the seal assembly. Testpressure .is thenintroduced into such portion from a source outside the Wellhead bore, as by means of a kill line 490 extending fromtheupper end of the wellhead for connection with thebore of the blowout preventer17 beneath the rams thereof. i

If, in either such use of the tool, the test pressureis not held in the isolated wellhead space, the operator knows that the seal assembly 28 may be leaking. He may therefore further rotate the tubular conductor to impose additional torque on the seal assembly sleeve 29 so as to tighten up the seal provided by ring 31 1. If upon further testing pressure fluid continues to leakrfrom the space, the ope'ratonwill prepare to retrieye the seal For this latterpurpose, and upon discontinuing the test pressure and opening of the blowoutpreventerrarns 19,

the operator need only reversedhe direction of rotation of the tubular conductor 37 so as to in,,t urn reverse the direction oftorque for manipulating the seal assembly. That is, as previously described, a leftehandtorque transmitted to the seal assembly sleeve by means of the torque pins 47 will break the threads 30 out from the. threads 27, which will in turn not only release the seal assembly sleeve 2? from the hangermandrel, but also release the slips 33 from anchored relation with respectto the bore of the casing head as well as the expanded sealring 31a from sealing engagement with such bore. Thus, complete breaking out of the threads 30 from the threads 27 will enable the operator to pull the seal assembly with the tool and conductor 37 from within the spacebetween the hanger mandrel and easing head bore. Thus, it is important to note that the running and testing tool of this invention isof suchconstruction that, in the event the test is unsuccessful, it enables the operator to selectively release the seal assembly from the space between the hanger mandrel and casing head bore andthen raise it from the wellhead bore, without releasing theattachment of such seal assembly to the tool.

On the other hand, in the event the test is successful in that there is no leakage from the isolated space, the operator need merely jar upwardly on the tubular conductor 37 so as to lift the spring-pressed balls 39 from beneath the flange 42 on the upper end of the seal assembly body 29. That is, this novel tool construction enables a release of the attachment of the sealing assembly to the tool without releasing the seal assembly from sealing and anchoredposition withinthe space within the annular mandrel and easing head bore.

From the foregoing it willbe seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all of the ends andobjects hereinabove set forth, together with other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the tapparatus and method.

It will be understoodthat certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is I contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.

"into the space between inner and outer conduits within a wellhead and then testing the seal assembly for leakage, comprising a body adapted to be suspended from the lower end of a tubular conductor for lowering the body into the wellhead, said body having a chamber therein with an open upper end for connection with the lower open end of the tubular conductor when suspended therefrom and a port connecting the chamber with the exterior of the body, means on the body for attaching the seal assembly thereabouts so that said assembly may be lowered with the body into the space between the conduits for sealing thereacross, and means about the body v below the attaching means thereon for sealing between the body' and the inner conduit when the seal assembly has been so lowered into said space, whereby a seal may be established between the conductor and the outer conduit above the sealing means about the body to isolate a portion of the wellhead above the seal assembly and pressure fluid may be introduced into said Wellhead portion to test the seal assembly, said attaching means being releasable from the seal assembly to permit the body to be raised With the tubular conductor upon successful completion of the test.

' 2; A tool of the character defined in claim 1, wherein said port connects with the exterior of the body above the sealing means thereabout and the lower end of the body is closed to direct pressure fluid received within the chamber through said conductor into said isolated portion of the wellhead.

3. A tool of the character defined in claim 1, wherein said port connects the chamber in the body with the exterior of the body beneath the sealing means thereabout and the body is imperforate between the sealing means and upper end thereof so as to contain pressure fluid introduced into the wellhead portion.

4. A tool for use in running an annular seal assembly into the space between inner and outer wellhead conduits, anchoring the seal assembly within the space, and then testing the seal assembly for leakage, comprising a body having a chamber therein with an open upper end and a port connecting the chamber with the exterior of the body, means on the body for connecting the open upper end of the chamber to the open lower end of a tubular conductor and supporting the body from the conductor for lowering through the blowout preventer and into the Wellhead therebelow, means on the body for supporting the seal assembly in spaced relation thereabout so that the seal assembly may be lowered with the body into the space between the conduits for sealing thereacross, means on the body for manipulating the seal assembly to anchor it within said space, means carried by the body for sealing between it and the inner conduit upon anchoring of the seal assembly within said space, whereby a seal may be established between the conductor and the outer conduit above the sealing means about the body to isolate a portion of the wellhead above the seal :assembly and pressure fluid may be introduced into said wellhead portion to test the seal assembly, means on the body for 'manipulating the seal assembly to release it from anchored position within said space to permit said assembly to be raised with the body and tubular conductor in the event the test is unsuccessful, said supporting means on the body being releasable from the seal as .sembly so that said body may be raised with said tubular conductor in the event the test is successful.

5.. A tool of the character defined in claim 4, wherein said port connects with the exterior of the body above the sealing means thereabout and the lower end of the body is closed to direct pressure fluid received within the chamber through said conductor into said isolated portion of the wellhead.

6. A tool of the character defined in claim 4, wherein said port connects the chamber in the body with the eX- terior of the body beneath the sealing means thereabout and the body is imperforate between the sealing means and upper end thereof so as to contain pressure fluid introduced into the wellhead portion.

7. A tool for use in running an annular seal assembly into the space between inner and outer wellhead conduits, anchoring the seal assembly within said space, and then testing the seal assembly for leakage, comprising a body adapted to be suspended from a tubular conductor for running the body into the Wellhead, said body having a chamber therein with an open upper end for connection with the lower open end of the tubular conductor when suspended therefrom and a port connecting the chamber with the exterior of the body, means on the body for supporting the seal assembly in spaced relation thereabout so that said assembly may be run with the body into the space bets een the conduits for sealing thereacross, means on the body for transmitting torque in one direction to the seal assembly when so supported about the body so as to anchor said assembly with respect to one of said conduits within said space, means on the body for sealing between it and the inner conduit when the seal assembly is within said annular space, whereby a seal may be established between the conductor and the outer conduit above the sealing means about the body to isolate a portion of the wellhead above the seal assembly and pressure fluid may be introduced into said wellhead portion to test the seal assembly, means on the body for transmitting torque in the opposite direction to the seal assembly while said assembly remains supported from the body so as to release the assembly from anchored relation with respect to the one conduit and permit it to be pulled with said body from within the Wellhead in the event the test is unsuccessful, said supporting means on the body being releasable from the seal assembly so that the body may be pulled from the wellhead independently of the seal assembly in the event the test is successful.

8. A tool for use in running an annular seal assembly into the space between inner and outer conduits within a wellhead, anchoring the seal assembly within said space, and then testing the seal assembly for leakage, comprising a body having a chamber therein with an open upper end, means on the body for suspending it from a tubular conductor for running into the wellhead therebelow and connecting the open upper end of the chamber within the body to the open lower end of the tubular conductor, means on the body for supporting the seal assembly in spaced relation thereabout to permit said assembly to be run with the body into the space between the conduits, means on the body operable, upon rotation of the body in one direction, to transmit torque to the supported seal assembly to anchor said assembly with respect to one of said conduits, means about the body for sealing between it and the inner well conduit when said seal assembly is anchored within said annular space, whereby a seal may be established between the conductor and the outer conduit above the sealing means about the body to isolate a portion of the wellhead above the seal assembly and pressure fluid may be introduced into said wellhead portion to test the seal assembly, and means on the body operable, upon rotation of the body in the opposite direction, to transmit torque to the supported seal assembly for releasing said seal assembly from anchored relation with respect to one of said conduits, whereby, said seal assembly may be raised with the body and tubular conductor in the event the test is unsuccessful, said supporting means on the body being releasable from the seal assem bly to permit said body to be raised with the tubular condnctor from within the Wellhead in the event the test is successful.

, 9. A running and testing tool, comprising a body having a chamber therein with a closed lower end and an open upper end, means on the body about the open upper end of the chamber therein for connection to the lower end of a tubular conductor, an upwardly extending cuptype packer carried about the body, a port in the body connecting the chamber therein with the exterior of the body above the packer, a series of detents spaced apart about the body and spring pressed into positions protrud ing therefrom, and a series of torque pins carried from and spaced about the body for protruding therefrom.

10. A running and testing tool, comprising a body having a chamber therein with a closed lower end and an open upper end, means on the body about the open upper end of the chamber therein for connection to the lower end of a tubular conductor, an upwardly extending cup: type packer carried about the body, a port in the body connecting the chamber therein with the exterior of the body below the packer, a series of detents spaced apart about the body and spring pressed into positions protruding therefrom, and a series of torque pins carried from and spaced about the body for protruding therefrom.

11. A running and testing tool, comprising a body having a chamber therein with a closed lower end and an open upper end, means on the body aboutthe open upper end of the chamber therein for connection to the lower end of a tubular conductor, an upwardly extending cup-type packer carried about the body, first port means in the body connecting the chamber therein with the exterior of the body above the packer, second port means in the body connecting the chamber therein with the exterior of the body below the packer, plugs for selectively closing one of the first and second port means, a series of detents spaced apart about the body and spring pressed into positions protruding therefrom, and a series of torque pins carried from and spaced about the body for protruding therefrom.

12. A method for running an annular seal assembly into the space between inner and outer wellhead conduits and then testing the seal assembly for leakage, comprising the steps of attaching the annular seal assembly about a running tool on the lower end of a tubular conductor, lowering the running tool on the tubular conductor into the wellhead to run the seal assembly into the space between the well conduits for sealing thereacross, establishing a lower seal between the running tool and the inner conduit and an upper seal between the tubular conductor and outer conduit so as to isolate a portion of the wellhead tween the tubular conductor and outer conduit and intermediate the upper and lower seals, conducting pressure fluid into the isolated wellhead portion to test the seal assembly for leakage, and raising the tubular conductor to pull the tool from within the wellhead when, the

test is completed.

13. A method of the character defined in claim 12, iricluding the step of releasing the tool from the seal assembly in the event the test is successful to permit the tool to be pulled independently of the seal assembly.

14. A method of the character defined in claim 12, including the step of maintaining the attachment of the seal assembly to the tool so as to pull the assembly with the tool in the event the test is unsuccessful.

15. A method for running an annular seal assembly into the space between inner and outer wellhead conduits, anchoring the seal assembly within the space, and then testing the seal assembly for leakage, comprising the steps of connecting a running tool having a packer thereabout to the lower end of a tubular conductor, attaching the annular seal assembly about the running tool, lowering the running tool on the tubular conductor into the wellhead to run the seal assembly into the space between the well conduits for sealing thereacross, manipulating the tool to anchor the seal assembly with respect to one of the conduits, establishing a seal between the tubular conductor and the outer conduit so as to isolate a portion of the wellhead between the conductor and outer conduit intermediate the packer and established seal, conducting pressure fluid into the isolated wellhead portion as to test the seal assembly for leakage, and releasing the tool from the seal assembly to permit the tool to be pulled from within the wellhead in the event the test is successful.

16. A method for running an annular seal assembly into the space between inner and outer wellhead conduits, anchoring the seal assembly within the space, and then testing the seal assembly for leakage, comprising the steps of connecting a running tool having a packer thereabout to the lower end of a tubular conductor, releasably attaching the annular seal assembly about the running tool, lowering the running tool on the tubular conductor into the wellhead to run the seal assembly into the space between the well conduits for sealing thereacross, manipulating the tool to anchor the seal assembly with respect to one of the conduits, establishing a lower seal between the running tool and the inner conduit and an upper seal between the tubular conductor and outer conduit so as to isolate a portion of the wellhead between the tubular conductor and outer conduit and intermediate the upper and lower seals, conducting pressure fluid into the isolated wellhead portion so as to test'the seal assembly for leakage, and manipulating the tool to release the seal assembly from anchored relation with respect to the one conduit so that in the event the test is unsuccessful the seal assembly may be pulled with the tool and tubular conductor from within the wellhead.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,334,303 Allen et al Nov. 16, 1943 2,394,977 Boynton Feb. 19, 1946 2,478,628 Hansen Aug. 9, 1949

Patent Citations
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US2394977 *Sep 17, 1941Feb 19, 1946Martin Sida SBottom hole regulator and choke
US2478628 *Jan 27, 1947Aug 9, 1949Shell DevTesting casing heads
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3324951 *Jul 10, 1964Jun 13, 1967Gulf Coast Machine & Supply CoUnderwater wellhead assembly having passages closeable by a sleeve valve
US3335799 *Oct 7, 1964Aug 15, 1967Huntsinger AssociatesWellhead assembly with sealable bypass between the hanger and seat
US3398790 *May 7, 1965Aug 27, 1968Atlantic Richfield CoUnderwater drilling method
US3603385 *Feb 4, 1969Sep 7, 1971Offshore Systems IncMethod and apparatus for removably coupling a blowout preventer stack to an underwater wellhead casing
US3872713 *Jan 31, 1973Mar 25, 1975Exxon Production Research CoCasing seal tester for subsea completions
US3897824 *Sep 5, 1974Aug 5, 1975Cameron Iron Works IncBlowout preventer testing apparatus
US4003434 *Jul 25, 1975Jan 18, 1977Fmc CorporationMethod and apparatus for running, operating, and retrieving subsea well equipment
US4018276 *Jun 14, 1976Apr 19, 1977Continental Oil CompanyBlowout preventer testing apparatus
US4030354 *Feb 27, 1976Jun 21, 1977Scott Kenneth FTesting of ram and annular blowout preventers
US4090395 *Mar 28, 1977May 23, 1978Exxon Production Research CompanyCasing seal and blowout preventer tester and test method
US4132111 *Sep 16, 1974Jan 2, 1979Hasha Malvern MLeak testing method and apparatus for tubular members packer means therefor
US4159637 *Dec 5, 1977Jul 3, 1979Baylor College Of MedicineHydraulic test tool and method
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Classifications
U.S. Classification73/40.50R, 285/100, 166/387, 73/46, 166/378, 166/337
International ClassificationE21B33/04, E21B47/10, E21B33/03
Cooperative ClassificationE21B47/1025, E21B33/04
European ClassificationE21B47/10R, E21B33/04