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Publication numberUS3233675 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 8, 1966
Filing dateDec 14, 1962
Priority dateDec 14, 1962
Publication numberUS 3233675 A, US 3233675A, US-A-3233675, US3233675 A, US3233675A
InventorsElliston Thomas L, Tamplen Jack W
Original AssigneeOtis Eng Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well packers with hydraulic pressure balance
US 3233675 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1966 J. w. TAMPLEN ETAL 3,

WELL PACKERS WITH HYDRAULIC PRESSURE BALANCE Filed Dec. 14 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS Jack W. Tom Ian Thomas L. E listen Fig.2

WELL PACKERS WITH HYDRAULIC PRESSURE BALANCE Feb. 8, 1966 J. w. TAMPLEN ETAL 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 14.

O \\\.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\k m m 0 M M n mm A m y a k m c o w r lav l 7 r W 5 8 .m M F 4 4 .m m C x 4 F United States Patent 3,233,675 WELL PACKERS WITH HYDRAULIC PRESSURE BALANCE Jack W. 'Iamplen, Celina, and Thomas L. Elliston, Dallas,

Tex assignors to Otis Engineering Corporation, Dallas,

Ten, a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 14, 1962, Ser. No. 244,793 15 Claims. (Cl. 166-120) This invention relates to well tools and more particularly to well packers.

An object of this invention is to provide a well packer conneetable in a flow conductor, such as a string of well tubing, to form a section thereof and having packing means for sealing the annulus between two telescoped flow conductors, such as the string of tubing and the well casing of a well in which the string of tubing is disposed.

Another object is to provide a well packer having expandable locking means for locking the well packer against movement in the well casing in either longitudinal direction whereby the well packer may withstand either upwardly or downwardly acting forces without being displaced in the well casing after the packing means has been expanded into sealing engagement with the well casing.

Still another object is to provide a well packer having means exposed to the pressures from above and below the expanded packing means to balance the forces exerted on the string of tubing by such pressures when the pressure in the annulus between the string of tubing and the well casing above the packing means exceeds the pressure in the annulus below the packing means and for causing a downward force to be exerted on the string of tubing when the pressure below the packing means exceeds the pressure above the packing means.

A further object is to provide a well packer having a hold-down means for limiting upward movement of the packing means on a packing mandrel provided with gripping or locking means movable outwardly into gripping relation with the well casing, after the packing means has been moved to expanded position closing the annulus between the string of tubing and the well casing, by the fluid pressure from the well casing below the packing means transmitted thereto through a bypass flow passage of the well packer extending past the packing means.

A still further object is to provide a well packer having means exposed to the fluid pressure from below the packing means through the bypass flow passage to cause a downward force to be exerted on the hold-down means to balance the upward force exerted thereon by such pressure.

Another object is to provide a well packer having an inner tubular member or mandrel connectable in a string of tubing to constitute a section thereof and an outer tubular member disposed about and spaced from the inner mandrel to provide an annular bypass fiow passage past the packing means carried by the outer tubular member, the outer tubular member having ports communicating with the bypass flow passage below and above the packing means, wherein the packer is provided with anchoring means movable outwardly into gripping engagement with the well casing to limit downward movement of the packer means and the outer member is provided with gripping or locking means movable outwardly into locking and gripping position with the well casing by fluid pressure from below the packing means after the packing means has been moved to expanded position to prevent upward movement of the outer member, and wherein the packer is provided with means exposable to fluid pressure from below the packing means through the upper port of the bypass flow passage and also exposable to the fluid pressure from above the expanded packing means for balancing the forces applied to the inner mandrel, and thus to the string of ice tubing, when the pressure in the annulus between the string of tubing and the well casing above the packing elements exceeds the pressure in the annulus below the expanded packing means and whereby the forces applied to the inner mandrel by the fluid pressure in the annulus biases the inner mandrel, and therefore the string of tubing, downwardly when the pressure in the annulus below the packing means exceeds the pressure in the annulus above the packing means.

Still another object is to provide a well packer wherein the means exposable to the fluid pressure includes a floating piston longitudinally movable in an annular chamber between the inner mandrel and the outer member, the floating piston being movable downwardly in the chamber to engage stop means carried by the inner mandrel and exert a downwardly acting force on the inner mandrel, when the fluid pressure above the packing means exceeds the pressure therebelow, to balance the upwardly acting force on the inner mandrel by the fluid pressure above the packing means.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the reading of the following description of a device constructed in accordance with the invention, and reference to the accompanying drawings thereof, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a view, partly in elevation and partly in section, of the upper portion of a well packer embodying the invention showing the anchoring and sealing means thereof in inoperative retracted positions;

FIGURE 2 is a continuation of FIGURE 1 and is a view, partly in elevation and partly in section, with some parts broken away, of an intermediate portion of the well packer;

FIGURE 3 is a continuation of FIGURE 2 and is a view, partly in elevation and partly in section, with some parts broken away, of the lower portion of the well packer;

FIGURE 4 is a view, partly in elevation and partly in section, of the upper portion of the well packer showing the operative elements thereof in the positions assumed thereby when the packer is in operative position in the well casing closing the annulus between the string of tubing and the well casing and the pressure in the annulus below the expanded packing means of the well packer is greater than the pressure in the annulus above the expanded packing means;

FIGURE 5 is a continuation of FIGURE 4 and is a view, partly in elevation and partly in section, with some parts broken away, of an intermediate portion of the well packer;

FIGURE 6 is a continuation of FIGURE 5 and is a view, partly in elevation and partly in section, with some parts broken away, of the lower portion of the well packer;

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary view showing the slot and pin means for controlling the longitudinal movement of the inner mandrel relative to the outer tubular member of the well packer;

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary view, partly in elevation and partly in section, of the upper portions of the well packer illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 7 showing the operative elements thereof in the ositions assumed thereby during removal of the well packer from a well;

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary view, partly in elevation and partly in section, of the upper portions of a modified form of the well packer showing the operative elements thereof in the positions assumed thereby during movement of the well packer into the well; and,

FIGURE 10 is a view similar to FIGURE 9 showing the positions of the operative elements thereof when the packer is anchored in a well casing and the pressure in the annulus between the string of tubing and the well casing above the expanded packing means of the packer exceeds the pressure in the annulus below the expanded packing means.

Referring now particularly to FIGURES 1 through 8 of the drawing, the well packer includes an inner tubular member or main mandrel 21 having a top sub 22 threaded at its upper end. The upper internally threaded portion 23 of the top sub is adapted to receive the lower end of the string of tubing to be secured thereto so that the inner mandrel constitutes and forms a section of the string of tubing to which it is connected. The lower end portion 24 of the inner mandrel is externally threaded so that the usual tail pipe, not shown, may be secured to the lower end thereof, the tail pipe also constituting a section of the string of tubing. The top sub has an internal annular recess in which is disposed an O-ring 25 or other suitable sealing means for sealing between the inner mandrel and the upper sub.

An outer tubular member 26 is disposed about the main mandrel intermediate its ends and includes a lower section or tubular slip expander 27 which is movably secured to the upper section 28 thereof. The upper section of the outer member includes a packing mandrel 29, a holddown body 30 and a cylindrical piston sleeve 31. The hold-down body 30 is provided with internal longitudinally spaced annular recesses in which are disposed the O-rings 32 and 33 which seal between the hold-down body and the packing element mandrel and between the holddown body and the piston, respectively. The lower end of the piston sleeve 31 is threaded into the upper end of the holddown body while the upper end of the packing mandrel is threaded in the lower end of the hold-down body. Downward movement of the slip expander 27 relative to the packing mandrel is limited by the engagement of the lower annular shoulder 34 of the internal annular flange 35 of the cap 36 threaded on the upper end of the slip expander, which projects inwardly of the internal upper annular surface 37 of the slip expander, with the upwardly facing annular shoulder 39 of the external annular flange 40 on the lower end of the packing mandrel.

The packing mandrel 29 is of smaller external diameter than the cap 36 and the resilient packing means or assembly 41, which may consist of a plurality of annular resilient elements 43, is disposed about the packing man drel between the downwardly facing annular lower shoulder or end surface 44 of the hold-down body 30 and the upper annular shoulder or end surface 45 of the cap 36, whereby downward movement of the hold-down body and packing mandrel relative to the slip expander 27 will cause the packing elements to be compressed between the shoulders 44 and 45 and to move to expanded position to engage the internal wall surface of a well casing C to seal between the packing mandrel and the well casing and thus close the annulus between the well casing and the string of tubing in which the well packer is connected.

The outer tubular member and the main mandrel are spaced to provide an annular bypass flow passage between the lower lateral ports 52 of the packing mandrel, and the upper lateral ports 53 of the piston sleeve 31. The ports 52 of the packing mandrel are in communication at all times with the lateral port 54 of the cap 36 so that the lower end of the bypass flow passage is at all times in communication with the annulus between the string of tubing and the well casing below the packing means 41. The inner mandrel 21 has an external annular recess 55 extending between the upper and lower annular shoulders 56 and 57 thereof which increases the efi'ective orifice or cross-sectional area of the annular bypass fiow passage.

The hold-down body 30 is locked or anchored to the well casing C by the locking or anchoring means or plungers 60 slidably disposed in the lateral bores 61 of the holdaiown body which communicate with the annular bypass flow passage. The plungers 60 are provided with external annular recesses in which are disposed the O-rings 62 which seal between the plungers and the annular surfaces of the hold-down body defining the lateral bores so that no fluid may escape from the bypass flow passage through the lateral bores. The outer surfaces of the plungers are provided with upwardly facing teeth or serrations 65 so that, when the plungers are moved outwardly by fluid pressure within the bypass flow passage, the gripping engagement of the upwardly facing serrations or teeth of the plungers with the internal wall surface of the well casing C prevents upward movement of the hold-down body relative to the well casing. Each of the plungers is held in its inner retracted positions, illustrated in FIGURE 1, by the upper and lower leaf spring assemblies 67 and 68 disposed in the longitudinally extending external slots 69 of the hold-down body which communicate with the bores 61. The free ends of the leaf springs extend into the recesses 71 of the plungers and engage the outer surfaces of the plungers. The ends of the leaf spring assemblies remote from the plungers are rigidly secured to the hold-down body by any suitable means, as by the screws 72 which extend through suitable apertures in the leaf spring assemblies into threaded lateral bores of the hold-down body.

A piston cap 75 is threaded on the upper end of the piston sleeve 31 and has an internal annular top flange whose lower end abuts the upper end 76 of the piston sleeve 31 and is provided with an internal annular recess in which is disposed an O-ring 11 or other suitable sealing means which seals between the piston sleeve and the outer surface of the inner mandrel 21 above the shoulder 56. The piston cap also has an annular internal recess adjacent its lower end in which is disposed the O-ring 80 which seals between the piston cap and the external surface of the piston sleeve. The piston cap 75 is disposed in an annular chamber 83 between the piston sleeve and the cylinder sleeve 84 whose upper end is threaded on the lower reduced end of the top sub. The upper end of the annular piston chamber is defined by the bottom end surface 85 of the top sub.

The piston cap 75 and therefore the piston sleeve 31 is releasably held against longitudinal movement relative to the cylinder sleeve and the inner mandrel by a shear screw 87 which extends through a suitable threaded bore 90 of the cylinder sleeve into a suitable lateral bore 91 of the piston cap. The lower end of the annular chamber 83 is defined by the upwardly facing annular shoulder or surface 93 of the internal annular flange 94 of the cylinder sleeve spaced above the lower end thereof. The bottom annular surface of the flange 94 limits upward movement of a seal assembly 96 in the cylinder sleeve. The seal assembly includes an annular spacer ring 97 and a pair of annular resilient seal elements 99 and 100 disposed on opposite sides of the internal flange 102 of the spacer ring. Each of the seal elements 99 and 100 has upper and lower retainer rings 103 disposed on opposite sides thereof. An O-ring 105 disposed in an internal annular recess of the cylinder sleeve 84 seals between the spacer ring 97 and the cylinder sleeve. The seal assembly 96 is held against downward movement in the cylinder sleeve by a seal retainer 107 threaded on the lower end of the cylinder. sleeve and having an internal annular flange 108 which extends inwardly below the seal assembly. The seal assembly 96 with the cylinder sleeve 84 forms a closure means for closing the lateral port 53 at the upper end of the bypass passage 50 when the cylinder sleeve and seal assembly are in their lower positions with respect to the piston sleeve shown in FIG- URES l and 4.

The cylinder sleeve has a lateral port 110 disposed above the piston cap 75 so that fluid pressure from the exterior of the piston sleeve and above the packing assembly 41 is communicated to the upper end of the annular chamber 83. Since no seal means is provided between the external surface of the piston cap and the internal surface of the piston sleeve and since the exopens at all times into the lower end of the chamber 83 so that fluid pressure from the bypass flow passage is communicated or transmitted to the lower end of the chamber and exerts an upward force on the downwardly facing surface of the floating piston 112. The floating piston has an internal annular recess in which is disposed an O-ring 114 which seals between the piston sleeve and the floating piston and an external annular recess in which is disposed an O-ring 115 which seals between the floating piston and the internal surface of the cylinder sleeve. The lower annular end surface 116 of the floating piston is engageable with the upwardly facing shoulder 93 of the flange 94 of the piston sleeve when the floating piston is in its lowermost position.

The upper annular end surface 117 of the floating piston is engageable with the downwardly facing annular shoulder 118 of the piston cap when the floating piston is in its uppermost position on the piston sleeve 31. The floating piston may be provided with a plurality of lateral apertures 119 below the O-rings 114 and to facilitate the transmittal of fluid pressure to the external surface of the floating piston below the external O-ring 115.

The slip expander 27 is connected to a slip carrier ring 120 movably disposed about the inner mandrel 21 and below the slip expander 27 by a plurality of bolts 121 whose lower threaded end portions are received in upwardly opening threaded bores 122 of the slip carrier ring and whose enlarged heads 124 are slidable in the vertical bores 125 of the slip expander. The bores are provided adjacent their lower ends with upwardly facing annular shoulders 126 which engage the downwardly facing annular shoulders 127 of the heads of the bolts to limit downward movement of the slip carrier ring relative to the slip expander. The slip carrier ring is preferably formed of two semi-circular sections 128 and 129 which are connected by means of the tangentially extending socket screws 130 whose heads may engage suitable vertical surfaces of the ring sections 128 and whose threaded ends may be received in suitable threaded bores of the ring section 129.

The slip carrier ring 120 has a plurality of upwardly opening recesses 132 having narrow throats 133 for receiving the T-shaped handles 135 of the slips 136. The slips have upwardly and outwardly beveled inner surfaces 138 which engage the similarly inclined outer cam surfaces 139 of the slip expander. The slip expander is provided on opposite sides of each of the cam surfaces 139 with slots 140 defined by the flanges 141. Each of the slips also has lateral tongues or flanges 143 which are received in the grooves or slots 140 and also have lateral slots 144 in which are received the tongues or flanges 141 of the slip expander. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the slips and expander are of a well known type and that on downward movement of the slip expander relative to the slips, the slips are moved outwardly so that their downwardly facing teeth or serrations 146 engage the internal surface of the well casing in which the packer is disposed. The engagement of the flanges 141 and 143 in the slots 14!) and 144, respectively, guides the movement of the slips and together with the engagement of the T-shaped handles 135 in the recesses 132 of the slip carrier ring, prevents separation of the slips from the packer.

A bow spring assembly or positioning means 150 mounted on the lower end portion of the inner mandrel 21 includes a spring sleeve 152 slidably disposed on the inner mandrel and provided at its upper enlarged end portion with an external recess 154 in which is received the inner annular flange 155 of the slip carrier ring 120.

The upper external flange 156 of the spring sleeve formed by the recess 154 is in turn received in the internal annular recess 158 of the slip carrier ring. It will be apparent that the engagement of the flanges 156 and 155 of the spring sleeve and the slip carrier ring, respectively, limits longitudinal movement of the spring sleeve relative to the slip carrier ring.

The spring sleeve has an upper external flange 160 provided with a. plurality of circumferentially spaced outwardly opening longitudinally extending recesses 162 in which are received the upper flat portions 163 of the vertically extending bow springs 165 circumferentially spaced about the spring sleeve. The upper portions of the bow spring are rigidly secured to the spring sleeve by suitable screws 166 which extend through suitable aper tures in the upper flat portions of the bow springs into suitable threaded lateral bores of the spring sleeve. The spring sleeve also has an intermediate external annular flange 168 provided with a plurality of outwardly opening longitudinally extending recesses 169 in which are receivcd the flat lower free end portions 170 of the how springs whose flat inner surfaces 171 engage the flat surfaces 172 defining the inner ends of the recesses 169. A retainer ring 173 disposed in an anular external recess 174 of the intermediate flange extends about the flange and closes the recesses 169 to prevent outward displace ment of the lower free ends of the bow springs. The intermediate arcuate or bowed portions 175 of the bow spring extend laterally outwardly of the spring sleeve, when the springs are not deformed or deflected inwardly, in positions to engage the internal wall surface of the well casing C when the well packer is inserted into the casing.

Movement of the spring sleeve 152 relative to the main mandrel 21 is controlled by a plurality of guide members 176, which may be in the form of screws threaded in suitable bores of the inner mandrel whose heads or outer portions extend outwardly into the circumferentially spaced or guide slots of the spring sleeve 152. Each of the guide slots has a short otlset upper longitudinal portion 181 defined by the upper downwardly facing arcuate surface or shoulder 182 and the lower upwardly facing arcuate shoulder 183. The upper short portion of the slot is connected to the long longitudinal portion 184 of the control slot by the upper connecting portion 185. Each control slot 180 also includes a lower short longitudinal offset portion 186a whose upper end is defined by the upper downwardly facing arcuate shoulder 186 and whose lower end is defined by the arcuate upwardly facing shoulder 187 of the spring sleeve. The lower offset portion of each control slot is connected to the long longitudinal portion 184 thereof by the connecting portion 188. The upper and lower shoulders 189 and 190 which define the entrance to the connecting portion 188 of the slot converge from the long longitudinal portion 184 toward the lower offset portion 188 to help guide movement of the guide members 176 into the lower offset portion.

When the well packer 20 is to be positioned in a well, the inner or main mandrel 21 thereof is connected to the string of tubing by means of its upper sub 22 and a tail pipe, not shown, is connected to the lower end of the inner mandrel. The piston sleeve, and therefore the upper section 28 of the outer tubular member, is releasably secured against longitudinal movement relative to the cylinder sleeve 84 and the inner mandrel by the shear screw 87. The spring sleeve 152 is now placed in the intermediate longitudinal position on the inner mandrel illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3 and is releasahly held in such position by the guide members 176 which are now disposed in the lower oflset portions 186a of the guide slots 180. Downward movement of the inner mandrel relative to the spring sleeve, and therefore of the slip carrier ring 120, is now limited by the guide members 176 which will engage the lower upwardly facing shoulders 187 of the spring sleeve upon a limited downward movement of the inner mandrel relative to the spring sleeve which is not great enough to permit the slip expander to move downwardly relative to the slips a distance sufficiently great to cause the slips to be moved outwardly and to engage the well casing. Such limited downward movement of the inner mandrel relative to the spring assembly 150 and to the slips 136 which are connected to the spring assembly by the slip carrier ring 120, is not great enough to cause any appreciable outward movement of the slips since the slip carrier ring may move downwardly a limited distance relative to the spring sleeve due to the loose fit of the flanges 155 and 156 of the slip carrier ring and the spring sleeve in the recesses 154 and 158, respectively, and the slips themselves may move a limited distance downwardly relative to the slip carrier ring due to the loose fit of their T shaped handles 135 in the recesses 132 of the slip carrier ring. The engagement of the flanges 141 and 143 of the slip expander and the slips therefore holds the slips in retracted posi tions since the slip expander is held against downward movement on the inner mandrel by the engagement of the shoulders 34 and 39 of the slip expander and of the packing mandrel 29, respectively, and the packing mandrel is held against movement relative to the inner mandrel by the shear screw 87.

As the well packer is lowered into the well casing, the intermediate outwardly extending portions 175 of the how springs engage the internal surfaces of the well casing and tend to resist downward movement of the spring sleeve through the well casing since the inherent span of the bow springs is greater than the inside diameter of the well casing. The lower free ends 170 of the bow springs slide on the flat surfaces 172 to permit deformation or flattening of the bow springs due to the engagement thereof with the well casing. The inner mandrel will therefore move downwardly relative to the spring sleeve a limited distance until the guide members 176 engage the upwardly facing shoulders 187 of the lower offset portions 186:: of the control slots 180 and further downward movement of the inner mandrel will now cause simultaneous downward movement of the spring assembly 150 with the inner mandrel and the slips are moved downwardly with the inner mandrel.

The pressure on both sides of the plungers 60 is now the same and the plungers are held in their inner retracted positions illustrated in FIGURE 1 by their spring assemblies. The plungers and the slips therefore do not engage the internal surfaces of the well casing and do not impede such downward movement of the well packer and of the string of tubing to which it is secured in the well casing.

During downward movement of the tubing string in the well, the upper end of the by-pass flow passage 50 is closed by the closure means, since the cylinder sleeve 84 is now held by the shear screw 87 in the lower position relative to the piston sleeve 31 illustrated in FIGURE 1 with the seal assembly 96 below the port 53 of the piston sleeve. No foreign material may therefore flow upwardly into the by-pass flow passage during such downward movement of the well packer in the well.

When the string of tubing has been moved to the desired depth or location within the well, and if the well is filled with drilling mud, the drilling mud may be washed out by pumping water or other liquid into the well downwardly through the string of tubing and upwardly through the annulus between the casing and the tubing. The annulus is then closed at the surface and the string of tubing is lifted slightly to move the guide members 176 of the inner mandrel to the positions wherein the guide members engage the downwardly facing shoulders 186 of the spring sleeve. The spring sleeve remains stationary during such upward movement of the inner mandrel since the bow springs 165 resist any movement of the spring sleeve in the casing. The string of tubing, and therefore the inner mandrel which is secured thereto, is rotated slightly in a clockwise direction, as seen from above, and

then lowered. During such rotational movement, the guide members 176 move through the connecting portions 188 of the control slots 180 into alignment with the long longitudinal portions 184 of the control slots. Since the spring sleeve now is not forced to move downwardly with the main mandrel because of the guide members 176 may now move downwardly in the long portions of the control slots, the slip expander, the inner mandrel and the outer tubular member 16, which is still secured to the inner mandrel by the shear screw 87, move downwardly relative to the spring sleeve and the slips 136. The slip expander 27 which constitutes the lower section of the outer tubular member moves the slips 136 outwardly to expanded positions wherein their serrations 146 engage the internal wall of the well casing.

When the slips move into engagement with the well casing, further downward movement of the slip expander 27 is arrested. A further downward movement of the tubing string will now cause the shear screw 87 to fail or shear since downward movement of the upper section 28 of the outer tubular member relative to the slip expander is now resisted due to the engagement of the lower end of the packing means 41 with the flange 35 of the cap 36 on the upper end of the now stationary slip expander. The inner mandrel and the cylinder sleeve then move with the tubing string downwardly relative to the outer tubular member 26 until the downwardly facing annular shoulder 195 of the seal retainer 107 of the cylinder sleeve engages the upwardly facing annular end shoulder 196 of the hold-down body 30. Once the shoulders 195 and 196 of the seal retainer and the hold-down body are engaged, further downward movement of the tubing string and of the inner mandrel causes downward movement of the hold-down body and, since the slip expander 27 is now held against further downward movement by the engagement of the slips with the well casing, such downward movement of the hold-down body and of the packing mandrel 29 which is secured thereto, causes the packing elements 43 to be compressed between the shoulders 44 and 45 of the hold-down body and the cap 36 of the slip expander. Such longitudinal compression of the packing elements causes their expansion and sealing engagement with the internal surfaces of the well casing.

Since the string of tubing and the annulus between the string of tubing and the well casing are now closed at the surface by the usual surface controls of the well head, the fluid pressure on opposIte sides of the expanded sealing elements is the same so that the pressure within the bypass tlow passage acting on the inner surfaces of the plungers is equal to and is balanced by the pressure acting on the outer surfaces thereof, the inner and outer surfaces having equal areas. The plungers therefore are held in their retracted position by their spring assemblies. The annulus is then opened at the surface to decrease the pressure above the expanded packing elements. Since the pressure below the expanded packing elements is now greater than the pressure thercabove, the plungers are moved outwardly into engagement with the well casing. The upwardly facing teeth or serrations of the plungers engage the well casing and prevent upward displacement of the hold-down body so that any upwardly acting pressure differential across the expanded packing elements which tends to move the outer tubular member upwardly is also exerted across the plungers and the force with which the plungers engage the well casing is thus simultaneously increased so that the force with which the plungers engage the well casing and resist upward movement of the outer tubular member increases as the force tending to move the outer tubular member upwardly in the well casing increases.

The pressure from the annulus below the expanded packing elements is communicated to the lower end of the annular chamber 83 through the port 53 and, since the upper end of the chamber is exposed to the lower fluid pressure in the annulus above the expanded packing elements through the port 110, the upwardly acting pressure differential moves the floating or auxiliary pistion 112 to its upper position in the chamber 83 illustrated in FIGURE 4 wherein its upper end shoulder or surface 117 engages the lower end shoulder or surface 118 of the piston sleeve cap 75. At this time the higher pressure from the annulus below the expanded packing elements applies an upwardly acting force to the downwardly facing surfaces of the inner mandrel between the inner surface thereof and the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 77 with the external surface of the inner mandrel. Such upwardly acting force however is counterbalanced by the downwardly acting force applied by such higher fluid pressure, communicated to the lower end of the chamber 83 through the bypass flow passage 50 acting across the upwardly facing surfaces, of much greater area, of the cylinder sleeve between the line of sealing engagement of the seal assembly 96 with the piston sleeve 31 and the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 115 of the floating piston with the inner surface of the cylinder sleeve 84. The fluid pressure in the annulus above the expanded packing elements acts across the downwardly facing surfaces of the well packer such as the downwardly facing surface of the top sub which extends from the external surface thereof to the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 115 of the floating pisdrel and the downwardly facing surface of the cylinder sleeve between the line of sealing engagement of the seal assembly 96 with the cylinder sleeve and the line of sealing engagement of the -ring 115 of the floating piston 112. The O-ring 114 of the floating piston is now disposed above the lateral port 53 of the piston sleeve so that the upper end of the by-pass flow passage 50 does not communicate with the annulus above the packing elemcnts. The upward force applied by such fluid pressure to such downwardly facing surfaces of the top sub is balanced however by the downward force applied to the upwardly facing surfaces of the top sub substantially equal in area to such downwardly facing areas. Due to the difference in the areas of the inner mandrel and of the cylinder sleeve to which the higher pressure from below the expanded packing element applies such upwardly and downwardly acting forces, respectively, the greater the difference between the pressures in the well casing above and below the expanded packing elements, the greater is the downward force exerted on the tubing string. Downward movement of the tubing string is of course prevented by the engagement of the lower end of the cylinder sleeve with the upper shoulder 196 of the holddown body.

An upward force is also applied by the higher pressure from below the expanded packing elements to the downwardly facing surfaces of the piston sleeve between the inner surface thereof and the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 115 of the floating piston with the cylinder sleeve. Such upward force of course tends to move the piston sleeve and the hold-down body upwardly. The hold-down body, however, is held against longitudinal movement in the well casing by the plungers 60 and the greater the difference in the pressures above and below the expanded packing elements, the greater is the force with which the plungers are held in gripping engagement with the well casing. The hold-down body is thus held against upward movement in the casing re gardless of the magnitude of the pressure differential in the annulus above and below the packing elements when the pressure below the expanded packing element exceeds the pressure thereabove. it will thus be ap parent that the greater the upwardly acting pressure differential in the well casing across the expanded packing element, the greater will be the downwardly acting force exerted on the cylinder sleeve, and therefore the inner mandrel and the tubing string, by such pressure differential. Such pressure differential will therefore not tend to move or force the string of tubing upwardly in the well whatever its magnitude, and in fact, will tend to move the tubing string downwardly in the well casing.

If the pressure in the annulus above the expanded packing elements now for some reason increases above the pressure below the expanded sealing elements, the plungers 60 are moved by the force exerted thereon by such pressure differential and by the force of their spring assemblies 67 and 68 to their retracted positions so that the plungers thereafter do not prevent upward movement of the upper section 28 of the outer tubular body 26 in the well casing. The force of the now higher fluid pressure above the packing elements exerted across the upwardly facing surfaces of the upper section of the outer tubular member, between the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 77 with the inner mandrel and the line of sealing engagement of the expanded packing elements 43 with the well casing now exerts a downward force on the upper section 28 of the outer tubular member and biases the upper section downwardly so that the packing elements are held in compression and the lower slips are held in their expanded positions. The upwardly acting force applied by the new higher pressure above the expanded packing elements to the downwardly facing surfaces of the cylinder sleeve between the line of sealing engagement of the seal assembly 96 and the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring with the internal surface of the cylinder sleeve, tends to move the cylinder sleeve and therefore the inner mandrel upwardly relative to the outer tubular member and to the spring assembly since the guide members 176 are now in the long portions 184 of the slots. Such upwardly acting force exerted on the cylinder sleeve is however counterbalanced by the downwardly acting force applied to the cylinder sleeve by such higher fluid pressure from the annulus above the expanded packing elements which moves the floating piston downwardly to its lowermost position in the chamber 83 wherein its lower annular shoulder 116 engages the upwardly facing shoulder 93 of the cylinder sleeve and the O-ring 115 thereof engages the piston sleeve above the port 53 so that the upper end of the by-pass flow passage remains closed. The pressure from above the packing elements is exerted on the upwardly facing surfaces of the floating piston between the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 114 with the external surfaces of the inner mandrel 31 of the piston sleeve and the line of sealing engagement of the Oring 115 with the internal surfaces of the cylinder sleeve 84. Such upwardly facing surfaces of the floating piston are equal in area to the area of the upwardly facing surfaces of the cylinder sleeve between the line of sealing engagement of the seal assembly 96 with the piston sleeve and the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 115 with the cylinder sleeve 84. As a result, the upwardly acting or directed forces to which the cylinder sleeve is subjected, due to the pressure above the packing elements being higher than the pressure therebelow, are counterbalanced by the downwardly acting or directed forces of such higher pressure applied to the floating piston and therefore to the cylinder sleeve. As a result, when the pressure in the annulus above the expanded packing elements is higher than the pressure in the annulus therebelow, such pressure differential biases the upper section of the outer tubular member downwardly and tends to compress the packing elements since the lower slips are now in expanded positions and in engagement with the well casing and thus hold the slip expander 27 against downward movement.

If the floating piston were not present in the annular chamber 83 and if sealing means were provided to seal between the piston sleeve cap 75 and the cylinder sleeve, no downwardly acting force would be applied to the cylinder sleeve to counterbalance the upwardly acting force applied thereto by the higher pressure in the annulus above the expanded packing element and such upwardly applied force, if it were great enough, would move the cylinder sleeve, and the inner mandrel and string of tubing to which it is rigidly connected upwardly in the well casing. The lateral ports 53 would be opened and the pressure above and below the packing elements would be equalized through the opened bypass flow passage 50. The provision of the pressure differential responsive means which includes the floating piston 112 which is exposed to the pressure in the annulus from above and below the expanded packing elements ensures that the oppositely acting longitudinally directed forces applied to the inner mandrel are balanced when the pressure above the packing elements is greater than the pressure therebelow.

When it is desired to remove the well packer 20 from the well or to move it to another position in the well, the string of tubing is lifted causing the seal assembly 96 to move upwardly past the lateral port 53 of the piston sleeve 31. The upper end of the bypass flow passage St) is thus opened to the annulus above the expanded packing elements and the pressure across the expanded packing elements is equalized through the bypass flow passage 50. The force exerted by the spring assemblies 67 and 68 of the locking or anchoring plungers 60 is now effective to move the locking plungers to their retracted positions since the pressures across the inner and outer surfaces thereof are now equal. The expanded packing elements now move resiliently to their retracted positions since the upper section 28 of the outer tubular member 26 is now free to move upwardly relative to the well casing. Further upward movement of the string of tubing, and of the inner mandrel and cylinder sleeve which are connected thereto, now moves the inner mandrel and the cylinder sleeve to the upper positions relative to the outer tubular member 26, illustrated in FIGURE 8, wherein the upwardly facing shoulder 93 of the cylinder sleeve engages the lower end shoulder or surface 116 of the floating piston and the upper annular end surface or shoulder 117 of the floating piston in turn engages the downwardly facing end shoulder or surface of the piston cap 75. Continued upward movement of the tubing string and the main mandrel now causes the upper section 28 of the outer tubular member to move upwardly therewith relative to the lower section or slip expander 27 and permits full decompression and retraction of the packing elements until the shoulder 39 of the external annular flange 40 on the lower end of the packing mandrel of the upper section engages the downwardly facing shoulder 34 of the slip expander cap 36. Further upward movement of the tubing string now causes upward movement of the slip expander 21 relative to the slips 136 which are moved inwardly out of engagement with the well casing towards their retracted positions since the slips 136 are held against upward movement due to the frictional engagement of the drag springs of the spring sleeve 152 with the well casing. Such upward movement of the inner mandrel relative to the spring sleeve 152, until the slips are in their fully retracted positions, is permitted by the upward movement of the guide members 176 in the long longitudinal portions 184 of the control slots 180 of the spring sleeve until the guide members move to the upper end of the long longitudinal portions 184 of the control slots and through the upper connecting portions 185 to the upper offset longitudinal portions 181 thereof, the tubing being rotated slightly in a counter-clockwise direction, as seen from above, to permit such movement of the guide members into engagement with the downwardly facing arcuate shoulders 182 of the spring sleeve defining the upper ends of the upper offset portions 181 of the control slots. Further upward movement of the string of tubing will now move the whole well packer upwardly through the well casing.

The well packer may now be removed upwardly from the well or may be moved either upwardly or downwardly to another location in the well wherein it may be reset by again rotating the string of tubing in a clockwise direction while the string of tubing is being lowered to cause the guide members 176 to again move through the upper connecting portions and to the long longitudinal portions 184 of the control slots to again cause the slips 136 to be expanded, the ports 53 of the piston sleeve to be closed by the movement of the sealing assembly 96 below the ports, the packing elements to be compressed and expanded and the lock plungers 60 to be moved into engagement with the internal wall surfaces of the well casing upon the creation of a pressure ditferential thereaeross by the relieving of the pressure in the annulus between the string of tubing and the well casing at the surface of the well.

It will now be apparent that a new and improved well packer has been provided having expandable locking means for locking the well packer against movement in the well casing in either longitudinal direction whereby the well packer may withstand either upwardly or downwardly acting forces without being displaced in the well casing after the packing means has been expanded into sealing engagement with the well casing and that the well packer has pressure responsive means exposed to the pressures in the annulus above and below the expanded packing means for balancing the longitudinally directed oppositely acting forces exerted on the string of tubing by such pressures when the pressure in the annulus above the packing means exceeds the pressure in the annulus below the packing means and for causing such forces to be unbalanced and a downward biasing force to be exerted on the string of tubing when the pressure below the packing means exceeds the pressure above the packing means.

It will further be seen that the well packer includes an inner mandrel 21 connectable in a string of tubing, an outer tubular member disposed about the inner mandrel in spaced relationship thereto providing a bypass flow passage 50 past the packing elements 43 mounted on the outer tubular member, means such as the cylinder sleeve 84 rigid with the inner mandrel and providing with the outer tubular member an annular chamber 83 opening into the bypass flow passage whereby an upwardly facing surface of the cylinder sleeve is exposed to the pressure from the lower end of the bypass flow passage, and a pressure responsive means, such as the floating piston 112 disposed for limited movement in the annular chamber and having oppositely facing surfaces exposed to the pressure from the annulus above and below the packing elements in order that such pressure responsive means apply a downwardly acting force on the cylinder sleeve to balance the upwardly acting force applied thereto when the pressure above the packing elements exceeds the pressure below the packing elements.

It will further be seen that the outer tubular member has means limiting upward movement of the floating piston in the annulus chamber and that the cylinder sleeve has means limiting downward movement of the piston in the chamber so that the floating piston exerts an upward force on the upper section of the outer tubular member when forced upwardly by an upwardly acting pressure differential thereacross and exerts a downward force on the cylinder sleeve when forced downwardly by a downwardly acting pressure differential thcreacross.

The well packer 200 illustrated in FIGURES 9 and i0 is similar in structure to the well packer 20 illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 8 and accordingly elements of the well packer 200 corresponding to those of the well packet 20 have been provided with the same reference numerals, to which the subscript a has been added, as the corresponding elements of the well packer 20.

The well packer 200 is identical in structure in all respects to the well packer 20 except for the structure of the piston sleeve 310, the cylinder sleeve 84a and the piston 112a. The internal annular flange 94a of the cylinder sleeve 84a is of greater height than the internal annular flange 94 of the piston sleeve 84 of the well packer 20 and has an O-ring 202 disposed in an internal recess thereof for sealing between the flange and the piston sleeve above the ports 53a of the piston sleeve 31a when the cylinder sleeve is in the intermediate and lower positions relative to the piston sleeve and the holddown body 30a illustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10, respectively.

The seal assembly 96a seals between the piston sleeve and the cylinder sleeve below the ports 53a when the upper section 28a of the outer tubular member is held against longitudinal movement by the shear screw 87a and when the cylinder sleeve is in its lowermost position wherein the downwardly facing end shoulder or surface 1950 of the seal retainer 107a engages the upwardly facing end shoulder or surface 196a of the hold-down body 300. The bypass flow passage 500 communicates at its upper end with the annular chamber 83a through the lateral port 203 of the piston sleeve located immediately below the external annular piston flange 204 thereof. The piston sleeve has an internal annular recess in which is disposed an O-ring 205 which seals between the piston sleeve and the inner mandrel 21a and with an external annular recess in which is disposed an Oring 206 which seals between the piston flange and the internal surfaces of the cylinder sleeve below the port 110a of the cylinder sleeve. The cylinder sleeve has a lateral port 208 which communicates the lower end of the annular chamber 83a with the exterior of the cylinder sleeve. An annular floating piston 1120 in the annular chamber 83a has an internal annular recess in which is disposed an O-ring 114a which seals between the floating piston and the piston sleeve and an external annular recess in which is disposed an O-ring 1150 which seals between the piston and the cylinder sleeve above the lateral port 208 thereof.

The well packer 200 is connected to a string of tubing and operated in exactly the same manner as the well packer 20. The main or inner mandrel 21a of the well packer 200 is connected to the string of tubing by means of its upper sub 22a and a tail pipe is connected to its lower end. The piston sleeve 31a and therefore the upper section 28a of the outer tubular member 26a is releasably secured against longitudinal movement relative to the inner mandrel and to the cylinder sleeve 84a by the shear screw 87a. The well packer 200 is lowered into the well casing until it is at the desired position therein whereupon the string of tubing is rotated to free the inner mandrel for downward movement relative to the spring sleeve to cause the slips to move to their expanded positions and the lower or slip expander section of the outer tubular member to be held against downward movement. Further downward movement of the tubing string their causes the shear screw 87a to shear since downward movement of the upper section 280 of the outer tubular member is now resisted due to the engagement of the lower end of the packing means with the slip expander. Once the shear screw 87a shears, the inner mandrel and the cylinder sleeve are moved with the tubing string downwardly relative to the outer tubular member until the downwardly facing annular shoulder 195a of the seal retainer 107a engages the upwardly facing annular end shoulders 196a of the hold-down body 30a. Once the shoulders 195a and 196a of the cylinder sleeve 84a and the hold-down body are engaged, further downward movement of the tubing string and of the inner mandrel causes downward movement of the hold-down body and, since the slip expander is now held against further downward movement by engagement of the slips with the well casing, such downward movement of the hold-down body and of the packing mandrel causes the packing element to be compressed and expanded into sealing engagement with the internal surfaces of the well casing. Since the longitudinal flow passages of the string of tubing and the annulus between the string of tubing and the well cas' ing are now closed at the surface by the usual surface controls of the well head, the pressure on opposite sides of the expanded sealing elements is the same so that the pressure within the bypass flow passage 50a acting on the inner surfaces of the plungers 60a is equal to the pressure acting on the outer surface thereof. The inner and outer surfaces of the plungers 60a having equal areas, the plungers are in their retracted positions. The annulus is then opened at the surface to decrease the pressure above the expanded packing elements. Since the pressure below the expanded packing elements is greater than the pressure thereabove, the plungers are moved outwardly into engagement with the well casing and their upwardly facing teeth or serrations a prevent upward displacement of the hold-down body. The pressure from the annulus below the expanded packing element is now communicated to the chamber 830 through the bypass flow passage 50a and the port 203 of the piston sleeve and the pressure from the annulus above the expanded packing elements is communicated to the lower end of the annular chamber 83a through the port 208 of the cylinder sleeve. Since the areas of the upwardly and downwardly facing surfaces of the piston sleeve between the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 1140 with the piston sleeve 31a and the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 1150 with the internal wall surfaces of the cylinder sleeve 84a are equal, the pressure differential to which the floating piston 1120 is thus subjected causes the floating piston to move to the lower position illustrated in FIGURE 9. At this time, therefore, the higher pressure from the annulus below the expanded packing elements applies an upwardly acting force to the downwardly facing surfaces of the inner mandrel between the inner surface thereof and the line of sealing engagement of the O-ring 205 with the external surface of the inner mandrel. Such upwardly acting force however is counterbalanced by the downwardly acting or directed force applied by such higher fluid pressure, communicated to the chamber 83a above the floating piston 1120 through the bypass flow passage 50a, exerted across the upwardly facing surface of much greater area of the floating piston. The floating piston transmits such downward force to the cylinder sleeve 84a due to the engagement of its lower end shoulder or surface ll6a with the upwardly facing annular shoulder 93a of the internal annular flange 94a of the cylinder sleeve. It will therefore be apparent that the greater the difference between the pressures in the annulus below and above the expanded packing elements when the pressure below the expanded packing elements is greater than the pressure thereabove, the greater will be the downward force exerted on the cylinder sleeve and therefore the inner mandrel and the string of tubing. Downward movement of the tubing string is now prevented by the engagement of the lower end of the cylinder sleeve with the upper shoulder 196a of the hold-down body.

If the pressure in the annulus above the expanded packaging elements now for some reason increases above the pressure therebelow, the plungers 600 are moved to the retracted positions by the force exerted thereon by such pressure differential and by the force of their spring assemblies which bias them inwardly toward retracted position so that the locking plungers of the well packer 200 now cannot prevent upward movement of the upper section 28a of the outer tubular body 26a in the well casing. The now higher pressure from the annulus above the expanded packing element now exerts an upward force on the downwardly facing surfaces of the cylinder sleeve between the line of sealing engagement of the seal assembly 96a with the piston sleeve 31a and the external surface of the cylinder sleeve. This higher pressure, however, is also applied to the upwardly facing surface of the cylinder sleeve through the port 208 between the line of sealing engagement with the O-ring 202 with the piston sleeve and the external surface of the cylinder sleeve. Since the areas of these two upwardly and downwardly facing surfaces of the cylinder sleeve are equal and are both exposed to the higher pressure in the annulus above the expanded sealing means, the iongitudinally oppositely acting forces exerted thereon by sttch pressure are now balanced and do not tend to move the cylinder sleeve, and therefore the inner mandrel and the tubing string, upwardly regardless of the value of the pressure differential across the expanded packing elements. The floating piston 112a is now moved upwardly to the position illustrated in FIGURE [0 wherein its up ward movement is stopped by the engagement of its upper end shoulder or surface 1170 with the downwardly facing annular shoulder 209 of the piston flange 204 and the floating piston exerts an upward force on the upper section of the outer tubular member. The area of the upwardly facing surfaces of the upper section of the outer tubular member exposed to the higher pressure of the annulus above the expanded packing elements and lying between the line of sealing engagement 205 of the piston sleeve and the line of sealing engagement of the packing elements with the internal surfaces of the well casing C is of course much greater than the area of the downwardly facing surface of the floating piston exposed to such higher pressure. The pressure differential in the annulus across the expanded packing elements therefore now biases the upper section of the outer tubular member downwardly and biases the packing elements toward their expanded positions.

It will therefore be seen that the well packer 200, like the well packer 20, has pressure responsive means, such as the floating piston 112a, exposed to the pressure in the annulus above and below the expanded packing means to balance the opposite longitudinal forces exerted on the string of tubing by such pressures when the pressure in the annulus above the packing means exceeds the pressure below the packing means and for causing a downward biasing force to be exerted on the string of tubing when the pressure below the packing means exceeds the pressure above the packing means.

It will further be seen that the downward biasing force in the form of the well packer embodying the invention illustrated in FIGURES l to 8 is exerted directly on an upwardly facing surface of the cylinder sleeve, and in the form of the well packer illustrated in FIGURES 9 and I0 indirectly by means of the floating piston; and that the downward balancing force is applied to the cylinder sleeve, and therefore to the inner mandrel, when the pressure above the expanded packing elements is greater than the pressure therebelow, indirectly by means of the pressure responsive means or floating piston 112a in the well packer illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 8 and directly across the upwardly facing surface of the cylinder sleeve through the port 208 in the well packer illustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10.

It will therefore be apparent that the pressure responsive means or floating pistons of the well packers and 200 cause the pressure differential across the expanded packing elements to provide a biasing force tending to move the inner mandrel and the tubing string downwardly in the well when the pressure below the packing elements is greater than the pressure thereabove and cause the upwardly and downwardly acting forces applied by such pressure differential to the inner mandrel to be substantially equal or balanced so that substantially no upwardly or downwardly acting force is applied to the tubing string by the pressure in the annulus when the pressure above the packing elements is greater than the pressure therebelow, and that in the former case the longitudinally acting force exerted on the inner mandrel and the string of tubing by the pressure differential tends to compress the packing elements and hold them, and in the latter case the pressure differential acting on the upper section of the tubular member also tends to compress the packing elements and move them into expanded scaling engagement with the well casing.

It will further be seen that the illustrated and described well tool embodying the invention is employed to seal between two telescopable inner and outer flow conductors, such as a string of tubing and a well casing or two strings of tubing, and that it includes a tubular member or mandrel connectable in the inner flow conductor to constitute a section thereof, an outer tubular member mounted on the mandrel for limited movement relative to the mandrel and having anchoring means 60 and 136 and sealing means 41 movable into anchoring and sealing engagement, respectively, with the outer flow conductor, the well tool having a bypass fiow passage 50 past the sealing means and opening to the exterior of the well tool on opposite ends of the sealing means, closure means comprising the seal assembly 96 and cylinder sleeve 84 on the mandrel closing the upper end of the bypass flow passage, and pressure responsive means 112 limitedly movable relative to and engageable with the outer tubular member and the closure means and exposed to the pressure from the bypass flow passage, and therefore from below the sealing means, and also to the pressure from above the sealing means for causing a downward force to be applied to the mandrel, and therefore to the inner flow conductor, when the pressure below the sealing means exceeds the pressure therea bove and for causing the oppositely directed longitudinally acting forces exerted on the mandrel by the pressure in the outer flow conductor to be balanced when the pressure above the sealing means exceeds the pressure below the sealing means.

It will further be seen that the anchoring means of the outer tubular flow conductor may include the lock plungers 60 mounted on the upper section of the outer tubular member and the slips 136 which may be considered to be carried or mounted on the lower or slip expander section of the outer tubular member due to the engagement of the flanges 141 of the slip expander in the recesses 144 of the slips and of the slips and of the flanges 143 of the slips in the recesses of the slip expander.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory only, and changes in the details of the construction illustrated may be made by those skilled in the art, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

l. A well packer for use within a well casing of a well including: a tubular mandrel; an outer tubular member disposed about said mandrel and having upper and lower sections movable longitudinally relative to each other, said mandrel and said lower section having cooperable means for locking said lower section of said outer tubular member against downward movement within a well casing; means releasably securing said upper section to said mandrel and against downward movement relative to said lower section, said upper section of said outer tubular member having seal means disposed thereabout engageable with said lower section and movable into expanded sealing engagement with the well casing upon downward movement of said upper section relative to said lower section; means on said upper section for expanding said seal means; eoengageable means on said upper section and said mandrel for moving said upper section downwardly upon downward movement of said mandrel after said lower section has been locked against downward movement in a well casing, said outer tubular member and said mandrel being spaced to provide a bypass flow passage past said seal means opening to the exterior of said well packer above and below said seal means; closure means carried by said mandrel initially closing said bypass flow passage to the exterior of the well packer above said seal means, said closure means being movable relative to said outer tubular member to open said bypass flow passage to the exterior of said well packer above said seal means upon upward movement of said mandrel relative to said upper section; lock means carried by said upper section of said outer tubular member and movable outwardly by fluid pressure in said bypass flow passage to lock the upper section against movement in a well casing; and pressure responsive means including cylinder means having therein piston means mounted on said upper section for limited movement relative to said upper section and said closure means, said piston means having opposite surfaces exposed to the pressure of the fluid from the exterior of said well packer above and below said seal means, the pressure of fluids from below said seal means, the pressure of fluids from below said seal means, in said cylinder means of said pressure responsive means acting on one surface of said piston means and on said closore means for exerting a downward force on said closure means when such pressure below said seal means exceeds the pressure thereabove; the pressure from above said seal means within said cylinder means of said pressure responsive means acting on the opposite surface of said piston means for exerting a downward force on said closure means which balances the upward force exerted on the mandrel of the packer by the pressure above the seal means when such pressure above the seal means exceeds the pressure therebelow.

2. A well packer including: a tubular mandrel; an outer tubular member disposed about said mandrel for limited movement relative thereto; expandable seal means carried by said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said mandrel having cooperable means for expanding said seal means into sealing engagement with a well casing and locking said outer tubular member against downward movement in the well casing; means operatively associated with said mandrel and said outer tubular mandrel releasably holding said cooperable means in position wherein said seal means is in retracted position on said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said mandrel being spaced to provide a bypass fiow passage adapted to communicate with the exterior of said well packer at opposite ends of said seal means, said cooperable means including means carried by said outer tubular member exposed to fluid pressure within said bypass fiow passage and movable outwardly into expanded well casing engaging position by fiuid pressure within said bypass flow passage; closure means carried by said mandrel closing said bypass flow passage to the exterior of the well packer at one end of said seal means and opening said bypass flow passage upon predetermined movement of said mandrel in one longitudinal direction relative to said outer member; means on said mandrel engageable with said cooperable means of said outer tubular member for expanding said seal means upon movement of said mandrel relative to said outer tubular member in a direction opposite said one direction; and pressure responsive means including cylinder means carried by said mandrel and piston means disposed between said cylinder means and said outer tubular member, said piston means being movable relative to said outer tubular member and said closure means and having opposite surfaces exposed to pressures from the exterior of the well packer on opposite ends of said seal means, said piston means coacting with said closure means for exerting biasing force on the mandrel in said one direction by pressure from the exterior of the well packer on one end of said seal means when said pressure on said one end of said seal meansexceeds the pressure exterior of the mandrel of the packer on the opposite end of said seal means, the pressure from exterior of the packer on said opposite end of said seal means acting on said opposite surface of said piston to move said piston to a position to exert a force on said closure means which balances the force exerted on said packer by said pressure from said opposite end of said seal means when said pressure exceeds the pressure acting on said one end of said seal means.

3. A well packer including: an elongate tubular mandrel; positioning means carried by said mandrel and having means engageable with the well casing for yieldably resisting downward movement of said positioning means through the well casing; an outer tubular member mounted on said mandrel, said mandrel being movable longitudinally with respect to said outer tubular member and said positioning means, said mandrel and said positioning means having control means for controlling movement of said mandrel relative to said positioning means and said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member having upper and lower sections mounted on said mandrel for limited longitudinal movement relative to one another; cooperable locking means on said lower section and said positioning means for locking said lower section against downward movement in a well casing upon predetermined movement of said mandrel relative to said positioning means; means releasably securing said upper section to said mandrel in an upper position relative to said lower section, said upper section of said outer member having seal means engageable with said lower section and movable into expanded sealing engagement with a well casing upon downward movement of said upper section relative to said lower section, said outer tubular member and said mandrel providing a bypass flow passage opening to the exterior of said well packer above and below said seal means; closure means carried by said mandrel and movable therewith for opening and closing said bypass flow passage to the exterior of the well packer above said seal means; lock means for locking said upper section against upward movement in a well casing operable by pressure in said bypass flow passage when said bypass fiow passage is closed by said closure means; and pressure responsive means including cylinder means carried by said mandrel and piston means disposed between said outer tubular member and said cylinder means, said piston means being movable relative to said outer tubular member, said piston having a first surface exposed to the pressure within said bypass flow passage and having a second surface exposed to the pressure from the exterior of said well packer above said seal means, said piston means and said closure means exerting a downward biasing force on said mandrel when the pressure below said seal means exceeds the pressure above said seal means, said piston exerting a downward force on said closure means on said mandrel to balance the upward force applied to the mandrel by the pressure from exterior of the well packer above the seal means when such pressure above said seal means exceeds the pressure below said seal means.

4. A well packer including: a tubular mandrel; positioning means carried on said mandrel and having means engageable with a well casing for yieldably resisting movement of said positioning means through the well casing, said mandrel being movable longitudinally relative to said positioning means, said mandrel and said positioning means having control means for controlling movement of said mandrel relative to said positioning means; an outer tubular member, said outer tubular member having upper and lower sections mounted on said mandrel for limited longitudinal movement relative to one another; means releasably securing said upper section to said mandrel in an upper position relative to said lower section, cooperable locking means on said lower section and said positioning means for locking said lower section against downward movement in a well casing upon a predetermined movement controlled by said control means of said mandrel relative to said positioning means, said upper section of said outer tubular member having seal means engageable with said lower section and movable into expanded sealing engagement with the well casing upon downward movement of said upper section relative to said lower section; lock means carried by said upper section, said outer tubular member and said mandrel providing a bypass flow passage opening to the exterior of said well packer above and below said seal means; closure means carried by said mandrel and movable therewith for opening and closing the said bypass flow passage to the exterior of said well packer above said seal means, said lock means being operable by fluid pressure in said bypass flow passage when the said bypass flow passage is closed to the exterior of said well packer above said seal means by said closure means, for locking said upper section against upward movement in the well casing, said closure means and said upper section providing a chamber, said upper section having piston means disposed in said chamber, said bypass flow passage communicating with said chamber below said piston means; pressure responsive means movable in said chamber and engageable with said piston means when in one extreme longitudinal position in said chamber; said pressure responsive means being engageable with said closure means when in another extreme longitudinal position in said chamber, said well packer having means communicating said chamber with said bypass flow passage and with the exterior of said well packer above said seal means; said pressure responsive means having opposed surfaces thereon, one surface being exposed to pressure from the exterior of the well packer above the seal means, the opposite surface being exposed to pressure from the exterior of the well packer below said seal means, whereby said pressure responsive means is moved to one extreme position to exert a longitudinally acting force in one direction on one of said piston means and said closure means when the pressure differential across said pressure responsive means biases said pressure responsive means in said one direction, and whereby said pressure responsive means is moved in the opposite direction to a second extreme position to exert a longitudinally acting force in said opposite direction on the other of said piston means and said closure means when the pressure differential across said pressure responsive means biases said pressure responsive mean in said opposite direction.

5. A well packer including: a tubular mandrel; positioning means married on said mandrel and having means engageable with a well casing for yieldably resisting movement of said positioning means through the well casing, said mandrel being movable longitudinally relative to said positioning means, said mandrel and said positioning means having control means for controlling movement of said mandrel relative to said positioning means; an outer tubular member, said outer tubular member having upper and lower sections mounted on said mandrel for limited longitudinal movement relative to one another; oooperable locking means on said lower section and said positioning means for locking said lower section against downward movement in a well casing upon a predetermined movement controlled by said control means of said mandrel relative to said positioning means, said upper section of said outer tubular member having seal means engageable with said lower section and movable into expanded sealing engagement with the well casing upon downward movement of said upper section relative to said lower section; means releasably securing said upper section to said mandrel in an upper position relative to said lower section, lock means carried by said upper section, said outer tubular member and said mandrel providing a bypass flow passage opening to the exterior of said well packer above and below said seal means; closure means carried by said mandrel for closing the said bypass flow passage to the exterior of said well packer above said seal means, said closure means being movable with said mandrel upon upward movement of said mandrel relative to said outer tubular member to open said bypass flow passage to the exterior of the well packer above said seal means, said lock means being operable by fluid pressure in said bypass flow passage when the said bypass flow passage is closed to the exterior of said well packer above said seal means by said closure means, for locking said upper section against upward movement in the well casing, said closure means and said upper section providing a chamber, said upper sections having piston means disposed in said chamber, said bypass flow passage communicating with said chamber below said piston means; pressure responsive means movable in said chamber and having opposed pressure responsive surfaces thereon, said pressure responsive means being engageable with said piston means when in one extreme longitudinal position in said chamber, said pressure responsive means being engageable with said closure means when in another extreme longitudinal position in said chamber, said well packer having means communicating said chamber with said bypass flow passage and with the exterior of said well packer above said seal means to expose opposed surfaces of said pressure responsive means to pressures from the exterior of the well packer above and below said seal means whereby said pressure responsive means is moved to one extreme position to exert a longitudinally acting force in one direction on one of said piston means and said closure means when the pressure differential across said pressure responsive means biases the pressure responsive means in one direction and to exert a longitudinally acting force in a direction opposite said one direction on the other of said piston means and said closure means when the pressure difi'erential across said pressure responsive means biases said pressure responsive means in said direction opposite said one direction.

6. A well packer including: a tubular mandrel; an outer tubular member disposed about said mandrel for limited movement relative thereto; means releasably securing said outer tubular member against movement relative to said mandrel; expandable seal means carried by said outer tubular member. said outer tubular member and said mandrel having cooperable means for expanding said seal means into sealing engagement with the well casing and locking said outer tubular member against movement in the well casing, said outer tubular member and said mandrel being spaced to provide a bypass flow passage communicating with the exterior of said well packer on opposite ends of said seal means, said oooperable means including means carried by said outer tubular member exposed to pressure within said bypass flow passage and movable outwardly into expanded well casing engaging position by pressure within said bypass flow passage; closure means carried by said mandrel closing said bypass flow passage to the exterior of the well packer on one end of said seal means and opening said bypass flow passage upon predetermined movement of said mandrel in one longitudinal direction relative to said outer member, said closure means being engageable with said cooperable means of said outer tubular member for expanding said seal means upon movement of said mandrel relative tosaid outer tubular member in a direction opposite said one direction, said outer tubular member and said closure means having means providing a chamber therebetween, said upper section having piston means defining one end of said chamber, said closure means having laterally extending means defining the other end of said chamber; pressure responsive means movable in said chamber and having opposed pressure responsive surfaces thereon, said pressure responsive means being engageable with said piston means when in one extreme longitudinal position in said chamber and with said laterally extending means when n a second extreme longitudinal position in said chamber, said well packer having means communicating saad chamber with said bypass flow passage and with the exter or of said well packer above said seal means whereby satd opposed surfaces of said pressure responsive means are exposed to the pressure from the exterior of the well packer above and below said seal means, said pressure responsive means being moved to one extreme position to exert a longitudinally acting force in one direction on one of said piston means and said closure means when the pressure differential across said pressure responsive means biases the pressure responsive means in one direction and being moved to the other extreme position to exert a longitudinally acting force in a direction opposite said one direction on the other of said piston means and said closure means when the pressure difierential across said pressure responsive means biases said pressure responsive means in said direction opposite said one direction,

7. A well packer including: a tubular mandrel; an outer tubular member disposed about said mandrel for limited longitudinal movement relative thereto; means releasably securing said outer tubular member against movement relative to said mandrel; expandable seal means carried by said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said mandrel having cooperable means for expanding said seal means into sealing engagement with the well casing and locking said outer tubular member against movement in the well casing, said outer tubular member and said mandrel providing a bypass flow passage extending past said seal means and communicating with the exterior of said well packer on opposite ends of said seal means, said cooperable means including means carried by said outer tubular member exposed to pressure within said bypass llow passage and movable outwardly into expanded well casing engaging position by pressure within said bypass flow passage; a cylinder sleeve carried by said mandrel and telescoped in spaced relation to and over an upper end portion of said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said cylinder sleeve having opposed laterally extending means defining opposite ends of an annular longitudinally extending chamber between said upper end portion of said outer tubular member and said cylinder sleeve; and an annular floating piston movably disposed in said chamber and engageable with said laterally extending means, said outer tubular member having port means opening from said bypass flow passage into said chamber at one end thereof, said cylinder sleeve having port means opening from the exterior of the well packer into said chamber at the other end thereof whereby the pressure from the exterior of the packer below and above said seal means is communicated to said chamher and applied to opposed end surfaces of said piston means.

8. A well packer including: a tubular mandrel; an outer tubular member disposed about said mandrel for limited longitudinal movement relative thereto; means releasably securing said outer tubular member against movement relative to said mandrel; expandable seal means carried by said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said mandrel having cooperable means for expanding said seal means into sealing engagement with the well casing and locking said outer tubular member against movement in the well casing, said outer tubular member and said mandrel providing a bypass fiow passage extending past said seal means and communicating with the exterior of said well packer on opposite ends of said seal means, said cooperable means including means carried by said outer tubular member exposed to pressure within said bypass flow passage and movable outwardly into expanded well casing engaging position by pressure within said bypass flow passage; a cylinder sleeve carried by said mandrel and telescoped in spaced relation to and over an upper end portion of said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said cylinder sleeve having opposed laterally extending means defining opposite ends of an annular longitudinally extending chamber between said upper end portion of said outer tubular member and said cylinder sleeve; and an annular floating piston movably disposed in said chamber and engageable with said laterally extending means, said outer tubular member having port means opening from said bypass flow passage into said chamber at one end thereof, said cylinder sleeve having port means opening from the exterior of the well packer into said chamber at the other end thereof whereby the pressure from the exterior of, the packer below said seal means is communicated to said chamber on one end of said piston means and applied to said one end surface of said piston means, and pressure from the exterior of said packer above said seal means is communicated to said chamber on the opposite end of said piston means and applied to the opposite end surface of said piston means; and closure means sealing between said cylinder sleeve and said outer tubular mandrel below said port means and said chamber when the mandrel and cylinder sleeve are in lower position relative to said outer tubular member whereby said bypass flow passage is not in communication with the exterior of said well packer when said cylinder sleeve is in a lower position relative to said outer tubular member and whereby said port means of said outer tubular member is open to the exterior of the well packer above said seal means when said mandrel and cylinder sleeve are in upper position relative to said outer tubular member.

9. A well packer including: a tubular mandrel; an outer tubular member disposed about said mandrel for limited longitudinal movement relative thereto; means releasably securing said outer tubular member against movement relative to said mandrel; expandable seal means carried by said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said mandrel having cooperable means for expanding said seal means into sealing engagement with the well casing and locking said outer tubular member against movement in the well casing, said outer tubular member and said mandrel providing a bypass flow passage extending past said seal means and communicating with the exterior of said well packer on opposite ends of said seal means, said cooperable means including means carried by said outer tubular member exposed to pressure within said bypass flow passage and movable outwardly into expanded well casing engaging position by pressure within said bypass flow passage; a cylinder sleeve carried by said mandrel and telescoped in spaced relation to and over an upper end portion of said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said cylinder sleeve having opposed laterally extending means defining opposite ends of an annular longitudinally extending chamber between said upper end portion of said outer tubular member and said cylinder sleeve; and an annular floating piston movably disposed in said chamber and engageable with said laterally extending means, said tubular member having port means communicating said bypass flow passage with the lower end of said chamber below said floating piston, said cylinder sleeve having port means communicating the exterior of the well packer above said seal means with the upper end of said chamber above said floating piston.

10. A well packer including: a tubular mandrel; an outer tubular member disposed about said mandrel for limited longitudinal movement relative thereto; means re leasa bly securing said outer tubular member against movement relative to said mandrel; expandable seal means carried by said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said mandrel having cooperable means for expanding said seal means into sealing engagement with the well casing and locking said outer tubular member against movement in the well casing, said outer tubular member and said mandrel providing a bypass flow passage extending past said seal means and communicating with the exterior of said well packer on opposite ends of said seal means, said cooperable means including means carried by said outer tubular member exposed to pressure within said bypass flow passage and movable outwardly into expanded well casing engaging position by pressure within said bypass flow passage; a cylinder sleeve carried by said mandrel and telescoped in spaced relation to and over an upper end portion of said outer tubular member, said outer tubular member and said cylinder sleeve having opposed laterally extending means defining opposite ends of an annular longitudinally extending chamber between said upper end portion of said outer tubular member and said cylinder sleeve; and an annular floating piston movably disposed in said chamber and engageable with said laterally extending means, said laterally extending means of said cylinder sleeve having means closing the upper end of said bypass flow passage when said mandrel is in a lower position relative to said outer tubular member, said outer tubular means having port means communicating said bypass flow passage with said chamber below said laterally extending means of said outer tubular means, said cylinder sleeve saving port means communicating the upper end of said chamber with the exterior of said well packer above said seal means.

11. A well tool for sealing the annulus between an inner flow conductor telescopable in an outer flow conductor including: a tubular mandrel connectable in an inner flow conductor to constitute a section thereof; an outer tubular member on said mandrel, said outer tubular member having anchoring means movable into anchoring engagement with an outer flow conductor means for releasably holding said anchoring means in retracted position and out of anchoring engagement with an outer flow conductor and releasing said anchoring means for movement toward anchoring engagement upon movement of said mandrel relative to said outer tubular member; sealing means on said outer tubular member movable into sealing engagement with the outer flow conductor, the well tool having a bypass flow passage extending past the sealing means, said well tool having a bypass flow passage extending past the sealing means and opening to the exterior of the well tool above and below said sealing means; closure means closing the bypass flow passage to the exterior of the well tool above the sealing means; and pressure responsive means movable relative to and engageable with said outer tubular member and said closure means, said pressure responsive means having opposite surfaces exposed to the pressure from exterior of the well tool below the sealing means through said bypass flow passage and to the pressure from the exterior of the well tool above the sealing means, said pressure responsive means being engageable with one of said closure means and said outer tubular member to cause a downward force to be applied to the mandrel when the pressure from the exterior below the sealing means exceeds the pressure above the sealing means and being engageable with the other of said closure means and said outer tubular member to cause oppositely directed longitudinally acting forces exerted on the mandrel to be balanced when the pressure from the exterior of the well tool above the sealing means exceeds the pressure below the sealing means.

12. The well tool of claim 11 wherein said outer tubular member includes an upper section and a lower section longitudinally movable relative to each other, said anchoring means including first means exposed to the pressure within said bypass flow passage and movable outwardly thereby into anchoring engagement with the outer flow conductor for preventing upward movement of said upper section in the outer flow conductor and second means cooperable with said lower section and movable outwardly to anchoring engagement with the outer well flow conductor; and third means carried by said mandrel cooperable with said second means for arresting downward movement of said second means upon predetermined movement of said mandrel relative to said third means whereby downward movement of said lower section relative to said second means moves said second means into anchoring engagement with the outer flow conductor, said sealing means being engaged by said upper and lower sections and movable into sealing engagement with the outer flow conductor upon longitudinal movement of said upper section relative to said lower section.

13. The well tool of claim 12, and means releasably securing said upper section against movement on said mandrel and said closure means in position closing said bypass flow passage.

14. A well packer including: a mandrel; casing gripping members on said mandrel; expander means on said mandrel engageable with said gripping means for moving said gripping means to gripping position engaging a well casing upon relative movement therebetween; sealing means on said mandrel above said gripping means; means on said gripping means and said mandrel engageable with said sealing means r moving said sealing means to expanded sealing position upon relative movement therebetween; means releasably holding said gripping means and said expansible means against movement relative to said mandrel locking means on said mandrel above said sealing means having means expansible by fluid pressure into locking engagement with a well casing for holding the sealing means in expanded sealing position and the gripping means in gripping position; fluid bypass passage means exteriorly of said mandrel and interiorly of said sealing means communicating with said locking means for conducting fluid pressure from below said sealing means to said locking means to hold said locking means in locking position; closure means operatively connected to said mandrel and said locking means for opening and closing the upper end of said bypass passage means, said closure means closing said bypass passage to cause fluid pressure to act on said locking means and being movable to open said bypass passage to release fluid pressure therefrom to release said locking means; and fluid pressure actuated cylinder means and piston means on said mandrel and said locking means, said piston means being longitudinally movable relative to said mandrel and said locking means, said piston means having an upwardly facing surface exposed to fluid pressure from above said sealing means and a downwardly facing surface exposed to fluid pressure from below said sealing means through said bypass passage means, said piston means engaging said closure means to exert a downward force on said mandrel when moved by fluid pressure to a lower position relative to said mandrel when the pressure above said sealing means exceeds the pressure therebelow, said piston means engaging said locking means to exert an upward force on said locking means when moved to an upper position relative to said mandrel and said locking means when the pressure below said sealing means exceeds the pressure thereabove for holding said locking means and said mandrel in locked sealing position.

15. A well packer including: a mandrel: an outer tubular member disposed about said mandrel, said mandrel and said tubular member providing an annular passage therebetween, said outer tubular member having an upper section and a lower section mounted on said mandrel for limited longitudinal movement relative to each other and said mandrel; means releasably securing said upper section to said mandrel against movement relative thereto, said lower section and said mandrel having means operable upon longitudinal movement of said mandrel relative to said lower section for locking said lower section in a well casing against downward movement; sealing means on said upper section, said upper and lower sections having means engageable with said sealing means for moving said sealing means into scaling engagement with a well casing upon downward movement of said upper section relative to said lower section; holding means on said upper section movable outwardly by fluid pressure in said passage to engage a well casing to lock said upper section against movement in said well casing; means yieldably holding said holding means against outward movement relative to said upper section, said upper section having a lateral port opening to said annular passage above said sealing means, said mandrel having a sleeve extending downwardly over an upper end portion of said upper section, said upper section having outwardly extending means providing a downwardly facing annular shoulder, and said sleeve having inwardly extending means providing an annular upwardly facing shoulder spaced below said annular shoulder of said upper section; an annular piston longitudinally movably disposed about said upper section in said sleeve between said shoulders,

25 said shoulders being engageable by said piston to limit longitudinal movement of said piston relative to said outer tubular member and said sleeve; closure means sealing between said sleeve and said upper section below said upwardly facing shoulder of said sleeve and below said port; and means sealing between said upper section and said mandrel above said port to close said passage, said passage being in communication with the exterior of said outer tubular member below said sealing means on said upper section, said mandrel having port means above said piston through which pressure from the exterior of the packer above said sealing means is communicated to the upper end of said piston, whereby when said sealing means is in sealing engagement with the well casing and fluid pressure in the casing above said sealing exceed the pressure below the sealing means the piston is moved downwardly to engage said upwardly facing shoulder of said sleeve to exert a downwardly acting force on said mandrel to counterbalance the upwardly acting force exerted by the fiuid pressure in the annulus above said sealing means applied to downwardly facing areas of said mandrel above said sealing means, and whereby the pressure in the .vell casing below the sealing means communicated through said passage and said lateral port to said sleeve below said piston is exerted on upwardly facing :areas of said sleeve to provide a downwardly actin-g force on said mandrel.

CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Exmniner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3288219 *Jun 11, 1964Nov 29, 1966Schlumberger Well Surv CorpWell packing apparatus
US3305022 *Aug 9, 1965Feb 21, 1967Schlumberger Technology CorpWell packing apparatus
US3306360 *Aug 9, 1965Feb 28, 1967Schlumberger Technology CorpControl apparatus for well tool anchor
US3306361 *Jun 11, 1964Feb 28, 1967Schlumberger Technology CorpDouble set hydraulic anchor
US3338308 *Aug 10, 1964Aug 29, 1967Otis Eng CoWell packer and anchor therefor
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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/120, 166/134
International ClassificationE21B33/12, E21B33/1295
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/12955
European ClassificationE21B33/1295F