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Publication numberUS3239008 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 8, 1966
Filing dateNov 5, 1962
Priority dateNov 5, 1962
Publication numberUS 3239008 A, US 3239008A, US-A-3239008, US3239008 A, US3239008A
InventorsKurt Leutwyler
Original AssigneeBaker Oil Tools Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hydraulically set tandem packer apparatus
US 3239008 A
Images(10)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 8, 1966 K LEUTWYLER 3,239,008

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United States Patent 3,239,008 HYDRAULICALLY SET TANDEM PACKER APPARATUS Kurt Leutwyler, Whittier, Calif., assignor to Baker Oil Tools, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Nov. 5, 1962, Ser. No. 235,351 26 Claims. (Cl. 166-119) The present invention relates to subsurface well bore equipment, and more particularly to well packer apparatus adapted to be set in -a well bore primarily for the purpose of conducting well production to the top of the hole.

An object of the invention is to provide improved multiple zone well production apparatus including a plurality of packers adapted to be run in tandem in a well bore and set therein for conducting well production from different zones separately to the top of `the well bore, the Iapparatus allowing the tubular strings attached Ithereto be connected to the equipment at lthe top of the well prior to setting of the well packers, thereby enabling circulating fluid to be pumped around the packers to remove the drilling mud from the well bore with the packers in an unset condition, after which the well packer can be set without disturbing the ,top connections.

Another object of the invention is to provide multiple zone well production apparatus including a plurality of well packers in tandem associated with parallel tubular strings extending to the top of the well bore, the well packers being set in the well bore hydraulically, but in which hydraulic setting cannot occur until the well packers have been properly conditioned after having reached their setting locations.

A further object of the invention is to provide multiple Zone well production apparatus including a plurality of well packers in tandem associated with parallel tubular strings extending to the top of the well bore, the well packers being set in .the well bore by the hydrostatic head of iiuid in the well bore, which is initially prevented from setting the packers until they have been appropriately conditioned after having reached their setting locations.

An additional object of the invention is to set well packers -in a well bore, which are associated with tubular strings extending to the 1top of the well bore, without significant movement of any tubular string, the packers being set after reaching their setting locations in the Well bore and without disturbing such setting locations.

Yet another object of the invention is to set well packers selectively in a well bore, which are associated with tubular strings extending to the top of .the well bore, after the packers have been lowered to their desired setting locations in the Well bore, setting of one packer being accomplished without significant or any movement of another packer in .the Well bore.

This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other objects which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of a form in which it may be embodied. This form is shown in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification. It will now be described in detail, for the purpose of illustrating .the general principles of the invention; but it is to be understood that such detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Referring to the drawings:

FIGURES la, lb, 1c yand 1d together constitute a side elevational view of multiple zone well production appara-tus set in packed-oli condition in a well casing, FIG. 1b being a lower continuation of FIG. la, FIG. 1c being 3,239,008 Patented Mar. 8, 1966 ice a lower continuation of FIG. 1b, and FIG. ld being a lower continuation of FIG. 1c;

FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f and 2g together constitute a longitudinal section, parts being shown in side elevation, of the apparatus illustrated in FIGS. la, lb and 1c with the parts in their initial position and prior to setting of the packers in the Well bore, FIGS. 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f and 2g being lower continuations of FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e and 2f, respectively;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary longitudinal section through a portion of the hydraulic actuating mechanism of a well packer prior to its setting in the well casing;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing Athe hydraulic mechanism after the Well packer has been set in inthe Well casing;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-section taken 'along the line 5 5 on FIG. 2b;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-section taken along the line 6 6 on FIG. 2b;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross-section taken along the line 7-7 on FIG. 2b;

FIGS. 8a and 8b together constitute a longitudinal section through a' portion of the hydraulic actuating mechanism constituting part of the uppermost Well packer, conditioned for subsequent hydraulic setting of the upper well packer, FIG. 8b being a lower continuation of FIG. 8a;

FIGS. 9a and 9b are views similar to FIGS. 8a and 8b, illustrating .the portion of the upper Well packer after the well packer has been anchored in packed-oli condition in the well casing;

FIGS. 10a, 10b, 10c, 10d, 10e and 10]c constitute a longitudinal section, parts being shown in side elevation, of the apparatus anchored in packed-oli condi-tion in the Well casing, FIGS. 10b, 10c, 10d, 10e and l0)c being lower continuations of FIGS. 10a, 10b, 10c, 10d and 10e, respectively;

, FIG. 1l is an enlarged longitudinal section through a lower portion of the intermediate packer showing the parts in their relative positions after the packers have been set;

FIG. 12 is a View corresponding to FIG. 2e showing a selective valve device in another condition of operation;

FIG. l13 is an enlarged cross-section taken along the line 13-13 on FIG. la;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged cross-section taken along the line 14-14 on FIG. la;

FIG. l5 is an enlarged longitudinal section, parts being shown in side elevation, of the lock portion of the well apparatus; and

FIG. 16 is an isometric projection of the lock sleeve forming a portion of the well packer apparatus.

The apparatus is illustrated in the drawings in connection with the conducting of production from separate zones A, B, C in a well bore W to the top of the well bore along separate paths through parallel tubular strings D, E. As shown, .there are three longitudinally spaced producing zones in the well bore, namely, a lower zone A, an intermediate zone B, and an upper Zone C, and eachV of these zones is communicable with the interior of the well casing F disposed in the well bore through suitable casing perforations 10, 11 12. A lower packer 13 of any suitable type is anchored in packed-off condition in the well casing F between the lower and intermediate casing perforations 10, 11. An intermediate packer 14 is to be anchored in packed-off condi-tion Ain the well casing between the intermediate and upper perforations 11, 12, and an upper packer 15 is to be anchored in packed-oli condition in the well casing above the upper casing perforation 12.

Production from the lower zone A will pass through the perforations or openings 16 in a `tail pipe 17 extending in leakproof relation with respect to the lower packer 13 and through a tubing string 18 which is connected to the intermediate packer 14, passing upwardly through a first passage 19 in -this intermediate packer and into a tubing string 20 that extends upwardly to the lower end of the upper packer 15, passing through a first passage 21 in this upper packer and up through a first tubing string D that extends to the ytop of the well bore. Production from the intermediate Zone B passes into the casing F and into a lower valve housing 22 connected with a second passage 23 through the intermediate packer 14, such production flowing upwardly through a tubing string 24 extending between the intermediate and upper packers 14, 15, and including a telescopic joint 25 and a suitable sleeve valve device 26. Such production can fiow upwardly through a second passage 27 in the upper packer 15 and into a second tubular string E extending t-o the top of the well bore.

When production from the intermediate zone .B is passing upwardly through the intermediate packer 14, tubing string 24, and upper packer 15 into the second tubular string E, production from the upper zone C is prevented from passing through the sleeve valve 26 into the tubing string 24. By appropriately manipulating the sleeve valve 26 in a known manner, the flow of production from the intermediate zone B up through the intermediate packer 14 and the tubing string 24 can be shut off or prevented, and the side ports 28 of the sleeve valve device opened so that production from the upper zone C can flow through the ports 28 into the tubing string 24 for continued upward. passage through the upper packer 15 and the second tubular string E to the top of the well bore.

Accordingly, in the specific hookup illustrated in the drawings, production from the lower zone A may pass through the lower packer 13 and through the intermediate and upper packers 14, 15 into the first tubular string D; whereas, production from the intermediate or upper zones B or C is selectively caused to fiow upwardly through the intermediate and upper packers 14, 15 or through the upper packer 15 alone into the second tubular string E for conveyance to the top of the well bore.

The intermediate and upper packers 14, 15 illustrated in the drawings are generally the same, the intermediate packer being specifically disclosed and also being claimed in my application for Hydraulically Set Well Tools, Ser. No. 235,353; filed Nov. 5, 1962. However, the packers 14, 15 differ in connection with the sequence in which they are anchored in packed-off condition in the well casing F. Their constructions are such that the first and second, tubular strings D, E can be permanently secured to the connections at the top of the well bore before the intermediate and upper packers are set, which will allow the drilling mud, or other undesired fluid in the well casing, to be pumped therefrom while maintaining the well under control. The intermediate or upper zones B or C may then be caused to pass into the casing F and up through the second tubular string E to the top of the well bore.

The upper packer 15 is of the retrievable type and is adapted to be anchored in packed-oft condition in the well casing against movement in a downward direction. It can also be provided with a hydraulic anchor 3Q to secure it to the casing against movement in an upward direction. It includes first and second parallel tubular body members 31, 32, the second body member having an upper threaded pin 33 threaded in a lower bore 34 in a receptacle or parallel string head 35. The passage through the second tubular string E communicates with a second passage 36 extending upwardly through the parallel string head. 35. The second tubular string E can be lowered from the top of the well bore into the casing F for reception within the second passage 36. As shown, the lower portion of the second tubular string includes a 5. sub 37 having a suitable side seal 38 mounted thereon for sealing against the wall of the second passage 36. Depending from this sub is a latch device including a plurality of spring-like arms 39 having central cam projections or fingers 40 adapted to be received under a fiange or shoulder 41 in the parallel string head below the sealing region of the second passage 36. These fingers 4t) are engageable with the head shoulder 41 when the lsecond tubular string E is being inserted in the passage 36, such engagement forcing the spring-like arms 39 inwardly sufficiently, the lingers 40 riding past the shoulder 41 to a position therebelow and. then expanding outwardly for the purpose of releasably retaining the second tubular string E in the second passage 36 with its seal 38 engaging the wall of the latter. The exertion of a sufficient upward pull on the second tubular string E would cause the fingers 40 to engage the lower tapered surface 42 of the head shoulder 41, which cams or forces the fingers 41B and the latch arms 39 inwardly, until the fingers rride past the fiange 41, allowing the second. tubu lar string E to be Withdrawn completely from the second passage 36 and from the well casing F.

The combination of apparatus illustrated in the drawings is lowered in the well casing on the first tubular string D to the setting locations of the intermediate and upper packers 14, 15. Thereafter, the second tubular string E is lowered in the well casing, engaging an in clined head or guide surface 43 at the top of the receptacle or head 35, which surface will cause the lower portion of the second tubular string to slide toward and into the second passage 36.

The first tubular string D is suitably connected, as by a coupling 31a, to a first tubular body member 31 extending downwardly through a first longitudinal passage 44 in the receptacle or head 35. The first tubular body member 31 .is slidable in the first longitudinal passage 44 and extends downwardly therefrom to a susbtantial eX- tent and almost throughout the longitudinal extent of the packer 15, as described in detail hereinbelow. The first and second tubular body members 31, 32 extend through an upper connector 45 engaging the lower end of the parallel string head or receptacle 35, this upper connector being secured to the second tubular body or mandrel 32 by a two-piece ring 46 disposed in a peripheral groove 47 in the second tubular body member and received within a counterbore 48 in the upper connector 45, and also contacting and upper insert 49 through which the body members 31, 32 pass. The insert is clamped to the lower end of the upper connector 45, and also against the coupling ring 46 mounted on the second tubular body, by an upper gauge ring 50 threaded on the upper connector 45 and having an inwardly directed flange 51 engaging the upper insert 49. The upper insert 49 also contacts a two-piece stop ring 52 mounted in a peripheral groove 53 in the first tubular body member 31, the ring being received within an enlarged diameter bore or counterbore 54 in the upper connector 45, which counterbore continues upwardly into the receptacle 35 and terminates in a downwardly facing shoulder 55 therewithin. As explained hereinbelow, the first tubular body member 31 may be moved by the first tubular string D upwardly of the connector 45 and the receptacle 35, its stop ring 52 sliding in the counterbore 54 until the ring engages the downwardly facing receptacle shoulder 55.

The first and second tubular body members 31, 32 extend downwardly through an initially and normally retracted packing structure 56, an expander 57, a slip structure 58 for anchoring the well packer against down` ward movement in the well casing, and into a hydraulic actuating mechanism 59. The packing structure 56 canassume any desired form. As shown, it includes a plu-- rality of pliant, elastic packing elements 60, made of rubber or rubber-like material, having a pair of bores 61' therethrough to accommodate the firstr and second body' members 31, 32, and also having intervening spacers 62 provided with a pair of bores 63 through which the body members extend. The upper packing element 60 engages the upper gauge ring 50 and insert 49, its lower end engaging a spacer 62, which, in turn, engages an intermediate packing element 60 that contacts a spacer 62 which engages a lower pliant, elastic packing element 60 that contacts a lower insert 64 having bores 65 receiving the body members 31, 32. The lower packing member 60 also contacts a lower gauge ring 66 having an inwardly directed flange 67 clamping the lower 4insert 64 against the upper end of the expander 57.

The expander is provided. with a pair of bores or passages 68 through which the first and second body members 31, 32 extend. The expander 57, lower insert 64, and lower gauge ring 66 are movable as a unit relative to the first and second tubular body members 31, 32. Downward movement of these parts relative to the second tubular body member 32 is prevented by a two-piece stop ring 69 mounted in a peripheral groove 70 in the second body member and engaging the lower end of the lower insert 64. The bore 68 through the expander below the insert is of an enlarged diameter along an extended length to permit relative downward movement of the second body member 32 to an extent limited by engagement of its stop ring 69 with the lower end 71 of the expander 57 defining its enlarged diameter bore 68.

The lower expander has a plurality of spaced slots 72, the bases 73 of which provide expander surfaces tapering in a downward and inward direction. The upper portions 74 of slips 75 are disposed in these slots, the slips having inner tapered surfaces 76 companion to the expander surfaces 73 and movable longitudinally relative thereto, as well as laterally outwardly and inwardly into and from engagement with the wall of the surrounding well casing F. Each slip has opposed side tongues 77 slidable in companion grooves 78 in the expander 57, so that the slips 75 are moved positively from expanded to retracted position upon longitudinal separating movement between the expander and the slips. The lower ends of the slips are connected to a slip ring 79 having a pair of bores 80 through which the body members 31, 32 extend, there being a slidable connection between lower T-shaped heads 81 of the slips and companion T-shaped grooves 81a formed in the Islip ring. Such T-shaped connection causes the slips 75 to move jointly longitudinally with the slip ring 79, While permitting their movement radially of the slip ring toward the well casing, as Well as Ifrom the well casing. To facilitate such radial movement, the T-shaped heads 81 and their companion grooves 81a are inclined to a small extent in an outward and downward direction.

The first and second tubular body members 31, 32 extend downwardly from the slip ring through a thrust sleeve structure 82 and into the rst an-d second parallel passages 83, 84 of a hydraulic housing 85, which forms a portion of the hydraulic actuating mechanism 59 for setting the well packer in the well casing F. The thrust sleeve 82 interconnects the hydraulic housing 85 with the -slip ring 79. As shown, the thrust sleeve is formed in two halves and has upper internal flanges 86 received within a peripheral groove 87 in the slip ring. Similarly, the thrust sleeve has a lower internal flange 88 received within the peripheral groove 89 in the upper portion of the hydraulic housing 85. The upper flange 86 is prevented from being removed from the slip ring groove S7 by a retainer ring 90 encompassing the slip ring 79, as well as an upwardly extending skirt 91 on the thrust sleeve 82, upward longitudinal movement of the retainer ring from the skirt being prevented by a screw 92 threaded into the slip ring immediately above the retainer ring 90 after the latter has been slipped downwardly over the upper flange skirt 91. In a similar manner, the lower flange 88 is prevented from being removed from its compansion groove 89 by a retainer ring 90 encom- 6 passing the hydraulic housing 85, and also a lower skirt 91 of the thrust sleeve 82, this retainer ring being prevented from sliding downwardly from the skirt 91 by a stop screw 92 threaded into the hydraulic housing 85.

The first tubular body member 31 is releasably connected to the slip ring 79 by a pin and slot connection. As shown, the exterior of the rst body member is provided with one or more control slots or grooves 93, each slot or groove including a longitudinal leg 94 and longitudinally spaced upper lock slot -or groove portions 95 communicating with the longitudinal leg. Shearable lock pins or screws 96 are threadedly secured to the slip ring 79 and extend into the control slots 93. Initially, they are disposed in the horizontal or locking slot portions 95 of each control slot to prevent relative longitudinal movement between the first body member 31 and the slip ring 79, as well as between the first body member 31 and the hydraulic housing 85. Upon turning the rst body member 31 to the right, the longitudinal slot 94 is aligned with the shear pins or screws 96, which position of alignment permits upward longitudinal movement of the first body member 31 within the slip ring 79, and also within the first passage 83 in the hydraulic housing 85. inadvertent turning of the first body member relative to the slip ring and the hydraulic housing is precluded initially by one or more shear screws 97 threaded in the slip ring 79 and also into the first tubular body member 31.

Initially, longitudinal movement of the second body member 32 relative to the slip ring 79 and also relative to the hydraulic housing 35 is prevented by a releasable lock device, which will prevent the receptacle or head 35 and portions of the well packer above the packing structure 56 from moving downwardly toward the slip ring 79, in order to effect outward expansion of the slips '75 and shortening and outward expansion of the packing structure 56 into engagement with the well casing F. The lock structure includes a two-piece sleeve 98 disposed around the body member 32 with its upper end engaging a downwardly facing shoulder 99 thereon. The sleeve also extends into an enlarged diameter outer portion 100 of the slip ring 79 and is further disposed within a counterbore 101 of a connector plate 102 through which the body members 31, 32 extend, and which forms part of the hydraulic actuating mechanism 59. This plate has a bore 103 through which the first body member 31 extends, the plate 102 being movable downwardly relative to the body member 31. The plate 102 can only move downwardly to a limited extent along the second body member 32, as determined by engagement of its inwardly directed flange 104 with a split ring 105 disposed around the second body member 32 and resting upon a lower shoulder 106 thereon.

initially, the connector plate flange 104 is spaced above the coupling ring of the second body member, to allow the connector plate 102 to move downwardly to a limited extent lalong the second body member 32 and release the lock device, permitting the second body member 32 to move downwardly of the slip ring 79 and within the hydraulic housing 85. At first, such downward movement cannot occur since a pair of opposed lock pins 107 are disposed swivelly in bores 108 in the slip ring 79 radial of the lock sleeve 98, with the inner portions of the pins being received within inclined upper slot portions 109 of the sleeve 98. The sleeve is prevented initially from turning within the slip ring 79, so as to maintain the pins engaged with the upper inclined -sides 110 of the slots 109 lby a key 111 fixe-d to the connector plate 102 and extending into a vertical slot 112 in the sleeve. So long as the key 111 is disposed in the slot 112, the sleeve 98 cannot turn, an-d any downward thrust of the second body member 32, which will be transmitted through its upper shoulder 99 to the lock sleeve 98, cannot effect a turning effect a turning of the sleeve, which is necessary for the sleeve to shift downwardly relative to the swivel pins 107 and effect a -disconnection therebetween. It is only after the connector plate 102 has shifted downwardly to the extent limited by engagement of the flange 104 with the split ring 105 that the key 111 will have been removed from the sleeve slot 112, whereupon the downward thrust of the plate 1G12 on the second body member 32, imposed through the coupling ring 105, can cause the upper inclined sides 11i) of the sleeve 98 to engage the pins 107 and effect a partial rotation of the sleeve and its downward shifting along the pins 107 until the sleeve is disposed below the pins and completely disengaged therefrom. The second body member 32 can now shift downwardly through the slip ring 79.

Downward movement of the second body member 32 with respect to the slip ring 79 will result in outward expansion of the slips 75 and shortening and outward expansion of the packing structure 56 into engagement with the wall of the well casing. Such downward movement and setting of the normally retracted parts of the well packer is effected hydraulically, and more specilically by the hydrostatic head of fluid in the well bore or well casing. As disclosed, the hydraulic housing 85 has a plurality of cylinders 115 closed at their lower ends, each cylinder containing a piston structure comprising a piston 116 threadedly secured to a piston rod 117 extending upwardly through a cylinder head 113 secured to the housing by engaging an upwardly facing housing shoulder 119 surrounding the cylinder and a `set screw 120 threaded in the housing and into the cylinder head. Each cylinder has an inlet port 121 above the piston 116 and immediately below the cylinder head 11S communicating with the second passage 84 through the housing 85. Each cylinder also has a pressure equalizing or vent port 122 communicating with the lirst passage 83 extending through the housing.

The piston 116 has a suitable seal structure 123 thereon slidably and sealingly engaging the wall of the cylinder 115 and held on the piston by a suitable retainer 124. Side seals 125 on the cylinder head 118 sealingly engage the wall of the cylinder 115 to prevent fluid leakage between the cylinder and its head; whereas, a rod packing 126, or the like, is mounted on the head 11S and slidably and sealingly engages the piston rod 117.

Initially, the cylinder space below each piston 116 contains air at atmospheric pressure, the lower portion 127 of the lirst body member 31 extending across the pressure equalizing or vent ports 122 communicating with the lower ends of the cylinders 115 to prevent any liuid pressure from entering such ports. Suitable side seal rings 128 are mounted in the housing 85 on opposite sides of the vent ports 122, which sealingly engage the periphery of the lirst body member portion 127 to prevent passage of liuid into such ports and into the lower ends of the cylinders.

The intermediate packer 14, as stated above, is essentially the same in structure, and also in mode of operation, as the upper packer described above. However, there are differences in the valve structure for initially preventing fluid under pressure from entering the inlet ports 121 that open into the cylinders 115 above the pistons. The control valve mechanisms are dilierent, since it is desired to fully circulate around both of the packers 14, 15 to remove the drilling mud from the well casing F prior to hydraulic setting of any of the packers. Preferably, after full circulation has yoccurred through and around both the intermediate and upper packers, it is desired to hydraulically set the intermediate packer 14 and then effect a hydraulic setting of the upper packer 15.

As disclosed in the drawings (FIGS. 2b, 2c, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b), fluid under pressure is prevented from entering the inlet ports 121 opening into the cylinders 115 of the upper packer 15 above its pistons 116 by an elongate valve sleeve 139 disposed in the second housing passage 84 and eX- tending across the inlet ports 121, there being suitable side seals 131 on the sleeve on opposite sides of the ports 121 engaging the wall of the second passage. This valve sleeve 13d has a lower side port or ports 132 and is disposed within a tubular housing extension 133 threadedly 4secured to the hydraulic housing 85 and to which the valve sleeve is initially attached by one or more shear screws 134. The ports 132 are 'closed initially by an annular piston portion 135, constituting the upper end of a shifting sleeve 136 extending downwardly within the .housing extension 133 and attached initially to the valve sleeve 130 'by one or more shear screws 137, with the `annular pis- Vtori disposed across the ports to close the same. The lower portion 138 of the shifting sleeve 136 is constituted `as an expandible ball seat device, the lower portion including legs 139 formed by circumferentially spaced, longitudinal slots 140 in the sleeve, which terminate in fingers 141 that provide a restriction or ball seat extending partially into the shifting sleeve passage 142 by engaging an inner wall 143 of a lower housing section 144 of the housing extension 133. This section 144 has an enlarged recess 145 into which the lingers 141 can spring outwardly to increase their effective internal diameter as a result of downward shifting of the sleeve 135 in the housing, as explained hereinbelow.

When a suitable ball valve element 141a, or the like, is pumped down through the second tubular string E and into the second passage 27, it will enter the valve sleeve and move down into the shifting sleeve 136, coming to rest upon the linge-rs 141, effectively closing the passage 142 through the shifting sleeve. The building up of lluid pressure in the tubular string E to a sutiicient degree then shears the screws 137 securing the shifting sleeve 136 to the valve sleeve 130, which screws have a substantially lesser shear strength than the screws 134 attaching the valve sleeve 130 to the tubular housing extension 133. The shifting sleeve 136 then shifts downwardly until the downwardly facing shoulder 146 of the annular piston valve engages a stop ring 147 mounted within a groove 148 in the valve sleeve 130, at which position the upper end of the annular piston valve 135 is disposed below the side ports 132. The piston valve 135 has inner seal rings 149 initially disposed on opposite sides of the ports 132 to close the same and prevent leakage along the piston valve, and also an outer seal ring or rings 15d engaging the inner wall of the tubular housing extension 133, which, in effect, constitutes a cylinder for the piston 135.

Following engagement of the piston shoulder 146 with the stop ring 147 on the valve sleeve 130, the lingers 141 will have been located in the enlarged recess 145, the lingers and arms 139 expanding outwardly to provide an efr'ective finger diameter which is greater than the diameter of the ball 14151 (FIGS. 8a, 8b), the ball then dropping downwardly through the lingers 141 and through a sub 151 threadedly connected to the lower housing extension, this sub being connected through a coupling 152 to the tubing 24 that extends downwardly to the second passage 35 in the receptacle -or head 35 of the intermediate packer 14, which, as stated above, is essentially the same as the upper packer 15. The tubing 24 may be latched into the second passage of the intermediate packer in the same manner as the second tubular string E is latched into the second passage 36 of the upper packer head 35.

It is to =be noted that the movement of the shifting sleeve 136 downwardly of the housing extension 133 has merely opened the valve sleeve ports 132, but has not effected a downward shifting of the valve sleeve 130 to open the cylinder inlet ports 121.. The ball 14111, however, can drop downwardly through the tubing 24 and through the second passage 23 of the intermediate packer 14, coming to rest upon the inwardly projecting lingers 16d of a valve sleeve 161 in the second passage 84 disposed across the inlet ports 121 leading into the cylinders 115 of the intermediate packer 14. The valve sleeve 161 is held across the ports 121, with its seal rings 162 disposed on opposite sides thereof, -by being secured initially to the lower portion of the second body member 32 by shear screws 163. The valve sleeve fingers 160 are provided at the lower ends of spring-like legs 164 formed by lcircumferentially spaced, longitudinal slots 165 in the lower portion of the valve sleeve 161, the lingers projecting inwardly, as disclosed in FIG. 2g, to provide an effective internal diameter less than the diameter of the ball 141:1, the ball coming to rest upon the lingers 160. The building up of sufficient pressure in the second tubular string E will shear the screws 163 securing the valve sleeve 161 to the second body member 32, the valve sleeve 161 shifting downwardly in the second housing passage 84 until the lingers 160 come opposite an enlarged recess 166 in the lower portion of the housing, the ngers 160 springing outwardly and allowing the ball member 141a to move downwardly through the fingers 160 and through a connector sub 167 threadedly attached to the housing 85 in alignment with its second passage 84, the :ball element coming to rest upon the inwardly disposed fingers 168 of a valve sleeve 169 releasably secured by one or more shear screws 170 to the valve housing 22 threaded to the lower end of a connector sub 167.

When the valve sleeve 161 shifts downwardly below the cylinder inlet ports 121 of the intermediate packet 14, the hydrostatic head of liuid in the well bore will promptly set the intermediate packer. The ball 141a however, is seating upon the lower sleeve valve 169 and is closing the passage through the second tubular string E and the second passages 27, 23 through the packers 14, 15 disposed therebelow. Accordingly, Huid pressure can now be built up in the second tubular string E and the second passages suiiiciently to act upon the annular piston valve 135 and overcome the shear strength of the screws 134 securing the valve sleeve 130 to the housing extension 133, these screws being disrupted and the valve sleeve 130 then being shifted downwardly to a position below the cylinder ports 121, allowing the hydrostatic head of iiuid to enter the cylinders 115 of the upper packer 15 and eifect its anchoring in packed-01T condition in the well casing. The valve sleeve 130 will shift downwardly to a position in which a split one-way latch ring 173 mounted in a groove 174 in the valve sleeve is disposed below a downwardly facing shoulder 175 of the housing extension 133, precluding inadvertent upward shifting of the valve sleeve 130 in the housing passage to ya position reclosing the cylinder ports 121.

Following setting of the upper packer 15, the iluid pressure in the second passages 84 can be increased to still a further extent to overcome the shear strength of the screws 170 attaching the lowermost valve sleeve 169 to the valve housing 22, the sleeve shifting downwardly until its fingers 168 spring outwardly into an enlarged recess 180 in the housing, which will then allow the ball valve element 141a to move downwardly through the valve sleeve 169 and out through the housing 22 which has a lower shoulder 181 functioning as a stop limiting downward movement of the sleeve 169, the ball dropping into the well casing F free from interference with the apparatus.

When the hydrostatic head of iiuid in the well casing is permitted to iiow through the upper cylinder ports 121 of either the intermediate or upper packer 14, 15, it acts downwardly on the pistons 116, pulling the rods 117 downwardly with them. Thrust nuts 182 threaded on the piston rods and received within counterbores 183 in the connector plate 102 transmit the downward movement of the rods 117 to the connector plate. Initially, however, the connector plate is held in its upward position by one or more shear screws 184 attaching it to the thrust sleeve 82. With the parts in this condition, the upper end 185 of each piston rod is disposed in an atmospheric chamber 186 in the slip ring 79, iiuid being prevented from passing into this chamber by a suitable side seal ring 187 on the upper end of each rod engaging the cylinder wall of the atmospheric chamber 186. In

view of the sealing of the upper end of each rod in its associated atmospheric chamber, the hydrostatic head of fluid cannot act initially on such end and tend to shift it downwardly. However, when the hydrostatic head of fluid acts on the pistons 116 to exert a sufficient force thereon and on the rods 117 to shear the screws 184 and move the rods and connector plate 102 downwardly to a slight extent, the upper ends 185 of the rods are pulled out of the atmospheric chambers 186, allowing the hydrostatic head of fluid to also act in a downward direction over the entire cross-sectional area of such rod. In effect, the hydrostatic head of fluid can then act in a downward direction over the entire cross-sectional area of each piston 116, bringing to a maximum the total hydraulic force available for downward movement of the piston rods 117 and connector plate 102.

The tirst tubing 20 is threaded into the iirst passage 83 of the upper packer 15 and extends downwardly, being connected to the first body member 31 of the intermediate packer 14. The tubing 24 connected to the coupling 152 of the upper packer 15 and communicating with the second passage 84 of the upper packer extends downwardly and into the second passage 36 of the receptacle 35 of the intermediate packer 14. As described above, a telescopic joint 25 is preferably included in this tubing 24, as well as a side ported sleeve valve structure 26. The length of tubing 20, 24 placed between the packers 14, 15, as well as the length of tubing 18 between the intermediate packer 14 and the lower packer 13, are predetermined so that when the tubing 18 is appropriately associated with the lower packer, the intermediate packer 14 is in its appropriate location between the intermediate and upper casing perforations 11, 12 with the upper packer 15 disposed above the upper perforations 12.

The telescopic joint 25 is of any suitable type. As shown in FIG. 2e, it includes an inner mandrel 190 telescopically arranged within an outer housing 191, there being a seal ring 192 mounted on the mandrel slidably and sealingly engaging the wall of the housing to prevent leakage between the interior and exterior of the joint.

The side ported sleeve valve structure 26 can be of any known, suitable type. As shown in FIG, 2d, it includes an outer housing 193, which may be made of several sections, having the ports 28 therethrough. A sleeve valve 194 extends initially -across these ports to close the same, leakage of iiuid through the ports being prevented by suitable side seals 195 on the sleeve engaging the wall of the housing. The sleeve valve is releasably retained in port closing position by an inherently, expandible split ring 196 mounted in a sleeve groove 197 and disposed within a companion internal groove 198 in the housing, as shown in FIG. 2d. Through use of a suitable shifting mechanism (not shown), the sleeve 194 can be moved upwardly within the housing to align sleeve ports 199 with the housing ports 28, the split ring 196 snapping into an upper housing groove 200 to releasably hold the sleeve in its port opening position (FIG. 12).

After the sleeve 194 has been shifted to port opening position, the housing 193 below the ports 28 can be plugged by running a suitable blanking plug 201 through the tubular string E and through the second passage of the upper packer 15. As disclosed in FIG. 12, this blanking plug includes a mandrel 202 having a central plug 203 below side ports 204 in the mandrel. The mandrel carries a suitable side seal 205 adapted to seal against an inner wall 206 of the housing 193 below its ports 28. The mandrel carries suit-able lock levers 207 pivoted on hinge pins 208 and urged by springs 209 outwardly, the lock levers shifting into a coupling recess 210 formed between the upper end of the housing 193 and a section of the tubing 24 thereabove.

When the blanking plug device 201 shown in FIG. l2 is employed, fluid from below the side ported valve device 26 cannot pass upwardly through the tubing 24. Instead,

it passes through the side ports 28, 199, 204 into the tubular mandrel 202 and up through the tubing 24 into the second passage 27 of the upper packer 15 for continued upward movement through the second tubular string E to the top of the hole. Removal of the blanking plug 201 and shifting of the sleeve valve 194 back to its port closing position (FIG. 2d) will allow production from the intermediate zone 11 to flow upwardly through the lower packer 14 and through the tubular string 24 into the upper packer 15 for upward passage through the second tubular string E to the top of the hole. Depending upon the position of the valve sleeve 194 and the presence or absence of the blanking plug 201, production can be secured selectively from either the intermediate or upper zones B, C for conveyance through the second tubular string E to the top of the well bore.

In the particular installation illustrated in the drawings, the lower packer 13 may have been previously set in the well casing above the lower casing perforation 10. The appropriate length of tubing 18 is connected to the intermediate packer 14, and the appropriate lengths of first and second tubings 20, 24 are connected to the upper end of the intermediate packer 14, and also to the lower end of the upper packer 15. The first tubular string D is then attached to the first body member 31 of the upper packer and the combination of packers and associated tubing is lowered in the well casing F until the lower tubing 18 enters or is otherwise associated with the lower packer 13, so that the well production from the lower zone A can flow upwardly thereinto. Prior to placing the tubing 18 in leak-proof relation with the lower packer 13, sufficient circulating fluid can be pumped down through the first tubular string D, passing through the first passage 21 of the supper packer 15, the first tubing 20 between the upper and intermediate packers 15, 14, through the intermediate packer 14, and through the tubing 18 extending to the lower packer 13, the drilling mud being forced from the casing below the lower packer 13 and upwardly through its bore for upward movement into the casing above the lower packer. The first tubular string D can now be lowered to the desired extent to place the tubing 18 in appropriate sealed relation to the lower packer in any suitable and known manner.

The second tubular string E is then run in the well casing F alongside the first tubular string D, its lower end engaging the upper tapered guide 43 of the upper packer receptacle 3S, which will locate it within the second passage 36 `into which it will be latched in appropriate sealing relation, as described above. Appropriate connections at the surface of the well bore can then be made to the two tubular strings D, E, to maintain the well under control, after which circulating fiuid can :be pumped down the second tubular string E, passing downwardly through the second passage 27 of the upper packer 15, the intervening tubing 24, and down through the passage 23 of the intermedi-ate packer 14 into the well casing F, the drilling mud or other fiuids in the well casing then being forced upwardly through the casing F to the top of the well bore. After the drilling mud has been removed from the well casing, which will occur with the well under control, since the well head connections are in place, the tripping ball 141:1 is lowered or pumped down through the second tubular string E, passing into the second passage 27 of the upper packer 15 and engaging the inwardly projecting `fingers 141 at the lower end of the shifting sleeve 13 6. The building up of sufficient pressure will shear the screws 137 holding the shifting sleeve to the upper valve sleeve 130, the shifting sleeve moving downwardly so thathe fingers 141 can shift outwardly into the enlarged housing recess 145, allowing the ball 141a to be pumped on through the upper packer 15 and into the tubing therebelow 24. When the fingers 141 spring outwardly into the recess 145, the annular piston 135 will have been shifted below the ports 132 and into engagement with the stop 12 ring 147 of the valve sleeve 130 (FIGS. 8a, 8b). The cyinder ports 121, however, are still closed by the valve sleeve 130.

The ball 141a now passes down through the tubing 24 and into the second passage 23 of the intermediate packer 14, coming to rest upon the fingers 160 of its Valve sleeve 161. The 'building up of sufficient pressure in the fluid in the second tubular string E and in the second passage 23 will shear the screws 163 securing the valve sleeve 161 to lthe second body 32, shifting it downwardly to open the cylinder ports 121, the valve sleeve 161 moving downwardly until its fingers 160 expand outwardly into the recess 166, -allowing the ball 141:1 to continue moving downwardly and come to rest upon the inwardly projecting fingers 168 `of the lower valve seat 169. Shearing of the screws 163 to free the valve sleeve 161, however, is accomplished at a pressure lower than the pressure necessary to cause the upper annular piston 135 to shear screws 134 and shift the valve sleeve 130 of the upper packer 15 downwardly.

The hydrostatic head of -uid in the well casing and in the second tubular string can then pass through the inlet ports 121 of the intermediate packer 14 into its cylinders 115 above the pistons 116, shifting the latter downwardly and urging them and their associated piston rods 117 downwardly, the downward force being transmitted through the connector Aplate 102 to the shear screws 184, disrupting the latter and shifting the connector plate 102 downwardly along the first and second body members 31, 32 of the intermediate packer 14. Downward shifting along the second Itubular body member 32 can only occur until the ange 104 engages the coupling .ring 105 therebelow. The distance of travel of the connector plate, however, is sufficient to remove the key 111 from the key slot 112, whereupon the downward force of the connector plate 102 is transmitted through the coupling ring to the second tubular mem-ber 32, which will shift the lock sleeve 98 downwardly along the swivel lock pins 107, the sleeve 98 turning with respect to the slip ring 79 and around the second body member 32 until its inclined slots 109 move down free of the swivel pins 107.

The downward force of the hydrostatic head of fiuid on the pistons 116 is now transmitted from the pistons and p1ston rods 117 to the connector plate 102, the upper ends 105 to the second tubular body member 32, urging this chambers 186, this downward force `being transferred through the connector plate flange 104 and coupling ring 104 to the second tubular body member 32, urging this body member downwardly and carrying the upper receptacle or head 3S of the intermedi-ate packer downwardly with it. At this time, the slip ring 79 is connected to the first body member 31 through the shear screws 96, 97 and cannot move downwardly. Accordingly, the downward movement of the upper receptacle or =head 35 tow-ard the slip ring 79 will tfirst shift the packing structure 56 downwardly with it and move the expander 57 downwardly along the slips 75, expanding the latter outwardly against the wall of the well casing F. Continued downward movement of the second body member 32 under the infiuence of the pistons 116, piston rods 117, and connector plate 102 will then shift the receptacle 35, its upper connector 45, upper insert 46, and upper gauge ring 50 downwardly toward the lower gauge ring 66, lower insert 64, and eX- pander 57, since the latter cannot .move downwardly to any further extent, effecting a shortening of the packing structure 56 and expanding of the packing elements 60 outwardly into sealing engagement with the wall of the well casing F, and also firmly against the surfaces of the tubular body mem-bers 31, 32.

`The hydrostatic head of fiuid acts constantly upon the pistons 116 to firmly anchor the slips 75 against downward movement in the well casing lF and to constantly hold the packing structure 56 sealed against the wall of the well casing. `Such action will be maintained continuously, so long as there is a sufficient hydrostatic head of fluid in the well casing.

The intermediate packer 14 hase been anchored in packed-ofi condition -in the well casing in the lmanner just described (FIGS. e, 10f). Despite the fact that the receptacle 35 of the intermediate packer moves downwardly with respect to the tubing string during setting of the intermediate packer 14, such downward movement does not correspondingly shift the upper packer 15 downwardly since the telescopic joint 25 permits the movement to occur without moving the tu'bing 24 above the joint which is connected to the coupling 152 of the upper packer 15. Setting of the intermediate packer 14 has occurred without any movement of the tubing 18 extending downwardly to the lower packer 13, the tubing 20 extending from the first passage 44 of the lintermediate packer 14 to the upper packer 1'5, or any of the tubular strings D, E extending upwardly from the upper packer 15 to the top of the well bore.

rPhe upper packer 15 can now be set, which action will occur as a result of increasing `the pressure of the fluid in the second tubular string E suiciently, this fluid pressure acting downwardly on the annular piston 135 to urge the -valve sleeve 130 downwardly. When the strength of the shear screws 134 securing the sleeve 130 to the housing extension 133 is overcome, such screws are disrupted and the sleeve 130 moves downwardly below the cylinder inlet ports 121 of the upper packer (FIGS. 9a, 9b), lallowing the hydrostatic head of fluid to move into the cylinders 115 of the upper packer above the pistons 116 and effecting a setting of the slips 75 and the packing 56 of the upper packer 15 in the same manner las described above in connection with the setting of lthe intermediate packer 14 (FIGS. 10a, 10b, 10c). During such setting action, the first body member 31 will not move, and although the upper receptacle 35 moves downwardly in expanding the slips 75 and 'expanding the packing elements 60 outwardly against the casing F, there is no significant effect lon the second tubular string E extending to the top of the well bore, since this tubular string is usually several thousand feet in length, and, for that matter, possibly ten to twelve thousand feet in length. Its elongation by several inches in effecting full setting of the upper packer 15 against the well casing will not even be noticeable at the top of the Wall bore, and will have no effect on the connection of the second tubular string E with other hydraulic control equipment at the top of the well bore. Following shifting of the valve sleeve 130 downwardly to open the inlet ports 121 of the upper packer 15, the fluid pressure can be increased to a further extent to shear the screws 170 attaching the lower seat 169 to the housing 22, causing it to shift downwardly to a position in which its fingers 168 spring out into .recess 180, freeing the ball 141a for downward ejection from the connector 22 and its dropping into the well casing (FIG. 11).

Both the intermediate and upper packers 14, 15 are now anchored in packed-off condition in the wall casing F. Assuming the valve sleeve 194 closes the ports 28 in the second tubing 24 extending between the upper and intermediate packers, production from the lower zone A will flow upwardly through the tubing 18 and through the first pass-ages 19, 21 of the intermediate and upper packers into the first tubular string D extending to the top of the well bore. Production from the intermediate zone B will pass into the second passage 84 of the intermediate packer 14, through the second tubing 24 between the packers, and the second passage 27 through the upper packer 1'5 into the second tubular string E extending to the top of the well bore.

If it is desired to ob-tain production from the upper zone C in lieu `of the intermediate zone B, a suitable and known wire line device (not shown) is lowered through the second tubul-ar string E, this device engaging the sleeve valve mechanism 194 and shifting it to a position opening the side ports 28. The blanking plug 201 is then run into position to close the passage below the 14 ports 28. Accordingly, production from the intermediate Zone B cannot be obtained, but production from the upper zone C then flows through the side ports 28 into the second tubing 24, continuing upwardly through the -second passage 2'7 of the upper packer and through the second tubular string E to the top of t-he well bore.

If it is desired to release and remove the packer appara-tus from the well casing, the second tubular string E can be pulled from the upper receptacle 35, its latches 39, 40 contracting inwardly until they are free from the shoulder 41, the second tubular string E being removed from the well casing. The first tubular string D can now be turned to `the right, shearing the screws 97 holding the first body member 31 to the upper slip ring 79 and turning the first body member to place the long legs 94 of its slots 93 in alignment with the shear pins 96. The first body member 31 can now be moved upwardly, elevating its lower portion 127 above the equalizing ports 122, and allowing the hydrostatic head of fluid to enter the cylinders 1:15 below the pistons 1-16, equalizing the pressure on opposite sides of the pistons.

The first tubula-r string D and first body member 31 are elevated un-til the first body ring 52 engages the receptacle shoulder 55, whereupon upward movement will pull the receptacle 35 upwardly relative to the expander 57, allowing the packing elements 60 to inherently retract from the well casing F. The upward movement will move the second body member 32 upwardly until its ring 69 engages the lower insert 64, which will then effect an upward movement of the expander 57 relative to the slips 75, the tongue and groove connection 77, 78 between the expander and slips causing the slips to retract from the well casing.

The taking of a sufficient upward force on the first tubular string D will then cause the entire upper packer 15 to shift upwardly, the first tubing string 20 exerting an upward pull on the first body member 31 of the intermediate packer 14, shearing all screws 96, 97 holding such first body member to its lower slip ring 79, and allowing the first body member 31 of the intermediate packer to move upwardly above its equalizing ports 122, allowing the hydrostatic head of fluid to enter the cylinders of the intermediate packer 14 below the piston 116. With the equalizing of the pressure in the cylinders on opposite sides of ythe pistons, the first body member 31 of the lower packer can then move upwardly until its ring 52 engages the rec-eptacle shoulder 55 of the intermediate packer 14, whereupon a continuation of the upward movement will effect a retraction of the packing elements 60 and of the slips 75 of the intermediate packer 14, in the same manner as the upper packer 15. The upper and intermediate packers 14, 15, as well as the tubing mem-bers 20, 24, 1-8 connected thereto, can now be removed from the well casing F by elevating the tubular string D.

Both packer structures 14, 15 heretofore described can lbe anchored in packed-off condition in the well casing F against downward movement. I'f desired, they can also be held against upward movement. The receptacle or head 35 of each packer may be constituted as an anchor 30, having generally radially disposed cylinders 250, the inner portions of which communicate with the second passage 36 through the head intervening ports 251. Each cylinder contains a gripping member 252 having wickers or teeth 253 adapted to e-mbed themselves in the wall of the well casing F and resist upward movement. The gripping members 252 are initially urged toward a retracted position completely within the cylinders 250 by helical compression springs 254 engaging retainers and spring seats 255 extending across vertical slots 256 in the gripping members and suitably secured to the receptacle or head 35. The springs also engage the gripping members themselves, urging them inwardly of the cylinders. Fluid pressure in the second passage 36 will pass through the ports 251 into the inner portions of the cylinders, urging the gripping members 252 outwardly into firm gripping engagement with the wall of the well casing. Leakage of fluid around each gripping member is prevented by a suitable side seal ring 257 slidably and sealingly engaging the wall of its radial cylinder.

If the button types of anchors 30 are employed in the well packers 14, 15 to prevent their upward movement, the removal of the second tubular string E from the upper receptable 35 wil-l equalize the fluid pressure internally and externally of the button anchor elements 25,2 and allow the springs 2,54 to shift them to retracted position. If the button anchor elements are used in the intermediate packer 14, the pressure across them can also be equalized by suitably shifting the sleeve valve 194 in the second tubing 24 between the upper and intermediate packers 15, 14 to an open position.

It is, accordingly, apparent that a tandem arrangement of well packers has been provided, in which the well` packers can be definitely located in the well casing, the ltubing strings D, E to which they are secured remaining in a definite location and appropriately longitudinally spaced from one another. Setting of the well packers occurs selectively or sequentially without shifting the positions of the packers and of the tubing strings to which they are attached. Despite the sequential setting of the Well packers hydraulically, they still enable the tubular strings D, E to be flanged up at the top of the well borev prior to circulating the drilling mud, or other undesired fluids, from the well casing F, after which hydraulic setting can occur.

Although t-wo hydraulically actuated packers in tandem has been illustrated and described, it is apparent that any greater number can be run in the well casing at a single time with the upper packers being like the packer 15 andv conditioned hydraulically for sequential or eveny simul- -taneous setting by positioning their valve mechanisms for subsequent pressure actuation following the arrival of the tripping ball 141a, or the like, atits lowermost` valve seat 169. If sequential hydraulic setting is desired, the shear strength of the screws 134 securing the elongate rvalve sleeve 130 to the housing extensions 133 need merely be varied from one packer to the other so that the imposition of the required pressures in the second tubular string E will effect a shifting f the corresponding sleeve valve 130 to open its ports 121, and a setting of the packer containing such sleeve Valve 130. An increase of pressure will then effect setting of another packer whose sleeve valve 130 is being held across its cylinder ports 121 by stronger shear screws 134, and so forth, for all of the tandem arranged packers in the well casing.

I claim:

1. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a Well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together; each packer including a normally retracted means, fluid operated means for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore, and means for conducting fluid to said fluid operated means, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said fluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; means initially preventing passage of fluid through said conducting means to each of said fluid operated means at a pressure sufficient to expand said normally retracted means; and means for shifting said preventing means to permit fluid passage to said fluid operated means of each packer to expand the normally retracted means of such packer.

2. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore a plurality of Well packers secured together and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including a normally retracted means and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive to fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said fluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the Wall of the well bore; each packer having means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; means for shifting said preventing means of each packer to a position permitting fluid pressure from its passage to pass to its fluid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer; and means for longitudinally shifting said slips and expander with respect to each other to retract said slips from the wall of the well bore.

3. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore; a plurality of well packers secured together in longitudinally spaced relation; each packer having a fluid passage, normally retracted means, and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive to fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said fluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; and means for shifting said preventing means of each packer to a position permitting fluid pressure from its passage to pass to its fluid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer.

4. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore and associated with tubular means extending to the top of the well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together in longitudinally spaced relation; each packer having a fluid passage, normally retracted means,v and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive t o fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said fluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage toits fluid operated means; means including a device adapted for downward movement through the tubular means for enabling fluid pressure to be built up in each packer passage and hydraulically shift the preventing means of each packer to a position permitting fluid pressure from its passage to pass to its fluid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer; and means for longitudinally shifting said slips and expander with respect to each other to retract said slips from the wall of the well bore. i

5. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including a normally retracted means and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive to fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted ment with the Wall of the well bore; each packer having well bore, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said fluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means;

and means adapted to arrest fluid flow in each packer passage for enabling iiuid pressure to be built up in each packer passage for action upon the preventing means of each packer to shift said preventing means of each packer to a position permitting fluid pressure from its passage to pass to its uid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer.

6. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including a normally retracted means and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive to fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the Well bore, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said iluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; and means adapted to arrest fluid ilow in each packer passage for enabling iluid pressure to be built up in each packer passage for action upon the preventing means of each packer to shift said preventing means of each packer to a position permitting fluid pressure from its passage to pass to its fluid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer; the hydraulically shiftable means of an upper packer requiring substantially greater fluid pressure to shift it than the hydraulically shiftable means of a lower packer, whereby the normally retracted means of said lower packer is expanded prior to expansion of the normally retracted means of said upper packer.

7. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore and associated with tubular means extending to the top of the well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including a normally retracted means and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive to uid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normallyretracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said fluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing yfrom its passage to its iluid operated means; and means including a device adapted for downward movement through the tubular means and intercommunictaing passages for enabling uid pressure to be built up in each packer passage for action upon the preventing means of each packer to shift said preventing means of each packer to a position permitting uid pressure from its passage to pass to its fluid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer.

8. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore and associated with tubular means extending to `the top of the well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including a normally retracted means and iluid operated means communicating with and responsive t-o lluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement wit-h the wall of the well bore, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said fluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its iiuid operated means; and means including .a device ad-apted for downward movement through the tubular means and intercommunicating passages for enabling fluid pressure to be built up in each packer passage for action upon the preventing means of each packer to shift said preventing means of each packer t-o a position permitting uid pressure from its passage to pass to its uid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer; the hydraulically shiftable means of an upper packer requiring substantially greater fluid pressure to shift it than the hydraulically shiftable means of a lower packer, whereby the normally retracted means of said lower packer is expanded prior to expansion of the normally retracted means of said upper packer.

9. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore and associated with tubular means extending to the top of the well bore: upper and lower Well packers secured together in longitudinally spaced relation and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including normally retracted means and iluid operated means communicating with and responsive to fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said `normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore, said normally retracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips -being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said fluid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing uid pressure from passing from its passage to its iluid operated means, -said hydraulically shiftable means being shiftable by fluid pressure in its packer passage toa position permitting iiuid pressure from such passage to pass to its uid operated means and expand the normally retracted means -of the packer; and means for closing said passages against downward ow of fluid to enable fluid pressure to be built up in said passages to shift said hydraulically shiftable means.

10. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore and associated with tubular means extending to the top of the well bore: upper and lower well packers secured together in longitudinally spaced relation and having intercommunicatingrpassages; each packer including normally retracted means and -uid operated means communicating with and responsive to fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore, said normallyretracted means comprising slips and an expander engageable with said slips, said expander and slips being movable longitudinally relative to each other by said uid operated means into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its iiuid operated means, said hydraulically shiftable means being shiftable by fluid pressure in its packer passage to a position permitting Huid pressure from such passage to pass to its fluid operated means and expand the normally retracted means of the packer; and means for closing said passages against downward ow of fluid to enable fluid pressure to be built up in said passages to shift said hydraulically shiftable means; the hydraulically shiftable means of an upper packe-r being constructed vand arranged as to require substantially -greater iluid pressure to shift it than the hydraulically shift-able means of a lower packer, whereby the normally retracted means of said lower packer is expanded prior to expansion of the normally retracted means of said upper packer.

11. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore and associated with tubular means extending to the top of the well bore: upper and lower well packers secured together in longitudinally spaced relation and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including normally retracted means and uid operated means communicating with and responsive to fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore; said upper packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; said lower packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid `pressure from passing l Si from its passage to its fluid operated means; said upper and lower hydraulically shiftable means being shiftable by fluid pressure in said upper and lower packer passages, respectively; valve means for preventing fluid pressure in said upper packer passage from acting on said upper hydraulically shiftable means; means including a device adapted for downward movement through the tubular means and intercommunicating passages for shifting said valve means to a position permitting fluid pressure to act on said upper hydraulically shiftable means, for shifting said lower hydraulically shiftable means to a position permitting fluid pressure from said lower passage to pass to said lower fluid operated means and expand the normally retracted means of the lower packer, and to enable fluid pressure to be Ibuilt up in said upper passage to shift said upper hydraulically shiftable means to a position permitting fluid pressure from said upper passage to pass to said upper fluid operated means and expand the normally retracted means of said upper packer.

12. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore and associated with tubular means extending to the top of the well bore: upper and lower well packers secured together in longitudially spaced relation and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including normally retracted means and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive to fluid pressure in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore, said upper packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; said lower packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing fluid pressure from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; said upper and lower hydraulically shiftable means being shiftable by fluid pressure in said upper and lower packer passages, respectively; valve means for preventing fluid pressure in said upper packer passage from acting on said upper hydrauliaclly shiftable means; a valve seat communicating with said lower packer passage -below said lower hydraulically shiftable means; and trip means adapted for downward movement through the tubular means and intercommunicating passages into engagement with said valve means to shift said valve means to a position permitting fluid pressure to act on said upper hydraulically shiftable means, said trip means then passing downwardly to said lower hydraulically shiftable means to shift said lower hydraulically shiftable means to a position permitting fluid pressure from said lower passage to pass to said lower fluid operated means and expand the normally retracted means of the lower packer; such trip means then passing downwardly into engagement with said valve seat to enable fluid pressure to `be built up in said upper passage to shift said upper hydraulically shiftable means to a position permitting fluid pressure from said upper passage to pass to said upper fluid operated means and expand the normally retracted means of said upper packer.

13. In apparatus to be lowered and set in a well bore: longitudinally spaced upper and lower packers having fluid passages therein; tubular means between and connected to said packers in communication with said passages; said packers and tubular means lbeing adapted to be lowered in the well bore as a unit; each of said packers including normally retracted means and means for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore; said expanding means of said lower packer being operatively connected to said tubular means for shifting the lower portion of said tubular means downwardly upon expanding the normally retracted means of said lower packer; said tubular means including a telescopic joint preventing downward movement of said lower portion from being transmitted to said upper packer.

14. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together and having interconnecting passages; each packer including normally retracted means and hydraulically operable means communicating with and responsive to the hydrostatic head of fluid in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having means preventing the hydrostatic head of fluid from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; and means for shifting said preventing means of such packer to a position permitting the hydrostatic head of fluid from its passage to pass to its fluid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer.

15. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together in longitudinally spaced relation; each packer having a fluid passage, normally retracted means, and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive to the hydrostatic head of fluid in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having means preventing the hydrostatic head of fluid from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; and means for shifting said preventing means of each packer to a position permitting the hydrostatic head of fluid from its passage to pass to its fluid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer.

16. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore: a plurality of well packers secured together and having interconnecting passages; each packer including normally retracted means and hydraulically operable means communicating with and responsive to the hydrostatic head of fluid in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing the hydrostatic head of fluid from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means; and means adapted to arrest fluid flow in each packer passage for enabling fluid pressure to be built up in each packer passage for action upon the preventing means of each packer to shift said preventing means of each packer to a position permitting the hydrostatic head of fluid in its passage to pass to its fluid operated means to expand the normally retracted means of the packer.

17. In apparatus adapted to be lowered in a well bore and associated with tubular means extending to the top of the well bore: upper and lower well packers secured together in longitudinally spaced relation and having intercommunicating passages; each packer including normally retracted means and fluid operated means communicating with and responsive to the hydrostatic head of fluid in its packer passage for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly into engagement with the wall of the well bore; each packer having hydraulically shiftable means preventing the hydrostatic head of fluid from passing from its passage to its fluid operated means, said hydraulically shiftable means being shiftable by fluid pressure in its packer passage to a position permitting the hydrostatic head of fluid in such passage to pass to its fluid operated means and expand the normally retracted means of the packer; and means for closing said passages against downward flow of fluid to enable fluid pressure to be built up in said passages to shift said hydraulically shiftable means.

18. In apparatus adapted to conduct fluid to first and second parallel tubular strings extending to the top of the well bore: upper and lower packers adapted to be disposed in the well bore; each packer having substantially parallel first and second passages therethrough, normally retracted means, and fluid operated means for expanding said normally retracted means outwardly against the wall of the well bore; first tubing extending between and connected to said packers in communication with the first passages of said packers; second tubing extending between and connected to said packers in communication with the second passages of said packers; means on said upper packer for connecting said upper packer to the tubular strings with the first upper packer

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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/119, 166/189, 166/120, 166/187, 166/319
International ClassificationE21B33/122, E21B33/12
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/122
European ClassificationE21B33/122