|Publication number||US3269463 A|
|Publication date||Aug 30, 1966|
|Filing date||May 31, 1963|
|Priority date||May 31, 1963|
|Publication number||US 3269463 A, US 3269463A, US-A-3269463, US3269463 A, US3269463A|
|Inventors||Page Jr John S|
|Original Assignee||Page Jr John S|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (29), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Aug. 30, 1966 J. s. PAGE, JR
WELL PRESSURE RESPONSIVE VALVE 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed May 5l, 1963 I NVENTOR.
40 670m/ 5. PAGE, cl2.
Aug, 30, i966 J. s. PAGE, JR
WELL PRESSURE RESPONSIVE VALVE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 3l, 1963 INVNTOR.. t/A/ E e" 1:12a.
E f /E /ff rroQ/VEYS.
United States Patent O 3,269,463 WELL PRESSURE RESPNSHVE VALVE .lohn S. Page, r., 145@ El Mirador, Long Beach, Calif. Filed May 3i, 1963, Ser. No. 284,629 18 Claims. (Cl. 1466-224) This invention relates generally to fluid pressure responsive valves usable in Wells, and more particularly concerns the construction and operation of well flow responsive valves characterized as closing off upward flow in tubing when the upward fiow increases to a value or values within a predetermined range.
It is frequently necessary or desirable to control the upward flow of well fluid, as for example in well tubing, in such manner as to pass the flow when the pressure remains below given levels, and to block such flow upon the occurrence of undesirably higher pressure levels. Past devices for accomplishing this control function have in the main lacked that simplicity of operation and construction, and versatility as respects installation and control, which characterize the present invention, as will be brought out. For example, certain prior devices require auxiliary pressure lines running downwardly from the surface for communicating operating pressure to the valve at considerable depth, such lines being difficult to run into an-d out of a well and being subject to breakage with consequent loss of control of the valve.
It is a major object of the present invention to provide improved apparatus and method by which the above mentioned advantages may `be secured, and the disadvantages of prior devices overcome.
Broadly considered in its apparatus aspects, the invention comprises an assembly operable to control the upward flow of fluid in well tubing, and including a tubular valve body, a generally annular seat in said body, `and a plug carried by the body for bodily movement between a down position in Which the plug is offset from the seat, and an up position in which the plug engages the seat to plug upward flow therethrough. Further, assembly passages are located to pass the well fluid openly and upwardly past the plug in its down position, and also to communicate the flow pressure to upper and lower sides of the plug in down position, the passages being sized to create a flow pressure differential across the plug sufficient to effect upward movement and seating when the upward flow rate reaches a value within predetermined range. More specifically, the assembly includes an insert receivable within a valve body bore, the insert carrying the seat and forming a pressure differential creating orifice. Also, the insert receives the valve in its up position, the insert then being movable axially within the valve 'body bore into and -out of operating position with respect to a side passage sized to receive the plug as it moves fromup to down position. The insert furthermore has tubular extent with side ports communicating with the side passage at upper and lower elevations when the insert is moved into operating position, the mentioned orifice being located `between said elevations.
Extended to its method aspects, the invention concerns the limiting of upward flow of fluid in open tubing within a well and at selected depth. Basic steps of the method include inserting in the tubing a pressure differential responsive check valve assembly characterized as bodily movable therein, effecting downward flow of fluid in the tubing while restricting said flow downwardly relative to the assembly thereby to produce `assembly movement to selected depth, locking the assembly for retention at said depth, and effecting upward flow of fluid in the 4tubing while restricting said flow upwardly through the open assembly thereby to create a pressure differential 3,269,463- Patenteel August 30, 1966 ICC operable to close the check valve when the upward flow rate reaches a predetermined range. One form of check valve assembly includes the insert mentioned above which, together with the valve body, carry guide shoulders for rotating the insert in response to axial movement thereof downwardly into operating position, thereby to bring the side ports into communication with the side passage in the tubing. Accordingly, the method of the invention may be characterized as including the step of main-taining the assembly axially open throughout its length during upward flow of fluid therethrough, inasmuch as the plug is receivable in the side passage when the insert is landed in operating position.
Further as respects installation of the valve assembly in a string of tubing remaining in place in the well, the restriction of downward flow to produce assembly movement to selected depth may be carried out as by inserting a downward fluid pressure responsive ram in the tubing and directly above the assembly, thereby to push the latter downward to selected depth. Afterward, the ram may be lifted in the tubing upwardly away from the assembly .as by effecting upward flow of fluid through the assembly and against the ram, the assembly also being locked for retention at selected depth. Finally, the method contemplates the further steps of unlocking the assembly when it is desired to retrieve the assembly from the tubing, and effecting sufficient upward flow of fluid in the tubing to close the check valve and raise the assembly in the tubing by upward fluid pressure exertion thereagainst.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention, as well as the details of an illustrative embodiment, will be more fully understood from the following detailed description of the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a vertical elevation sectioned and broken away in part to show the application of one form of valve contemplated by the invention in a string of production tubing, together with installation and retrieval equipment at the well head;
FIGS. 2a and 2b comprise enlarged vertical elevations showing a method of installing the insert portion of the valve assembly downwardly in and through tubing toward the valve 'body portion of the assembly connected into the tubing string;
FIG. 3 is a further enlarged vertical section showing the installed valve assembly including the interior construction thereof;
FIG. 4 is a vertical elevation showing the upward portion `of the installed valve assembly in unlocked condition; `and FIG. 5 is view taken on line 5 5 of FIG. 3.
Referring first to FG. 1, the valve assembly 1t) constructed in accordance with one form of the invention, as will be described, includes a valve body 11 connected into a production tubing string 12 which extends downwardly within well casing 13. The latter extends upwardly to the Well head where it mounts the control equipment generally designated at 14. Such equipment includes a main valve -15 for controlling the upward flow through the tubing 12, a production flow Valve 16 in line 17, and an inlet flow control valve 18 through which fluid may be pumped at 19 to the annular space 29 within the well and outside the tubing 12. For example, fluid may be pumped downwardly into said space in order to effect upward flow within the string 12, for purposes as will be brought out. The well head assembly also includes a flexible line 21 through which liuid pressure may be pumped at 22 into the string 12 via the intermediate structure `generally designated at 23. The latter includes shut-off valves 24 and 25 at `opposite sides of a releasable coupling 26 through which access may be lhad to the interior of the conduit 27 in order to insert and remove apparatus as will be described, such apparatus including a retrievable insert portion or sub-assembly of the complete valve assembly 10.
Referring now to FIGS. 2b and 3, the tubular valve body 11 is shown as having threaded pin and box ends 28 and 29 for connection into the tubing string 1.2, the body also having a bore 30. A plug, typically 1n the form of a ball 31, is carried by the body for bodily 'movement between a down position as shown in -full lines, and an up position :shown by the broken lines 31a, in which the plug'engages a generally annular and relatively hard plastic seat 32 carried in the body to block upward ow therethrough.
The assembly has passages located to pass'the well uid openly and upwardly past the plug 31 in its down position, and also to communicate iiow pressure to upper and lower sides of the plug in said down position, the passages being -sized to create a pressure differential across the plug sufficient to effect upward movement thereof to seat the plug when the upward iiow rate reaches a value Within a predetermined range. In the embodiment shown, such passages include an axially extending main through passage 33 to pass the well fluid openly and upwardly past the -plug and sized to receive the main extent of the plug in said up position, and a side passage 34 sized to receive the plug as it moves from said up to said down pos1t1on to become transversely spaced from the main passage axis 35. Further, the side passage communicates with the main passage at upper and lower elevations below the seat 32, such el-evations being ygenerally indicated by the locations of the side ports 36 and 37 yformed in tubular extent 38 of an insert 39, which is receivable within the valve body bore 30. As is clear from FIG. 3, the insert 39 carries the seat 32 and receives the ball in its up position 31a.
The insert also forms the main passage 33, which includes an orifice section 40 located generally between the upper and lower elevations mentioned, and it will be understood that the orifice is sized and located in such relation to the side passage 34 and ports 36 and 37 as to create the desired flow pressure differential across the ball 31 sufficient to effect movement thereof from said down to said up position when the upward flow rate reaches a value within the predetermined range. Accordingly, when the ball becomes seated, it prevents further upward flow through the assembly, whereas when the ball is in its down position, the main passage 33 remains open so as not to unduly restrict downward access through the assembly.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 5, it will be understood that the insert 39 is movable axially within the bore 30 into and out lof operation position with respect to the side passage 34. In this regard, means is provided for rotating the insert in response to axial movement thereof downwardly into said operation position, thereby to bring the side ports 36 and 37 into communication with upper and lower extents of the side passage 34. Such -means typically includes guide shoulders such as are shown in FIG. 5 at 41 on the insert and at 42 on lug projection `43 of the valve body, the shoulders 41 and 42 being symmetrical with respect to a vertical plane 44 through the insert axis 35 and bisecting the lug. F-urther, the shoulders 41 extend from a lower point 45, at the side of the insert opposite the lug, and in generally upward directions spiraling symmetrically about lthe insert axis 35 to form the upper slot 46, the latter receives the lug projection 43 as the latter cams against either of the shoulders 41, thereby rotating the dropping insert about the axis 35 to properly `orient it with respect to the side passage 34. The insert is suitably landed in operating position as by engagement of the insert shoulder 47 with the lug shoulder 48, thereby holding the insert axially against further downward displacement in operating position and with respect to the valve body 11.
The landed insert is also held axially against upward displacement relative to the valve body, one unusually desirable form of holding means including outwardly urged latches 49 received in valve body bore grooving 50 when the latches register with such grooving. Such holding `means also includes outwardly urged spring fingers 51 carrying the latches and projecting upwardly with respect to the tubular extent of the insert 3'9. The latter may be considered to include an upper tubular section 52 integral with the bases 53 of the fingers 51, a connector sleeve 54, and a tubular portion 55 generally above the level of the seat 32. `Releasable interconnection of the sleeve 54 with the insert portions 52 and 55 is facilitated by detents such as pins 56 and 57 and suitable grooving therefor, as shown in FIG. 3. A `ring lseal is also illustrated at 58 as carried by the insert sleeve 54 for sealing off between the sleeve and the valve bore 30.
FIG. 2a shows one manner by which the insert 39 may be displaced downwardly within the well tubing 12 and into the valve body 11 as described above. Thus, uid pressure responsive means is provided in the form of a ram generally indicated at 60 having a lower terminal 61 engageable with the insert, as for example at the tapered shoulder 62. The ram also includes fluid pressure activated sealing structure for sealing off against the tubing bore above the insert, such structure typically including upper and lower packing cups 63 and 64 suitably attached as at 65 and 66 to the rod 67 carrying the lower terminal 61. Accordingly, when fiuid pressure is exerted downwardly against the upwardly opening packer cup 63, it seals against the tubing bore 68 and transmits pressure to the rod 67, which in turn forces the insert 39 downwardly to the operating position shown in FIG. 3. During such downward displacement the latches 49 ratchet into and out of any grooves formed at the ends of tubing stands, as a result of the provision of tapered shoulders 69 at the undersides of the latches. When the latches have locked into the grooving 50 as shown in FIG. 3, they prevent upward bodily displacement of the insert due to engagement of the fiat upper surfaces 70 of the latches with the downward facing surface 71 of the groove 5t). Surfaces 70 and 71 taper downwardly slightly, say at around 15 with respect to horizontal, to assure interlocking engagement thereof when upward pressure of the ow urges the insert bodily upwardly, as seen in FIG. 3.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show the holding means to include upper terminal connections generally indicated at 72 carried by the spring fingers 51 above the latches, and adapted to be grasped by a tool acting to collapse the fingers inwardly allowing upward axial retrieval of the insert from within the Valve and tubing. In this regard, one unusually advantageous tool for performing the collapsing function is shown in FIG. 4 to comprise a tubular member 73 extending telescopically downwardly over the connections 72, the tool and connections having mutually interengageable serrations generally shown at 74 and 75 for holding the latches disengaged from the grooving 50. Further, the member 73 may be forcibly displaced downwardly into the position shown in FIG. 4 by pumping fluid downwardly against a stopper 76 closing tubular member 73. Thereafter, the stopper 76 may be removed upwardly away from the member 73 in response to upward fiow of fluid through the insert and against the underside of the stopper. It is then possible to -remove the insert 39 upwardly away from operating position by flowing well iiuid upwardly through the string 12 at a rate sufficient to seat the ball plug 31 at 32, the pressure then lifting the insert with the latches 49 held in the collapsed position shown in FIG. 4.
Referring now to a complete sequence of installation, operation and retrieval of the insert sub-assembly portion of the apparatus described above, reference is again made to FIG. 1. The insert 39 is rst inserted into the conduit 27 by opening the coupling 26 after the valves 24 and 25 are closed. Also, the ram shown in FIG. 2a may be inserted, following which the coupling may be made up and the valves 24 and 25 opened to admit liuid pressure from flexible line 21 to the upper cup 63 of the ram. Assuming valve is opened, the insert and ram travel downwardly within the tubing in the condition shown in FIG. 2a, whereby the insert ultimately arrives in the position shown in FIG. 3. Thereafter, the ram may be removed upwardly from the tubing by exerting fluid pressure upwardly against the ram lower cup 64. For this purpose, valve 24 may be closed and valves 16 and 18 opened, whereby fluid pressure is admitted to the annulus and to the tubing interior below the assembly 10. Such fluid may circulate downwardly through the packer 80 and then back up through tubing 11.
Operation of the valve assembly may proceed as described above for passing production fluid upwardly through the tubing, and in the event the rate of flow exceeds a certain level, as for example a value within a predetermined range, the assembly will shut off the flow automatically at selected depth in the well. If for any reason it is desired after a period of time to remove the insert 39 for inspection or replacement, without disturbing the tubing 12, the insert is first unlocked as by collapsing the latches 49 inwardly to the positions shown in FIG. 4. This is accomplished by inserting the members 73 and 76 into the tubing through the coupling 26, and fiowing them downwardly to the position shown in FIG. 4. It is also possible to use a wire line tool with sinker bar attachment to achieve the release of the latches. Thereafter, the liuid pressure exerted upwardly against the insert will flow out the stopper ball 76 and, may be increased sufficiently to seat the ball plug 31 at 32, following which the insert and ball may be displaced upwardly for retrieval at the coupling 26.
1. An assembly operable to control the upward flow of liuid in well tubing, comprising a tubular valve body having a bore, a generally tubular insert receivable within said bore, a generally annular seat carried by said insert, a plug carried within the body for bodily movement between a down position in which the plug is offset from said seat and an up position in which the plug engages the seat to block upward flow therethrough, the assembly having passage structure located to pass the well liuid openly and upwardly past the plug in said down position and also to communicate the flow pressure to said plug in said down position, sufficient pressure application to the plug acting to effect upward movement thereof to seat the plug, the insert having an operating position relative to the valve body and the insert being movable axially within said valve body bore into and out of said operating position.
2. The assembly as defined in claim 1 in which the plug in said up position is at the body axis and in said down position is eccentrically offset with respect to said axis.
3. An assembly operable to control the upward flow of fluid in well tubing, comprising a tubular valve body having a bore, an insert receivable within said bore, a generally annular downward facing seat carried by said insert, a plug carried within the body for bodily movement between a down position in which the plug is below the level of said seat and `an up position in which the plug engages the seat to block upward flow therethrough, the assembly having an axially extending main through passage to pass the well fluid openly and upwardly past the plug and sized to receive the main extent of the plug in said up position, the assembly also having a side passage sized to receive the plug as it moves from said up to said down position to become transversely spaced from the main passage axis, the side passage communicating with the main passage at upper and lower elevations below the seat and the main passage including an orifice formed by the insert and located between said elevations, said passages being sized to create a flow pressure differential across the plug suliicient to effect plug movement from said down to said up position when the upward flow rate reaches a value within la predetermined range the insert receiving the plug in said up position, the insert having an operating position and being movable axially within said bore into and out of said operating position and with respect to said side passage.
4. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which said insert has tubular extent with side ports communicating with said side passage at said upper and lower elevations when the insert is moved into said operating position, and said plug comprises a ball.
5. The invention as defined in claim 4, in which the insert and valve body carry guide shoulders for rotating said insert in response to axial movement thereof downwardly into said operating position, thereby to bring `the side ports into said communication with said side passage.
6. The invention as defined in claim 4, in which the assembly includes means for releasably holding the insert axially at said operating position in the valve body bore.
7. The invention as defined in claim 6, in which said holding means includes outwardly urged latches carried by the insert, and valve body bore grooving to receive said latches when the insert is displaced axially to register said latches and grooving.
8. The invention as defined in claim 7, in which said holding means includes spring lingers carried by and projecting upwardly with respect to said insert, and having upper terminal connections adapted to be grasped by a tool acting to collapse said fingers inwardly allowing axial retrieving displacement lof the insert within the valve body and tubing.
9. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which said assembly includes `a ring seal carried by said tubular insert for sealing off between the insert and valve body bore.
10. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which said valve body has pin and box threads -at opposite ends thereof for connection into a tubing string.
11. The invention as defined in claim 1, including fluid pressure responsive means engageable with the insert for displacing the insert downwardly within well tubing and into the valve body.
12. The invention as defined in claim 11, in which said fluid pressure responsive means includes a. ram having a lower terminal engageable with the insert and fluid pressure activated sealing structure for sealing off against the tubing bore.
13. For combination with a tubular valve body having a bore and a side passage containing a plug in down position and -communicating with the bore at upper and lower elevation, an insert receivable within said bore and having tubular extent with ports communicating with said side passage at said upper and lower elevations when the insert is moved into operating position in said bore, a generally annular downwardly facing seat carried by the insert above said ports for engagement by the plug in up position, the insert having -an axially extending main through passage to pass the well fluid openly and upwardly past the plug in down position and sized to receive the main extent of the plug in said up position thereof, the main through passage including an orifice sized to create a flow pressure differential across the plug in said side passage sufficient to effect plug movement from said down to said up position when the upward flow rate reaches a value within a predetermined range.
14. The invention as defined in claim 13, in which the insert includes outwardly urged latches receivable in valve body bore grooving in said insert operating position for releasably holding the insert axially in said position.
15. The invention as defined in claim 14, in which the insert includes spring fingers carrying said latches and having upward terminal connections adapted to be grasped by a tool acting to collapse said fingers inwardly allowing axial retrieving displacement of the insert within the valve body and tubing.
16. The invention as defined in claim 14, in which the insert includes spring fingers carrying said latches and having upward terminal connections, and a tubular member extending telescopically downwardly over said connections and acting to collapse them inwardly to allow axial travel of -said insert in said bore.
17. The invention 'as dened in claim 16, including a stopper closing said tubular member and having downward engagement therewith to urge said member downwardly and over said connections in response to downward iluid pressure exertion against the stopper, the stopper being free for upward uid pressure induced displacement away from said member.
18. In an assembly operable to control the upward flow of iluid in well tubing, a tubular body having a bore, an insert including a collet receivable Within said bore, the bore having grooving and the collet having spring fingers and outwardly projecting latch dogs urged outwardly by the fingers into said grooving for releasably latching the collet to said body, the insert having an annular seat, a
valve plug movable toward and away from the seat within said bore to control the upward ow of said fluid within said insert, said insert being movable axially within said bore when said latch dogs are retracted inwardly from said grooving.
References Cited by the Examinerl CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner.
J. A. LEPPINK, Assistant Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||166/329, 166/153, 251/24, 137/515.5, 166/386, 137/519.5|
|International Classification||E21B34/08, E21B34/00|