US 3297344 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 10, 1967 J. w. E. HANES 3,297,344
CONNECTORS FOR WELL PARTS Filed June 18, 1964 2 Sheets$heet 1 I 19 |7-I 2 i 2; V L
5 l7 1 13 T 1 T 6 6 1 JRMES W. E HANES I INVENTOR.
AT TOIZ NEY Jan. 10, 1967 J. w. E. HANES CONNECTORS FOR WELL PARTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 18, 1964 lSa.
HAM/ES INVENTOR JAMES W 1;.
ATTORNEY United States Patent ()fiiice 3,297,344 Patented Jan. 10, 1967 3,297,344 CONNECTORS FOR WELL PARTS James W. E. Hanes, Ventura, Califl, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Ventura Tool Company, Ventura, Calrf., a corporation of California Filed June 18, 1964, Ser. No. 376,117 2 Claims. (Cl. 285-141) The present invention relates to connector means for tubular parts such as, for example, certain tubular parts of well structures, and more particularly, the invention may be advantageously employed in the connection of tubular parts of a well structure located underwater 1n the drilling and/or completion of offshore 011 and/or gas wells.
In the drilling and/or completion of offshore or underwater oil and/or gas wells, particularly in the case of socalled ocean floor completions, it is desirable, if not necessary, that certain connections of tubular parts he made and broken without rotation and with ease, notwithstanding impediments, such as ocean currents, surface waves, winds and the like, which may affect the barge or boat from which the drilling or completion operations are being conducted.
An example of such a connection is the hanging of well casing or tubing in a casing head, and an object of the invention is the provision of instrumentalities to land the casing in the head and to retain the same in releasably locked relation in such manner that relative rotation is not necessary, but instead the casing hanger is automatically latched in position in the casing head responsive to and as a result of landing the hanger in the head.
More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide an automatic latching device operable to latch a casing hanger in a casing head and including means for releasing the latching device in a simple and expeditious manner, without requiring relative rotation of the casing hanger and casing head.
Another object of the invention is to provide a releasable latch for casing hangers or the like which may be easily and expeditiously operated under the difiiculties of wave and current motions which prevail underwater, as would be encountered in the case of underwater well heads.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an automatic latch for easing hangers, wherein the latch is protected against accumulation of foreign matter which may otherwise tend to interfere with release of the latch, particularly in underwater locations.
This invention possess 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:
FIGURE 1 is a vertical sectional view taken longitudinally of a well head assembly having a casing hanger releasably latched therein in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view illustrating the casing head with the casing hanger latched therein, but with the well head removed to enable release of the latching means;
FIG. 3 is a view illustrating the casing hanger removed from the casing head;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view illustrating the latch means in latched condition and showing releasing means in applied position;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, showing the latch means released, but the casing hanger still in place;
FIG. 6 is a transverse sectional view as taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, but showing the latch means released.
Referring first to FIG. 1, the invention is shown in an assembly comprising, generally, a casing hanger 1, releasably retained by latch means 2 in .a casing head 3, the latter having a well head member 4 thereon which may be connected thereto in any suitable manner (not shown).
The casing hanger 1, which is best seen in detail in FIG. 3, is in the form of a tubular body having a cylindrical upper or sealing portion 5, in an intermediate reduced portion 6, and a lower connector portion 7. Casing head 3 is also a tubular body and has an upper sealing section 8, an intermediate latching section 9, and a lower section 10. These sections are adapted for receiving the casing hanger 1 in such a manner that a seal is effected between the sealing sections 5 and 8 of the casing hanger and casing head, respectively, the former being landed in the latter and releasably latched therein by the releasable latch means 2. In addition, the upper extremity 11 of a casing string C is supported by threads 12 on the connector portion 7 of the casing hanger within the lower section 10 of the casing head.
More specifically, it will be noted that the sealing section 5 of the hanger is formed to closely fit within an inner bore 13 in the upper head section 8 and sealing means is provided therebetween as by a resilient seal ring 14 disposed in a peripheral groove 15 in the section 5. Additional sealing rings 15a are carried by the latching section 6 of the hanger and are engageable in the bore 9a of the casing head.
At the juncture of hanger sections 5 and 6 is an external shoulder -16 which may engage with an internal shoulder 17 within the casing head section 8 when the hanger is landed in the head. However, the casing hanger is provided with a lower landing shoulder 18 below the latching section 6 engageable with a landing shoulder 19 internally of the casing head as the hanger is lowered into the head, so as to support the weight of the casing C.
The latching means 2 as shown in the illustrative em bodiment comprises a resilient metal latch ring 20 disposed in a groove 21 in the latching section 6 of the hanger 1. Referring to FIG. 4, it will be observed that the normal inside diameter of the ring 20 is substantially greater than the diameter of the inner wall of the groove so that the ring is resiliently deformable inward to the extent that its outer periphery is within the groove, as shown in FIG. 5. Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7 it will be seen that the ring 20 is radially split at 22 to enable sulficient deformation of the ring so that it may be circumferentially reduced and confined within the groove 21.
This ring 20 has a lower and outer bevelled corner 23 engageable with the internal shoulder 17 in the head as the hanger is lowered into the head, whereby the ring will be constricted into the groove 21 as it passes the shoulder 17 and will inherently resume its normal shape, expanding into a channel or internal groove 24 in the casing head, when the 'hanger is landed as above described. Ring 20, at its upper outer corner is square so that it positively engages and interlocks in the groove 24 to prevent removal of the hanger from the head 3 until the ring is purposely constricted. When in latching position the ring 20 bridges the hanger and head parts.
Means are provided for constricting or deforming the ring 20 to cause circumferential reduction of its size.
Such means, as 'herein illustrated, comprises a suitable number of circumferentially spaced screws 25 threaded in openings 26 in the latching section 9 of the casing head and projecting generally radially so that the screw heads 27 may be easily engaged by a tool. The inner ends of screws 25 have plain portions 28 of a length to extend radially a distance greater than the depth of channel 24 when it is desired to release the latch means.
In the use of this invention in ocean floor completions, it is desired that means be provided for the prevention of accumulation of foreign matter in the groove 21 in which the latch ring is disposed. In the present embodiment such means is in the form'of a deformable filler ring 29 behind the latch ring 20 and filling the space within the latter ring. This filler is preferably sponge or foam rubber.
To assist in deformation of the filler 29, the casing head is provided with an annular groove 30 opening into the ring receiving groove 21 and forming a chamber for the reception of filling material when the ring 20 deforms the latter. This groove 30 also establishes communication between the ring groove 21 and a suitable number of ports 31 which lead into the casing hanger from the groove 21, to prevent the trapping of fiuid within the groove 21.
It will now be recognized that the present casing hanger will be automatically interlocked with the casing head upon lowering of the hanger into the head, without requiring relative rotation, as is the case with threaded connections.
Until such time as it is desired to remove the hanger, the screw holes 26 may be plugged with simple plug screws 32, as shown in FIG. 1, and when removal of the hanger is indicated, the plug screws 32 may be removed and replaced by screws which are-adapted to inwardly deform the ring to the position shown in FIG. 5, at which point the ring 20 will clear the inside diameter or the easing head and permit elevation and removal of the hanger without rotation.
When the hanger 1 is in place, as shown in FIG. 1, for example, and the well head assembly 4 is in place on the head 3, it is noted that the casing head has no portion of less inside diameter than the bore of the casing .C and, hence, olfcrs no obstruction to the passage of tools therethrough nor any restriction to flow of fluids.
1. A wellhead assembly comprising: a tubular head member having an axial bore, a tubular hanger member axially movable into the bore of said head member; stop means for landing said hanger member in said head member, said hanger member having an external circumferential groove, said head member having an internal circumferential groove, a split resilient latch ring mounted in said external groove and extending into said internal groove to latch said members together, said external groove being radially deeper than said latch ring, a resilient deformable filler in said external groove within said latch ring filling the space between said ring and the base of said external groove when said ring is in latching position within said internal groove to prevent accumulation of foreign matter in said external groove, and means in said head member engageable with said ring to contract the same into said external groove fully from said internal groove and compress said filler, said hanger member having achamber communicating with the region of said external groove containing said filler to enable said filler to be deformed into said chamber when compressed.
2. In a well head assembly as defined in claim 1; wherein said hanger member has a plurality of openings leading inwardly from said chamber into said hanger member.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,104,180 1/1938 Barker 285-141 2,289,164 7/1942 Arnold et a1. 285-350 X 2,453,597 11/1948 Sarver 285-277 2,704,681 3/1955 Fischer 8.8 3,036,846 5/1962 Peras 285106 3,168,334 2/1965 Johnson 2 8555 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,305,096 8/1962 France.
886,588 1/1962 Great Britain.
CARL W. TOMLIN, Primary Examiner.
D. W. AROLA, Assistant Examiner.