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Publication numberUS3306366 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 28, 1967
Filing dateApr 22, 1964
Priority dateApr 22, 1964
Publication numberUS 3306366 A, US 3306366A, US-A-3306366, US3306366 A, US3306366A
InventorsMuse John F
Original AssigneeBaker Oil Tools Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well packer apparatus
US 3306366 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 28, 1967 J. F. MUSE WELL PACKER APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 22, 1964 INVENTOR. Tau/v EMUSE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 BY WWW LIOHA/ Feb. 28, 1967 J. F. MUSE WELL PACKER APPARATUS Filed April 22, 1964 Feb. 28, 1967 J. F. MUSE WELL PACKER APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 22 19 Feb. 28, 1967 J. F. MUSE 3,3@6,366

WELL PACKER APPARATUS Filed April 22, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Feb. 28, 1967 J. F. MUSE WELL PAGKER APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 22, 1964 United States Patent 3,306,366 WELL PACKER APPARATUS John F. Muse, Fullerton, Califi, assiguor to Baker Oil Tools, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., a corporation of Califomia Filed Apr. 22, 1964, Ser. No. 361,782 12 Claims. (Cl. 166224) The present invention relates to well packer apparatus including packers adapted to be set in packed-oil? condition in well casing and similar conduit strings disposed in well bores.

An object of the invention is to provide a well packer apparatus having a passage and a valve for controlling fluid flow through the passage, the valve being selectively shiftable positively between open and closed positions and capable of being sealed in closed position to hold fluid pressure imposed on the valve either from below or above the well packer apparatus.

Another object of the invention is to provide a well packer apparatus having a passage and a valve for controlling flow of fluid through the passage in both directions, the valve being positively shiftable between open and closed positions in response to the strain imposed on a tubular or other running-in string extending from the valve to the top of the well bore.

A further object of the invention is to provide a Well packer apparatus having a passage and a valve for controlling fluid flow through the passage, the valve being shiftable between opened and closed positions and being positively locked in closed position against inadvertent shifting to open position, the positive lock being readily released when opening of the valve is desired.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a well packer apparatus having a passage and a valve for controlling fluid flow through the passage, the valve being held selectively in open or closed positions, and shiftable between these positions whenever desired.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a well packer apparatus having a passage and a valve for controlling fluid flow through the passage, in which a tubular string can be associated with thepacker and fluid therein subjected to pressure to verify the fact of valve closing and absence of valve leakage. The application of pressure to the fluid in the tubular string also enables it to be tested for leakage.

Still a further object of the invention is to provide a well packer apparatus adapted to be run in a well bore on a tubular string, and having a passage and a valve for controlling fluid flow through the passage, the valve being selectively retained in either passage opening or closing position, as desired, during lowering of the well packer in the well bore to its setting point.

This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other objects which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of several forms in which it may be embodied. Such forms are shown in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification. These forms 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 side elevational view of a well packer and setting apparatus disposed in a well casing preparatory to setting the packer in the casing;

FIGS. 2a and 2b together constitute a combined longitudinal section through the setting tool and well packer portion of the apparatus disclosed in FIG. 1, with the 3,306,366 Patented Feb. 28, 1967 parts in position for lowering the ap aratus in the well casing, FIG. 212 being a lower continuation of FIG. 2a;

FIGS. 3a and 3b are views corresponding to FIGS. 2a and 2b illustrating the well packer anchored in packedoif condition in the well casing, FIG. 3b being a lower continuation of FIG. 3a;

FIG. 4 is a cross-section taken along the line 4-4 on FIG. 2a;

FIG. 5 is a cross-section taken along the line 5-5 on FIG. 2a;

FIGS. 6a and 6b together constitute a longitudinal section through the well packer apparatus preparatory to its setting in the well casing, with the valve of the well packer initially secured in its closed position, rather than the open position illustrated in FIGS. 2a and 2b, FIG. 6b being a lower continuation of FIG. 6a;

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal section through a modified portion of the apparatus, with the parts conditioned to hold the valve in its open position;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 with the parts arranged to hold the valve in its open position;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of the pin and slot portion of the apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 for selectively retaining the valve in either its open or closed position.

As disclosed in the drawings, it is desired to run a subsurface well tool or packer A, in a well casing B on a suitable setting tool C through use of a tubular runningin string D, such as a string of tubing or drill pipe, extending to the top of the well bore containing the casing. Initially, portions of the well packer A are in retracted position. When the packer has been lowered to the desired setting point in the well casing, such portions are released and expanded outwardly toward the well casing.

The well packer apparatus A includes a body 10, which may be tubular, the lower portion of which may be constituted as a guide and valve body 11 threaded on the main portion of the body. Then central passage through the tubular body may be open or may be closed by a valve device 81 that includes the body 11. A plurality of segmental lower slips 12, having wickers or teeth 13 facing in a downward direction, are capable of anchoring the well packer against downward movement in the well casing and rest upon the lower guide 11. These lower slips 12 have inner surfaces 14 inclined in a downward and inward direction, engaging a companion external surface 15 on a lower expander 16 mounted on the body. The lower slips are held initially in retracted position by shear screws 17 securing them to the lower expander 16, the latter being secured initially to the body 10 by shear screws 18.

The upper end of the lower expander 16 engages the lower portion of a packing structure 23, such as a rubber or rubber-like packing sleeve, surrounding the body 10, the upper end of which engages an upper expander 24 initially releasably secured to the body by one or more shear screws 25 and having an external expander surface 26 inclined upwardly and inwardly, which is companion to corresponding inclined internal surfaces 27 on a plurality of upper segmental slips 28 surrounding the upper portion of the body 10.

For the purpose of holding the slips 12, 28 and packing 23 anchored and in packed-off condition against the well casing, a split lock ring 33 is provided, which has internal ratchet teeth 34 facing in an upward direction and adapted to mesh with companion downwardly facing ratchet teeth 35 on the periphery of the body 10. The lock ring has external tapered cam surfaces 36- adapted to engage companion cam surfaces 37 in the expander 24, the cam surfaces tending to urge the ratchet teeth into mesh with one another. However, upward movement of the body 10 relative to the lock ring 33 can expand the ring outwardly, since there is suflicient lateral play between the cam surfaces 36, 37 when the lock ring is moved upwardly of the expander 28. The lock ring arrangement forms no part of the present invention and may be of any suitable construction. Its purpose is to allow upward movement of the body relative to the upper expander 24, but to prevent downward movement of the body relaive thereto.

The upper segmental slips 28 have teeth 38 facing in an upward direction, the slips coacting with the upper expander 24 and being engageable with the casing B to anchor the well packer A against upward movement therewithin. These slips are held initially in a retracted position against the body 10, their upper ends initially engaging a body ring 39 threaded on the upper end of the body. A retainer ring 40 is mounted on the body between its upper ring 39 and an upwardly facing body shoulder 41, an external ring flange 42 being received within an internal groove 43 in the upper portion of the slips 28 to prevent them from dropping downwardly along the body 10 when the slips are in their fully retracted positions, such as disclosed in FIG. 2a. However, when the slips 28 are expanded outwardly, they are disconnected from the retainer ring flange 42, allowing the body 10 and the ring 40 to move upwardly relative to the slips.

Outward expansion of the slips 28 is produced by a spring device mounted within an internal circumferential groove 44 in the slips. As shown, the spring mechanism comprises several overlapping lengths 45 of spring band material, which normally tend to assume a straight condition, but which are assembled into the arcuate condition illustrated in FIG. 5. An end 46 of each spring length is received in one of a plurality of longitudinal internal weakening grooves 47 in a slip segment 28, such spring extending along the internal groove in the same slip segment and across the gap 48 between adjacent slip segments and substantially along the length of the circumferential groove 44 of the adjacent segment. The spring band members 45 are arranged in overlapping relation, as shown, and by virtue of tending to straighten out, they are exerting a constant spring force urging the slips outwardly. Since they extend within the circumferential groove 44 from one slip segment 28 to an adjacent slip segment, they also collectively tend to hold the slips 28 in transverse alignment with respect to one another. The spring band elements 45 have a width corresponding to the longitudinal extent of the internal slip groove 44, having a working clearance with the sides of the groove to avoid interference with the freedom of the slips 28 to expand outwardly, when permitted to do so.

The setting tool C includes a tubular body, mandrel or inner tubular member 50 adapted to be threadedly secured at its upper end to a coupling 51 forming the lower end of the tubular running-in string D of drill pipe or tubing extending to the top of the hole. This body or mandrel has a lower section 52 threadedly secured to its upper section 50 and slidably keyed to a threaded nut 53 threaded into an upper threaded box 58 of the body member 10. The slidable key arrangement is provided by a key 85 fixed to the section 52 and slidable in a keyway 86 in the nut 53. Since the threaded interconnection between the nut 53 and body 10 is preferably a left-hand one, righthand rotation of the tubular string D and mandrel 50 relative to the body 10 will effect disconnection of the nut 53 from the packer body 10, the nut sliding upwardly on the mandrel section 52 during its unthreading from the body.

Surrounding the mandrel 50 is a device which retains the upper slips 28 in their initially retracted position, but which can be actuated through appropriate manipulation of the tubular string D and mandrel 50 to release the slips 28 for outward expansion under the influence of the springs 45, and in which inadvertent release cannot occur readily. The mechanism surrounding the mandrel can also assist in securing the anchoring engagement of the upper slips 28 with the wall of the well casing B.

As disclosed in the drawings, the slip retaining and slip setting mechanism surrounding the mandrel includes a lower portion or section 60 of a setting and retaining sleeve structure 61, which surrounds the upper body ring 38 and which also surrounds the upper portion of the body slips 28, the lower end 60a of the lower sleeve portion 60 terminating adjacent to a slip shoulder 28a, which can be provided by one of the upwardly facing wickers 01 teeth 38 of the upper slips. By virtue of initially surrounding the upper portion of the slips 28, the lower sleeve portion 60 holds the latter inwardly against the body 10, and in a position in which the upper internal circumferential groove 43 receives the external holding flange 42 of the retainer ring 40.

The lower section 60 of the setting sleeve structure 61 has its upper portion threadedly secured to the lower end of an upper section 65 of the setting sleeve, which surrounds the mandrel 50. The upper end of this upper section is threadedly or otherwise suitably secured to the drag portion 66 of the apparatus. As specifically disclosed, the upper setting sleeve section 65 is threaded onto a lower drag collar 67 which is slidable on the mandrel 50, this collar receiving the lower ends of circumferentially spaced, longitudinally extending outwardly bowed leaf springs 68 adapted to frictionally engage the wall of the well casing B. The lower ends of these springs are secured to the lower collar by an encompassing upper portion 69a of the upper sleeve section 65. The upper ends of the outwardly bowed springs 68 are secured to an upper drag collar 69 slidable on the mandrel by an encompassing retainer ring 70 secured to the upper collar by screws 71, or the like.

Initially, relative downward movement of the body member or mandrel 50, and of the entire well packer A with respect to the setting sleeve structure 61 is prevented by a lock device. As shown, this lock device includes a control nut 72 having internal right-hand threads 73 threadedly connected to companion external threads 74 on the mandrel. When fully threaded on the mandrel, the lower end 75 of the control nut 72 engages an upwardly facing shoulder 76 on the upper sleeve section 65, so that any downward movement of the mandrel 50 is transmitted directly through the control nut 72 to the sleeve shoulder 76 in order to carry the retaining sleeve structure 61 downwardly with the mandrel and frictionally drag the springs 68 along the wall of the well casing. The control nut 72 is prevented from rotating relative to the control sleeve 61, but can partake of longitudinal movement therealong by the provision of a slidable spline connection therebetween. As shown, the slidable spline connection is provided by a key 77 suitably attached to the control nut and slidable within a longitudinal keyway 78 formed in the interior of the upper sleeve section 65.

It is apparent that the control nut 72 cannot move downwardly of the sleeve 65 from the position illustrated in FIG. 2a, but that it can move upwardly along the sleeve. Because of the key and keyway connection 77, 78 between the control nut 72 and sleeve 65, rotation of the control nut is resisted by the frictional engagement of the drag springs 68 against the wall of the Well casing B. Accordingly, right hand rotation of the body or mandrel 50 results in a relative upward feeding of the control nut 72 along the mandrel and along the control sleeve 61, until the control nut is completely unthreaded from the mandrel. Such unthreading will result from the fact that the external diameter 80b of the mandrel 50 above its externally threaded portion 74 is less than the inside diameter of the control nut. After the control nut has been unthreaded from the mandrel 50, the latter is free to move downwardly relative to the setting sleeve structure 61.

Initially, the parts occupy the relative positions illustrated in FIGS. 2a and 2b, in which the lower slips 12 and packing structure 23 are in their initially retracted position and the upper slips are held retracted by being encompassed by the lower portion of the setting sleeve structure 61. At this time, the control nut 72 is in its lower position in full threaded mesh with the mandrel 50' and in engagement with the upwardly facing shoulder 76 in the upper setting sleeve section 65. The left-hand threaded nut 53 is in fully threaded engagement with the threaded box 58 of the packer body with the lower end 5201 of the mandrel section 52 engaging an upwardly facing body shoulder 10b. The apparatus is run in the well casing, the friction drag springs 68 resisting downward movement of the drag device 66 and of the setting or control sleeve structure 61. However, such resistance is overcome by the direct transmission of the thrust from the mandrel 50 and control nut 72 to the setting sleeve shoulder 76. In the event that the tubing string D and mandrel 50 were to be moved upwardly, the entire apparatus will move upwardly with it, since the mandrel section 52 is secured initially to the nut 53 by the shear screws 53a, the upward motion of the mandrel being transmitted to the packer body :10 and from the body through the retainer ring 40- to the upper slips 28, the shoulder 28a, of the latter engaging the lower end 60a, of the lower setting sleeve section and urging the entire setting sleeve structure and drag device in an upward direction.

When the location in the well casing is reached at which the well packer A is to be anchored in packed-off condition, the tubular running-in string D and mandrel 50* are rotated to the right a sufficient number of turns, which, for example, may be about ten turns, which will produce corresponding rotation of the-entire well packer apparatus within the setting sleeve 61, the latter being prevented from rotating by the friction drag device 66, which also prevents the control nut 72 from rotating. As a result of such rotation, the control nut 72 feeds upwardly out of threaded engagement with the mandrel threads 74, thereby allowing the mandrel 50 to move downwardly relative to the setting sleeve structure 61, since downward movement of the latter is resisted by the friction drag springs 68. Downward movement of the mandrel, which can be produced by moving the tubular running-in string D downwardly, will shift the packer A downwardly with it until the upper slips 28 are moved down below the lower end 60a of the setting sleeve structure, thereby freeing such slips and allowing the springs 45 to expand them outwardly against the wall of the well casing, at which time the slips are free from the retainer ring 40 secured to the body 10. The slips are now located below the setting sleeve 60-, which is in a position immediately above the slips and capable of engaging the latter to resist their upward movement in the well casing.

The tubular running-in string D and mandrel 50 are now moved upwardly, the packer body 10 moving upwardly with it, as well as the upper expander 24 and the well packer parts therebelow, the upper expander shifting upwardly behind the upper slips 28 and wedging them to a greater extent outwardly into firm; anchoring engagement with the wall of the well casing B. If the upper slips tend to slide upwardly along the wall of the well casing B, they will move into engagement with the lower end 60a of the setting sleeve 60' (if they are not already in engagement with such lower end). Upward movement of this sleeve is resisted by the friction drag device 66, which results in resistance to upward movement of the upper slips 28. Accordingly, the upper expander 24 can wedge behind the slips and embed their wickers 38 into the wall of the well casing.

The taking of a sufiicient upward strain on the mandrel 50 and the body 10 of the tool will then shear the screws securing the upper expander 24 to the body, the body 10 then moving upwardly and carrying the lower expander 16 and lower slips 12 upwardly with it to shorten the packing sleeve 23 and eifect its lateral expansion into sealing engagement with the wall of the Well casing as well as with the periphery of the body.

Upward movement of the body 10 relative to the upper expander 24 is permitted by the one-way ratchet lock ring device 33. After the packing sleeve 23 has been expanded against the wall of the well casing, a continuation of the upward strain on the mandrel 50 and the body 10 will effect a shearing of the screws 18, 17 attaching the lower expander 16 to the body and the lower slips 12 to the lower expander, the body 10 shifting the lower slips upwardly along the lower expander and outwardly into anchoring engagement with the wall of the well casing. As pointed out above, downward movement of the body 10 cannot occur since its downward force is transmitted through the ratchet ring 33 to the upper expander 24 and through the packing structure 23, lower expander 16 and lower slips 12 to the well casing B. Any tendency for the body 10 to move upwardly is transmitted through the lower slips 12, lower expander 16 and packing structure 23 to the upper expander 24 and through the latter to the upper slips 28 and to the well casing. During the taking of an upward strain on the mandrel in setting the packer, the shear screw 53a may be disrupted, the mandrel moving upward in the nut 53 until a mandrel stop shoulder 52b, engages an upper shoulder 520 on the nut 53.

The well packer A has now been anchored in packedoff condition in the well casing B, as shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b. The mandrel 50 can be released from the body by rotating the tubular running-in string D and the mandrel to the right, the threaded nut 53 unthreading completely from the threaded box 58 of the packer body 10. Following such disconnection of the mandrel from the packer body, the tubular running-in string D and mandrel are elevated, the upper thread turn 74 on the mandrel engaging the control nut 72 and moving the latter upwardly within the setting sleeve structure 61, until the nut 72 engages the lower drag collar 67, after which the entire drag device 66 and setting sleeve structure 61 move upwardly with the mandrel within the wall casing. The tubular running-in string D and the setting tool C can now be elevated in the well casing B to the top of the well bore.

The flow of fluid through the central passage of the body of the well packer is controlled by a valve device 81, which includes the valve body and guide 11 constituting a lower extension of the packer body 10 itself. This valve body 11 has a cylindrical bore therein opening at its upper end into a circumferential internal body groove 10-1 defined between an upwardly facing lower tapered shoulder 102 of the groove and a downwardly facing lower tapered end 103 of the packer body. The lower portion 104 of the valve body is enlarged in internal diameter, its smaller diameter portion 100 having longitudinally spaced internal seals 105, 106 disposed in circumferential grooves 107 in the wall of the body 11.

A valve sleeve 108 is shiftable longitudinally in the valve body 11, the valve sleeve having an external diameter corresponding to the internal diameter of the smaller diameter portion 100 of the valve body, the periphery of the valve sleeve being slidably and sealingly engageable with the longitudinally spaced or upper and lower seal rings 105, 106. The valve sleeve has a lower end wall 109 and circumferentially spaced side ports 110 extending therethrough above the end wall, establishing communication between the central passage 111 through the sleeve and its exterior. The valve sleeve also has latching elements secured thereto. As shown, a plurality of longitudinally extending spring-like latch arms 112 extend upwardly from and are integral with the lower portion 113 of the sleeve, these arms merging into locking dogs 114 having outwardly directed fingers 115 and inwardly directed fingers 116. When the outer fingers 115 are disposed in and engageable with the wall 100 of the smaller diameter portion of the valve body, the inwardly directed fingers 116 project in an inward direction, as disclosed in FIG. 2b. However, when the Valve sleeve has been moved upwardly within the valve body, as described hereinbelow, to position the dogs 114 opposite the circumferential body groove 101, the arms 112 inherently shift the dogs outwardly to expand their outer fingers 115 into such groove, the lower tapered ends 117 of such outer fingers being engageable with the lower tapered shoulder or side 102 of the groove. When the valve sleeve 108 has been shifted upwardly to the position just described, the ported portion of the valve sleeve has been shifted upwardly within the valve body 11 to a position between the longitudinally spaced seals 105, 106, in which the valve is in a closed position, fluid being prevented from passing in both longitudinal directions through the passage 111 and through the side ports 110. When the valve member 108 is in its upper position within the valve body, as disclosed in FIG. 3b, the outer fingers 115 are locked or retained in the internal body lock groove 101 by a lock ring 120 which is shiftable longitudinally within the sleeve 108 and along its springlike arms 112. This ring is urged in an upward direction in the sleeve by a helical compression spring 121 disposed in the sleeve, its lower end bearing against a spring seat 122 and its upper end against the lock ring 120, urging the latter upwardly to a position limited by engagement of the upper end of the ring with the inwardly directed fingers 116, at which time the ring, is disposed behind the dogs 114, and will prevent their inward shifting.

The valve member 108 is shiftable downwardly from its closed position illustrated in FIG. 3b by a tubular mandrel extension or actuator 123 threadly secured to the lower end of the mandrel section 52 and extending through the body of the well packer and into the valve body 11. The mandrel extension carries a suitable side seal 124 adapted to sealingly engage the inner wall 80 of the packer body. The lower portion 125 of the mandrel extension is movable within the latch dogs 114 and latch arms 112, engaging the upper end of the lock ring 120 and being capable of shifting it downwardly against the force of the compression spring 121, until the lock ring engages a stop shoulder 126 in the valve sleeve 108 below the latch arms 112. When the ring 120 has been shifted to this position by the mandrel extension 123, a circumferential groove 127 on the extension is disposed in transverse alignment with the latch dogs 114. The

base of the circumferential mandrel groove 127 has a diameter such that the inner fingers 116 can be shifted laterally thereinto to free the outer fingers 115 from the body shoulder 102. Accordingly, upon downward shifting of the tubular mandrel 50 and its extension 123 within the body 10, 11, the lower end of the extension will first engage the lock ring 120 and shift it downward from locked position behind the dogs 114. When the lock ring engages the stop shoulder 126 of the sleeve, the mandrel groove 127 is opposite the dogs, so that continued downward movement of the tubular mandrel 50 and its extension 123 will urge the valve sleeve 108 downwardly, the lower tapered ends 117 of the outer fingers engaging the companion tapered side 102 of the body groove 101, which will cam the fingers inwardly out of the groove, the valve sleeve 108 then being shiftable downwardly by the mandrel to a position in which the sleeve ports 110 are disposed below the lower seal 106 and in the enlarged diameter portion 104 of the valve body. Such location of the ports will be determined by engagement of the lower end 52a of the mandrel section with the body stop shoulder 10b below the threaded nut 53. With the valve sleeve in its open position, it will be noted that the inner fingers 116 remain above and in overlying relation to the tapered lifting shoulder 131 provided by the lower end of the mandrel groove 127. Fluids can now be pumped downwardly through the tubular string D and the mandrel 50, discharging through the ports 110 into the enlarged body passage 104 and then into the well casing B. Fluids can also flow in the opposite direction through the ports 110 into the sleeve 108, and then up through the mandrel 50 and the tubing string D to the top of the well bore.

With the shear screw 53a initially securing the mandrel section 52 in its lower position within the lock nut 53, the valve sleeve 108 is held in its open position, such as disclosed in FIG. 2b. After the packer has been lowered in the well casing and anchored in packed-off condition within the well casing, as described above, the taking of a sutficient strain on the tubular string D and mandrel 50 will disrupt the shear screw 53a, or this screw may have been sheared as a result of setting the packer, the shifting shoulder 131 being caused to engage the inner fingers 116 and move the valve sleeve 108 upwardly within the valve body 11 until the dogs 114 are opposite the body groove 101, whereupon the fingers 115 can expand outwardly into such groove, assisted, if need be, by the fact that the shifting shoulder 131 of the mandrel is tapered and engages the companion tapered surfaces 132 at the lower ends of such inner fingers. When the outer fingers expand into the groove, the mandrel portion below its groove 127 can move upwardly through the fingers 116, allowing the spring 121 to shift the lock ring 120 upwardly behind the dogs, as illustrated in FIG. 3b, the valve sleeve being locked in an open position. Fluid pressure from below acting on the valve sleeve cannot shift it upwardly to any significant extent since the dogs 114 can engage the upper side 103 of the body groove. On the other hand, the imposition of downward pressure on the fluid in the body passage 80, as by subjecting the fluid in the tubular string D to pressure, will act on the valve sleeve 108 and tend to shift it downwardly. However, such downward shifting is prevented by engagement of the latch fingers 115 with the lower side 102 of the body groove, the fingers being prevented from shifting inwardly from the groove 101 by the lock ring 120.

At any time, the valve sleeve 108 can be shifted to open position merely by lowering the tubing string D, which will lower the mandrel 50, 123 within the packer body passage 80, causing its lower end to engage the lock ring 120 and shift it downwardly from behind the latch dogs 114 until the ring engages the shoulder 126, which positions the mandrel groove 127 in alignment with the dogs 114, permitting the downward force imposed by the tubular string D and mandrel 50 through the lock ring 120 upon the sleeve 108 to cam the fingers 115 inwardly from the groove 101 and the inner fingers 116 into the groove 127, enabling the sleeve 108 to again be shifted downwardly to an open position.

It is apparent that the valve member 108 can be shifted between open and closed positions as often as desired. The shifting occurs positively as a result of either imposing downweight on the tubular string D or imposing an upward force on the tubular string. Such downward or upward stress on the tubular string can be comparatively large in the event that any substantial resistance to shifting of the valve sleeve 108 is encountered. Accordingly, the valve sleeve is positively shifted between its opened and closed positions, and will remain in such positions, and particularly will remain locked in its closed position, as illustrated in FIG. 3b.

If the passage through the well packer is to remain in a closed position, and if the tubular string D' and the setting tool C are to be removed from the well casing, it is only necessary to rotate the tubular string to the right, the rotation being transmitted through the mandrel 50 and key to the nut 53, the latter unthreading from the box 58 in an upward direction until it is completely disconnected from the acker body 10, whereupon the tubular string D and the entire setting tool C, including the tubular mandrel extension 123, can be removed through the well casing B to the top of the well bore.

If it is desired to lower the well packer apparatus in the well casing with the valve 81 in the closed position, the mandrel 50 and stinger 123 may initially be disposed in an upper position within the -well packer and the threaded nut 53, the upwardly facing mandrel shoulder 52b engaging the companion shoulder 520 at the upper portion of the nut. The parts are retained in this position by a shear screw 150 threaded in the upper portion of the nut and into the lower portion of the mandrel section 52, as disclosed in FIG. 6a. With the parts in this position, the valve 81 will remain closed during lowering of the apparatus through the fluid in the well casing. When the setting point in the well casing is reached, the anchoring of the well packer in packed-off condition occurs in the same manner as explained in connection with FIGS. 2a to 3b, inclusive. After the well packer has been fully set, the imposition of suflicient downweight on the tubular string D and mandrel 50 will shear the screw 150 and permit downward movement of the mandrel and its extension relative to the packer body 10. Accordingly, the lower end of the mandrel extension 123 will engage the lock ring 120 to shift it downwardly to a released position relative to the dogs 114, the valve sleeve 108 then being unlatched from the body groove 101 and shifted to the open position shown in FIG. 2b. Shifting of the valve sleeve 108 between open and closed ositions can occur by raising or lowering the tubing string D, to correspondingly raise or lower the mandrel 50 and its extension 123, in the same manner as described in connectionwith FIGS. 2a to 3b, inclusive.

The apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 is essentially the same as in the other specific forms of the invention, except that the mandrel 50 and its extension 123 can be releasably locked selectively in either a lower position or an upper position to hold the valve 81 in its open position or in its closed position. The mandrel section 52 has a locking slot or groove 160 that includes a longitudinal leg portion 161, and an upper transverse portion 162, and a lower transverse portion 163 communicating with the longitudinal leg and extending transversely therefrom. The threaded nut 53 has a lock pin 164 secured thereto and extending into the slot or groove 160.

In the position illustrated in FIG. 7, the pin 164 is in the upper transverse slot portion 162 and may be located in a pocket 165 in the lower wall of the upper transverse slot. With the pin in the upper transverse slot, the mandrel 50 and its extension 123 are in a lower position within the packer body 10, 11 to hold the sleeve valve 108 in its open position, as in FIG. 2b. With the pin 164 disposed in the upper transverse slot, as shown in FIG. 9, the valve sleeve 108 is releasably locked in its open position, the pin being retained initially in such position against inadvertent shifting from the upper transverse slot by a shear screw 166 extending through the ring 39 and nut 53 into the mandrel section 52 (FIG. 7). At this time, the lower end 52d of the mandrel section is spaced above the body shoulder 1%. Accordingly, after the well packer has been anchored in packed-01f condtion in the casing, the lowering of the tubular string D and the mandrel section 52 will shear the screw 166, the mandrel section lowering relative to the pin 164 by a short distance. Shearing of the screw 166 then permits the tubular string and mandrel to be turned to the right to shift the pin 164 relatively into the longitudinal leg 161 of the control slot. The tubular string D and mandrel 50 can now be elevated to shift the valve sleeve 108 to the closed position, as determined by engagement of the lower end 168 of the longitudinal leg with the lock pin 164. If the valve member 108 is to remain in the closed position, the tubular string and mandrel need only be turned a short distance to the left to relocate the pin 164 in the lower transverse slot 163 (FIG. 9). A slight lowering of the tubular string and mandrel will then relatively position the pin in :a pin pocket 169 in the upper wall of the lower transverse slot 163.

Initially, the valve sleeve 108 may be retained in its closed position by moving the mandrel 50, 52 upwardly and locating the pin 164 in the pocket 169 of the lower transverse slot 163, the parts being held in such position by a shear screw 170 extending through the ring 39 and nut 53 into a lower portion of the mandrel section 52 (FIG. 8). At this time, there is a short space between the pin 164 and the lower wall of the transverse slot 163. After the packer has been anchored in packed-off condition in the well casing, the taking of an upward strain on the tubular string D and mandrel 50 will cause the mandrel section 52 to shear the screw 170, the lower side of the transverse slot 163 being shifted against the pin 164, whereupon the tubular string D and mandrel 50 can again be turned a short distance to the right to place the longitudinal leg 161 of the slot in alignment with the pin, permitting the tubular string and mandrel to be lowered to lower the extension 123 within the well packer body 10 and shift the valve sleeve 108 to an open position.

In all forms of the invention illustrated in the drawings, the valve sleeve 108 is held positively in an open or a closed position, and is shiftable between these positions positively in response to movement of the tubular running-in string D. When dis-posed in its closed position, the valve will hold pressure imposed upon it in either direction. The fact of valve closing can be ascertained definitely by applying pressure to the fluid in the tubular string D, mandrel 50, and packer A. Not only will assurance be had that the valve 81 is closed and not leaking, but any leaks in the tubular string itself can be detected.

I claim:

1. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition ina well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and engageable with said valve member and movable upwardly and downwardly in said passage by the running-in string to positively shift said valve member upwardly and downwardly in said passage between positions opening and closing said passage, and means engageable with said shifting means for retaining said shifting means positively coupled to said valve member during upward shifting of said valve member in said passage by said shifting means.

2. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and movable upwardly and down wardly in said passage by the running-in string, means re leasably coupling said shifting means to said valve membeer for transmitting the upward and downward movement of said shifting means to said valve member and shift said valve member to passage opening and closing positions, and means engageable with said coupling means for locking said coupling means to said shifting means during upward movement of said shifting means and valve member in said passage.

3. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and movable upwardly and downwardly in said passage by the running-in string, means releasably coupling said shifting means to said valve member for transmitting the upward and downward movement of said shifting means to said valve member and shift said valve member to passage opening and closing positions, means engageable with said coupling means for locking said coupling means to said shifting means during upward movement of said shifting means and valve member in said passage, and means for releasing said coupling means from said shifting means upon movement of said valve member to one of said positions.

4. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and movable upwardly and downwardly in said passage by the running-in string, means for transmitting the upward and downward movement of said shifting means to said valve member to shift said valve member to passage opening and closing positions, said movement transmitting means including latch means on said valve member releasably coupling said valve member to said shifting means, said body engaging and holding said latch means coupled to said shifting means, said body having means thereon allowing release of said latch means from said shifting means upon movement of said valve member to one of said positions.

5. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and movable upwardly and downwardly in said passage by the running-in string; means for transmitting the upward and downward movement of said shifting means to said valve member to shift said valve member to passage opening and closing positions, said movement transmitting means including latch means on said valve member releasably coupling said valve member to said shifting means, said body engaging and holding said latch means coupled to said shifting means, said body having means thereon coupling said latch means to said body and allowing release of said latch means from said shifting means upon movement of said valve member to one of said positions.

6. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly in said body to passage closing position and downwardly in said body to passage opening position, releasable latch means releasably coupling said valve member to said body in passage closing position, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and engageable with said valve member to release said latch means and shift said valve member downwardly to passage opening position, said body engaging said latch means and holding it coupled to said shifting means when said valve member is below its passage closing position to enable said shifting means to elevate valve member to passage closing position, whereupon said latch means uncouples from said shifting means and recouples to said body.

7. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly in said body to passage closing position and downwardly in said body to passage opening position, latch means on said valve member, said body having a groove receiving said latch means to couple said valve member to said body when said valve member is in passage closing position, shifting means having a coupling portion connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and engageable with said valve member to release said latch means from said body groove and shift said valve member downwardly to passage opening position,

said body engaging said latch means upon such downward movement of said valve member to shift and hold said latch means coupled to said coupling portion, whereby elevation of said shifting means by the running-in string elevates the valve member to passage closing position, allowing said latch means to release from said coupling portion and move into said body groove.

8. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-oft condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and movable upwardly and downwardly in said passage by the running-in string; means for transmitting the upward and downward movement of said shifting means to said valve member to shift said valve member to passage opening and closing positions, said movement transmitting means including latch means on said valve member releasably coupling said valve member to said shifting means, said body engaging and holding said latch means coupled to said shifting means, said body having means thereon coupling said latch means to said body and allowing release of said latch means from said shifting means upon movement of said valve member to one of said positions; and shiftable lock means engaging said latch means to hold said latch means coupled to said body.

9. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly in said body to passage closing position and downwardly in said body to passage opening position, said body having an internal circumferential groove, latch means on said valve member expandible into said groove when said valve member is in its upper passage closing position in said body to retain said valve member in such position, a tubular mandrel having a coupling portion and connectible to a tubular string extending to the top of the well bore and through which fluid can flow from the tubular string to the body passage, said mandrel extending into the passage and being engageable with said valve member to release said latch means from said body groove and shift said valve member downwardly to passage opening position, said body engaging said latch means during downward movement of said valve member to shift said latch means into coupling relation to said coupling portion, whereby subsequent elevation of said mandrel by the tubular string elevates the valve member to passage closing position and allows release of said latch means from said coupling portion and its expansion into said body groove.

10. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-ofl? condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and movable upwardly and downwardly in said passage by the running-in string, means releasably coupling said shifting means to said valve member for transmitting the upward and downward movement of said shifting means to said valve member and shift said valve member to passage opening and closing positions, means engageable with said coupling means for locking said coupling means to said shifting means during upward movement of said shifting means and valve member in said passage, and means releasably securing said shifting means to said body with said valve member in passage closing position.

11. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and movable upwardly and downwardly in said passage by the running-in string, means releasably coupling said shifting means to said valve member for transmitting the upward and downward movement of said shifting means to said valve member and shift said valve member to passage opening and closing positions, means engageable with said coupling means for locking said coupling means to said shifting means during upward movement of said shifting means and valve member in said passage, and means releasably securing said shifting means to said body with said valve member in passage opening position.

12. A well packer apparatus adapted to be lowered and set in packed-off condition in a well bore, including a body having a fluid passage, a valve member movable upwardly and downwardly in said body passage between positions opening and closing said fluid passage, shifting means connectible to a running-in string extending to the top of the well bore and movable upwardly and downwardly in said passage by the running-in string, means releasably coupling said shifting means to said valve member for transmitting the upward and downward movement of said shifting means to said valve member and shift said valve member to passage opening and closing positions, means engageable with said coupling means for locking said coupling means to said shifting means during upward movement of said shifting means and valve member in said passage, and means for selectively releasably securing said shifting means to said body in an upper or lower position to correspondingly dispose said valve member in passage opening position or passage closing position.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,205,748 6/1940 Knox l66128 2,397,473 4/1946 Crowell l66128 2,884,072 4/1959 Brown 166-152 3,051,243 8/1962 Grimmer et a1. l66224 3,163,225 12/1964 Perkins 166-128 CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner. I. A. LEPPINK, Assistant Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/334.1, 251/291, 166/128, 251/319
International ClassificationE21B33/129, E21B33/12
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/1294
European ClassificationE21B33/129N