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Publication numberUS3360048 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 26, 1967
Filing dateJun 29, 1964
Priority dateJun 29, 1964
Publication numberUS 3360048 A, US 3360048A, US-A-3360048, US3360048 A, US3360048A
InventorsWatkins Bruce J
Original AssigneeRegan Forge & Eng Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Annulus valve
US 3360048 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec; 26, 1967 B. J. WATKINS ANN ULUS VALVE Filed June 1 29. 1964 I NVENTOR.

4/94? 147 roe/ways.

2 Sheets-Sheet 1 BQUCE (I. W0 TK/NS United States Patent 3,360,048 ANNULUS VALVE Bruce J. Watkins, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., assignor to Regan Forge & Engineering Co., San Pedro, Califi, a corporation of California Filed June 29, 1964, Ser. No. 378,675 15 Claims. (Cl. 16687) This invention relates in general to a method and apparatus for controlling fluid flow through an annulus formed between generally concentric conduits such as tubing and easing conduits employed in subsea oil well apparatus. More particularly, the present invention relates to an annulus valve operable from within an inner conduit to control fluid flow through an annulus formed between the inner and an outer surrounding conduit and to a method of controlling the operation of apparatus external of the inner conduit by manipulations within the inner conduit without allowing fluid transmission between the exterior and the interior of the innner conduit.

In oil well drilling and production operations in both land and subsea locations, oil, mud and hydraulic fluids are normally transmitted through tubing, through the tubing-casing annulus and casing annuli formed between successive generally concentric casings. Most often, these fluids are transmitted under very high pressures and with flow directions through any tube or annulus being in opposite directions during the various different operations. It has long been a problem to effectively control the flow of these high pressure fluids through the tubing-casing and casing-casing annuli. The principal solution in the past has been to seal off both the tubing and casing strings by two separate sealing elements within a casing head to effect an annulus seal. An access port into the annulus is then provided through the head between the two sealing elements. Fluid flow into or out of the annulus thus sealed off is controlled by means of a valve external of the casing head at the access port. This prior arrangement presents many problems where the casing head is not readily accessible, particularly in subsea oil Well drilling and production operations where the casing head may be at the bottom of the sea perhaps hundreds of feet below the floating vessel or platform from which the drilling and production operations are being conducted. Further, the fluid flow within the annulus is not controlled within the annulus but must be directed through a valve external of the annulus. This requires additional external piping and controls which are undesirable in subsea oil well drilling and production operations. It is particularly essential to be able to easily and effectively seal off the tubingcasing annulus in such subsea operations since other fluid control means embodied in blow-out prevention equipment or the production control tree, for example, must be periodically removed during the course of the drilling and production operations.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to disclose and provide an apparatus for and method of controlling fluid flow through an annulus formed between subsea oil well tubing and casings which allow selective control over such annulus fluid flow from on board a remote floating vessel or platform without the use of control elements external to the casing head.

It is another object of the present invention to disclose and provide an annulus valve apparatus capable of selectably effecting a positive shut-off of a tubing-casing annulus in an oil well installation which is operable from within the tubing by standard wire line tools.

It is also an object of the present invention to disclose and provide an annulus valve as in the foregoing object which is also capable of equalizing fluid pressures exerted on opposite sides of moving parts of the valve to balance 3,366,948 Patented Dec. 26, 1967 their operation in opening and closing operations under high fluid pressures in the well.

It is a further object of the present invention to disclose and provide an apparatus for and method of controlling or positioning a device external of the tubing string in a well installation by means of positioning a controling or actuating member within the tubing.

It is another object of the present invention to disclose a method of controlling the flow of fluid in a tubing-casing annlus in a subsea oil well installation by means of manipulations of a controlling member within the tubing.

It is also an object of the present invention to disclose and provide a valve device for use in controlling fluid flow through a tubing-casing annulus formed between a casing and a tubing suspended generally concentrically within the casing by a tubing hanger where the hanger has an inner bore communicating with the tubing bore and one or more flow through passages communicating with the tubing-casing annnulus where the valve device is operable from within such inner bore to selectively open or close the annulus to the flow of fluids therethrough.

It is a further object of the present invention to disclose and provide a valve device as in the preceding object which is capable of being disposed in and made a part of the tubing and be associated with the tubing hanger to be lowered into and removed from the well with the tubing by the tubing hanger.

Generally stated, the annulus valve of the present preferred exemplary embodiment is adapted to be disposed between tubing 46 and a tubing hanger 47 at a Well head. The annulus valve according to the present invention, indicated generally at 60, and the tubing 46 suspended therefrom are supported by the tubing hanger generally concentrically within a surrounding casing 44. The hanger bore 50 and tubing bore of tubing 46 communicate through a valve body bore 62 78. The tubing-casing annulus 53 communicates with flow through passages 51 in the tubing hanger 47 through the exemplary annulus valve. Valve body 62 preferably has a head portion 61 connected to the tubing hanger 47 which provides a chamber 68 communicating with and closing off the annulus 53 therebelow from the hanger flow through passages 51. A valve passage 73 is provided within the valve body 62 to communicate between the chamber 68 and the surrounding annulus 53 through ports 74. Closure means, indicated generally at 80, are provided within the annulus valve and movable in passage 73 to selectively open and close ports 74 in response to movement of internally mounted sleeve means 90. Sleeve means 90 are mounted within the valve body and connected at 97 to the closure means, indicated generally at 80, to be moved by wire line tools operated within the tubing bores 50, 69 and '70 to selectively open or close the passage 73 exteriorly of p the tubing bores.

'ofFIG.1;and 1 Additional objects and advantages of the method and apparatus in accordance with the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from a consideration of the following detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of apparatus in accordance with the present invention and of the method of the present invention demonstrated with such exemplary embodiment. Reference will be made to the appended sheets of drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an exemplary embodiment of an annulus valve in accordance with the present invention shown for exemplary purposes only in an oil well installation of the subsea type;

FIG. 2 is an elevation of the exemplary annulus valve FIGS. 3 and 4 are detail sections of the annulus valve of FIGS. 1 and 2.

Referring now to the drawings, an exemplary embodiment of the annulus valve apparatus, in accordance with the present invention, will now be explained in detail. In FIG. 1, an exemplary form of well head latch, indicated generally at 15, is shown seated upon an oil well casing head or hanger 41 mounted generally concentrically within a well conductor 40. The lower portion of a block type Christmas tree is shown secured to the top of the well head latch through an adapter flange 12. The Christmas tree 10 is secured to the adapter flange 12 through the provision of bolts 11 passing through the Christmas tree flange 13 into adapter flange 12. The adapter flange 12 is in turn bolted to the well head latch by means of bolts 14.

The exemplary well head latch, indicated generally at 15, includes a lower body portion 16 and an upper body portion 17. A plurality of vertically positioned preferably hydraulically operated latch mechanisms are mounted on the upper body portion 17. The latching mechanisms 18 may be selectively operated to move an associated camming ring 19 against dogs 26 within the well head latch against the casing head 41, as shown in FIG. 1. Camming ring 19 is moved relative to the dogs 20 by push-pull rods 21 associated with the latch mechanism 18. This eX- ernplary form of well head latch mechanism and associated Christmas tree apparatus may employ the construction and mode of operation of the Double Tapered Guidance Method and Apparatus which is the subject matter of my copending application Ser. No. 326,738 filed Nov. 29, 1963. In accordance with such copending application, a double tapered guidance tool, indicated generally at 30, may be employed with the well head latch, indicated generally at 15, to facilitate and effect landing of the well head latch upon the casing head 41. As shown in FIG. 1, the well headlatch is provided with sealing means 22 with a backing or retaining ring 24 between body portion 17 and adapter flange 12. In the landed position of FIG. 1, the well head latch is seated on the casing head 41 at a landing surface 35 thereon and on the seal means 22. Additional sealing means, indicated at 25, are provided between the adapter flange 12 and the associated retaining ring 24 and flange 13.

An outer casing 42 is shown suspended generally concentrically within the conductor 44 from the casing head or hanger 41. An inner casing 44 is suspended generally concentrically within the outer casing 42 and easing head 41 by a casing hanger 43 suspended within casing head 41. Sealing means and lock down means, indicated generally at 43a and 45 respectively, may be provided above the casing hanger 43 to hold casing hanger 43 within the casing head 41.

Tubing 46 is suspended generally concentrically within the casing 44 by a tubing hanger 47 seated on the holddown mechanism, indicated generally at 45. Sealing means 48 may be provided to eflect a seal about the tubing hanger 47 within casing head 41 and a hold-down mechanism, indicated generally at 49, may be provided to hold tubing hanger 47 in place within the casing head 41.

Tubing hanger 47 is provided with an inner bore 50 communicating with the inner bore of tubing 46 and one ore more flow through passages 51 adapted to communicate between an annulus 52 above the tubing hanger 47 and an annulus 53 below the tubing hanger and formed between the tubing 46 and casing 44. Annulus 52, in the exemplary embodiment, communicates with a passage 53 in the Christmas tree 11 through a flow through passage 54, in seating member 55, and a passage 56. Passage 56 extends through connecting or collar member 57, which is connected into the adapter flange 12 and extends down within casing head 41. Sealing means 58 are provided to effect a seal between the casing head 41 and collar 57 while a seal means 58 is provided between the Christmas tree 16 and adapter flange 12. Sealing means 58 seals the connection between passage :3 in Christmas tree 10 and the passage 59 in adapter flange 12. Thus, the passage 53 in the Christmas tree 11), which can be interconnected by hydraulic hoses to a floating vessel or platform above the subsea location or by pipe line to a producing location, is in fluid-tight communication with the annulus 53 between tubing 46 and 44 through the seal means 58, passage 59, passage 56, flow through passage 54, annulus 52 (formed between tubing hanger 47 and an inner mandrel member 26) and the flow through passages 51 in the tubing hanger 47. In accordance with the present invention, however, the flow through passages 51 of tubing hanger 47 are enclosed by the exemplary embodiment of annulus valve, indicated generally at 60 and the annulus 53 is thereby selectively closed oil from the flow through passages 51 and thus from the interconnected flow passage 53' in the Christmas tree 10.

The inner bore 513 of the tubing hanger 47 communicates with an inner bore 27 of mandrel 26 which in turn communicates through a passage 59', seal means 58' and passage 56 in the flanges 12 and 13 and Christmas tree 10.

During oil well drilling and/ or production operations, it is frequently necessary to control fluid flow through the tubing casing annulus 53. Such fluid flow may be either up or down within the annulus and may be connected with the flow of fluid up or down within either or both of the tubing bore or the casing annulus between casings 42 and 44. The casing annulus between casings 42 and 44 may be interconnected to a third passage (not shown) in the Christmas tree 16 through flow through passages (not shown) in the various casing hangers and associated mechanisms. For purposes of describing the present exemplary embodiment of annulus valve according to the present invention, it is the fluid flow through the tubing-casing annulus 53 which is to be controlled and therefore the exemplary embodiment of annulus valve is disposed in the apparatus to control fluid flow through the annulus 53. However, it should be understood, the annulus valve of the present invention, may be employed in association with any annulus formed between inner and outer casing members whether generally concentric or not and that the present description of subsea oil well apparatus in which the annulus valve may be employed is exemplary of but a single use of the annulus valve of the present invention.

Coming now to the exemplary embodiment of annulus valve, in accordance with the present invention, reference will be made to the elevation of FIG. 2 and the detailed cross-sectional view of FIGS, 3 and 4. The exemplary embodiment of the annulus valve is indicated generally at 60 and includes generally, as best seen in FIG. 2, a head portion 61, a generally tubular body portion 62 and a bottom end or tail portion 63. The valve body is adapted to be disposed in and made a part of the tubing 46 and be suspended with such tubing from the tubing hanger 47, as shown in FIG. 1. As best seen in FIG. 3, the head portion 61 is provided with a generally cylindrical outer wall 64 having internal threads adapted to be screwed on to an external thread 65 on tubing hanger 47. An inner generally cylindrical wall 66, concentric to and spaced inwardly of the outer wall 64, is also provided in head por tion 61 to be screwed into an internal thread 67 provided in the inner bore 50 of tubing hanger 47. Head portion 61 is thus adapted to be secured to the lower end of tubing hanger 47 by a double threaded connection. Further, the inner and outer generally cylindrical walls 66 and 64 respectively, of head portion 61 provide a generally annular chamber or cavity 68 formed therebetween. Head portion 61 may be considered to close the annulus 53 between the tubing 46 and casing 44 from the portion or associated passages, as flow through passages 51 disposed above the head 61. The chamber 68 formed within the valve head is open to the portion of annulus 53 above head portion 61 and specifically to the flow through pas sages in the tubing hanger, as passage 51 shown in FIG. 3. The inner bore 50 of tubing hanger 47 is open to an inner bore 69 formed within the inner wall 66 of head 61 which extends downwardly within the body portion 62, as shown in FIG. 3.

Body portion 62 of the exemplary form of annulus valve, indicated generally at 60, is provided with a generally cylindrical outer wall 70 and a generally cylindrical inner wall 71 generally concentric to and spaced inwardly from outer wall 70. Inner and outer walls 71 and 70, respectively, of the body portion 62 form an annular passage 73 therebetween which is open at its upper end to and in communication with the chamber 68 formed in the valve head 61. A plurality of ports 74 are provided in the valve body 62 in the outer wall 70 opening the valve passage 73 to the exterior of body portion 62 and thus to the annulus 53 formed between the valve body and the surrounding casing 44, as shown in FIG. 1.

Bottom end or tail portion 63 of the exemplary embodiment of annulus valve, indicated generally at 60, is generally cylindrical, as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 4, and is adapted by threads 75 to be screwed into internal threads disposed at the bottom end of wall 70 of body portion 62. A tapered nose portion 76 of tail portion 63 is adapted by external threads 77 thereon to receive and support an internally threaded tubing section 46' of conventional form. The valve body 62 and tubing section 46 of FIGS. 3 and 4 together may be considered to form the tubing 46 referred to in the description of the apparatus of FIG. 1. As is apparent in FIGS. 3 and 4, the inner bore 78 of the tail portion 63 communicates with the inner bore 69 of the head and body portions 61 and 62 which in turn communicates with the tubing bore 50 and associated bore 50' of the exemplary Christmas tree 10. In accordance with the present invention, the flow of fluids through the annulus formed about the tubing 46 and body 62 is controlled by the manipulation of standard wire line tools run through the tubing bore including the bores 50', 59', 27, 50, 69 and 78 as hereinafter described.

Closure means are provided in the passage between the portion of annulus 53 above head 61 and the portion of annulus 63 below head 61. In the exemplary embodiment, the portion of annulus 53 above head 61 may be considered to include the chamber 68 and flow through passages 51 while the portion of annulus 53 below the head 61 may be considered to include the space between tubing 46 and casing 44 below the head 61, as best seen in FIG. 1 Referring to FIG. 3, the exemplary form of closure means in accordance with the present invention includes a generally cylindrical valve or body 80 slidably mounted within the annular valve passage 73. A pair of vertically spaced ring-like sealing means 81 and 82 are mounted on the valve or body 80 for sealing abutment against an inner surface of valve passage 73 provided by the wall 70. The sealing means 81 and 82 may be of conventional sealing element materials and are vertically spaced on valve 80 by a spacer ring 83. Such spacing is preferably a distance sufiicient to allow said sealing means 81 and 82 to vertically straddle the plurality of annulus ports 74, as shown in phantom line in FIG. 3. Valve 80 is shown in its open position in FIG. 3 in which the annular passage 73 freely communicates the chamber 68 through the annulus port 74 with the annulus formed exteriorly of body portion 62. When the valve 80 is moved vertically upwardly to the position shown in phantom line in FIG. 3, wherein the sealing means 81 and 82 respectively, vertically straddle and seal the annulus port 74 from passage 73, it may be considered to be in a closed position. The spaced walls 70 and 71 of body portion 62 forming the passage 73 may be also the means for slidably mounting valve 80 for slidable movement in passage 73 between the aforementioned opened and closed positions.

Means are also provided for communicating fluid pressure in passage 73 to the outer sides of the pair of spaced ring-like sealing means 81 and 82 respectively, abutting the inner surface of wall 70 forming the passage 73, to balance forces exerted thereon by the fluid pressures in either chamber 68 and/or passage 73. Such means in the exemplary embodiment includes the provision of a port 84 extending through a lower portion 85 of the valve 80. Any fluid pressure in the chamber 68 and/or passage 73 is communicated between valve and inner wall 71, through port 84 and between valve lower portion and outer wall 70 to the bottom or outer side of the lower sealing means 82 facing downwardly in FIG. 3. The force exerted thereby upon the lower sealing means 82 balances a similar force exerted by such fluid pressures on the outer side of upper sealing means 81, facing upwardly in FIG. 3 toward chamber 68, and thus balances the movement of valve 80. Such balancing of valve 80 allows its easy movement between opened and closed positions even under conditions of extremely high fluid pressures in the passage 73 and chamber 68. When the valve 80 is in a closed position with the sealing means 81 and 82 vertically straddling ports 74, any fluid pressure in the annulus formed between the body 62 and surrounding casing 42 are also balanced against the inner or opposed sides of said sealing means 81 and 82. It may also be noted that in the exemplary embodiment, the upper portion 86 of valve 80 is threadably secured to the lower portion 85 by threads 87 to allow a compression of the sealing means 81 and 82 therebetween by rotation of portion 86 down on portion 85.

Means operable from within the inner bore of the annulus valve and associated tubing are provided for moving the aforedescribed closure means within the passage 73 into and out of annulus port closure positions. In the exemplary embodiment as best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, such means includes a generally cylindrical sleeve member 90 having a sleeve bore 91 of approximately the same diameter as the diameter of the bores 69 and 78 of the valve body. Sleeve 90 is further provided with a pair of vertically spaced generally circular internal recesses 92 and 93, respectively, which provide opposed upper and lower shoulders 94 and 95, respectively. It is contemplated that shoulders 94 and 95 may be selectively bumped by standard wire line tools operated within the tool bore to move the sleeve 90 upwardly or downwardly Within the tool body 62.

Sleeve mounting means are provided in the valve body for mounting the sleeve member for sliding movement vertically within the valve body recessed to the body bore. Such means in the exemplary embodiment, as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, includes the recessed bore portion 96 of body 62 adapted to receive and mount the sleeve 90 for vertical movement therein. Body bore recess 96 may be further adapted to mount sleeve 90 to align sleeve bore 91 with body bores 69 and 78, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4.

Connecting means for connecting the sleeve member 90 to the closure means 80 for moving such closure means in response to vertical sliding movement of the sleeve member 90 are provided in the exemplary embodiment by a flange 97 at a general midpoint of sleeve 90 threadably secured to a tail portion 98 of the lower body portion 85 of valve 80, as best seen in FIG. 4. This exemplary connecting means provides a positive mechanical connection between valve member 80 and sleeve 90 whereby vertical movement of valve 80 is in direct response to vertical movement of sleeve 90. The flange 97 extends outwardly of the inner wall 66 through an opening therein formed between inner wall terminal portion 99 and an inwardly extending flange portion 100 of outer wall '70. Therefore, vertical movement of the sleeve member 90 within the tubing or inner wall 66 by manipulation of tooling, such as standard Wire line tools, within the tubing operates apparatus disposed exteriorly of inner wall 66 (corresponding to the tubing wall) to effect an opening or closing of the annulus 53.

Detent means 101 may be provided in the bottom or tail portion 63 including spring biased pins, as pin 102, which are adapted to alternately engage exterior recesses 103 and 104, respectively, in the sleeve 90. As shown in FIG. 4, when the sleeve is in the lowered or passage opened position, the sleeve is held by detent means 101 through the spring biased pin 102 engaging recess 103. Upon raising of the sleeve 90 by abutting the shoulder 94 from within the tubing, as by manipulating wire line tools from a floating vessel or platform above the well through the tubing, the sleeve can be raised, bringing pin 102 into engagement with recess 104, and thus held in its raised or valve closed position. Sleeve 90 may also be considered to be part of an actuating means operable from within the tubing for actuating the closure means between the passage opened and passage closed position herein described.

Sealing means may be provided within body portion 62 for sealing the body about the actuating means operable through inner wall 66 to prevent fluid flow between the interior of the tubing and the tubing casing annulus. In the exemplary embodiment, such sealing means include the packing element or sealing means 105 which may be compressed by rotation of terminal member 99 upwardly on inner wall 66. Sealing means 105 are also adapted to engage and seal upon the sleeve member 90 mounted within the body for sliding relation to seal means 105. A second seal means 106 may be provided in the inwardly extending flange 100 of outer wall 70 at the bottom of the opening through inner wall 71, through which the connecting means 97 operates, to seal upon sleeve member 90 as shown in FIG. 4. Relative rotation of the lower or tail portion 63 of the annulus valve to the outer wall 70 of body portion 62 may be used to compress the seal 106, which may be a standard packing element, in operative condition wherein it sealingly abuts the sleeve 90. Seal means 105 and 106 thus seal the inner bore of the annulus valve, including bore portions 69, 91 and 78, from the valve passage 73 and thus from the tubing-casing annulus including the portions thereof above and below the valve head 61.

From the foregoing detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of an annulus valve, in accordance with the present invention, it can be seen readily that the valve apparatus of the present invention is capable of effecting a positive shut-off of an annulus, such as a tubing-casing annulus in a sub-sea oil well installation, by the manipulation of an actuator or sleeve member within the tubing by standard wire line tools. Further, the valve, when suspendedto the tubing hanger as part of the tubing, is easily and automatically positioned in the well ready for operation by the lowering and seating of the tubing and hanger in the well. The high well fluid pressures exerted on the valve are eifectively balanced and the valve is easily operated between its opened and closed positions when in operation.

In accordance with the method of the present invention, which is employed by the exemplary embodiment but not limited to such embodiment, the particular annulus formed between an inner and outer, preferably but not necessarily concentric, conduit is first completely closed to the flow of fluid therethrough.

In the exemplary embodiment, the head portion 61 closed the annulus 53 but any means could be employed. It is preferred in accordance with the present method, however, that the means for closing the annulus be associated with one of the conduits so that it is placed in position therebetween by the assembly of the conduits into a nested or telescoped position. A fluid flow passage is then established in a predetermined path through or about the means used to colse the annulus to allow fluid flow through or about said means, but only in a predetermined path. The association of the passage with one of the conduits allows ease of positioning of the passage in the-annulus on assembly of the conduits. More importantly, in accordance with the present method, fluid flow through the passage is controlled by manipulations outside the annulus, either within the inner conduit or outside the outer casing. In the preferred embodiment described, the fluid flow passage 73 was associated with the inner conduit or tubing 71 and fluid flow therethrough was controlled from within the tubing. According to the present method, the fluid flow through the flow passage is controlled by selectively opening and closing the passage by a passage closure means in the passage itself. Such passage closure means is operated between passage opened and passage closed position by movement of an actuator outside of the annulus. Such actuator can be inside the inner conduit or tubing or outside the outer conduit or casing. For convenience, it is preferred that the step of opening or closing the annulus valve be effected by manipulation of an actuator within the inner conduit.

Having thus described an exemplary embodiment of the annulus valve for and the method of controlling fluid flow through an annulus formed between an inner and outer, preferably concentric, pair of conduits or casings, it should be noted that the foregoing description is exemplary of the present invention only, that various modifications, adaptations, changes and alterations can be made in the apparatus and method of the present invention which come within the scope thereof and as is defined and limited only by the following claims.

I claim:

1. An annulus valve for use in controlling fluid flow through a tubing-easing annulus formed between a casing and a tubing suspended generally concentrically within the casing by a tubing hanger where such hanger has an inner bore communicating with the tubing bore and one or more flow through passages communicating with the tubing-casing annulus, said valve device comprising:

a valve body to be interposed between the tubing and tubing hanger including a head portion to be secured to the tubing hanger, a tail portion to be connected to and support the tubing and an inner bore communicating with the hanger bore and with the tubing bore;

an annular chamber in said head portion communicating with a plurality of flow through passages in the tubing hanger;

a valve passage in said body communicating with said chamber;

a plurality of ports in said body communicating said valve passage with the tubing-casing annulus about said body;

closure means in said valve passage for closing said ports; and

means operable from within said inner bore of said body for moving said closure means in said valve passage into and out of a port closure position.

2. An annulus valve as in claim 1 wherein said closure means in said valve passage for closing said port's comprises:

a generally cylindrical body slidably mounted within said annular passage; and

a pair of spaced ring-like sealing means mounted on and extending outwardly of an outer surface of said cylindrical body for sealingly abutting on an inner surface of said valve passage, said sealing means straddling and sealing said plurality of ports when said closure means is in a port closure position.

3. An annulus valve as in claim 2 wherein means are provided for communicating fluid pressure in said valve passage to outer sides of said pair of spaced ring-like sealing means abutting the inner surface of said valve passage to balance forces exerted thereon by fluid pressures in said chamber and tubing-casing annulus.

4. An annulus valve as in claim 1 wherein said means operable from within said inner bore of said body comprises:

a generally cylindrical sleeve member having a sleeve bore of approximately the same diameter as that of said body inner bore and a pair of generally circular internal recesses in said sleeve bore providing opposed upper and lower shoulders;

sleeve mounting means in said valve body for mounting said sleeve member for sliding movement within said valve body recessed to said body bore, said sleeve bore being generally aligned with said body bore; and

connecting means for connecting said sleeve member to said closure means for moving said closure means on movement of said sleeve member.

5. An annulus valve as in claim 4 including means for mounting said connecting means within said valve body between said closure means and sleeve means for sliding movement within said body together with said sleeve member and closure means.

6. An annulus valve for use in controlling fluid flow through a tubing-casing annulus in an oil Well installation between a casing and a tubing where the tubing is suspended within and generally concentric to the casing by a tubing hanger which has a hanger bore communicating with the tubing bore and flow through passages communicating with the tubing-casing annulus, said annulus valve comprising:

a valve body to be interposed between the tubing and tubing hanger including a head portion to be secured to the tubing hanger and to enclose the hanger flow through passages, a tail portion to be connected to and to support the tubing within and generally concentric to a casing mounting the tubing hanger and a valve body bore to communicate with the hanger bore and with the tubing bore;

a chamber in said head portion communicating with each of a plurality of flow through passages in the tubing hanger enclosed by said head portion;

a valve passage in said valve body communicating with said chamber and with the exterior of said valve body below said head portion;

passage closure means in said valve body for closing said valve passage; and

means within said valve body operable from within said valve body bore for operating said passage closure means between passage opened and passage closed positions.

7. The annulus valve of claim 6 wherein said valve body is provided with one or more ports in an exterior wall thereof through which said valve passage communicates with the exterior of said valve body;

said passage closure means includes a pair of spaced ring-like sealing means for abutting the interior of the ported exterior wall of the valve body to seal off said ports from said valve passage; and

said means within said valve body operable from within said valve body bore includes a generally cylindrical sleeve member mounted within said valve body bore and connecting means connecting said closure means and sleeve member to cause movement of said closure means to selectively open and close said valve passage in response to movement of said sleeve in said valve body bore.

8. An annulus valve apparatus for controlling fluid flow through an annulus between a casing and an inner tubing, said valve apparatus being connected into said tubing and comprising:

annulus closing means for closing the annulus between a casing and an inner tubing to the passage of fluid;

passage means interconnecting portions of said annulus above and below said closing means through a predetermined passage;

passage closure means;

mounting means for mounting said passage closure means for movement within said valve apparatus between passage opened and passage closed positions; an inner bore in said apparatus aligned with the associated tubing bore; and

actuating means mounted for movement axially within said apparatus inner bore for actuating said closure means between said passage opened and passage closed positions, said actuating means being operable within said apparatus bore without removal therefrom by means removably run through said tubing and apparatus bores.

9. The annulus valve apparatus of claim 8 wherein:

said passage means is annular and is provided with a plurality of ports opening said passage to the portion of the annulus below said closing means and said passage closure means includes:

a generally cylindrical body slidably mounted within said passage;

a pair of spaced generally circular sealing means about said cylindrical body for straddling said ports and sealing said passage against fluid flow therethrough; and

means for communicating fluid pressure in sa d passage to outer side surfaces of said sealing means to balance forces exerted thereon by fluid pressure in said passage.

10. The annulus valve apparatus of claim 8 wherein said actuating means comprises:

a generally cylindrical sleeve member having opposed internal upper and lower shoulders;

sleeve mounting means for mounting said sleeve member for vertical sliding movement within said apparatus bore;

connecting means for connecting said sleeve member within said apparatus bore to said passage closure means; and

means for mounting said connecting means to said apparatus for movement in response to vertical sliding movement of said sleeve within said apparatus bore to actuate said passage closure means between passage opened and passage closed positions.

11. A valve for use in controlling fluid flow through an annulus formed between a casing and an inner concentric tubing, said valve comprising:

a body portion forming a part of said tubing;

a head portion closing the annulus between the casing and tubing above said body portion and including a chamber communicating with the annulus above said head portion;

a passage in said body portion communicating with said chamber, said body portion including a plurality of ports opening said passage to the annulus between said casing and body portion below said head portion;

port closure means within said body portion for closing said ports including mounting means for slidably mounting said port closure means for movement between a port opened position and a port closed position; and

means operable from within said tubing for moving said port closure means between said port opened and port closed positions.

12. An annulus valve comprising:

a tubular body portion forming a part of a tubing positioned within a casing;

a head portion closing the annulus between the tubing and easing, said head portion including a chamber open to said annulus above said head portion;

a passageway in said body portion communicating with said chamber and the annulus between the tubing and easing below said head portion;

closure means in said body portion and associated with said passageway to close said passage to fluid flow therethrough;

mounting means mounting said closure means in said body portion for movement within said body por- 1 1 tion between passage closed and passage opened positions; and

means operable within said body portion from within said tubing for moving said closure means between aid passage closed and passage opened positions.

13. An annulus valve apparatus for controlling fluid flow through an annulus between a casing and an inner tubing wherein said valve apparatus is connected into said tubing and has an apparatus bore aligned to the tubing bore, said apparatus comprising:

annulus closing means for closing the annulus between the casing and the inner tubing to the passage of fluid;

passage means interconnecting portions of said annulus above and below said annulus closing means through a predetermined passage; and

passage closure means and associated actuating means mounted within said valve apparatus for opening and closing said passage means to cont-r01 fluid flow in the annulus between said tubing and casing, said actuating means being operable within said apparatus bore without removal therefrom by means removably run through said tubing and apparatus bores 14. An annulus valve for use in controlling fluid flow through a tubing-casing annulus formed between a casing and a tubing suspended within the casing by a tubing hanger wherein such hanger has an inner bore communicating with the tubing bore and one or more flow through passages, said valve device comprising:

a valve body to be interposed between the tubing and tubing hanger including a head portion to be secured to the tubing hanger, a tail portion to be connected to and support the tubing and an inner bore communicating with the hanger bore and with the tubing bore;

a valve passage associated with said body and communicating with at least one flow through passage of said hanger and with the tubing-casing annulus about said body;

passage closure means in said valve body for closing said valve passage; and

actuator means mounted within said valve body and operable from within said inner bore of said valve body for moving said closure means into or out of a valve passage closure position, said actuator means being operable within said valve body bore without removal therefrom by means removably run through said hanger and valve body bores,

15. An annulus valve as in claim 14 wherein:

said actuator means comprises a generally cylindrical sleeve body slidably mounted within said valve body; and

said closure means in said valve body for closing said valve passage comprises:

a pair of spaced ring-like sealing means for sealingly abutting on an inner surface of said valve body, said sealing means straddling and sealing a portion of said valve passage where said valve passage is in communication with said tubingcasing annulus about said valve body when said sleeve body is moved Within said valve body bore to a passage closing position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,045,759 7/1962 Garrett et a1 166-224 3,171,489 3/1965 Cole et al. 166-85 3,177,034 4/ 1965 Water et al 166-4 3,273,646 9/1966 Walker 166-88 2,171,847 8/1939 Hall et a1. 166-238 2,274,940 3/ 1942 Stoddard 166-238 2,970,648 2/1961 Daffin et al 166-224 3,086,590 4/1963 Jackson et al. 166-6 JAMES A. LEPPINK, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/319, 166/335, 137/594
International ClassificationE21B33/043, E21B33/03
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/043
European ClassificationE21B33/043
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 15, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: HUGHES TOOL COMPANY
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:REGAN OFFSHORE INTERNATIONAL,INC.;REEL/FRAME:003957/0735
Effective date: 19820211