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Publication numberUS3376935 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1968
Filing dateJan 24, 1966
Priority dateJan 24, 1966
Publication numberUS 3376935 A, US 3376935A, US-A-3376935, US3376935 A, US3376935A
InventorsBaker Eugene E
Original AssigneeHalliburton Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for use in wells
US 3376935 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 9, 1968 E. E BAKER 3,376,935

APPARATUS FOR USE'IN WELLS Filed Jan. 24. 1966 .3 Sheets-Sheet 1 WI, V, WWI /"x A 5 OJ FIG. I

INVENTOR EUGENE E BAKER ATTORNEYS APril 1968 1 E E. BAKER I 3,376,935

APPARATUS FOR USE IN WELLS EUGENE E. BAKER 40m, Mm, M a M ATTORNEYS.

April 9; 1968 E. E. BAKE R 3,376,935

APPARATUS FOR USE IN WELLS Filed Jan. 24. 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. 7

INVENTOR 23/ EUGENE -E.. BAKER in, 190m, fi j BY I ATTORNEYS.

United States Patent 3,376,935 APPARATUS FOR USE 1N WELLS Eugene E. Baker, Duncan, 0kla., assignor to Halliburton Company, Duncan, Okla, a corporation of Delaware Filed Jan. 24, 1966, Ser. No. 522,548 Claims. (Cl. 166-224) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for controlling fluid flow in a well tool which includes a radially ported housing yieldably secured within a radially ported tubular member. While the housing is yieldably secure, ports of the cylindrical member and the housing are in fluid communication. A sleeve valve carried by the housing controls fluid flow through the communicating port means. A check valve carried by the housing ensures downward flow only through a housing defined passage. Fluid-induced force exerted on the sleeve valve is transmitted to the housing to displace the previously communicating ports of the cylindrical member and housing.

General background and objects of invention This invention relates to apparatus for use in a well. In particular, it relates to apparatus which enables a conduit string in a well to be partially filled with fluid during a portion of its descent into a well and thereafter be selectively closed against the entry of further fluid while descent of the conduit string into the well continues. The invention further contemplates a unique, elastomeric generally cylindrical member which may be employed to yieldably resist movement of an operating member in a well tool.

While conduit st ings are being lowered into wells, it often is desirable to admit fluid into the interior of the strings during the initial part of the lowering operation. Such admission of fluid reduces hydrostatic pressure across the walls of the fluid-filled portions of the conduit strings. In addition, the ability of the strings to receive fluid as they are being lowered reduces hydraulic shock on formations within the well. Near the end of the conduit string lowering operation, it often becomes desirable to prevent further admission of fluid into the conduit string.

A variety of devices have been heretofore provided for enabling first the limited filling of a conduit string as it is being lowered into a well and thereafter the closing oil of the conduit string against further well fluid admission.

However, such prior known devices have often been characterized by structural complexity, obstruction to axial flow through the conduit string, and structural arrangements which allowed sediment and debris to accumulate on valve components.

In addition, many such prior devices of this nature have been multicomponent in character so as to complicate their installation at spaced locations in conduit strings and cause the difliculty of stocking multiple components in supply houses. Further, structural characteristics of these devices have often been such as to limit their utility to conduit strings of a particular size, i.e., a particular structure of this nature was not readily adapted to be incorporated in conduit strings of different diameters.

In many such devices a check valve was included to prevent the inflow of material into the lower end of the conduit string. However, in many instances such check valves were maintained in an inoperable condition until it was desired to prevent an inflow of fluid into the string. This arrangement created the hazard that owing to well operable when it was desired to prevent a flow of well fluid into the lower end of the conduit string.

A particularly disadvantageous feature of many prior devices resided in the fact that it was necessary to release relatively large components from a conduit string and allow such components to fall into the lower end of the well bore in order to prevent further admission of fluid into the conduit string. Tools thus characterized, of necessity, caused the positioning of undesirable junk in the lower end of the well so as to impede further operations.

It is an object of the present invention to provide well tools which substantially minimize or altogether obviate operating and structural ditliculties such as those abovedescribed.

It is a particular object of the invention to provide such apparatus including components for controlling radial and axial flow into a conduit string, which components are supported on a common housing which is retained within the conduit string either when flow is being admitted radially into the string or when radial and axial well flow into the string is being prevented.

It is a further object of the invention to provide such an improved apparatus which at all times maintains an axial flow path which will enable fluid or structural elements to be moved axially through the conduit string.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide such an apparatus wherein movement of the housing supporting the elements for controlling radial and axial well flow into the conduit string serves to prevent further radial inflow.

It is likewise an object of the invention to provide such an improved apparatus wherein, while the housing is being moved to prevent a radial inflow into the conduit string, the apparatus elements which permit the radial flow are positively disabled.

A still further object of the invention is to provide such an improved apparatus wherein a flapper valve which serves to prevent axial well flow into the lower end of the conduit string is continuously operable throughout the conduit string lowering operation.

It is also an object of the invention to provide such an apparatus which, by virtue of its structural characteristics, may be readily incorporated in conduit strings of different sizes.

An independently significant object of the invention is to provide a cylindrical elastomeric member to yieldably resist movement of an operating member in a flow passage while allowing fluid flow through the passage.

Summary 07" invention For accomplishing at least some of the foregoing objectives, there is provided th ough this invention an apparatus for use in a well, which apparatus comprises seat means and. a flapper valve hinge-mounted within the apparatus for upward pivotable movement into seating engagement with the seat means when the apparatus is in a well. This apparatus further includes means yieldably biasing the flapper valve toward the seat means and wall means adapted to be located above the seat means when the apparatus is in a well. The wall means has port means communicating with the exterior of the apparatus.

Also included in the apparatus is a sleeve valve means located above and coaxial with the seat means when the apparatus is in a well. The sleeve valve means is axially movable and is disposed in valving cooperation with the port means. The sleeve valve means has a reaction surface adapted to be in fluid communication with the exterior of conditions it might not be possible to make the check valve the apparatus through the port means whereby the sleeve valve means is biased by fluid pressure external of the apparatus when the apparatus is in a well to move axially and provide fluid communication between the interior of the sleeve valve means and the exterior of the apparatus.

The apparatus further includes disabling means for selectively preventing the sleeve valve means from moving in response to fluid pressure external of the apparatus, the disabling means thereby preventing fluid communication between the interior of the sleeve valve means and the exterior of the apparatus through the port means.

Another facet of the invention, of individual and broader consequence, resides in a combination comprising conduit means and housing means mounted for limited axial movment within the conduit means. This combination additionally includes generally radial first port means carried by the housing means, check-valved axial passage means extending entirely through the housing means and generally radial second port means carried by the conduit means. The second port means, when the housing means is in a selected position within the conduit means, communicate with the first port means. Also included in this combination is a means for moving the housing means axially within the conduit means to axially displace the housing means from its selected position so as to displace the generally radial second port means from communicating alignment with the generally radial first port means.

An additional, independently significant, facet of the invention involves an apparatus for elastically resisting the movement of an operating component of a well tool. This particular apparatus comprises body means, passage means in the body means and an operating member mounted for generally axial movement within the passage means. The particularly unique aspects of this combination resides in the inclusion of generally cylindrical elastomeric means engaging the operating member and yieldably resisting its movement.

In describing the invention, reference will be made to a particularly preferred and alternate embodiments of the invention as shown in the appended drawings. In these drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a schematic, vertically sectioned view of a well bore showing, in a partiially cut-away portion of a conduit string, the manner in which conduit string is partially filled with fluid during the initial portion of a conduit string lowering operation;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged, vertically sectioned view of an apparatus incorporated in the FIGURE 1 conduit string and employed to allow radial flow into the conduit string during the initial portion of the conduit string lowering and thereafter prevent both radial and axial well flow into the conduit string. FIGURE 2 illustrates the components of the apparatus arranged to prevent axial well flow into the string but permit limited radial inflow;

FIGURE 3 illustrates components of the FIGURE 2 assembly operating in response to the pressure of well fluid so as to permit a radial flow of the well fluid into the interior of the apparatus and the conduit string;

FIGURE 4 illustrates the manner in which a seated ball which has moved downwardly through the FIGURE 1 conduit string serves to engage and disable the sleeve valve of the FIGURE 2 assembly which permits radial well flow into the apparatus;

FIGURE 5 is related to FIGURE 4 and illustrates the manner in which an increase in fluid pressure within the conduit string causes the seated ball shown in FIGURE 4 to move a housing supporting the sleeve valve and flapper valve of the FIGURE 2 assembly downwardly so as to move the sleeve valve out of communicating alignment with radial conduit string ports so as to positively prevent a radial flow of well fluids into the apparatus;

FIGURE 6 illustrates a portion of the FIGURE 2 assembly showing an alternative arrangement for biasing the sleeve valve; and

FIGURE 7 illustrates a still further alternate form or modification of the FIGURE 2 apparatus wherein the sleeve valve is biased against upward movement by fluid pressure within the conduit string and biased against downward movement by fluid pressure external of the 4. conduit string and characterizd by an effective fluid reaction area responsive to fluid pressure within the conduit string which exceeds the effective fluid reaction area responsive to fluid pressure external of the conduit string.

Structure of preferred embodiment FIGURE 1 schematically illustrates a well bore 1 into which a conventional conduit string 2 is being lowered. Conduit string 2 may comprise a conventional casing string made of threadedly interconnected conduit sections of the type generally used in oil well work.

Included in conduit string 2, near its lower end, is an apparatus 3 which serves to allow limited radial inflow of well fluid 4 from well annulus 5 into the interior 6 of the string 2. Apparatus 3 additionally serves to allow downward axial flow through the conduit string interior 6 but prevents upward flow of well fluid 4 through the apparatus 3 and into the conduit string interior 6 above the apparatus As schematically shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, apparatus 3 has an upper, internally threaded, end 3a and a lower internally threaded end 3b by means of which the apparatus 3 is threadedly incorporated in series relationship in the conduit string 2. The lower end 311 of the apparatus 3 may be connected with a coupling 7, having an upper threaded end 7a and a lower threaded end (not shown), so as to provide, in eflect a female threaded coupling at the upper end of the apparatus 3 and a male threaded coupling at the lower end of the apparatus 3.

Apparatus 3 comprises a generally cylindrical body, i.e. conduit section 8 and a multi-component housing means 9 mounted for limited axial movement within the conduit section 8. A radial shoulder 10 on the inside of the conduit section 8 serves to limit upward movement of the housing 9 while a radial shoulder provided by the upper end 11 of the coupling 7 serves to prevent downward telescoping movement of the housing 9 within the conduit section 8.

A plurality of circumferentially spaced and radially extending first ports 12 intersect the housing 9. Another series of circumferentially spaced and radially extending ports 13 intersect the wall of conduit section 8. One or more conventional, threaded shear pins 14 intersect the wall of conduit section 8 and project into the composite housing 9 so as to secure the housing 9 in a selected initial position within the conduit 8. This initial position is the position which the housing 9 occupies when the apparatus is initially lowered into the well 1. In this selected, initial position, each radial port 12 is radially aligned with a corresponding radial port 13, as generally shown in FIGURE 2.

The shear pins 14 provide holding means releasably securing the first wall means provided by the housing 9 in a defined relationship with the second wall means provided by the conduit 8. In a conventional fashion, the holding means 14 constitutes a frangible connection rupturable in response to a downward force exerted axially on the housing 9.

An axial passage 15 extends longitudinally and centrally entirely through the housing 9 and the apparatus 3.

The lower end of the housing 9 includes a frustoconical, upwardly converging, valve seat 16. A flapper valve 17 is hingedly mounted by a conventional pivot pin 18 to the lower end of the housing 9, as shown in FIGURE 2, for upward pivotal movement into seating engagement with the seat 16. A conventional torsion spring 19 mounted on the pivot pin 18, and engaging the flapper valve 17 and housing 9, yieldably biases the flapper valve 17 upwardly into the seated position shown in FIGURE 2. Thus, the flapper valve functions as a check valve to permit a downward flow of fluid or passage of structural elements through the passage 15 while preventing an upward flow of fluid from beneath the apparatus 3 into the passage 15.

Housing 9, as shown in FIGURE 2, is multi-cornponent in character and comprises an outer tubular component 912, an inner, generally tubular component 9a, and a layer of cementitious material 9c disposed between the members 9a and 9b, and serving to interconnect them. As illustrated, members 9a and 9b are provided with circumferential grooving such that the cementitious layer 9c serves to effectively interlock these components of the housing 9 into a unitary housing.

As illustrated, the ports 12 extend entirely through the housing layers 9a, 9b, and 90.

A generally tubular sleeve valve 20 is located above the seat 16 when the apparatus 3 is disposed in the well. The sleeve valve 26 is coaxial with the seat 16 and is disposed in valving cooperation with the ports 12.

Sleeve valve 20 is telescopingly received by an inner wall 9d of the component 9b of the housing 9. The lower end 20a of the sleeve valve 20 provides a reaction surface in fluid communication, through the aligned ports 12 and 13, with well fluid 4 on the exterior of the apparatus. Such well fluid, acting on the sleeve valve reaction surface, biases the sleeve valve upwardly so as to induce it to move axially upwardly and allow a radial flow of well fluid 4 through the aligned ports 12 and 13 into the interior of the apparatus 3, i.e., into the passage 15.

A generally cylindrical elastomeric member 21 serves to yieldably and elastomerically resist upward movement of the sleeve valve 20 within the housing 9. Cylindrical member 20 is preferably fabricated of conventional high modulus rubber. The lower end of the cylindrical member 21 engages the upper end of the sleeve valve 20, while the upper end of member 21 engages an abutment 22a. Abutment 22a is provided by a ring 22 extending radially inwardly from, and threadedly connected with, the housing component 9b.

In the closed port position shown in FIGURE 2, the lower end 20a of the sleeve valve engages a downwardly converging, frustoconical, abutment defining, sleeve valve seat 23. When the valve end 200: is engaged with the abutment defining seat 23, the elastomeric member 21 will desirably be compressed to some extent. This precompression of the cylindrical member 21, obtained by proper dimensioning of the length of the member 21, ensures the existence of some biasing force tending to hold the sleeve valve 29 in the closed port position, as shown in FIG- URE 2.

A plurality of radial apertures 24 extend through the elastomeric member 21. Each such aperture 24 is generally cylindrical and has a radially extending periphery 25 passing entirely through the wall of the cylindrical member 21. Each such periphery is supported by a conventional, generally cylindrical grommet 26.

Cylindrical member 21 is shielded or housed at its upper and lower ends by the ring 22 and sleeve valve 21), respectively. A generally cylindrical portion 92 of the housing component 91) and a radially perforated, cylindrical member 27 provide radially inwardly and outwardly disposed components laterally housing the cylindrical member 21. Housing component 27 may be secured by conventional fastening pins 28 to the ring 22, as schematically shown in FIGURE 2.

With this arrangement, the elastomeric member 21 is shielded from the flow passage 15 but is in pressure transmitting communication with the passage 15 by way of ports 29 in the member 27.

As will also be apparent, the sleeve valve 20 is telescopingly received within a downwardly opening, annular cavity 30 defined by the coaxially related, but radially spaced, components 27 and 9e of the apparatus 3.

Under certain circumstances, it may be desirable to prepack the portions of the cavity 30 not occupied by the elastomeric member 21 with grease so as to prevent the accumulation of well fluid-carried debris within the cavity 30 while the apparatus is being lowered into a well.

Referring again to FIGURE 2, it will be seen that the sleeve valve 21 provides a first, generally cylindrical passage portion 15a extending axially of the apparatus while the seat 16 provides a second, generally cylindrical passage portion 151;, also extending axially of the apparatus. Passage portions 15a and 15b are in continuous and unobstructed coaxial communication and define portions of the passage 15 which comprise coaxial and same sized extensions of a passage portion provided by the inner wall of member 27.

With the arrangement shown in FIGURE 2, the flapper valve 17 is continuously operable to prevent upward flow of fluid through the apparatus, but permit downward flow. The radially aligned ports 12 and 13 are in suflicient coaxial proximity to the seat flapper valve 17 that well fluid 4, flowing radially inwardly through these ports, will create turbulence in the vicinity of valve 17 and seat 16. Such turbulence will tend to prevent settlement of sediment on valve 17 and seat 16 which might impair or interfere with the operation of the valve 17.

Disabling means 31 included in the apparatus 3 serves to selectively prevent the sleeve valve 20 from moving in response to the pressure of fluid 4 in the well annulus 5 acting on the reaction surface provided by the lower end 20a of the sleeve valve 28. This disabling means comprises a ring-like, radially extending, ball seat 32 fabricated of deformable metallic material and mounted on an annular shoulder 33 formed in the sleeve valve 20. The abutment 23 of the housing 9 which engages the lower end 20a of the sleeve valve 20 also comprises a portion of the disabling means 31 in that it provides a mechanism for transmitting axial force from the ball seat 32 through the sleeve valve 20 and housing 9 to the shear pin 14.

The ball seat 32 is designed to seat and retain a ball 33 moving downwardly through the passage 15. The ball seat 32is fabricated so as to hold such a seated ball until fluid pressure within the passage 15 and above the seated ball has been raised sufficiently high to cause the seat to deform, as shown in FIGURE 5, and allow the previously seated ball 33 to move downwardly through the passage portions 15a and 15b, pivot the flapper valve 17 downwardly, and pass freely entirely through the apparatus 3 into the lower end of the wall, assuming, of course, that the conduit string is sufficiently open beneath the apparatus 3. If the lower end of the conduit string is closed, the ball 33 will be retained within the lower end of the string.

When the ball 33 first engages the seat 32, an initial pres-sure level is created within the passage 15 by regulating, from the surface, the pressure of fluid within the passage 15. This pressure level will be suflicient to cause the ball 33 to transmit sufiicient force through the seat 32, sleeve valve 20, and the housing 9 to the pins 14 to cause the pins 14 to shear, as shown in FIGURE 4, and enable the housing 9 to move downwardly within the conduit section 8 into abutting engagement with the annular abutment 11. This downward axial movement of the housing 9 displaces the ports 12 from communicating alignment with the ports 13 so as to effectively isolate the sieeve valve 20 from pressure communicating relation with Well fluid in the well annulus 5.

The housing 9 is maintained again-st upward axial movement in the sleeve valve disabling position, shown in FIGURE 4, by a conventional snap ring and annular groove securing'arrangement 34.

Securing arrangement 34 comprises an outwardly facing, circumferential groove 35 formed on the outer periphery of the housing 9, a split, inwardly precompressed, snap ring 35 secured within the groove 35, and a locking, inwardly facing. circumferential groove 37 formed in the cylindrical section 8.

In the initial housing position shown in FIGURE 2, snap ring 36 is secured within the housing groove 35 by an inner cylindrical wall portion 8a of the conduit section 8. When the housing 9 moves downwardly, the ring 36 slides along the Wall 8a until it reaches the groove 37. When the ring reaches the groove 37, owing to its precompressed condition, it expands radially outwardly so as to occupy portions of both of the grooves 35 and 37. The snap ring 36 is then prevented, by an annular shoulder 38 at the upper end of the groove 37, from moving upwardly. The housing 9 is prevented by an annular shoulder 39 at the lower end of the groove 35 from moving upwardly relatively to the immobilized ring 36. In this fashion, the housing 9 is effectively located in the disabled position shown in FIGURE 4 against upward axial move ment out of the sleeve valve disabling position.

[Voo'e of operation of preferred embodiment At the outset, the apparatus 3, with its components shown in FlGURE 2, is incorporated in a conduit string 2, preferably near the lower end of this string.

As the string 2 is initially lowered into a well, the sleeve valve 2i) will allow well fluid 4 to flow radially inwardly through the aligned ports 12 and 13. When there is a sufficient head H of fluid 4 in the well annulus acting on the lower end Ztla of the sleeve valve 20 so as to overcome the elastomeric resistance afforded by the member 21, the sleeve valve 20 will raise and allow well fluid to flow radially inwardly into the passage 15 through ports 12 and 13.

When the sleeve valve is raised by fluid pressure acting on its lower end, the cylindrical member 21 will be longitudinally compressed so as to expand radially, as schematically shown in FIGURE 3. When such deformation of the sleeve valve 20 occurs, the radial perforations 24 will allow the equalization of fluid pressure on either side of the cylindrical member 21. This will enable, for example, grease or fluid occupying the space to move freely across the member 21 and prevent the creation of excessive pressure in the portion 30a of the space 30 between the member 21 and the portion 92 of housing 9. In this connection, the reinforcing grommets serve to prevent the collapsing ofthe perforations 24 when deforming of the member 21 occurs, so as to enable such equalization or fluid transfer to occur in an unimpeded fashion.

As will thus be appreciated, with this arrangement there will be maintained a difference in height H between fluid 4 in the well annulus and fluid within the interior of the conduit string 2, as schematically shown in FIGURE 1, so long as the sleeve valve 20 remains operable.

After the conduit string has been lowered into the well to a particular extent, it may be deemed desirable to prevent further inflow of well fluid into the conduit string. This prevention of further flow may be effected by utilization of a ball 33 to cause downward movement of the housing 9 into the sleeve valve disabling position, shown in FIGURE 4, as previously described.

In this connection, it will be appreciated that when the ball 33 initially engages the ring 32, it will serve to hold the sleeve valve 20 in a closed port position throughout the period of time that the housing is being freed from the conduit section 9 and moved downwardly into the sleeve valve disabling position. Thus it will be understood that the pressure of fluid within the conduit string acting on the ball 33 will be sufliciently high to offset and obviate any s eeve valve lifting force resulting from the pressure of well fluid in the annulus 5.

At all times throughout the conduit string lowering operation, either fluid or apparatus elements may be passed downwardly through the passage 15 of the apparatus 3.

Whether the components of the apparatus 3 are arranged to permit or prevent the radial inflow of well fluid into the passage 15, the flapper valve and sleeve valve components of the apparatus are retained in their common mounting and secured within the confines of their limited axial movement within the apparatus 3.

Significantly, the flapper valve 17 remains continuously operable throughout the conduit string lowering operation. No manipulations whatsoever are required at any point to cause the flapper valve 17 to perform its check- 0 valving function. After the sleeve valve has been disabled, the closed flapper valve 17 will enable the conduit string to be floated as it is further lowered into a well.

Alternative embodiments FIGURES 6 and 7 illustrate structures which are substantially the same as the preferred embodiment arrangement shown in FIGURES 2 and 5, except for structure for allowing radial flow which is incorporated in the apparatus 3.

In the modification shown in FIGURE 6, the clastomeric member 21 has been replaced by a series of circumferentially spaced coil springs 40. A ring 41 secured to the housing 9 is provided with a plurality of downwardly opening pockets 41a, each of which receives the upper end of a coil spring 40. The lower end of each spring 40 may be received within pocket-defining wall means 42 carried by, and projecting upwardly from, the sleeve valve 20.

In the arrangement shown in FIGURE 7, a sleeve valve 43 is incorporated in a modified housing 9. In the modified housing 9, the member 9b is replaced by a member 9; Which has an upper cylindrical portion 9g having a relatively larger diameter, and a lower portion 9b having a relatively small diameter. The sleeve valve 43 has an upper portion 43a telescopingly engaged with the portion 9g of the housing 9, and having a relatively large fluid reaction area exposed to fluid pressure within the conduit string. A lower portion 43b of the sleeve valve 43 is teleseopingly engaged with the portion 911 of the housing 9 and has a relatively smaller fluid reaction area adapted to be acted upon by well annulus pressure. The ratio of the effective fluid reaction areas of the sleeve valve portions 43a and 43b will determine the extent to which fluid will enter the passage means 15.

With the arrangement shown in FIGURE 7, it will be appreciated that while the sleeve valve 43 is operable, the ratio of the height of fluid within the conduit string and above the ports 12 and 13 to the height of fluid in the well annulus above these ports will be in proportion to the ratio of the effective reaction areas of the sleeve valve portion 43b to the portion 43a. Thus, as will be appreciated, the FIGURE 7 sleeve valve functions in an altogether diiferent manner than the sleeve valve shown in FIGURES 2 through 6. In the arrangement shown in FIGURES 2 through 6, a predetermined difference in elevation between annulus fluid and conduit string fluid will be maintained, whereas with the FIGURE 7 arrangement, a predetermined ratio will be maintained between the height of fluid in the annulus and within the conduit string above the radial ports of the apparatus 3.

Summary of advantages and scope of invention A particularly significant advantage of the invention entails the continuous operability of the flapper valve 17. No separate manipulations are required to effect the checkvalving of fluid flow through the apparatus 3.

Another especially significant facet of the invention involves the manner in which the apparatus 3- enables downward flow of fluid or the axial passage of structural elements.

Another noteworthy advantage is the manner in which the sleeve valve and flapper valve are mounted on a common housing which is retained within the apparatus body, regardless of the operating condition of the sleeve valve.

The composite character of the housing 9 of the apparatus affords a unique versatility for the apparatus. The assembly of the inner wall 9b and the sleeve valve and flapper valve which are connected to it, may be maintained as a. stock item which may be incorporated in a wide range of sizes of the apparatus 3 where the diameter of the conduit section 8 and component 9a vary. It is merely necessary to cement the stock item, comprising, the components 911, the sleeve valve 20, and flapper valve 17, into the appropriately sized combination of conduit section 8 and component 9a.

The sleeve valve disabling mechanism is uniquely significant in that, while the sleeve valve is in the process of being disabled, it is positively maintained in a closed valve position by virture of the fact that theball 33 engages and holds the sleeve valve closed while force is being transmitted through the sleeve valve to effect the shearing of the pins 14. t

The close :proximity of the radial ports to the flapper valve seat enables the turbulence induced by the radial inflewing well fluid to flush debris away from the flapper valve so as to prevent the build-up of valve action impeding debris in the lower end of the apparatus.

An outstanding advantage of the invention resides in the utilization of a unique cylindrical, valve biasing, elastomeric member. Such a biasing arrangement enables the maintenance of a continuously open, axial flow passage, and eliminates structural complications that are involved in aconventional coil spring biasing arrangement.

The elastorneric spring is a readily drillable component. Thus, should it become necessary to drill out the interior of, the apparatus 3, the rubber member 21 may be removed with considerably more ease than a resistant-todrilling, metallic spring.

In addition, the cylindrical sleeve valve biasing member 21 enables the maintenance of a larger sized opening through the apparatus than would ordinarily be possible were coil spring employed.

Somewhat unexpectedly, it has been found that the cylindrical member 21 produces a biasing force on the sleeve valve which remains at a highly desirable, substantially constant valve during the extent of axial movement involved in the normal operation of the sleeve valve 20.

The unique radial and reinforced apertures of the elastomeric member'21 serve in an unusual fashion to eliminate the problems involved in trapping fluid pockets adjacent this member.

The unique structure for both shielding the elastomeric member and telescopingly receiving the sleeve valve constitutesa liighly simplified, but rugged and effective, sleeve valve operating concept.

1 In describing the invention, reference has been made to' preferred and alternate embodiments. Those skilled in the art and familiar with the disclosure of the invention will recognize thatEhanges'in'confignration and dimensioning of components may be readily eifected within the purview of the disclosure of the foregoing embodiments. As will be additionally appreciated, other modifications, additions, deletions, or substitutions can be effected within the purview of the invention as defined by thev appended I claims. I claim: v

.1 An apparatus'for use in a well, said apparatus comprising:- i

seat means; a flapper valve hinge-mounted within said apparatus for upward pivotable movement into seating engagement with said seat means when said aparatus is in a well; means yieldably'biasing said flapper valve toward said seat means; w'all means, adapted to be located above said seat means when said apparatus is in a well, and having port means communicating with the exterior of said apparatus; and sleeve valve means, located above and coaxial with said seat means when said apparatus is in a well, said sleeve valve means being axially movable and in valving cooperation with said port means, said sleeve valve means having a reaction surface adapted to be in fluid communication with the exterior of said apparatus through said port means whereby said sleeve valve means is biased by fluid pressure external of said apparatus, when said apparatus is in a well, to move axially and provide fluid communication between the interior of'said sleeve valve means and the exterior of said apparatus; and

disabling means for selectively preventing said sleeve valve means from moving in response to fluid pressure external of said apparatus, said disabling means thereby preventing fluid communication between the interior of said sleeve valve means and the exterior of said apparatues through said port means.

2. An apparatus as described in claim 1:

wherein said sleeve valve means has a first passage portion extending axially of said apparatus;

. wherein said seat means has a second passage portion 3. An apparatus as described in claim 2:

wherein said wall means comprises:

a first generally tubular wall, a second generally tubular wall telescopingly receiving said first generally tubular wall, and holding means releasably securing said first and second generally tubular walls in a defined relationship; wherein said port means comprises:

at least one first port in said first generally tubular wall, and at least" one second port in said second generally tubular wall aligned with said first port when said holding means is securing said first and sec- .ond generally tubular Walls in said defined rela tionship, wherein said sleeve valve means is mounted for telescoping movement Within said first generally tubular wall;

. 'wherein said flapper valve is hinge-mounted on said position with said first and second ports being displaced from communicating relationship, and thereafter deform in response to an increase in fluid pres sure within said passage means to let said ball pass entirely through said passage means; and securing means for holding said first generally tubular wall in said disabling position. 4. An apparatus as described in claim 3: wherein said holding means comprises a frangible connection between said first and second generally tubular walls, said connection being frangible in response to an axial force tending to move said first tubular wall downward relative to said second tubular wall when said apparatus is in a well; wherein said disabling means comprises:

a deformable ball seat coaxially carried on said sleeve valve means, and abutment means for transmitting a force exerted downward on said sleeve when said apparatus is in a well to said first generally tubular wall, said deformable ball seat being adapted to seat a ball moving downwardly within a Well and through the passage means of said apparatus and thereby seal said passage means until fluid pressure within said passage means and above said seated ball transmits suficient force through said sleeve valve means, said abutment means, and said first generally tubular wall to break said frangible connection, cause said first generally 1 1 tubular wall to move downward to a disabling first generally tubular wall; and wherein said seat means is carried on said first generally tubular wall.

5. An apparatus as described in claim 4 further including:

a generally cylindrical, elastomeric member engaging said sleeve valve means and yieldably resisting movement of said sleeve valve means induced by fiuid pressure acting on said reaction surface.

6. An apparatus as described in claim 5:

wherein said elastomeric member includes at least one perforation having a periphery extending radially of said elastomeric member and entirely through a portion of said elastomeric member; and

wherein said elastomeric member further includes reinforcing means supporting the periphery of said perforation.

7. An apparatus as described in claim 6, said apparatus further including:

first, generally cylindrical shield means disposed radially outwardly of said elastomeric member; and

second, generally cyclindrical shield means disposed radially inwardly of said elastomeric member,

said first and second cylindrical shield means being carried by said wall means and telescopingly receiving said sleeve valve means.

3. An apparatus for use in a well, said apparatus comprising:

conduit means;

housing means mounted for limited axial movement within said conduit means;

generally radial, first port means carried by said housing means;

axial passage means extending entirely through said housing means;

check valve means carried by said housing means and operable to control flow through said axial passage means;

generally radial, second port means carried by said conduit means and adapted to communicate with said generally radial first port means when said housing means is in a selected position within said conduit means;

sleeve valve means mounted for axial movement within said housing means;

first seat means for said sleeve valve means carried by said housing means beneath said sleeve valve means when said apparatus is disposed in a Well bore; and

second seat means carried by said sleeve valve means and operable to seatingly receive closure means to close off said passage means whereby fluid pressure acting on said closure means may hold said sleeve valve means in seating engagement with said first seat means and transmit generally downwardly directed force through said sleeve valve means to said housing means and displace said second port means from communicating alignment with saidfirst port means.

9. An apparatus for elastically resisting the movement of an operating component of a well tool, said apparatus comprising:

body means;

passage means in said body means; I

an operating member mounted for generally axial movement within said passage means; generally cylindrical elastomeric means engaging said operating member and yieldably resisting movement of saidoperating member; 3 first wall means spaced radially outwardly from and generally encircling said elastomeric means to define a first annular recess disposed-radially outwardly of said elastomeric means; second wall means spaced radially inwardly of said elastomeric means and defining a generally annular second recess disposed radially inwardly of said elastomeric means; and 3 7 wall means carried by said elastomeric means and defining fiuid passage means extending radially between said first and second annular recesses to provide fluid communication therebetween.

10, An apparatus for elastically resisting the movement of an operating component of a well tool, said apparatus comprising: 3

body means; passage means in said body means; an operating member mounted for generally axial movement within said passage means;

generally cylindrical elastomeric means engaging said operating member and yieldably resisting movement of said operating member;

said elastomeric means including at least one perforation having a periphery extending radially of said elastomeric means and entirely through a portion of said elastomeric means;

said elastomeric means further including reinforcing means supporting the periphery of said perforation; said apparatus further including: I

first, generally cylindrical shield means disposed radially outwardly of said elastomeric means; and second, generally cylindrical shield means disposed radially inwardly of said elastomeric means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3 JAMES A. LEPPINK, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3419081 *Mar 15, 1967Dec 31, 1968Koehring CoWell cementing device
US3554281 *Aug 18, 1969Jan 12, 1971Pan American Petroleum CorpRetrievable circulating valve insertable in a string of well tubing
US4040488 *Sep 27, 1976Aug 9, 1977The Dow Chemical CompanyDifferential valve
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US6491103Apr 9, 2001Dec 10, 2002Jerry P. AllamonSystem for running tubular members
US6520257Mar 20, 2001Feb 18, 2003Jerry P. AllamonMethod and apparatus for surge reduction
US6834726May 29, 2002Dec 28, 2004Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Method and apparatus to reduce downhole surge pressure using hydrostatic valve
US7434625 *Jun 1, 2005Oct 14, 2008Tiw CorporationDownhole flapper circulation tool
US8616289Oct 8, 2008Dec 31, 2013Cameron International CorporationBack pressure valve
US8844622 *Apr 1, 2013Sep 30, 2014Specialised Petroleum Services Group LimitedWellbore cleaning method and apparatus
US9133672Oct 14, 2014Sep 15, 2015Cameron International CorporationBack pressure valve
US9297226Aug 24, 2013Mar 29, 2016Cameron International CorporationBack pressure valve
US20060272824 *Jun 1, 2005Dec 7, 2006Adams Richard WDownhole flapper circulation tool
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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/317, 166/325, 137/535, 166/318
International ClassificationE21B21/00, E21B34/00, E21B21/10, E21B34/06
Cooperative ClassificationE21B2034/005, E21B21/10, E21B34/063
European ClassificationE21B34/06B, E21B21/10