US 3421586 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. R. soLUM 3,421,586
FLOW-REVERSING LINER SHOE FOR WELL GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS Jan. 14, 1969 Sheen?l of 2 Filed Aug. 29, 1967 v INVENTOR f4/W65 E O UM J. R. SOLUM Jan. 14, 1969 FLOW-REVERSING LINER SHOE FOR WELL GRAVEL PACKING APPARATUS Sheet 2 of 2 Filed Aug. 29, 196'? ...Wav an Q..o..,o....| ...u..0....v..o.. .U am ...o. ....o...o......o..r..n... ..02. .b...0 ...0.51% ..a..... a r
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United States Patent O Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for gravel packing a perforate liner in a well including a liner shoe engaged by an interior wash pipe for circulating iiuid out through a check valve on the bottom of the liner shoe for washing the liner to the bottom of the well and a fluid by-pass in the liner shoe for uid to ow inwardly through the liner perforations, down through the by-pass and up in the wash pipe with another check valve arrangement for preventing reverse iiow through the by-pass. After gravel packing the wash pipe is lifted from the lliner shoe to Wash out the liner.
This invention relates to the gravel packing of oil, gas or water wells and in particular is directed to an assembly of components including a unique liner shoe that permits the operator to wash the liner into the well under sandy conditions in the well whereby the complete running-in of the liner is assured and the entire gravel packing operation can be completed in a single round trip of the well pipe.
It lhas become increasingly more popular and advisable with wells having a propensity to produce objectionable amounts of sand with the production fluid to complete such wells by placing a liner having precisely sized perforations or slots in the well at the production zone and filling the annular space outside the liner with gravel of a closely controlled size larger than the liner perforations or slots. The gravel is flowed downwardly around the outside of the liner with a fluid which passes through the liner slots leaving the gravel and either low pressure or high pressure may be used, the latter of which serves to urge the gravel out into the formation. Of course wells that have this problem of tending to produce sand with the production fluid will also tend to fill up the bottom of the well with such sand by sloughing off the wal-ls or settling out of the fiuid within the well when the well is not on production. This filling in with sand may occur during the time it takes to run the perforate liner into the well even though the operator may have just cornpleted washing out the entire well and attempting to clean up the fluid. The result is that the liner cannot be lowered to the full desired depth and conventionally it is necessary to pull the liner back out and again attempt to wash out the well with the hope of reaching bottom with the liner the next time. The Iliner itself cannot be used for washing out the well since it is perforated or slotted throughout its length. The additional expense and delay in making one or more round trips into the well with wash tools is obvious but even more important is that there is no assurance that the well will not still partially ll with sand before the liner can be lowered to the desired location.
While certain apparatus has been proposed for solving this problem in gravel packing these troublesome wells, such apparatus normally contemplates the provision of a number of special components in the assemblage which due to the requisite small size of such components often result in malfunctioning and failure thereby defeating the desired single round trip operation. Some such arrange- ICC ments Ihave other deficiencies such as the inability to wash out any fine sand deposited in the liner during gravel packing by circulating uid downwardly in the annulus within the liner and upwardly in the wash pipe to positively remove such tine sands. One such apparatus having these various deciencies is diagrammatically shown in United States Patent No. 3,134,439 entitled Gravel Packing Apparatus.
It is an object of this invention to provide a novel form of assembly for luse in gravel packing a perforate liner in a well including a unique dow-reversing liner shoe for permitting the liner to be washed to bottom, gravel packed, released and cleaned out in a single round trip.
Another object of this invention is to provide a novel form of liner shoe adapted to be sealably engaged by a wash pipe to permit either downward flow through the wash pipe and out the bottom of the shoe or downward iiow in the liner and up through the wash pipe. A still further object is to provide such a liner shoe wherein the wash pipe is readily releasable from the liner shoe and the desired paths of iiuid iiow are accomplished automatically and without mechanical manipulation of the wash pipe or liner.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a novel form of single trip gravel packing apparatus including a perforated liner with a unique liner shoe which is engaged by a wash pipe wherein the lliner shoe has a check valve for allowing only downward ow out the bottom of the shoe and a single direction by-pass for allowing ow downwardly in the liner and upwardly in the wash pipe but not the reverse thereof.
Other and more detailed objects and advantages of this invention will appear from the following description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a ydiagrammatic sectional elevation of a well into which the assembly of the perforate liner and unique liner shoe is being run While washing out the well;
FIGURE 2 is a diagrrnmatic sectional elevation similar to FIGURE l but illustrating the liner in the desired position and showing the placing of the gravel around the liner;
FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic sectional elevation similar to FIGURES 1 and 2 but illustrating the liner in the completely gravel packed condition with the remaining tools of the assembly released for cleaning out the liner and removal from the well;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged sectional elevation vof a preferred embodiment of the unique flow-reversing liner shoe of this invention; and
FIGURE 5 is a sectional plan view taken substantially on the line 5-5 as shown in FIGURE 4.
Referring rst to FIGURES 4 and 5, the flow-reversing liner shoe, generally designated 19, of this invention is comprised of a long tubular body 11 having threads 12 on the upper end adapted to attach to the bottom end of the perforated or slotted liner 13 and normally the tubular body 11 will be of approximately the same diameter as the liner 13. The lower end of the liner shoe 10 is, for convenience, provided with a heavy walled tubular section or nose piece 14 threadedly attached at 15 to the lower end of the tublar body 11 although it will readily be appreciated that the tubular tbody 11 could form the entire lower end of the line shoe 10. A plurality of iins 16 are provided on the lower end of the liner shoe with the outer section of such tins normally being of a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the well pipe or bore in which the liner is to be positioned whereby the ns 16 serve to center the lower end of the liner in the well pipe or bore thereby providing a relatively uniform annular space around the liner for the gravel. Three or more iins are preferred for this purpose. The tins 16 may have portions 17 extending around the lower end of the liner shoe both to support the lower end above any surface which otherwise might close and prevent fluid circulation through such lower end and to assist in breaking up any sand conditions while washing the liner into the well. A central bore 18 is provided in the nose piece 14.
Means are provided in the lower portion of the tubular body 11 for preventing fluid ow in an upward direction but permitting downward fluid flow and, as shown in the drawings, these means may include a check valve assembly, generally designated 20. Actually in the perferred embodiment two identical check valve assemblies are provided one above the other in tubular body 11 for further insuring that the proper fluid flow conditions are maintained although one valve may have malfunctioned. Each check valve 20 is provided with an annular body 21 having external threads 22 threadedly engaging the internal threads on the lower end of tubular body 11 to support the `check valve within the tubular body. A set screw 23 is threaded through the wall of tubular body 11 into the annular body 21 to lock the check valve assembly in the desired location. An open yoke or cage portion 24 extends downwardly from the annular body 21 to support a centrally positioned bushing 25. A valve member 26 has a valve stem 27 slidably mounted in the bushing for guided vertical movement of the valve member which is urged toward the annular member 21 by a coil compression spring 28. An upwardly facing valve seat 29 on the valve member 26 tits a matching downwardly facing seat on the annular member 21 and normally is urged into sealing engagement by the spring 28. Thus the check valve assembly prevents fluid flow therepassed in the upward direction but downward uid flow is permitted by reason of the uid urging the valve member 26 downwardly and depressing the spring 28. It will readily appear to those skilled in the art that any convenient type of check valve may be used rather than the specic embodiment described and further that only one such check valve is absolutely essential to the operation of this invention.
In the upper portion of tubular body 11 means are provided for sealably engaging a wash pipe and also allowing fluid by-pass around the wash pipe in the downward direction and these means are generally designated 30. In the initial running-in position the wash pipe extends -downwardly through the means 30 and has its lower end 32 anywhere below such means. The section of tubular body 11 between means 30 and the uppermost check valve assembly 20 may be of substantial length for ease in selecting the appropriate length of wash pipe 31 to t through the means 30 without engaging the uppermost check valve assembly 26. The means 30 includes a collar 33 threadedly mounted in the uppermost portion of tubular body 11 and a sleeve 34 mounted below the collar in any convenient manner. Collar 33 has an intemal bore 35 of a size to closely t the exterior surface of the wash pipe 31 and bore 35 may be provided with sealing rings 36 to sealably engage the wash pipe 31. The upper end of collar 31 is inwardly tapered at 37 for ease of stabbing the wash pipe 31 into the bore 35. Likewise the exterior of the lower end 32 of the wash pipe is preferably chamfered for the same purpose. The interior bore 38 of sleeve 34 is substantially larger than the wash pipe 31 to provide an annular space |between the wash pipe and bore 38. Sleeve 34 serves to support the lower end of a compression spring 39 which is of a diameter to comfortably tit within the tubular body 11. Compression spring 39 extends upwardly to engage a ring 40 and urge that ring into engagement with the bottom of collar 33. The ring 40 and bottom of collar 33 have mating ilat surfaces. Collar 33 is provided with a multiplicity of ports 41 extending longitudinally therethrough and positioned between the internal bore 35 and the eX- ternal surface of the collar 33 being open to either such bore or such surface. The bottom end's of ports 41 are covered by the ring 40 as shown in FIGURE 4 and thereby prevent upward ow of uid through the ports. However a downward flow of uid in the annular space between the exterior of wash pipe 31 and interior of liner 13 will cause ring 40 to be urged downwardly against the force of spring 39 and allow such fluid ow to by-pass the sealing engagement between collar 33 and wash pipe 31. It will be seen that such downward ow through ports 41 will continue through bore 38 of sleeve 34, then to the lower end 32 of the wash pipe 31, and then upwardly in the wash pipe.
Referring now to FIGURE l, a typical well bore condition is diagrammatically shown wherein the well casing 50 has been cemented into position by cement 51 with perforations 52 being made in the production zone 53 and through the use of conventional equipment the perforations 52 :have been washed out with the creation of a cavity 54, all of which is completely conventional. Sand 55 may remain or accumulate in the bottom of the well following the various procedures and before the liner is to be lowered into the well whereby there is created the problem of getting the liner to the desired depth within the well. The liner 13 is machine perforated or slotted, as shown. to provide openings of a precise predetermined size smaller than the gravel that is to be packed into the well. As previo-usly described the flow-reversing liner shoe 10 of this invention is attached to the lower end of liner 13 and the wash pipe 31 extends down through the means 30 but stops short of the check valve assemblies 20. A swivel joint 56 may be provided on the wash pipe if desired for the conventional reasons. The upper end of liner 13 is provided with a conventional packer, generally designated 57 and is releasably supported from a conventional releasing tool 58. The wash pipe 31 is also suspended from the releasing tool 58 but is not adapted to be released therefrom in the well. Above the packer 57 and releasing tool 58 there is conventionally provided a fluid flow crossover tool, generally designated 59, which has means on the exterior thereof for sealably engaging the interior of the well casing 50. The cross-over tool 59 is supported from the conventional well tubing 50 and has cross-over passageways therein as shown to transfer the downward fluid flow in the annular :space to the interior of the well ltools therebelow and trnasfer the upward fluid flow from the annular space into the upwardly extending tubing 60. The cross-over tool 59, setting tool 58, packer 57, liner 13 and even the wash pipe 31 have long been conventional for some operators in gravel packing wells and therefore are not believed to require any further specific description for purposes of this disclosure.
Still referring to FIGURE l, the above described assembly of tools is lowered into the well on the tubing 60 and if no sand 55 is present in the bottom of the well the liner 13 could be lowered to the desired depth. However normally the liner will come to rest on some sand 55 and then, in accordance with this invention, the operator will start circulating the fluid downwardly in the annulus whereby the uid, as shown by the arrows, will flow in through the cross-over tool 59 and down through the setting tool 58 and wash pipe 31 to the lower end 32 of the wash pipe where it discharges into the center of the reversing liner shoe 10. As previously described the fluid will not ilow upwardly through the by-pass means 40 due to the sealing ring 40 and therefore the ow will be downwardly through the check valves assemblies 20 and out the bottom of the liner, again as shown by the arrows. This produces a jet action to stir up the sand 55 and entrain s-uch sand in the flowing fluid whereby the sand is carried upwardly in the annular space between the exterior of the liner 31 and the interior of the casing 50 up to the cross-over tool 59 where it ows into the interior of the tubing 60 andy eventually to ground level. By maintaining this uid flow the liner can be washed to bottom and positioned at the proper depth.
With the liner positioned at the proper depth the direction of fluid ow is reversed and the changeover, if necesfsary, to a different uid -desired for packing the gravel in the well is accomplished. Upon reversal of fluid flow from the relationship shown by the arrows in FIGURE 1 the fluid will be directed downwardly in the tubing 60 as shown in FIGURE 2, then outwardly into the annulus by the cross-over tool whereupon, as shown by arrows 61, the uid will flow in through the slots in the liner 13, down through the by-pass means 30 to enter the lower end of wash pipe 31, then upwardly lthrough the wash pipe to the cross-over tool to flow out into the annulus thereabove. The fluid will not be permitted to flow in through the bottom end of tbe liner shoe due to the presence of the check valve assemblies 20. Once the uid changeover has been accomplished the gravel packing can proceed in the normal manner by pumping the uid with entrained gravel down through the tubing 60, out into the annulus at the liner and out into the cavity 54, if one exists, as shown by arrows 62. In some gravel packing procedures the return ow of uid from the annulus surrounding tubing 60 will be closed off to cause all of the fluid to pass out into the formation as shown by arrows 63 while in other procedures the return ow may be permitted either fully or partially. Again the check valve assemblies prevent fluid flow in through the bottom of liner shoe which otherwise would result in allowing gravel to return to ground level through the was-h pipe. In procedures where some or all of the fluid is allowed to return, the uid will ow in through the liner slots, as shown by arrows 61, leaving the gravel in the annulus outside the liner and then the fluid will pass down through the by-pass means 30, into the wash pipe 31, and upwardly in the wash pipe as previously described.
Referring now to FIGURE 3, when the gravel packing procedure has been completed the tubing 60 is manipulated to cause the releasing tool 58 to release the liner 13 and packer 57 and then the releasing tool 58 may serve to actuate or set the packer 57, as shown, to seal the upper end of the liner to the casing 50. By lifting the tubing 60 upon release from the liner the wash pipe 31 is also lifted to a position above the ilow reversing liner shoe 10 whereupon continued flow circulation in the direction `of the arrows shown in FIGURE 3 will serve to clean out any line sand remaining in the bottom of the liner down to the shoe. The presence of sand in the shoe now becomes unimportant but any sand build-up above the level of slots or perforations in the liner would inhibit the ow of production uid and should be removed. After an appropriate amount of fluid circulation the tubing 60 may be lifted to remove the cross-over tool 59, releasing tool 58 and wash pipe 31 from the well thereby completing the gravel packing process in a single round trip.
Having fully described my invention it is to be understood that such invention is not limited to the specific embodiments herein shown and described but rather my invention is of the full scope of the `appended claims.
1. In a liner shoe device adapted for connection to the lower end of a perforate liner and to be internally engaged from above by a smaller wash pipe, the combination of; a tubular body having an upper end for connecting to the liner andan open lower end, check valve means mounted in said body near said lower end for allowing uid ow downwardly through said tubular body and out the lower end but preventing uid ow in the reverse direction upwardly, `and means within said tubular body near the upper end including a tubular bore for receiving and sealing with the wash pipe and a uid ow by-pass means for allowing fluid ow downwardly in the annulus between the wash pipe and the tubular body with the wash pipe positioned in said tubular bore and having means for preventing fluid flow in the reverse direction upwardly.
2. The liner shoe device of claim 1 wherein said tubular bore is provided with sealing means for releasable engagement with the wash pipe.
3. The liner shoe device of claim 1 wherein the Said by-pass means includes a collar mounted in said tubular body with said tubular bore provided in said collar, said collar having at least one longitudinal port therethrough, and means closing said port to prevent upward Huid flow and allowing opening of said port for downward iluid ow.
4. The liner shoe device of claim 3 wherein a multiplicity of said ports are provided, said collar having a regular surface on the lower end thereof with said ports extending through said surface, and said port closing means comprising a ring having an upwardly facing surface matching said collar regular surface and means resiliently urging said ring upwardly into engagement with said collar for interengagement of said surfaces.
5. In a liner shoe device adapted for connection to the lower end of a perforate liner and to be internally engaged from above by a smaller wash pipe, the combination of; a body having an upper end for connecting to the liner and an open lower end, means within said body for receiving and sealing with the wash pipe and having by-pass means for allowing fluid ow downwardly passed the said sealing engagement with said wash pipe but preventing iluid flow in the reverse direction upwardly, and means in said body for allowing fluid flow downwardly out the lower end but preventing fluid ow in the reverse direction upwardly.
6. In a single trip perforate liner wash-down, gravel packing, releasing and wash-out apparatus for wells employing, a perforate liner to be placed in the well, a tubing releasably connected to the upper end of the liner, a wash pipe connected to the tubing and extending downwardly within said liner, the improvement comprising, a shoe device mounted on the lower end of said liner, said shoe device having an internal bore sealably engaging said wash pipe, a check valve in said shoe device for allowing uid flow downwardly through the wash pipe and out the bottom of said shoe device for washing the liner down into the well but preventing reverse ow, said shoe device having a fluid by-pass means for allowing fluid to pass from within the liner downwardly passed the said sealing engagement and into the lower end of the wash pipe for return upward flow of the liuid in the wash pipe, and said fluid by-pass means having means for preventing upward flow therethrough.
7. In a single trip perforate ,liner wash-down, gravel packing, releasing and wash-out apparatus for wells, comprising, a perforate liner to be placed in the well, a wash pipe of smaller diameter than said liner extending downwardly within said liner, a shoe device mounted on the lower end of said liner and having means sealably engaging said wash pipe and having a uid by-pass means for allowing fluid to pass downwardly within the liner passed the said sealing engagement and into the lower end of the wash pipe with means for preventing the reverse upward flow passed said sealing engagement.
8. The combination of claim 7 wherein said shoe device is provided with a check valve means for allowing uid flow out the lower end of the shoe device but preventing fluid flow in the reverse, upward direction.
9. In a single trip perforate liner wash-down, gravel packing, releasing and wash-out apparatus for wells, comprising, a perforate liner to be placed in the well, a tubing 'having means releasably connected to the upper end of said liner for lowering the liner into the well, a wash pipe of smaller diameter than said liner connected to said tubing and extending downwardly within said liner, a shoe device mounted on the lower end of said liner and having an upper portion with an internal bore sealably engaging said wash pipe, a check valve in the lower portion of said shoe device for allowing Huid flow downwardly through the wash pipe and out the bottom of said shoe device for washing the liner down into the well but preventing reverse flow, said shoe device having a fluid by-pass means for allowing fluid to pass from within the liner downwardly passed the said sealing engagement between the shoe device and wash pipe into the `lower end of the wash pipe for return upward flow of the fluid in the wash pipe, said fluid by-pass means having means for preventing upward ow therethrough as during the wash down with fluid flowing downwardly in` said wash pipe, and said wash pipe lifted free of said sealing engagement with said shoe device `upon release and lifting of said tubing from said liner for allowing upward flow of fluid in said wash pipe to then wash out the interior of said liner above the shoe device.
10. The ycombination of claim 9 wherein said by-pass References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 14,756 11/1919 Scott 166-205 2,192,945 3/1940 Toney 166--205 2,207,334 7/ 1940 Reynolds et al. 166-144 3,295,603 1/1967 Bagwell 166-205 means includes a collar in said shoe device with said in- 15 JAMES A. LEPPINK, Primary Examiner.