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Publication numberUS3442327 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 6, 1969
Filing dateDec 11, 1967
Priority dateDec 11, 1967
Also published asDE1813882A1
Publication numberUS 3442327 A, US 3442327A, US-A-3442327, US3442327 A, US3442327A
InventorsGraff Jerry C
Original AssigneeSchlumberger Technology Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well tool valve actuators
US 3442327 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 6, 1959 J. c. GRAFF WELL TOOL VALVE ACTUATORS Sheet of 4 Filed Dec. ll, 1967 f/Vy C. Graff INVENTOR. M ATTOP/V )f May 6, 1969 l Filed Dec.

J. C. GRAFF WELL TOOL VALVE ACTUATORS May 6, 1969 J- C- GRAFF 3,442,327

WELL. TooL VALVE AcTUAToRs Filed Deo. 11, 1967 sheet 3 of 4 :f/xy C. Kfer/f 1N VENTO/e,

y Afro/125% May 6, 1969 J. c. GRAFF 3,442,327

WELL TOOL VALVE ACTUATORS Filed Deo. 11, 1967 sheet 4 @f4 United States Patent() 3,442,327 WELL TOOL VALVE ACTUATORS Jerry C. Graff, Houston, Tex., assignor to Schlumberger Technology Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Texas Filed Dec. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 689,568 Int. Cl. E21b 23/06, 33/124, 33/13 U.S. Cl. 166-152 18 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The particular embodiment described herein as illustrative of the invention is directed to a well tool having a socalled ball-valve controlling communication therethrough. To actuate the pivotable ball valve, an actuating member connected thereto is associated with biasing means arranged to positively maintain the valve in one position without imposing undue forces thereon that would tend to hinder movement of the valve to its other position. When the tool mandrel is moved so as to reposition the ball valve, the biasing means are then selectively energized to positively move the ball valve to its other position.

Accordingly, as will subsequently become apparent, the present invention relates to well tools. More particularly, this invention pertains to well tools capable of reliably performing testing or treating operations as well as being selectively operable to provide an unrestricted central passage therethrough.

It is customary to dependently couple a number of different full-bore tools from a tubing string for performing such operations as testing a formation under flowing or static conditions, squeeze cementing, acidizing or uidfracturing. Such a string of full-bore tools usually includes a full-bore packer for packing-off the well bore to remove the hydrostatic pressure of the well control fluid from the formations below where the packer is set. In a number of these operations, it is preferred that the lower end of the tubing string be initially closed above the packer to prevent fluids in the well bore from entering the tubing string as the tools are being positioned. Thus, by keeping the tubing string dry, it will be unnecessary to remove fluids from the tubing by swabbing or gas displacement before testing or completion operations can be started. Moreover, by selectively closing the lower end of the tubing string, treating fluids can be placed in the tubing string and selectively discharged below the packer without being contaminated by fluids in the well as the tools are being shifted from one position to another.

In addition to selectivelycontrolling uid communication, it is particularly desirable to have a tool so versatile that it can also be opened to leave an unrestricted axial passage large enough to pass various completion tools as well as high flow rates of cement or fracturing fluids. Although various tools having a full-opening passage have been used heretofore, such tools normally employ either a removable center section or else a flapper or ball valve that must be opened against the full differential pressure across the tool. In addition to being more complex, tools with removable center sections require special retrieving equipment and these center sections must be replaced to reclose the central passage. On the other hand, although those tools using pivoted apper valves are less complex and can be reclosed when desired, it is not uncommon that these valves are damaged when opened against differential pressures.

Ball valves are generally preferred over apper valves since a flapper valve cannot be fully seated should debris or the like become lodged on the valve seat while the apper is open. A ball valve is not subject to this hazard, however, since the ball member is always seated and 3,442,327 Patented May 6, 1969 ICC is merely rotated on its seat between its open and closed positions.

Heretofore, ball valves have not been too reliable because o f the diliculties in opening and closing them without damaging either the ball member or its pivots. For example, it will be recognized that to open a ball valve, sufficient force must be applied to the ball member to rotate it against the frictional forces between it and its seat that are imposed by pressure differentials across the valve. Space limitations in a well tool necessarily reduce the size of the pivots for a ball member so that a substantial pressure differential across the ball member can reqi'r'e so much force to rotate the ball member to its open position that the pivots might fail. On the other hand, even though the tool is so arranged that the pressure differential across the valve will be reduced or equalized as it opens, a spring or the like still must be employed to provide a rotational force. Even though such springs are much weaker than they would have to be to rotate the ball member against a pressure differential, they still impose a positive force tending to open the ball member even while the valve is closed. Thus, unless additional precautions are taken, a shock on the tool as it moves through a well bore may well open the ball member prematurely. To counteract this latter problem, additional sprigs are usually employed to hold the ball member clors'ed until the valve is to be opened. Such measures, however, only result in longer tools and require careful selection of the springs to maintain a proper balance.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved well tool having valve means including a ball valve that is easily moved between its open and closed positions but will reliably remain in either of these positions without risk of being unknowingly moved should the tool be subjected to a severe shock.

These and other objects of the present invention are obtained by telescopically arranging an inner tubular member or mandrel within an outer tubular housing for movement therein between an extended position and successively telescoped positions. A rotatable cylindrical or spheroidal valve member with a ow passage therethrough is pivotally mounted to the mandrel and seated on an annular valve seat arranged on the lower end of the mandrel. Biasing means are operatively arranged to positively maintain the valve member in one of its positions so long as the mandrel is not moved to a selectively position and without imposing any forces tending to move the mandrel in relation to the housing or that will unduly hamper rotation of the valve member to its second position. Once the mandrel reaches this selected position, means are provided to energize the biasing so as to impose a suicient rotational force on the valve member to rotate it to its second position.

The novel features of the present invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood yby way of illustration and example of certain embodiments when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE l shows a typical string of well tools in a Well bore including a tool employing the principles of the present invention;

FIGURES 2A-2C are successive elevational views, partially in cross-section, of a preferred embodiment of a well tool having valve means arranged in accordance with the present invention;

FIGURES 3-5 and 8 are cross-sectional views taken along the lines 3 3, 4 4, 5 5 and 8 8, respectively, in FIGURE 2A;

FIGURES 6A-6D are somewhat schematic views of the well tool shown in FIGURES 2A-2C and depict its successive operatingpositions; and

FIGURE 7 is a developed view of the groove system for the well tool shown in FIGURES 2A-2C.

Turning now to FIGURE 1, a number of full-bore well tools 10-13 are shown tandemly connected to one another and dependently coupled from the lower end of a string of pipe, such as a tubing string 14, suspended in a cased well bore 15. At the lower end of these tools, a conventional full-bore packer 13 is arranged for selectively packing-olf the well casin-g 16. A typical hydraulic holddown 12 is coupled to the mandrel 19 of the packer 13 and arranged to engage the casing 16 to secure the mandrel against upward movement whenever the packer isset and fluid pressure within the tubing string .14 exceeds the hydrostatic pressure of the well control fluids in the well annulus. A typical bypass valve 11, coupled by a tubing sub 18 above the holddown 12, is suitably arranged to open and facilitate shifting of the tools 10-13 within. the uid-lilled well bore by diverting a substantial portion of the fluids through the central bore of the retracted packer 13. Connected at the upper end of the string of tools 11-13 is a tool 10 with valve means incorporating the principles of the present invention. Although the tools 11-13 may be those shown on page 3057 of the 1960-61 Composite Catalog of Field Equipment and Services, it will be understood, of course, that other tools of a similar nature may be used in conjunction with the tool 10.

Turning now to FIGURES 2A-2C, successive elevational views, with each being partially in cross-section, are shown of the tool 10. It will be recognized, of course, that for ease of manufacture and assembly of tools of this nature, they are customarily made of interconnected tubular sections. However, to facilitate the following description, various portions of the tool 10 have been shownas integral members rather than of such interconnected sections. The tool 10 includes a tubular member or mandrel 19 telescopically disposed within a tubular housing 20 and arranged for selective longitudinal movement therein between an extended position as shown in FIGURES 2A-2C, one or more intermediate positions, and a fully-telescoped position, all of which are subsequently described with reference to FIGURES 6A-6D. A threaded collar 21 (FIG- URE 2A) on the upper end of the mandrel 19 has threads 22 arranged for coupling to the tubing string 14 (FIGURE 1), with the central bore 23 (FIGURES 2A-2C) of the mandrel having substantially the same internal diameter as that of the tubing string. Similarly, threads 24` (FIG- URE 2C) on the lower end of the housing 20 are arranged for coupling the tool 10 to other well tools therebelow such as, for example, the bypass valve 11 shown in FIG- URE l.

In general, the tool 10 preferably includes valve means 25 (FIGURE 2B) of a suitable nature in addition to the valve means 26 (FIGURE 2C) of the present invention, with these valve means 25 and 26 being selectively opened and closed by shifting the mandrel 19 between different longitudinal positions with respect to the housing 20. Although other arrangements may, of course, be used, selectively-operable positioning means, such as shown at 27 and 28 (FIGURE 2A), are preferably employed for controlling the tool 10. Clutch means 29 are also provided to permit selective application of torque from the mandrel `19 through the housing 20 to the other tools 11-13 when the mandrel is in certain positions. Biasing means 30 (FIGURE 2B) are preferably provided to maintain a downward force on the housing to assist in keeping the packer 13 seated while the mandrel 19 is being moved as well as to apply an upward force on the mandrel to keep the clutch means 29 engaged whenever the mandrel is in its uppermost extended position with respect to the housing. Movement-retarding means 31 (FIGURE 2B) are also provided to retard downward travel of the mandrel 19 with respect to the housing 20.

Turning now to FIGURE 2A, the uppermost portion of the tool 10 is shown. As seen there, the clutch means 29 are arranged to co-rotatively secure the mandrel 19 .4 to the housing 20 only when the mandrel is either in its lowermost or fully-telescoped position or else is in its two uppermost positions in relation to the housing. In all other longitudinal positions, the mandrel 19 is free to rotate relative to the housing 20. To accomplish this, the clutch means 29 include an annular member 32 that is co-rotatively secured over the collar 21 on the upper end of the mandrel 19 and has a plurality of depending lugs 33 thereon adapted for reception in a corresponding number of upwardly facing longitudinal slots 34 in the upper end of the housing 20 whenever the mandrel is in its lowermost position. A ring 35 is threadedly secured to the collar 21 Aabove the member 32 to retain the annular member in position as well as to facilitate its removal for disengaging the lugs 33 from the slots 34 after the tool 10 is removed from the well bore 15.

The clutch means 29 further include an annular member 36 slidably mounted in the housing 20 and corotatively secured thereto by external longitudinal grooves thereon adapted to receive complementary inwardly-projecting housing splines 37 (FIGURE 3) below an inwardly-directed housing shoulder 38 above the annular member. Inwardly-projecting screws 39 in the housing 20 are received in longitudinal slots 40 in the annular member 36 to limit the longitudinal travel of the annular member. yExternal longitudinal splines 41 (FIGURE 2A) on the mandrel 19 and immediately above an external shoulder 42 thereon are adapted for reception in complementary longitudinal spline grooves 43 (FIGURE 3) in the internal wall of the annular member 36.

A spring 44 is arranged between the housing shoulder 38 and the upper end of the annular member 36 to normally urge the annular member downwardly against the shoulder 42 but permit it to retrogress should the mandrel splines 41 not be in registry with their complementary grooves 43 as the mandrel .19 is being moved upwardly. Thus, even though the mandrel splines 41 may not initially be in alignment with the spline grooves 43, a slight rotation of the mandrel 19 in either direction will quickly bring the splines into orientation with their grooves and the spring 44 will then urge the annular clutch member 36 downwardly over the splines* as the mandrel moves further upwardly.

Accordingly, it will be appreciated that so long as the mandrel 19 is in its extended position (as seen in FIG- URES 2A-2C) with respect to the housing 20, the mandrel is co-rotatively secured thereto by the clutch means 29. Downward movement of the mandrel 19 with respect to the housing 20 will, however, shift the mandrel splines 41 out of the spline grooves 43 and allow the mandrel to be rotated relative to the housing until the mandrel reaches its fully-telescoped or lowermost position. The mandrel 19 will then be again co-rotatively secured to the housing 20 once it is moved to this lowermost position and the lugs 33 enter the slots 34.

The upper position-establishing means 27 of the tool 10 are comprised of a sleeve member 45 that is rotatively mounted inside of the housing 20 and has an inwardly projecting guide pin 46 which has its distal end disposed in a circuitous system of grooves 47 formed on the exterior of the mandrel 19. To secure the sleeve 45 against shifting longitudinally relative to the housing 20, the sleeve is conned between the opposed shoulders of a circumferential recess 48 formed around the interior housing wall. Wear rings 49 and 50 are placed between the upper and lower ends of the sleeve 45 and the opposed housing shoulders to facilitate the rotation of the sleeve with respect to the housing.

It will be appreciated, therefore, that since the guide pin 46 remains in the groove system 47, the mandrel 19 can be moved longitudinally in relation to the housing 20 only so far as is permitted by the particular arrangement of the groove system. As seen in the developed view in FIGURE 7, the groove system 47 includes an irregularly shaped but generally transverse lower groove 51 joined at its opposite ends by upwardly directed, parallel, longitudinal grooves 52 and 53, with the upper end of the groove 53 being connected to the upper end of the groove 52 by a converging inclined groove 54 and an enlarged portion 55. A longitudinal groove 56 is aligned with the groove 53 and continues further upwardly from the junction of the enlarged portion 55 and the grooves S2 and 53. Thus, it will be appreciated that the maximum longitudinal distance which the mandrel 19 can be moved in relation to the housing `20 is represented by the longitudinal spacing between the uppermost end of the longitudinal groove 56 and the lowermost ends of two short parallel longitudinal grooves 57 and 58 extending downwardly from the lower transverse groove 51. An intermediate position of the mandrel 19 with respect to the housing 20 is also provided by a centrally located longitudinal groove 59 that extends upwardly a short distance from the middle of the lower transverse groove 51. The significance of the depicted configuration of the groove system 47 will subsequently become more apparent.

The upper end of the sleeve 45 is inwardly enlarged as best seen in FIGURES 2A and 4 to provide an annular shoulder 60. Circumferentially spaced longitudinal slots 6,1 (FIGURE 4) around the inner portion of the shoulder 60 are arranged to pass outwardly directed lugs 62 (FIG- URES 2A and 7) on the mandrel 19 whenever these lugs are aligned with the slots. Thus, by appropriately locating the guide pin 46 in relation to the shoulder slots 61 (all of which are on the sleeve 45) on the one hand as well as arranging the circumferential spacing of the longitudinal grooves 52 and 53 in relation to the lugs 62 (all of which are on the mandrel 19) on the other hand, whenever the guide pin is in either of the circumferentially spaced grooves 52 and 53, the lugs 62 will be aligned with the slots 61 and, as the mandrel 19 is moved longitudinally in relation to the housing 20, the lugs 62 will pass through the slots `61 in the shoulder 60. The centrally located groove 59 is suitably arranged, however, so that when the guide pin 46 is in the position D (FIGURE 7) the lower surfaces of the lugs 62 `will be abutted against those portions of the upper face of the shoulder 60 between the slots 61. This will, of course, allow downward forces on the mandrel 19 to be transmitted through the lugs 62 and the sleeve 45 to the housing 20 without such forces having to be carried by the guide pin 46. Thus, only when the guide pin 46 is in the above-described position D are the lugs 62 engaged on top of the sleeve 45 to transmit downward loads therethrough to the housing 20. In all other positions of the mandrel 19, the lugs 62 either are above or below the sleeve shoulder 60 or else (when the guide pin 46 is in either of the grooves 52 or 53) the mandrel lugs are passing through the shoulder slots 61.

Since the sleeve 45 cannot shift longitudinally relative to the housing 20, the guide pin 46 will, of course, remain in the same transverse plane and the mandrel 19 and groove system 47 will be moved longitudinally in relation thereto. Thus, a straight longitudinal movement of the mandrel 19 will move the groove system 47 relative to the guide pin 46. Any rotational movement of the mandrel 19 will be accommodated by the pin 46 and sleeve 4S rotating as required by the slot system 47. Thus, as the mandrel 19 is pushed straight downwardly from its position shown in FIGURE 2A, when the mandrel has moved sufficiently to bring the upper wall of the inclined groove 54 against the guide pin 46, continued downward movement of the mandrel 19 will rotate the pin and sleeve 45 accordingly.

The lower position-establishing means 28 of the tool 10 are seen in FIGURE 2A below the position-establishing means 27 and are comprised of two radially expansible, segmented split-nuts 63 and 64 placed at longitudinally spaced positions in the annular clearance space 65 between the mandrel 19 and housing 20. As best seen in FIGURE 5, longitudinal splines y66 on each of the segments of the nuts 63 and 64 are complementally interlocked in grooves 67 in the internal wall of the housing 20 to co-rotatively secure the split-nuts to the housing. As seen in FIGURE 2A, to limit the longitudinal travel of the lower split-nut 64, inwardly-directed spaced housing shoulders 68 and 69 are provided above and below the nut. The longitudinal travel of the upper split-nut 63 is similarly limited by an annular spacer 70 that is placed between the upper end of the nut and an inwardly directed housing shoulder 71 spaced above the nut.

Oppositely directed buttress threads 72 and 73 are longitudinally spaced around the mandrel 19 and respectively arranged for selective engagement with complementary threads in the nuts 63 and -64 in certain longitudinal positions of the mandrel. The upper mandrel threads 72 are faced upwardly and are preferably so-called left-hand threads arranged to threadedly engage the downwardly facing threads in the upper split-nut 63. With this arrangement, downward longitudinal movement of the mandrel \19 will allow the upper mandrel threads 72 to be ratcheted freely into the upper Split-nut 63 but prevent upward longitudinal movement of the mandrel until it is rotated in a clockwise or right-hand direction to unthre-ad the upper mandrel threads from the upper split-nut. Similarly, the lower mandrel threads 73 are faced downwardly and are preferably so-called right-hand threads. To accommodate the lower mandrel threads 73, the threads in the lower split-nut 64 are faced upwardly. Thus, release of the mandrel threads 73 from the lower split-nut 64 for downward movement of the mandrel 19 can be accomplished only by rotating the mandrel in a clockwise direction to unthread these members. It will be appreciated, of course, that by facing the mandrel threads 73 and those in the lower split-nut 64 in opposite directions, upward movement of the mandrel 19 will cause the lower mandrel threads to freely ratchet through the lower split-nut.

For reasons that will subsequently become more apparent, the lower mandrel threads 73 are normally er1- gaged with the lower split-nut 64 and the upper threads 72-are normally disengaged from the upper split-nut 63 and spaced a particular distance thereabove. Thus, with the lower mandrel threads 73 engaged with the lower split-nut 64 as shown in FIGURE 2A, the mandrel 19 is free to travel longitudinally with respect to the housing 20 -only so far as is permitted by the spacing between the housing shoulders 68 and 69 respectively above and below the lower split-nut. Similarly, as will also subsequently become apparent, whenever the upper mandrel threads 72 are threadedly engaged with the upper split-nut 63, the mandrel 19 will be secured in its lowermost telescoped position and cannot be returned to its intermediate or extended positions since the upper split-nut is held by the spacer 70 and the cofengagement of the lugs 33 and slots 34 `prevent rotation of the mandrel with respect to the housing 20. It will be recalled that the lugs 33 cannot be disengaged from the slots 34 until the tool 10 is returned to the surface and the threaded collar 35 is removed to permit disengagement of the clutch member 32.

Turning now to FIGURE 2B, the intermediate portion of the tool 10 is shown in which are located the pressurebiasing means 30 and the movement-retarding means 31.

The pressure-biasing means 30 are comprised of an enlarged-diameter shoulder 74 on the mandrel 19 that is uidly sealed, -as by O-rings 75, within a reduced-diameter portion 76 of the housing 20 above an external housing port 77 and an annular slidable piston member 78 that is around the mandrel above its enlarged-diameter shoulder 74 and below another external housing port 79. O-rings 80 and 81, respectively, inside and outside of the slidable piston 78 uidly seal the piston to the mandrel 19 and housing 20 so as to provide a fluid-tight annular space 82 between the piston and the enlarged-diameter mandrel shoulder 74, which space is normally at atmospheric pressure. A spring 83 between an inwardly directed housing shoulder 84 and the upper end of the piston 78 normally urges the piston downwardly against a shoulder 7 85 defined by the upper end of the reduced-diameter housing portion 76.

It will be recognized that well control fluids will enter the ports 79 and 77 above the piston 78 and below the enlarged-diameter mandrel portion 74' as the tool 10 is being used. Inasmuch as the annular space 82 is normally at atmospheric pressure, the hydrostatic pressure of the well control fluids will therefore tend to lift the mandrel 19 by a force squal to the difference between the hydrostatic and atmospheric pressures multiplied `hy the annular cross-sectional area of the enlarged-diameter mandrel shoulder 74 itself. The cross-sectional area ofthe mandrel 19 itself will, of course, be subjected to both upwardly and downwardly acting pressure forces. Similarly, the piston 78 will be urged downwardly against the housing shoulder 85 by a force equal to the difference between the hydrostatic and atmospheric pressure multiplied by the annular cross-sectional area bounded by O-rings 75 and 81.

Thus, since the mandrel 19 is urged upwardly by this unbalanced pressure force, a force at least greater than this upwardly directed pressure force must be applied to the mandrel in order to move it downwardly relative to the housing 20. Similarly, it will be appreciated that the downwardly acting pressure force on the piston 78 is effective through the housing shoulder 85 to impose a corresponding downwardly directed force thereon which will be transmitted through the housing to the mandrel 17 of the packer 13 (FIGURE 1) to assist in keeping the packer seated.

Although the piston 78 could be made an integral portion of the housing 20, it is preferred to make it a separate member as shown in FIGURE 2B and to provide a small lateral port 86 in the housing immediately above the normal position of the external O-ring 81. In this manner, should well control fluids leak into tht enclosed annular space 82, as the tool is being removed from the well bore 15, any excessive pressure in the enclosed space 82 will be vented through the port 86 whenever this trapped pressure is suflicient to lift the piston 78 against the restrain of the spring 83 a suicient distance to move the O-ring 81 above the port 86. This arrangement also insures that the mandrel 19 can be returned upwardly should uids leak into the space 82 after the mandrel is lowered. Otherwise, the piston 78 could just as well be made an integral portion of the housing 20.

The movement-retarding means 31 are comprised Of a sleeve 87 loosely disposed between longitudinally spaced, enlarged-diameter portions 88 and 89 of the mandrel 19, with only a limited annular clearance 90 being left between the mandrel and sleeve and a very minute annular clearance 91 being left between the sleeve and inner wall of the housing 20. A compression spring 92 between the sleeve 87 and the lower enlarged-diameter mandrel portion 89 normally urges the sleeve upwardly against the upper enlarged-diameter mandrel portion 88. An O-ring 93 around the internal wall of an inwardly facing shoulder 94 in the housing 20 uidly seals the mandrel 19 and housing relative to one another and defines a fluid-tight space 95 therebetween below the sleeve 87. An annular piston 96 having internal and external O-rings 97 and 98 is provided just below the housing port 77 to fluidly seal the housing 20 relative to the mandrel 19 above the sleeve 87 and define a second fluid-tight space 99 therebetween in communication with the space 95 only by way of the annular clearance spaces 90 and 91 inside of and around the sleeve 87 respectively. A suitable hydraulic fluid, such as an oil or the like, fills the fluid-tight spaces 95 and 99.

It will be appreciated that the hydrostatic pressure of the well control uids will be effective through the port 77 against the piston 96 to maintain the oil in the spaces 95 and 99 at the same pressure. Accordingly, the speed of longitudinal movement of the mandrel 19 with respect to the housing 20 will be governed by the rate at which the oil can be displaced from one or the other of the Huid-tight spaces 95 and 99. Downward movement of the mandrel 19 with respect to the housing 20 will, of course, maintain the lower face 100 of the upper enlarged-diameter mandrel portion 88 tightly engaged against the adjacent upper face of the sleeve 87. By appropriately machining the abutting surfaces 100 and 101 of the shoulder 88 and sleeve 87, a metal-to-metal seat is effected to close the internal annular space 90 and make the minute external annular clearance space 91 the only tiow path by which oil can be transferred from the lower space 95 to the upper space 99 as the mandrel 19 is moved downwardly. In this manner, the time required to move the mandrel 19 downwardly with respect to the housing 20 will be directly related to the dimensions of the external annular clearance space 91 and the viscosity of the oil in the fluid-tight spaces 95 and 99. If it is desired, the lower space 95 may be slightly enlarged, as at 102, so that whenever the mandrel 19 has moved downwardly at this controlled rate a predetermined distance with respect to the housing 20, it can continue moving further downwardly with added relative freedom.

To permit fairly rapid upward movement of the mandrel 19 with respect to the housing 20, the internal clearance space 90 between the sleeve 87 and mandrel is made somewhat larger than the external clearance space 91 It will be understood, of course, that the spring 92 is not sufliciently strong to keep the sleeve end 101 abutted against its mating surface 100 on the shoulder 88 whenever the mandrel 19 is being moved upwardly. Thus, whenever the mandrel 19 is pulled upwardly with respect to the housing 20, the sleeve 87 will shift slightly downwardly and move the seating surfaces 100 and 101 apart so as to allow oil from the upper space 99 to pass relatively free between these surfaces, through the larger annular clearance 90, and on into the lower iiuid-tight space 95.

In FIUGRES 2B and 2C, the lowermost portion of the tool 10 is shown in which are located the valve means 2S as well as the valve means 26 of the present invention. The internal diameter of this portion of the housing 20 is preferably increased to provide an enlarged bore, as at 103, below the enclosed space 95 and above an upwardly directed housing shoulder 104 (FIGURE 2C) near the lower end of the housing.

The valve means 25 (FIGURE 2B) are preferably arranged as a telescoping sleeve valve adapted to control uid communication between the enlarged housing bore 103 and the internal bore 23 of the mandrel 19 so long as the valve means 26 therebelow are closed. The valve means 25 include a coaxially arranged tubular member 105 that is dependently secured from the housing 20 and extended downwardly into the enlarged housing bore 103. Lateral ports 106 in the mandrel 19 are adapted to be moved into registry with corresponding lateral ports 107 in the coaxially arranged tubular member 105 whenever the mandrel is moved into one of its intermediate longitudinal positions with respect to the housing 20. O-rings 108 and 109 respectively above and below the mandrel ports uidly seal the mandrel 19 relative to the tubular member 105 to block ow through the ports 106 and 107 whenever they are not in registration in the'other positions of the mandrel. ,mr-eche sleeve 105 may be rotatably mounted/in realtion to the housing 20, as by a retainer ring 110 mounted in opposed complementary circumferential grooves in the sleeve and housing. To insure that the ports 106 and 107 are angularly oriented, a suitable longitudinal spline and groove (not shown) are provided in the sleeve 105 and mandrel 19 to co-rotatively secure the two members to one another.

As seen in FIGURE 2C, the valve means 26 of the present invention include a cylindrical or a spherical valve member 111 having an axial passageway 112 therethrough along one of its central axes that is sized to correspond at least approximately to the internal mandrel bore 23.

The ball member 111 is operatively disposed between a pair of opposed, longitudinally spaced, annular seats 113 and 114 having complementary spherical seating surfaces. Themandrel valve seat 113 is coaxially mounted with biasing means 115 in a complementary counterbore 118 in the lowermost end of the mandrel 19. A pair of depending longitudinal lugs 116 (only one seen) extends downwardly from the mandrel 19 on opposite sides of the seat 113. The ball member 111 is pivotally supported between the free ends of these depending mandrel lugs 116 about another of its central axes by appropriately located transverse pivots 117 (only one seen) that are so positioned that (with the -aid of the biasing means 115) the seat 113 will remain engaged With the ball as the ball moves between its open and closed position. The axis of these pivots 117 is, of course, perpendicular to the central axis of the passageway 112 so that as the ball member 111 is pivoted, the passageway will move into and out of registration with the valve seat 113.

The other valve seat 114 is an upwardly facing, spherical seat complementally formed on the upper end of a short sleeve member 119 that is telescopically disposed in the upper end of an elongated tubular member 120 and supported by a relatively weak spring 121. An O-ring 122 around the sleeve 119 and below one or more lateral ports 123 therein uidly seals the sleeve in relation to the tubular member 120. The spring 121 urges the lower seat 114 against the lower surface of the ball member 111 and normally maintains the ports 123 in position to allow fluid communication therethrough. This tubular member 120 is dependently supported by a pair of lugs 124 and 125 (only one of each pair seen) projecting upwardly from opposite sides of the tubular member and arranged to straddle the ball member 111, with each of these lugs being extended upwardly alongside the opposite sides of the depending mandrel lugs 116 with their respective longitudinal edges in juxtaposition with one another. Inwardly projecting transverse pins 126 (only one seen) on the free end of the lower lugs 125 are disposed parallel to the axis of the pivots 117 but longitudinally spaced therebelow and slightly offset to one side. The free ends of these coupling pins 126 are each confined within fairly short, inclined grooves 127 (only one seen) formed in the adjacent external surfaces of the ball member 111.

A second sleeve 128 is telescopically disposed around the upper portion of the tubular member 120 and has a pair of upright lugs 129 (only one seen) on its upper end that are respectively extended upwardly between the lugs 124 and 125 and terminated immediately below the lower ends of the mandrel lugs 116. A fairly strong compression spring 130 is disposed around the intermediate portion of the tubular member 120 and maintained in compression between the lower end of the short sleeve 128 and a shoulder 131 on the tubular member. For reasons that will subsequently become apparent, a stout compression spring 132 is disposed around the lower end of the tubular member 120 with its upper end well below the shoulder 131 and its lower end resting on the shoulder 104 near the lower end of the enlarged housing bore 103. With the tool in the position shown in FIGURES IZA-2C, the spring 130 will, of course, impose a downwardly directed force through the shoulder 131 on the tubular member 120 and an upwardly directed force on the sleeve 128. The upwardly acting force will, of course, be transmitted through the opposed ends of the lugs 129 to the mandrel 19 by the lugs 116 so that no force is applied to the ball member 111 itself. The downwardly acting force on the member 120 will, on the other hand, be elfective through the lugs 125 to urge the coupling pins 126 downwardly against the lower end surfaces of the ball grooves 127 to impose a counterclockwise turning moment on the ball member 111 for maintaining the ball in yits closed position. The coaction of the adjacent edges of the pins 126 and grooves 127 will, of course, insure that the ball member 111 will not be pulled further downwardly than its illustrated position. Thus, so long as the spring 130 is acting in this manner, the -ball member 111 will be positively retained in its closed position and all iluid communication through the tool 10 must pass through the ports 123.

The ball valve member 111 cannot, therefore, be rotated into its open position until the counterclockwise turning moment acting thereon is overcome and a clockwise turning moment is imposed on the ball member. Such action cannot occur, however, until the mandrel 19 is moved downwardly in relation to the housing 20 a distance sutlicient to bring the shoulder 131 into engagement with the upper end of the spring 132 and halt the tubular member and the transverse pins 126 carried thereby. Then, once the shoulder 131 engages the spring 132, the mandrel 19 must be moved still further downwardly to move the pivot pins 117 below the transverse pins 126 and open the ball member 111.

Once the downward motion of the tubular member 120 is arrested by the engagement of the shoulder 131 with the spring 132, it will be appreciated that continued downward movement of the mandrel 19 will further compress the spring 130. It will also be recognized that once the shoulder 131 on the tubular member y120 engages the spring 132, further compression of the spring will begin reducing the counterclockwise turning moment serving to hold the ball 111 closed. Thus, the downward force applied through the pivots 117 to the ball 111 by the mandrel 19 will be effective to overcome the counterclockwise turning moment and begin developing a clockwise turning moment for rotating the ball member to its open position as the load on the mandrel is increased. It will be appreciated, of course, that once the shoulder 131 engages the spring 132, the relatively weak spring 121 will be compressed which results in the ports 123 being moved below the upper end of the tubular member 120. The inclined grooves 127 must, of course, be of suicient length to accommodate the transverse pins 126 whenever the ball member 111 has rotated midway between its fully-closed and its fully-open positions.

It will be appreciated that to accomplish the abovedescribed opening of the ball valve member 111, the tubular member 120 must be either halted entirely or at least retarded suiciently to enable the ball member to be moved downwardly in relation to the connecting pins 126 to impart a clockwise turning force on the ball member. The tubular member 120 could, of course, be completely arrested iby allowing the shoulder 131 to come into engagement with a housing shoulder rather than the spring 132. This is not desirable, however, since slight variations in manufacturing tolerances, for example, could cause such shoulders to come into engagement prematurely and result in unduly high loads being imposed on the pins 126.

Accordingly, the spring 132 and the shoulder 131 are appropriately arranged to allow the tubular member 120 to move further downwardly by allowing the spring 132 to be at least slightly compressed. Should, however, a greater downward force be applied on the mandrel 19 to open the ball member 111, the spring 132 will be further compressed to allow the tubular member .120 to move further downwardly. It will be appreciated, however, that in this event the spring 130 is still rendered ineffective and that the selective action provided by the development of additional spn'ng force by such further compression of the spring 132 will be fully effective to apply a greater upwardly-directed rotational force on the ball member 111 by way of the tubular member 120 and its pins 126 so that the ball must ultimately rotate to its open position without risking damage to the tool 10. Moreover, in any event, no upward force will be applied against the underside of the -ball member 111 as the clockwise rotational force is being developed. Instead, all upward reaction forces will be transmitted through the opposed lugs 116 and 129 and the ball member 111 will be free to ro- 1 1 tate with little frictional force being applied thereto by its seats 113 and 114.

Accordingly, it will be appreciated that when the mandrel 19 is in its extended position with respect to the housing 20 as shown in FIGURES 2A-2C, both valve means 25 and 26 will be closed. However, by moving the mandrel 19 downwardly with respect to the housing 20 the above-mentioned longitudinal distance to its intermediate positions (with the guide pin 46 at B in FIGURE 7 to be subsequently described in greater detail), the rst valve means 25 will be opened to provide uid communication from the enlarged housing bore 103, through the ports 123 below the ball 111 and valve seat 114, and the ports 106 and 107, and on into the central bore 23 of the mandrel 19. The mandrel 19 can also be returned upwardly to reclose the valve means 25. The second valve means 26 will, however, remain closed in all of these positions of the mandrel 19.

As will be subsequently described with greater detail, however, once the lower split-nut 64 is released from the threads 73, further downward movement of the mandrel 19 (to bring the guide pin to E in FIGURE 7) will reclose the first valve means 25 and open the second valve means 26 as the mandrel reaches its lowermost, telescoped position. In this latter position, a full-opening passage is provided through the tool since the passageway 112 in the ball member 111 will have been rotated into alignment with the central mandrel bore 23.

It will be appreciated, therefore, that so long as the lower split-nut 64 remains engaged with the mandrel threads 73, the mandrel 19 can be moved longitudinally a distance equal to the spacing between the lower split-nut and the housing shoulder 69. This distance is also equal to the longitudinal spacing between the two positions of the guide pin 46 represented at A and B in FIGURE 7. Thus, by simply moving the mandrel 19 downwardly in relation to the housing 20, the ports 106 and 107 will be opened. Similarly, by merely returning the mandrel 19 to its initial extended position (as shown in FIGURES 2A-2C) the ports 106 and 107 will again be reclosed. Thus, the lower split-nut 64 cooperates with the housing shoulders 68 and 69 to allow the vmandrel 19 to be reciprocated sufficiently to selectively open and close the rst valve means 25 without opening the second valve means 26.

Turning now to FIGURES 6A-6D, the tool 10 is schematically represented to illustrate its various positions during the course of a typical operating sequence. To facilitate the explanation of the positioning Imeans 27 and 28 and their inuence upon the valve means 26 of the invention, the movement-retarding means 31 and biasing means 30 have not been shown in FIGURES 6A-6D. It will be understood, however, that downward travel of the mandrel 19 will be regulated by the movement-retarding means 31 until the top of the sleeve 87 has entered the enlarged space 102 (FIGURE 2B). Similarly, it should be kept in mind that the biasing means 30 will be effective to provide an upwardly directed force on the mandrel 19 and to apply an equal, but downwardly directed, force on the housing 20 during the entire operation of the tool 10.

In FIGURE 6A, the tool 10 is shown with the mandrel 19 in its uppermost extended position with respect to the housing 20 as already described with reference to FIG- URES 2A-2C. The first and second valve means 25 and 26 are closed to block fluid communication through the mandrel bore 23 as the tools 10-13 are moved into position in the cased well bore (FIGURE 1). It will also be noted from FIGURE 6A that although the upper clutch member 32 is disengaged, the lower clutch member 36 is engaged to permit rotation to be applied from the tubing string 14, through the tool 10, and onto the other tools 11-13 therebelow. Accordingly, with the tool 10 secured in the position depicted in FIGURE 6A, the tools 10-13 can be brought into position at any desired depth in the cased well bore 15.

Once the tools 10-13 have reached a desired position in the well bore 15, they are momentarily halted and the tubing string 14 is manipulated as required to set the packer 13 and close the bypass valve 11. Although other tools may utilize different Amovements for their operation, it is preferred to arrange the bypass valve 11 and packer 13 so that the position-establishing means, such as J-slot systems (not shown), in each tool will work in cooperation to close the bypass valve as the packer is being set. Accordingly, with the tools 11-13 having cooperative J- slot systems arranged in this manner, the tubing string 14 is picked up slightly and torqued in a clockwise direction to unjay the bypass valve and packer. Then, by slackingoff at least part of the weight of the tubing string 14, the packer 13 will be set and the bypass valve 11 closed. It will be recalled that the mandrel 19 cannot move downwardly relative to the housing 20 until the upward force provided on the mandrel by the biasing means 30 is overcome.

Once the packer 13 is set, it will be appreciated that it is capable of supporting the full weight of the tools 10-12 and tubing string 14 thereabove. The housing 20 of the tool 10 will, of course, now be fixed relative to the casing 16 until the packer 13 is unseated. It will be recalled, moreover, that the biasing means 30 will also be effective to maintain a substantial downward force through the housing 20 to aid in holding the packer 13 seated. Thus, the mandrel 19 of the tool 10 is now capable of being moved relative to the now-stationary housing 24 by corresponding motions of the tubing string 14 to bring the tool into its various operating positions.

Accordingly, as shown in FIGURE 6B, application of sufficient weight to the mandrel 19 for setting the packer 13 will carry the mandrel a short distance downwardly (as shown by arrow 133) until the lower split-nut 64 engages the upwardly facing housing shoulder 69. This downward movement will, however, be retarded by the motion-retarding means 31 and furthermore will require sufficient weight on the mandrel 19 to at least overcome the upwardly directed force on the mandrel provided by the biasing means 30. It will be noted from FIGURE 6B, however, that this initial downward travel of the mandrel 19 will open only the valve means 25 and disengage the lower clutch member 36. Thus, by virtue of the lower split-nut 64, downward motion and rotation of the tubing string 14 in these first two operating positions of the tool 10 will be effective only to set the packer 13, close the bypass valve 11, and open the valve means 25 without introducing any risk whatsoever that the valve means 26 might be opened prematurely by over-movement of the mandrel 19.

It will also be appreciated from FIGURE 6B that further downward travel of the mandrel 19 relative to the housing 20 is not possible so long as the lower nut 64 is abutted on the housing shoulder 69. On the other hand, upward travel of the mandrel 19 is unimpeded should, for example, it be necessary to re-engage the lower clutch member 36 to apply rotation from the tubing string 14 through the housing 20 to the tools 11-13.

Once the valve means 25 are open, the guide pin 46 will be at its position B as shown in FIGURE 7. The mandrel 19 cannot, however, be moved further downwardly so as to bring the guide pin 46 to its position at E since the lower face of the lower split-nut 64 will be abutted against the housing shoulder 69.

A typical testing operation usually includes one or more measurements of the so-called fshut-in pressure of the formation interval being tested. To measure this and other pressures, one or more pressure recorders P are provided below the valve means 25 and 26. If desired, these pressure recorders P may be arranged as shown in a copending application, Ser. No. 620,943, led by Benjamin P. Nutter on Mar. 6, 1967, for selective release from the tool 10 by opening the valve means 26. In any event, to obtain a shut-in pressure, the mandrel 19 is pulled upwardly to reclose the valve means 25. Once the guide pin 46 is in its position at B in the groove system 47 (FIGURE 7), upward movement of the mandrel 19 will bring the guide pin into the upper end of the longitudinal groove 53. By extending the lower wall 134 of the enlarged groove portion 55 to a termination, as at 13S, beyond the lower end of the groove 56, a straight upward pull on the mandrel 19 will be certain to carry the guide pin 46 into the groove 53 rather than the groove 52.

The mandrel 19 is, therefore, picked-up until the guide pin reaches its position at C in the short groove 57. This will, of course, also return the upper face of the split-nut 64 back into engagement with the housing shoulder 68 and reclose the ports 106 and 107. It will also be recalled that once the guide pin 46 is in the groove 53, the sleeve 45 will be appropriately positioned to align the mandrel lugs 62 with their respective shoulder slots 61 and allow the lugs to move above the shoulder 60.

Although the valve means 25 are closed by the time the guide pin 46 reaches its position at C and the initial shutin pressure measurement is started, it is desirable to maintain a downward force on the packer 13 while the measurement is being taken. Thus, as already discussed, the sleeve shoulder 60 is appropriately located in relation to the lower surfaces of the mandrel lugs 62 so that a slight downward movement of the mandrel 19 will bring the lugs 62 into engagement with the shoulder 60. Once the mandrel lugs 62 are engaged on the shoulder 60, a downward force on the tubing string 14 will be transmitted through the sleeve 45 to the housing 20 and on downwardly to the tools 11-13 therebelow. It should also be noted that in this position, the mandrel splines 41 are re-engaged with the slots 40 in the annular member 36 to permit rotation to be transmitted through the tool to the tools 11-13 if desired. It will be recalled that the mandrel lugs 62 are not in registration with the shoulder slots 61 when the guide pin 46 is in the groove 59.

As best seen in FIGURE 7, the upper surface of the transverse groove 51 is inclined and extended, as at 136, over the groove 57 to prevent the guide pin 46 from reentering the groove 53 when the mandrel 19 is moved downwardly to relocate the guide pin from its position C to its position D. Thus, a straight downward movement of the mandrel 19 will bring the surface 136 into engagement with the guide pin 46 and rotate the sleeve 45 sufciently to bring the guide pin into its position D in the groove 59. This will still leave the valve means 25 closed and, as best seen in FIGURE 6C, allow a downward force to be applied through the lugs 62 and sleeve 45 to the housing 20.

Once an adequate initial shut-in pressure measurement has ybeen taken, the usual test procedure is to reopen the valve and allow the well to ow for a period of time. Accordingly, it will be appreciated from FIGURE 7 that by raising the mandrel 19 slightly, the guide pin 46 will be engaged against the lower, downwardly-inclined surface 137 of the transverse groove 51 to rotate the sleeve 45 su'iciently to return the guide pin to its position at A. Then, as in the initial operation, a downward movement of the mandrel 19 will again reopen the valve means 25 (position B).

Accordingly, by alternately lowering and raising the mandrel 19, any number of shut-in and owing tests can be made. Moreover, each longitudinal movement of the mandrel 19 will provide a pronounced and easily detected indication at the surface when the mandrel reaches one extreme or another.

One all tests are completed, it is usually preferred to open the full bore 23 of the tool 10 either to conduct further completion operations or to recover the pressure recorders P. Accordingly, to continue `further downward travel of the mandrel 19, it is necessary to rst unthread the lower mandrel threads 73 from the lower nut 64. It will be realized, of course, that unthreading rotation of the mandrel 19 would ordinarily tend to move the mandrel on downwardly and leave the lower split-nut 64 shouldered on its associated lower housing shoulder 69. It should be noted, however, that as a matter of operating technique, it is preferred to relieve some of the downward load on the mandrel 19 while rotaitng the tubing string 14. This is done by picking up the tubing string 14 somewhat but still leaving sufficient weight on the mandrel 19 to overcome the biasing means 30 which added weight will, of course, slowly overcome the movement-retarding means 31. Thus, a suicient time is assured to allow the lower split-nut 64 to climb the mandrel threads 73 before the movement-retarding means 31 are over come.

Accordingly, as best seen in FIGURE 6D, rotation of the mandrel 19 in the appropriate direction (as shown by arrow 138) in cooperation with the movement-retarding means 31 will instead allow the nut 64 to climb the mandrel threads 73 and leave the mandrel in substantially the same longitudinal position as before. The nut 64 cannot, of course, rotate by virtue of the splines 66 (FIGURE 5) Ibut it will nevertheless climb the threads 73 as the mandrel 19 rotates relative to the split-nut.

Once the lower split-nut 64 is freed from the lower mandrel threads 73, the mandrel 19 is then free to travel on downwardly as permitted by the movement-retarding means 31. Once the upper end of the sleeve 87 clears the enlarged-diameter housing portion 102, the mandrel 19 will then move rapidly downwardly (as shown by arrow 139) into the position depicted in FIGURE 6D. This sudden movement will provide a substantial shock that is easily detected at the surface. As seen in FIGURE 6D, movement of the mandrel 19 into this position will simultaneously coengage the upper mandrel threads 72 with the upper split-nut 63, move the mandrel ports 106 below the sleeve ports 107, and pivot the ball member 111 into a position where its passageway 112 is coaxially aligned with the mandrel bore 23. Then, if necessary, the tubing string 14 is rotated one or two rotations to insure engagement of the upper clutch member 32. Once the clutch member 32 is engaged, this will also provide a positive indication at the surface that the ball member 1.11 is open and that the mandrel 19 and housing 20 are co-rotatively secured.

As already discussed, once the shoulder 131 engages the spring 132, further downward movement of the mandrel 19 will develop a suicient turning force for the camming action of the transverse pins 126 in the grooves 127 to rotate the ball member 111 about its pivots 117. This upward force is supplied by the spring 132 which, as ybest seen in FIGURES 6C and 6D, is progressively compressed until it develops a suicient turning force to rotate the ball member 111 against the relativelyV slight frictional forces imposed by the valve seats 113 and 114.

Accordingly, as the downward force 139 on the mandrel 19 increases, downward movement of the tubular member will be arrested by the upwardly-acting force of the spring 132 as the shoulder 131 tends to compress the spring 132. Once the ball member 111 is rotated, the seats .113 and 114 will be tightly seated around the opposite ends of the passage 112 to prevent entrance of fluids in the mandrel bore 23 into the enlarged space 10-3. It will also be noted that since the ports 106 and 107 are no longer in registration, solids or iluids in the mandrel bore 23 are similarly blocked from entering the enlarged space 103. Similarly, the ports 123 will also be closed.

Once the tool 10 is in the position shown in FIGURE 6D, the mandrel 19 will be prevented from traveling upwardly by the co-engagement of the upper mandrel threads 72 in the upper split-nut 63. Release of the threads 72 from the nut 63 could, of course, be accomplished by rotation of the mandrel 19 were it not for the engagement of the upper clutch member 32 which now prevents further rotation of the mandrel relative to the housing 20. Thus, once the mandrel 19 reaches its lowermost telescoped position shown in FIGURE 6D, the tool 10 is locked in this position with the ball valve means 26 open and the sleeve valve means 25 closed. This will provide a Substantially continuous and uninterrupted passage from the tubing string 14 for introduction of various well tools (not shown), completion fluids such as cement or fracturing fluids requiring high ow rates, and for other reasons that may be encountered during the course of typical remedial or well-completion operations. The tools -13 must be retrieved to the surface in order to return the Imandrel 19 to its original position. To do this, the upper clutch member 32 is quickly released by removing the threaded collar 35 and shifting the annular member upwardly to disengage the lugs 33 from the slots 34.

The annular spacer 70 is, of course, employed to prevent the mandrel 19 from being picked upwardly once the ball valve 111 is opened and the upper mandrel threads 72 have become engaged with the upper split-nut 63 as shown in FIGURE 6D. It will be appreciated, therefore, that by omitting this spacer 70, the mandrel 19 could lbe moved upwardly a sufficient distance to disengage the lugs 33 from their receptive slots 34. This movement would, however, be insufficient to allow either the ball member 111 to be rotated back into its closed position or for the ports 106 and 107 to realign as shown in FIGURE 6B so long as the mandrel 19 was not rotated. Yet, once the lugs 33 were free of their slots 34, the mandrel 19 could be rotated sufliciently to disengage the upper split-nut 63 from the mandrel threads 72 and permit the valve means 25 and 26 to be alternately opened and closed as many timse as desired between the positions shown in FIG- URES 6B and 6D. Moreover, with the spacer 70 omitted, once the mandrel 19 is rotated sufficiently to disengage the upper split-nut 63 from the upper mandrel threads 72, the mandrel could also be returned to any of the positions shown in FIGURES 6A and 6C as well.

Omission of the spacer 70 is not too desirable, however, where the bypass valve 11 and packer 13 are of the types described above in reference to FIGURE l. For example, following a so-called squeeze job, it is almost essential to rapidly ush-out the excess cement remaining in the tubing string 14 lby applying pressure to the well control uids in the well annulus and forcing these fluids up into the lower end of the tubing string and on upwardly therein. Access to the tubing string 14 is typically gained by either unsetting the packer 13 or, as a last resort, opening the bypass valve 11 should the packer not be readily unseated. It will be realized, of course, that in either event, the ball valve means 26 must be lleft open to permit `a high flow rate of these fluids to be maintained. With bypass valves and packers of the types described, however, the tubing string 14 usually must be at least partially rotated and then picked up with considerable force to either open the bypass valve 11 or unseat the the packer 13. These motions could, therefore, serve to reclose the vball valve means 26 and prevent the desired flushing operation if either the packer 13 or bypass valve 11 were not completely free of foreign matter and readily movable. Thus, unless the packer 13 and bypass valve '11 are of a style requiring only a str-aight upward pull to unseat the packer or open the bypass valve, it is preferred to include the spacer 70 so that the ball member 111 will unquestionably remain securely locked in its open position once the tool `10 is moved into the position depicted in FIGURE 6D.

It will be appreciated from the foregoing description that the depicted arrangement of the groove system 47 of the position-establishing means 27 allows the sleeve valve means 25 to be selectively opened and closed by reciprocation of the mandrel 19. Moreover, by appropriately locating such stops as the surfaces 134 and 136 adjacent to the entrance of one of the grooves (e.g., groove 59), as the mandrel 19 is moved to reposition the guide pin 46 (e.g., from position C to position D), longitudinal movement of the mandrel will result in the guide pin reaching the subsequent position.

It will be realized, however, that the proper functioning of the position-establishing means 27 requires that the mandrel 19 be moved longitudinally with little or no rotation so long as the lower split-nut 63 is engaged with the lower mandrel threads 73. Those skilled in the art will understand, however, that torsional forces will often be developed in the tubing string 14 as the tools 10-13 are being positioned in the well bore 15. Thus, even though no rotation is deliberately imparted to the tubing string 14 at the earths surface during the operation of the tool 10, sufficient torsional forces may have been stored by the tubing string to impart at least a partial rotation to the mandrel 19 as it is being moved longitudinally from the surface.

It will be realized, therefore, that should the mandrel 19 rotate in a clockwise direction vas it is being raised to shift the guide pin 46 from its position at B to its position at C, the guide pin could clear the end of the surface 134 and re-enter the groove 52 rather than being moved into the groove 53 (FIGURE 7). Should this occur, the guide pin 46 would return to its position at A with'out the operators knowledge. Then, when the mandrel 19 was again lowered to supposedly shift the guide pin 46 from its position at C to its position at D, the guide pin would instead be returned to its position at B. Thus, instead of closing the valve means 25 to take a shut-in pressure measurement, the valve means 25 would be reopened. Similar malfunctions due to residual torsional movements of the mandrel 19 could just as well occur at other points in the operating sequence of the tool '10.

Accordingly, to insure positive operation of the position-establishing means 27, stop means, such as an inwardly Ibiased key on the sleeve 45 and a plurality of vertically disposed stops or shoulders 141-144 on the mandrel 19, are provided to prevent inadvertent rotation of the mandrel from bringing the guide pin 46 into an incorrect position as the tool 10 is being operated. As best seen in FIGURE 8, the key 140 is mounted upright in a longitudinal sleeve recess 145 diametrically opposite the guide pin 46. It should be noted that although the key 140 has lbeen shown in FIGURE 2A to better illustrate the invention, the key is actually angularly oriented as shown in FIGURE 8. An arcuate spring 146 or similar biasing means behind the key 140 normally urges the key into contact with that portion of the mandrel 19 diametrically opposite the groove system 47 thereon.

The first -stop shoulder 1'41 on the mandrel 19 is at about the same level as the enlarged portion v55 of the groove system 47 and is about diametrically opposite therefrom. It will be appreciated more-over from FIG- URES 2A, 4 and 7 that the vertical shoulder surface 141 is so arranged in relation to the key 140 that whenever the guide pin 46 is in either the groove 56 or enlarged groove portion 55, the mandrel 19 cannot rotate in relation to the sleeve 45 sufficiently far in a clockwise direction that the guide pin can pass the terminal groove surface 135 and re-enter the groove 52. Thus, once the guide pin 46 is in the position B shown in FIGURE 7, inadvertent rotation of the mandrel 19 in a clockwise direction will only bring the key 140 against the shoulder 141 and keep the sleeve 45 and guide pin correctly oriented in relation to the groove system 47. Rotation of the mandrel 19 in a counterclockwse direction will only bring the guide pin 46 against the comm'on wall of the grooves 53 and 56 which serves as a stop to prevent misalignment of the guide pin and groove system 47.

The other stop shoulders 142-144 are similarly arranged at the same level of the transverse groove 51 to successively prevent re-entry of the guide pin 46 into either the groove 53 or groove 59 once the guide pin has entered the groove I57, the groove 59 or the groove '58 as the tool 10 is operated. Thus, for example, once the guide pin 46 is in its position C (FIGURE 7), counterclockwise rotation of the mandrel 19 cannot reposition the guide pin into groove 53 since the shoulder 142 will 17 engage the key 140 and hold the groove surface 136 above the pin `so as to guide the pin to its position at D as the mandrel is lowered. Similarly, the shoulder 143 keeps the guide pin 46 from re-entering the groove 57 from the groove 59 and the shoulder 144 keeps the guide pin from re-entering the groove v59 from the groove 58.

Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the valve means 26 are so arranged that the ball member 111 will be reliably maintained in a closed position by the spring i130 until the `mandrel 19 of the tool 10 is manipulated in a predetermined manner. Once the tool mandrel 19 is moved toward a selected position, the force supplied by the spring 130 to hold the ball valve 111 closed will :be removed as the spring 132 is selectively enabled to develop a reverselyacting force suicient to rotate the ball member into its open position. While a particular embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it is apparent that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects; and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A well tool comprising: a tubular housing having a central longitudinal axis; a tubular member telescoped in said housing and adapted for movement therein between spaced locations along said axis; valve means including a valve member having a transverse passage and a curved portion spaced therefrom, means pivotally supporting said valve member on said tubular member for rotation about an axis transverse to said central axis, an annular valve seat coaxially arranged on said tubular member and adapted for complementally receiving said curved valve portion, and force-transmitting means eccentrically connected to said valve member and responsive to longitudinal forces acting thereon in opposite directions for rotating said valve member about its said transverse axis between a position where said transverse passage is out of communication with said valve seat and a position Where said transverse passage is in communication with said valve seat; first means for maintaining said valve member in one of its said positions including biasing means between said forcetransmitting means and said tubular member for imposing a iirst force acting in one of said directions on said force-transmitting means; and second means selectively operable for rotating said valve member to the other of its said positions and including arresting means on said housing adapted for engagement by said force-transmitting means as said tubular member is moved toward one of its said spaced locations to arrest further travel of said force-transmitting means and impose a second force greater than said first force and acting in the other of said directions on said force-transmitting means to rotate said valve member by the time said tubular member has reached its said one location.

2. The well tool of claim 1 wherein: said arresting means include spring means carried by said housing and adapted for developing said second force whenever said force-transmitting means have engaged said spring means and further travel of said force-transmitting means is arrested as said second force is developed.

3. The well tool of claim 1 further including: positionestablishing means between said tubular housing and said tubular member and adapted for selectively positioning said tubular member at its said spaced locations.

4. The well tool of claim 1 further including: a well packer connected to said tubular housing and adapted for sealing engagement with a wall in a Iwell bore to pack-off such a well bore and secure said tubular housing in relation thereto.

5. The well tool of claim 1 wherein: said force-transmitting means include a iirst sleeve coaxially arranged in said tubular housing on the opposite side of said valve member from said valve seat, means on said first sleeve eccentrically connecting said valve member thereto, and means on said iirst sleeve adapted for engagement wlth said arresting means as said tubular member is moved toward its said one spaced location; and said biasing means include a second sleeve telescopically arranged in relation to said iirst sleeve and adapted for engagement with said tubular member, and spring means between said sleeves and adapted for developing said first force to urge said second sleeve toward said tubular member and said iirst sleeve away from said tubular member.

6. The well tool of claim 5 wherein: said arresting means include second spring means carried by said housing and adapted for developing said second force 'whenever said engagement means on said iirst sleeve have engaged said second spring means and further travel of said first sleeve is arrested as said second force is developed.

7. A well tool comprising: a tubular housing having a central longitudinal axis; a tubular member having its lower end telescopically disposed in said housing and adapted for axial movement therein between an upper position and a lower position; an annular seat coaxially arranged on said lower end of said tubular member; a valve member having a transverse flow passage therein and a spherically curved outer surface adapted for cornplemental seating engagement with said valve seat; means dependently supporting said valve member on said yValve seat for pivotal movement relative thereto between a dow-communicating position where said transverse passage is aligned with said valve seat and a How-blocking position where said transverse passage is not aligned with said valve seat; a valve actuator eccentrically connected to said Valve member and dependently supported therebelow; first means for maintaining said valve member in one of its said positions including spring means between said valve actuator and said tubular member and normally urging said valve actuator away from said tubular mem'- ber; and second means responsive to movement of said tubular member from one of its said positions to the other of its said positions for pivoting said valve member to the other of its said positions and including arresting means on said housing adapted to engage said valve actuator as said tubular member is moved toward its said other position for arresting further movement of said valve actuator and urging said valve actuator toward said tubular member with suicient force to pivot said valve member to its said other position.

8. The well tool of claim 7 wherein: said arresting means -include a compression spring supported on said housing and adapted for compression by said valve actuator to develop an oppositely-directed spring force greater than that supplied by said spring means by the time said tubular member reaches its said other position.

9. The Well tool of claimy 7 wherein: said liirst means include a sleeve member coincidentally aligned with said tubular member and having its upper end engaged on said lower end thereof, and said spring means include a compression spring between said sleeve member and said valve actuator normally urging said sleeve member upwardly against tubular member and said actuator downwardly away from said tubular member with a spring force sui'licient to maintain said valve member in its said one position but less than said force required for pivoting said v-alve member to its said other position.

10. The well tool of claim 9 wherein: said arresting means include a second compression spring supported within said housing below said valve actuator and adapted, upon engagement thereby, to develop a second spring force greater than Vsaid first-mentioned spring force to arrest further downward movement of said valve actuator and urge said valve actuator upwardly in relation to said valve member as said tubular member approaches its said other position.

11. The well tool of claim 10 further including: a second yannular valve seat coaxially disposed in the upper end of said valve actuator and engaged with said valve member, sealing means uidly sealing said second valve seat in relation to said valve actuator, a third compression spring weaker than either said first or said second springs and urging said second valve seat against said valve member, and a port in said second valve seat above said sealing means, said port being normally open so long as said valve member is in its said one position and being closed whenever said valve member is in its other said position upon relative upward movement of said valve actuator with respect to said sleeve member.

12. The well tool of claim 11 further including: means on said housing adapted for engagement with the wall of a well bore and selectively operable for securing said housing relative t-hereto to allow said tubular member to be moved relative thereto.

13. The well tool of claim 12 wherein: said wallengaging -means include a packer adapted to pack-01T such a well bore and having passage means therein in communication with said housing whereby once said packer is packed-off, said valve member will control fluid communication between said passage means and said tubular member.

14. A well tool comprising: a tubular housing having a central longitudinal axis, a tubular member having its lower end telescopically arranged within said housing and adapted for longitudinal movement relative thereto between an upper position and a lower position; a generallyspheroidal valve member with intersecting axes and having a flow passage extending substantially along one of said intersecting axes; -a first annular valve seat on said lower end of tubular member above said valve member and complementally yfitted to said valve member; means on said tubular member pivotally supporting said valve member therebelow for rotation about the other of its said intersecting axes between a first position where said flow passage is out of communication with said first valve seat and a second position where said flow passage is in communication therewith; a tubular valve actuator below said valve member coincidentally aligned with said first valve seat and said tubular member; a second annular valve seat telescopically received in said valve actuator and complementally iitted to said valve member; means for connecting said valve actuator to said valve member at an axis parallel to and eccentrically displaced to one side of said other intersecting axis whereby relative longitudinal movement between said valve actuator and said tubular member away from and toward one another will be effective to rotate said valve member between its said positions; a sleeve member telescopically arranged around said valve actuator and having an upright extension thereon adapted for engagement with said lower end of said tubular member; first spring means between and normally urging said sleeve member and said valve actuator away from one another with a first spring force suiiicient to urge said valve actuator away from said valve member and maintain said valve member in one of its said positions; and second spring means supported in said housing below said valve actuator and adapted for engagement thereby as said tubular member is moved from its said upper position toward its said lower position to develop a second spring force greater than said first spring force and urge said -valve actuator toward said valve member and rotate said valve member to the other of its said positions by the time said tubular member reaches its said lower position.

15. The wall tool of claim 14 further including: position-establishing means between said tubular member and said housing and selectively operable for determining said upper and lower positions of said tubular member.

16. The well tool of claim 14 wherein: said one position of said valve member is its said first position and said other position of said valve member is its said second position.

17. The well tool of claim 16 further including: valve means responsive to movement of said tubular member from its said upper position to another position for providing selective fluid communication between said tubular member and said housing while said valve member is in its said first position.

18. The well tool of claim 17 further including: a well packer connected to said housing and having ow-passage means across said packer in communication with said housing whereby said valve member and said valve means are selectively operable to control uid communication between said flow-passage means and said tubular member.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 25,471 11/1963 Fredd 166-224 X 3,273,588 9/1-966 Dollison 166--224 X 3,308,887 3/1967 Nutter 166-150 3,347,318 10/1967 Barrington 166-226 3,351,133 11/1967 Clark et al. 166-226 X 3,356,145 12/1967 -Fredd 166-224 3,386,701 6/1968 Potts 166-226 X DAVID H. BROWN, lfrmary Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.R. 166-226

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3835925 *May 14, 1973Sep 17, 1974Hydril CoSurface controlled float valve and inside blowout preventer drilling tool
US6009942 *Jun 10, 1997Jan 4, 2000Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Wye block having a rotary guide incorporated therein
US6196321Jan 29, 1999Mar 6, 2001Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Wye block having automatically aligned guide structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/152, 166/331
International ClassificationE21B34/12, E21B34/00, E21B49/00, E21B49/08
Cooperative ClassificationE21B2034/002, E21B34/125, E21B49/087
European ClassificationE21B49/08T, E21B34/12T