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Publication numberUS3492026 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 27, 1970
Filing dateOct 23, 1965
Priority dateOct 23, 1965
Publication numberUS 3492026 A, US 3492026A, US-A-3492026, US3492026 A, US3492026A
InventorsAhlstone Arthur G
Original AssigneeVentura Tool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well bore casing hanger apparatus
US 3492026 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 27, 1970, A. G. AHLSTONE 3,492,026

WELL BORE CASING HANGER APPARATUS Filed Oct. 25, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 1G. 3. 48 D I fvvE/vrafi. Hemme- G. HHLswNE IOTTOP/VEY.

Jan. 27, 1970 A. G. AHLSTONE I 3,492,026

WELL BORE CASING HANGER APPARATUS Filed Oct. 25, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 z $6. ?a. I pic. 26.

I w i i i Q Q f I r P 50 Y 14 I3 T ".45 II M I flvvs/vro. 47 46 Hen/a2 G. flyLsro/ve fi'fiam/ Jan. 27, 1970 A. G. AHLSTQNE I 3,492,026

WELL BORE CASING HANGER APPARATUS Filed Oct. 23, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 life. 6.

United States Patent O 3,492,026 WELL BORE CASING HANGER APPARATUS Arthur G. Ahlstone, Ventura, Calif., assignor to Ventura Tool Company, Ventura, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Oct. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 503,561

Int. Cl. F16l 35/00, 55/00 US. Cl. 28518 24 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Well bore casing hanger apparatus including an outer hanger body supporting outer casing and an inner hanger body supporting inner casing and movable to a supporting shoulder on the outer body and locked to the outer body. A packing structure is shifted into a sealed position to close an annular passage between the bodies. A tubular string lowers the inner body and packing structure as a unit into the outer body, and the packing structure is shifted to its sealed position, the tubular string and associated operating apparatus for the packing structure being released from the inner body and packing structure for elevation to the drilling rig.

The present invention relates to casing hanger apparatus, and more particularly to apparatus for suspending casing from a well head, performing cementing or other operations in a well bore with respect to the suspended casing, and effecting a pack-off between the suspended casing and the well head.

In the drilling of oil and gas wells at an underwater site, different casing strings are hung to protect strata that have been drilled through from the pressures and fluids which may be required or encountered at greater depts. In many cases, a special housing is provided at or naer the ocean bottom to support and seal off a casing string cemented in the well bore. With a drilling rig above Water and the special housing below water, there are many problems encountered in supporting a casing string. locking the casing hanger in place, verifying that the' lock is operative, circulating fluid for conditioning, cementing the casing string, energizing an annular seal, testing the seal, and installing a protector which protects the seat and sealing area in the housing for the next casing hanger used in suspending another casing string to be lowered within the casing string or strings previously installed in the well bore. The problems are accentuated or made more difficult where the driling rig is on a floating structure anchored in position, but still capable of moving up and down, from side to side, and laterally in other directions.

Heretofore, casing hanger assemblies have required several trips of a running string into the well bore to assemble all necessary parts to one another, and to perform all necessary operations in the running, landing, cementing, sealing and the testing in connection with the casing string, and to protect the seat area for the next succeeding casing hanger to be installed in the well bore.

A running string, which may be either casing or drill pipe, and a running tool have been used for lowering the casing hanger body to its seat in a special housing or body at or near the ocean bottom. Fluid can be circulated down through the casing string suspended from the hanger body and up through the annular area therearound to the annular area above the hanger body to condition the well bore, after which cement is pumped down the running string, through the running tool, and down inside the casing string, the cement returns moving up the annular area between the casing and the drilled hole or previously installed casing string, the returns passing back to the 3,492,026 Patented Jan. 27, 1970 drilling rig through the annular area between the running string and the pipe which connects the drilling rig to the well bore. The running string and the running tool are then released from the hanger body and returned to the drilling rig.

With the aid of another running tool and running string, the seal assembly is then lowered to the location of the hanger, and by suitable manipulation of the running string, the seal assembly is installed in place. The running tool may have provision to seal off the bore of the well so that pressure applied above the seal assembly of the casing hanger will indicate if the seal will hold pressure. After the pressure test has been performed, the running string and running tool are brought back or retrieved to the drilling rig.

Another running tool is then used with a running string to lower a seat protector to the area just above or on the casing hanger just installed, which is the area or region for the next hanger to be seated and sealed. Following installation of the seat protector, the running string and running tool are released therefrom and returned to the drilling rig.

In the performance of the above operations, three round trips with a running string are required, and three different running tools, all at a very high cost, in view of the expense of operating offshore drilling rigs.

The main purpose or objective of the present invention is to reduce considerably the expense of performing the above-noted operations, which have, heretofore, been performed separately, by accomplishing them in a single trip in the well bore. All of the necessary equipment or apparatus is lowered in the Well bore on a running string after the parts have all been assembled to one another at the surface. The hanger body with the casing suspended therefrom, the packer assembly, and the seat protector are all run in the well bore in a single trip. The hanger body is landed on its companion seat, locked in place, fluid circulated for conditioning the well bore, the casing string cemented in place, the seal provided between the hanger and the previously installed hanger or casing, the effectiveness of the seal tested, and the seat protector installed, in one trip in the well bore, after which the running string and the running tool can be disconnected, leaving the assembly in its place, including the installation of the seat protector at its proper location in the previously installed casing hanger.

In effecting the pack-off, the packing element is subjected to compression only, inasmuch as torque or twisting action is not imposed thereon. The hanger body can be locked in place before the circulating and cementing operations commence, so that assurance is had that the hanger cannot be pumped from its companion seat. The sealing effectiveness can be tested before the running tool and running string are elevated from the hole, so that additional pack-off force can be applied, and if the seal is still leaking, the running tool and running string can be removed and a suitable retrieving tool lowered for the purpose of retrieving the packing structure and then lowering a proper packing structure into place so that a proper seal can be effected. The actuation of the packing structure to effect its seal between the hanger body and the previously installed hanger body therearound can occur simultaneously with the release of the running string before the packoff has been completed.

This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other purposes which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of a form in which it may be embodied. This form is shown in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification. It will now be described in detail, for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention; but it is to be understood that such detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Referring to the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a combined side elevational view and longitudinal section of a casing hanger and associated apparatus installed in and in connection with a well bore underlying a body of water;

FIGS. 2a and 2b together constitutes a quarter longitudinal section through casing hanger apparatus embodying the invention and landed in a surrounding hanger body or housing, the parts being illustrated in the iniLial condition which they occupy in lowering the apparatus from the drilling ring, FIG. 211 being a lower continuation of FIG. 2a;

FIG. 3 is a cross-section taken along the line 33 on FIG. 2a;

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

FIGS. 5a and 5b together constitute views corresponding to FIGS. 2a and 2b, with the casing hanger locked in packed-off condition in the well bore, FIG. 5b being a lower continuation of FIG. 5a;

FIG. 6 is a section through the apparatus, parts being broken away, illustrating the casing hanger apparatus and a seat protector thereabove installed in a casing hanger body therearound and with the running tool removed;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary, longitudinal section through the packer portion of the apparatus disclosed in FIG. 5b and FIG. 6, in sealed-off condition between the inner and outer casing hanger bodies.

A typical installation of apparatus embodying the invention is illustrated somewhat diagrammatically in FIG. 1, in connection with a well bore A underlying an ocean or other body of water and extending downwardly from the ocean floor F. A suitable base structure B is supported on the ocean floor and carries an outer casing C of relatively large diameter suspended from a casing hanger body D resting upon an outer seat E on the base and locked thereto by a suitable lock ring G. Disposed within the outer casing is an intermediate string of easing H extending down into the well bore and suspended from a suitable casing hanger body I resting upon a companion tapered seat K in the outer body and suitably locked thereto by a lock ring M. One or a stack of blowout preventers N are connected by means of a suitable connector P, such as a hydraulic connector illustrated in my application Ser. No. 476,417, filed Aug. 2, 1965, for Coupling Apparatus for Well Heads and the Like, now Patent No. 3,321,217, to the head D, the blowout preventer, in turn, being connected by a suitable hydraulic or other connector R to a flexible joint S made of sections secured to a marine conductor pipe T extending to the drilling rig, which may be located on a drilling platform or on a floating vessel or structure. An inner string of casing Y is disclosed in FIG. 1 as having been locked in packed-01f condition in the intermediate hanger body I, and it is in connection with the casing hanger apparatus for this inner casing to which the present invention is directed.

As disclosed in FIGS. 2a to 7, inclusive, the casing hanger assembly W is connected to a running tool V, the upper end of which is connected to a suitable tubular running string Z, such as casing or drill pipe, extending through the blowout preventers, connectors, flexible joint and marine conduct-or pipe to the drilling rig. A shown in FIG. 2a, the hydraulic connector P, which is actually secured to the outer casing hanger body D in the manner illustrated in the above-identified application Ser. No. 476,417, includes an adapter 10 above the hanger bodies, the inner end of the adapter clamping a suitable seal ring 11 between it and the upper end of the intermediate hanger body I, this seal ring having a groove 12 receiving a seal ring retainer 13 mounted in an internal circumferential groove 14 in the coupling adapter. The intermediate hanger body I has a lower downwardly tapering seat or shoulder 15 above which is located an internal circumferential ring groove 16 containing a split inherently contractable lock ring 17 having an upper inner beveled surface 18. Above the lock ring groove is an internal seal surface 19 of cylindrical form, and above this seal surface is an enlarged internal bore 20 which terminates at another internal cylindrical surface 21 which may be of the same diameter as the seal surface. Another internal circumferential groove 22 opens through this last-mentioned cylindrical surface and contains a split inherently contractable lock ring 23 having an upper inner beveled surface 24. Above the cylindrical surface 21, the outer hanger body has another enlarged bore 25, and above this enlarged bore, the body I has another internal cylindrical surface 26 above which is provided a suitable internal thread 27 in the hanger body.

The casing hanger apparatus includes a body 28 having a lower hanger thread 29 connected to the casing Y suspended therebelow. This body has a downwardly facing tapered seat 30 adapted to engage the upwardly facing seat 15 in the surrounding hanger body J. Above this seat is a reduced external diameter portion 31 providing an upwardly facing shoulder 32 engageable with the lower end of the lock ring 17 when the hanger body is moved past the lock ring, during which time the latter is expanded outwardly within its internal groove 16, then contracting partially inwardly and across the shoulder 32 so as to lock the hanger body 28 in place by preventing its upward movement.

Above the lock shoulder 32 is a reduced diameter, external, cylindrical seal surface 33 which will be disposed opposite the internal seal surface 19 of the surrounding hanger body J and in spaced relation therewith, when the hanger body comes to rest upon its companion seat, to provide an annular passage 34. Above this seal surface 33, the hanger body has a reduced external diameter portion 35 providing with a right-hand thread 36 to which is adjustably and threadedly secured a packer actuating sleeve 37 having an internal thread 38 meshing with the right-hand thread 36. This packer actuator sleeve supports and will also exert an axial force against a pack-off assembly 39 so as to shorten the latter and compress it between the opposed sealing surfaces 19, 33, as described hereinbelow.

The actuator sleeve 37 is connected to a seat protector 40 thereabove, which has a reduced diameter portion 41 piloted within the sleeve. The seat protector has a plurality of circumferentially spaced radial torque pins 42 extending into inverted T-shaped slots 43 in the sleeve 37. The seat protector carries an external seal ring 44 at its upper portion, which is adapted to seal against the internal cylindrical surface 26 of the surrounding hanger body I, as described hereinbelow, and this seat protector is connected to a torque tube or sleeve 45 forming part of the running and actuating tool V by means of a plurality of circumferentially spaced coupling pins 46 on the lower portion of the tube disposed within companion J-slots 47 in the seat protector 40. The vertical legs 48 (FIG. 6) of the J-slots open upwardly through an upwardly facing shoulder 49 of the seat protector, the torque tube or sleeve 45 having internal splines 50 adapted to mesh with external splines 51 on the running tool man drel 52, the upper end of which is threadedly secured to the tubular running string Z, such as casing or drill pipe, extending to the drilling rig above the body of water. A helical compression spring 53 surrounds the mandrel 52, its upper end bearing against a spring seat 54, which, in turn, bears against a retainer ring 55 suitably secured to the mandrel, and its lower end bearing against the upper end of the torque tube 45 and tending to urge the latter in a downward direction along the mandrel, limited by engagement of an upper flange 56 of the torque tube with an upwardly facing houlder 57 on the mandrel. The lower portion of the mandrel has an external left-hand thread 58 meshing with a companion internal left-hand thread 59 in the hanger body 28, and above its threads, the mandrel carries one or a plurality of seal rings 60 adapted to seal against a cylindrical inner wall 61 of the body 28 above its threaded portion 59.

When the hanger apparatus W and the casing Y suspended therefrom is connected to the running tool V and lowered through the marine conductor pipe S and the equipment connected thereto therebelow by means of the casing string Z to the position illustrated in FIGS. 2a and 2b, in which the hanger body 28 rests upon its seat 15 and the lock ring 17 has contracted over the upwardly facing shoulder 32, a by-pass circulating passage exists between the hanger apparatus W and the surrounding hanger body I. As shown, this by-pass communicates with the annulus 62 in the well bore surrounding the suspended casing Y and includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced longitudinal fluid passages 63 extending through the hanger body to the annular passage 34 between the opposed seal surfaces 19, 33. Fluid can then pass upwardly through the annular space 64 between the pack-01f assembly and the enlarged bore 20 of the external casing hanger, and thence inwardly through a plurality of fluid by-pass holes 65 formed through the upper portion of the actuator sleeve 37 to the interior of the latter, then passing upwardly through an annular passage 66 between the seat protector 40 and the mandrel 52, the by-pass path then continuing through an annular passage 67 between the lower portion of the torque tube 45 and the mandrel 52 which communicates through a plurality of side ports or holes 68 in the torque tube with the annulus 69 around the latter, the fluid flow then being capable of continuing upwardly through the annular passage 70 between the mandrel 52 and the tubular running string Z thereabove and the surrounding apparatus to the drilling rig.

The packer assembly 39 includes an upper abutment ring 71 secured to the lower portion of the threaded packing actuator sleeve 37 by means of a swivel. Such swivel includes a split snap retainer ring 72 mound in an external groove 73 in the nut or sleeve 37 and an internal groove 74 in the upper abutment ring 71. A thrust hearing 75 is provided between the actuator sleeve 37 and the upper abutment ring 71 so that the sleeve can be rotated without rotating the ring 71. As shown, the thrust bearing includes an upper race 76 in the threaded sleeve and a lower race 77 in the upper end of the upper abutment ring, ball bearings 78 being disposed in and between these races to allow the sleeve 37 to rotate without rotating the upper abutment ring 71.

The lower end of the upper abutment ring 71 engages an initially retracted packing element ring 79 made of an elastomer material, such as rubber or a rubber-like material, the lower end of this packing ring being engaged by a lower abutment 80 which is adapted to engage an upwardly facing shoulder 81 on the hanger body 28 below its external seal surface 33. The packing ring 79 and the lower abutment ring 80 are assembled to the upper abutment ring 71 by a plurality of cap screws 82 extending through the lower ring and packer ring and threaded into the upper abutment ring, the screws having heads 83 received within counterbores 84 in the lower abutment ring and adapted to engage the upper ends 85 of the counterbores.

Prior to lowering the casing hanger apparatus and the casing suspended therefrom into the well bore, the casing hanger apparatus has its parts in their relative positions illustrated in FIGS. 2a and 2b in which the packing element or ring 79 is retracted and with the actuator sleeve 37 occupying its upper threaded position on the hanger body 28, the actuator sleeve being connected to the seat protector 40 by means of the pin and T-slot connection 42, 43 and the seat protector 40 being connected to the torque tube 45 through the pin and J-slot connection 46, 47. The lower portion of the mandrel 52 is secured to the hanger body 28 by means of the left-hand thread connection 58, 59.

The casing Y is lowered from the drilling rig through the equipment disposed above the ocean floor and into the well bore A, the uppermost portion of the casing string being secured to the hanger apparatus W, which has its parts in the relative relationship illustrated in FIGS. 2a and 2b, and which is secured to the casing string Z. The tapered shoulder 30 of the hanger body 28 will move past the upper lock ring 23 and shift it outwardly out of its way and will then move downwardly into engagement with the lower lock ring 17, expanding it into its groove 16 out of its way until the hanger body engages its companion seat 15 in the surrounding hanger body I, whereupon the lock ring 17 will contract across the body shoulder 32 and lock the hanger body 28 and the casing Y suspended therebelow in place. At this time,- the seat protector 40 or actuator sleeve 37 is disposed across the upper lock ring 23 and the seal ring 44 on the seat protector is out of sealing relation to its companion seal surface 26 at the upper portion of the outer hanger body. An upward pull can now be taken on the running string Z to insure that the hanger body 28 is locked in place. Circulating fluid can now be pumped down through the tubular running string Z and through the apparatus, continuing on down through the casing Y and then passing around its lower end or through suitable casing ports into the annulus 62v between the suspended casing string and the well bore A, and also between the casing string and whatever casing string H is surrounding it. The circulating fluid flows upwardly through the body passages 63 and through the annular passage 34 between the internaland external seal surfaces 19, 33, flowing upwardly around the packing assembly 29 and also upwardly between the packing assembly and the threaded portion 35 of the hanger body, continuing upwardly through internal grooves 86 in the actuator sleeve 37 to a position above the hanger body 28. Fluid will also pass from the annular space 64 externally of the packing as sembly through the bypass holes 65 in the sleeve 37, then combining with the fluid passing upwardly through the internal grooves 86 for upward movement through the annular passage 66, 67 between the seat protector and mandrel 52, as well as between the torque tube 45 and mandrel, discharging through the torque tube holes 68 into the annulus around the torque tube, continuing upwardly through the annulus 70 around the mandrel 52 and the running string Z to the drilling rig.

The circulating fluid can be followed by the pumping of a suitable charge of cement slurry down through the running string Z, the apparatus V and the suspended casing string Y. This charge of cement may have an upper cementing plug (not shown) at its upper end, which will slidably seal along the tubular casing string Z and then pass downwardly through the mandrel 52 into the casing string Y, the cement then moving upwardly through the annulus 62 around the casing string to the desired height, in a known manner, the fluid in advance of the charge of cement slurry passing upwardly through the by-pass path through and around the casing hanger apparatus W.

After the cement has been displaced around the casing Y, the running string Z and the mandrel 52 are rotated, the rotation of the mandrel being transferred through the torque sleeve 45 to the seat protector 40 and from the seat protector to the packer actuator sleeve 37 to thread the latter in a downward direction along the casing hanger body 28, and thereby move the packer assembly 39 downwardly along the body 28 and the surrounding hanger body I. At the same time, rotation of the mandrel 52 is effecting its unthreading from the hanger body 28, because of the left-hand thread interconnection 58, 59 therebetween. Before the lower abutment of the packing assembly 39 reaches the body shoulder 81, the mandrel 52 will have been unscrewed completely from the hanger body 28, whereupon rotation of the casing string Z and the mandrel 52 can continue to continue the downward threading of the actuator sleeve 37 along the mandrel body and the shifting of the packing assembly 39 downwardly until the lower abutment 80 engages the body shoulder 81, at which time the retracted packing sleeve 79 is disposed between the internal and external seal surfaces 19, 33. A continuation of the rotation of the running string Z and mandrel 52 will effect a continued downward shifting of the actuator sleeve 37 along the body 28, moving the upper abutment 71 toward the lower abutment 80 and shortening the packing sleeve or ring 79 and expanding it outwardly and inwardly into firm sealing engagement with the internal and external sealing surfaces 19, 33 on the outer and inner hanger bodies I, 28 (FIGS. a, 5b) A suflicient torque is imposed on the apparatus to insure the firm sealing of the packing sleeve 79' against its companion surfaces. However, it is to be noted that during the entire rotation of the actuator sleeve 37 on the hanger body, the torque is not transmitted to the packing structure 39 so that no twist is imparted to the latter, but only an axial compressive force in effecting its pack-01f against the inner seal surface 19 and the external seal surface 33.

It is to be noted that following the complete unthreading of the mandrel 52 from the packer body 28, its seal ring or rings 60 still maintains a sealed relationship with the internal body surface 61. Accordingly, the effectiveness of the packed-off seal 39 can now be tested with all of the apparatus remaining in place. A suitable pressure is imposed on the fluid in the annulus 70 surrounding the tubular running string Z, as, for example, by closing a blowout preventer N thereagainst and then subjecting the fluid in the annulus below the blowout preventer n adequate pressure. If no pressure loss occurs, assurance is had that the seal is eflective. The fact that the mandrel is still sealed against the anchor body 28, as disclosed in FIG. 5b, will prevent fluid from passing between the mandrel and the hanger body. If a leak is detected, which is determined to be due to the packing 79, an additional compression of the packing sleeve 79 can be undertaken by turning the running string Z and the mandrel 52, which will effect an additional downward threading of the actuator sleeve 37 along the anchor body 28.

Assuming the seal does not leak, the running tool V can now be disconnected from the seat protector 40 merely by partially turning the running string Z to the right to be assured that the torque tube pins 46 are disposed against the ends of the J-slo-ts 47 and in alignment with their vertical legs 48, whereupon the tubular running string Z is moved upwardly to move the pins 46 out of the J- slots, which permits the running tool V to be removed from the casing hanger apparatus W and elevated through the equipment thereabove to the drilling rig, the parts of the hanger apparatus then being in the position illustrated in FIG. 6, with the seat protector 40 in place and with an eifective pack-off existing between the hanger body 28 and the hanger body I or other device therearound. At this time, it is to be noted that the seat protector 40 will have its seal ring 44 in sealing engagement with the cylindrical surface 26 at the upper portion of the surrounding hanger body I.

0 When the seat protector 40 is no longer required, it is easily removed by lowering a suitable retrieving tool on a running string. This retrieving apparatus may be of the type disclosed in my application for Well Bore Running-In and Retrieving Too Ser. No. 503,563, filed Oct. 23, 1965, now Patent No. 3,350,130. This tool becomes coupled to the seat protector 40, as by latching under a downwardly facing shoulder 90 of an internal groove 91 in the upper portion of the seat protector, with suitable pins entering the J-slots 47 so as to be coupled to and transmit torque to the seat protector. The retrieving tool (not shown) can then be appropriately turned by turning the running string to turn the seat protector 40 relative to the packing actuator sleeve 37 and align the torque pins 42 with the vertical legs of the inverted T- slots 43, Which will then allow an upward pull to be taken on the apparatus to shift the pins 42 from the T slots and thereby effect a full disconnection of the seat protector 40 from the actuator sleeve 37, the seat protector then being withdrawn with the running string and tool to the drilling rig above the body of water.

In the event that a leakproof seal is not effected between the packing ring 79 and the inner and outer hanger bodies 28, J, the packer assembly 39 can be removed. The retrieving tool shown in the above application, Ser. No. 503,563, is connected to a tubular string and lowered from the drilling rig into a position in which pins of the retrieving tool, corresponding to the torque pins 46 of the seat protector, move into the J-slots 47, whereupon the running string and retrieving tool are rotated to the left, to unthread the entire packer assembly 39 and sleeve 37 upwardly of the body 28 and completely disconnect the actuator sleeve 37 from the body, whereupon the packer assembly can be elevated to the drilling rig and a new pack-off assembly substituted in its place, which is then run, with a seat protector 40 connected thereto, through the equipment above the floor of the ocean and threadedly connected to the packer body 28, continued right-hand rotation of the running string Z, running tool V and the packer actuating sleeve 37 again shifting the packer assembly 39 downwardly and effecting a pack-off against the internal and external sealing surfaces 19, 33, the packer assembly then being in the condition illustrated in FIG. 5b. The running tool mandrel 52 preferably seals against the internal cylindrical surface 61 of the hanger body 28 in essentially the same manner as disclosed in FIG. 5b, allowing the liquid in the annulus around the running string Z to be subjected to pressure to test the eifectiveness of the seal.

Following removal of the seat protector 40, the upper lock ring 23 is then in position to lock another hanger body (not shown) from which another casing string is suspended, the hanger body resting upon the upper end of the hanger body 28 previously installed and having a shoulder, like the shoulder 32, that will be disposed below the lock ring 23 that will contract partially out of its internal groove 22 and overlie it, in essentially the same manner as the lower lock ring 17 overlies the shoulder 32 of the previously installed hanger body. A pack-off can be effected between a packing ring against the seal surface 21 above the upper lock ring 23 in essentially the same manner as with the packing assembly described above, the groove 25 in the surrounding hanger body I affording a by-pass for circulating fluid that passes upwardly around the annulus between the subsequently run casing (not shown) and the casing string described above.

It is, accordingly, apparent that well bore casing hanger apparatus has been provided which requires only a single trip into the well bore to run, land, lock the hanger in place, test the lock, circulate fluid, pump cement for sealing and supporting the suspended casing in the drilled hole, actuate the area of the seal, test the seal, and install the seat protector. All necessary apparatus is appropriately assembled at the drilling rig and is run simultaneously into the well bore. The packing element 79 is packed off by being subject to longitudinal compression only, there being no torque or twisting action imposed upon it. The hanger 28 is locked in place before the cementing operation begins so that it cannot be pumped off its supporting seat 15. The fact that the internal diameters through the running string Z, running tool mandrel 52, and suspended casing Y are substantially the same enables the usual types of cementing plugs, and the like, to be pumped through the apparatus in connection with the cementing of the casing Y in the well bore. The effectiveness of the pack-off of the packing 79 can be tested before the running string Z is removed from the hole, and, if necessary, a defective pack-off can be remedied by retrieving the packing structure 39 in view of the ability to couple into the packing actuator sleeve 37 and reversely rotate and unthread it completely from the hanger body 28. The mandrel 52 is released simultaneously with the occurrence of the pack-off operation and is disconnected before the pack-01f has been completed, which eliminates the necessity for turning the running string in order to retrieve the running tool V from the apparatus that is left connected to the casing hanger body 28, including the seat protector 40 for a hanger apparatus to be installed subsequently.

I claim:

1. In well bore casing apparatus: an outer body connectible to an outer casing; an inner body supportable by said outer body for suspending an inner casing within the outer casing; said inner and outer bodies providing a fluid passage therebetween communicating with the annular space between the inner and outer casings; a packing structure for closing said passage and having a longitudinal passage through its interior; a mandrel releasably connected to said inner body and adapted for connection to a running string; means releasably connecting said packing structure to said mandrel; said inner body with the inner casing suspended therefrom and said packing structure being movable downwardly as a unit with said mandrel and running string to a position of support of said inner body on said outer body and with said packing structure in open relation to said fluid passage and its longitudinal passage communicating with said fluid passage; and means for shifting said packing structure to a position closing said fluid passage after support of said inner body on said outer body.

2. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 1; wherein said means for shifting said packing structure to a position closing said fluid passage includes mean-s mounted on and movable relative to said mandrel.

3. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 1; wherein said means for shifting said packing structure to a position closing said fluid passage is operative in response to manipulation of said mandrel by the running string.

4. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 1; wherein said means for shifting said packing structure to a position closing said fluid passage is operative in response to rotation of said mandrel by the running string.

5. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 1; lock means on said outer body above the position of support of said inner body on said outer body and engaging said inner body after said inner body has been shifted into said outer body to be supported thereby to prevent upward movement of said inner body relative to said outer body.

6. In well bore casing apparatus: an outer body connectible to an outer casing; an inner body supportable by said outer body for suspending an inner casing within the outer casing; said inner and outer bodies providing a fluid passage therebetween communicating with the annular space between the inner and outer casings; a packing assembly for closing said passage; said outer body having a seat; a seat protector above said packing assembly; means releasably connecting said protector to said packing assembly for selective disconnection from said packing assembly; a mandrel releasably connected to said inner body and adapted for connection to a running string; means releasably connecting said seat protector to said mandrel; said inner body with the inner casing suspended therefrom, said seat protector and said packing assembly being movable downwardly as a unit with said mandrel and running string to a position of support of said inner body on said outer body with said packing assembly in open relation to said passage and said seat protector within said outer body and its seat; and means for shifting said packing assembly to a position closing said passage after support of said inner body on said outer body.

7. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 6; wherein said means for shifting said packing assembly to a position closing said passage includes means mounted on and movable relative to said mandrel.

8. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 6; wherein said means for shifting said packing assembly to a position closing said passage is operative in response to manipulation of said mandrel by the running string.

9. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 6; wherein said means for shifting said packing assembly to a position closing said passage is operative in response to rotation of said mandrel by the running string.

10. In well bore casing apparatus: an outer body connectible to an outer casing; an inner body supportable by said outer body for suspending an inner casing Within the outer casing; said inner and outer bodies providing a fluid passage therebetween communicating with the annular space between the inner and outer casings; said inner and outer bodies having opposed sealing surfaces spaced from each other to provide an annular passage therebetween constituting a portion of said flow passage; one of said bodies having an upwardly facing shoulder; a packing structure disposed initially above and longitudinally spaced from said annular passage and said shoulder and adapted to be moved in said annular passage; 2. mandrel releasably connected to said inner body and adapted for connection to a running string; means releasably connecting said packing structure to said mandrel; said inner body with the inner casing suspended therefrom and said packing structure being movable downwardly as a unit with said mandrel and running string to a position of support of said inner body on said outer body and with said packing structure above and in open relation to said annular passage; and means for moving said packing structure downwardly into said annular passage and into engagement with said shoulder to compress said packing structure against said sealing surfaces to close said annular passage.

11. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 10; wherein said means for shifting said packing structure includes means mounted on and movable relative to said mandrel.

12. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 10; wherein said means for shifting said packing structure is operative in response to manipulation of said mandrel by the running string.

13. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 10; wherein said means for shifting said packing structure downwardly includes an actuator sleeve threadedly attachable to said inner body, and means responsive to rotation of said mandrel by the running string for threading said sleeve downwardly of said inner body to shift said packing structure into said annular passage and against said shoulder.

14. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 10; wherein said means for shifting said packing structure downwardly includes an actuator sleeve attachable to said inner body by a right-hand threaded connection, and means responsive to right-hand rotation of said mandrel by the running string for threading said sleeve downwardly of said' inner body to shift said packing structure into said annular passage and against said shoulder; said mandrel being connectible to said inner body by a left-hand threaded connection.

15. In well bore casing apparatus: an outer body connectible to an outer casing; an inner body supportable by said outer body for suspending an inner casing within the outer casing; said inner and outer bodies providing a fluid passage therebetween communicating with the annular space between the inner and outer casings; said inner and outer bodies having confronting sealing surfaces spaced from each other to provide an annular passage therebetween constituting a portion of said flow passage; one of said bodies having an upwardly facing shoulder; a packing assembly disposed initially above and longitudinally spaced from said shoulder and adapted to be moved into said annular passage; said outer body having a seat; a seat protector above said packing assembly; means releasably connecting said protector to said connectible to said inner body-by packing assembly for selective disconnection from said packing assembly; a mandrel releasably connected to said inner body and adapted for connection to a running string; means releasably connecting said seatprotector to said mandrel; said inner body with the inner casing suspended therefrom, said seat protector and said packing assembly being movable downwardly as a unit with said mandrel and running string to a position of support of said inner body on said outer body with said packing assembly above and in open relation to said annular passage and said seat protector within said outer body and its seat; and means for shifting said packing assembly downwardly into said annular passage and into engagement with said shoulder to compress said packing assembly against said sealing surfaces to close said annular passage after support of said inner body on said outer bo y. 7

16. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 15; wherein said means for shifting said packing assembly includes means mounted on and movable relative to saidmandrel. 17. In well bore casing apparatus as defined infclairn' 15; wherein said means for shifting said packing assem-; bly is operative in response to manipulation of s'ai drel by the running string.

18. In well bore casing apparatusasdefined 15; wherein said packing assemblyincludesan: of sleeve threadedly attachable to saidinnerbo'dmsaid protector being releasably connected: tos'aid" sleeve, and said means'for shifting siaidjpa'ck 1 includes means responsive to rotation of sa'id the running string for rotating-said jseat pro actuator sleeve for threading .said-sleeyedQ said inner body to shift said packing afssem annular passage and againstsaidE'Sh ulde 19. In well bore casingapparatusa said inner body, said actuatorlslee nected to said seat protector and; v said packing structure downw hand rotation of saidmandrel rotating said seat protecto'rflan direction for threading saidjsl inner body to shift saidpacking. lar passage and against said shoulder $3.1

connection. 7 20. In well bore casing apparat 15; wherein said packing a,ssembly in sleeve attached by a right-handhr said inner body, said actuatorsleev nected to said seat protector, and-sax said packing assembly downwardlyi hand rotation of said mandrel byfth I rotating said seat protector and sleeve" n rection for threading said sleeve downwardly of. sa d lnner. body to shift said packing assembly into said annular passage and against said shoulder; said mandrel'being connectible to said inner body by a left-hand threaded: connection; lock means on said outer body engaging said said inner body after said inner body has been shifted into said outer body to be supported thereby to prevent upward movement of said inner body relative to ,said outer body. 1 q 5 21. In well bore casing apparatus: an outer body 'con-,- nectible to an outer casing; an inner body supportable by said outer body for suspending an inner casing within= the outer casing; said inner and outer bodies providing a fluid passage therebetween communicating with the annular space between the inner and outer casings; a packing structure for closing said passage; a mandrel releasably connected to said inner body and adapted for connection to a running string; means releasably connecting Said packing structure to said mandrel; said inner body with the inner casing suspended therefrom and said packing structure being movable downwardly as a unit with said mandrel and running string to a position of support of said inner body on said outer body'and with said packing structure in open relation to said passage; and means for shifting said packing structure to a position closing said passage after support of said inner body on said outer body, said shifting means comprising rotary instrur'nentalities and a swivel between said instrumentalities and said packing structure.

22. In well bore casing apparatus: an outer body connectible to an outer casing; an inner body supportable by said outer body for suspending an inner casing within the outer casing; said inner and outer bodies providing a fluid passage therebetween communicating with the annular space between the inner and outer casings; said inner and outer bodies having opposed sealing surfaces spaced from each other to provide an annular passage therebetween constituting a portion 'of said flow passage; one of said bodies having an upwardly facing shoulder; a packing structureadapted to be moved in said annular passage; a

mandrel releasably connected to said inner body and f adaptedfonconnection to a running string; means releasably connecting said packing structure to said mandrel;

said .inne'r body with the inner casing suspended there- ':fl,QI1'1; andsaid'packing structure being movable downwardly as a'unit with said mandrel and running string to lp'osition of support of said inner body on said outer ody and with-said packing structure in open relation to ai'd annularpassage; and means for moving said packing tructure downwardly into said annular passage and ,ag'ainst-"said shoulder to compress said packing structure gainst; saidsealing surfaces to close said annular pasijsage, said moving means comprising rotary instrumentalities and a swivel between said instrumentalities and said packing structure.

9 In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 9;

lock means on said outer body above the position of support of'said inner body on said outer body and engaging said inner body after said inner body has been shifted into said outer body to be supported thereby to prevent upward movement of said inner body relative to said outer body; said inner body being spaced laterally inwardly from said outer body above said lock means to provide an access space between said bodies through which a tool can move into engagement with said lock means to release said lock means from said inner body in the event the inner body is to be removed from said I outer body.

24. In well bore casing apparatus as defined in claim 23; wherein the upper portion of said lock means has a downwardly and inwardly inclined surface facing said access space, said surface being engageable by the tool to expand said lock means from said inner body.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,609,879 9/1952 Webber l66l24 X 3,273,646 9/1966 Walker 285 X 3,279,539 10/1966 Brown et al 285-142 X 3,324,951 6/1967 Balmer et a1 16689 X 3,335,799 8/1967 Miller 28518 X Y I FOREIGN PATENTS 1,340,095 9/1963 France.

932,002 7/1963 Great Britain. 1,305,096 8/1962 France.

DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner D. W. AROLA, Assistant Examiner U.S. c1. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3625283 *May 15, 1970Dec 7, 1971Vetco Offshore Ind IncWell bore casing hanger apparatus
US3638725 *May 15, 1970Feb 1, 1972Vetco Offshore Ind IncDirect drive casing hanger apparatus
US3731739 *Nov 9, 1970May 8, 1973Rockwell Mfg CoWash out method and apparatus
US3809158 *Jul 27, 1972May 7, 1974Rockwell International CorpWell completion apparatus and method
US3827488 *May 7, 1973Aug 6, 1974Rucker CoCasing hanger assembly and operating tools therefor
US3871449 *Mar 4, 1974Mar 18, 1975Vetco Offshore Ind IncCasing hanger and packoff apparatus
US3924678 *Jul 15, 1974Dec 9, 1975Vetco Offshore Ind IncCasing hanger and packing running apparatus
US4408783 *Dec 22, 1980Oct 11, 1983Smith International Inc.Holddown apparatus
US4416472 *Dec 22, 1980Nov 22, 1983Smith International, Inc.Holddown and packoff apparatus
US4422507 *Sep 8, 1981Dec 27, 1983Dril-Quip, Inc.Wellhead apparatus
US4449583 *Sep 21, 1981May 22, 1984Armco Inc.Well devices with annulus check valve and hydraulic by-pass
US4488740 *Feb 19, 1982Dec 18, 1984Smith International, Inc.Breech block hanger support
US4521040 *Sep 17, 1982Jun 4, 1985Vetco Offshort, Inc.Combined metal and elastomer seal
US4597448 *Nov 30, 1983Jul 1, 1986Smith International, Inc.Subsea wellhead system
US4615544 *Feb 16, 1982Oct 7, 1986Smith International, Inc.Subsea wellhead system
US4634152 *Apr 26, 1985Jan 6, 1987Vetco Offshore Industries, Inc.Casing hanger running tool
US4900067 *Jul 21, 1989Feb 13, 1990Vetco Gray Inc.Retrievable packoff with an embedded flexible, metallic band
US5080173 *Jan 30, 1991Jan 14, 1992Abb Vetco Gray Inc.Tieback wellhead system with sidetrack facilities
US6843480 *Aug 7, 2002Jan 18, 2005Baker Hughes IncorporatedSeal ring for well completion tools
DE2347176A1 *Sep 19, 1973Mar 27, 1975Regan Forge & Eng CoLoesbare verbindungsvorrichtung fuer unterwasserbohrkoepfe
Classifications
U.S. Classification285/18, 285/348, 285/123.2, 285/321, 166/348
International ClassificationE21B33/03, E21B33/043
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/043
European ClassificationE21B33/043
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 5, 1987AS06Security interest
Owner name: CITIBANK, N.A.,
Effective date: 19861124
Owner name: VETCO GRAY INC., A DE. CORP.
Feb 5, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: CITIBANK, N.A.,
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VETCO GRAY INC., A DE. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004739/0780
Effective date: 19861124
May 1, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: VETCO OFFSHORE INDUSTRIES, INC., 7135 ARDMORE ROAD
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:VETCO OFFSHORE, INC., A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004572/0533
Effective date: 19860421
Sep 29, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: VETCO OFFSHORE, INC. 5740 RALSTON ST.VENTURA,CA.93
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:VETCO INC.;REEL/FRAME:004056/0858
Effective date: 19820922
Sep 29, 1982AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: VETCO INC.
Effective date: 19820922
Owner name: VETCO OFFSHORE, INC. 5740 RALSTON ST.VENTURA,CA.93