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Publication numberUS3507329 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 21, 1970
Filing dateNov 25, 1968
Priority dateNov 25, 1968
Publication numberUS 3507329 A, US 3507329A, US-A-3507329, US3507329 A, US3507329A
InventorsStone Dewey C Jr
Original AssigneeHarold Brown Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Locating and anchoring device for well tools
US 3507329 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 21, 1970 D. c. STONE, JR 3,507,329

LOCATING AND ANCHORI-NG DEVICE FOR WELL TOOLS Filed Nov. 25, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 60 5 5 w T T 4 62 4 I N VENTOR.

Dewey C. J! 09, 07'.

BY E

ATTORNEV April 21, 1970 D. c. STONE, JR

LOGATING AND ANCHORING DEVICE FOR WELL TOOLS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 25, 1968 r m J, W e 7 flw h J ml W a 2; a I f f R NAAAVVvE ya A W Q g T J 4 M Z 3 April 21, 1970 c, STONE, JR 3,507,329

LOCATING AND ANCHORING DEVICE FOR WELL TOOLS Filed NOV. 25, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 I N VEN TOR.

c. Jzone, d7.

ATTOFNV United States Patent 3,507,329 LOCATING AND ANCHORIYG DEVICE FOR WELL TOOLS Dewey C. Stone, Jr., Houston, Tex., assignor to Harold Brown Company, a corporation of Texas Filed Nov. 25, 1968, Ser. No. 778,610 Int. Cl. E21b 23/02 US. Cl. 166214 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tool anchor assembly for insertion in well pipes including a level selector sub-assembly and an anchor subassembly, the level selector sub-assembly being adapted to position the anchor sub-assembly at a selected location in the well pipe and thereafter to be released from the anchor sub-assembly for removal from the well pipe.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the oil and gas industry, operations to be conducted in the well often require the positioning of tools, such as pressure regulating or choke devices and the like, at different levels inside the well pipes, generally the production tubing. The installation of such tools is made usually after the tubing has been installed and the production characteristics observed so that the proper level for installation of the tools may be determined.

In anticipation of the necessity for such equipment the tubing string will be equipped initially with one or more landing nipples at different levels, having grooves for receiving the latching elements and also having locator grooves of ditfering shape or dimensions for cooperation with correspondingly shaped locator keys on the anchor device, whereby to enable anchoring the tools at a preselected level or location in the tubing string.

An assemblage of apparatus for thus anchoring well tools is disclosed in US. Patent No. 2,673,614. In this patent, as in other prior art devices for the same purpose, the locator elements and the anchor elements are made parts of a unitary structure which is required to remain in its entirety in the well pipe when the anchor elements have been actuated. As a result, a considerable mass of equipment remains in the well pipe and forms a substantially undesirable restriction in the path of flow of the well fluids through the pipe.

Where, as is often the case, it is desired to install several control devices at different levels in the production tubing, each installation requires the positioning in the well of a corresponding number of such unitary locator-anchoring assemblages, which adds greatly to the cost of the installation, as well as increasing the number of undesirable constrictions in the production string.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to an improved anchor device comprising separable anchor and locator sub-assemblies operable to position the anchor assembly at a selected level in the well pipe, and to thereafter enable release of the locator sub-assembly to permit its with drawal from the well pipe while leaving the anchor subassembly in its anchored position.

The anchor sub-assembly includes means, forming part of the releasable connection to the locator sub-assembly, which is engageable by a suitable fishing tool for releasing the anchor sub-assembly from anchoring engagement with the well pipe so that it also may be withdrawn from the well when desired.

With the arrangement in accordance with this invention only the anchor sub-assembly will be left in the well pipe during production. The cost of the tools for equipping a 'ice well is thus greatly reduced as compared with more conventional systems, such as described above, and flow restrictions will be reduced to minimal proportions.

Other and more specific objects and advantages of this invention will be come more readily apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing which illustrates useful embodiments in accordance with this invention.

In the drawing:

FIGS. 1A and 13, together, comprise a longitudinal, partly sectional view of an anchor assemblage in accordance with this invention disposed in a well tubing, the parts being shown in the positions occupied before the anchor elements are actuated but after positioning by the locator sub-assembly;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal, partly sectional View showing the anchor sub-assembly actuated and the locator subassembly in process of being removed;

FIG. 3 is a view generally similar to FIG. 2 showing the anchor sub-assembly in process of being retrieved;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is a longitudinal, partly sectional view of a modification of the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 1A and 1B, the assemblage includes a tubular body, designated generally by the letter B, connectible by its opposite ends between adjacent sections of a tubing string T to form a part thereof. In the embodiment, as illustrated, body B comprises a tubular locator nipple 10, the lower end of which is threadedly connected to the upper end of a landing nipple 11, the free ends of the nipples are provided with threaded pins 10a and 1012, respectively, for connecting them into the tubing string.

The anchor structure comprises an upper locator subassembly, designated generally by the letter L, a lower anchor sub-assembly, designated generally by the letter A, and a connector sub-assembly, designated generally by the letter C, releasably connecting sub-assemblies A and L to each other.

A tubular mandrel 12 extends axially through the bore of body B and forms a common support for the several sub-assemblies. The upper end of mandrel 12 is threadedly connected to a fishing neck 13 connectible at its upper end to a generally conventional string of Wire line tools W, which will ordinarily include a set of jars (not shown), for performing the various manipulations required for operation of the anchor assemblage as will appear subsequently.

Locator sub-assembly L includes a generally tubular locator body 15 having a bore 16 appreciably larger in diameter than mandrel 12, the annular space thus provided therebetween being occupied by a sleeve 17 through which mandrel 12 is slidable. The upper end of sleeve 17 has an enlarged head 18 engageable with an upper retainer ring 15a spaced above body 15. At a point spaced a short distance above its lower end sleeve 17 is provided with a section of external threads 19 receivable in a section of threads 20 in bore 16 at a point spaced from the lower end of body 15. The thread sections 19 and 20 permit sleeve 17 to be screwed tightly to body 15. Sleeve 17 has its lowermost end portion formed to define a downwardly and inwardly tapering smooth-surfaced tip 47 to define with the inner end surface of body 15 below threads 20 a downwardly diverging annular space 48.

Locator body 15 and retainer ring 15a are provided with a plurality of angularly spaced, registering slots 21 arranged to receive and retain the opposite ends of elongate locator keys 22 each of which is biased outwardly of the body by a spring 23- bearing against the exterior of sleeve 17. The exterior shape of keys 22 is made to cooperate with a locator recess 24 of substantially identical complementary shape provided in the bore Wall of locator nipple 10. This complementary arrangement is a well known indexing device by which tools may be landed at a particular location in a pipe string. The aforementioned U.S. Patent No. 2,673,614 illustrates such a locator device, the details of which do not form a part of this invention. As illustrated, keys 22 have a downwardly and outwardly bevelled upper end 25, a downwardly facing square shoulder 26 spaced from its lower end, the latter being formed below shoulder 26 with an outwardly extending enlargement 27. The upper end of the latter is defined by an unwardly and inwardly sloping end face 28 and its lower end by a downwardly and inwardly sloping end face 29.

As noted, the shape of locator recess 24 is of substantially identical complementary-shape to the exterior shape of keys 22 and accordingly has a downwardly and inwardly sloping upper end surface 30 matching end surface 25; an upwardly facing internal square shoulder 31 forming an abrupt stop for the locator subassembly upon engagement by key shoulder 26; and an annular groove 32 matching in shape enlargement 27 and its sloping end surfaces 28 and 29.

With the described construction of the locator subassembly and its cooperating locator nipple 10, it will be evident that when the assemblage is lowered to a point opposite recess 24, the locator keys will snap into the recess and further downward movement will be stopped abruptly by abutment of shoulder 26 with shoulder 31. The bevelled end surface 28 of enlargement 27 will cooperate with the related portion of groove 32 to force enlargement 27 inwardly when upward pull is applied to the locator sub-assembly to thereby compress springs 23, forcing the keys inwardly to allow the locator subassembly to be pulled upwardly out of locator nipple for purposes to be described hereinafter.

Anchor sub-assembly A includes a tubular anchor cage 35 having a bore 36 and provided with a plurality of angularly spaced windows 37 in each of which a locking dog 38 is mounted for radial movement into and out of an annular locking groove 39 in the bore wall of landing nipple 11 when the dogs have been positioned in registration with groove 39 which has bevelled end Walls 39a and 3912.

Beginning a short distance below windows 37, bore 36 is provided with three successively lower, axially spaced circumferential latching grooves 40, 41 and 42, each having bevelled end walls. The lower end of cage 35 below lowermost latching groove 42 is reduced in diameter externally to provide a seat 43 for seal packing 44 adapted to seal between the cage and the wall of nipple 11. The lower end of cags 35 is externally threaded at 45 for reception in a threaded socket of a tool part 46 which serves as a gland for retaining the packing and which may be a part of a tool which is to be anchored in the tubing.

The upper end of cage 35 has an internally threaded socket 50 adapted to receive the externally threaded pin 51 having an axial bore 52 carried by the lower end of a tubular extension 53. The upper end of extension 53 is formed with an internal downwardly and inwardly sloping shoulder 54 which forms a part of connector sub-assembly C. Other parts of the latter include a number of angularly spaced latch fingers 55 having hinge knobs 56 at their upper ends received in a hinge groove 57 formed in the bore wall of the lower end of body opposite tip 47. The lower ends of fingers 55 are thickened to form outwardly projecting latching heads 58 having downwardly sloping, upwardly facing shoulders 59 adapted to be engaged beneath shoulder 54 when urged outwardly by an annular enlargement 60 having a bevelled upper surface 61 formed on a thick walled section 62 defining the lower end portion of mandrel 12 and sometimes hereinafter referred to as a stinger or prong.

It will be evident from the foregoing description of the parts of connector sub-assembly C, that when mandrel 12 is in its fully inserted position, as seen in FIGS. 1A and 1B, enlargement 60 will be thrusting fingers 55 outwardly, placing latching shoulders 59 on latching heads 58 beneath shoulder 54, thereby maintaining a connection between locator sub-assembly L and anchor sub-assembly A. When stinger 62 is moved downwardly from the position shown in FIG. 1B for a distance placing bevelled surface 61 below latching heads 58, latching fingers 55 will be free to swing inwardly releasing the engagement between shoulders 59 and 54 whereby to permit the locator sub-assembly to be released from the anchor subassembly for withdrawal from the tubing, as will be described more fully hereinafter.

Slidably mounted in bore 36 of the anchor cage is a tubular latching sleeve 65, having an intermediate portion thickened outwardly to form an annular expander 66 having a downwardly and inwardly sloping expander surface 67 merging into a generally cylindrical recess 68 in the outer surface of sleeve 65. The lower end of recess 68 is defined by an outwardly extending lip 69. Recess 68, when disposed opposite locking dogs 38 will permit inward movement of the latter suflicient to clear locking groove 39, as seen in FIG. 1B. Downward movement of sleeve 65 relative to cage 35 will urge dogs 38 outwardly into locking groove 39 through coaction of expander surface 67 with dogs 38. When expander 66- is disposed behind dogs 38, the latter will be held in locked position in groove 39.

The bore of sleeve 65 is counterbored from its upper end to a point intermediate the ends of expander 66 to define an upwardly facing shoulder 70' which is engageable by the lower end 71 of stinger 62. The portion 72 of sleeve 65 above expander 66 is also reduced in thickmess to extend into the annular space between the exterior of stinger 62 and bore 52 of cage extension 53, when the parts are in the positions shown in FIG. 1B.

The lower end of sleeve 65 carries a collet which is split longitudinally at a plurality of angularly spaced points to form a plurality of resilient detents or fingers 73, the lower ends of which are formed with outwardly projecting lips 74 adapted to be received in latching engagement in the several latching grooves 40, 41 and 42, during the operation of the device to be described subsequently.

When the anchor assemblage is initially inserted in the tubing, one or more shear screws 75 will be mounted in body 15 to extend radially through sleeve 17 and mandrel 12 to initially hold the anchor sub-assembly in the unactuated position illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B.

OPERATION In operation of the above described device, tubing T will be equipped with one or more of the bodies B located at different elevations depending upon where it may be desired to land tools of the general type previously mentioned. As is common practice, it will be understood that the several locator nipples 10 will usually be provided with locator recesses 24 of varying dimensions to enable indexing of the tools at a desired location by the employment of a locator sub-assembly of appropriate configuration to match that of the landing recess. The tool assemblage having mandrel 12 connected to fishing neck 13 and the latter, in turn, suspended from a string of wire line tools will be run into the well tubing. The wire line tools will usually include suitable jar elements (not shown) by which appropriate jarring blows may be applied to the tool string when required in the course of operation.

As indicated previously, the parts of the assemblage are initially in the positions illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B. As the assemblage is lowered through tubing T and locator sub-assembly L comes opposite recess 24 in locator landing nipple 10, springs 23' will urge keys 22 outwardly, causing shoulders 26 to engage on shoulders 31, stopping further downward movement of the assemblage, the parts of the locator sub-assembly then occupying the positions illustrated in FIG. 1A.

At this stage, it will be understood that the tool dimensions will have been selected and arranged so that locking dogs 38 will be disposed opposite locking grooves 39 in the anchor landing nipple 11. When the locator subassembly L has been landed, the wire line jars will be operated to apply downwardly directed jarring blows to mandrel 12 sutlicient to break shear screws 75, thereby releasing the mandrel for downward movement relative to the connector sub-assembly C, and the anchor subassembly A. The downward movement of mandrel 12, eflected by the jarring blow, will cause stinger 62, acting on shoulder 70, to drive expander sleeve 65 downwardly, rn'oving expander 66 behind dogs 38 and pushing the latter outwardly into locking groove 39, as illustrated in FIG. 2. This downward movement of expander sleeve 65 will force lips 74 of collet fingers 73 out of uppermost groove 40 into the next lower latching groove 41, which will be spaced sufiiciently below latching groove 40 to position expander 66 behind dogs 38, again as shown in FIG. 2.

Also, the downward movement of stinger "62 relative to cage 35 and its extension 53 will move enlargement 60 below latches 58, allowing the latter to swing inwardly and clear shoulder 54. This will result in the release of any further connection between the locator sub-assembly and the anchor sub-assembly. Upward pull may now be applied to the wire line string causing mandrel 12 to be pulled upwardly out of extension 53 and causing shoulder 61 on enlargement 60 to engage beneath latches 55, enabling upward pull to be applied to the locator subassembly. This upward pull will be applied through the coaction of the bevelled ends of enlargements 27 with bevelled end walls 28 of groove 32 to force enlargements 27 out of groove 32, urging the keys 22 inwardly against the force of springs 23 sufliciently to allow the entire locator sub-assembly to be pulled out of locator landing nipple 10, and thence upwardly through the tubing string to the surface. This movement isillustrated, in part, in FIG. 2, which also shows latching sleeve 65 in holding position against dogs 38 with collet fingers 73 latched into groove 41, thereby anchoring the tools supported by the anchor sub-assembly in the desired position.

To withdraw the anchor sub-assembly, the wire line string carrying a catcher head 80 will be run back into the tubing to insert a releasing prong 8011 into the bore of expander sleeve 65, as seen in FIG. 3, until lower end 71a of the releasing prong again contacts shoulder 70 of the latching sleeve. The wire line operating string will be equipped with catcher head or spear 80 screwed to the upper end of prong 80a. Spear 80 will include latching fingers 81 having shouldered heads 82 disposed to engage beneath shoulder 54 on extension 53 when upward pull is to be applied to the anchor sub-assembly.

With the lower end 71a of the releasing prong now bearing against shoulder 70, a downward jarring blow through the wire line string will drive sleeve 65 downwardly sufliciently to move expander 66 below dogs 38, placing the relatively thin sections 72 of the upper end of the latching sleeve behind dogs 38, thereby permitting the latter to move inwardly out of locking recess 39. Downward movement of the latching sleeve to thus release dogs 38 will force collet fingers 73 out of latching groove 41 and move them downwardly until they engage in lowermost latching groove 42, thereby holding the latching sleeve in the dog-releasing position. Upward pull may now be applied through the wire line string to catcher head 80 and this upward movement will actuate spear 80 to cause latching heads 82 to engage beneath shoulder 54, thereby again securing the running string to the anchor sub-assembly and permitting the latter to be pulled out of the tubing in response to further upward pull applied to the wire line string.

FIG. 6 illustrates a modification of the device hereinbefore described, in which the locator sub-assembly is dispensed with and only the anchor sub-assembly is to be positioned in the tubing. This situation arises where it is desired to anchor a tool at only one location in the well bore. In this modification, anchor sub-assembly A is substantially identical with that previously described; instead, however, of the latching type connector sub-assembly previously employed, extension 53 is secured directly to a mandrel 112 by means of shear pins 75. The cage 35 is provided at the base of windows 37 with an outwardly projecting lip 76 adapted to engage the lower end wall 39a of recess 39 forming what is termed in the art a no go shoulder which limits downward movement of the anchor assembly to a position placing locking dogs 38 opposite groove 39 and preventing further downward movement of the locking dogs on cage 35 relative to landing nipple 11. In this modification, therefore, landing nipple 11 also functions as the locator nipple. The portion of landing nipple below recess 39 is made to slightly greater thickness than that above the recess, thus causing end wall 39a to form an inwardly extending projection for abutting engagement by lip 76.

To advance the dogs into locking engagement in groove 39, downward jarring through the wire line string will be applied to break shear pin 75, thereby driving latching sleeve 65 downwardly by reason of the engagement of lower end 71 of the stinger on shoulder 70 on the latching sleeve and moving collet fingers 73 out of latching recess 40 into latching recess 41, whereupon the anchor sub-assembly will assume the anchored position as illustrated in FIG. 2.

Removal of the anchor sub-assembly will be effected much the same way as previously described, except the wire line string will be equipped with a suitable catcher device of well-known construction, such as catcher head 80, adapted to engage shoulder 54 of cage extension 53 after prong 80a has jarred the expander sleeve downwardly a sufficient distance to release dogs 38 and bring collet fingers 73 into engagement with latching groove 42, also as previously described.

It will be understood that various other alterations and modifications may be made in the details of the illustrative embodiments within the scope of the appended claims but without departing from the spirit of this invention.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A device for releasably anchoring a well tool at a selected level within a well pipe, comprising:

(a) a support member;

(b) a locator sub-assembly mounted on the support member for positioning the device at a selected level in the Well pipe;

(0) an anchor sub-assembly mounted on the support member below the locator sub-assembly for anchoring the well tool in the well pipe at said selected level, said anchor sub-assembly comprising:

(i) a tubular cage carrying anchor elements radially movable into and out of engaging positions relative to an opposed locking recess in the well pipe;

(ii) an expander sleeve axially movable in the bore of the cage between positions actuating and releasing said anchor element; and

(iii) cooperating latch means on said sleeve and said cage for holding said sleeve in each of said positions;

(d) connector means releasably connecting the anchor subassembly to the locator sub-assembly; and

(e) means operable in response to longitudinal movement of the support member relative to said anchor sub-assembly to actuate the latter while simultaneous releasing said connector means whereby to 7 permit Withdrawal of said locator sub-assembly said well pipe independently of said anchor sub-assembly.

2. The device according to claim 1, wherein said cooperating latch means comprises:

(a) a plurality of angularly spaced detents carried by the lower end of said sleeve; and

(b) a plurality of axially spaced annular detent-receiving recesses in the opposed bore wall of said cage.

3. The device according to claim 2, wherein said detentreceiving recesses are three in number, and spaced to hold said sleeve in a first release position, an actuating position, and a second release position.

4. A device for releasably anchoring a well tool at a selected level within a well pipe comprising;

(a) a support member;

(b) a locator sub-assembly mounted on the support member for positioning the device at a selected level in the well pipe;

(c) an anchor sub-assembly mounted on the support member below the locator sub-assembly for anchoring the well tool in the well pipe at said selected level;

(d) connector means releasably connecting the anchor sub-assembly to the locator sub-assembly and including:

(i) radially movable latch elements extending between the locator sub-assembly and a latchengaging part on said anchor sub-assembly; and

(ii) an annular enlargement on said support member longitudinally movable thereby between latch-holding and latch-releasing positions with respect to said latch-engaging part; and

(e) means operable in response to longitudinal movements of the support member relative to said anchor sub-assembly to actuate the latter while simultaneously releasing said connector means whereby to permit withdrawal of said locator sub-assembly from said well pipe independently of said anchor subassembly.

5. The device according to claim 4, including frangible means extending between said support member and a part of said locator sub-assembly to initially hold said support member against downward movement relative to said anchor sub-assembly.

6. The device according to claim 2, including an upwardly facing internal shoulder in the bore of said sleeve engageable by downward movement of said support member to move said sleeve between said positions.

7. In combination with a tubular landing section adapted to form a part of a well pipe, said landing section having in the bore wall thereof an annular upper locator recess and a lower annular anchor groove, a well tool anchoring device insertible-through the well pipe into said landing section including:

(a) a tubular support member;

(b) a locator sub-assembly mounted on the support member and carrying means projectible into said locator recess to position the anchoring device at a selected level in the well pipe;

(c) an anchor sub-assembly mounted on the support member below the locator sub-assembly and carrying radially expansible anchor elements projectible into said anchor groove for releasably anchoring the device to the landing section; said projectible means and said expansible anchor elements being so spaced that when said projectible means are in said locator recess, said anchor elements are positioned opposite said anchor groove;

(d) connector means releasably connecting the anchor sub-assembly to the locator sub-assembly; and

(e) means operable in response to longitudinal movement of said support member relative to said anchor sub-assembly to project said anchor elements into said anchor groove while simultaneously releasing said connector means whereby to permit withdrawal of said locator sub-assembly from said well pipe independently of said anchor sub-assembly.

8. In combination with a tubular landing section adapted to form a part of a well pipe and having an annular anchor groove in the bore well thereof, a well tool anchoring device insertible through the Well pipe into said landing section including:

(a) a tubular support member;

(b) an anchor sub-assembly mounted on the support member including a tubular cage carrying radially expansible anchor elements projectible by relative axial movement of said support member into said anchor groove;

(c) stop means carried by said sub-assembly for landing the sub-assembly in said landing section at a first position at which said anchor elements are in registration with said anchor groove;

(d) means initially securing said support member to said cage in non-projecting relation to said anchor elements and releasable by downward force on the support member to permit downward movement of the latter to a second anchor-element projecting position; and

(e) cooperating latch means on said support member and said cage for holding said support member in each of said positions.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,698,056 12/ 1954 Marshall et al. l66-123 2,816,613 12/1957 Minter et al. l66214 2,953,206 9/1960 Brown 166l25 2,976,931 3/1961 Dafiin 166217 X 2,989,122 6/1961 Kenneday 166-l23 X 3,074,485 1/1963 McGowen 166-217 3,207,222 9/1965 Tamplbn 166l23 X 3,319,719 5/1967 Decuir 166217 3,446,281 5/1969 Watkins 166-214 CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner I. A. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 166217

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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/214, 166/217
International ClassificationE21B23/00, E21B23/02
Cooperative ClassificationE21B23/02
European ClassificationE21B23/02