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Publication numberUS3552486 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 5, 1971
Filing dateNov 3, 1969
Priority dateNov 3, 1969
Publication numberUS 3552486 A, US 3552486A, US-A-3552486, US3552486 A, US3552486A
InventorsBurns Erwin, Jones Leslie M
Original AssigneeBurns Erwin, Burns Tool Co, Jones Leslie M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Valve controlled fluid conducting well tool
US 3552486 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] 4Inventors Erwin Burns Los Angeles and Leslie M., Jones, Buena Park, Calif. (both c/o Burns Tool Company, 8346 Salt Lake Ave., Bell, Calif. 90201 ll1l3,552,486

3,012,611 12/1961 Haines Primary Examiner-James A. Leppink Attorney-Georges A. Maxwell ABSTRACT: A rotary operable shutoff valve means for use in connection and combination with fluid-conducting well tools comprising a cylindrical body with a large upstream Vbore and a small downstream bore, a piston with a large upstream end engaged in the upstream bore and a small downstream end engaged in the downstream bore, and keyed in the body for axial movement, an axial-extending port in the piston radially offset from Ithe axis of the piston, a fluid-conducting stem with an upstrearln end rotatably engaged in the downstream bore, and having an axially extending port offset from the axis of the piston and shiftable into and out'of register with the port in the piston upon rotation of the stem relative to the body, said piston and stem having flat, opposing end surfaces, sealing means in said end surface of the piston about the port therein and engageable on said end surface of the stem, the cross-sectional area of the upstream end of the piston being greater than the downstream end thereof whereby fluid pressure urges the piston and sealing means into tight pressure-sealing engagement with the stem when the ports are out of register.

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SHEU 1 UF 2 PATENTUJAN 519W y PATENTEUJAN 5mn SHEET 2 0F 2 6/ on\\\\\\ 6 .0 3 ,e 69 a a 5 www@ m ,U2 00 3 9 a M -..g f a n 5 IJ... 7 ,.Tki, y (.6. 9 l ./#g w 7 I (IIL L VALVE CONTROLLED FLUID CONDCTING WELL TOOL ln the course of establishing, bringing into production, and servicing oil wells, there are a great number of special operations that must be performed. The great majority of such operations require the employment of `special tools and the overwhelming majority of such tools include means for controlling the flow of fluids therethrough. A great number of well-servicing operations are not dependent upon a single special tool, but are frequently dependent upon and require the employment of a number .of special pieces of equipment and devices arranged in a yparticular relationship to obtain the sought-after end results.

In the art of washing, gravel packing, and cementing wells, the tools and apparatus employed include tools or devices such as packers, port collars, bypass and bridging tools and the like, the relationship and function of which is adapted to conduct fluids, such as circulating mud,`slurries of gravel or cement and the like, downwardly through a run-in string of tubing, extending through a well casing, to the lower portion of the well structure and to circulate the fluid into the annulus between the well bore andthe casing, orga liner at the lower end thereof, to flush and clean the well structure, pack a predetermined portion or section of the annulus with gravel or to fill a predetermined portion or section of the annulus with cement.

In the course of washing, gravel packing and/or cementing a well, it is frequently necessary that packers be provided between the well casing and the well bore to define the area of the well to be acted upon or treated.- In order to be sure that such packers effect the desired packing or seal, it is common practice to test the packers by subjecting them to high fluid pressures, before the washing, gravel packing or cementing operation is carried out. Such testing is normally carried out by running in special testing tools and equipment which include port collar operating means, fluid control valving means and the like. The above practice which requires the running in and pulling of special testing equipment requires considerable time and expense.

It has been determined that, but for the provision and availability of a suitable valving device or tool that could be related to certain existing washing, gravel packing and cementing tools, testing of well packers and the like, preparatory to washing, gravel packing or cementing well structures, could be effectively performed with and by those washing, gravel packing and/or cementing tools and that the practice of making special runs of testing equipment into the wells could be eliminated. Further, it was determined that with the provision of such a suitable valving device or tool, the effectiveness of the washing, gravel packing and/or cementing tools could be greatly enhanced.

lt was further determined that a valving device or tool for the purpose set forth above should be capable of being operated by rotation of the run-in string and not be dependent upon or affected by axial movement of the string. Still further, it was determined that such a valving device or tool should be fluid pressure actuated so that it can b'e locked in its closed position by the application of fluid pressure thereon and such that it can be moved from its closed position to its open position when it is not acted upon by fluid pressure, that is, it is such that upon the release of fluid pressure thereon, it can be operated from its closed to its open position.

An object of our invention is to provide a novel rotary operated valving tool with fluid pressure actuated sealing and locking means and a valving tool that can be advantageously engaged with and related to fluid bypass type washing, gravel packing and cementing tools to control the flow of fluids therethrough, whereby the assemblies or combinations are capable of performing and carrying out fluid pressure testing operations in the well structures in which they are engaged and such that they can more effectively and dependably per form washing, gravel packing and/or cementing operations.

It is an object of our invention to .provide a novel bypass type well-washing tool assembly including a novel rotary operated shutoff valve whereby the bypassing of fluid can be effectively shut off, and said tool can be effectively employed to direct fluid into a well structure under high pressure for the purpose of testing the seals established by packers and the like in the well structure. v

Still another object of our inventionis to provide a tool as sembly of the character referred to which is such that it can be effectively employed to actuate and set fluid pressure actuated seals and packers in well structures, such as inflatable packers provided to seal between a well casing and its related well bore.

It is a further object of our invention to provide a bypass type gravel packing or cementing tool with novel rotary operated valving means to selectively shutoff the bypass through the tool whereby the tool can be employed to effect high pressure testing of packers and the like in a related well structure; whereby the bypass means can be closed during gravel packing and/or cementing operations to more effectively gravel pack or cement a well and which is such that the bypass can be opened to effect free running in and free and dry pulling of the tool from the well structure.

Yet another object of our invention is to provide a novel valving device or tool of the general character referred to which is such that it can be effectively related to the lower open end of any fluid-conducting well tool with lateral fluidconducting parts, or the like, to selectively open and close the lower end of the tool to the free flow of fluids therethrough, as desired or as circumstances require.

It is an object of our invention to provide a valving tool or structure of the character referred to which is simple, practical, easy and economical to manufacture, a structure which is rugged, and a structure which is easy to operate and highly effective and dependable in operation..

The foregoing and other objects and features of our invention will be fully understood and will be apparent from the following detailed description of typical preferred forms and applications of my invention through which description reference is made to the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal view of a portion of a well structure with my new well tool related thereto, portions of the structure being broken away and shown in detail to better illustrate the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a portion of our new construction and taken substantially as indicated by line 2-2 on FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of another portion of the construction and is taken substantially as indicated by line 3-3 on FIG. l;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken as indicated by line 4-4 on FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken as indicated by line 5-5 on FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken as indicated by line 6-6 on FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken as indicated by line 7-7 on FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged detailed sectional view of a portion of the structure shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged detailed sectional view of a portion of the construction shown in FIG. 8; and

FIG. 10 is a longitudinal sectional view of another form of our invention.

Referring to FIG. l of the drawings, we have shown a portion of a vertical well bore W, in a formation F, with a vertical casing structure C arranged therein and defining an annulus A.

The casing C is shown provided with a pair of vertically or longitudinally spaced inflatable packers P and P to seal the annulus A at the top and at the bottom of a predetermined section of the formation F through which the bore B extends.

Engaged in the casing below the uppermost packer P is a first port collar D, spaced below the port collar D, above the lowermost packer P is a second port collar D' and below said lowermost packer is a third port collar D2. The port collars D, D' and D2 are alike and each is in the nature of a rotary sleeve valve device or means operable to selectively establish and shut off communication between the interior ofthe casing C and the annulus A.

ln practice, a multiplicity of longitudinally spaced or adjacent assemblies of packers and port collars can be engaged in the casing at and throughout desired longitudinal portions and/or sections ofthe casing.

The packers are provided to isolate and define sections of the annulus A so that the portions of the formation through which the defined sections of the bore B extend can be appropriately treated or worked upon. For example, it might be desired that a defined section of the annulus between adjacent packers be filled with cement so as to fix the casing in place in the bore, in which case the packers serve to contain a slurry of cement introduced in the defined section of the annulus.

On the other hand, the section of the formation may be a production zone and it is desired that the defined portion of thc annulus be packed with gravel. ln such a case, the portion of the casing between the packers might be a perforated liner or a section of casing which will be appropriately perforated subsequent to being packed in gravel. In such a case the packers serve to contain the gravel in the desired section of the annulus.

The port collars D, D and D2 are provided to facilitate establishing and shutting off of communication between the interior of the casing and the annulus A for the purpose of introducing fluid under pressure into the chambers, to test the effectiveness of the seals established by the packers and to introduce and/or circulate desired fluids into and through the annulus, as desired. v

The inflated packers employed can vary widely in form and construction and include, generally, an annular, sublike body section engaged in the casing string, a ring section 11 slidably engageable about the casing above the body section, an elongate, flexible, resilient sleeve 12 about the casing between the sections 11 andv 12, valving means 13 within the section 10 and communicating withV the interior of the casing and with the annulus between the sleeve 12 and casing. The valving means 13 is, basically, a check valve structure in a fluid passage communicating with the interior of the casing and the annulus within the sleeve 12 and is adapted to conduct fluid, under pressure, into the sleeve to effect its inflation. The introduction of such fluid is effected by means of a suitable fluid-conducting tool lowered into the casing.

The port collars C can vary widely in form and construction and each is shown as including a cylindrical, tubular, sublike or lnipplelike body l5 engaged in the casing. The body is provided with a pair of circumferentially spaced radial ports 16. A valve sleeve 17 with ports 18 is rotatably carried in the body and is adapted to be rotated so as to shift the ports 16 and 18 into and out of register to make and break communication between the annulus A and the interior of the casing. The valve sleeve is provided with one or more radially inwardly opening, longitudinally extending slots 19, adapted to cooperatively accommodate an operating key, or the like, carried by a tool, on a run-in string lowered into the casing and so that when the key is engaged in a slot, the sleeve can be turned zo open or close the port collar by rotation of the run-in string.

The port collars C can further include suitable sealing means to seal about the ports therein and can include suitable stop fluid-conducting to stop the rotation of the sleeve in predetermined open and closed positions.

ln practice, when the structure set forth above is arranged in and is to be set in the well, a special fluid-conducting packer inflating or setting tool is lowered into the casing and fluid is introduced into the packers, one at a time, to inflate them. After the packers are set, the setting tool is pulled from the well and another, fluid-conducting testing tool with a port collar operating key, or the like, is lowered into the casing to effect the introducing of fluids under high pressure into the lwell structure to test the packers.

Subsequent to testing the packers, the testing tool is pulled and an appropriate fluid conducting gravel packing, cementing or washing tool, with a port collar operating key, or the like, related thereto is lowered into the well to effect opening and clotting ofthe port collars and the conducting ol` gravel or cement slurries or circulating fluids into and/or through the annulus A, above, below and/or between thc packers, as desired or as circumstances require.

The particular well structure illustrated and described in the foregoing is illustrative of one form of well structure with which run-in and/or operating tools embodying the present invention, can be advantageously related.

ln FIGS. l through 9 of the drawings we have illustrated a novel fluid conducting bypass type, valve controlled washing tool T embodying the present invention. ln FIG. l of the drawings, the tool T is shown arranged in the well structure described in the foregoing.

The tool T is engaged on the lower end of an elongate string of fluid conducting drill pipe S, which enters the casing at the top of the well and extends longitudinally downwardly therethrough, in accordance with old and established practice.

The tool T includes, generally, an upper washer' section or subassembly U, an intermediate valve section or means V and a lower tail section or assembly L.

The upper washer section U, the details of which are shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5 of the drawings, includes an elongate, tu bular, fluid-conducting body 20 with acentral, longitudinal flow passage 2l with upper and lower open ends. The upper and lower terminal end portions of the body are externally threaded as at 22 and 23. The upper threaded end 22 is engaged in and connects the upper end of the body with the lower end of the string S. The lower threaded end 23 is threadedly engaged in the upper end of the central valve scction V, as will hereinafter be described.

The major exterior diameter of the string S and thc tool T is less than the interior diameter of the casing and the tools or devices engaged therein (such as the packer P and port collars D) and cooperate therewith to define an inner fluid-conducting annulus A'.

The body 20 is provided with and carries upper and lower sealing means 24 and 25 to seal between the body of the tool and the interior of the casing and to seal off the upper and lower ends ofa predetermined section 26 ofthe annulus A.

The sealing means 24 and 25 include a pair of axially spaced, radially outwardly and downwardly projecting, annular, rubber-sealing cups 27 suitably mounted on and about the exterior of the body, in spaced relationship from the upper end thereof, and a pair of axially spaced, radially outwardly and upwardly projecting annular, rubber-sealing cups 28 suitably mounted on and about the exterior of the body 20, in spaced relationship below the cups 27.

The inner portions of the cups, adjacent the exterior of the body, are secured to the body in tight sealing engagement therewith and outer portions of the cups establish sliding scaling engagement with the interior of the casing. lt will be apparent that the cups, being inclined, as illustrated, are lluid pressure actuated and are such that the upper cups effectively stop and prevent the upward flow of fluid from the defined section 26 of the annulus A' and the lower cups effectively stop and prevent the downward flow of fluid from within the section 26 of the annulus A'.

In addition to the above, the body 20 is provided with one or more (preferably two, diametrically opposite) radial outlet ports 29 between the sealing means 24 and 25 and establishing communication between the flow passage 2l and the section 26 of the annulus A'. The ports 29 are preferably arranged in close proximity to the lower sealing means 25 so that communication is established between the flow passage 2l and the lower end of the section 26 of the annulus A. Such positioning of the ports permits the ports to act as drain openings for the defined section 26 of the annulus, under certain circumstances, and prevents an extensive portion of' the defined sec tion 26 of the annulus, below the ports, from becoming packed with sand, or the like.

ln addition to the above, the upper section U of the tool T is provided with fluid bypass means 30 to conduct fluid in the annulus A', above and below the sealing means 24 and 25 and the sealed off or defined section 26 of the annulus A', arranged or by the section 26 of the annulus A.

The bypass means 30 is necessary or required so that when and as the tool T is lowered into the well structure, fluid in the casing and the annulus A, below the sealing means, can flow upwardly by the sealing means and so that when the tool T is pulled or moved upwardly in the casing, the fluid in the casing and annulus A' above the sealing means is free to flow downwardly by the sealing means and so that fluid in the casing need not be displaced through and from the well structure as the tool F is run into and pulled from' the well structure.

The bypass means 30 that we provide includes an upper lateral flow port 31 in the body 20, above the upper sealing means 24, a lower lateral flow port 32 in the body below the lower sealing means.25 and a longitudinally extending fluid duct 33 in the body and extending between and connecting with the ports 31 and 32. The duct 33 is established by an elongate flow tube 34 fixed in the flow passage 2l of the body by welding. The tube 34 has suitably sealed upper and lower ends and is providedwith upper and lower lateral ports 3l and 32' connecting with the ports 3l and 32, as clearly illustrated in the drawings.'

The structure thus far described can vary widely in details of construction and is typical of that form of tool commonly referred to as a bypass type washing tool.l Such typical bypass type washing tools are employed to wash or flush gravel packings about well liners and other like or similar well servicing operations. Such tools are not effective to test packers or to perform other operations in well structures where high fluid pressures must be establishedl between the sealing-means of the tools, due tothe fact that the tools are open at both ends and the flow ports 29 therein, between the sealing means, are only effective to bypass or bleed out a portion of the fluid conducted by and through the tool. y

To employ the upper section U the tool T for high-pressure operations, in addition to those lower-pressure operations normally performed by bypass type washing tools, it is necessary that suitable valving means be provided, below the flow ports 29 therein, to close the lower ends of the flow passage and to thereby direct all fluids downwardly through the string S and tool section U, outwardly through` the ports 29 and into vthe defined section 26 of the annulus A'.

The intermediate valve section V that we provide is adopted to be selectively operated to open and close and to thereby selectively establish and stop the downward flow of fluid in the tool T, below the flow ports 29 and to thereby effectively direct all fluid flow downwardly through the string and into the section U, laterally outwardly through the ports 29, into the defined section 26 of the annulustA' for effecting operations in the well requiring the establishing ofl high fluid pressure in a defined section of the well structure.

The valve means V is a subassembly in the nature of a separate valving tool and is such that when it is related to or with the section U or other similar bypass type well tool, a new and novel well-servicing tool, suitable for low and/or highpressure well-servicing operations, is provided.

The valving means V of the tool that we provide includes an elongate, cylindrical, fluid-conducting body or barrel 40 cornprising upper and lower sections 41 and 42, an elongate fluideonducting ported stem section 60 rotatably carried by the barrel 40 and a fluid pressure actuated piston seal assembly 80 within the body and engagcable with the rotatable stem section.

The lower section 42 of the barrel has a central bore 43 entering its upper end, the lower portion of which is threaded as at 44, a first counterbore 45 continuing downwardly from the lower threaded end of the bore 43 and terminating at a flat bottom to define an annular upwardly. disposed first stop shoulder 46; a second counterbore 47 continuing downwardly from the counterbore 45 and the shoulder 46 and terminating at a flat bottom or second stop shoulder 48 and a central opening 49 extending downwardly from the bottom 48.

The upper section 4l of the barrel is an elongate cylindrical part with an enlarged upper portion 50 equal in diametric extentl with the lower section 42 and' defining an annular, downwardly disposed stop shoulder 5l, a lower portion S2 corresponding in diametric and longitudinal extent with the bore 43 in the lower section and is provided with thread 53 about its lower portion.

The lower portion of the section 41 is slidably and rotatably engaged in the bore 43, with the threads 44 and 53 cooperatively engaged and with the shoulder 5l stopped on the upper end of the lower section 42.

The section 41 has a central flow passage 54, the upper end of which is threaded as at 53 to cooperatively receive the lower threaded end 23 of the body 20 of the upper section U of the tool and which opens downwardly and cooperates with the lower end of the section 4l to define a flat downwardly disposed annular stop shoulder 56.

In the preferred carrying out of the invention, the lower portion 52 is provided with an annular radially outwardly opening groove 57 above the threads 53 and in which an O-ring seal 58 is engaged. The seal 58 engages the bore 43 to effect a seal between the sections 40 and 41.

ln the preferred carrying out of the invention, a suitable releasable locking device 59 is provided to lock the sections 4l and 42 against relative rotation. The means 59 can include a radially outwardly opening slot in the exterior of and bridging the line of joinder between the upper end of section 42 and the shoulder 51 of the section 4l and a lock key arranged in the slot and retained therein by a screw fastener, as illustrated in dotted lines in FIG. 2 ofthe drawings.

The elongate fluid-conducting ported stem section 60 is a -fabricated section having an elongate cylindrical upper portion 61 corresponding in diametric extent with the lower or counterbore 47 in the barrel. The portion 61 has a flat horizontal top surface 62 and a flat downwardly disposed bottom 63. The portion 61 is less in longitudinal or vertical extent than the second counterbore 47 and is slidably engaged therein with its lower end or bottom 63 in flat bearing engagement on the stop shoulder 48 of the barrel and with its top surface spaced below the upper end of the second counterbore 47 and/or stop shoulder 46 of the barrel.

The stem section 60 is further characterized by an elongate cylindrical lower portion 64 concentric with and depending from the upper portion and through the opening 49 in the lower end of the barrel. The lower end of the portion 64 is externally threaded as at 65 and is adaptedto engage the tailpiece L of the tool T.

The stern section 60 is further characterized by a central longitudinal flow passage 66 which enters the lower end of its lower portion and terminates in its upper portion and a vertically extending port 67 entering the top surface 62 and communicating with the upper end of the flow passage 66. The port 67 is radially offset from and parallel with the central longitudinal axis of the flow passage 66 and so that the edge or side of the port nearest the central axis of the section 60 is spaced a short predetermined distance radially outwardly from said axis, as clearly illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6 and 8 of the drawings.

In practice, to establish the above-noted relationship of the flow passage 66 and port 67 and to obtain desired communication therebetween, the section 60 is fabricated of two parts, there being a lower primary part which includes the lower portion of the upper portion 61, the lower portion 64 and in and through which the flow passage 66 extends, and a flat, disclike upper cap section in which the port 67 is established and which defines the top surface 62 of the section 60 and which is fixed to the upper end of the lower section by welding. The end of one of the sections going to make up the section 60 and which opposes the other of said section is provided with an enlarged bore which bore establishes a chamber within the section 60 to effect free communication between the port 67 and flow passage 66. ln the case illustrated we have shown the section in which the flow passage extends provided with enlarged bore in its upper end, which bore defines a chamber 68 within the section 60 in accordance with the above.

lt will be apparent that, in practice, the manner in which desired and free communication between the port 67 and flow passage 66 can be established can be effected in a number of ways without departing from the spirit of this invention and the structure illustrated and described above is only illustrative of one preferred carrying out of the invention.

ln addition to the above, the construction includes sealing means to seal between the section 60 and the bore 47 barrel and index or stop means to limit and stop rotation of the stem section 60 relative to the barrel through 180 of rotation and from a normal or open position to an actuated or closed position.

The sealing means includes an annular, radially outwardly opening groove 69 in the upper portion of the section 60 and an O-ring 70 in the groove and engaging the bore 47 in the barrel.

The index or stop means includes a radially outwardly opening circumferentially extending groove 7l about a predetermined portion of the exterior of the upper portion of the section 60 and stop pin or lug 72 carried by the barrel to project radially inwardly into the second counterbore of the barrel and into sliding bearing engagement in the groove 71.

The groove 7l is spaced above the bottom 63 of the upper portion of the section 60 so that the bearing engagement of the said upper portion of the section 60 on the shoulder 48 in the barrel and which imparts stability to the construction and prevents misalignment of the section 60 in the barrel is not adversely affected. Further, the lug 72 is preferably welded and sealed in fixed relationship with the barrel. In accordance with the above, the lower end of the upper portion of the section 60 is provided with a vertical notch 73 communicating with one end of the groove 7l and the lower end of said upper portion and through which the lug 72 can move to effect assembly of the construction.

The fluid pressure actuated piston seal assembly 80 includes an elongate cylindrical pistonlike body 81 with flat axially disposed upper and lower ends 82 and 83 engaged in the barrel between the top surface 62 of the stem section 60 and the downwardly disposed stop shoulder 56 in the barrel and defined by the lower end of the top section 41 of the barrel. The piston has an upper portion substantially equal in diametric and vertical or axial extent with the first counterbore 45 in the barrel and a smaller or reduced lower portion substantially equal in diametric extent with the second counterbore 47 in the barrel and substantially equal in axial extent with the distances between the top surface 62 of the stem section and the upper end of the said counterbore 47 or the shoulder 46 in the barrel.

The axial extent of the piston is slightly less than the distance between the top surface 62 of the stem section and the bottom or stop shoulder 56 on the upper section of the barrel so that the piston is capable of limited axial movement in the barrel and desired operating or running clearance is provided between the bottom end or surface 83 of the piston and the top surface stem section 60.

The upper portion of the piston is provided with a radially outwardly and downwardly opening, longitudinally extending groove 84 and the barrel 40 carries a radially inwardly projecting stop lug 85 to project inwardly from the first counterbore and into sliding engagement in the groove 84. The relationship of the groove 84 and pin 8S prevents relative rotation between the piston and the barrel and yet allows for relative axial movement of said parts.

The piston 81 is provided with a radially outwardly opening annular groove 86 above the' groove 84 and in which an O-ring seal 87 is engaged to seal between the piston and the first counterbore 45 and is provided with an annular radially outwardly opening groove 86' in its lower portion and in which an O-ring seal 87' is engaged to seal between the piston and the second counterbore 47.

The piston is provided with an axially extending port 88 entering its bottom surface 83, which port is equal in diametric extent with the port 67 in the stem 60 and is on an axis radially offset from the central axis of the construction the same distance as is the port 67. The port 88 is so arranged that when the stem is rotated to its normal or open position and is stopped in that position by the index or stop means comprising the groove 84 and lug 85, the ports 67 and 88 are in axial alignment and so that when the stem is rotated l to its actuated or closed position and is stopped by said stop means, thc ports 67 and 88 are out of alignment as clearly illustrated in the drawings.

ln the ease illustrated and so as to reduce the weight of the piston, the upper end of the piston is provided with a'n upwardly opening socket 89 communicating with the flow passage 54 in the upper section 4l of the barrel and with which the port 88 in the piston communicates.

ln addition to the above the piston seal assembly includes a downwardly opening socket 90 entering the bottom surface 83 of the piston, concentric and communicating with the port 86 and a seal assembly 91 engaged in the socket 90.

The seal assembly 91 includes an annular sleeve 92 corresponding in outside diameter with the diameter of the socket 90 and in inside diameter with the port 88. The sleeve 92 is slightly less in axial extent than the depth of the socket 90 and has a flat upper end 93 that establishes flat stopped engagement on the bottom of the socket. The lower end 94 of the sleeve is flat, disposed downwardly, and is provided with a downwardly projecting annular stop flange or skirt 9S with a flat downwardly disposed bottom edge 96 about its inner periphery. The skirt or stop flange 95 is of sufficient axial extent so that the edge 96 projects below the bottom surface 83 of the piston a short distance, for example, one or two onethousandths of an inch and so that the vedge 96 normally establishes sliding, sealing metal-to-metal engagement and contact on the top surface 62 of the stem section 60 and limited running clearance is maintained between the opposing surfaces 62 and 83.

The outer peripheral side of the skirt 95 and the right angu' larly related bottom end 94 of the sleeve cooperate to define a downwardly and radially outwardly opening annular notch in which an annular body or sealing ring 97 is suitably fixed or bonded as by vulcanizing. The ring 97 is preferably rectangular in cross section, is equal in outside diamctric extent and so that its upper portion is freely accepted in the lower end of the socket and is slightly greater in vertical or axial extent than the skirt 95 and so that its lower portion normally projects downwardly below the bottom edge 96 of the skirt, as clearly illustrated in FIG, 9 of the drawings.

lt will be apparent that the upper portion of the ring 97 is held captive in the annular groove defined by the lower end of the socket 90 and the notch defined by the bottom end of the` sleeve and the skirt 95.

The cross-sectional extent of that portion of the ring 97 which projects downwardly from or beyond the bottom edge 96 of the skirt 95 is substantially equal to the extent to which the rubber ring with flow radially outwardly between the opposing surfaces 83 and 62 without tearing when thc edge 96 of the skirt is urged into tight bearing engagement on the surface 62.

With such a relationship of parts, the ring is compressed to a substantially solid nonyielding state and so that a substantially solid seal is established. Further, the skirt is such that it serves as a backup member for the ring, controlling the direction in which the rubber flows and prevents the rubber from flowing in such a manner as to be sheared and gaulcd upon relative movement of the ring and the surface 62.

With the structure set forth above, it will be apparent when the structure is in its normal, open position and the ports 67 and 88 are in alignment, fluid is free to flow axially downwardly through the tool. When the structure is in its actuated or closed position, as illustrated, and the ports 67 and 88 are out of register, fluid pressure in the structure above the piston acts upon the piston and urges it downwardly toward the stem section and urges the skirt 95 and sealing ring 97 into engagement on and with the top surface 62 of the stem section,`to sealtherewith, in the manner set forth above.

lt is highly important and is to b e particularly noted that the diameter and effective cross-sectional area of the upper portion of the piston, in the first counterbore45 of the barrel, is

greater than the diameter and etfectivecross-sectional area of the lower portion of the piston in the second counterbore 47 in the barrel, and is greater than the effective cross-sectional area of the stem section 60.A Accordingly, when the construction is shifted to its actuated, closed'position, fluid pressure in the barrel, above the piston urges the piston downwardly to gain the above-noted sealing effect. Fluid pressures within the well structure and within the tool acting .on the stem section 60 and on the lower end ofthe piston cannot be greater than the fluid pressure above the piston whenl sufficient pressure is provided to effect flow of fluid into and through the construction, with the result that so long as sufficient fluid pressure is maintained above the piston tolv effect V- the flow of fluid -downwardly into'and through theconstruction, when in its closed position, the piston is urged,downwardly'hydraulically to effect and maintain the desired seal'. t

When the pressure within theb'arrel, above the piston, is reduced so as to stop the downwardly flow of fluid into and through the construction, and the fludpressure within the well structure voutside the barrel is balanced .with the noted internal pressure, the piston is no longerurged downwardly as notedabove. y

lt is to be further' noted that when ythe valving means is in its closed position andthe piston is urged downwardly,-as noted, the upper portionoflthe stem section '60 is held in tight clamped engagement between thek piston andthe stop shoulder 48 in' thebottom .end of the barrel and so that it is effectively braked and locked againstrotation within the barrely and cannotbe rotated'from its closedA to its open position unless and until the pressure-within the Abarrel above the piston is reduced and balanced with the pressure in the well structure outside the barrel and below the piston.

The lower section'or tailpiece. Lof th'e tool'T includeslan g elongate tubularfluid-conducting flowpipe 100,"the upper end of which is threadedly engaged oir-the lower end of thel stem section 60 to communicate therewith and to depend therefrom. The lower end of the pipe 1 00 is open to communicate with the interior of the well structure or casing, below the tool T. The tailpipe l; is provided with a plurality of circumferentially,spaced,vlongitudinally extending, radially outwardly projectingbelling spring 101 which serves to yieldingly and slidably engage Itheinterior of the casing and to yieldingly frictionally hold the pipe 100 and thelower stem section 60 of the valve means stationary and against rotation in and relative to the casing. l

With the tailpiece L related to the section 60 of the valve means and the casing C, in the manner set forth above, it will lbe apparent that upon rotation of the drill string, left or right,

with resulting like rotation of the barrel of the valve means, the barrel can be effectively rotated relative to the stem section to effect opening and closing of f the valve means as desired and as circumstances require.

When the valve means is in its closed position and the piston thereof is urged downwardly, hydraulically, to gain the'desired seal and when the upper portion of the stem section is held tight between the piston and the shoulder 48 in the barrel, the holding or braking and force which inhibits rotation of the stem section relative to the barrel is greater than the frictional forces between the casing and the helling springs 101 of the tailpiece, with the result that after the valve means is closed and actuated and until such time as the internal pressures are lowered to release the noted body of the vstem sec-tion in the barrel, the tool T can be elevated, lowered androtated, left or right, in the well structure, to perform any desired operation, without inadvertently opening the valve means.

ln light of the above, it will be apparent that while opening and closing of the valve means is effected by rotating the drill string S, left or right; such openingand closing of the valve means is controlled by the fluid pressure exerted upon the upper end of the piston of the valve means and rotation of the drill string does not, of itself, result in opening and/or closing of the valve means.

With the tool T that we provide` it will be apparent that circulating fluid can be circulated downwardly through the string S, upper washer section U, central valve section V and downwardly through and from the lower end of the lower tail section L into the interior of the casing; that fluids so discharged in the casing are free to flow upwardly in the annulus A and to bypass the definedsection 26 of the annulus, through the bypass means of the washer tool and that a portion of the fluid circulated downwardly through the tool is directed radially outwardly into the noted defined section 26 of the annulus A'. l. l

To the above extent the tool T is suitable for effecting those operations in well structures normally carried out by conventional bypass type washing tools.

It will be apparent that with the tool T the valve means V can be effectively closed to shut off the flow of' fluid downwardly through and from the lower end of the construction and so that all of the fluid conducted by the string and the tool is directed outwardly through the ports in the washer tool and into the defined section 26 of the annulus and in such a manner that washer section of the tool can be effectively employed to carry out a number of well-servicing operations where such controlled direction of flow is required and where 'high fluid pressures in the defined section 26 ofthe annulus A' 4of one vof the packers in the casing. The valve means V can then be closed and the pressure in the tool and in the defined section 26 of the annulus increased to effect inflating and actuation of the packer. -k

ltwill be further apparent that thetool T can be moved axially so that the defined section 26 of the annulus A' commu nicates with one of the port collars in the casing, a key K carried by the tool between the sealing means is engaged with the slot 19 in the port collar sleeve 17. With the tool thus arranged and related to the port collar the string and tool can be rotated to effect opening of the port collar and closing of the valve means V whereby all the fluids are directed into the defined section 26 of the annulus A' and are conducted from the annulus A' through the open port collar and into the annulus A, to test the seal effected by the packer or packers or to effect any other desired well-servicing operation, where such control of the flow of fluids is required or is desired.

In practice, the valve means V that we provide can be considered as a separate tool or tool component and is such that it can be advantageously related to other of the basic kinds and types of fluid-conducting well-servicing tools to improve the operation of such tools and/or to adapt such tools for carrying out operations in wells which they could not otherwise per form. f

In the form of the invention shown in FlG. l0 of the drawings, a valve means V' similar to the means V in the first "form of the invention is related tothe lower end of a packing cup carrying, fluid conducting and bypassing well tool U engageable with the lower end of a drillpipe string S. As in the tool T in the first form of the invention, a lower tailpiece L' is engaged with and depends from the valve means V.

The components or sections U', V' and L cooperate to define a valve controlled bypass-type gravel packing tool T' which is adapted to be lowered into a well structure, such as the well structure shown in FIG. l of the drawings, to be related to a port collar in the well structure to effect opening and Closing of the port collar and to conduct and direct a slurry of gravel flowing downwardly through the string S' through the port collar and into the annulus between the casing or liner, whichever the case might be.

The upper section U is open at its upper end to communicate with the string S and has a discharge port 29 between the sets of cup, which port communicates with said open upper end. The section U' is open at its lower end and is provided with lateral return ports 31", above its uppermost set of sealing cups, which communicate with the lower open end of the section. A

The ports 3la and the structure establishing communication between those ports and the open lower end of the structure establish fluid bypass means which is adapted to conduct fluids in the well, displaced downwardly by the gravel introduced into the well, upwardly into the annulus between the string S' and its related well casing.

The above structure is typical of bypass type gravel-packing toois. The primary shortcoming in such gravel-packing tools resides in the fact that the bypass means provided therein releases the pressure in the well and prevents the gravel from being forced into the well under great pressure, which is frequently desired.

ln those cases where it is desired to force the gravel into wells under great pressure, it is common practice to employ a gravel-packing tool with a bypass means.

With the tool T' that we provide and with the provision of the valve means V' and the tail piece L', it will be apparent ,that the flow of fluid fromwithin the well, below the tool T and upwardly through the bypass means of the upper section U' can be advantageously, selectively shutoff whereby the tool T serves as both a bypass and nonbypass type of gravelpacking tool and is materially more effective and efficient than two separate tools of the class referred to above.

Since the valve means V' in this second form of the inven tion is adapted to be acted upon by fluids, under pressure, below the tool T' and to stop the upward flow of fluids through the tool, the valve means V' arranged oppositely or upside down in the assembly, compared with the valve means V in the first form of the invention. ln all other respects the valve means V' is identical with the valve means V.

lt is to be understood and it will be noted and appreciated that the structure establishing the valve means V and V' in the two embodiments of my invention, disclosed in the drawings and described above, is a novel subcombination of parts which is, in fact, a novel valve tool which can find use and be advantageously employed in combination with or embodied with any of a great number of fluid-conducting well tools which are such that their effectiveness and utility can be enhanced by the ability to selectively shutoff the flow of fluid flowing into and/or through them.

Having described only typical preferred forms and applications of our invention, we do not wish to be limited or restricted to the specific details herein set forth, but wish to reserve to ourselves any modifications and/or variations that may appear to those skilled in the art.

We claim:

l. A well tool comprising an elongate fluid-conducting upper section with upper and lower ends engageable with the lower end of a fluid-conducting string of pipe and engageable in a well structure, said upper section adapted to normally conduct fluid longitudinally therethrough and including means to direct fluid laterally therefrom; an elongate rotary operated valve means with upper and lower ends at the lower end of the upper section operable to be selectively opened and closed to selectively establish and shutoff the free flow of fluid longitudinally through the upper section, and a lower section at the lower end of the valve means engageable with a related well structure to yieldingly resist rotation of the well tool therein to facilitate operation of said valve means, said valve means including an axially shiftable, fluid pressure actuated piston with a fluid-conducting port therein and a fluid-conducting stem rotatable relative to and engageable with said piston and having a fluid-conducting port shiftable into and out of communication with the port in the piston.

2. A well tool as set forth in claim l wherein the piston is upgitudinally through the upper section of the tool.

3. A well tool as set forth in claim 2 wherein the crossscc tional area of the piston disposed toward its upstream end is greater than the effective cross-sectional area of its downstream end whereby fluid pressures within the construction urge the piston toward the stem.

4. A structure as set forth in claim l wherein said valve means includes an elongate bo'dy v with upstream4 and downstream ends, a central inlet flow passage entering its up'- stream end, a first bore communicating with the inlet flow passage, a second bore of less diameterthan the first bore downstream of and communicating with thefirst bore and a central opening communicating with the downstream end of the second bore, said piston having an upstream end portion shiftably engaged in the first bore, a downstream end portion shiftably engaged in the second bore and carrying sealing means to seal ybetween its'upstream and'downstream portions to' their related bores; said stem having an upstream portion rotatably engaged in the second bore downstream of the piston and carrying sealing means to seal in said second bore, and having a downstream portion projecting through said opening, said piston and stem having flat, axially disposed, opposing surfaces, said ports in the piston and the stem being radially offset from the central axes of the piston and the stem and opening at said opposing surfaces, and annular sealing means about one of said ports and establishing yielding pressure-sealing engagement on the surface towards which said port opens.

5. A structure as set forth in claim 4 wherein the stem has a radially outwardly opening, circumferentially extending recess with stop shoulders at its opposite end and said body has a stop pin projecting radially inwardly into said recess in the stem, said stop pin adapted to engage the shoulders and to' limit rotation of the stem in the body in a normal position where the ports are in register and an actuated position where the ports are out of register.

6. A structure set forth in claim 4 wherein said sealing means includes a socket entering said surface on the piston concentric with the port therein, an annular carrier ring engaged in the socket, said ring having an annular skirt about its inner periphery projecting axially from said socket a predetermined limited distance from the surface on the piston and to slidably engage the surface on the/stem, a rubber-scaling ring in the socket and about the skirt and normally projecting axially from and beyond the socket and the skirt a limited predetermined extent.

7. A structure as set forth in claim 6 wherein the skirt engages and normally maintains the opposing surfaces in predetermined running clearance from each other, the socket, skirt and ring cooperate to define an annular axially opening recess opposing the surface of the stem, the cross-sectional area of the rubber-sealing ring being sufficiently greater than the cross-sectional area of the recess whereby that portion of the ring projecting from the recess will yieldingly llow radially outwardly from the recess into sealing engagement between the opposing surfaces.

8. A structure as set forth in claim 7 wherein the stem has a radially outwardly opening, circumferentially extending recess with stop shoulders at its opposite ends and said body has a stop pin projecting radially inwardly into said recess in the stem, said stop pin adapted to engage the shoulders and to limit rotation of the stem in the body in a normal position where the ports are in register and an actuated position where the ports are out of register.

9. A structure as set forth in claim l wherein said valve means includes an elongate body with upstream and downstream ends, a central inlet flow passage entering its up stream end, a'first bore communicating with the inlet flow passage, a second bore of less diameter than the first bore downstream of and communicating with thc first bore and a central opening communicating with the downstream end of the second bore, said piston having an upstream end portion shiftable engaged in the first bore` a downstream end portion shiftable engaged in the second bore and carrying sealing means to seal between its upstream and downstream portions port opens, wherein said sealing means includes a socket eni tering said surface on the piston concentric with the port therein, an annular carrier ring engaged in the socket, said ring having an annular skirt about its inner periphery projecting axially from said socket a predetermined limited distance from the surface on the piston Vand to slidably engage the surface on the stem, a rubber-sealing ring in the socket and about the skirt and normally projecting axially from and beyond the socket and the skirt a limited predetermined extent, and an annular seal about the exterior of the ring sealing between the ring and the socket, wherein the skirt engages and normally maintains the opposing surfaces in predetermined running clearance from each other, the socket, skirt and ring cooperate to define an annular axially opening recess opposing thesurface of the stern, the cross-sectional area of the rubber-sealing ring being sufficiently greater than the crosssectional area of the recess whereby that portion of the ring projecting from the recess will yieldingly flow radially outwardly from the recess into sealing engagement between the opposinglsurfaces, said piston having an axially extending radially outwardly opening keyway, said body having a radially inwardly projecting key slidably engaged'in lthe keyway whereby said piston is restrained from circumferential movement in the body.

10. A structure as set forth in claim l wherein said valve means `includes an elongate body with upstream and downstream ends, a central inlet flow passage entering its upstream end, a rst bore communicating with the inlet flow passage, a second bore of less diameter than the first bore downstream of and communicating with the tirst boreland a central opening communicating with the downstream end of the second bore, said piston having an upstream end portion shiftable engaged in the first bore, a downstream end portion shiftable engaged in the second bore and carrying sealing means to seal between its upstream and downstream portions to their related bores; said stem having an upstream portion rotatably engaged in the second bore downstream of the piston and carrying sealing means to seal in said second bore, and having a downstream portion projecting through said opening, said piston and stem having flataxially disposed. opposing surfaces, said ports in the piston and the stem being radially offset from the central axes of the piston and the stem and opening at said opposing surfaces, and annular sealing means about one of said ports and establishing yielding pressure-sealing engagement on the surface towards which said port opens, wherein the stern has a radially outwardly opening, circumferentially extending recess with stop shoulders at its opposite ends and said body has a stop pin projecting radially inwardly into said recess in the stem, said stop pin adapted to engage the shoulders and to limit rotation of the stem in the body in a normal position where the ports are in register and an actuated position where the ports are out of register, said piston having an axially extending radially outwardly opening keyway, said body having a radially inwardly projecting key slidably engaged in the keyway whereby said piston is restrained from circumferential movement in the body.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6298916 *Dec 17, 1999Oct 9, 2001Schlumberger Technology CorporationMethod and apparatus for controlling fluid flow in conduits
US7284619 *Feb 2, 2005Oct 23, 2007Tam International, Inc.Packer with positionable collar
WO2001044619A1 *Dec 5, 2000Jun 21, 2001Schlumberger Technology CorpControlling fluid flow in conduits
WO2006083717A2 *Jan 27, 2006Aug 10, 2006Tam Int IncPacker with positionable collar
WO2006083717A3 *Jan 27, 2006Dec 16, 2010Tam International, Inc.Packer with positionable collar
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/147, 166/330
International ClassificationE21B33/12, E21B33/124, E21B34/12, E21B34/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B34/12, E21B33/1243, E21B33/124
European ClassificationE21B33/124, E21B33/124B, E21B34/12