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Publication numberUS3646995 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 7, 1972
Filing dateDec 8, 1969
Priority dateDec 8, 1969
Publication numberUS 3646995 A, US 3646995A, US-A-3646995, US3646995 A, US3646995A
InventorsFarley David L, Manes Dewey K, Wray Gary Q
Original AssigneeHalliburton Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for testing offshore wells
US 3646995 A
Abstract
Method and apparatus for testing offshore wells where a conduit string connected with a testing string is supported in a wellhead during testing operations and where a combination of gravity responsive means and extensible means effect operation of a testing valve.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Manes et al.

[ Mar. 7, 1972 [54] METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TESTING OFFSHORE WELLS [72] Inventors: Dewey K. Manes, Aqoura, Calif; Davld L. Farley; Gary Q. Wray, both of Duncan,

Okla

[73] Assignce: llalllburton Company, Duncan, Okla.

[22] Filed: Dec. 8, I969 211 Appl. No.: 882,856

[52] U.S. Cl ..l66/-5, 166/152 [51] Int. Cl ..E21b 47/06 [58] Field ofSearch ..l66/.5,.6, 150, 264,73, 152

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,358,755 12/1967 Chisholm ..166/152 X 3,378,072 4/1968 Smith ..l66/.5 X 2,403,987 7/1946 Lewis..... ....166/73 3,457,991 7/1969 Sizer et al. ..l66/.5

Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Richard E. Favreau Attorney-Bums, Doane, Swecker & Mathis [57] ABSTRACT Method and apparatus for testing offshore wells where a conduit string connected with a testing string is supported in a wellhead during testing operations and where a combination of gravity responsive means and extensible means effect operation of a testing valve.

The apparatus includes a testing string containing a series of abutments for supporting an upper portion of the string in the wellhead, slip joint, a safety valve operable in response to the slip joint, drill collars which function as gravity responsive valve actuating means, a testing valve including an hydraulic impedance mechanism, a sample chamber and pressure recorder, a jar tool, a safety joint, and a packer mechanism which serves to anchor the lower portion of the string in a submerged well.

12 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMAR 71912 3.646.995

SHEET 3 0r 5 FIG. 3a

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sumunfs FIG. 4

I I20l INVENTORS os wsv K. muss DAVID L. FARLEY GARY Q. WRAY BY 8mm, bow, QWm'cLJWK/CM Q M11114? ATTORNEYS PATENTEUMAR 7 I972 SHEET 5 OF 5 a m mam m I MW i I 4 I. 2% v 8s \n 1 Es s Vii mvsmons DEWEY K. MANES DAVID L. FARLEY GARY Q. WRAY ,kwmu, 8mm 4! Mama ATTORNEYS BY ums, bow

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TESTING OFFSHORE WELLS As petroleum exploration operations have proceeded. in offshore locations, the testing of offshore wells-has assumed increasing importance.

The testing of .wells in offshore locations poses unique problems because of the offshore environment.

The submerged location of well sites in and of itself poses difficulties from the standpoint of making well sites lessaccessible and making it somewhat more difficult to control manipulations of testing tools.

Where testing operations are conducted from a floating drilling vessel or service vessel, wave action .acting on the yessel produces up and down vessel movement relative to the submerged well site. Such up and down movement considerably complicates testing operations where it is necessary to manipulate a testing string with precision in order to effect the desired positioning of testing components. In addition, any forces transmitted to the testing string as .a result of wave action, i.e., up and down vessel movement, will exert longitudinal forces on a testing string which may well seriously damage components of the string and make reliable operation of the testing equipment difficult or impossible.

It, thus, has become apparent that there is a need for offshore testing apparatus and techniques-which are characterized by virtual immunity to wave action problems.

In accomplishing such immunity, it is necessary that accurate control be maintained over testing operations and that an operator be able to determine with certainty thecondition of operating elements of a testing string.

It is also important that an operator be able, during a testing operation, to immediately close off the passage of a testing string in the event that sea conditions or other operating conditions require the temporary or permanent abandonment of a well.

It is equally important, and an object of the invention, to provide a testing string and testing technique where wave action is isolated from testing components regardless of their operating condition and where the testing string has a capacity to move between closed in and flow conditions with case. It is a further object to provide such a system where a fluid sample may be readily entrapped, where flow pressure conditions may be measured, where a jar mechanism is provided in the event that it should become necessary to impact the testing string to effect the release of a packer or other stuck string portion and where it is possible to disengage the testing components from a testing string anchor in the event that release of the anchor should prove impossible.

In accomplishing certain of the foregoing objectives, a method of testing offshore wells is envisioned wherein a well testing means is disposed in a submerged well. This well testing means includes extensible means, gravity responsive valve actuating means and valve means including a valve member connected with the valve actuating means. In the practice of this method, movement of a valve body means included in the valve means is resisted within the submerged well. A conduit means is connected with the extensible means and extends generally upwardly from the extensible means through a submerged wellhead to a float vessel, with the movement of the vessel body means'being limited as earlier indicated.

During this testing method, the conduit means is supported in the wellhead with the gravity responsive valve actuating means acting on the valve member to urge it to one operative position. At another point in time during the testing method,

'the conduit means is again supported in the wellhead, but this time with force being transmitted from the conduit means through the extensible means and gravity responsive valve actuatin g means to the valve member so as to maintain the valve member in another operative position.

In yet anotherwbut independently significant apparatus aspect of the invention, an apparatus is presented which includes extensible means, valve actuating means and valve means including a valve member operatively responsive to the valve-actuating means. Conduit means connected with the extensible'means is operable to extend generally upwardly from a submerged wellhead. This apparatusincludes means operable to support the conduit means in the wellhead with the valve-actuatingmeans causing the valve member to assume at leastoneoperative position.

Another independently"significant apparatus aspect of the invention entails a combination including submerged wellhead means augmented by selectively operable support means. Well conduit means extends generally downwardly from the well head means. A well testing means included in this combination comprises first 'and second'abutment means. A first conduit means interconnects these two abutment means and is operable to extend upwardly from the wellhead means. An extensible conduit means is connected with the first conduit means. A gravity responsive valve actuating means is connected with and operable to be disposed generally beneath the extensible conduit means when the testing means is disposed in the well conduit means. A valve means of the well testing means includes avalve member reciprocable generally longitudinally of the first conduit means and connected with the gravity responsive valve actuating means. This valve means further includes valve body means. A second conduit means in the testing means is connected with the valve body means and operable to be disposed generally beneath the valve body means. An anchormeans is carried by the second conduit means and is operable to limit movement of the valve body :means generally longitudinally of the well conduit means.

tion of the remainder of the testing means. Extensible conduit means connected with the aforesaid conduit means is positioned therebeneath. A first well fluid, flow-controlling valve means is provided which is operably responsive to extensible movement of the first extensible conduit means. A gravity responsive valve actuating means is connected with this first valve means. The testing means further includes formation fluid flow-controlling second valve means. An impedance means is interposed between and interconnects the second valve means and the gravity responsive valve actuating means. The gravity responsive valve actuating means is operable to actuate the second valve means in at least partial response to extension and contraction of the first extensible conduit means. An anchor means is connected with the second valve means and operable to detachably anchor a lower portion of the well-testing means within the well conduit means.-

These unique apparatus embodiments may be further distinguished by a unique arrangement of multiple abutments carried by the testing means so as to permit a conduit means extending upwardly from the testing means to be supported within a wellhead while valve components are disposed in selectively desired positions.

The various described apparatus combinations may be further enhanced and distinguished by the inclusion of jar tool means, safety joint means and extensible conduit means interposed between the lower portion of the tool and a testing valve assembly.

Othermethod facets of the invention entail the isolation of the test valve and packer of the testing string from the effects of wave action during test valve manipulations.

DRAWINGS In describing a preferred embodiment of the invention, reference will be made to appended drawings.

In the Drawings FIG. 1 provides a somewhat schematic, partially sectioned, vertical, elevational view of an offshore well testing operation illustrating the combination of a floating vessel, a submerged wellhead, and a testing string;

FIG. 2 provides an enlarged, partially sectioned, vertical, elevational view of the submerged wellhead of the FIG. 1 assembly, illustrating details of an abutment and wellhead support arrangement which in combination with extension joints in the testing string permit wave action to be isolated from valve components of the testing string;

FIGS. 3A-3E, when in sequence as indicated, provide an enlarged, partially sectioned, elevational view of the testing string of the FIG. 1 assembly;

FIG. 4 provides an enlarged and somewhat more detailed vertical, sectional view of a safety valve or flow passage-controlling component included in the upper portion of the testing string as shown in FIG. 3A, illustrating the safety valve in a closed position;

FIG. 5 provides a schematic view of the disposition of testing string components while well fluid flow is permitted;

FIG. 5A provides an enlarged, sectional view of testing valve and extensible conduit portions of the FIGURE 5 combination;

FIG. 6 schematically illustrates the disposition of testing string components when the flow passage of the testing string is closed for the purpose of taking closed in pressure measurements;

FIG. 6A provides an enlarged, vertically sectioned, elevational view of the tester valve and extensible conduit portions of the FIGURE 6 combination;

FIG. 7 provides a schematic illustration of the testing string when the FIG. 4 safety valve is closed; and

FIG. 7A provides an enlarged, vertically sectioned, elevational view of testing valve and extensible conduit portions of the FIG. 7 assembly.

OVERALL APPARATUS The overall components of the apparatus of the preferred embodiment of the present invention are shown in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIGURE 1, the principal components of the system comprise:

erforations Providing Access to lending from Wellhead to Floating The principal components of the system are shown generally in their positional relationships in FIG. 1.

As is shown, the well liner or casing 5 extends from the submerged wellhead 2 down through the submerged formation means 4 to the zone 6 to be tested. Casing perforations 20 provide communication between the interior of the casing string 5 and the test site 6.

The riser 21 extends upwardly to the floating vessel 1 in a conventional manner so as to provide a conduit path leading to the well bore which is isolated from the water body 3.

In the usual manner, the upper end of the riser 8 will be disposed so as to be capable of undergoing telescoping movement relative to the vessel 1 so as to accommodate wave action. This wave action may also be accommodated by a slip joint or telescoping joint incorporated in the riser 21 in a now well-recognized fashion.

The floating vessel 1 may comprise any of several floating vessels used for drilling or well-servicing purposes. In order to tend to minimize wave action problems, the vessel I may be of the semisubmersible-type.

A testing string 6 comprises the supporting conduit 8 which extends upwardly to the operating deck of the vessel 1. Supporting string 8 is conventionally assembled from threadably interconnected conduit sections. Although not shown in FIGURE 1, the entire testing string 7, including the conduit 8, would be assembled and lowered through the riser 21 into the well bore defined by the casing 5 by means of conventional hoisting gear possibly associated with a derrick such as the derrick 22 shown in FIGURE 1.

The testing string shown in FIGURE 1 includes, in sequentially downwardly positioned relationship, the uppermost conduit portion 8, a series 10 of abutments, first extensible conduit means 11, Le, one or more slip or telescoping joints, a safety valve 12, a series of drill collars 13 defining gravity responsive valve-actuating means, the testing valve 14, a second extensible conduit means 15, a jar tool 17, a safety joint 18, and the packer 19.

The packer 19 serves to detachably anchor the lowermost end of the testing string 7 within the well bore. The abutment means 10 provide a mechanism for supporting the load of the conduit string 8 within the submerged wellhead 2 so as to permit wave action to cause up and down movement of the vessel 1 relative to the conduit 8 while the conduit 8 is disengaged from gripping means such as conventional string securing slips. With the conduit means 8 supported within the wellhead 2 by one of the abutments of the abutment means 10, the extensible conduit means 11 and 15 permit appropriate operation of the first and second flow-controlling valves 12 and 14 incorporated in the testing string 7.

In the event that the disengagement of the packer 19 should prove difficult, an operator may attach the conduit means 8 to hoisting equipment in the derrick 22 and in a now well recognized fashion, impart jarring strokes or impacts to the packer 19 through the jar 17.

Should such impacting prove unsuccessful or should it for I any reason become appropriate or necessary -to free the testing string from the packer 19, the safety joint 18 may be operated so as to permit the packer 19 to remain in the well bore while the remainder of the testing string is withdrawn or raised through the well bore by operation of hoisting gear on board the floating vessel 1.

During normal testing operations, the principal testing valve 14 would be operated between closed and open positions to achieve closed in and flowing" test conditions. During the closed in flow condition, an interior passage extending entirely through the testing string 7 would be closed at the site of the testing valve 14. With the passage thus closed, the recorder 16 would record closed in pressure of the formation 6.

With the valve 14 manipulated to an open position, flow would take place through the interior passage of thestring and the recorder 16 would record such flowing pressure.

The extension joints 11 and 15 permit wave action to be isolated from valve 14 and packer 19 during the manipulation of valve 14.

The valve 14 preferably includes a sample-trapping chamber which is operable to entrap a sample of formation fluid at an annular sample chamber when the valve 14 is manipulated to a closed valve position.

The testing string 7 may be augmented by a circulation or bypass valve which may be selectively operated, by manipulations performed from floating vessel 1. Such a valve may be appropriate to permit reverse circulation andrecovery of well fluids in the testing. string. Such a reverse circulation valve could be incorporated, for example, in the string 7, between the drill collars l3 and the tester valve 14 in a. conventional fashion.

With the principal components of the system having been described with reference to FIGURE 1, it now becomes. appropriate to consider certain detailed structural; and operating characteristics of these components with referenceto FIGS. 2, 3A-3E and 4,

In describing such details, reference numerals will be employed in the hundreds series corresponding to the principal reference numerals previously enumerated. Thus, for example, details of the packer 19 will be delineated by reference numerals in the 1900? series, while details of the wellhead 2 will be described with reference to numerals in the 200 series.

DETAILS OF SYSTEM Submerged Wellhead 2 Structural details of the submerged wellhead 2 are set forth in FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 2, the wellhead 2 is characterized by a body 201 extending upwardly from a wellhead anchor plate 202. A series of hydraulically operated rams 203, 204 and 205 are incorporated in the submerged wellhead 2 and may be designed to provide conventional blow out preventer control, with the various rams being individually operable in connection with different size drilling or well-servicing conduit strings. While these rams or blowout preventers may be operable to sealingly engage the exterior periphery of a conduit string, other rams, not shown, may be operable to define a seal extending transversely entirely across the interior passage 206 of the wellhead.

For the purposes of the present discussion, the upper set of rams 205, when selectively moved inwardly, as shown in FIG. 2, and an annular ledge 207 at the wellhead base 202 will be deemed to define testing string support means. The support means define by the generally annular ledge means afforded by the closed rams 205 is operable to support the conduit string portion 8 during testing operations by abuttingly engaging one of the abutments of the abutment means 10.

The tubular riser 21 is connected with the upper section 208 of the submerged wellhead shown generally in FIG. 2. In a conventional fashion, riser 21 may be detachably connected to the wellhead section 208 by a remotely operable latch means. One or more elongate guides 209 may extend upwardly from the base 202 to the floating vessel. A guide arm 210 would extend to each such guide cable or member 209 and be slidably engaged with such guide member by way of a guide collar 211. With this arrangement the riser 21 can be guided on the guide means 209 down to the wellhead and latched to the wellhead portion 208 by operation of the remotely operable latch means. With the guide means 209 present, the riser 21 may be removed and reinstalled as desired.

As shown in FIG. 2, the conduit means 8 which extends downwardly from the floating vessel 1 includes a well flowcontrolling assembly 801.

The assembly 801 preferably comprises an hydraulically operable valve assembly commercially available from Otis Engineering Corporation, Post Ofiice Box 34380, Dallas, Tex., 75234, U.S.A. The assembly 801 is designated by this manufacturer as a removable subsea test tree. This assembly, which may be latched in position by the blow out preventer or ram assembly 205, as generally shown in FIG. 2', is.provided, with hydraulically operable internally located-ball valves which are able; to elfectively close or open the passage extending longitudinally through the testing string interior. Hydraulic fluid for actuating the valves of the assembly 801 may be transmitted through a;flexible conduit 802 as generally shown inFlG. 2.

Abutment Means 10 The abutment means 10 of the testing string 7 includes, as generally shown in FIG. 2, three axially or longitudinally spaced abutments1001, 1002and1003, respectively.

Abutment means 1001, 1002v and 1003 are interconnected in fixed axial relationship and in progressively downwardly positioned locations by the portion of the conduit means 8 which extends beneath the assembly801.

Abutment means 1002 and 1003 are operable to pass telescopingly or slidably through the support defined by the annular ledge 207 of the wellhead 2. However, as shown in FIG. 2, the uppermost abutment 1001 is operable to abuttingly engage the-support or annular ledge 207.

The abutment means 1001 as indicated in FIGURE 2 may comprise a series of circumferentially spaced, longitudinally extending flutes projecting radially outwardly from the exterior of the conduit means 8,.

Each of the abutments 1002 and 1003 may be, if desired, collar-like or annular in nature.

During the operation of the testing string 7, it is contemplated. that each of the abutments 1001, 1002 and 1003 would be. supportable by the selectively positioned rams 205.

With the abutment means 1003 supported by the closed rams 205, the tester valve 14 would be disposed in a closed position.

With the abutment 1002 resting on the generally annular seat or ledge defined by the closed rams 205, the valve 14 would be disposed in an. open position.

With the abutment means 1001 resting on the closed rams 205, the safety valve 12 would be disposed in a closed position, although the valve 14 would'be open.

As shown in FIGURE 2, as a safety feature, and with the packer 19 not set or expanded, the testing tree or safety valve 801 may be lowered completely into the wellhead 2 so as to permit the abutment means 1001 to rest on the ledge 207. With the abutment means 1001 resting on the ledge 207, the rams 205 would be operable to lockingly engage an annular recess 803 on they exterior of the valve means 801.

In this connection, the rams 205 will be provided with concave surfaces operable to matingly engage the cylindrical seat defined by the recess 803. The concave faces associated with the rams 205 may, if desired, be circumferentially mating in nature in their closed or extended position so as to define an annular seal between the body 201 of the wellhead and the testing string 7.

Thus, as a safety feature, the testing string may be disposed as shown in FIG. 2 so as to permit the well to be closed in. With the well thus closed in, the upper portion 804 of the conduit means 8 may be selectively detached from the safety assembly 801 and retrieved to the vessel 1. During this retrieval operation, the flexible conduit 802 would be retrieved with conduit portion 804. The nature of the Otis unit 801 is such that the removal of conduit 802 with conduit 804 will close the units ball valves.

Upper Extensible Joint 1 1 As earlier described, a first or upper extensible joint 11 is incorporated in the testing string 7 intermediate the abutment means 10 and the safety valve 12. This general location of the slip joint means or extensible joint means 11 is shown in FIG.

In the preferred embodiment, the extensible joint means 11 will comprise one or more telescoping joints as featured in Us. Hyde Pat. No. 3,354,950. If several such joints are utilized, they would be incorporated in series to provide greater telescoping capability than would be provided by a single telescoping joint.

For purposes of disclosure, the disclosure contents of the L'.S. Hyde Pat. No. 3,354,950 are herein incorporated by reference.

in particular it is contemplated that each such extensible joint would correspond to a joint as shown in FIGS. 2 through 7 of the Hyde patent.

Thus, FIG. 3a illustrates a representative telescoping or slip joint 1101 which may comprise the first extensible conduit means 11.

This joint comprises an upper head 1102 corresponding to the head 19 of the aforesaid Hyde disclosure. Head 1102 sup ports two sleeve portions 1103 and 1104 corresponding to the sleeve portions 20 and 21 of the Hyde disclosure. A telescoping sleeve 1105 is telescopingly received between the sleeves 1103 and 1104 in the manner that the sleeve 25 of the aforesaid Hyde disclosure is telescopingly received between the Hyde sleeves 20 and 21. The upper end of sleeve 1105 is provided with a seal 1106 which sealingly engages the sleeves 1103 and 1104 in the manner that the seal 26 of the Hyde disclosure engages the Hyde sleeves 20 and 21.

The overall structure and dimensional characteristics of the Hyde telescoping joint are such as to provide pressure and volume-balanced telescoping action.

As will be appreciated, where a plurality of longitudinally and series connected slip joints 1101 are utilized, FIG. 3a schematically depicts the lowermost slip joint of such an arrangement.

It will also be appreciated that FIG. 30 only schematically and fragmentarily illustrates the structure of the telescoping joint, with a detailed disclosure being contained in the aforesaid Hyde patent.

Safety Valve 12 As is shown in FIGURE 1, a safety valve 12 is interposed longitudinally between the extensible joint means 11 and the drill collar assembly 13.

The safety valve is operable in response to telescoping movement of the slip joint means 11, while the packer 19 is set so as to anchor the lower portion of the testing string 7 within the well conduit 5.

Structural details of the safety valve 12 are shown in FIGS. 3a and 4.

Safety valve 12 includes a generally tubular valve body 1201 which is threadably connected to the sleeve portion 1105 of the telescoping joint means 11.

Body 1201 supports a sleevelike valve seat 1202. Seat 1202,

as shown in FIGS. 3a and 4 is radially spaced from body means 1201 so as to provide an annular flow passage 1203. One or more radial ports 1204 provide fluid communication between passage 1203 and the interior 1205 ofthe seat 1202.

Annular elastomeric valve seals 1206 and 1207 are mounted on the inside of seat 1202 above and below the valving port means 1204.

As is illustrated, the lower end of tubular valve seat 1202 is closed by a transverse wall 1208.

An open-ended sleevelike valve member 1209 is connected with and carried by the head 1102 as shown generally in FIG. 3A.

Probelike valve member 1209 may be detachably and threadably connected to head 1102 by conventional threaded coupling means.

As is shown in FIG. 4, valve 1209 may comprise a series of threadably interconnected and series-connected components.

As is shown in FIG. 3A, valve 1209 passes coaxially through sleeve 1103 and is axially movable in a unitized fashion with head 1102 and sleeves 1103 and 1104.

The arrangement herein described, in essence, constitutes a unique modification of the sleeve joint feature in the aforesaid Hyde patent. In this modification, the Hyde joint is modified by a threaded connection 1210 between the valve member 1209 to the Hyde head 19. The valve body 1201 is thus connected to the threaded portion of the Hyde telescoping joint shown in FIG. 2 of the Hyde disclosure. The coupling 1210 of the present safety valve would be located in the threaded connection 40 of the Hyde disclosure.

The lowermost terminus 1107 of the sleeve 1104 shown in FIG. 4 corresponds to the terminus portion 22 of the Hyde sleeve 21.

As shown in FIG. 3A, the telescoping joint 1101 is in a fully extended condition, i.e., the sleeve 1105 is in its lowermost position relative to the sleeves 1103 and 1104. With the components in this position, the lower end of the valve member 1209 is spaced axially above the seals 1206 and 1207. Thus, the passage 1203 provides free communication with the interior passage 1108 of the slip joint means by way of open interior 121 1 of the valve 1209 and the port means 1204.

FIGURE 4 illustrates the safety valve 12 in its closed position. This closed position results from the contraction of the slip joint means 11. When this contraction takes place, the valve 1209 moves downwardly so as to sealingly engage the seals 1206 and 1207. When this sealing engagement occurs, the port means 1204 are blocked from fluid communication with the valve passage 1211 so as to block fluid communication between the passages 1108 and 1203.

When the safety valve is disposed in the passage closing or closed valve position of FIG. 4, fluid flow through the testing string 7 from the interior of the well conduit 5 is blocked.

Drill Collar Assembly 13 As shown in FIG. 1, the drill collar assembly 13 is interposed longitudinally between the safety valve 12 and the flow controlling or test valve 14.

As shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b, the drill collar assembly 13 is threadably connected to the upper end of the valve assembly 14.

Drill collar assembly 13 is fabricated from a series of threadably connected drill collars. The function of this assembly is to provide sufficient weight to operate the valve 14 in response to the influence of gravity. In other words, when the telescoping joint means 11 are contracted so that the weight of the drill collar assembly 13 is not supported by the conduit means 8, the weight of the drill collar assembly is operable to act upon the valve 14 and cause actuation of this valve.

Test Valve Assembly l4 As shown in FIG. 4, the test valve assembly 14 is interposed in the test string 7 longitudinally between the drill collar assembly l3, i.e., gravity responsive valve-actuating means, and the second or lowermost extensible joint or conduit means 15.

The valve assembly 14 is illustrated schematically in FIG. 3b. This valve assembly corresponds to the apparatus featured in US. Chisholm Pat. No. 3,358,755, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

The valve assembly of FIG. 3b, comprises as its principal components an assemblage 1401 comprising a coupling 1402 threadably connected with the drill collar assembly 13. Coupling 1402 corresponds to coupling 2 of the Chisholm apparatus.

Assembly 1401 additionally includes an annular well fluid entrapping or sample chamber 1403 which corresponds to the sample chamber 3 of the Chisholm disclosure.

Assemblage 1401 additionally includes an axially slidable spool valve 1404 which corresponds to the valve 4 of the aforesaid Chisholm patent.

A hydraulic impedance type valve force transmitting means 1405 is incorporated in the assemblage 1401. This hydraulic impedance-type device corresponds to the means 5 of the aforesaid Chisholm patent and is described in detail in US Schwegman Pat. No. 2,740,479, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

The function of the operating device 1405 is to impede valve-opening force imparted downwardlyfrom thedrill collar assembly 13 to the valve member 1404.

With the valve member 1404 in the upper position shown in F IG. 3b, fluid communicationbetween valve assembly passage 1406 anddrillcollar passage 1301 isblocked.

Beneath themain valve 1404 there is locateda bypass valve 1407 corresponding to the by pass valve 7 of the :aforementioned Chisholm patent. The structural details and operating characteristics of the bypass valve 7 are also described in .a U.S. Chisholm Pat. No. 3,105,553, thedisclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

Bypass valve assembly 1407 includes a "bypass -valve member 1408, bypass valve ports 1409 and .a telescoping member 1410 corresponding respectively .to .elements 702, 71] and 707 of the apparatus of .the aforesaid Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755.

The valve assembly14 of the present invention-additionally includes passage means 1411, .1412 and 1413 corresponding respectively to passage means 308, 306 and 703 of the :passage area feature in the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755.

As is described in this Chisholm patent,.downward movement of the valve member 1404 moves the valve member 1407 downwardly to close the bypass ports 1409. The valve 1407 remains in its downward position, holding the ports 1409 closed until the completion of the testing operation, in the manner described in the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755.

When the valve 1404 is in its lowermost position, the

passage means 1406, 1413, 1411, 1403, 1412 and 1301 are placed in fluid communication in the manner described in the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755. This communication permits well fluids to flow upwardly through the interior passage of the testing string 7 and thus flow upwardly through the sample chamber 1403.

[n the manner described in the Chisholm patent, raising of the valve 1404 relative to the body 1414 of the assemblage 1401 will close this flow passage, .i.e., close communication between the sample chamber 1403 and each of the passages 1411 and 1412. When these passages thus closed, a sample of well fluid is entrapped in the chamber 1403 and flow passage through the interior of the testing string is blocked.

in connection with the impedance coupling 1405, it will be recalled with reference to the disclosure of the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,577 that this coupling includes a flow restricting barrier 1415 carried by a generally tubular upwardly extending portion 1416 of the valve 1404. The flow restricter 1415 is slidably disposed in a chamber 1417 occupied by a hydraulic fluid. With this arrangement, downward movement of the valve 1404 relative to the body 1414, which defines the cylinder portion of the chamber 1417 is yieldably impeded. Through an appropriate check valve arrangement described in the aforesaid Chisholm patent and the aforesaid Schwegman patent, upward or return movement of the valve 1404 is not substantially impeded by the impedance coupling 1415.

Lower Extensible Joint 15 As has been described with reference to FIG. 1, the testing string 7 includes a second or lower extensible joint or conduit means interposed beneath the tester valve assembly 14 and telescopingly interconnecting the valve assembly 14 with a pressure recorder housing 26.

Extension joint 15 may comprise one or more telescoping joints. If a plurality of telescoping joints are utilized to obtain greater longitudinal telescope action, the joints would be interconnected in series relationship. Each such telescoping joint in the assembly 16 may comprise a telescoping joint such as, for example, the extensible joint 8 featured in the aforesaid Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755, the disclosure of which is also herein incorporated by reference. Other extensible joints may be utilized for the connecting means 15 such as those described in the aforementioned Hyde U.S. Pat. No. 3,354,950, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

Pressure Recorder 16 In FIG. 1, a pressure recorderand 'housing 16 are shown interposed win the testing -string'7 longitudinally between the jar tool 17 and the extensible conduitmeans 15.

Recorder assembly 16 corresponds generally to the recorder assembly 11 described in the aforementioned Chisholm U.S. Pat-No. 358,755.

In this arrangement, and as schematically shown in FIG. 3C, apressure recorder "1601 ismounted in a flow passage 1602-of azgenerally'cylindrical body 1603. The pressure recorder 1601 is disposed-in fluid communicating relationship with well 'fluid floling through the'passage 1,602.

Jar Tool 17 The previously mentioned jar tool 17-may be incorporated :inthetesting string 7 between the recorder 16 and the safety joint 18.

The function of the jar tool 17 is to enable the conduit means 8, in response tomanipulajons from the floating vessel 1 to .impart upwardly directed varying stokesor impacts to the packer 19-:in the-event that the .packer should become stuck or diflicultto release.

Jar tool 17 preferably comprises an apparatus of the type featured in U.S. Barrington Pat. No. 3,429,389, the disclosure ofwhich isherein incorporated by reference.

Thejar tool may also comprise other jarring tools, for example, an apparatus as featured in the U.S. Barrington Pat. No. 3,399,740.

In brief, the jar tool 17, as schematically shown in FIG. 3c, includes an outerbody 1701 which is threadably connected at its lower end to the safety joint 18 as shown in FIG. 3c.

jar tool body 1701.

The impedance mechanism 1704 corresponds to the components 18 and 15 of the aforementioned Barrington U.S. Pat. No. 3,429,389. These impedance control elements of the Barrington jar tool enable abrupt impact strokes to be delivered in an upwardly directed direction to the housing 1701 in response to the imposition of a sustained lifting force to the conduit means'8. By repetitionally or periodically repeating the lifting force, repeated upwardly directed impact strokes may be imparted to the housing 1701. Such impact strokes would be transmitted through the safety joint 18 to the packer 19 and tend to unset or free a stuck packer.

Safety Joint 18 The safety joint 18 is incorporated in the testing string 7 between the jar tool 17 and the packer 19.

Safety joint 18 includes a housing 1801 which is threadably connected with the upper end of thepacker assembly 19 as shown schematically in FIG. 3e. Safety joint 18 also includes an inner tubular member 1802 which is threadably connected to the lower end of the body member 1701 of the jar tool 17.

Member 1802 of the safety joint provides a tool passage portion 1803 communicating with the central passage 1703 of the jar tool 17.

A selectively and threadably releasable cap 1804 serves to .interconnect the safety joint components 1802 and 1801.

A spline joint 1805 interconnects member 1802 with a cap 1804. Lug means 1806 carried by the safety joint component 1802 cooperate with spline means carried on the interior of safety joint body 1802 to permit rotation of the component 1802 relative to the component 1801 in addition to up and down movement of the first joint component 1802 relative to the component 1801.

When sufficient rotation of the component 1802 has occurred relative to the stationary component 1801, the spline joint 1805 will have served to cause suffice sufficient rotation of the cap 1804 relative to the component 1801 so as to free the cap 1804 from the component 1801 and thereby permit axial separation of the component 1802 from the component This structure and safety joint operation are described in detail in the US. Barrington et al. Pat. No. 3,368,829, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

Packer Assembly 19 The lower end of the testing string 7 includes the packer assembly 19. As shown in FIG. 1, the packer assembly 19 is threadably connected to the body component 1801 of the safety joint 18.

Packer 19 comprises a packer assembly corresponding to the assembly 9 of the aforementioned Chisholm U. S. Pat. No. 3,358,755. The disclosure of this Chisholm patent, with respect to the Chisholm packer 9, is herein incorporated by reference with respect to the packer assembly 19 of the present invention.

Suffice it here to say that the packer assembly 19 includes a body 1901' threadably connected to the body 1801 of the safety joint. One or more annular elastomeric packing elements 1902 are mounted in the periphery of the body 1901 beneath a radial body ledge 1903. A packer expander sleeve 1904 is telescopingly mounted on the body 1901 beneath the elastomeric elements 1902. A slip assembly 1905 is telescopingly mounted on the body 1901 beneath generally frustoconical slip-expander surface means 1906. As shown in FIG. 3, the slip-expander surface means, which converges downwardly, is defined or carried by the element 1904.

The slip assembly 1905 includes a series of outwardly projecting and circumferentially spaced resilient drag springs 1907. The function of the drag springs 1907 is to engage the periphery of the conduit wall 5. With the drag springs 1907 thus engaging the conduit wall, movement of the slip assembly 1905 is impeded. With movement of the slip assembly thus impeded, downward movement of the body 1901 relative to the impeded slip assembly 1905 will cause the slips 1908 of the assembly 1905 to grippingly engage the periphery of the conduit means 5. With the slips thus set, continued downward movement of the body means 1901 will compress and the packer elements 1902 between the elements 1903 and 1904 and will cause the packer elements to expand radially outwardly into sealing engagement with the conduit means 5.

A J-slot means 1909 temporarily blocks movement of the slip assembly 1905 relative to the body means 1901 when the testing string 7 is being run into a well bore.

In response to rotation of the testing string 7, the J-slot 1909 is disabled to permit the aforementioned packer-setting action in a well understood fashion.

Release of the packer 19 is effected by imparting upward force to the packer body 1901.

It is contemplated in particular that the packer assembly 19 may comprise a retractable test-treat-squeeze packer described, for example, on page 62 of the 1968 Halliburton Sales and Service Catalog published and commercially available from Halliburton Services, Duncan, Okla. 73533.

The testing string 7 may also be provided at its lower end with a blanked off" pressure-recording means. This pressure recording means may correspond to the recorder assembly 12 shown in the aforementioned Chisholm US. Pat. No. 3,358,755. Where such a blanked off recorder is utilized, it may be connected with the lower end 1910 of the packer assembly as shown in FIG. 3e, in generally corresponding relation to the arrangement shown in FIGS. 1 through 4 of the aforementioned Chisholm US. Pat. No. 3,358,755.

Circulating Valve As has been earlier indicated, the testing string 7 may be augmented by the inclusion of a circulating valve between the tester valve 14 and the drill collar assembly 13.

The purpose of such a circulating valve would be to permit reverse circulation above the tester valve for the purpose of circulating well fluid upwardly through the testing string to the wellhead, i.e., well fluid trapped in the testing string above the closed sample chamber 1403.

Such a circulating valve may comprise a Dual Closed-In Pressure Valve available from Halliburton Services of Duncan, Okla, and described on page 146 of the Halliburton Sales and Service Catalog for 1968. This valve is also described in US. Perkins et al. Pat. No. 3,l52,644, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

This circulating valve would be incorporated in the testing string between the tester 14 and the drill collar assembly 13, i.e., between the junction 1402 of FIG. 3B and the lowermost drill collar in the assembly 13.

MODE OF OPERATION An offshore welltesting operation conducted in accordance with the present invention is initiated by the assembly of the testing string 7 previously described and the lowering of this string from the floating vessel 1 into the well bore defined by the conduit 5.

Fundamentally, four distinct phases would be involved in the testing operation, namely, positioning, flow testing,.

closed-in testing, and well close off.

Positioning For the purpose of ascertaining thelocation of components and permitting controlled and reliable manipulation from the floating vessel, the operator would lower the testing string through the riser 21 into the well bore defined by the conduit 5.

This lowering would be continued until the abutment means 1001 was seated on the bushing-type support 207 of the wellhead.

This initial positioning, of course, would be effected with each of the rams 203, 204 and 205 in an open condition.

During this initial operation, if any adverse condition should develop, the rams 205 could be closed about the recess 803 of the close off assembly 801. This ram closing operation would seal the annular space between the assembly 801 and the wellhead body 201. The detachable connection between the conduit portion 804 and the assembly 801 could be manipulated so as to separate elements 804 and 802 from the wellhead.

Since the ball valve assemblies included in the Otis subsea test tree 801 are normally closed except when actuated by pressurized fluid, the ball valves during this operational phase would be closed. The closing of such ball valve means in conjunction with the closing of the rams 205 about the peripheral portion 803 of the unit 801 would operate to close in the submerged well.

Assuming that no emergency condition developed which required the closed in operation previously described, an operator would raise the string by an increment sufficient to place the abutment 1003 well above the rams 205, i.e., raise the string from the FIG. 2 position.

This raising operation would serve to fully extend the extensible conduit means 1 1 and 15.

The operator would then close the rams 205 about the portion of conduit means 8 immediately beneath the abutment means 1003 and lower the testing string. This lowering would terminate with the abutting engagement of the abutment means 1003 with the annular seat defined by the closed rams 205.

At this point, the operator would mark the periphery of the conduit string on the vessel 1 in the vicinity of the slip-providing, rotary table which serves, in the conventional fashion, as a testing string chucking or gripping device.

With the pipe thus marked, the operator would again pick up the testing string, open the rams 205 and raise the conduit string to place the mark previously noted at a proper increment above the rotary table.

This increment would be sufficient to permit subsequent lowering of the testing string to set the packer 19, fully contract the extension joint 15, partially contract the slip joint 11, open the valve means 14, and permitabutment means 1002 to come to rest in rams 205.

Packer Setting'and Flow Test The operator would now proceed to lower the testing string, recognizing that the conduit means 11 and 15 are'fully extended.

Before this lowering operation commences, the operator would rotate the testing string 7 utilizing the rotary table, so as to free the J -slot connection 1909 and thereby permit relative telescoping movement between the components 1901 and 1905 of the packer assembly.

Lowering of the testing string, after this rotational operation, will first cause initiation of setting of the packer in the manner previously described followed by full contraction of the extension joint 15. In this connection it will be appreciated that the weight of components l8, l7, and 1901 will provide sufficient weight to induce packer slip setting, the telescoping action of extensible conduit means 15 notwithstanding. After conduit means 15 is fully contracted, further lowering of the conduit 8 will allow the weight of drill collars 13 to complete the packer setting action, if complete packer setting has not already resulted.

With the packer expanded or set, the lower end of the testing string will be anchored in the well bore above the desired test site 6 so as to substantially immobilize the lower end of the testing string within the well bore.

It will here be recognized that the length of the testing string between the abutment means 10 and the packer 19 must be accurately predetermined to ensure the proper positioning of the set packer 19 in relation to the test zone 6.

After the extensible conduit means has been contracted and packer 19 has been set, further lowering of the conduit means 8 will partially contract the initially fully extended extensible conduit means 1 1.

At a point in time during the contraction of joint 15, when the abutment means 1002 is disposed above the rams 205, and the abutment means 1003 disposed below these rams, the rams 205 would be closed so as to provide a ledge operable to abuttingly engage the descending abutment means 1002. Conduit 8 may then be lowered to cause abutment 1002 to rest on rams 205.

FIG. 5 illustrates the testing string 7 and the rams 205 at the point where the rams have been closed and the abutment means 1002 are resting on the closed rams 205.

In this condition of components the extension joint 15 is fully contracted, the packer 19 is set, and the upper extension joint 11 is about half-contracted.

FIG. 5A schematically illustrates the partial contraction of the components 1105 and 1104 of the telescoping connection 11, illustrating the safety valve member 1209 still unengaged with the valve seat 1202. The valve member 1404 is still in the valve closing position and the bypass valve 1407 remains open because of the impedance action of unit 1405, Le, drill collars 13 have not yet moved valve 1404. This disposition of the components of the valve means 14 is described generally in the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755 in relation to FIG. 1.

However, distinct from the arrangement shown in FIG. 1 of the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755, the extension joint 15, schematically represented by the components 1501 and 1502, is disposed in the fully contracted position.

With the abutment 1002 disposed in abutting engagement with the rams 205, the entire weight of the conduit means 8 will be carried by the wellhead.

The partially contracted nature of the conduit means 11 will isolate the drill collar assembly 13 and the remainder of the testing string 7 beneath the drill collar assembly from force transmitting engagement with the conduit means 8.

The weight of the drill collars 13 will then act through the impedance coupling 1405 and slowly move the valve member 1404 downwardly from the position shown in FIG. 5A to the open position shown in FIG. 7C as well as in FIG. 2 of the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755. In this connection, it is contemplated that joint 11 will be partially contracted and abutment 1002 seated on rams .205 before impedance unit 1405 has permitted any substantial movement of valve member 1404.

This lowering of the valve-1404 to the open position, will concurrently cause the bypass valve 1407 to move downwardly to the bypass port closing position shown inFIG. 7C and in FIG. 2 of the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,358,755. In

this bypass port'closing position, the bypass ports 1409 are closed by the telescoping connection 1410.

The components of valve 14 are thus now disposed as shown generally in FIG. 7C and in FIG. 2 of the Chisholm U.S.

"Pat. No. 3,358,755 so as to permit an upward flow of formation fluid through the sample chamber 1403.

While this flow test is thus being performed, the conduit means 8 may be freed from the rotary table on the vessel 1 so as to obviate the efiects of wave action on the testing string 7. Even with the rotary table so disengaged with the string portion 8, the weight of the string 8 willbe supported in the well- .head 2.

As will be apparent, the opening of the valve 14 was effected by the weight or gravity responsive influence of the drill collar assembly 13. The drill collar assembly 13 was operable to impart valve opening movement to the member 1404 by virtue of the partially telescoped connection means 11.

As will also be apparent, the movement impedance action of the hydraulic impedance mechanism 1415 enabled an operator to lower the second abutment means 1002 into seated engagement with the closed rams 205 before the valve 14 actually opened through the action of the drill collars 13. As an overall result, the test valve opening movement of string 7 was effected with wave action forces being substantially isolated from test valve 14 and packer 19.

During a testing operation it may be desirable to alternate flowing conditions with closed in conditions. The alternation between closed in and flow conditions may be effected several times. The movement of the valve member 1404 between flow and closed in conditions is effected in response to linear reciprocation of the member 1404 as generally described in the Chisholm U.S. Pat. No. 3,35 8,755.

Having described the flow condition of the test valve 14, it now becomes appropriate to describe the closed in condition.

Closed In Test The closed in test condition is effected by raising the conduit means 8 so as to restore the valve member 1404 to its closed position shown schematically in FIG. 3B, for example.

This valve closing is effected by slightly picking up the conduit means 8 from the hoisting means on the vessel 1, opening the rams 205, and raising the conduit means 8 a distance sufficient to position the third abutment means 1003 above the rams 205. The rams 205 would then be closed and the abutment means lowered into abutting engagement with the closed rams 205 as shown in FIG. 6.

This lowering operation would again cause the load of the conduit means to be carried by the wellhead 2. This would permit the conduit means 8 to be disengaged from the chucking or gripping means on the floating vessel 1 to obviate the effects of wave action.

As shown in FIG. 6, the abutment means 1003 and 1002 are so positionally related that the raising of the abutment means 1003 into seated engagement with the rams 205 will cause full extension of the conduit means 11, partial extension of the formerly contracted conduit means 15, and closing of the valve 14.

cause the conduit means 8 to support the drill collar means 13 and transmit valve closing force to the valve member 1404. This force is effective to restore the valve 1404 to the closed position shown in FIG. 6A.

The increment of upward movement required to position the conduit means 1003 as shown in FIG. 6 induces partial extension of the components 1501 and 1502 of the extension joint means 15. This partial extension will isolate wave action forces from valve 14 and packer 19 during the manipulation of string 7.

As is described in the Chisholm US. Pat. No. 3,358,755, the manipulation of the tester valve to the closed in or closed valve condition would be effected with the bypass valve 1407 remaining in its lower position, closing off the bypass ports 1409.

The disposition of tester valve components shown in FIG. 6A is described in the Chisholm US. Pat. No. 3,358,755 in connection with FIG. 3 of this Chisholm patent.

The closed in condition of the tester valve shown in FIG. 6A also serves to entrap a sample of well fluid in the chamber 1403.

At the conclusion of a testing operation, a lifting force imparted on the conduit means 8, with the ram assemblies 203, 204 and 205 contracted, will serve to raise the testing string to the floating vessel 1, with the valve 1404 in the closed position of FIG. 6A, entrapping a sample of well fluid in the sample chamber 1403.

This retrieval of the testing string is described in the Chisholm US Pat. No. 3,358,755 in connection with FIG. 4 of the Chisholm patent.

While the testing operations of the string 7 have been generally described, it may be necessary in response to an emergency condition or other operational condition to operate the safety valve 12 and close the testing tool passage independent of the condition of the tester valve 14. This emergency close off procedure will now be described with reference to FIGS. 7 and 7A.

Emergency Close Off Operation tracted and the safety valve 12 will be closed.

As will be recalled from the preceding discussion, the closing of the safety valve 12 will automatically result from the full contraction of the extensible conduit means 11.

Thus, as shown in FIG. 7A, the complete contraction of the schematically shown telescoping elements 1105 and 1104 of the extensible conduit joint 11 will cause the safety valve member 1209 to sealingly enter the safety valve seat 1202.

As a result of this lowering operation, the valve member 1404 would be disposed in a flow or open condition. However, the longitudinal passage of the testing tool would be closed above the open valve 14 by the safety valve 12.

With the components disposed as shown in FIGS. 7 and 7A, it would be possible to separate the conduit portion 804 from the unit 801 and provide an additional closure of the testing string 7 by virtue of the operation of the ball valves in the Otis subsea test tree 801.

With the conduit portion 804 and its associated control conduit 802 removed from the riser 21, blind blowoffpreventer rams (not shown), if provided in the wellhead assembly, may be closed above the unit 801 to fully close in the submerged well.

With the well thus closed in, the riser 21 itself could be detached and removed to the floating vessel.

The resumption of testing operations could be effected by relowering the riser 21 along the guide means 209 and reinserting the conduit portion 804 and its associated control conduit 802 through the riser into latched engagement with the wellhead component 208. This reestablishment of operating conditions would allow testing operations to be resumed or permit the retrieval of the overall testing string.

SUMMARY OF ADVANTAGES AND SCOPE OF INVENTION A principal advantage of the invention resides in the manner in which a portion of the testing string may be supported in a wellhead so as to isolate wave action from the testing string but permit a gravity responsive valve actuator to control the operation of a tester valve.

The various valve mechanisms of the system provide unusually effective safety features permitting an operator to move off of location with the valve effectively closed off and reestablish operations as desired.

Even if the testing string should part or leak in the vicinity of the tester valve or below, the safety valve 12 provides an effective string closing mechanism.

The purely reciprocable nature of the tester valve 14 minimizes the amount of rotation during the testing operation. Further, the limited reciprocable movement required to move the tester valve between open and closed positions reduces seal wear. The isolation of wave action from the testing string effectively eliminates or minimizes vertical movement of the testing string so as to prolong the operating life of the seals in the rams of the wellhead assembly and the seals in the extensi ble conduit means. The overall nature of the apparatus is such as to provide complete control at all times while enabling closed in and flow conditions to be monitored and a sample of well fluid to be entrapped and moved to the floating vessel.

The incorporation of the extensible conduit between the conduit means 8 and the tester valve 14 permits an operator to manipulate the string to the flow test condition while isolating wave action from the valve 14 and the packer 19. This isolation results from the partial contraction of the extensible conduit means 11, and the valve-setting action of the drill collar assembly 13.

The inclusion of the extensible conduit 15 between the valve 14 and the packer assembly enables wave action forces to be isolated from the packer 19 and the tester valve 14 while the valve 14 is being manipulated to the closed in condition. This isolation results from the partial contraction of the slip joint 15 so that wave action is effectively isolated from the packer and the valve components as the testing string is being manipulated from the flow to closed in conditions.

The safety joint and jar tool provide optimum control of packer retrieval or disengaging operations.

Although the invention has been described with respect to a particular arrangement of abutments and wellhead support means, it will be apparent that variations in the testing apparatus and procedure may be employed.

For example, different support points, in the wellhead 2 may be employed in conjunction with the various abutments of the testing string so as to modify the extent of axial movement of the testing string required for particular operational purposes.

It is also to be recognized that the specifically delineated components of the system may be replaced by functionally equivalent components of a diverse nature and that the components may in certain instances be arranged in longitudinal sequences different that that described.

It will also be recognized that certain principal advantages of the invention may be attained without employing the entire assemblage of components previously delineated.

Thus, those familiar with the offshore drilling art and familiar with the disclosure of this invention may well recognize additions, deletions, substitutions or other modifications which would fall within the purview of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

We claim:

1. An apparatus for use in testing ofishore wells, said apparatus comprising: extensible means; gravity responsive valve-actuating means connected with said extensible means; valve means including,

a valve member operably responsive to said gravity responsive valve-actuating means; conduit means connected with said'extensible means and operable to extend generally upwardly from a submerged wellhead; means operable to support said conduit means in said wellhead with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means causing said valve member to assume atleast one operative position. 2. An apparatus for use in testing offshore wells, said apparatus comprising:

extensible conduit means; gravity responsive valve actuating means connected with said extensible conduit means; valve means including,

a reciprocable valve member connected with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means, and valve body means;

means operable to limit movement of said valve body means;

conduit means connected with said extensible conduit means and operable to extend generally upwardly from a submerged wellhead;

means operable to support said conduit means in said wellhead with said gravity responsive, valve-actuating means acting on said valve member to urge said valve member to an open valve position; and

means operable to support said conduit means in said wellhead, with force being transmitted from said conduit means through said first extensible conduit means and said gravity responsive valve actuating means to said valve member to maintain said valve member in a closed valve position.

3. An apparatus for use in testing offshore wells, said apparatus comprising:

first extensible conduit means;

gravity responsive valve-actuating means connected with said first extensible conduit means;

valve means including,

a reciprocable valve member connected with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means, and valve body means;

second extensible conduit means connected with said valve body means;

anchor means connected with said second extensible conduit means and operable, in'cooperation with said second extensible conduit means, to limit movement of said valve body means;

conduit means connected with said first extensible conduit means and operable to extend generally upwardly from a submerged wellhead;

means operable to support said conduit means in said wellhead with said gravity responsive, valve-actuating means acting on said valve member to urge said valve member to an open valve position; and

means operable to support said conduit means in said wellhead, with force being transmitted from said conduit means through said first extensible conduit means and said gravity responsive valve-actuating means to said valve member to maintain said valve member in a closed valve position.

4. An apparatus for use in testing offshore wells, said apparatus comprising:

submerged wellhead means including, selectively operable support means;

well conduit means extending generally downwardly from said wellhead means;

well-testing means including,

first abutment means,

second abutment means,

first conduit means interconnecting said first and second abutment means and operable to extend upwardly from said wellhead means,

extensible conduit means connected with said first conduit means,

gravity responsive, valve actuating means connected with, and operable to be disposed generally beneath, said extensible conduit means when said testing means is disposed in said well conduit means,

valve means including,

avalve member reciprocable generally longitudinally of said first conduit means and connected with said gravity responsive, valve-actuating means, and

valve body means,

second conduit means connected with said valve body means and operable to be disposed generally therebeneath, and anchor means carried'by said second conduit means and operable to limit movement of said valve body means generally longitudinally of said well conduit means; one of said first and second abutment means being operable to be engaged with said support means of said wellhead means to cause said first conduit means to be supported by said wellhead means with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means having moved said valve member to one operative position; and the other of said first and second abutment means being operable to abuttingly engage the support means of said wellhead means and support said first conduit means in said wellhead means with said extensible conduit means being extended to cause said other of said abutment means to support the weight of said gravity responsive valve-actuating means and maintain said valve member in another operative position. 5. An apparatus for use in testing offshore wells, said apparatus comprising:

submerged wellhead means including, selectively operable support means; well conduit means extending generally downwardly from said wellhead means; well-testing means including,

first abutment means, second abutment means, first conduit means interconnecting said first and second abutment means and operable to extend upwardly from said wellhead means, extensible conduit means connected with said first conduit means, gravity responsive, valve-actuating means connected with, and operable to be disposed generally beneath, said extensible conduit means when said testing means is disposed in said well conduit means, valve means including,

a valve member reciprocable generally longitudinally of said first conduit means and connected with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means, and

valve body means,

second conduit means connected with said valve body means and operable to be disposed generally therebeneath,

anchor means carried by said second conduit means and operable to limit movement of said valve body means generally longitudinally of said well conduit means,

passage means extending longitudinally of said testing means, and

passage closing means selectively operable to close said passage means;

one of said first and second abutment means being operable to be engaged with said support means of said wellhead means to cause said first conduit means to be supported by said wellhead means with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means having moved said valve member to an open position; and

paratus comprising:

submerged wellhead means including, selectively operable support means; well conduit means extending generally downwardly from said wellhead means; well-testing means including,

first abutment means, second abutment means, third abutment means, first conduit means interconnecting said first, second and third abutment means and operable to extend upwardly from said wellhead means, extensible conduit means connected with said first conduit means, gravity responsive, valve actuating means connected with, and operable to be disposed generally beneath, said extensible conduit means when said testing means is disposed in said well conduit means, valve means including,

a valve member reciprocable generally longitudinally of said first conduit means and connected with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means, and

valve body means,

second conduit means connected with said valve body means and operable to be disposed generally therebeneath,

anchor means carried by said second conduit means and operable to limit movement of said valve body means generally longitudinally of said well conduit means,

passage means extending longitudinally of said testing means, and I passage closing means selectively operable to close said passage means;

one of said first, second, and third abutment means being operable to be engaged with said support means of said wellhead means to cause said first conduit means to be supported by said wellhead means with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means having moved said valve member to an open position;

another of said first, second, and third abutment means being operable to abuttingly engage the support means of said wellhead means and support said first conduit means in said wellhead means with said extensible conduit means being extended to cause said other of said abutment means to support the weight of said gravity responsive valve-actuating means and maintain said valve member in a closed position;

the remaining one of said first, second and third abutment means being operable to abuttingly engage said support means of said wellhead means and induce closing of the passage means of said well-testing means independent of the operation of said valve means.

7. In an apparatus for use in testing offshore wells, where said apparatus includes:

floating vessel means,

submerged wellhead means, and

well conduit means extending generally downwardly from said wellhead means toward a submerged formation; the improvement in well-testing means comprising:

first conduit means extending from said floating vessel means to said wellhead,

abutment means operable to support said first conduit means from said wellhead independent of limited movement of at least a portion of the remainder of said testing means,

extensible conduit means connected with said conduit means and positioned therebeneath,

first well fluid, flow-controlling valve means operably responsive to extensible movement of said first extensible conduit means,

gravity responsive valve-actuating means connected with said first valve means,

formation fluid, flow-controlling second valve means,

impedance means interposed between and interconnecting said second valve means and said gravity responsive valve-actuating means,

said gravity responsive valve-actuating means being operable to actuate said second valve means in at least partial response to extension and contraction of said first extensible conduit means, and

anchor means connected with second valve means and operable to detachably anchor a lower portion of said well-testing means within said well conduit means.

8. In an apparatus for use in testing offshore wells, where said apparatus includes:

floating vessel means,

submerged wellhead means, and

well conduit means extending generally downwardly from said wellhead means toward a submerged formation; the improvement in well-testing means comprising:

first conduit means operable to extend from said floating vessel means to said wellhead,

abutment means operable to support said first conduit means from said wellhead independent of limited movement of at least a portion of the remainder of said testing means,

first extensible conduit means connected with said first conduit means and positioned therebeneath,

first valve means operably responsive to extensible movement of said first extensible conduit means,

gravity responsive valve-actuating means connected with said first valve means,

formation fluid, flow-controlling second valve means,

impedance means interposed between and interconnecting said second valve means and said gravity responsive valve-actuating means,

said gravity responsive valve-actuating means being operable to actuate said second valve means in at least partial response to extension and contraction of said first extensible conduit means,

jar tool means connected with said second valve means and disposed generally therebeneath,

packer means connected with said jar tool means and operable to detachably anchor a lower portion of said well-testing means within said well conduit means, and

blowout preventer means incorporated in said first conduit means and operable to be releasably secured within said wellhead means. 4

9. An apparatus for use in testing offshore wells, said apparatus comprising:

floating vessel means; submerged wellhead means; well conduit means extending generally downwardly from said wellhead means toward a submerged formation; well-testing means including,

first conduit means extending from said floating vessel means to said wellhead, abutment means operable to support said first conduit means from said wellhead independent of limited movement of at least a portion of the remainder of said testing means, first extensible conduit means connected with said first conduit means and positioned therebeneath, first valve means operably responsive to extensible movement of said first extensible conduit means, gravity responsive valve-actuating means connected with said first valve means, formation fluid, flow-controlling second valve means,

hydraulic impedance means interposed between and interconnecting said second valve means and said gravity responsive valve-actuating means,

said gravity responsive valve-actuating means being operable to actuate said second valve means in at least partial response to extension and contraction of said first extensible conduit means,

second extensible joint means connected with and disposed generally beneath said second valve means,

jar tool means connected with said second extensible conduit means and disposed generally therebeneath,

safety joint means connected with said jar tool means and disposed generally therebeneath, and

packer means connected with said safety joint means and operable to detachably anchor a lower portion of said well-testing means within said well conduit means; and

blow out preventer means incorporated in said first conduit means and operable to be releasably secured within said wellhead means.

10. A method of testing offshore wells, said method comprising: disposing well testing means in a submerged well, including,

extensible means;

gravity responsive valve-actuating means connected with said extensible means; and

valve means including,

a valve member connected with said gravity responsive valve-actuating means, and valve body means; and limiting movement of said valve body means in said well; providing conduit means connected with said extensible means extending generally upwardly from said extensible means through a submerged wellhead to a floating vessel, with movement of said valve body means being limited; supporting said conduit means in said wellhead with said gravity responsive, valve-actuating means acting on said valve member to urge said valve member to one operative position; and

supporting said conduit means in said wellhead, with force being transmitted from said conduit means through said extensible means and said gravity responsive valve-actuating means to said valve member to maintain said valve member in another operative position.

11. A method of testing offshore wells, said method comprising:

disposing a formation testing apparatus in a submerged well,

with said apparatus including a formation fluid, flow-controlling test valve and a packer assembly;

manipulating said apparatus from a floating vessel to cause said test-valve to open while concurrently isolating the effects of wave action from said test valve and packer assembly; and

manipulating said apparatus from said floating vessel to cause said test valve to close while concurrently isolating the effects of wave action from said test valve and said packer assembly.

12. A method of testing offshore wells, said method comprising:

disposing a formation testing apparatus in a submerged well,

with said apparatus including a formation fluid, flow-controlling test valve and a packer assembly;

manipulating said apparatus from a floating vessel to cause said test valve to open while concurrently isolating the effects of wave action from said test valve and packer assembly;

manipulating said apparatus from said floating vessel to cause said test valve to close while concurrently isolating the effects of wave action from said test valve and said packer assembly; and

maintaining said test valve in a fixed operative position for a period of time while supporting said apparatus at said submerged well, and with said apparatus being movable relative to said floating vessel to isolate said overall apparatus from the etlects of wa e a tion.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3792732 *Apr 28, 1971Feb 19, 1974Otis Eng CorpWell flow controlling system and apparatus
US3823773 *Oct 30, 1972Jul 16, 1974Schlumberger Technology CorpPressure controlled drill stem tester with reversing valve
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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/336, 166/152
International ClassificationE21B49/00, E21B33/129, E21B34/00, E21B33/12, C09D5/46, E21B49/08, E21B34/12
Cooperative ClassificationE21B34/125, E21B49/081, E21B49/001, E21B33/1294
European ClassificationE21B33/129N, E21B49/08B, E21B34/12T, E21B49/00A