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Publication numberUS3887007 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 3, 1975
Filing dateOct 11, 1974
Priority dateNov 1, 1973
Publication numberUS 3887007 A, US 3887007A, US-A-3887007, US3887007 A, US3887007A
InventorsAbney David Lewis, Williams Robert Carl
Original AssigneeDresser Ind
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well packer zone activated valve
US 3887007 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Abney et al. June 3, 1975 [54] WELL PACKER ZONE ACTIVATED VALVE 3.211.227 lO/l965 Mott l66/l20 3.233, 2 966 T: l 'l I66 I20 [75] inventors David Lewis Abney Smfimdl 3338.22); sllqsv eillzlzi el isslizo Carl Williams p both 3.533.430 10/1970 Frcdd [37/1 II! of Tex.

[73] Assignee: Dresser Industries, Inc., Dallas, Tex.

Primary Examiner-David H. Brown [22] Filed: Oct. 11, 1974 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Michael .I. Caddell [2i] Appl, N0.: 513.977

Related U.S. Application Data [62] Division ofSer. No 4ll 984, Nov. l, 1973; Pat. No. ABSTRACT A sliding valve located in the lower end of a packer [52] U.S. Cl. 1661224 A; 137/112 assembly utilize two differential pressure areas for re- [51] Int. Cl. E21B 23/06; (305D ll/OO ceiving hydraulic pressure from inside the tubing to Field of Search 166/224 224 20; actuate the packer and then selectively receiving for- 137/ l 12, 113 mation pressure when it exceeds the casing pressure and using the higher formation pressure to maintain References Cited the packer set in the casing.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,65L49l 9/1953 Ashton et al. 131/113 x 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 20 ZZ 20b 19 l b 23o l2b I40 25 SHEET FIG. 2

FIG. 2A

WELL PACKER ZONE ACTIVATED VALVE This is a division of application Ser. No. 411,984, filed Nov. l, 1973, now US. Pat. No. 3.860.068.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the completion and production of multizone wells with two or more producing formations penetrated by the wellbore it is frequently the practice to utilize a number of well packers to isolate the formations.

Often the tool string or production string will be lowered into the hole and all the packers will be set, usually with one or more packers between the formations producing hydrocarbons. Then it is frequently the case that not all the formations will be opened to flow up the production tubing since one or more may be high pressure formations and there may be a low pressure formation also on the production string which, if they are all on production flow. will result in gas and fluid moving from the high pressure zones into the low pressure zone. Thus during production from one zone the others are usually closed off.

This oftentimes results in the problem that if a high pressure zone is closed in, it may build up a pressure below one of its isolating packers greater than the hydraulic actuating pressure in the tubing with the result that the packer and tubing will tend to float up in the casing and destroy the desired zone isolation.

The present invention solves this problem by providing a packer lower valve mechanism which allows hydraulic actuation of the packer through the tubing string and, when the zone pressure builds up higher than the setting pressure, switches the packer setting mechanism from tubing pressure to formation pressure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGS. la-lc illustrate a cross-sectional side view of a packer assembly containing the invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of the valve assembly;

FIG. 2a shows a cross-sectional side view of the actuating valve seat.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to figures la through 1c, the packer assembly I is shown having hydraulic gripping buttons 2, resilient packer elements 3 and mechanical anchors 4 mounted on an internal tubular mandrel 5 and a concentric external mandrel 6.

Secured to the lower ends of mandrels 5 and 6 is the activating valve assembly 7. It should be noted that the packer assembly is a standard hydraulically actuated packer having radially expanding resilient packer elements and mechanical anchor means for anchoring the assembly in the wellbore.

Normal operation of the packer is accomplished by applying hydraulic pressure to chamber 8 whereupon the pressure acts upward on piston head 9 and downward on cylinder sleeve 10, compressing packers 3 and wedging anchors 4 outward into engagement with the well casing.

Hydraulic pressure is applied to chamber 8 by closing off the tubing bore below valve assembly 7 by standard val ing means such as a dropped plug or ball in the tubing or mechanically actuated sleeve valve means. The tubing is then pressured up and hydraulic pressure acts through mandrel ports 11 up a concentric passage 12 and through channels 13 into actuation chamber 8.

A ported valve sleeve 14 and valve housing 15 comprise the lower valve assembly 7 and allow pressure from the formation to aid in maintaining the packer set in the well.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 2a a more detailed description of the zone activation valve assembly 7 is illustrated as having an external tubular cylindrical valve housing 15 with one or more radial ports 16 through the wall thereof. A lower threaded adapter 17 is attached to housing 15 at threaded section 18 and is adapted to be threadedly connected to a valve seating collar therebelow.

The inner mandrel 5 which is an elongated tubular cylindrical member is sealingly and snugly telescoped into the upper portion 170 of lower adapter 17 and abuts inner shoulder 17b of the adapter. A fluidic seal therebetween is provided by circular seal ring 19 located in an inner annular groove in the wall of section 17a of the lower housing.

Annular chamber 12 is formed between the inner mandrel S and housing 15 and consists of a lower portion and a wider upper portion 12b.

A ported sleeve piston I4 is slidably and sealingly telescoped within chamber 12 and is arranged to continuously contact mandrel 5 with seal means 20a and 20!: therein. Piston 14 further has ports 21 passing through an upper skirt 14a thereon and communicating with ports I] when piston 14 is in the lower most position in chamber 12 as shown in the figure.

Sleeve piston 14 has an inner annular shoulder 14b arranged upon upward movement to abut a complementary external annular shoulder 5a on mandrel 5, thereby limiting upward movement of piston 14.

A circular seal 22 on piston 14 provides sealing contact with wall 23 of lower chamber 12a until the piston has moved upward sufficiently for seal 22 to clear shoulder 23a and enter expanded chamber 12b. Piston 14 further has a lower annular differential pressure face 24 and an upper annular differential pressure face 25 formed thereon to receive pressure fluctuations and transmit their force to piston 14.

FIG. 2a illustrates a valve seat collar 30 which may be threadedly attached to the lower threaded end 26 of adapter 17 by threads 30a located internally in the upper end. Collar 30 has an inner, annular, bevelled valve seat 31 formed therein to receive an actuating valve member (not shown), as previously mentioned, to close off the tubing bore passage and allow hydraulic actuation of the packer assembly via ports 11 and 21 in assembly 7. A lower threaded portion 30b is adapted for connection into a standard tubing section or another tool or packer assembly.

METHOD OF OPERATION In typical operation, the valve assembly 7 is attached to the packer assembly 1 as shown in FIGS. la-lc. This string is then placed in the production string with additional packers in the desired quantity to provide proper isolation of the zones penetrated by the wellbore.

The entire production string is then lowered into the wellbore and the packers situated in the proper location to isolate the producing formations. A valve member such as a ball or plug can then be pumped down the string to seat in valve seat 31 of collar 30 and close off the tubing passage. The fluid in the tubing can then be pressured to the predetermined actuation pressure which acts through the inner bore passage of mandrel 5, through ports H and 21, chamber 12, channels 13 and into chamber 8, thereby driving piston 9 out of cylinder 10, moving cylinder 10 downward, compressing packer elements 3 and wedging slips 4 outward into the casing. Usually shear pins are used to temporarily hold cylinder 10 to piston 9 until actuation pressure is reached in the tubing whereupon the pins will shear and the packer will set.

At this time the packer is set and, assuming that the formation below this packer assembly is one of the high pressure formations which it is desirable to maintain closed-in during production of a low pressure formation elsewhere in the string, the pressure will begin to build up below the packer elements 3 and the pressure going beyond the tubing pressure will tend to unset the packer assembly. At this time valve assembly 7 automatically comes into action because of the pressure differential which develops across piston 14 from formation pressure acting through port 16 on differential pressure area 24. This reacts against tubing actuating pressure on upper area 25 and when it exceeds the tubing pressure will move piston 14 upward, closing off ports 11 by straddling them with seals 20a and 20b and piston 14. Piston 14 will move upward until shoulder 14b thereon abuts outer shoulder 50 on mandrel 5 which stops upward movement of the piston.

At this upward position of piston 14 ports 11 will be blocked off and ports 16 will now be in communication with enlarged chamber 12b and formation pressure will be transmitted via ports 16, chamber 12b and chamber 8 to the packer setting mechanism, guaranteeing that the packer remains set.

Should the formation pressure drop below the tubing actuation pressure, for instance if the formation is finally placed on production and its pressure drops considerably, the tubing pressure acting downward on shoulder 14b through ports 11 will move the sleeve 14 back downward and once again communicate the tubing fluid with the packer actuating piston and cylinder via ports 11 and 21 and chambers 12 and 8.

Thus it can be seen that valve assembly 7 works automatically to maintain the higher of two pressures, either tubing pressure or formation pressure, on the packer actuating assembly to maintain the packer in the set position.

Although certain preferred embodiments of the present invention have been herein described in order to provide an understanding of the general principles of the invention, it will be appreciated that various changes and innovations can be effected in the described well packer zone activated valve assembly without departing from these principles; for example, it would be possible to utilize the valve assembly as some intermediate point in the packer apparatus rather than at the bottom or the valve assembly could be utilized in other types of pressure actuated packers than the one shown. All modifications and changes of this type are deemed to be embraced by the spirit and scope of the invention except as the same may be necessarily limited by the appended claims or reasonable equivalents thereof.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A valve assembly for selectively applying the higher of two available fluid pressures to a well packer assembly, said two fluid pressures arising in the internal bore passage of the tubing string attached to said well packer assembly and the formation pressure below said well packer assembly; said valve assembly comprising: inner mandrel means having an internal bore passage communicating through said packer assembly to the tubing string above said packer assembly;

outer housing means located concentrically about said inner mandrel means and forming an annular passage therebetween;

first port means between said inner mandrel means internal bore passage and said annular passage; second port means in said housing rneans between said annular passage and the well formation; and, valve member means in said annular passage responsive to fluidic pressure from said first and second port means and adapted to move in response to the higher of said two pressures to block the port means communicating the lower of said pressures.

2. The valve assembly of claim 1 wherein said valve member means further comprises a cylindrical piston sleeve having first and second differential pressure areas thereon adapted to receive hydraulic pressure from said first and second port means respectively:

said piston sleeve having seal means thereon; and,

said valve assembly further comprising abutment means between said piston sleeve and said inner mandrel means arranged to limit movement of said piston sleeve in said annular passage.

3. The valve assembly of claim 2 further comprising first and second fluid bypass means; said first bypass means arranged to allow fluid flow from said first port means, through said piston sleeve to said annular passage; and said second bypass means adapted to allow fluid flow from said second port means, around said piston sleeve to said annular passage; said piston sleeve arranged to allow fluid flow through only one of said bypass means at a time.

4. The valve assembly of claim 3 wherein said first bypass means comprises port means through the wall of said piston sleeve and said second bypass means comprises an enlarged chamber in said annular passage, said enlarged chamber being sufficiently larger than said piston sleeve and arranged to receive said piston sleeve for allowing fluid to flow around said piston sleeve when said sleeve is located in said enlarged chamber.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2651491 *Jun 12, 1951Sep 8, 1953Electrol IncShuttle valve
US3211227 *Jun 27, 1962Oct 12, 1965Cicero C BrownRelease mechanism for well equipment
US3233675 *Dec 14, 1962Feb 8, 1966Otis Eng CoWell packers with hydraulic pressure balance
US3338308 *Aug 10, 1964Aug 29, 1967Otis Eng CoWell packer and anchor therefor
US3533430 *Jan 1, 1969Jan 1, 1970Otis Eng CorpShuttle valve
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4877086 *Sep 20, 1988Oct 31, 1989Halliburton CompanyPressure limiter for a downhole pump and testing apparatus
US4979569 *Jul 6, 1989Dec 25, 1990Schlumberger Technology CorporationDual action valve including at least two pressure responsive members
US6253853 *Oct 5, 1998Jul 3, 2001Stellarton Energy CorporationFluid injection tubing assembly and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/319, 137/112
International ClassificationE21B33/1295, E21B33/12, E21B33/129
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/1295, E21B33/129
European ClassificationE21B33/129, E21B33/1295