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Publication numberUS3913670 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 21, 1975
Filing dateMay 28, 1974
Priority dateMay 28, 1974
Publication numberUS 3913670 A, US 3913670A, US-A-3913670, US3913670 A, US3913670A
InventorsAhlstone Arthur G
Original AssigneeVetco Offshore Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for setting and locking packing assemblies in subsurface wellheads
US 3913670 A
Abstract
Setting and locking apparatus is connected to a packing assembly, the combination being lowered on a tubular running string to locate the packing and locking assembly between a casing hanger body and a surrounding housing beneath a body of water. The apparatus is weighted and responsive to fluid pressure to expand the packing in the annular space between the hanger body and the housing, and to actuate a wedge-type lock which retains the packing in the packed off condition. The apparatus is releasable from the packing and wedge-lock for retrieval.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Ahlstone Oct. 21, 1975 54] APPARATUS FOR SETTING AND LOCKING 3,361,209 1/1968 Edwards, Jr. 166/182 PACKING ASSEMBLIES IN SUBSURFACE 1460-617 4/1969 Brown et 3,827,488 8/1974 Piazza et al 166/87 WELLHEADS Arthur G. Ahlstone, Ventura, Calif.

Vetco Offshore Industries, 1nc., Ventura, Calif.

Filed: May 28, 1974 Appl. No.: 474,019

lnventor:

Assignee:

US. Cl. 166/182; 285/18; 285/142 Int. Cl. EZIB 33/12; F16L 35/00 Field of Search 166/182, 208, 138, 140,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Primary Examiner-James A. Leppink Attorney, Agent, or FirmBernard Kriegel [57] ABSTRACT Setting and locking apparatus iS connected to a packing assembly, the combination being lowered on a tubular running string to locate the packing and locking assembly between a casing hanger body and a Surrounding housing beneath a body of water. The apparatus is weighted and responsive to fluid pressure to expand the packing in the annular Space between the hanger body and the housing, and to actuate a wedgetype lock which retains the packing in the packed off condition. The apparatus is releasable from the packing and wedge-Jock for retrieval.

28 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 Sheet 1 of6 3,913,670

12 JZ/I'GMI'.

US. Patent 0a. 21, 1975 Sheet 3 0f 6 US. Patent 0%21, 1975 Sheet4 0f6 3,913,670

US. Patent 0a. 21,. 1975 Sheet 5 on 3,913,670

2& 229 224 Sheet 6 0f 6 3,913,670

US. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 APPARATUS FOR SETTING AND LOCKING PACKING ASSEMBLIES IN SUBSURFACE WELLHEADS The present invention relates to well apparatus, and more particularly to apparatus for effecting a seal in the region between a hanger body and a surrounding wellhead-housing disposed at the upper end of the well bore.

In the drilling of oil and gas wells at an underwater location, a casing string is run into a well bore, the easing string being supported by a hanger body resting on a companion seat in a surrounding wellhead. The casing string is cemented in place and a suitable packing or seal assembly actuated to packoff the annular region between the hanger body and wellhead. Apparatus for performing the above method is illustrated in a number of United States Patents, including Applicants Pat. Nos. 3,468,558, 3,468,559, 3,489,436, and 3,492,026.

In the present invention, the packing assembly is lowered from a drilling barge into position within the wellhead through use of a running string secured to a running and setting tool releasably connected to the packing assembly. The running string is weighted by the use of heavy drill collars below or above the running and setting tool to initially deform the packing in the annular space between the casing hanger and wellhead housing, and fluid under pressure can be applied to test the efficacy of the seal. Such applied fluid pressure also provides a force tending to effect further deformation of the packing, if necessary or possible. Fluid pressure is also operable on the setting and running tool to effect the locking of wedge-lock device which prevents the packing from recovering and breaking the seal. Thereafter, the running and setting tool is released from the packing and wedge-lock for recovery or retrieval to the drilling rig.

More particularly, the wedge-lock device for holding the packing packed off comprises a normally expanded resiliently contractable locking ring engageable with a tapered shoulder externally of the casing hanger body and a wedge ring normally held in a position allowing the lock ring to be in its expanded position, but releasable to be moved axially to circumferentially deform the lock ring inwardly into locking co-engagement with a locking recess or tapered shoulder of the casing hanger. The wedge ring and the lock ring have cooperative locking wedge surfaces whereby the locking action is maintained to hold the packing in a packed off condition.

In the event it becomes necessary to release the packing the locking wedge ring can be pulled from its locking position, for example, by the pulling tool which is the subject of my copending application for U.S. Pat. Ser. No. 475,586, filed June 3, 1974, entitled, RE- TRIEVING TOOL FOR WELLI-IEAD PACKING.

In accordance with the present invention a number of forms of setting and running tool are shown each of which utilizes the fluid pressure applied through the usual kill line or choke of the subsurface blowout preventer to test the efficacy of the packing. The applied fluid pressure acts on the setting and running tool to release the locking wedge ring from its support and to actuate the wedge-lock mechanism. In two forms fluid pressure can be supplied through the running string from the drilling rig to further expand the packing and actuate the wedge-lock.

Among the objectives of the invention is the provision of a locking wedge device for holding a packing in a packed off condition in the annular space between a casing hanger and a surrounding wellhead or housing which is positive in its locking action. Another objective of the invention is to provide a running and setting tool operable in response to the weight of the running string and any supplemental weight added to the running string to initially deform the packing and packoff the annular space and thereafter in response to applied test pressure or to pressure applied through the running string to more tightly packoff the packing and actuate the wedge lock to the locked position prior to removal of the setting and running tool.

This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other purposes which may be made more clearly apparent from a'consideration of the forms in which it may be embodied. These forms are shown in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification. They will now be described in detail, for the purpose of illustrating the general principals of the invention; but it is to be understood that such detailed descriptions are not to be taken in a limiting sense.

Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary longitudinal section showing a packing initially set between a casing hanger and a wellhead housing and connected to one form of running and setting tool made in accordance with the invention prior to the actuation of the wedge-lock;

FIG. 2 is a view corresponding to FIG. 1, but showing the wedge-lock in a locked condition prior to release of the running and setting tool;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary horizontal section, as taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section, as taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section, as taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary longitudinal section showing another form of running and setting tool prior to actuation of the wedge-lock;

FIG. 7 is a view corresponding to FIG. 6, but showing the wedge-lock actuated to the locking condition prior to release of the running and setting tool;

FIG. 8 is a view partly in longitudinal section and partly in elevation showing still another form of running and setting tool prior to actuation of the wedgelock;

FIG. 9 is a view generally corresponding to FIG. 8, but showing the wedge-lock actuated to the locking condition prior to release of the running and setting tool;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary horizontal section, as taken on the line l010 of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary vertical section, as taken on the line lll1 of FIG. 10.

In the drilling and completion of wells, such as oil and gas wells, from vessels on a body of water, the blowout preventer equipment and casing hanger equipment are located and supported in a base mounted on the floor of a body of water. The well casing is supported by a wellhead housing, and a marine riser pipe extends downwardly from the vessel to .the blowout preventer which is connected to the wellhead housing, all as is well known.

As seen in the drawings, referring first to the embodl= ment of FIGS. 1 through 5, the wellhead housing H has a casing hanger body C landed therein and supported upon an upwardly facing seat or shoulder 10. The casing hangerC has suitable passages 13 whereby circulating and cementing operations can be conducted in the usual manner by the displacement of cement downwardly through the casing, fluid in the well being displaced upwardly through the passages 13 and through an annular space 14 defined between the cylindrical inner wall lof the housing H and the opposing cylindrical wall 16 of the casing hanger C.

l The present invention is directed towards forming a seal between the opposing cylindrical walls 15 and 16 after the cementing operation is completed by setting a packing P in the annular space 14 in sealing engagement between, the opposing cylindrical walls 15 and 16 and securely locking the packing in packed off condition by locking means L, the packing means P and the locking means L being lowered from the drilling vessel on a running and setting tool T which is connected at 17 to a running pipe string R. Beneath the tool T and connected thereto at 18 is a suitable weight pipe string W of heavy drill collars which supplements the weight of the running string R, in a manner hereinafter to be more fully described, in packing off the packing P.

The packing P is shown in an initially packed off condition and includes a lower abutment ring or collar 20 which is in abutting engagement with a split-lock ring 21 shown as expanded outwardly into a locking groove 22, whereby the casing hanger C is locked in the housing H, as is customary. In addition, the packing P includes an annular body 23 of resiliently deformable elastomeric sealing material connected by a dove-tailed, connection. 24 to the lower ring 20, and by a corre-' sponding upper dove-tailed connection 25 with a packing support sleeve 26. The packing body 23 is deformable outwardly and inwardly into sealing engagement with the opposed cylindrical walls 15 and 16, respectively, of the housing H and the casing hanger C upon axial deformation of the packing body. Such a packing is more fully disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,797,864, granted Mar. I8, 1974, for Combined Metal and Elastomer Seal.

The packing support sleeve 26, at a location above the packing 23, has an internal upwardly facing shouldeer or seat 27 on which rests a split resilient lock ring 28 which is normally of such diameter as to pass downwardly over the upwardly extended annular section 29 of the casing hanger C. This casing hanger section 29 is undercut on its outer periphery at 30 to provide a groove, or, as shown in this specific embodiment, a downwardly and inwardly tapered annular surface adapted to receive the correspondingly downwardly and inwardly tapered side 31 of the lock ring 28, when the latter is deformed inwardly from its normally expanded condition of FIG. 1 to its contracted or locking position of FIGS. 2 and 4. In order to effect locking contraction of the lock ring 28 a lock ring actuator 32 is provided. This lock ring actuator is in the form of an annular wedge having an outer cylindrical wall 33 slidably disposed within the packing support sleeve 26 and an inner downwardly and outwardly tapered wedge surface 34 opposed to and engageable with the outer downwardly and outwardly tapered surface of the lock ring 28, whereby upon downward movement of the actuator 32 within the support sleeve 26 the lock ring 28 will be wedged or cammed circumferentially inwardly to the locking position with the locking surface 30 of the casing hanger C. The angles of the surfaces 34 and 35 of the actuator ring 32 and the lock ring, respectively, are selected to be locking wedge angles, so that once the wedge action has deformed and locked the lock ring in place the actuator 32 must be forcefully retracted before the lock ring can be released. Accordingly, the actutor 32 has an internally undercut neck 36 at its upper extremity and an internal fishing or retrieving shoulder 37 adapted to be engaged by a pulling tool, such as the wedge lock pulling tool of the above referenced co-pending application.

During the lowering of the packing and the locking assembly through the riser pipe and into the wellhead housing H, and during the initial packing off of the packing P, the actuating wedge 32 is held in an upper inoperative position by releasable means such as one or more shear pins 38 which interconnect the actuator 32 to the packing support sleeve 26. These shear pins are selected so that they will retain the actuator 32 in the initial position until the packing is fully set, and a downward force is applied to the actuating wedge 32 to shear the pins 38 enabling downward locking movement of the actuator wedge 32.

The running and setting tool T of FIGS. 1 through 4 is constructed so as to first set or pack off the packing P in the annularspace 14 and then actuate the wedge lock means. More particularly, the running and setting tool T comprises a lower body 39 having the connection 18 with the weight string W. An intermediate por tion 40 of the lower body section 39 is provided with a number of outer peripheral seal rings 41 adapted for sealing engagement within an internal bore 42 of the casing hanger C. In addition, the lower body 39 comprises an outer upwardly extending tubular section 43 and an annular upwardly opening channel 44 which slidably receive the upper tool body section 45.

This upper body section 45 has the threaded connection 17 with the running string R. Adjacent its upper. end of the body 45 has a radially outwardly projecting,

flange 46 provided with a number of circumferentially spaced downwardly extended legs 47 which are reciprocable in complemental longitudinally extended, grooves in the lower body section 43 (see FIG. 3). Threaded into the upper end of the lower body section 43 above the upper body flange 46 is a stop ring 49 providinga downwardly facing shoulder 50, whereby the lower tool body 39 is suspended on the flange 46 during running of the apparatus. The packing support sleeve 26 is suspended on the lower body 39 by releasable means such as a number of circumferentially spaced shear pins 51 which extend through the upper end of the packing support sleeve 26 and into the lower body 39 in an upper flange section 52 of the support sleeve 26, this flange 52 being provided with circumferential slots 53 adapted to accommodate the circumferentially spaced legs 47 of the upper body 45 upon downward movement of the upper body 45 to set the packing P and lock the locking wedge means L.

The upper body 45 of the setting tool T has a central annular body section 54 reciprocable within the annular chamber 44 of the lower body 39, the upper body section 54 having external sealing ring means 55 slidably and sealingly engaged with the outer cylindrical wall 56 of the body 39 which defines the cavity 44. A vent passage 57 is provided in the body 39 to vent the cavity 44 upon telescopic contraction of the bodies 39 and 45. To enable free movement of the running and setting tool T and the packing means P downwardly through fluid in the housing H as the apparatus is being run, suitable bypass flow passages are provided at 58 in the lower body 39 and 58a in the upper body 45 at suitable angularly spaced locations.

In use the apparatus is run into the wellhead housing H through the blowout preventer (not shown), the packing P moving into the annular space 14 and being initially axially deformed by the weight string W which is transmitted downwardly to the packing support sleeve 26 at the downwardly facing shoulder 26a of the upper end of the lower body section 39 and the weight of the running string R is lowered onto the upper end of the actuator wedge 32 through the leg 47, as seen in FIG. 2, shearing the shear pins 38 and moving the actuator wedge 32 downwardly to wedge the lock ring 28 inwardly to the locking position. At this time the blowout preventer rams (not shown) are closed about the running string R to form a seal therewith, as is well known, and thereafter a pressure test may be conducted by admitting pressure fluid to the annular space A between the running string R and the housing H, the testing fluid pressure being supplied viathe usual choke or kill line of the blowout preventer. Such pressurized fluid acts to supplement the weight of the weight string W in packing off the packing P and locking the locking wedge means L due to differential pressure responsive areas of the running tool T which are exposed to the presure of fluid in the annulus A and which create a force acting downwardly on the lower body 39 to assist in deforming the packing ring 23 and downwardly on the upper body 45 to assist in locking the wedge-lock means L.

The differential area A1 of the lower body section 39 is the annular area between the lower body seals 41 within the casing hanger bore 42 and the seals 55 within the cavity 44 of the weight string the lower body. The differential area of the upper body is the area A2 between the seals 55 in the cavity 44 of the lower body and the outside diameter of the running string R which is sealed by the blowout preventer rams as mentioned above. The extent to via the which the packing ring 23 can be deformed as a result of the application of the weight of the weight string W and the pressure of fluid in the annulus A acting on the differential area Al is limited by reason of the fact that downward movement of the lower body 39 with respect to the casing hanger C is limited. In this connection it will be noted that the upper end 29a of the casing hanger body section 29 provides an abutment confronting the lower surface 39a of the lower body 39. Thus, the packing ring 23 cannot be overly compressed, but can be compressed to the extent necessary to effect a seal with the opposing walls and 16 of the housing H and the casing hanger C, respectively.

After it has been determined that such a seal has been effected by the packing ring 23 the running string is elevated until the flange 46 of the upper body section 45 again abuts with the shoulder 50 provided by the stop ring 49. Further upward movement of the running string will then shear the shear pins 51 releasing the running and setting tool T from the packing supporting sleeve 26 so that the tool T can be retrieved to the surface.

Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7 a modified form of running and setting tool is illustrated. In this form the tool is adapted to be responsive to the pressure of test fluid in the annulus A and to the weight of the weight string W to set the packing means P and the locking wedge means L. In addition the locking wedge means L is responsive to the application of pressure fluid through the running string R to effect the locking of the packing in the packed off condition. The running tool T of FIGS. 6 and 7 comprises a body section connected to the weight string W at 101 and having external side ring seals 102 engageable within the internal cylindrical sealing wall 103 of the casing hanger C. An enlarged upper portion or section 104 of the body 100 receives the circumferentially spaced wedge-lock actuating legs 105 in companion longitudinally extended grooves 106. In this form, these legs depend from a piston 107 disposed about the upper body section 109 which is connected at 110 to the running string R.

More particularly, the piston 107 has a piston body 111 of annular form from which the legs 105 depend. The piston body 111 has a cylindrical inner wall 112 slidably disposed about a cylindrical portion 113 of the inner body 100 which has a resilient seal ring 114 slidably and sealingly engaged with the piston wall 1 12. Extending upwardly from the piston body 107 is a cylindrical piston section 115 which is sealingly engaged at its inner cylindrical surface 116 by a resilient sealing ring 1 17 carried by the inner body 100 in axially spaced relation to the seal ring 114. Between the seal n'ngs 114 and 117 is an annular chamber 118 adapted to be pressurized with gas or air through a suitable filler (not shown), whereby the gas in the chamber 118 can act on an annular piston area 119 of the piston 107 to normally hold the piston in an upper position as seen in FIG. 6.

An annular stop collar 120 is threaded at 121 into the upper end of the body 100 and has passages 122 communicating with passages 123 in the piston body 111 and passages 124 in the body 100 through which fluid can pass as the running and setting tool T is run into the well with.the packing support sleeve 26 connected to the body 100 by the shear pins 51 as in the previously described embodiment.

Above the piston sleeve cylinder surface 1 16 is an enlarged bore defined by a cylindrical surface 125 slidably and sealingly engaged by a resilient seal ring 126 carried by a cylinder head nut 127 which is threadedly connected at 128 to the body 100. Between the seals 117 and 126 is a piston chamber 129 in which the differential piston area 130 of the sleeve 115 is exposed to fluid pressure when supplied, as later described, through radial'ports 131 in the upper section 109 of the body 100.

As seen in FIG, 6 the tool T has been run into the housing H and the packing sleeve 23 has been initially expanded by the weight of the running string R and the weight string W which is transmitted to the packing support sleeve 26. The piston 107 is held in its upper position by means of the confined pressure in the chamber 118 acting upwardly on the piston area 119, or by other suitable holding means, and by the shear pins 38 which connect the wedge lock ring 33 to the packing support sleeve 26.

When pressure is applied to the annulus A through the choke or kill line of the blowout preventer, as previously described, the test pressure acts downwardly on the differential tool area between the body seals 102 and the running string R which is sealed by the blowout preventer rams, thereby more firmly setting the packing sleeve 23 in the annular space 14 between the opposed walls 15 and 16 of the housing and the casing hanger. This same test pressure also acts, after setting of the packing 23, upon the differential area corresponding to the piston area 130 between the seals 117 and. 126 to overcome the initial holding means provided by the pressure in the body chamber 118 and shears the shear pins 38. Thereupon, the wedge-lock means L are actuated through the legs 105 to the position of FIG. 7 at which the packing means P is set and locked in place. The tool T can then be retrieved, shearing the pins 51, so that the packing means P'is left in place.

As previously described the chamber 129 between the upper seal 126 and the intermediate seal 117 can be pressurized through the ports 131 to also provide a downward force on the piston 107 to actuate the wedge-lock means L. As seen in FIG. 7, the body section 109 has an upwardly facing seat 135 circumscribing the central passage through the body 100 above a bore 136. A dart 137 has side seals 138 adapted to be seated in the bore 136 to close off the body passage below the ports 131, whereby pressure fluid-can be supplied through the pipe string R to the chamber 129 to force the piston 107 downwardly and actuate the locking means L to the locked condition.

Referring to FIGS; 8 through 11 another form of running and setting tool is shown, wherein test pressure applied to the annulus A assists in setting the sealing assembly and fluid pressure can be supplied through the running string R to actuate the locking means.

As seen in FIG. 8, the packing means P and the locking means L have been run into the wellhead housing H on the running and setting string R and the packing sleeve 23 has been initially deformed to seal off the annulus 14 by being sealingly engaged with the opposed cylindrical walls 15 and 16 of the housing [-1 and the casing hanger c, respectively. In this form the tool T comprises a body 200 to the lower end of which the weight string W is connected at 201. Adjacent its lower end the body 200 has sealing rings 202 sealingly engaged within the cylindrical bore 203 of the casing hanger C. Accordingly, with the blowout preventer rams closed about the running string R, as previously described, fluid under pressure can be supplied to the annulus A between the housing H and the running string R through the usual choke or kill line, and the fluid pressure in the annulus will act upon the differential area of the tool T to further effect the deformation of the packing sleeve 23 as in the case of the previously described embodiments.

In this form the tool T is provided with means responsive to pressure fluid supplied. through the running string R to actuate the wedge-lock means L. More particularly, the body 200 is provided with a cylinder sleeve 204 reciprocably mounted upon the body 200.

Means are provided for normally holding the cylinder sleeve in an upper position as seen in FIG. 8. Accord.- ingly, the body 200 has a stop ring 205 threaded on the body at 206 and provided with a number of circumferentially spaced spring seats 207 on which the lower ends of a number of circumferentially spaced coiled springs 208 are seated with the upper ends of the springs 208 engaged with and acting upwardly upon the cylinder sleeve 204. In addition, the cylinder sleeve 204 has an inner cylindrical wall 209 slidably and sealingly below a chamber 211 extending circumferentially of the body 200. The cylinder sleeve-204 has an internal piston flange 212 provided witha seal ringI 2l3 which slidably and sealingly engages a cylinderwall 214 of the I body 200, the wall 214 being of a lesser diameter than the wall 209 of the cylinder sleeve 204. Pressure fluid, such as gas or air, can be supplied through a filler 215.

in the cylinder sleeve 204 to pressurize the chamber 21 1 and provide an upward force as a result of the'pressure in the chamber 211 acting upwardly on the piston 212 thereby supplementing the springs 208 in holding the cylinder sleeve 204 in its upper position.

The body 200 has at its upper end a hollow neck 216 internally threadedly connected at 217 to atop cylinder 218 and externally threaded at 219 to an upper stop ring 220, Preferably, the stop ring 220 is connected by a number of suitable circumferentially spaced shear pins 221 with an upper cylinder section 222 of the cylinder sleeve 204. The stop ring has a lower skirt or cylinder head portion 223 having an external sealing ring 224slidably engaged with an internal cylinder wall 225. l of the cylinder sleeve 204, the body neck 216 having a sealing ring 226 engaged with the inner periphery of the cylinder head portion 223 of the stop ring 220.

Thus, there is defined between the piston 2l2'in the cylinder sleeve 204 and the cylinder head portion 223.

of the stop ring 220 carried by the body 200 an annular pressure chamber 227 to which fluid pressure is appli-.

cable to actuate the lock means L as will be later de-, scribed. Thebody 200 has a suitable number of radial 3 ports 228 communicating with the chamber 227 and with a cylinder 229 formed in the top cylinder 218. Re- 1 ciprocable in the cylinder 229 is a piston 230 having a side ring seal 231 slidably engageable within the cyli'nder 229. A coiled compression spring 232 is interposed between a lower seat 233 in the body 200 and an upper seat 234 beneath the piston 232. A clean fluid such as oil is admitted to the chamber 227, via a filler 235, and A the oil is confined against leakage from the cylinderv 229 by a suitable sealing ring 236 engaged in a bore in the body 200.

Accordingly, when it is desired to actuate the locking means L, fluid under pressure is supplied through the i running string R and acts upon the piston 230 in the top cylinder 218 to. overcome the spring 232 and displace fluid from the cylinder 229 into the chamber 227 to act downwardly upon the cylinder sleeve piston 212 thereby shifting the of FIG. 9.

The cylinder sleeve 204 has a suitable number of circumferentially spaced downwardly extending legs 238 cylinder sleeve 204 to the position reciprocable in longitudinally extended slots 239 in an upwardly extended cylindrical section 205a of the body ring 205 which has a number of circumferentially spaced upstanding legs 240 reciprocably disposed in 1 Accordingly, downward movement of the cylinder sleeve 204, under the influence of fluid pressure acting on the piston 212, first shears the shear pins 221, which J initially connect the cylinder sleeve 204 to the body 200, and when the effect of fluid pressure on the piston 212 overcomes the springs 208 and the pressure in engaged with a seal ring 210 carried by the body 200 chamber 211 acting upwardly on the piston 212, the 1 cylinder sleeve is moved downwardly shearing the shear pins 38 which connect the wedge ring 32 to the packing support sleeve 26. Downward movement of the wedge ring 32 effects contraction of the locking rings 28 into locking engagement with the tapered surface 30 of the casing hanger C. Thereafter, when the running tool T is retrieved the shear pins 51, which connect the body 200 to the packing support sleeve 26, are sheared and the packing means P is locked in place by the lock means L and remain in the casing hanger C.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for effecting a seal between a wellhead and a hanger disposed in the wellhead for supporting a tubular pipe string extending into a well bore comprising: a running tool having a body structure connectable to a running pipe string; packing means; means releasably connecting said packing means to said body structure to enable saaid packing means to be set in sealing relation to the hanger in response to longitudinal movement of said body structure and released from said body structure; locking means for locking said packing means in sealing relation to the hanger including a locking member actuatable longitudinally to lock said locking means; said body structure having an area responsive to pressure in said wellhead to move said body structure longitudinally to set said packing means; and said body structure having actuator means movable longitudinally relative to said packing means to move said locking member longitudinally.

2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said locking means comprising a resiliently deformable locking ring, and means providing a downwardly facing surface engageable by said locking ring upon deformation of the latter to lock said packing means in place.

3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said locking means comprising a resiliently deformable locking ring, and means providing a downwardly facing surface engageable by said locking ring upon deformation of the latter to lock said packing means in place, said locking member and said locking ring having means for deforming said locking ring upon longitudinal movement of said locking member.

4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said locking means comprising a resiliently deformable locking ring, and means providing a downwardly facing surface engageable by said locking ring upon deformation of the latter to lock said packing means in place, said locking member being in the form of a wedge shaped ring for deforming said locking ring upon longitudinal movement of said locking member.

5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said locking means comprising a resiliently deformable locking ring, and means providing a downwardly facing surface engageable by said locking ring upon deformation of the latter to lock said packing means in place, said locking member being in the form of a wedge shaped ring for deforming said locking ring upon longitudinal movement of said locking member, said locking member and said locking ring having coengageable locking wedge surfaces.

6. Apparatus as defined in claim -1, said locking means comprising a resiliently deformable locking ring, and means providing a downwardly facing surface engageable by said locking ring upon deformation of the latter to lock said packing means in place, said locking member being in the form of a wedge shaped ring for deforming said locking ring upon longitudinal movement of said locking member, said locking member and said locking ring having coengageable locking wedge surfaces, said locking member having fishing neck means engageable by a pulling tool to release the locking member from said locking ring.

7. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said packing means comprising a support sleeve, a resilient elastomeric packing element supported on said support sleeve, means releasably connecting said locking member to said support sleeve, and said locking means including a resiliently deformable lock ring carried by said support sleeve and engageable by said locking member to be deformed thereby.

8. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said packing means comprising a support sleeve, a resilient elastomeric packing element supported on said support sleeve, means releasably connecting said locking member to said support sleeve, and said locking means including a resiliently deformable lock ring carried by said support sleeve and engageable by said locking member to be deformed thereby, said locking member and said lock ring having companion wedge surfaces formed on locking wedge angles for deforming said lock ring upon longitudinal movement of said locking member.

9. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said body structure comprising lower and upper telescopic body section, one of said body section having said area responsive to pressure, the other of said body sections having another area responsive to pressure in said wellhead for moving said actuator means longitudinally relative to said packing means to move said locking member longitudinally.

10. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means movable longitudinally relative to said packing means to move said locking member longitudinally comprising piston means longitudinally shiftable relative to said body structure.

ll. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means movable longitudinally relative to said packing means to move said locking member longitudinally comprising piston means longitudinally shiftable relative to said body structure, and means initially holding said piston means against movement relative to said body structure.

12. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means movable longitudinally relative to said packing means to move said locking member longitudinally. comprising piston means longitudinally shiftable relative to said body structure in response to the pressure of fluid in said wellhead.

13. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means movable longitudinally relative to said packing means to move said locking member longitudinally comprising piston means longitudinally shiftable relative to said body structure in response to the pressure of fluid in the running pipe string.

14. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said body structure comprising lower and upper telescopic body sections, said lower body section having seal means engageable in the casing hanger, said packing means including a support sleeve releasably connected to said lower body section, said locking member being supported by said sleeve, said lower body section having said area responsive to pressure in said wellhead, and said upper body having another area responsive to fluid pressure insaid wellhead for actuating said actuator means to move said locking member.

15. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, said body structure having seal means engageable in the casing hanger on a diameter larger than the running string to provide said area responsive to the pressure of fluid in said wellhead.

16. Apparatus asdefined in claim 1, said body structure having seal means engageable in the casing hanger on a diameter larger than the running string to provide said area responsive to the pressure of fluid in said wellhead, said actuator means also having an area responsive to the pressure of fluid in said wellhead for shifting said actuator means longitudinally.

17. In apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means comprising a piston shiftabiy carried by said body structure andengageable with said locking member, means holding said piston in an initial position with said locking member in a position at which said locking means are released, said piston having an area responsive to fluid pressure to release said holding means and move said piston longitudinally to move said locking member longitudinally to lock said locking means.

18. In apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means comprising a piston shiftably carried by said body structure and engageable with said locking member, means holding said piston in an initial position with said locking member in a position at which said locking means are released, said piston having an area responsive to fluid pressure to release said holding means and move said piston longitudinally to move said locking member longitudinally to lock said locking means, means defining a piston chamber communicatingwith said running string, and said piston area being in said piston chamber.

19. In apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means comprising a piston shiftably carried by said body structure and engageable with said locking member, means holding said piston in an initial position with said locking member in a position at which said locking means are released, said piston having an area responsive to fluid pressure to release said holding means and move said piston longitudinally to move said locking member longitudinally to lock said locking means, means defining a piston chamber communicating with said running string, said pistonarea being in said piston chamber, and closure means movable through said running string and into said body to divert fluid pressure to said piston chamber.

20. In apparatus as defined in claim '1, said actuator means comprising a piston shiftably carried by said body structure and engageable with said locking member, means holding said piston in an initial position with said locking member in a position at which said locking means are released, said piston having an area responsive to fluid pressure to release said holding means and move said piston longitudinally to move said locking member longitudinally to lock said locking means, means defining a piston chamber communicating with said running string, said piston area being in said piston chamber, said means holding said piston in an initial position comprising means defining a pressure chamber between said body and said piston and having surfaces responsive to pressure in said pressure chamber to hold said piston in said initial position.

21. In apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means comprising a piston shiftably carried by said body structure and engageable with said locking member, means holding said piston in an initial position with said locking member in a position at which said locking means are released, means defining a piston chamber, said piston having a portion exposed in said chamber for moving said piston longitudinally in response to the pressure in said chamber to move said locking member longitudinally to lock said locking means, means defining another piston chamber having a piston therein exposed to the pressure of fluid in said running string, said piston chambers being in communication.

22. In apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means comprising a piston shiftably carried by said body structure and engageable with, said locking mem-, ber, means holding said piston in an initial position with said locking member in a position at which said locking means are released, means defining a piston chamber, said piston having a portion exposed in said chamber for moving said piston longitudinally in response to the pressure in said chamber to move said locking member longitudinally to lock said locking means, means defining another piston chamber having a piston therein ex-.

posed to the pressure of fluid in said running string, said piston chambers being in communication, said means holding said piston in an initial position comprising means defining a pressure chamber between said body and said first mentioned piston and having surfaces responsive to pressure in said pressure chamber to hold said first mentioned piston in said initial position.

23. In apparatus as defined in claim 1, said actuator means comprising a piston shiftably carried by said body structure and engageable with said locking member, means holding said piston in an initial position with.

posed to the pressure of fluid in said running string,said 7 piston chambers being in communication, said means holding said first-mentioned piston in an initial position including spring means interposed between said body and said piston.

24. A packing and locking structure adapted to be positioned in an annular space between a wellhead and acasing hanger body and deformed and locked in seal-.

ing engagement therewith, comprising: a support sleeve having an abutment engageable by a setting tool to shift said sleeve longitudinally, said sleeve also having means 'for initially connecting said sleeve to said setting tool;

an annular elastomeric packing sleeve supported at an end of said sleeve; and lock means for locking engagement between said sleeve and one of said wellhead and casing hanger, said lock means including a resiliently deformable lock ring, and an actuator ring releasably connected to said support sleeve and for movement therewith and actuatable longitudinally of said sleeve to deform said lock ring after longitudinal movement of said sleeve.

25. A packing and locking structure as defined .in claim 24, wherein said lock ring and said actuator ring have wedge surfaces for deforming said lock ring.

26. A packing and locking structure as defined in claim 24, whrein said lock ring and said actuator ring have wedge surfaces for deforming said lock ring, said wedge surfaces being on locking wedge angles.

27. A packing and locking structure as defined in claim 24, wherein said sleeve has fishing neck means at its other end.

28. Apparatus for effecting a seal between a wellhead and a hanger disposed in the wellhead for supporting a tubular pipe string extending into a well bore comprising: a running too] having a body structure connectable to a running pipe string; packing means; means releasably connecting said packing means to said body structure to enable said packing means to be set in sealing relation to the hanger and released from said body structure; locking means for locking said packing means in sealing relation to the hanger including a locking member actuatable longitudinally to lock said locking means; said packing means including a support sleeve; said locking member being releasably carried by said support sleeve; said body structure including a first body member abutting with said support sleeve and a second body member; said body members being relatively shiftab;e means releasably connecting said support sleeve to said second body member; means for relatively shifting said body members so that the abutting of said first body section with said support sleeve releases said support sleeve from said second body member and sets said packing means in sealing relation to said hanger; and means on said second body member for actuating said locking member to release said locking member from said support sleeve and locking said locking means.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4057268 *Nov 14, 1975Nov 8, 1977Compagnie Maritime D'expertises - ComexDisconnectable pipe union and device for manoeuvring same
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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/182, 285/123.12, 285/18
International ClassificationE21B33/03, E21B33/043
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/043
European ClassificationE21B33/043
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 16, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: VETCO GRAY INC.,
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:GRAY TOOL COMPANY, A TX. CORP. (INTO);VETCO OFFSHORE INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORP. (CHANGED TO);REEL/FRAME:004748/0332
Effective date: 19861217
Feb 5, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: CITIBANK, N.A.,
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VETCO GRAY INC., A DE. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004739/0780
Effective date: 19861124
May 1, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: VETCO OFFSHORE INDUSTRIES, INC., 7135 ARDMORE ROAD
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:VETCO OFFSHORE, INC., A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004572/0533
Effective date: 19860421
May 1, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: VETCO OFFSHORE INDUSTRIES, INC., 7135 ARDMORE ROAD
Owner name: VETCO OFFSHORE, INC., A CORP. OF DE.
Effective date: 19860421
Sep 29, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: VETCO OFFSHORE, INC. 5740 RALSTON ST.VENTURA,CA.93
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:VETCO INC.;REEL/FRAME:004056/0858
Effective date: 19820922