|Publication number||USRE43054 E1|
|Application number||US 10/950,223|
|Publication date||Jan 3, 2012|
|Filing date||Sep 24, 2004|
|Priority date||Jun 30, 2000|
|Also published as||CA2409062A1, CA2409062C, DE60124100D1, DE60124100T2, EP1295005A1, EP1295005B1, US6454007, WO2002002903A1|
|Publication number||10950223, 950223, US RE43054 E1, US RE43054E1, US-E1-RE43054, USRE43054 E1, USRE43054E1|
|Inventors||Thomas F. Bailey|
|Original Assignee||Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (37), Non-Patent Citations (3), Classifications (16), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to oil field tools. More specifically, the invention relates to an apparatus for and a method of using a motor in a tubular member disposed in a wellbore.
2. Background of the Related Art
Historically, oil field wells are drilled as a vertical shaft to a subterranean producing zone forming a wellbore, the wellbore is lined with a steel tubular casing, and the casing is perforated to allow production fluid to flow into the casing and up to the surface of the well. In recent years, oil field technology has increasingly used sidetracking or directional drilling to further exploit the resources of productive regions. In sidetracking, an exit, such as a slot or window, is cut in a steel cased wellbore typically using a mill, where drilling is continued through the exit at angles to the vertical wellbore. In directional drilling, a wellbore is cut in strata at an angle to the vertical shaft typically using a drill bit. The mill and the drill bit are rotary cutting tools having cutting blades or surfaces typically disposed about the tool periphery and in some models on the tool end.
Generally, components including an anchor, a whipstock coupled to the anchor and a rotary cutting tool that progresses downward along the whipstock are used to cut the angled exit through the casing in the wellbore. The whipstock is an elongated cylindrical wedge-shaped member having an inclined concave deflection surface and guides the angle of the rotary cutting tool progressively outward to cut the exit. One or more of the components are attached to a tubing member, such as drill pipe or coiled tubing, that is used to lower the components into the wellbore. The anchor typically is a bridge plug, packer or another supporting or sealing member. The anchor is set in a downhole position and extends across the wellbore to form an abutting surface for placement of subsequent equipment. The anchor can be secured in the wellbore by mechanical or hydraulic actuation of a set of jaws directed outward toward the casing or wellbore. Hydraulic actuation generally requires a fluid source from the surface that pressurizes a cavity in the anchor to actuate the jaws.
Three “trips” have been used in past times to cut the exit in the casing, using an anchor, a whipstock and a cutting tool. A trip generally includes lowering a tubular member with a cutting tool or other component into the wellbore, performing the intended operation, and then retrieving the members to the surface. The first trip sets the anchor in the wellbore, the second trip sets the whipstock to the anchor and the third trip actuates the cutting tool to cut the exit along the whipstock. Such operations are time consuming and expensive.
Others in the field have realized the need to reduce the number of trips. An example of a mechanically set anchor with reduced trips is described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,908,759. A first trip mechanically sets a bridge plug having a latching member. In a second trip, the whipstock, attached to an end of a cutting mill, is engaged with the latching member, the connection to the mill is sheared, and the mill can begin cutting along the whipstock. The reference does not discuss how orientation is determined to properly set the whipstock in position in the two trips.
An example of a hydraulic anchor, a whipstock and a cutting tool assembly that is set in a single trip is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,154,231. The anchor and whipstock are set under hydraulic pressure and held by mechanical interlocks. Rotation of the cutting tool shears the connection from the whipstock and the cutting tool can begin to cut the exit. However, the reference does not state how the angular orientation of the whipstock is achieved in the single trip.
Angular orientation of the whipstock in the wellbore is important to properly direct the drilling or cutting. Most methods of orientation and initiation of cutting require multiple trips. Some systems allow orienting and setting of the whipstock in a single trip of a drill string in combination with a wireline survey instrument. For example, a known system includes an anchor, a whipstock and a cutter connected to a drill string. A wireline survey instrument is inserted through the drill string to determine proper orientation prior to setting the whipstock. However, it is frequently necessary to circulate drilling fluid through the drill string at a low flow rate in order to push the wireline tool from the surface down to the region of the whipstock. The flow can prematurely set the anchor, unless some device such as a selectively actuated bypass valve is used to divert the flow. Further, such methods require the separate use of the wireline survey instrument.
In contrast to the use of wireline survey instruments, the oil field industry is increasingly using in-situ systems that are capable of collecting and transmitting data from a position near the cutting tool while the cutting tool is operating. Such position measuring tools are known as measuring-while-drilling (MWD) tools and are generally situated at the lower end of the drill string above the cutting tool. The MWD tools typically transmit signals up to surface transducers and associated equipment that interpret the signals.
However, using an MWD tool in an assembly with a hydraulic anchor has challenges. Typical MWD tools require drilling fluid flow rates even greater than the flow rate required to push the wireline survey instrument downhole and increases the likelihood of inadvertently setting the anchor. Thus, an increased flow rate bypass valve can be used as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,443,129. However, the system is suitable for a typical drill string that is rotated by a conventional drilling apparatus on a surface derrick. The disclosure does not address the current trends of using more flexible coiled tubing requiring a downhole motor to rotate the cutting tool without substantially rotating the coiled tubing.
Coiled tubing is increasingly being used to lower the costs of drilling and producing a well. Coiled tubing is a continuous line of tubing typically wound on a reel on a mobile surface unit that can be inserted downhole without having to assemble and disassemble numerous threaded joints of a drill string. However, the coiled tubing is not sufficiently rigid to accommodate rotational torque from the surface of the well along the tubing length to rotate the cutting tool in contrast to systems using drill pipe. Thus, typically, a downhole motor is mounted on the coiled tubing to rotate a cutting tool. Drilling fluid flowed through the interior of the coiled tubing is used to actuate the motor to rotate the cutting tool or other members.
A typical motor attached to the coil tubing is a progressive cavity motor.
It is desirable to orient an anchor and a whipstock with a cutting tool, a downhole motor, an MWD tool and a downhole orienter coupled to coiled tubing, then set the anchor and whipstock and begin cutting an exit in a minimum number of trips. However, fluid flowed through coiled tubing to operate the MWD would also typically actuate the motor. Thus, the rotating motor would be changing the orientation of the downhole anchor and whipstock indicated by the MWD, making orientation difficult at best.
There remains a need for a system and method for orienting and setting an anchor and/or whipstock using coiled tubing with a cutting tool and a downhole motor coupled thereto.
The present invention provides a system and method for orienting setting an anchor, a whipstock, a cutting tool and a downhole motor coupled to a tubular member, such as coiled tubing. In one aspect, the motor allows flow therethrough sufficient to actuate an MWD or other position measuring tool, and an orienter if so equipped, and substantially retains the orientation of the motor with the coupled whipstock. An increased flow rate or pressure actuates the motor once the whipstock is set and rotation of the cutting tool or other equipment can begin.
In one aspect, the invention provides a method of cutting a hole at an angle to a wellbore, comprising coupling a plurality of components including a position measuring tool, a downhole motor, a cutting tool, a whipstock and an anchor to a tubular member, orienting the whipstock to a desired orientation, and actuating the anchor. In another aspect, the invention provides a system for cutting a hole at an angle to a wellbore, comprising a tubular member, and a plurality of components having a position measuring tool, a downhole motor, a cutting tool, a whipstock and an anchor coupled to the tubular member. In a further aspect, the invention provides an apparatus for use in a wellbore, comprising a motor body, a motor shaft disposed at least partially internal to the motor body, and a fluid channel in communication with the motor shaft, the motor shaft being selectively nonrotational relative to the motor body while fluid flows through the motor at a first fluid flow rate and rotational while the fluid flows at a second fluid flow rate. In a further aspect, the invention provides a method of cutting a hole at an angle to a wellbore, comprising coupling an anchor to a coiled tubing, actuating the anchor in the wellbore, coupling a position measuring tool, a downhole motor and a cutting tool to a coiled tubing, orienting the whipstock to a desired orientation, and actuating the motor to turn the cutting tool. In another aspect, the invention provides a system for cutting a hole at an angle to a wellbore, comprising a coiled tubing, an anchor coupled to the coiled tubing at a first time, and a position measuring tool, a downhole motor, a cutting tool and a whipstock coupled to the coiled tubing at a second time.
So that the manner in which the above recited features, advantages and objects of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings.
It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.
It is to be understood that the arrangement in
The motor 30 allows flow without substantial rotation at a first flow rate and/or pressure to allow sufficient flow through the orienter 34 and the position measuring member 32 without actuation of the motor, as described in reference to
The tubing member 16 and the components coupled thereto are lowered downhole, so that the whipstock 20 is adjacent the anchor 18. Fluid flow through the tubing member 16 is used to actuate the orienter 34 and rotationally index the components below the orienter to a desired orientation. The position measuring member 32 provides feedback to the equipment located generally on the surface 11 (shown in
The orienter 34 is designed to be rotationally stable during the operation of the motor 30 because the pressure is not pulsed from a low to high pressure that otherwise actuates the orienter. However, if the orienter 34 is actuated and does index, the change of the orienter does not effect the ability of the motor 30 to operate the cutting tool 22 nor the direction of the end mill because the end mill is guided by the whipstock 20.
One example a downhole motor that can be used as described herein is a modified progressive cavity motor.
An annulus 70 downstream of the outlet 68 is created between the inner wall of the motor 48 and various components disposed therein, which provide a flow path for the fluid exiting the outlet 68. A transfer port 72 is fluidicly coupled from the annulus 70 to a hole 74 disposed in the output shaft 54 and then to the output 56. A restrictive port 75 can be formed between the hollow cavity 64 and the annulus 70 to fluidicly couple the hollow cavity 64 to the annulus 70.
Because the rotor precesses within the stator, an articulating shaft 76 can be disposed between the rotor 62 and the output shaft 54, so that the output shaft 54 can rotate circumferentially within the motor 48. The articulating shaft 76 can include one or more knuckle joints 78 that allow the stator to precess within the stator with the necessary degrees of freedom. A bearing 80 can be disposed on an upper end of an output shaft 54 and a lower bearing assembly 82 can be disposed on a lower end of an output shaft 54. One or more seals, such as seals 84, 86, assist in sealing fluid from leaking through various joints in the downhole motor 48.
In operation, fluid is flowed down the tubular member 16, shown in
The flow rate and/or pressure can be increased to a level at which the rotor 62 rotates within the stator 60 and creates torque on the output shaft 54, so that the motor can rotate downstream tools, such as a cutting tool, as has been described herein. The flow through the hollow cavity 64 reaches a maximum rate for a given pressure. The flow through the inlet 66 and outlet 68 at greater flow rates and pressures overcome flow through the hollow cavity 64. Further, the motor can be activated and deactivated by adjusting the flows without having to retrieve and reset the motor.
Generally, fluid is flowed through the inlet 52 at a flow rate and pressure that will force the rotor 62 to rotate within the stator 60. It is known that a percentage of the fluid, at a given pressure and flow rate, can leak through the cavities formed between the stator 60 and the rotor 62, but typically the rotor 62 begins to rotate before a substantial amount of fluid leaks therethrough. In the embodiment shown in
While the foregoing is directed to various embodiments of the present invention, other and further embodiments may be devised without departing from the basis scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow. For example, “up”, “down” and variations thereof include not only a typical orientation of a vertical shaft for wellbore, but also includes a lateral shaft formed by directional drilling, such that “up” would be directed toward the beginning of the wellbore and “down” would be directed toward the lateral end of the wellbore. Furthermore, any flow rates described herein are exemplary and could vary depending on the well conditions, fluids used, size of tools and so forth. Further, variations in the progressive cavity motor can be made as well as the use of other types of motors that would allow fluid to flow through the motor, so that tools coupled upstream and downstream of the motor can be activated without the motor substantially rotating.
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|1||Canadian Office Action, Canadian Application No. 2409062, dated Apr. 18, 2005.|
|2||EP Office Action, Application No. 01 940 834.3-2315, dated Jun. 7, 2005.|
|3||PCT International Search Report from PCT/GB 01/02791, Dated Nov. 6, 2001.|
|U.S. Classification||166/298, 175/107, 166/55, 166/117.6, 166/313|
|International Classification||E21B23/04, E21B7/08, E21B7/06, E21B4/02, E21B29/06|
|Cooperative Classification||E21B29/06, E21B4/02, E21B7/061|
|European Classification||E21B4/02, E21B29/06, E21B7/06B|
|Feb 26, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|Dec 4, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WEATHERFORD TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS, LLC, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WEATHERFORD/LAMB, INC.;REEL/FRAME:034526/0272
Effective date: 20140901