US 3182725 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
M. N. MOORE 3,182,725 WELL SEALING, BRIDGING, PLUGGING AND TESTING ATTACHMENT DEVICE Filed Aug. 17, 1960 I 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig/ Fig.2/ 34 W Man/e N. Moore IN VENTOR.
May 11, 1965 M. N. MOORE 3,182,725
WELL SEALING, BRIDGING, PLUGG'ING AND TESTING ATTACHMENT DEVICE Filed Aug. 17. 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 5 8 WWW N. Maom %20 INVENTOR.
May 11, 1965 WELL SEALING, BRIDGING, PLUGGING AND TESTING ATTACHMENT DEVICE Filed Aug. 17, 1960 II, II
I I I I @R I I I I l I I I l I II II I ll'l'ln I I I k\\\\\ I I 1 M. N. MOORE 3,182,725
5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Monte N. Moore INVENTOR.
United States Patent ice 3,182,725 WELL SEALING, BRIDGING, PLUGGING AND TESTING ATTACHMENT DEVICE Monte N. Moore, Flint, Mich., assignor to Carpac Investments Limited, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada Filed Aug. 17, 1960, Ser. No. 50,175 7 Claims. (Cl. 16665) The basic object of this invention is to provide a device which will greatly facilitate the performing of various necessary operations in connection with deep wells and particularly with reference to drilling, producing, working over or otherwise servicing a well bore.
A primary object of the invention is to provide a device in accordance with the foregoing object, which shall consist of a number of component units capable of being selectively assembled together in various arrangements to perform with efliciency various operations in connection with deep wells.
An important object of the invention is to provide a hollow bridging device whose various component units shall include hollow expansible packing elements and spacer sections adapted to effectively function as an adjustable bridge for porous formations penetrated by the well bore, which will effectively prevent the passage of fluids between the well bore and the porous formation and will enable the continuing of drilling or other operations in the well bore through the hollow bridging device Another important object of the invention is to provide a device in accordance with the foregoing objects wherein one of the component units of the device shall include a fluid pressure expansible packer element together with improved means for effecting the expansion of and the collapse of the packer element as desired.
A further object of the invention is to provide a device in accordance with the foregoing objects wherein one of the component units of the device which may be selectively incorporated therein shall contain conventional electronic detection and/or indicating devices whereby the latter may be positioned and anchored as desired in a well bore to perform their intended functions.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a View in vertical section through a portion of a well bore extending into a formation and illustrating in elevation one suitable embodiment of the device in accordance with the present invention disposed therein, parts being broken away, the device being shown with its packer elements in collapsed position to facilitate passage of the device through the well bore;
FIGURE 2 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 but showing the packer elements forming components of the device in their inflated or expanded position for anchoring the packer elements at a desired position in a well bore;
FIGURE 3 is a view in vertical section through a portion of a well bore penetrating into a porous formation and showing an arrangement of the packer elements and spacer section components of this device assembled to provide a stationary hollow bridge across the porous zone for preventing passage of fluids between the well bore and the porous zone, and showing in dotted lines the passage of a drill string through the bridging element of the invention;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged view in vertical section of a modification of the arrangement of FIGURES 1-3 and in which the spacer sleeve and lower packer assembly are omitted with the motor or drill unit being directly 3,182,725 Patented May 11, 1965 mounted upon the upper packer assembly and with the packer element thereof being shown in its inflated or expanded position in the well bore; and
FIGURES 5-8 are detailed sectional views through the packer element of FIGURE 4 and taken substantially upon the planes indicated by the section lines 55, 6-6, 7-7, and 88 respectively of FIGURE 4.
Referring first to FIGURES 1 and 2 for an explanation of a more comprehensive form of the device wherein numerous components are assembled together into a unitary assemblage to perform a plurality of conjoint functions, it will be observed that the numeral 10 indicates a well bore extending through a formation and within which is movably disposed the comprehensive form of the device indicated generally by the numeral 12. As shown in FIGURE 1, the device 12 is in its collapsed or non-inflated condition whereby the device can be readily moved upwardly or downwardly in the well bore to position the device at a desired location in the well bore, while in FIGURE 2 the device is shown in its inflated condition whereby it will be firmly anchored in the well bore with the expansion members of the device acting as packer elements to seal off or plug the well bore and bridge certain portions thereof as desired and also provide a supporting and anchoring means for the other components of the device.
In the arrangement shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the device 10 includes among its components an upper packer assembly 14, a similarly constructed lower packer assembly 16 together with a member comprising a spacer section 18 disposed therebetween. There is also included a drilling unit 20 of any suitable type by means of which various drilling or other working operations can be performed in the well bore 10.
In the arrangement shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the lower packer assembly 16 is shown as provided with a chamber 22 therein in which is housed as indicated generally by the numeral 24 various types of electrical equipment for the purpose of conducting conventional desired electrical or electronic logging, testing or signalling operations incident to various operations performed upon and in connection with well bores. Inasmuch as the invention claimed herein is not lemited to any particular construction or any particular type of electrical equipment, the diagrammatic showing at 24 is deemed sutficient to illustrate the purposes and principles of this invention, it being merely the adaptation of this invention to house, support and position in proper operative relation and condition any desired electrical equipment.
The drilling unit 20 may likewise be of any desired type, and for example may conveniently comprise the self-contained submerged electrical or fluid motor and the drilling elements powered thereby as disclosed and claimed in my co-pending application Serial No. 23,266, filed April 19, 1960. Inasmuch as the specific details of the drilling unit 20 form no part of the invention claimed herein, a further description of the same is deemed to be unnecessary.
Referring now primarily to FIGURE 4 for an understanding of the construction of either of the upper or lower packer assemblies 14 and 16, it will be seen that each of the packer assemblies such as the assembly 14 is provided with an elongated cylindrical hollow body 30 internally threaded at its opposite extremities for at tachment to externally threaded hollow upper and lower connector members 32 of the same external diameter by means of which the assemblies 14 and 16 are connected to the associated components of the complete device.
In FIGURE 4, there is disclosed a simpler modification in which the bridging or spacer sleeve section 18, the lower packer assembly 16 and the two connector sections 32 at opposite ends of the latter are omitted, with the motor or drilling unit 20 being directly mounted on the upper packer assembly 14 by connector section 18. The packer assemblies 14 and 16 of the embodiment of FIGURES 1-3 and the packer assembly 14 of the embodiment of FIGURE 4 are identical and therefore FIGURE 4 suflices for a disclosure of the detailed structure and operation of each packer assembly;
At the upper end of the upper connector 32 which is attached to the upper packer assembly 14 there is provided a closure cap 34 screw threadedly engaged thereon and provided with a lifting bail 36 by means of which the usual cable 38 may be attached to thus effect raising and lowering of the device in a well bore as desired. Extending through this cap, and through the various components of the device is an electric cable 40 by means of which the necessary electrical circuits are established for an electric motor 42 which is received in the motor unit 20, or for any other desired purposes. The inven tion is disclosed and claimed herein does not comprehend nor require any particular electrical system since various types of electrical circuitry either within or without the devices of FIGURES 1-3 or FIGURE 4, obvious and well understood by those skilled in the art, may be employed. Accordingly, it is deemed superfluous and unnecessary to set forth in this application the specific details of the electric circuit and for the purpose of simplicity of illustration, the electric cable 40 diagrammatically represents such an electrical circuit.
As will be noted from FIGURE 4, a passage means is provided extending longitudinally through the device in order that fluid under pressure may be supplied for various purposes as for example to inflate and expand the packer assemblies; to operate the motor of the motor unit if a fluid pressure operated motor is provided; or to provide for circulation of drilling fluid through the device when the drilling unit 20 is to be operated. This passage means includes an external conduit as at 44 leading from a suitable source of fluid pressure at the surface of the well bore, not shown, and which conduit is connected as by a packing gland 46 into a threaded bore 48 in the cap member 34. The passage means further includes an annular channel 54 in the bottom face of the cap member which thus establishes continuous registry with a plurality of longitudinally extending bores 52 provided in the wall of the connectors 32, these bores in turn establishing continuous registry with a further annular channel 54 formed in the top surface of the wall of the bodies 30 of the packer assemblies 14 and 16. It will be observed that a further passage 56 extends throughout the entire length of each body 39 of the packer assemblies and communicates with a similar passage arrangement in the adjacent lower connector 32.
In this manner, a continuous passage is provided extending throughout the entire length of the series of components forming the device, it being observed from FIGURE 4 that at its lower end this passage means may communicate with the discharge passage 58 provided in an exterior conduit 60 located upon the motor unit 29 and discharging at the bottom end of the latter adjacent the cutting bits 62, shown in FIGURE 1.
Flow of drilling fluid discharged by this passage means to the bottom of the drilling unit at the lower end of the well bore is preferably returned to the surface by passing up the well bore upon the exterior of the unit in a well understood manner.
Referring again specifically to FIGURE 4 it will be understood that each of the packer assemblies 14 or 16 has secured to its exterior surface a packer element consisting of an enveloping sleeve 64 of rubber or other fluid impervious pliable material, this sleeve being secured or bonded at its upper and lower ends in any desired manner in a fluid tight engagement with the wall of the body 30. The arrangement is such that when there is no fluid pressure in the expansible chamber 66 lying between the interior of the cylindrical enveloping sleeve 64 and the exterior wall of the body 30, the packer element 64 will be in its collapsed position as shown in IGURE 1, whereas when such pressure fluid is applied to the chamber 66, the packer element will be expanded as shown in FIGURES 2 and 4 into a fluid tight sealed engagement with the adjacent wall of the well bore 10 to thus serve as a means whereby the packer assembly may be anchored to the wall of the well bore; the well bore may be plugged or sealed; or a suitable support may be provided for the various elements coupled to and connected to the packer assemblies.
It is a very important feature of this invention that each of the components shall be hollow and have an axial opening extending therethrough, as shown in FIGURE 4, so that when the components are assembled into a single device there should be established a continuous open central passageway therefrom, except as this passage may be blocked by the motor unit 24 being mounted upon the device or by the disposition of the electrical testing equipment 24 when such equipment is installed in one of the components of the device.
As will be most readily observed from FIGURES 7 and 8, one side wall of each of the hollow bodies forming the components of this device is thickened to provide sufficient material through which the passages 56 or 58 may extend.
The above mentioned bores or passages at 48, 50, 52, 54 and S6 constitute a main passage which extends longitudinally of and is formed in the various bodies and components of the device. In addition to this main passage, the passage means includes branch passages such as that shown in FIGURE 6 and FIGURE 7 by the numeral 70. These branch passages establish communication between the main passages 56 and the chamber 66 within the packer elements 64 of the packer assemblies 14 or 16.
It is the intent of the present invention to utilize the fluid passing through the passage means previously described as an agent to effect the selective expansion of or collapse and contraction of the packer elements 64. For this purpose, as shown best in FIGURE 6, there are provided a plurality of control valves. Thus, a control valve 72 is provided in the branch passage '70 and similar control valves '74 are provided within the main passage 56 on opposite sides of the junction of the branch passage 70 with the main passage. In order to control operation of these control valves it is preferred to provide an electrically operated solenoid actuator means 76 for each of the valves, the solenoids being actuated by suitable electrical conductors, not shown, which extend to the surface. The numerals 72, 74 and 76 thus designate the solenoid operated valve units.
The arrangement is such that by selectively operating the control valves fluid may be supplied by the passage means to the packer elements and through the valves 72 into the expansible chamber 66 for causing inflation of the packer elements. Alternatively, the valves 72 can be closed so that fluid cannot enter the expansion chambers of the packer elements but the fluid may be delivered by the passage means for other uses and purposes as above mentioned. However, the present invention also provides a means for utilizing the flow of the fluid in the passage means to effect an evacuation of the pressure fluid from the expansion chamber 66 of the associated packer. For this purpose there is provided a venturi member 80 disposed in the main passage 56 at the junction of the branch passage 70 therewith and so positioned that when fluid is caused to flow along the main passage the venturi produces an aspirating effect upon the branch passage to thus evacuate or exhaust the contents of the chamber 66 thereby effecting a more rapid collapse of and release of the packer element 64.
As will be now apparent a proper control of the three valves for each of the packer assemblies 14 or 16 en= ables a variety of different operations to be performed. Thus, the valve 72 may remain closed in which event the other valves 74 will control the flow of fluid in the main passage 56 while the packer assemblies will remain in either a collapsed position or if they have been expanded, in an expanded and inflated position. Alternatively, as when drilling operations are to be performed, the packer element may remain collapsed with the chamber 66 deflated and the branch passage valves 72 closed. Under this condition the flow of fluid through the main passage may be controlled by proper manipulation of the valves 74 to thus supply fluid for various purposes such as for operating a fluid motor, or effecting a circulation of drilling fluid.
Still further, for any given packer assembly 14 or 16, the downstream valve 74 may be closed and with the upstream valve 74 and the branch passage valve 72 open, pressure fluid may be supplied to the interior of the packer chamber 66 to effect inflating of the packer element.
In the arrangement previously described, it will be understood that the drilling unit 20 may be operated to cause extension of the well bore to a desired position in a formation, at which time drilling operations may be stopped, one or both of the packer assemblies may be expanded and set, thereby locking the device in place, at which time the electrical equipment 24 may be placed in operation to effect any desired testing or logging operations. Thereafter, the drilling operation may be further continued as desired.
Still further, the two packer assemblies may be independently set with regard to each other so that with the spaced sleeve 18 they can be caused to bridge a crevice or porous zone through which the bore passes to block ofl flow of fluids between this zone and the well bore while the previously mentioned various testing operations may be performed.
The invention further lends itself to a different arrangement by a somewhat different manner of assembling the various components together. Thus, referred to FIGURE 3 it will be observed that in conditions where the well bore passes through a porous zone 82 which it is desired to seal off from the well bore so as to prevent a flow of fluids therebetween, and it is desired to continue drilling or otherwise working in the well bore While the porous zone is thus sealed off, a bridging device may be produced and utilized by combining into a unitary assemblage an upper packer assembly 14 and a lower packer assembly 16 having a spacer section 18 of any desired length disposed therebetween and rigidly secured thereto in the manner previously set forth. With this unit lowered into position and with the spacer section 18 of suflicient length to adequately bridge the space across the porous zone 82, the packer assemblies are individually inflated in the manner previously described to thus effectively plug or seal the bore on opposite sides of the porous zone. With the branch passage valves 72 now closed, the connections may be removed from the bridging unit and the latter may now be allowed to remain in place as shown in FIGURE 3. Due to the hollow construction of the packer assemblies and the spacer sections, there is thus provided a bridging element extending across the porous zone but which bridging element has a continuous axial opening extending therethrough. Consequently, a drill string or any other string of tools as at 84 may be freely passed through the bridging device as indicated in dotted lines in FIGURE 3 and may perform its desired functions and operations without hindrance by the presence of the bridging device.
After the bridging device has served its purpose, it may be recovered by merely again attaching the fluid pressure conduit 44 thereto, evacuating the packer chambers and then withdrawing the complete unit.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. An expansible packer and sealing unit comprising a hollow sleeve-like elongated body adapted for insertion in and movement through a well bore, an inflatable and radially expansible and contractable packer element secured to and surrounding said body, said packer element having fluid tight connection to said body defining therewith an expansible chamber, a main passage extending longitudinally of said hollow body for the passage of pressure fluid therethrough, a lateral branch passage establishing communication between said main passage and said chamber, a control valve in said branch passage controlling flow therethrough, upper and lower control valves in said main passage disposed on opposite sides of the junction of said main and branch passages and means for selectively operating each of said control valves, said main and branch passages being disposed in the wall of said hollow body.
2. An expansible packer and sealing unit comprising a hollow sleeve-like elongated body adapted for insertion in and movement through a well bore, an inflatable and radially expansible and contractable packer element secured to and surrounding said body, said packer element having fluid tight connection to said body and defining therewith an expansible chamber, a main passage extending longitudinally of said hollow body for the passage of pressure fluid therethrough, a lateral branch passage establishing communication between said main passage and said chamber, a control valve in said branch passage controlling flow therethrough, upper and lower control valves in said main passage disposed on opposite sides of the junction of said main and branch passages, means for selectively operating each of said control valves and means associated with said main and branch passages for effecting evacuation of said chamber by the velocity of flow of fluid in said main passage.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein the last-mentioned means includes a venturi disposed in said main passage at said junction and producing an aspirating effect upon said branch passage, said venturi being between said pair of control valves.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said main passage extends the entire length of said body and opens at the opposite ends of the latter.
5. The combination of claim 1 including a venturi disposed in said main passage adjacent said junction whereby flow of fluid past said venturi when all of said valves are open will eifect exhaust of fluid from said packer assembly.
6. An expansible packer assembly and sealing unit comprising a hollow body adapted for movement through a well bore, an inflatable and radially resilient packer element secured to and surrounding the exterior surfaces of said hollow body in fluid-tight engagement therewith and defining an expansible packer chamber therebetween, passage means in said hollow body communicating with said packer chamber, means controlling the flow of a fluid under pressure selectively into and out of said packer chamber for inflating and collapsing said packer element, said passage means including a main passage disposed in and extending longitudinally of said hollow body and a branch passage communicating with said main passage and with said packer chamber, said control means including a control valve disposed in said branch passage, a pair of control valves disposed in said main passage on opposite sides of the junction of said branch and main passages and solenoids connected to and selectively op erating each of said control valves.
7. The combination of claim 6 including a venturi disposed in said main passage adjacent said junction whereby flow of fluid past said venturi when all of said valves are open will eflect exhaust of fluid from said packer elenisnt.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Kerman 166-187 X Ennis 166-4 Boynton 175-233 X Haring 166-4 Grable 175-237 X 10 Scherbatskoy 175-50 X Mounce 175-237 Jones 166-187 Buck et a1 166-4 X Arps 175-50 X Arps 175-50 CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner.
BENJAMIN BENDETT, Examiner.