AU723337B2 - Method for expanding a steel tubing and well with such a tubing - Google Patents

Method for expanding a steel tubing and well with such a tubing Download PDF

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Publication number
AU723337B2
AU723337B2 AU34420/97A AU3442097A AU723337B2 AU 723337 B2 AU723337 B2 AU 723337B2 AU 34420/97 A AU34420/97 A AU 34420/97A AU 3442097 A AU3442097 A AU 3442097A AU 723337 B2 AU723337 B2 AU 723337B2
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AU
Australia
Prior art keywords
tubing
method
expansion
steel
expanded
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Expired
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AU34420/97A
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AU3442097A (en
Inventor
Martin Donnelly
Alban Michel Faure
Wilhelmus Christianus Maria Lohbeck
Franz Marketz
Robert Bruce Stewart
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Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij BV
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Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij BV
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Priority to EP96201809 priority
Application filed by Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij BV filed Critical Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij BV
Priority to PCT/EP1997/003489 priority patent/WO1998000626A1/en
Publication of AU3442097A publication Critical patent/AU3442097A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of AU723337B2 publication Critical patent/AU723337B2/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/02Subsoil filtering
    • E21B43/10Setting of casings, screens, liners or the like in wells
    • E21B43/103Setting of casings, screens, liners or the like in wells of expandable casings, screens, liners, or the like
    • E21B43/105Expanding tools specially adapted therefor
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C21METALLURGY OF IRON
    • C21DMODIFYING THE PHYSICAL STRUCTURE OF FERROUS METALS; GENERAL DEVICES FOR HEAT TREATMENT OF FERROUS OR NON-FERROUS METALS OR ALLOYS; MAKING METAL MALLEABLE BY DECARBURISATION, TEMPERING OR OTHER TREATMENTS
    • C21D7/00Modifying the physical properties of iron or steel by deformation
    • C21D7/02Modifying the physical properties of iron or steel by deformation by cold working
    • C21D7/10Modifying the physical properties of iron or steel by deformation by cold working of the whole cross-section, e.g. of concrete reinforcing bars
    • C21D7/12Modifying the physical properties of iron or steel by deformation by cold working of the whole cross-section, e.g. of concrete reinforcing bars by expanding tubular bodies
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B17/00Drilling rods or pipes; Flexible drill strings; Kellies; Drill collars; Sucker rods ; Cables; Casings; Tubings

Description

TS 6025 PCT EPO DG 1 06. 1998 -1 METHOD FOR EXPANDING A STEEL TUBING AND WELL WITH SUCH A

TUBING

The invention relates to expansion of tubings. More particularly the invention relates to a method of expanding a steel tubing by moving an expansion mandrel through the tubing.

Numerous methods and devices are known for expansion of tubings.

European patent specification 643794 discloses a method of expanding a casing against the wall of an underground borehole wherein the casing is made of a malleable material which preferably is capable of plastic deformation of at least 25% uniaxial strain and the casing may be expanded by an expansion mandrel which is pumped, pulled or pushed through the casing.

Other expansion methods and devices are disclosed in German patent specification No. 1583992 and in US patent specification Nos. 3,203,483; 3,162,245; 3,167,122; 3,326,293; 3,785,193; 3,489,220; 5,014,779; 5,031,699; 5,083,608 and 5,366,012.

Many of the known expansion methods employ an initially corrugated tube and the latter prior art reference employs a slotted tube which is expanded downhole by an expansion mandrel.

The use of corrugated or slotted pipes in the known methods serves to reduce the expansion forces that need to be exerted to the tube to create the desired expansion.

A method in accordance with the preamble of claim 1 is known from US patent specification No. 5,366,012. In this known method a slotted tube is expanded by an expansion mandrel having a tapering expansion section.

AMENDED SHEET -2- It is an object of the present invention in preferred embodiments to provide a method for expanding an at least partly solid, i.e. unslotted, tubing which requires exertion of a low force to expand the tubing and which provides a tubing having a larger diameter and higher strength than the unexpanded tubing and which can be carried out with a tubing which already may have a tubular shape before expansion.

According to an aspect of the invention, the present invention consists in a method of expanding a steel tubing which is made of a formnable steel grade, the method comprising the step of moving an expansion mandrel having a tapering expansion section through the tubing thereby plastically expanding the tubing, wherein an at least partly solid tubing is expanded which is made of a formable steel grade which is subject to strain hardening without incurring any necking and ductile fracturing as a result of the expansion process and that the tapering expansion section of the expansion mandrel has a tapering ceramic outer surface.

The method according to the invention comprises the step of moving an expansion mandrel of which the tapering expansion section has a tapering ceramic outer surface through an at least partly solid tubing which is made of a formable steel grade which is subject to strain hardening without incurring any necking and ductile fracturing as a result of the expansion process.

S" As a result of strain hardening the tubing becomes stronger during the expansion process since for any further increment of expansion always a higher stress is required than for the preceding expansion.

It has been found that the use of a formable steel grade for the tubing in combination with a ceramic tapering outer surface of the expansion mandrel has a synergetic effect since the resulting expanded tubing will have an adequately increased strength while the expansion forces remain low. The low yield strength and high ductility of the tubing before expansion enables, if the tubing is to be used in an underground borehole, the use of a tubing which is reeled from a reeling drum into the borehole.

It is observed that in the art of metallurgy the terms strain-hardening and workhardening are synonyms and are both used to denote and increase of strength caused by plastic deform-iation.

The term formable steel grade as used in this specification means that the tubing is able to maintain.

[R:\LIBFF]8758doc:GMM WO 98/00626 PCT/EP97/03489 3 its structural integrity while being plastically deformed into various shapes.

Ways of determining forming characteristics of a steel are set out in the Metals Handbook, 9th edition, volume 14, Forming and Forging, issued by ASM International, Metals Park, Ohio (USA).

The term necking refers to a geometrical effect leading to non-uniform plastic deformations at some location by occurrence of a local constriction. From the point of necking on, the continual work hardening in the necked region no longer compensates for the continual reduction of the smallest cross-section in the neck, and therefore, the load carrying capacity of the steel decreases. With continuing loading, practically all further plastic deformation is restricted to the region of the neck, so that a highly non-uniform deformation occurs to develop in the necked region until fracture occurs.

The term ductile fracturing means that a failure occurs if plastic deformation of a component that exhibits ductile behaviour is carried to the extreme so that the component separates locally into two pieces.

Nucleation, growth and coalescence of internal voids propagate to failure, leaving a dull fibrous rupture surface. A detailed description of the terms necking and ductile fracturing is given in the handbook "Failure of Materials in Mechanical Design" by J.A. Collins second edition, issued by John Wiley and Sons, New York (USA) in 1993.

Preferably the tubing is made of a high-strength steel grade with formability and having a yield strengthtensile strength ratio which is lower than 0.8 and a yield strength of at least 275 MPa. When used in this 4 specification, the term high-strength steel denotes a steel with a yield strength of at least 275 MPa.

It is also preferred that the tubing is made of a formable steel grade having a yield stress/tensile stress ratio which is between 0.6 and 0.7.

Dual phase (DP) high-strength, low-alloy (HS'LA) steels lack a definite yield point which eliminates Luders band formation during the tubular expansion process which ensures good surface finish of the expanded tubular.

Suitable HSLA dual phase (DP) steels for use in the method according to the invention are grades DP55 and developed by Sollac having a tensile strength of at least 550 MPa and grades SAFH 540 D and SAFH 590 D developed by Nippon Steel Corporation having a tensile strength of at least 540 MPa.

It is observed that US patent specification No. 4,938,266 discloses a method for producing dual phase steels.

Other suitable steels are the following formable high-strength steel grades an ASTM A106 high-strength low alloy (HSLA) seamless pipe; an ASTM A312 austenitic stainless steel pipe, grade TP 304 L; an ASTM A312 austenitic stainless steel pipe, grade TP 316 L; and a high-retained austenite high-strength hot-rolled steel (low-alloy TRIP steel) such as grades SAFH 590 E, SAFH 690 E and SAFH 780 E developed by Nippon Steel Corporation.

The above-mentioned DP and other suitable steels each have a strain hardening exponent n of at least 0.16 which allows an expansion of the tubing such that the external AMENDED SHEET 5 diameter of the expanded tubing is at least 20% larger than the external diameter of the unexpanded tubing.

Detailed explanations of the terms strain hardening, work hardening and the strain hardening exponent n are given in chapters 3 and 17 of the handbook "Metal Forming-Mechanics and Metallurgy", 2 nd edition, issued by Prentice Hall, New Jersey (USA), 1993.

Suitably, the expansion mandrel contains an expansion section that has a conical ceramic outer surface. It is observed that US patent specification No. 3,901,063 discloses a plug having a conical ceramic outer surface for use in tube-drawing operations. If the expansion mandrel is pumped through the tubing then the mandrel preferably comprises a sealing section which is located at such a distance from the tapering expansion section that when the expansion mandrel is moved through the tubing by means of exerting a hydraulic pressure behind the mandrel the sealing section engages a plastically expanded part of the tubing. This will generally be achieved if said distance is at least three times the wall thickness of the expanded tubing.

The use of a ceramic conical surface reduces friction forces during the expansion process and by having a sealing section which engages the expanded tube it is avoided that hydraulic forces would result in an excessive expansion of the tubing.

In such case it is preferred that the expansion mandrel contains a vent line for venting to the surface any fluids that are present in the borehole and tubing ahead of the expansion mandrel.

Alternatively the tubing is expanded such that the outer diameter of the expanded tubing is slightly smaller than the internal diameter of the borehole or of any casing that is present in the borehole and any fluids that are present in the borehole and tubing ahead of the AMENDED SHEET 5a expansion mandrel are vented to surface via the annular space that remains open around the tubing after the expansion process.

MDO3/TS6025PCT AMENDED SHEET WO 98/00626 PCTIEP97/03489 6 The invention also relates to a well provided with a tubing which is expanded using the method according to the invention. In such case the tubing may serve as production tubing through which hydrocarbon fluid is transported to the surface and a reelable service and/or kill line passes through at least a substantial part of the length of the tubing, through which line fluid can be pumped towards the bottom of the borehole while hydrocarbon fluid is produced via the surrounding production tubing. The use of such an expanded production tubing allows the use of almost the full wellbore for the transport of hydrocarbon fluids so that a relatively slim borehole may be utilized to attain the desired production rate.

Alternatively the tubing may be expanded against the inner surface of a casing which is present in the borehole. In such case the tubing may either be used as a production tubing and/or as a protective cladding for protecting the well casing against corrosive well fluids and damage from tools that may be lowered into the well during maintenance and workover operations.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the method and well system according to the present invention will be apparent from the accompanying claims, abstract and the following detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which Fig. 1 is schematic longitudinal sectional view of an underground borehole in which a tubing is expanded in accordance with the method according to the invention.

Now referring to Fig. 1, there is shown a borehole traversing an underground formation 1 and a casing 2 that is fixed within the borehole by means of an annular body of cement 3.

WO 98/00626 PCT/EP97/03489 7 A production tubing 4 which is made of a dual phase, high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel or other formable high-strength steel is suspended within the casing 2.

An expansion mandrel 5 is moved in longitudinal direction through the tubing 4 thereby expanding the tubing 4 such that the outer diameter of the expanded tubing is slightly smaller than or is about equal to the internal diameter of the casing 2.

The expansion mandrel 5 is equipped with a series of ceramic surfaces 6 which restrict frictional forces between the pig and tubing 4 during the expansion process. In the example shown the semi top angle A of the conical ceramic surface that actually expands the tubing is about 250. It has been found that zirconium bxide is a suitable ceramic material which can be formed as a smooth conical ring. Experiments and simulations have shown that if the semi cone top angle A is between 200 and 30' the pipe deforms such that it obtains an S-shape and touches the tapering part of the ceramic surface 6 essentially at the outer tip or rim of said conical part and optionally also about halfway the conical part.

The experiments also showed that it is beneficial that the expanding tubing 4 obtains an S-shape since this reduces the length of the contact surface between the tapering part of the ceramic surface 6 and the tubing 4 and thereby also reduces the amount of friction between the expansion mandrel 5 and the tubing 4.

Experiments have also shown that if said semi top angle A is smaller than 150 this results in relatively high frictional forces between the tube and pig, whereas is said top angle is larger than 300 this will involve redundant plastic work due to plastic bending of the tubing 4 which also leads to higher heat dissipation and WO 98/00626 PCT/EP97/03489 -8to disruptions of the forward movement of the pig through the tubing 4. Hence said semi top angle A is preferably selected between 150 and 30' and should always be between 50 and 450 Experiments have also shown that the tapering part of the expansion mandrel 5 should have a non-metallic outer surface to avoid galling of the tubing during the expansion process. The use of a ceramic surface for the tapering part of the expansion mandrel furthermore caused the average roughness of the inner surface of the tubing 4 to decrease as a result of the expansion process. The experiments have also shown that the expansion mandrel 5 provided with a ceramic tapering surface 6 could expand a tubing 5 made of a formable steel such that the outer tubing diameter D2 after expansion was at least 20% larger than the outer diameter D1 of the unexpended tubing and that suitable formable steels are dual phase (DP) high-strength low alloy (HSLA) steels known as DP55 and DP60; ASTM A106 HSLA seamless pipe, ASTM A312 austenitic stainless steel pipes, grades TP 304 L and TP 316 L and a high-retained austenite highstrength hot rolled steel, known as TRIP steel manufactured by the Nippon Steel Corporation.

The mandrel 5 is provided with a pair of sealing rings 7 which are located at such a distance from the conical ceramic surface 6 that the rings 7 face the plastically expanded section of the tubing 4. The sealing rings serve to avoid that fluid at high hydraulic pressure would be present between the conical ceramic surface 6 of the mandrel 5 and the expanding tubing 4 which might lead to an irregularly large expansion of the tubing 4.

WO 98/00626 PCT/EP97103489 9 The expansion mandrel 5 is provided with a central vent passage <7 which is in communication with a coiled vent line 8 through which fluid may be vented to the surface. After completion of the expansion process the pig 5 may be pulled up to surface by the vent line and a coiled kill and/or service line (not shown) may be lowered into the expanded tubing 4 to facilitate injection of kill and/or treatment fluids towards the hydrocarbon fluid inflow zone which is normally be done via the annulus between the production tubing and the well casing. However, if the tubing 4 is expanded t6 a smaller diameter then the residual annular space between the casing 2 and expanded tubing 4 can be used for venting of fluids during the expansion process and for injection of fluids during the production process, in which case there is no need for using a vent line 8 and kill and/or service lines.

In conventional wells it is often necessary to use a production tubing having an outer diameter which is less than 50% of the inner diameter of the well casing to enable a smooth insertion of the tubing even if the well is deviated and the casing has an irregular inner surface. Therefore it is apparent that the in-situ tubing expansion method according to the present invention enhances an efficient use of the wellbore.

It will be understood that instead of moving the expansion mandrel through the tubing by means of hydraulic pressure, the mandrel can also be pulled through the tubing by means of a cable or pushed through the tubing by means of pipe string or rod.

The method according to the invention can also be used to expand tubings that are used outside a wellbore, for example to expand oilfield tubulars at surface WO 98/00626 PCT/EP97/03489 10 facilities or to expand a tubing inside an existing tubing which has been damaged or corroded.

The invention will now be further described on the basis of the following comparative experiments.

Experiment 1 An expansion mandrel having a conical ceramic surface (semi top angle A of cone 200) was moved through a conventional oil field tubular, known as casing grade 13% Cr, which is a widely used casing type, having an initial outer diameter of 101.6 mm an initial wall thickness of 5.75 mm, a burst pressure of 850 bar and a strain hardening exponent n 0.075. The expansion mandrel was designed such that the outer diameter of the expanded tubular would be 127 mm, so that the increase in diameter would be 20%. The tubular burst during the expansion process. Analysis showed that the ductility limit of the material had been exceeded so that ductile fracturing occurred.

Experiment 2 An experiment was carried out with a coiled tubing of the type QT-800 which is increasingly used as a production tubing in oil or gas wells. The tubing had an initial outer diameter of 60.3 mm, a wall thickness of 5.15 mm, a burst pressure of 800 bar and a strain hardening exponent n 0.14. An expansion mandrel was moved through the tubing which mandrel comprised a conical ceramic surface such that the semi top angle A of a cone enveloping the conical surface was 50 and which was designed such that the outer diameter of the expanded tubing would be 73 mm (increase of about This tubing burst during the expansion process. Analysis revealed that due to high friction forces the expansion WO 98/00626 PCT/EP97/03489 11 pressure had exceeded the burst pressure of the pipe during the expansion process.

Experiment 3 An experiment was carried out with a seemless pipe made of a formable steel grade known as ASTM A 106 Grade B. The pipe had an initial outer diameter of 101.6 mm an initial wall thickness of 5.75 mm and a strain hardening exponent n 0.175.

An expansion mandrel was pumped through the pipe, which mandrel comprised a ceramic conical surface such that the semi top angle A of a cone enveloping the conical surface was 200 and such that the outer diameter of the expanded pipe was 127 mm and the outer diameter increased by 21%.

The pipe was expanded successfully and the hydraulic pressure exerted to the mandrel to move the mandrel through the pipe was between 275 and 300 bar. The burst pressure of the expanded pipe was between 520 and 530 bar.

Claims (18)

1. A method of expanding a steel tubing which is made of a formable steel grade, the method comprising the step of moving an expansion mandrel having a tapering expansion section through the tubing thereby plastically expanding the tubing, wherein an at least partly solid tubing is expanded which is made of a formable steel grade which is subject to strain hardening without incurring any necking and ductile fracturing as a result of the expansion process and that the tapering expansion section of the expansion mandrel has a tapering ceramic outer surface.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the tubing is made of a formable steel grade having a yield strength-tensile strength ratio which is lower than 0.8 and a yield strength of at least 275Mpa.
3. The method of claim 1 or 2, wherein the tubing is made of a steel having a yield strength-tensile strength ratio which is between 0.6 and 0.7.
4. The method of claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the tubing is made of a dual phase (DP) high-strength low alloy (HSLA) steel.
The method of claim 4, wherein the tubing is made of Sollac grade DP55 or DP60 having a tensile strength of at least 550Mpa or Nippon grade SAFH 540D 20 or SAFH 590D.
6. The method of claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the tubing is made of a formable high-strength steel grade which is selected from the following group of steel grades: 2 an ASTM A106 high-strength low alloy (HSLA) seamless pipe; an ASTM A312 austenitic stainless steel pipe, grade TP304L; an ASTM A312 austenitic stainless steel pipe, grade TP316L; and a high-retained austenite high-strength hot rolled steel which is known as TRIP steel.
7. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the tubing is expanded such that the external diameter of the expanded tubing is at least 20% larger than the external diameter of the unexpanded tubing and wherein the strain hardening exponent n of the formable steel of the tubing is at least 0.16.
8. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the expansion mandrel comprises a tapering expansion section which has a smooth ceramic outer surface which is oriented at an acute angle A which is between 5° and 450 with respect to a longitudinal axis of the mandrel and which induces the tubing to expand without f(R:\LIIFFJ8758.doc:GIM inducing any galling of the tubing and such that the average roughness of the inner surface of the tubing decreases as a result of the expansion process.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the ceramic outer surface of the tapering expansion section is made of zirconium oxide and is oriented at an acute angle A which is between 150 and 30' with respect to a longitudinal axis of the mandrel.
The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the tubing is expanded by pumping the expansion mandrel through the tubing.
11. The method of claim 7 and 10, wherein the expansion mandrel comprises a sealing section which is located at such a distance from the expansion section that when the expansion mandrel is pumped through the tubing the sealing section engages a plastically expanded part of the tubing.
12. The method of claim 10 or 11, wherein the tubing is expanded inside an underground borehole and the expansion mandrel contains a vent line for venting any fluids that are present in the tubing ahead of the expansion mandrel to the surface. q S•
•13. The method of claim 10 or 11, wherein the tubing is expanded inside an *i *underground borehole such that the outer diameter of the expanded tubing is slightly smaller than the internal diameter of the borehole or of any casing that is present in the S 2o borehole and any fluids that are present in the borehole and tubing ahead of the expansion o*o• mandrel are vented to surface via the annular space that remains open around the tubing after the expansion process. °•go
14. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the tubing is lowered into an underground borehole after reeling the tubing from a reeling drum.
15. A method of expanding a steel tubing, substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
16. A method of expanding a steel tubing, substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to any one of the examples but excluding the comparative examples.
17. A well provided with a tubing which is expanded using the method of any one of the preceding claims wherein the tubing serves as a production tubing through which hydrocarbon fluid is transported to the surface and a reelable service an/or kill line passes through at least a substantial part of the length of the interior of the tubing, through which line fluid can be pumped towards the bottom of the borehole which hydrocarbon fluid is produced via the surrounding production tubing.
18. A well provided with a tubing which is expanded using the method according to any one of claims 1 to 12 or 14 to 16 wherein the tubing is expanded against the inner surface of a casing which is present in the borehole. Dated 18 May, 2000 Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij B.V. Patent Attorneys for the Applicant/Nominated Person 'o SPRUSON FERGUSON S
AU34420/97A 1996-07-01 1997-06-30 Method for expanding a steel tubing and well with such a tubing Expired AU723337B2 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP96201809 1996-07-01
EP96201809 1996-07-01
PCT/EP1997/003489 WO1998000626A1 (en) 1996-07-01 1997-06-30 Method for expanding a steel tubing and well with such a tubing

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AU3442097A AU3442097A (en) 1998-01-21
AU723337B2 true AU723337B2 (en) 2000-08-24

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AU34420/97A Expired AU723337B2 (en) 1996-07-01 1997-06-30 Method for expanding a steel tubing and well with such a tubing

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EP (1) EP0907822B1 (en)
JP (1) JP4289686B2 (en)
AU (1) AU723337B2 (en)
BR (1) BR9710016A (en)
CA (1) CA2260191C (en)
DE (1) DE69739166D1 (en)
DK (1) DK0907822T3 (en)
EA (1) EA000543B1 (en)
ID (1) ID17661A (en)
MY (1) MY116920A (en)
NO (1) NO317755B1 (en)
NZ (1) NZ333945A (en)
OA (1) OA10949A (en)
WO (1) WO1998000626A1 (en)

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CA2260191C (en) 2007-11-27
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AU3442097A (en) 1998-01-21
JP2001508144A (en) 2001-06-19

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