EP2004946B1 - Device for steering drilling tools - Google Patents

Device for steering drilling tools Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2004946B1
EP2004946B1 EP20070731198 EP07731198A EP2004946B1 EP 2004946 B1 EP2004946 B1 EP 2004946B1 EP 20070731198 EP20070731198 EP 20070731198 EP 07731198 A EP07731198 A EP 07731198A EP 2004946 B1 EP2004946 B1 EP 2004946B1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
main body
shaft
device according
characterized
bearings
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EP20070731198
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German (de)
French (fr)
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EP2004946A1 (en
Inventor
Francois Millet
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Francois Millet
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Priority to FR0602621A priority Critical patent/FR2898935B1/en
Application filed by Francois Millet filed Critical Francois Millet
Priority to PCT/FR2007/000515 priority patent/WO2007110502A1/en
Publication of EP2004946A1 publication Critical patent/EP2004946A1/en
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    • 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
    • E21B7/00Special methods or apparatus for drilling
    • E21B7/04Directional drilling
    • E21B7/06Deflecting the direction of boreholes
    • E21B7/067Deflecting the direction of boreholes with means for locking sections of a pipe or of a guide for a shaft in angular relation, e.g. adjustable bent sub
    • 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
    • E21B17/02Couplings; joints
    • E21B17/04Couplings; joints between rod or the like and bit or between rod and rod or the like

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to the field of drilling. It concerns in particular drilling requiring a trajectory control, particularly in the fields of the oil and gas industry, civil engineering, geothermal energy and more generally in all fields of intervention in trenchless terrain.
  • In some of these areas, the drilling systems employed may be entirely mechanical, or may include electronic equipment. These systems are defined substantially as follows:
    • Static device: swivel connection, also called angled connector, surface-tuned to equip a turbine type bottom motor, PDM ("Positive Displacement Motor"), or electric motor;
    • Pseudo-dynamic device: swiveling connection activated autonomously or from the surface, only for the sliding phases without rotation of the drill string, designated by the Anglo-Saxon term "sliding", to equip a bottom motor type turbine, or else activated variable diameter stabilizer, or others;
    • Dynamic device: system controlled in real time from the surface or autonomously for the realization of rotary drilling systems of type known to those skilled in the art under the term "Rotary Steerable System", abbreviated as RSS.
    TECHNOLOGICAL BACKGROUND
  • With the most commonly used techniques for producing a static swivel connector disposed at the end of a drill line, it is not possible to reduce the length of the elbow without compromising the life of the stopper serving as the support for the drilling tool. There is a transmission of weight on the tool, called WOB ("weight on bit"). It follows that it takes significant connection angles to be able to obtain the deviations or curvatures usually called "Build-Up Rate" (BUR), which are sought in the applications concerned.
  • International demand WO 90/07625 and patents US Nos. 6244361 , 6640909 , 6808027 and 6847304 describe architectures of devices for controlling the trajectory of a drill string comprising a flexible shaft, using a technique known as "static bit force (rotating shaft) / point the bit".
  • International demand WO 90/07625 and patents US Nos. 3677354 , 5305838 , 5307885 , 5353884 , 5,875,859, 6808027 and 6847304 describe moreover so-called "internal" coupling means for forcing the orientation of a transmission shaft used in such an application.
  • The patent EP 0 744 526 and the patent US Patent No. 4,947,944 describe means for the so-called "external" coupling for a set of elements of a drill string and drill tools.
  • International demand WO 03/102353 certainly describes a drilling device comprising an element for enabling and controlling the deviation of the shaft and the drill bit. However, the device described in this document must comprise two concentric tubular elements, respectively outer and inner, which can take a position in which they are decoupled from each other, to allow the rotation of the inner tubular element while that the rotation of the outer tubular element is prevented.
  • The publication of patent application US 2005/0173155 discloses an assembly of drilling means in which there is provided a locking means for transmitting to the shaft a torsion torque generated by the casing or casing, in a disengageable manner.
  • According to this state of the art, there was no means for orienting drilling tools in all the required configurations.
  • The document EP 0 201 398 discloses a set for oriented drilling in which a tool is rotated about an axis connected to said tool from a column, called a driving column, rotating at its lower end about a second axis, said axes being substantially concurrent in the same point A and forming between them an angle alpha. An elbow or deflector (8) and the extension (14) of the orientation column (10) transmit only the weight on the tool (WOB). They are therefore not comparable to a transmission shaft, which is corroborated by the use of an articulated toggle (16). The flexible sleeve or flexible seal (204) is nothing more than an extension of the drive column.
  • There is therefore currently no universal swivel connection in the sense that is meant under the conditions mentioned above.
  • However, it has appeared useful to have such means, advantageously with the ability to implement them on existing equipment, and it also appeared desirable that the manufacture and maintenance of these new means sought are simple to achieve and a reasonable cost, in order to reduce the cost of the drilled meter, while improving the precision of the drilling and by offering a greater flexibility of trajectory and a sought-after longitudinal compactness, in order to bring together as much as possible the measurements of the drilling tool / wick.
  • The invention makes it possible to provide solutions to these expectations and to provide devices and operational means capable of responding to these and other objectives, which will appear in the light of the description which follows, of the drawings which accompanying, and appended claims.
  • The present invention therefore aims to provide a device for orienting a drilling tool (drill bit, PDC, bit, etc.), said device being usable in various variants adaptable to the needs and, moreover, easy to operate in all places. In addition, its maintenance is easy, and the life of its most stressed parts is also improved, since it takes into account the asymmetry between the upstream and downstream of the device, namely respectively between the lower end of the main drill string or BHA (Bottom Hole Assembly) and the drill / drill bit.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An object of the invention is to provide an orientation device architecture, also called "swivel fitting" or "elbow fitting", to overcome the limitations indicated above. Such a device has a reduced length and, therefore, offers a large BUR despite a low angle of elbow (or orientation angle), is also reliable and economical to manufacture, and allows easy assembly and maintenance to achieve.
  • The device according to the present invention comprises, in order to make it possible to control the orientation of the drill / bit tool to which it is integrated, essentially a main body and an orientable housing, arranged consecutively from upstream to downstream and respectively bound respectively. at least one link advantageously of pivot type, sliding pivot, ball or linear annular forming a first bearing, and at least one pivot connection forming a second bearing, to a curvable or flexible transmission shaft which passes through them longitudinally,
    while a suitable link forming a third bearing between said transmission shaft and the main body is arranged near the end of said main body located on the side of said steerable housing, and
    while the orientation is achieved by means of substantially radial relative displacement means of the main body relative to the orientable housing near their interface, hereinafter referred to as "deflection system",
    said main body being optionally equipped on its periphery with support pads of a diameter less than or equal to the diameter of the drill bit / bit, and
    said steerable housing being optionally equipped on its periphery with support pads of a diameter less than or equal to the diameter of the drill bit / bit toward its end located on the side of the drill bit / bit, and skids or crampons fixed or expandable towards its end located on the side of the main body.
  • The function of said support pads is to bear on the wall of the well drilled for an optimal deviation of the drill / drill bit, and to slow the rotation relative to the axis of the well and possibly cause the stopping or locking the device in rotation, in cooperation with the walls of the drilled well in the case of crampons.
  • In the present context, the "downstream" direction conventionally refers to the direction of the drill bit / bit, while the "upstream" direction refers to the upper end of the drill string.
  • Thus, the device according to the invention comprises, consecutively from upstream to downstream, a main body and a steerable housing in operative relation thereto, a traversing shaft, and at least three bearings and preferably three bearings as defined above, and advantageously support pads and / or cleats as aforesaid, the deflection exerted by means of a suitable deflection system leading to the desired curvature of the curved or flexible shaft, c that is, in practice at the desired orientation angle between the longitudinal axes of the main body and the steerable housing.
  • In the device according to the invention, the shaft is strongly stressed near the aforementioned bearings, and it is preferred that all bearings and other components cooperating with the shaft are hooped.
  • With such a device, the bending of the shaft is achieved by substantially radial displacement of the upper end of the orientable housing relative to the lower end of the main body, under the action of a deflection system.
  • In practice, such a deflection system is of known type, or its design is within the reach of the skilled person.
  • Said deflection is effected, in practice, by essentially radial displacement of the upper end of the orientable housing with respect to the longitudinal axis of the main body, by means of a deflection system, by being supported either on the transmission shaft or the main body (so-called "internal" coupling), or on the wall of the drilled well (so-called "external" coupling).
  • The coupling can only be internal in the static version.
  • The originality of such a device lies essentially in the use of the controlled bending of the drive shaft to articulate the body of the device. Such a mode of operation of the device allows its compatibility with existing guidance devices, whether internal or external.
  • With regard to the deflection device integrated in the orientation device according to the invention, it can be implemented in the case of a static orientation device, in preferred embodiments, illustrative and non-limiting, by means of two radially eccentric rings, a ball joint and a sliding pivot connection; the deflection is then obtained by differential rotation of the two rings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention will be better understood, and other objectives, advantages and characteristics thereof will appear more clearly, in the light of the detailed description below of the preferred embodiments, given purely by way of illustration and in no way limiting, while that are appended to the said description drawing plates in which:
    • The Figure 1 represents, in partial longitudinal schematic section, a device according to the invention, in its position for rectilinear drilling, and in its embodiment described as static or pseudodynamic;
    • The Figure 2 represents, in partial longitudinal schematic section, a device according to Fig. 1 in a position for curved drilling;
    • The Figure 3 represents, in partial longitudinal schematic section, a device according to the invention, in its position for rectilinear drilling, and in its embodiment described as dynamic, with a so-called "external"coupling;
    • The Figure 4 represents, in partial longitudinal schematic section, a device according to Fig. 3 in a position for curved drilling;
    • The Figure 5 represents, in partial longitudinal schematic section, a device according to the invention, in its position for rectilinear drilling, and in its so-called dynamic embodiment, with so-called "internal"coupling;
    • The Figure 6 represents, in partial longitudinal schematic section, a device according to Fig. 5 in a position for curved drilling;
    • The Figures 1A , 3A , 5A , 1B , 2B , 3B , 4B , 5B and 6B are schematic views in cross section respectively AA or BB of the devices according to the respective figures bearing the same number;
    • The Figure 7 is a more detailed representation, in longitudinal section, of a device according to the invention, in its static version and in its position for rectilinear drilling;
    • The Figure 8 is a more detailed representation, in longitudinal section, of a device according to Fig. 7 in its position for curve drilling;
    • The Figure 9 is a more detailed representation, in partial schematic longitudinal section, of a bearing assembly, with hoop connection in a device according to the invention.
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • With reference to the drawings thus briefly described, in particular the Figures 1-8 , which illustrate it but do not limit it in any way, the device having an orientable connection architecture according to the invention essentially comprises a main body 1 and an orientable housing 2, respectively connected by at least one pivot-type connection. , sliding pivot, ball or linear annular forming a first bearing 4 and at least one pivot connection forming a second bearing 5 to a curved or flexible transmission shaft 3, which passes through them longitudinally,
    while a suitable link forming a third bearing 6 between said transmission shaft and the main body, is arranged near the interface between said main body and said housing, and
    while the orientation is achieved by means acting as a deflection system 7 to control the relative radial displacement of the main body 1 relative to the steerable housing 2 near their interface,
    said main body being optionally equipped on its periphery with support pads 9 of a diameter less than or equal to the diameter of the drill bit / bit 16, and
    said steerable housing being optionally equipped on its periphery with support pads 10a towards its end located on the side of the drill bit / bit 16 and fixed or expandable pads or lugs 10b towards its end located on the main body side 1, in order to bear on the wall of the drilled well (for an optimal deviation of the drill bit / bit 16), and
    to allow the braking, or even rotational locking of the main body 1 and the steerable housing 2 respectively by friction and grooving of the wall of the well to be drilled.
  • By "appropriate connection forming a third bearing" is meant here, advantageously, a link type pivot, sliding pivot, annular linear or ball joint.
  • In such a device, the steerable housing 2 is located downstream of the main body 1, with respect to the direction of advancement of the system incorporating the device.
  • With such a device, the bending of the shaft 3, that is to say the orientation according to the desired angle between the longitudinal axes of the main body and the orientable housing, is achieved by essentially radial displacement of the steerable housing 2 relative to the main body 1, and / or relative to the transmission shaft 3, under the action of a deflection system 7.
  • In other words, a joint is formed between the main body 1 and the steerable housing 2, in the form of a curved or flexible shaft 3 connected to each of these two parts 1, 2 by a pivot connection and means of Orientation placed between the main body 1 and the steerable housing 2 and able to move the adjacent ends thereof substantially radially relative to each other.
  • In a static or pseudo-dynamic version, such a device also comprises, in practice, a front wiper seal assembly + seal 8, pads 9 for the main body 1, support pads 10a for the steerable housing 2, a pressurizing device 11, a high connection 12 and a low connection 13, a functional assembly comprising stator-motor, turbine, etc. 14, a rotor-motor assembly, turbine, etc. 15, and a drill / bit tool (PDC or tricone) 16, as well as, optionally, one or more electronic compartments 17 comprising sensors, a real-time computer, a gear such as gear / crown gear 18 driving at least an alternator 19a and / or at least one hydraulic pump 19b.
  • In a purely illustrative embodiment, the pivot connection between the main body 1 and the shaft 3 is made by means (A) of a so-called upper bearing 4 of the pivot or ball joint type, and (B) of a bearing 6 said central annular linear type, these two bearings being located near the two respective ends of the main body 1, while the central bearing 6 is on the steerable housing side 2,
    and the pivot connection between the steerable housing 2 and the shaft 3 is made by means of a so-called lower bearing 5, located near the end of the steerable housing 2 located on the side of the drill bit / bit.
  • In practice, it is advantageous, on the one hand, to maximize the distance between the lower bearing 5 and the central bearing 6, provided that compactness and BUR are maintained, and on the other hand to minimize the distance between the lower bearing 5 and the drilling tool / bit 16, in order to maximize the lever arm between the median plane of the bearing pads 10a / substantially radial displacement plane and the median plane of the bearing pads 10a / cutting edge of said tool Drill / bit 16.
  • The device according to the invention makes it possible in practice to provide an angle of elbow said Bent angle of about 0 ° to 1 ° and more.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the device according to the invention comprises a main body 1 equipped with support pads 9 at the diameter of the drilling tool at each of its ends, and a steerable housing 2 equipped with support pads 10a to the diameter of the drill bit at its lower end ("bit" side) and, in dynamic configuration, crampons or knives at its upper end (main body side) to allow the braking or even stopping by rotational locking of the main body 1 and the steerable housing 2 respectively by friction and grooving of the wall of the drilled well.
  • Alternatively, in the dynamic configuration, the main body can integrate a feeder, preferably tungsten, to limit the rotation of the main body 1 and the steerable housing 2 relative to the wall of the well.
  • Thus, the system comprises three bearings (4, 5, 6), on which is mounted at least one traversing shaft 3, while the deflection leads to the desired orientation angle between the longitudinal axes of the main body and the steerable housing ..
  • Said deflection is achieved, in practice, by essentially radial displacement of the upper end of the orientable housing 2 relative to the main body 1, by means of a deflection system 7.
  • An illustrative and non-limiting example of such a deflection system is a system advantageously comprising a spring preloaded slide, a ball and two eccentric rings radially, such a system being controlled and lockable manually.
  • The deflection system is advantageously placed in front of the central bearing so that the point of rotation of the drill bit is as close as possible to the center of the bearing pads 10a forming an annular linear connection with the wall of the drilled well, with effect of reducing parasitic forces.
  • As for the front seal, it is preferably pressed against the end of the steerable housing 2 under the combined action of the pressurizing internal pressure and a spring, preferably a spring with corrugated turns.
  • The pressurizing device is preferably placed in the orientable housing 2, but any other arrangement is conceivable.
  • As an illustration, said bearings (4, 5, 6) can be composed of either bearings, including ball bearings, spherical roller bearings, tapered roller bearings, cylindrical roller bearings or needle bearings or bearings called CARB ™ marketed by the Swedish company SKF; either bearings hydrodynamic, especially oil or drilling mud; or any combination of the two previous types.
  • According to an advantageous embodiment of the invention, the bearings 4, 5, 6 are hydrodynamic, or consist of ball bearings and / or advantageously preloaded roller bearings to maximize the stiffness of the bearings and their impact resistance.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the transmission shaft 3 is hollow tubular, to allow passage of the drilling fluid (s) with a minimum of pressure drop, and the passage of measuring probes descended by means of a cable being drilled (for measurements usually referred to as "thru the bit measurement" or measurements through the wick).
  • According to another characteristic of the invention, it is advantageous for the transmission shaft 3 to be made of composite or alloy materials having a high ratio between its endurance limit in alternating flexion and its Young's modulus, in order to increase the flexibility to maximize the deflection or BUR without reducing its life in rotary bending, as the lower bearing 5. The monobloc shaft is in this case advantageously made of titanium alloy, beryllium bronze, steel non-magnetic stainless steel or alloy steel with high mechanical properties. In the case of use with a MWD, which is then generally located just above the device or even integrated therewith, nonmagnetic alloys are preferred.
  • According to an alternative characteristic of the subject of the invention, the components such as bearings, ring gear, bearing, etc., are attached to the shaft by shrinking, thermal or mechanical, so that the shaft has no groove, neither shoulder nor throat, or in practice no abrupt and significant section changes. Only the ends of the shaft, which are less stressed, may have threads and grooves seal.
  • In one embodiment, the connection of the respectively low and high connections 12, 13 with the transmission shaft 3 is achieved by a threading associated with a mechanical hoop ensuring the transmission respectively of the traction / compression forces (abbreviated WOB) and torque to the drill bit / bit 16 (see Fig. 9 ).
  • In a preferred embodiment, these mechanical frets are hydraulically controlled, to facilitate assembly and maintenance of the entire device. Such a device thus avoids the use of an expensive clamping bench, generally not available on the site, and also allows the control of the preload of the bearings by simple measurement of hydraulic pressure when the lower and upper bearings are backed connections (see Fig. 9 ).
  • More preferably, the connections between said shaft and the high and low connections 12, 13 are made by threading for the axial forces and by shrinking for the transmission of torque. By the clamping of said hydraulically-controlled hoop, it is possible to prestress the bearing which is bound to it.
  • Thus, according to the embodiment illustrated on the figure 9 by way of nonlimiting example, a shaft 3 centrally traverses the orientable housing 2 along its axis of axial symmetry Z-Z ', and a bearing sleeve 20 supports a bearing 5 provided with an internal spacer 21 and a spacer 22, and a bearing collar 23. Between said bearing and the connection 24 (manually tightened on the shaft) to the drill bit / bit 16, or alternatively the drill bit / bit 16 it -Even, are placed a sealing support 25, a connecting ferrule 26, a conical ring 32 and a locking nut 29. A plug / hydraulic connection 27 and a conical ring 32 for prestressing said bearing 5, and a locking nut 29 allow pumping at a given pressure for the introduction / preloading of the bearings and the reversible mechanical shrinking of the bearing sleeve 20 on the shaft 3. The sealing support 25 is then tightened, pumped by the clamping orifice 28, to axially move the hoop 26 with respect to the conical ring 32 and thus ensure the reversible mechanical binding of the connection 24 on the shaft 3. Then the locking nut 29 is tightened. The tightening is completed by a clamping / locking operation of the support 25, the locking nut 29, and the plugs / hydraulic connections 27, 28 and 30.
  • Disassembly of such an assembly ensuring the mounting of bearings in a device according to the invention comprises the steps of: unblocking / loosening of the locking nut 29, pumping by the hydraulic connection 27, loosening of the sealing support 25, pumping through the connection hydraulic 30 for loosening the bearing ring 23, and manually loosening the connection 24.
  • According to another characteristic of this object of the invention, all or almost all the structural components of the device which constitute the bulk of the mass of the orientable coupling are preferably non-magnetic alloys, ceramic, composite material and / or plastic, so as not to disturb the measurements of the MWD tools, which are generally located just above the device or even integrated therewith.
  • In one embodiment of the device according to the invention, all the mechanisms are immersed in oil maintained at an overpressure of about 0.01 to 1 MPa and more with respect to its environment, advantageously thanks to a device of pressurization preferably performed by means of an annular piston pushed by the pressure of the surrounding fluid and a spring housed between the body of the housing and the transmission shaft. In a preferred embodiment, a front wiper and seal assembly, or a metal bellows, made of plastic or elastomeric laminate, seals between the main body 1 and the orientable housing 2.
  • With regard to the elements intended to form the supports of the main body 1 and the steerable housing 2 on the walls of the wellbore, these are advantageously straight or helical blades, preferably stripped to reduce the risk of clogging, serving as non-rotating stabilizers, of a diameter less than or equal to the diameter of the drill bit / bit. These non-rotating stabilizers are preferably lined with "buttons" respectively aligned or helically, preferably tungsten carbide or polycrystalline diamond (abbreviated PDC), or provided with a deposit resistant to abrasion.
  • When designed to form a dynamic coupling with internal coupling, the device according to the invention is advantageously equipped, at the end of the orientable housing 2 located on the side of the deflection system 7, longitudinal blades or crampons 10b intended to allow the rotational braking of the swivel connection by grooving the wall of the drilled well. In practice, these crampons or blades are advantageously made of carbide tungsten or polycrystalline diamond (abbreviated PDC), to optimize their longevity regardless of the type of training drilled.
  • With regard to the deflection device integrated in the connecting device according to the invention, it is preferably realized, in the case of a static coupling device, by means of two radially eccentric rings, a ball joint and a a slidable sliding pivot connection with a spring; the deflection is then obtained by differential rotation of the two rings.
  • For a pseudo-dynamic or dynamic device, this deflection device is conventionally realized, on the basis of the knowledge of those skilled in the art.
  • According to an advantageous characteristic, for the forms of implementation of the invention which require hydraulic power, the jack or cylinders are preferably powered by a pump whose pistons are arranged in a cylinder around the shaft and driven by a cam integral with said shaft. Alternatively, one or more barrel pumps 19b can be provided and used, driven by a multiplier pinion-crown assembly.
  • The power supply of each jack is advantageously controlled by a solenoid valve, normally open. If the orientation system thus designed is reversible, the system spontaneously returns to its neutral position, to ensure the return of the device according to the invention in rectilinear drilling position in case of incident and thus limit the risk of jamming during the ascent of the drilling set.
  • According to another advantageous embodiment, and more particularly in an embodiment requiring electrical power, the orientation device according to the invention has no battery and is powered by an annular generator, in particular with permanent magnets ( not shown) disposed around the shaft 3 and driven by the latter by means of an epicyclic gear multiplier, not shown. Alternatively, it is possible to provide and use one or more generatrices arranged in a barrel around the shaft 3 and driven by the latter via a pinion / crown gear multiplier. The said generators are then advantageously coupled to one or more rectifiers that can be coupled in series or in parallel for a range of wide speed, and a plurality of capacitors of high capacity, to act as a battery during operation without rotation of the shaft.
  • Preferably, said pump or pumps and said generators are arranged on the same axis and advantageously share the same drive pinion.
  • The device according to the invention advantageously comprises a group of pumps, generators, solenoid valves, cylinders and pressure relief valves, arranged to be able to activate relative displacement means.
  • According to another characteristic of the orientation device according to the invention, the main body 1 integrates "at-bit" measuring sensors such as, for example, measurements of inclination, azimuth, pressure, temperature, natural gamma radiation, resistivity, "WOB", torque to the tool, vibratory level ("bit bouncing" and / or "whirling"), rotational speed, "stick -slip "or grazing, etc.
  • By their design, the measurements of natural gamma radiation are directional, taking into account the eccentricity of said crystals and the (slow) rotation of the main body 1 relative to the drilled well. In this respect it is possible to use, in known manner, several crystals regularly distributed in a barrel around the shaft.
  • The rotation (slow) of the main body 1 relative to the drilled well being random, the generator (s) can be short-circuited and / or the pump (s) can be blocked (s) to control the rotation of the main body 1 relative to the well drilled by rotation of the rods.
  • According to a particular embodiment of the pseudo-dynamic version of the orientation device according to the invention, the main body 1 incorporates a rotation detector (not shown) of the drill string (in the absence of rotation, it is possible to sliding mode ("sliding") with shaft 3 bent, while with a rotation one is in "turning" mode ("rotary") with straight shaft ", for an autonomous activation of the orientable housing 2, without resorting to a transmission surface / background.
  • According to an alternative embodiment of the pseudo-dynamic version of the orientation device according to the invention, the rotation detector of the drill string is entirely mechanical (for example unbalanced in free rotation around the main body 1, mass in radial translation, etc.) for high temperature applications, especially at temperatures of about 200 ° C and higher.
  • In the embodiment of the orientation device according to the invention providing it with dynamic operation, said device advantageously integrates in or on its main body 1 tilt and azimuth sensors or an inertial unit or unbalance in free rotation associated with an angular encoder and an inclinometer, coupled to a real-time computer, for controlling the deflection device in a given direction or trajectory.
  • According to another characteristic of the invention, in its pseudo-dynamic as well as dynamic embodiment, the orientation device can be remotely controlled from the surface by means of coding using slurry pressure and / or rotation of the drill string as parameters, or by means of electromagnetic wave transmission, with or without relays.
  • An appropriate bidirectional transmission equipping the swiveling connectors according to the invention of both pseudodynamic and dynamic type has the advantage of allowing surface measurements to be transmitted at the tool level (so-called tool measurements). good with that without relays, according to preferences and environmental constraints, which makes drilling interactive.
  • Furthermore, it is advantageous to provide the orientation device according to the invention with sensors such as those indicated above, and an electrical interface with connector (comprising at least one wire + ground) to advantageously four contacts (2 wires power supply and 2 communication wires) plus the mass, to allow dialogue (programming, parameter setting, memory read-back, etc.) with a computer or even directly via a network.
  • Naturally, those skilled in the art will understand that the orientation device according to the invention is placed in practice between conventional upstream elements (MWD, LWD, motor, etc., and drill string) and the drilling tool ( wick / PDC / trephine) downstream, or at the limit can even integrate or be integrated with one of these elements.
  • The invention also relates to a method for carrying out controlled drilling, that is to say requiring precise control of trajectory. In such a method according to the invention, at least one orientation / reorientation device according to the present invention is provided and operated under the action of a suitable deflection device.
  • The application of the reorientation device may be particularly advantageous when the drilling has undergone an undesired curvature or it is preferable to reorient the trajectory of a well whose production decreases.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the method according to the invention comprises the characteristics, embodiments and / or advantageous variants indicated above for the swivel coupling device itself or its components.
  • Thus the present invention provides an architecture for the orientation of a drilling tool, to overcome the limitations of the prior art, and having the significant advantages of reduced length, the ability to provide a large BUR despite a low angle elbow, high reliability, and extremely easy and economical manufacturing and maintenance.
  • Optionally, one can integrate in the device according to the invention a unidirectional surface-bottom transmission, operating for example by pressure variation or for example by rotation of the drill string and coding / decoding generator (s), and thus allow the control of the system from the surface, using the knowledge of the skilled person. It is also possible to integrate in this device a unidirectional or bidirectional surface-bottom or local electromagnetic transmission, also allowing the interactive control of the system in real time.
  • Said method may optionally include the analysis of the variations of the signals of the aforesaid generator (s), with a view to detecting a malfunction such as overspeed or "stick-slip".
  • It may also include the implementation of means for detecting, advantageously mechanical modes of drilling by progression without rotation of the drill string ("sliding") and with rotation of the drill string ("rotary") for autonomous operation .
  • As a variant, the method may comprise the implementation of means for controlling the orientation of the steerable housing 2, in particular by integration advantageously in the main body 1 of an unbalance coupled to an angular encoder and an inclinometer, as well as a real-time calculator.
  • The method according to the invention may also comprise the implementation of means for controlling the orientation of the steerable housing 2 in all directions, in particular by integration advantageously in the main body 1 of a deflection probe (preferably composed of 3 magnetometers + 3 accelerometers) and a real time calculator. As a variant, this functionality can be ensured by integration in the main body 1 of an inertial unit, advantageously of the MEMS type, and of a real time calculator.
  • For the measurement of torque to the drill bit / bit 16, which is of interest in practice, techniques known to those skilled in the art can be used. With the device according to the invention, it is advantageous to proceed by measuring the torsion angle of the shaft 3 between the bearings 4 and 6. For this, it is recommended to use instrumented bearings acting as encoder, the or the generatrices 19a, or magnets associated with at least one Hall effect sensor, or a combination of these elements, and to proceed with these means to a direct measurement of phase shift between the two measurements, as well as to a measurement of speed by generators.
  • In addition to its ability to reduce the overall cost of the drilled hole meter, the device according to the present invention has a miniaturization potential making it possible to envisage embodiments for drilling phases less than or equal to 5 "7/8. Moreover compatible with a reamer / underreamer, placed upstream of said device, it is possible to drill different diameters with the same device.
  • In all cases, the drilling fluid (s) and the WOB ("weight on bit") pass directly through the tubular transmission shaft, respectively making it possible to reduce the pressure losses and, in the case of static systems, and pseudodynamic, to place the stop in the main body 1. The length of the steerable housing 2 is thus reduced to the maximum, without compromising the life of the stop, resulting in a large BUR with an angle of weak elbow.
  • In the case of a pseudodynamic coupling, the aforementioned advantages are further supplemented by the possibilities, in particular:
    • to activate the orientation of the housing automatically or from the surface, according to the drilling mode - "rotary" straight shaft for straight drilling and "sliding" shaft flexed for drilling requiring precise control of the trajectory; the rotation of the flexed housing in "rotary" mode is thus eliminated and the quality of the drilled hole is similar to that which one would obtain with an RSS, but with a simpler system and thus more reliable and less expensive;
    • instrumenting the engine with pressure, temperature, deflection, natural gamma radiation, neutron, etc. sensors, arranged in the main body, allowing measurements to be made to the tool; and
    • to implement a background / surface communication to have measurements at the tool in real time on the surface.
  • In the case of a dynamic connection, it is thus possible to:
    • significantly reduce the length of the RSS, for
      • ◊ improve the quality of measurements during drilling (MWD / LW) by reducing the distance between the different measuring points and the wick (PDC or Tricone, for example);
      • ◊ increasing the BUR and rendering the directional performance of the RSS insensitive to the inclination of said RSS with supports of the main body and the housing to the diameter of the drill / drill bit; and
      • ◊ reduce the mass, investment and costs of product implementation and transportation, among others;
    • give access to all the mechanical and electronic organs of the RSS, without the need to dismantle the RSS completely, so that the costs of assembly and maintenance are greatly reduced;
    • to reduce by more than 30% the efforts in all the mechanisms and connections of the different organs constituting the RSS, as well as the number of mechanical components, and consequently to increase the reliability of said RSS;
    • miniaturize the RSS for boreholes less than or equal to 5 "7/8;
    • to facilitate the introduction of existing SSR devices on the market by taking advantage of the experience already gained with the drilling with cranked couplings of the bottom engines, which equip these since 1962; and
    • achieve a higher potential rotation speed than most existing systems.
  • It should also be noted that the above benefits should lead to a very significant reduction in the overall cost of the drilled meter - which can not be achieved by the currently known drills - while providing greater opportunities for use as well. background engines than RSS.

Claims (18)

  1. A drilling tool steering device, characterized in that it comprises consecutively from upstream to downstream:
    • a main body (1) and a steerable housing (2),
    • a deflection system (7) and
    • a transmission shaft (3) which crosses them longitudinally,
    whereas the said transmission shaft (3) is bendable or flexible and is connected to the main body (1) and to the steerable housing (2) through at least three connections forming bearings (4, 5, 6),
    whereas the connection of pivot type between the main body (1) and the shaft (3) is made by means (A) of a so-called upper bearing (4), and (B) of a so-called center bearing (6), those two bearings being situated in proximity to both the respective ends of the main body (1), the center bearing (6) being in the direction of the steerable housing (2), and
    whereas the pivot connection between the said steerable housing and the shaft (3) is made by means of a so-called lower bearing (5), situated in proximity to the end of the steerable housing (2) located in the direction of the drilling tool/bit (16), and
    whereas the deflection system (7) is designed to make bending possible by essentially radial relative displacement of the main body (1) in relation to the steerable housing (2) in proximity to their interface.
  2. The device according to claim 1, wherein the transmission shaft (3) is linked to the main body (1) and to the steerable housing (2) respectively by:
    • a first bearing (4) formed by at least one connection of pivot, sliding pivot; ball joint or annular linear
    and
    • a second bearing (5) formed by at least one pivot connection,
    whereas
    • a third bearing (6) formed by a connection of pivot, sliding pivot, annular linear or ball joint type between said transmission shaft (3) and the main body (1) arranged in proximity to the end of said main body situated in the direction of the steerable housing (2).
  3. The device according to Claim 2, characterized in that:
    the said main body (1) is optionally equipped on its periphery with bearing pads (9) of diameter less than or equal to the diameter of the drilling tool/bit (16), and the said steerable housing (2) is optionally equipped on its periphery with bearing pads (10a) of diameter less than or equal to the diameter of the drilling tool/bit (16) toward its end situated in the direction of the drilling tool/bit, and with fixed or expandable pads or clamps (10b) toward its end situated in the direction of the main body (1).
  4. The device according to anyone of Claims 1 to 3, characterized in that it contains a deflection system (7) designed to make bending possible by essentially radial displacement of the upper end of the steerable housing (2) in relation to the lower end of the main body (1), by bearing either on the transmission shaft (3) or main body (1) or on the wall of the well drilled.
  5. The device according to one of Claims 2 or 3, characterized in that said bearings (4, 5, 6) consist of roller bearings, notably ball bearings, tapered roller bearings, cylindrical roller bearings or needle bearings, advantageously prestressed, or of hydrodynamic bearings, notably oil or drilling mud bearings, or of any combination of same.
  6. The device according to one of Claims 2 or 3, characterized in that it is designed to constitute a dynamic connection and is equipped, at the end of the steerable housing (2) situated in the direction of the deflection system (7), with clamps or blades intended to permit, on deflection of the shaft (3), locking or braking of the device on rotation by grooving of the wall of the borehole.
  7. Device according to any one of Claims 2 to 6, characterized in that the shaft (3) is a monobloc tubular transmission shaft made of composite materials or alloys having a high ratio between the fatigue limit under reversed bending stress and the Young's modulus, and said shaft does not contain sudden section changes, while just the ends of the shaft can optionally be threaded and can present joint grooves, and while the components such as roller bearings, annular gear and others are fitted on the shaft by thermal or mechanical hooping.
  8. The device according to any one of Claims 2 to 6, characterized in that the respectively low and high connections are joined with the shaft (3) by threading combined with a hydraulically controlled hoop, ensuring the transmission of tensile and compressive axial stresses and torque to the drilling tool, respectively.
  9. The device according to any one of Claims 2 to 8, characterized in that a front scraper joint and gasket assembly or a metal, plastic and/or laminated elastomer bellow ensures tightness at the interface between the main body (1) and the steerable housing (2).
  10. The device according to any one of Claims 2 to 9, characterized in that the deflection system (7) is formed, in the case of a static connection device, by two radially eccentric rings, a ball joint and a sliding pivot connection, as well as by a prestressed spring, deflection then being obtained by differential rotation of the two rings.
  11. The device according to any one of Claims 2 to 10, characterized in that the main body (1) integrates a detector of rotation of the boring rods that is advantageously entirely mechanical or in "rotary mode with straight shaft" for an autonomous activation of the case, without resorting to a surface/bottom transmission.
  12. The device according to Claim 2 or 3, characterized in that it contains one or more generators (19a) in a barrel arrangement around the shaft (3) and driven by the latter by means of a pinion-step-up gear assembly (18), the said generators being preferably coupled to one or more rectifiers that can be coupled in series or in parallel for a wide speed range, and a plurality of high-capacity capacitors, in order to serve as battery during rotation-free operation of the shaft (3).
  13. Device according to Claim 2 or 3, characterized in that it contains one or more hydraulic pumps (19b) in a barrel arrangement around the shaft (3) and driven by the latter by means of a pinion-step-up gear assembly (18).
  14. The device according to one of Claims 12 or 13, characterized in that it contains a rearranged assembly of pumps, generators, solenoid valves, jacks and overpressure valves, set up to activate the deflection system (7), said pumps and said generators being coaxial and sharing the same driving pinion.
  15. The device according to any one of Claims 2 to 14, characterized in that it contains means for real time measurement of the torsional angle of the shaft (3) between the bearings (4) and (6), as measurement of the torque at the drilling tool/bit (16).
  16. A method for making boreholes necessitating precise control of trajectory, characterized in that at least one device according to any one of Claims 1 to 15 is supplied and put into operation.
  17. A method according to Claim 16, characterized in that the shaft (3) is bent by means of the deflection system (7) by essentially radial displacement of the steerable case (2) in relation to the main body (1) and/or in relation to the traversing transmission shaft (3).
  18. A method according to Claim 16, characterized in that it further involves analysis of the variations of signals from the generator or generators, with a view to the detection of a malfunction, such as excess speed or chatter.
EP20070731198 2006-03-27 2007-03-26 Device for steering drilling tools Active EP2004946B1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FR0602621A FR2898935B1 (en) 2006-03-27 2006-03-27 Device for orienting drilling tools
PCT/FR2007/000515 WO2007110502A1 (en) 2006-03-27 2007-03-26 Device for steering drilling tools

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP2004946A1 EP2004946A1 (en) 2008-12-24
EP2004946B1 true EP2004946B1 (en) 2012-10-03

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EP20070731198 Active EP2004946B1 (en) 2006-03-27 2007-03-26 Device for steering drilling tools

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US (1) US8887834B2 (en)
EP (1) EP2004946B1 (en)
CN (1) CN101473102B (en)
CA (1) CA2647397C (en)
FR (1) FR2898935B1 (en)
WO (1) WO2007110502A1 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
CN101473102B (en) 2013-10-02
EP2004946A1 (en) 2008-12-24
CA2647397C (en) 2015-01-20
FR2898935B1 (en) 2008-07-04
US8887834B2 (en) 2014-11-18
WO2007110502A1 (en) 2007-10-04
US20090166089A1 (en) 2009-07-02
CN101473102A (en) 2009-07-01
FR2898935A1 (en) 2007-09-28
CA2647397A1 (en) 2007-10-04

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