GB2320734A - Casing Packer - Google Patents

Casing Packer Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2320734A
GB2320734A GB9726421A GB9726421A GB2320734A GB 2320734 A GB2320734 A GB 2320734A GB 9726421 A GB9726421 A GB 9726421A GB 9726421 A GB9726421 A GB 9726421A GB 2320734 A GB2320734 A GB 2320734A
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
lt
rti
element
inflatable
elastomeric
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB9726421A
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GB2320734B (en )
GB9726421D0 (en )
Inventor
Martin P Coronado
Rustom K Mody
Mark C Solari
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Baker Hughes Inc
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Baker Hughes Inc
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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
    • E21B33/00Sealing or packing boreholes or wells
    • E21B33/10Sealing or packing boreholes or wells in the borehole
    • E21B33/12Packers; Plugs
    • E21B33/127Packers; Plugs with inflatable sleeve
    • E21B33/1277Packers; Plugs with inflatable sleeve characterised by the construction or fixation of the sleeve
    • 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
    • E21B33/00Sealing or packing boreholes or wells
    • E21B33/10Sealing or packing boreholes or wells in the borehole
    • E21B33/12Packers; Plugs
    • E21B33/129Packers; Plugs with mechanical slips for hooking into the casing
    • E21B33/1295Packers; Plugs with mechanical slips for hooking into the casing actuated by fluid pressure

Abstract

The invention is directed to an inflatable or external casing packer (ECP) for use in cased wellbores. A hybrid inflatable packing element design in an ECP is presented, having in a single-unit, anchoring and sealing sections for application in cased wellbores using a phase change inflation medium such as cement or epoxy or the like. The inflatable elements comprise a sealing section 40 that uses a noncontinuously reinforced elastomeric element 41 with anti-extrusion ribs 41 at its ends. When filled with the inflation medium, a frictional, radial force sealingly engages the elastomeric element with casing wall. An anchoring section 42 is also provided that uses a continuously ribbed elastomeric bladder element 52. The steel ribs 62 on the surface of the elastomeric element engage in metal-to-metal contact with the casing wall as the inflation medium exerts a frictional, radial force. Any trapped wellbore fluid between the sections escapes via the pathway between the ribs. A method for use of the hybrid ECP is also disclosed.

Description

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR HYBRID ELEMENT CASING PACKER FOR CASED-HOLE APPLICATIONS The field of this invention relates generally to an inflatable packer for use in <RTI>weilbores,</RTI> and <RTI>specifically</RTI> to an inflatable packer which has a hybrid elastomeric element design providing sealing capability and anchoring support for use in casedhole applications. More particularly, but not by way of limitation, this invention relates to an inflatable packer where the sealing element acts independently of the anchoring element.

BACRGROUND OF THE INVENTION The production for oil and gas reserves has taken the industry to remote sites including inland and offshore locations. <RTI>la</RTI> addition, hydrocarbon production in remote locations has become the <RTI>'inorm"</RTI> For example, production in deviated and multi-lateral wellbores is now very common As a result, new and unique <RTI>problems,</RTI> particularly, in the completion phases have arise. Historically, the cost for developing and maintaining hydrocarbon production has <RTI>bcen</RTI> <RTI>vcry</RTI> high in remote locations. And as production continues in these remote areas, costs have also escalated because of the unique problems encountered <RTI>in</RTI> producing oil and gas in difficult-to- reach locations and/or producing hydrocarbon <RTI>through</RTI> <RTI>numerous</RTI> zones. As a result production techniques in these remote areas require creative solutions to unique problems not encountered in conventional wellbores.

As one skilled in the industry may understand, hydrocarbon production rates directly affect the profitability of a <RTI>weitbore.</RTI> During the productive life of these wells, the well must be maintained so that hydrocarbon production and retrieval is performed in the most efficient manner and at a <RTI>maxinnim</RTI> capacity. Well operators desire maximum recovery from <RTI>prodnctlve</RTI> <RTI>zones,</RTI> and in order to maximize <RTI>produc-</RTI> tion, proper testing, completion and <RTI>control</RTI> <RTI>ofthe</RTI> well is required In <RTI>weilbore</RTI> construction, four <RTI>ficters</RTI> are a part of every wellbore design phase: (1) the completion method most suitable for a particular well, (2) the fluid flow paths needed, (3) the completion system chosen to <RTI>boxing</RTI> the fluids to the <RTI>wellhead,</RTI> and (4) the completion cost versus the production potentiaL The completion method chosen is an important element, and <RTI>tbis</RTI> invention relates to proper zone isolation and the most effective and efficient means to do so. More particularly, it concerns zone isolation in cased <RTI>weitbores.</RTI> As one in the industry might expect today, multi-lateral <RTI>welIbores</RTI> require cased wellbores for efficient drainage through multiple zones and/or reservoirs. In addition, many operations conventionally <RTI>performed</RTI> at the surface are now performed downhole. As a result, cased-hole operations have become a necessity for many <RTI>welibore</RTI> <RTI>completions.</RTI>

Thus, different tools are needed for each of two methods of completion (1) open-hole completion and (2) cased or perforated completions. In an open-hole or a barefoot wellbore completion, a relatively large internal diameter is encountered and the open-hole shape is invariably skewed The open-hole is irregular (not perfectly cylindrical) since the hole is drilled in the earthen formation. <RTI>Thereire,</RTI> the <RTI>external</RTI> casing packer became an ideally suited tool to isolate zones during production or <RTI>entng</RTI> <RTI>operations</RTI> <RTI>because</RTI> of its large inflation and sealing capacity. <RTI>La</RTI> such completion methods, the external casing packer is part of the casing string and forms a seal and an <RTI>anchor</RTI> against the open-hole wall when an elastomeric element in the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool is <RTI>inflates</RTI> The anchor in the open-hole is formed when the packer's elastomeric element is inflated and contours to the shape ofthe open-hole, <RTI>preverrting</RTI> axial movement in the wellbore. The exceptional expansion and sealing capabilities of the flexible elastomeric elements allow these tools to <RTI>handle</RTI> conditions that would be impossible for conventional packing tools. When inflated, the <RTI>packing</RTI> element <RTI>confoinis</RTI> to virtually any irregularity in open-hole <RTI>complected</RTI> wellbores. While no <RTI>packing</RTI> element can tolerate all conditions, the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> packing elements have been found to be very tolerant for open-hole completions.

On the other hand, in cased-hole wellbores, a <RTI>different</RTI> set of criteria and problems for completing and workover of a wellbore are encountered. One recent problem that has been <RTI>encountered</RTI> is to isolate a particular zone that is located below completion equipment already located in the wellbore. Such zones are normally very difficult to isolate since only limited access or <RTI>tbrough-pass</RTI> in existing wellbore equipment is available to the zone below. Conventionally, such completion equipment has provided a relatively narrow access to a section located below. In such wellbores there is, therefore, a need for zone isolation packers that may be installed below <RTI>any</RTI> existing equipment. It is clear that conventional packer equipment may not be used in such wellbores since much of it <RTI>courses</RTI> larger diameter equipment.

Such equipment, therefore, cannot pass through the restricted available access.

In addition, conventional <RTI>fri-tubing</RTI> and production injection packer technologies are also inadequate in these applications since they do not and cannot provide sufficient sealing capability in larger diameter casing sizes when using an inflation medium that operates under a phase change condition. Examples of a phase change medium include cement or epoxy. Phase change of an inflation medium occurs after the inflation medium sets. <RTI>An jnflstion</RTI> medium sets when it retains a permanent phase. For example, a phase change occurs when cement or epoxy hardens. <RTI>However,</RTI> subsequent to such hardening, another phase change occurs such that the <RTI>cement</RTI> or epoxy <RTI>shrinks</RTI> slightly.

In these restricted access wellbores, <RTI>conventional</RTI> production injection packers and <RTI>thru-tubing</RTI> <RTI>technology</RTI> using phase <RTI>change</RTI> inflation media cannot be inflated to reach the outer diameter (OD) of the cased wellbore (the wall) to effectively seal a zone for reasons that will be discussed hereinafter. Thus, a new zone isolation tool is greatly needed to isolate certain zones in the cased wellbore.

One concept is to use <RTI>conventional</RTI> <RTI>external</RTI> casing packer technology, now used in larger diameter open-hole completions, to anchor and seal (isolate) a particular zone, especially since they have a relatively small <RTI>'pass-through"</RTI> OD and thus are capable of passing through the restricted access of <RTI>exisng</RTI> equipment Examples of these conventional packer technology <RTI>include</RTI> "production injection packers" and <RTI>"timi-tubing</RTI> packers." However, even with improving elastomer technology, these conventional packers have proven to be relatively <RTI>inefibctive</RTI> in applications requiring inflation in a cased wellbore with a <RTI>phase</RTI> change medium.

In order to <RTI>understand</RTI> why this is so, it is first necessary to <RTI>preview</RTI> the design of these (inflatable) packers. <RTI>Inflatable</RTI> packers have long utilized a design <RTI>iDcorpç</RTI> rating the use of various elastomeric <RTI>elements</RTI> in combination with metal slats or <RTI>ribs</RTI> as inflatable elements. Such <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tools comprise an elastomeric sleeve element mounted in <RTI>surrounding</RTI> relationship to a tubular body portion To protect the elastomeric sleeve element, a plurality of resilient slats or <RTI>nbs</RTI> are peripherally bonded to the elastomeric sleeve element. The medial portion of the elastomeric sleeve is <RTI>further</RTI> surrounded, and may be bonded, by an outer <RTI>amlular</RTI> elastomeric sleeve element or "cover" of substantial thickness. These prior art external casing packers <RTI>tbus</RTI> use a "full cover" design. Upper and lower assemblies securely and sealingly couple the ends of tbe <RTI>packing</RTI> element sleeves to the central tubular body. A <RTI>pres:urtuul</RTI> phase change inflation medium is communicated to the tubulat body and then through radial passages thereon to the interior of the elastomeric sleeve element to inflate the packing elements, providing a sealing radial engagement with the wellbore walL A conventional external casing packer (with or without a phase change medium) is ineffective in cased-wellbore applications because the contour of the casing is <RTI>sIeietttIy</RTI> cylindrical, this preventing a <RTI>proper</RTI> anchoring relationship between the external casing packer and the casing walL One reason a proper anchor does not result is because the coefficient of friction between the elastomeric element and the steel casing in a wetted media <RTI>environment</RTI> is very low. Thus, the differential pressure in the wellbore between locations above and below the packer forces its <RTI>movement</RTI> In addition, the conventional external <RTI>casing</RTI> packer is designed to provide only anti-extrusion <RTI>benefits.</RTI> For example, the ribs are located only on the secured ends <RTI>(secumig</RTI> assemblies) of the elastomeric <RTI>element</RTI> and thus provide only limited anchoring benefits. As such, the elastomeric <RTI>element</RTI> has a tendency to "roll over" or <RTI>ovcrlap</RTI> the secured end when a <RTI>sufficiellt</RTI> axial <RTI>ttece</RTI> is applied to the <RTI>ribs.</RTI> On the other hand, if a modification is made and the elastomeric element is filly ribbed, another disadvantage arises. <RTI>Ia</RTI> the latter case, a <RTI>flill</RTI> <RTI>length u</RTI> elastomeric element, in combination with the elastomeric element, is a much larger OD packer. Therefore, a new design requires a thinner cover to overcome the limited access available trough existing downhole equipment.

However, when a thinner cover is introduced in the new design, another significant problem arises when a phase change inflation medium is used to inflate the inflatable packer in the cased wellbore. This new problem arises when the inflation medium changes phases (cures and contracts) and there is a resulting loss of radial force available against the casing walL It is understood by one skilled in the art that a relatively thicker elastomeric element normally makes up this <RTI>differential</RTI> in <RTI>radial</RTI> force. However, when a thinner element is used, the loss in radial force may not be compensated or <RTI>' < made</RTI> <RTI>up."</RTI> Thus, the amount of compensation an elastomeric element can <RTI>'tnake-up"</RTI> is a <RTI>fiffiction</RTI> of its <RTI>thickness.</RTI> stated <RTI>diffeeently,</RTI> the energy storage capacity of the elastomeric element available for sealing engagement is a function of its thickness. Thus, as a relatively thicker elastorneric element is used, a relatively larger <RTI>energy</RTI> storage <RTI>potcntial</RTI> exists. This <RTI>larger</RTI> stored energy potential is available to act against the cased-wellbore wall in sealing engagement, compensating for any shrinkage in the inflation medium. In a cased wellbore, therefore, a relatively thick elastomeric element is required to obtain <RTI>per</RTI> sealing capability. Thus, there is a need for a new zone isolation tool that overcomes all <RTI>ofthese</RTI> limitations.

Various prior art <RTI>extemal</RTI> casing packer devices have <RTI>existed,</RTI> but none provide a solution for isolating a zone below existing <RTI>element</RTI> that has <RTI>retticted</RTI> access in a cased wellbore environment. For example, Mody, et. al., discloses in U.S. Patent No.

5,143,154 an <RTI>inflatable</RTI> packing element for an <RTI>innatrrhle</RTI> packer having a specific rib coupling design to <RTI>tbe</RTI> tubular mandrel.

Another teaching is that by <RTI>Mddy</RTI> in U.S. Patent No. 5,101,908 for an inflatable packing device and a method for sealing. The device discloses upper and lower elastomeric <RTI>elements</RTI> <RTI>surrounding</RTI> a tubular <RTI>mandrel.</RTI> Again, however, this teaching is not directed to the problems <RTI>encountexed</RTI> <RTI>hemn</RTI> Another tcaching is that of <RTI>Halbardier</RTI> in U.S. Patent No. <RTI>4,869,325,</RTI> disclosing a method and apparatus for setting, unsetting, and retrieving a packer or a bridge plug <RTI>from</RTI> a subterranean well which may be passed though a small diameter tubing. However, again, such a <RTI>teaching</RTI> is not <RTI>dieted</RTI> to the specific problems encountered herein.

Therefore, there is a need for a method and apparatus for an <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool that provides a solution for isolating zones through restricted access completion equipment in a cased weflbores that provide both a seal and anchoring <RTI>features.</RTI>

The present invention is directed to a new and improved wellbore packing device for use in isolating <RTI>zoaes</RTI> within a <RTI>subterranean</RTI> wellbore and to methods for applying the packing device in a cased-hole <RTI>application.</RTI> The present invention is directed to a new and improved inflatable or external casing packer <RTI>CP)</RTI> for use in cased wellbores. A hybrid <RTI>inflatable</RTI> <RTI>packing</RTI> element design in an ECP is presented, having in a <RTI>single-unit,</RTI> anchoring and <RTI>sealing</RTI> sections for application in cased wellbores musing a phase change inflation medium such as <RTI>cement</RTI> or epoxy or the like.

The <RTI>present</RTI> invention overcomes limitations of <RTI>exiting</RTI> prior art <RTI>67CP's</RTI> since these prior art ECP's are not capable of providing both sealing and anchoring <RTI>packing</RTI> elements in a single unitized design in size and access <RTI>restricted</RTI> wellbores.

The inflatable elements comprise a sealing section that uses a <RTI>noncontinnously</RTI> reinfbrced elastomeric <RTI>element</RTI> with <RTI>anti-extrusion</RTI> <RTI>ribs</RTI> at its ends. When filled with the <RTI>inflation</RTI> medium, a <RTI>ffictional,</RTI> radial force sealingly engages the elastomeric element with casing walL An anchoring section is also provided that uses a continuously ribbed elastomeric bladder element The steel ribs on the <RTI>surbce</RTI> of the elastomeric element engage in <RTI>metal-to-meXl</RTI> contact with the casing wall as the inflation <RTI>medium</RTI> exerts a <RTI>frictional,</RTI> radial force. Any <RTI>trppped</RTI> wellbore fluid between the sections escapes via the pathway between the <RTI>ribs.</RTI> A method for use of the hybrid ECP is also <RTI>disclosei</RTI> More specifically, a method for use of the <RTI>hybrid</RTI> inflatable packer in a <RTI>cased-llole</RTI> environment with a phase <RTI>change</RTI> inflation media is <RTI>presented.</RTI>

BRTIIX; BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure <RTI>lA</RTI> is a cross-sectional and perspective combination view of the prior art external casing packer, showing a continuous <RTI>ribbed</RTI> style inflatable element.

Figure <RTI>1B</RTI> is a <RTI>cross-sectional</RTI> and <RTI>perspective</RTI> combination view of the prior art external casing packer, showing a noncontinuous style inflatable <RTI>element</RTI> Figure 2 is a <RTI>cross-sectional</RTI> view of a hybrid externalt casing packer of the preferred embodiment, showing a sealing inflatable element section and an anchoring inflatable element section as it would appear in the run-in mode of <RTI>operation.</RTI>

Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view of a hybrid external casing packer of the preferred embodiment, showing a sealing inflatable element section and an anchoring inflatable element section as it would appear in the inflation mode of operation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The present invention is best <RTI>desmbed</RTI> and understood with reference to the context in which it is used and the prior art designs of <RTI>exterral</RTI> casing packers (see Figures <RTI>lA</RTI> & <RTI>1B).</RTI>

Thru-tubing workover and completion technologies <RTI>bve</RTI> significant advantages, particularly since they provide isolation in restricted access zones.

However, some operating and design limitations <RTI>exist</RTI> in <RTI>such</RTI> <RTI>tebnologies.</RTI> For example, thru-tubing technologies are sized smaller and therefore are limited in larger diameter wellbore applications. <RTI>In cased</RTI> <RTI>weilbores,</RTI> significant pressure differentials <RTI>assist</RTI> within the wellbore when <RTI>flowing wellbore</RTI> fluids are <RTI>present</RTI> and, thus, unintended displacement of <RTI>settable</RTI> or inflatable tools occurs. Flow in either direction usually <RTI>ens</RTI> in a wellbore when a producing zone is in <RTI>hydrrulic</RTI> communication with a <RTI>conmming</RTI> zone and such inter-zone "cross-flow" may exist in a wellbore, irrespective of whether flow is directed to the surface.

Inflatable wellbore tools <RTI>arc</RTI> operable in a <RTI>minber</RTI> of modes, such as the "nm- in" mode of <RTI>opation,</RTI> an "expansion or inflation" mode of operation, and a "setting" mode of <RTI>operation</RTI> The inflatable tool is <RTI>maintained</RTI> in a nm-in condition during entry ofthe tool into the wellbore in a reduced <RTI>Sal</RTI> dimension so that the tool may pass through restricted access areas. Once the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool is passed beyond the restricted access area and placed in a <RTI>desisted</RTI> area, inflation pressure is <RTI>applicd</RTI> to the tool with an inflation medium so as to urge it into a radially outward direction in an inflated condition Such radial expansion, at least in part, obstructs the flow of wellbore fluid within the cased wellbore.

The obstruction created by the inflatable tool frequently creates a pressure differential across the inflatable tooL Most commonly, this occurs when the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool is set above a producing zone. <RTI>Wcllbore</RTI> fluids, <RTI>mich</RTI> as oil, gas and water, will continue flowing in the wellbore due to a pressure differential between the formation and the wellbore, as well as pressure <RTI>differential</RTI> between zones. Thus, wellbore fluid flow may urge the inflatable tool to move, rotate, twist and/or slide, <RTI>especially</RTI> in a wetted <RTI>enrolment</RTI> of a cased wellbore. The unintended, and often harmful, displacement of the inflatable tool often occurs because currently available prior art <RTI>thra-tubing</RTI> technologies do not provide adequate anchoring means. Such anchoring means are traditionally found in tools having "gripping teeth," as those <RTI>found</RTI> in the more <RTI>coiwertional</RTI> metal-to-metal packer devices. Thus, for example, coiled tubingsuspended <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tools do not provide sufficient anchoring means to prevent displacement and are not often used in such applications. Obviously, the mechanical packers are simply not appropriate for restricted access applications.

Additionally, if a pressure differential is developed across the inflatable tool, the pressure differential may act to disconnect the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool from the suspension tool or means. Thus, for example, in a <RTI>wireline suwended</RTI> <RTI>tool,</RTI> a large pressure <RTI>diffeeential</RTI> could snap the wellbore tool loose from the wireline cable. Alternatively, a <RTI>bigh-presure-sensitive</RTI> or <RTI>tension-sensitive</RTI> disconnect device used in connection with coiled tubing or production string operations may easily actuate and disconnect the packer device <RTI>from</RTI> the coil tubing or production string.

With respect to prior art designs, such as open-hole inflatable packer devices, a <RTI>corBuous</RTI> ribbed style <RTI>eternal</RTI> casing packer <RTI>(ECP)</RTI> 20 is shown in Figure <RTI>lA</RTI> and a noncontinuous ribbed styled ECP is shown in Figure <RTI>tB.</RTI> The continuous ribbed style ECP 20 provides a long <RTI>dynmnic</RTI> hydromechanical seal using an elastomeric element 14 combined with continuous stainless steel ribs 16 to protect the inflatable elements 12,14 <RTI>from</RTI> the <RTI>trenendous</RTI> multidimensional strains existing in <RTI>nonuniform</RTI> wellbores. The steel ribs 16 are utilized to provide strength, <RTI>flbility</RTI> and <RTI>long-texm</RTI> reliability against tear <RTI>ofthe</RTI> inner elastomeric element 12. These inflatable elements 12,14 are mounted on the mandrel or inflatable tool 10 by <RTI>securing</RTI> assemblies 18 on each <RTI>elld.</RTI> This ECP 20 is particularly <RTI>usefizl</RTI> <RTI>fS</RTI> short- or long-length seal applications requiring positive seals in high differential, irreguIar, or <RTI>ciliptical</RTI> openhole wellbores. The continuous <RTI>ribbed</RTI> ECP uses various <RTI>invention</RTI> media, including water, drilling fluids and/or cement.

The <RTI>noncontinuous</RTI> ribbed ECP 30, on the other hand, is used as a supplemental packer to the continuous ribbed ECP 20 during <RTI>special</RTI> applications requiring longer sealing elements and <RTI>utilizing</RTI> cement, mud, fluid or epoxy as the <RTI>inflation</RTI> <RTI>media</RTI> It may include a valve collar <RTI>38</RTI> that <RTI>fearres</RTI> an enlarged inflation flow capacity and a flow control that decreases the erosion of the valve seats 35, seals (not shown) and the inflation passageway 39. The ribs 31 are located only on the <RTI>sensed</RTI> ends 36 of the elastomeric element and thus provide only limited anchoring benefits.

The <RTI>ribs</RTI> 31, as previously stated, provide strength at the end sleeve area 36 and also where the ribs engage 33 the wellbore wall <RTI>11.</RTI> The nonreinforced center or medial portion 32 creates a flexible expansion area which readily conforms to open-hole irregularities 12, providing an adequate seal.

In an open-hole wellbore completion as shown in Figure 1, a relatively large diameter is encountered in the <RTI>weilbore,</RTI> and the open-hole wall 11 is invariably skewed or <RTI>irregular</RTI> 12 (not perfectly cylindrical) since the hole is drilled in the <RTI>earthen</RTI> formation 13. Therefore, the conventional ECP 20,30, as described above, became an ideally suited wellbore tool to isolate zones in such <RTI>environntents</RTI> during <RTI>production</RTI> or <RTI>wottover</RTI> operations because of the large inflation capacity of its <RTI> inflatable elastomeric element In hole open-hole operations, the ECP is part of the</RTI> casing string and <RTI>forms</RTI> a "sealing" anchor <RTI>nst</RTI> the open-hole, <RTI>irregular</RTI> wall <RTI>12</RTI> The <RTI>"sealing,'</RTI> anchor in the <RTI>ope hole</RTI> wellbore is filmed <RTI>wh</RTI> the packer's elastomeric element 14 is inflated and contours to the shape 12 of the open-hole, preventing axial movement in the wellbore Axial movement is prevented because of multidimensional forces acting radially against the wellbore wall <RTI>11.</RTI> In addition, these prior art ECP's use a "flill <RTI>cover</RTI> elastomeric element design A <RTI>fixll</RTI> cover design wraps the filly length of the <RTI>inner</RTI> elastomeric <RTI>element</RTI> 12, 29 with an outer elastomeric element 14,32. In the <RTI>alternative,</RTI> the <RTI>aoncontinuous</RTI> metal <RTI>nXbs</RTI> 31 (Figure 1B) are <RTI>fEicated</RTI> inside the elastomeric cover 32 and are coupled to the end sleeves 36 so as to provide reinforcement against extrusion when the element 32 is inflated.

Thus, the exceptional expansion capability of the <RTI>flenDle</RTI> elastomeric element allows for use of these ECP tools in conditions that would be otherwise impossible for conventional (mechanical) packing tools.

<RTI>However,</RTI> as previously <RTI>mentioned,</RTI> these prior art ECP's <RTI>20,30</RTI> are limited in application to open-hole <RTI>operations.</RTI> In cased-wellbore applications, these prior art ECP's 20,30 are <RTI>inadequate</RTI> because the contour 55 of <RTI>tbe</RTI> casing 54 is sufficiently cylindrical. The uniform cylindrical <RTI>shape</RTI> of the casing wall 54 prevents a proper or adequate anchoring relationship between a conventional ECP 20,30 and the casing wall 54.

One reason a proper anchoring relationship, in the conventional <RTI>ECP's20,</RTI> 30, does not result is because the coefficient of action between the elastomeric element 14,32 and the steel casing 54 in a wetted media is very low. Thus, the <RTI>difentiaI</RTI> pressure in the wellbore between locations above and below the packer results in movement or displacement of the packer and which normally results in great damage to the well, <RTI>particularfy</RTI> in loss of production and the resulting economic damages.

In addition, the conventional, <RTI>noncontinuous</RTI> ribbed style <RTI>EC:P</RTI> 30 is designed such that the nbs 31 are only located on the secured ends 36 of the elastomeric element 32 and thus provide only limited anchoring andlor <RTI>anti-extnision</RTI> benefits. As such' the elastomeric element 32 has a tendency to <RTI>' roll</RTI> over" or overlap over the secured end 36 near the end sleeves 33 when a sufficient axial <RTI>force i

However, when a thinner elastomeric cover 14 is used, a significant disadvantage results in providing adequate sealing protection It should be understood that the inflatable tool is being applied to cased wellbores, using a phase change medium to inflate the element. Thus, when the phase change inflation medium cures, there is a loss of radial force available against the casing wall as the inflation medium changes its phase, <RTI>Lew</RTI> the <RTI>invention</RTI> medium contracts or shrinks as it hardens, <RTI>resuling</RTI> in loss of available radial force or energy against the wellbore wall. It is clear to one skilled in the art that the elastomeric element normally <RTI>makers</RTI> up the difference in radial force loss through the resiliency of a relatively thicker elastomeric cover, Le., the relatively thick elastomeric cover stores a certain amount of radial force energy upon the expansion <RTI>ofthe</RTI> inflation medium and releases this stored energy to compensate for any phase changes in the inflation medium, such as shrinkage or <RTI>contraction.</RTI> The amount of energy storage available to compensate for shrinkage force loss is clearly a function of the elastomer <RTI>thickness.</RTI> In a cased wellbore, therefore, a relatively thick elastomeric cover is necessary to obtain proper sealing capability. This thicker cover design <RTI>requircinert,</RTI> however, conflicts with having only limited access through the downhole <RTI>equipment</RTI> in cased <RTI>welibores.</RTI> Thus, there is a need for a new zone isolation inflatable tool that overcomes all of these <RTI>limitations.</RTI>

Referring now to Figures 2 and 3, a new inflatable tool design is disclosed which <RTI>overcomes</RTI> many of the <RTI>limitations</RTI> discussed above. In the preferred embodiment, the new inflatable tool design uses a sectioned <RTI>element</RTI> design to provide two of the most important requirements in <RTI>cased-welibore</RTI> applications when using phase change inflation media: (1) sealing ability, and (2) <RTI>anchoring</RTI> capability.

In the preferred embodiment, the sealing feature 40 is provided with a <RTI>flill</RTI> cover elastomeric design 45 having a relatively large thickness 41 while the anchoring nature 42 is provided with an exposed fill length or <RTI>contirmous</RTI> <RTI>nbbed</RTI> design 62 providing <RTI>metalEmetal</RTI> <RTI>contact</RTI> 63 with the <RTI>casing</RTI> wall 54. The <RTI>fill</RTI> cover <RTI>elastomeric</RTI> design 45 of the sealing element section 40 provides the <RTI>necessary</RTI> elastomeric thickness 41 to compensate <RTI>phase</RTI> change losses in radial sealing force. On the other hand, the <RTI>fixll</RTI> length exposed rib element section 42 provides a <RTI>metal-to-metal</RTI> engagement 63 between the anchoring element 62 and the casing wall 54 so as to create sufficient anchoring force in the cased wellbore.

The two sections 40,42 are separated by end sleeves 44 which couple each respective element 40,42 to the tubular body 58 of the inflatable tool. The method for coupling each respective element 40,42 is <RTI>well-known</RTI> in the art and is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 5,143,154 and the specification of said patent is hereby incorporated by reference. In addition, the features of the valve <RTI>apparatus</RTI> (not shown) for proper <RTI>inflation</RTI> of the elastomeric elements is well-known in the art See, for example, U.S.

Patent No. 4,708,208; U.S. Patent <RTI>No.4,805,699;</RTI> and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 138,197, filed on December 28, 1987. <RTI>All</RTI> such disclosures are incorporated by reference. The end sleeves 44 are mechanically coupled to the tubular body 58 by conventional techniques such as threaded sleeves (not shown).

<RTI>Referring</RTI> now to Figure 2, one embodiment of the invention, a hybrid inflatable tool, is shown in the run-in <RTI>condioz</RTI> The <RTI>sealing</RTI> section 40 comprises elastomeric element 48 supported by noncontinuous <RTI>anti-etusion</RTI> <RTI>ribs</RTI> 46. The sealing section 40 is preferably placed in the direction away <RTI>from</RTI> the conveyance device (not shown), while <RTI>the</RTI> anchoring section 42 is placed near the conveyance device. However, this by no means is a limitation to the present invention Opposite ends 45 of the sealing element 48 are coupled 47 to the tubular member 58 with end sleeves 44. The <RTI>anti-exirsion</RTI> <RTI>ribs</RTI> 46 are mechanically coupled to the end sleeve 44 in accordance with conventional methods that are <RTI>well-lcnown</RTI> in the art and incorporated by <RTI>reference</RTI> herein. The <RTI>noacontinuous,</RTI> <RTI>nonreinforced</RTI> <RTI>n7 > </RTI> design of the sealing <RTI>element</RTI> 40 provides the necessary thickness 41 to compensate <RTI>fbr</RTI> radial force loss <RTI>from</RTI> phase <RTI>change</RTI> in the inflation medium 56. Yet, the thickness 41 of the sealing element 48 provided overcomes any access and size restrictions of existing equipment <RTI>already</RTI> located downhole as will become more apparent hereinafter.

The inflatable tool element 48 in the sealing section 40 is not reinforced in the medial portion 49 of the elastomeric element 48 and as <RTI>sacti</RTI> does not have <RTI>nbs</RTI> 46 extending end to <RTI>end.</RTI> Such a design clearly compensates for having a relatively large <RTI>thiclmess</RTI> 41 elastomeric element 48 because the ribs 46 are eliminated in the medial portion 49. The ribs 46 are only provided at the ends 45 wheeze the sealing element 48 is connected to the tubular mandrel 58 to support the end load. The medial portion 49 is simply made of elastomer, and thus, a thicker 41 elastomer may be provided However, anchoring is not possible in cased <RTI>weilbores</RTI> under such <RTI>circumstances.</RTI> In open-hole, the anchoring results from the rough <RTI>noncontinuous</RTI> surface of the wellbore while the casing has a smooth surface 55 and the result is that gripping does not occur.

Anchoring is, however, provided by a separate but related section 42.

In the preferred embodiment, the anchoring element section 42 <RTI>comprises</RTI> an inner tube or bladder 52 that is inflated, the anchor <RTI>n7bs</RTI> 62 and an elastomeric stiffener band 60 to <RTI>uniformly</RTI> space the ribs 46 along the periphery of the miner tube 52 may be added. The nbs 62 are made of steel and are <RTI>exposed</RTI> so as to engage in a <RTI>metal</RTI> metal relationship 63 with the wellbore <RTI>easing</RTI> 55. The <RTI>ribs</RTI> 62 are mechanically coupled to a ring (not shown) and fitted inside the end sleeves 44. The exposed steel ribs 62 may be run in a <RTI>bigb-pressure</RTI> <RTI>differetial</RTI> environment and yet still maintain <RTI>metal-to-metal</RTI> <RTI>friction</RTI> 63 for a strong anchoring <RTI>relatioUbip.</RTI> In ccrtain applications, such as <RTI>short-length</RTI> packers, the bands 60 are not needed Thus, the hybrid design of the present invention presented herein discloses an <RTI>infLatable</RTI> tool overcoming traditional <RTI>cased-wellbore</RTI> limitations and restrictions and yet having an inflatable unitary element design providing sealing and <RTI>anchoring</RTI> provisions and which are in pressure <RTI>comniunication</RTI> relative to each other. Thus the combined design has two elements 40,42 providing <RTI>in'epndent</RTI> functions while inflating relative to each other. The anchoring element 42 only <RTI>Thiletions</RTI> as an anchor while the sealing <RTI>element</RTI> 40 only <RTI>fictions</RTI> as a seaL In the preferred embodiment, the elastomer compounds <RTI>48,52</RTI> included in the design for the cover includes <RTI>materials</RTI> that have good memory for returning to the original size and developed for use in sub-zero surface conditions to avoid <RTI>impact</RTI> damage to the element <RTI>surface</RTI> during <RTI>on-site</RTI> handling. The temperature range for the elastomeric elements range <RTI>firm</RTI> ambient to more than 500 F depending on the type of elastomer used, It should be noted <RTI>that</RTI> the <RTI>parent</RTI> invention does not, <RTI>however,</RTI> depend on the type of elastomer used New <RTI>elastomer</RTI> technology with large temperature tolerances may just as easily be incorporated <RTI>herein.</RTI> The <RTI>temperate</RTI> ranges disclosed herein only represent currently available elastomer technology.

Each of the sealing and anchoring elements 40, 42 can be inflated with a phase <RTI>change</RTI> <RTI>inflation</RTI> medium 56 such as cement, epoxy or other such media Thus, with today's expanding cement technology, a certain amount of contraction or shrinkage occurs in the inflation medium 56 during the <RTI>curing</RTI> or phase change stage. The present invention overcomes this limitation even when <RTI>musing</RTI> phase change inflation medium 56 susceptible to radial force losses such as cement which suffers contraction at cured stage.

<RTI>Referring</RTI> now to Figure 3, one of the embodiments, the present invention is shown as an expansion or inflation mode of operation and a set mode of <RTI>operation.</RTI> <RTI>En</RTI> the sealing element section 40, the inflatable elastomeric element is in <RTI>flill</RTI> expansion, exerting a radial force against the casing wall 55. The radial <RTI>foree</RTI> <RTI>from</RTI> a <RTI>pressurized</RTI> inflation medium 56 <RTI>creates</RTI> a sealing engagement 64 <RTI>between</RTI> the elastomeric <RTI>element</RTI> 48 and casing wall 55. As a result, wellbore fluids are prevented <RTI>ftom</RTI> having crossflow, and the area above and below the inflatable tool are isolated form each <RTI>otber.</RTI>

The compressive force or frictional engagement 64 between the elastomeric element <RTI>48</RTI> <RTI>andthecasingwall</RTI> 55 assures <RTI>afluid-tightseaL</RTI> The anti-extrusion nbs 45 in the <RTI>sealing</RTI> element section 40 provide protection against the elastomeric element 48 <RTI>ftom</RTI> rolling over as the element 48 is <RTI>inflated</RTI> under a relatively large pressure force. <RTI>hi</RTI> addition, the <RTI>ribs</RTI> 45 provide protection against the elastomeric element 48 tearing and failing.

The anchoring element section 42 of the preferred embodiment is also shown in an inflated position in Figure 3. The steel or other suitable metal ribs 62 provide a strong anchor against rotation, axial movement, twisting action, or any other type of displacement Such movement is prevented because a large radial force acting on the <RTI>nbs</RTI> 62 from the inflation medium 56 pushes it into frictional engagement 63 with the casing <RTI>wall</RTI> 55. The exposed ribbed <RTI>anchoring</RTI> section 42 comprises a continuous rib element 62. Stated differently, <RTI>tbe</RTI> ribs <RTI>run</RTI> across the whole length of the <RTI>elastomeric</RTI> element and are coupled at the ends 47 to the end sleeves 44. The end sleeves 44 are, in tum, <RTI>mechanically</RTI> coupled to the tubular mandrel 58 by conventional means well<RTI> known in the art such as threaded sleeves (not shown herein). The umber tube or</RTI> bladder 52 is fabricated <RTI>under</RTI> the ribs 62 wbich are <RTI>similarly</RTI> coupled to the end sleeves 44. The <RTI>inner</RTI> tube 52 acts as a <RTI>containment</RTI> member for the inflation medium 56. The end sleeve 44 not coupled to the seating section operates in a sliding relationship relative to the tubular mandrel 58. It should be understood that the elastomeric band 60, in the anchoring element section 42, is provided so that the ribs 62 are evenly spaced-apart, and it is not intended to provide sealing capacity. In fact, the band 60, even though engaged <RTI>with</RTI> the <RTI>casing</RTI> wall 54, need not <RTI>provide</RTI> a pressure seal since its main function is to crate a pathway (between the <RTI>ribs</RTI> 62) for the escaping fluids in the annulus 65 between the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool and the casing wall 54. The stiffener rings 60 typically <RTI>range</RTI> in number <RTI>tom</RTI> zero to ten, depending on the size <RTI>ofthe</RTI> packer.

It should be understood that the preferred embodiment of hybrid inflatable tool progressively inflates, first inflating the sealing section 40 and <RTI>thcn</RTI> <RTI>tbe</RTI> anchoring <RTI> section 42, due to the differences in the 0 stiffness between the elements in each section.</RTI>

This provides an important advantage in that fluid will not be trapped between the two sections in the <RTI>ambles</RTI> 65 near the <RTI>mdunital</RTI> <RTI>lii</RTI> 44 during the inflation operation Fluid trapping is <RTI>zither</RTI> prevented because the anchoring section 42, with its exposed ribs 62, creates a pathway for any tapped fluid to escape <RTI>through</RTI> passageways <RTI>between</RTI> the ribs 62.

The elements 40,42 may be inflated in a conventional <RTI>manner.</RTI> The <RTI>inflating</RTI> medium 56 is injected through a receiving port 50 which <RTI>ctnnslmicates</RTI> with the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> elemcnts 40,42. The inflation medium 56 should enter the port 50, preferably at the top end <RTI>ofthe</RTI> packer, and inflate the first component (preferably the sealing <RTI>element</RTI> 40) and then the inflating medium 56 bypasses the end sleeves 44 and progressively inflates the second component (preferably the anchoring element 42) of the tool. In the preferred embodiment, there are multiple ports or pathways 50 provided for inflating the <RTI>elastomeric</RTI> elements <RTI>4062.</RTI> The inflation fluid 56 enter these ports 50 and simultaneously inflate the elements 40,42 relative to each other.

<RTI>However,</RTI> the inflatable sections 40,42 can fimction independently of each other.

They can, however, be inflated under a single unitary <RTI>operafon</RTI> The inflation features of the present invention may <RTI>fx1her</RTI> incorporate the conventional design of having the flow pathways approach the inflatable tool in a <RTI>"valve</RTI> collar up" inflation mode (not shown), i.e., the inflation medium pathway begins at the valve collar <RTI>finm</RTI> the conveyance side. In <RTI>sudi</RTI> an inflation mode design, the inflation ports are placed at the top of the inflatable tool, ie., the valve collar is placed away <RTI>fiom</RTI> the free ar floating end and near the coupled end or conveyance end Thus, <RTI>mflntion</RTI> will occur from the valve collar side. However, it should be noted that an unconventional design of "valve collar down" works equally well, depending upon the <RTI>wEllbore</RTI> conditions and <RTI>requirements.</RTI>

The placement of anchor and sealing sections 42, 40 relative to the conveyance device may be made <RTI>interchangeably,</RTI> i.e. the sealing <RTI>element</RTI> 40 may be near or away <RTI>from</RTI> the <RTI>conveyece</RTI> device. The decision to place the sealing element near the conveyance device (on top) is dependent on many factors and welibore requirements including the ease with the inflation may <RTI>occur.</RTI> It is <RTI>preRable</RTI> to place the <RTI>andior</RTI> section 42 near the "floating" end. <RTI>'a</RTI> the <RTI>prefcr:ed</RTI> embodiment, the sealing element 42 is placed near a mochanical <RTI>atie-in"</RTI> ar conveyance device (tubing string on the top side or the like) because the floating end "draws" up as the anchoring <RTI>element</RTI> is inflated Thus, as inflation <RTI>occrs,</RTI> the axial length of the anchoring element 42 shortens to compensate for the radial <RTI>inflation</RTI> <RTI>Thus,</RTI> the bottom end, <RTI>including</RTI> the anchoring element and the bottom-most end sleeve 44, slides as the anchoring clement is inflated and drawn up and ultimately engages in an anchoring <RTI>relatioiip</RTI> 63.

In the case where the sealing section 40 is <RTI>on</RTI> the bottom, the anchoring section 42 draws "down" and engages 63 as it inflates providing compensation provisions are made so that the anchoring section may slide axially. In this case, the sealing element 40 inflates relatively ahead <RTI>ofthe</RTI> anchor element 42 and the draw down occurs during this period due to the stiffer anchoring <RTI>element</RTI> 42 (with the nbs 62 ) and thus inflating slower than the sealing element 40.

A number of inflatable tools in series may just as easily be inflated For example, a Selective Inflation Packer System <RTI>SCIPSG</RTI> (not shown) discloses comple mentary tools which cooperate with the present invention to run-in, activate or inflate and set the hybrid <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool disclosed <RTI>herein</RTI> The <RTI>SCIPIO</RTI> tool is designed for horizontal or vertical wellbore applications requiring selective cement or epoxy inflation <RTI>of inflatable</RTI> tools. Noncontaminated cement is spotted for inflation purposes into the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool. The <RTI>SCIPIO</RTI> tool allows selective inflation of and movement between staggered inflatable tools located in slotted liners, pre-drilled liners or screens without the loss of the inflation <RTI>medium</RTI> during repositioning. The SCIPSO tool may be run-in together with the inflatable tool's or by itself on a second mn after the <RTI> casing or liner string has been nm-ia in addition, all remaining unused cement may</RTI> be reverse circulated. As elements are inflated, both the sealing and anchoring element sections expand to the casing wall progressively as a volume change of the cement occurs.

<RTI> By using a sectioned element design of the preferred embodiment, ih, tbe</RTI> sealing and anchoring element sections, which are <RTI>mechanically</RTI> linked and in constant pressure communication, the <RTI>present</RTI> invention can achieve the benefits of <RTI>hoth</RTI> sealing and <RTI>anchoring</RTI> in a single-unit <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool when used in a cased wellbore and a phase change inflation medium is used, and thus creating substantial savings for the operator The method by which the present <RTI>invention</RTI> is used in the cased wellbore does not depart substantially <RTI>Groom</RTI> existing and <RTI>cumnt</RTI> <RTI>methods.</RTI> The inflatable tool of the present invention may be <RTI>lowed</RTI> into the cased <RTI>welibore</RTI> using any number of conventional methods such as <RTI>wirelin4</RTI> coiled tubing, <RTI>production</RTI> tubing, and the like.

The only limitation is that the inflatable tool be capable of accessing and bypassing existing downhole equipment. Such a limitation is overcome by the present <RTI>invention</RTI> and is directed at overcoming this limitation The <RTI>present</RTI> invention anticipates a relatively small OD operation and therefore is capable of being lowered under <RTI>such</RTI> conditions to the appropriate location in the cased <RTI>weilbore.</RTI> Once correctly located, the <RTI>inflatable</RTI> tool may be <RTI>inflated</RTI> into a sealing and anchoring engagement with the casing wall. Such inflation is <RTI>accomplished</RTI> as previously discussed <RTI>hei</RTI> Inflation media <RTI>inlay</RTI> vary, <RTI>depending</RTI> on the anticipated use, but it is contemplated under the present invention to be a phase changing fluid which is settable and may incur slight shrinkage.

The forcgoing disclosure and description of the invention are illustrative and explanatory thereof, and various changes in the size, shape and matcrials, as well as in the details of the illustrated construction, may be made without departing from the spirit of the <RTI>invention</RTI> from the spirit <RTI>ofthe</RTI> invention.

Claims (20)

<RTI>CLAIMS</RTI>
1. A downhole inflatable packer for sealing against a cased or uncased wellbore wall, comprising: abody; a movable sealing section, <RTI>inflatably</RTI> <RTI>operable</RTI> between a nm-in position and a set position where it sealingly contacts the wall; at least one movable anchor section inflatably operable between a <RTI>run-</RTI> in and a set position where it contacts the wall to support said body; and said sealing section is spaced apart <RTI>from</RTI> said anchor <RTI>section.</RTI>
2. The packer of claim 1, wherein: said sealing section comprises a first resilient element; said anchor section comprises a second resilient element, and said first resilient element being <RTI>thicks</RTI> than said <RTI>second</RTI> resilient <RTI>elemeot</RTI>
3. The <RTI>packer</RTI> of <RTI>clam</RTI> 2, wherein: said first <RTI>resilient</RTI> element <RTI>compises</RTI> <RTI>nbs</RTI> which are located adjacent to at least one of opposed ends and do not extend continuously over its length
4. The packer of claim 3, wherein: said second <RTI>resilient</RTI> element comprises continuous ribs extending over a <RTI>myority</RTI> of the distance <RTI>groom</RTI> endto end.
5. The packer of claim 4, <RTI>wherein:</RTI> <RTI> said second resilient element slither comprises at least one band</RTI> mounted over said ribs.
6. The packer of claim 5, <RTI>wherein:</RTI> said resilient elements when inflated define a cavity between said body and the wall, <RTI>with said ribs</RTI> allowing <RTI>fluid in</RTI> said cavity to pass by.
7. The packer of claim 6, wherein: said first resilient element <RTI>inflates</RTI> before said second resilient element
8. The packer ofclaim 2, wherein: said first resilient element is of sufficient thickness to <RTI>rctain</RTI> <RTI>sealing</RTI> contact with the wall if an inflation medium experiences shrinkage as it sets.
9. The packer of claim 3, wherein: said first resilient element comprises an outer <RTI>surface</RTI> which contacts the will and said <RTI>nis</RTI> are disposed beneath said outer surface so that they do not contact the wall in said set position.
10. The <RTI>pander</RTI> of clam 4, <RTI>wield;</RTI> said ribs in said second <RTI>resilient</RTI> element extend from end to end Whereof and are exposed for contact with the wall in said set position
11. The packer of claim 4, <RTI>herccmprtsing:</RTI> a sleeve on said body <RTI>between</RTI> said first and second resilient elements; and said ribs on said first and second resilient elements connected adjacent opposite ends of said sleeve.
12. The packer of claim 11, wherein: said sleeve is movable <RTI>with</RTI> respect to said body.
13. The packer of claim <RTI>12, wherein:</RTI> said body comprises at <RTI>least</RTI> one port to facilitate inflation of said <RTI>reilicat</RTI> elements.
14. The packer of claim 13, wherein: said body has an upper and lower end, with said upper end comprising a connection to a conveying device to nm said body <RTI>iato</RTI> the wellbore; and said first resilient element is located closest to said upper end
15. A method of sealing a cased borehole, comprising: providing on a body an inflatable packer with a discrete inflatable element for sealing and a separate inflatable element <RTI>for</RTI> anchoring; <RTI>nwninginsaidbodyintoposition;</RTI> and inflating both elements.
16. The method of claim 15, <RTI>further</RTI> comprising: using an inflating <RTI>matcrial</RTI> that shrinks when it sets.
17. <RTI>The</RTI> method of claim 16, <RTI>fiuther</RTI> comprising: providing a greater thickness on said inflatable element for sealing as compared to said element for anchoring, and <RTI> using said greater thickness for comp compensation for for said hrifl-.</RTI>
18. <RTI>Themethodofelaim</RTI> <RTI>17,trthercowprising:</RTI> reinforcing said element for anchoring with <RTI>nbs</RTI> extending at least over a majority of its length; and exposing said ribs on said <RTI>el=entfbranchoriiigso</RTI> they contact the cased <RTI>borehole.</RTI>
19. The method of claim 18, further comprising: <RTI> Providing nEs on said element for sealing which extend from at least</RTI> one end and short of the midpoint of said element for sealing.
20. The method of claim 19, <RTI>further</RTI> comprising: embedding said ribs on said element for sealing while extending them <RTI>from</RTI> each end to leave a large central section thereof without ribs.
GB9726421A 1996-12-14 1997-12-15 Method and apparatus for hybrid element casing packer for cased-hole applications Expired - Lifetime GB2320734B (en)

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US6805196B2 (en) 2000-11-17 2004-10-19 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Expander
US7073583B2 (en) 2000-12-22 2006-07-11 E2Tech Limited Method and apparatus for expanding tubing downhole
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US6968896B2 (en) 2001-08-23 2005-11-29 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Orienting whipstock seat, and method for seating a whipstock
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US6932161B2 (en) 2001-09-26 2005-08-23 Weatherford/Lams, Inc. Profiled encapsulation for use with instrumented expandable tubular completions
US6688395B2 (en) 2001-11-02 2004-02-10 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Expandable tubular having improved polished bore receptacle protection
US6629567B2 (en) 2001-12-07 2003-10-07 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Method and apparatus for expanding and separating tubulars in a wellbore
US7152684B2 (en) 2001-12-22 2006-12-26 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Tubular hanger and method of lining a drilled bore
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US6668930B2 (en) 2002-03-26 2003-12-30 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Method for installing an expandable coiled tubing patch
US6742598B2 (en) 2002-05-29 2004-06-01 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Method of expanding a sand screen
US8746028B2 (en) 2002-07-11 2014-06-10 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Tubing expansion
US6820687B2 (en) 2002-09-03 2004-11-23 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Auto reversing expanding roller system
US7086477B2 (en) 2002-09-10 2006-08-08 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Tubing expansion tool
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GB2410521A (en) * 2002-11-18 2005-08-03 Baker Hughes Inc Shear activated inflation fluid system for inflatable packers
GB2410521B (en) * 2002-11-18 2006-05-17 Baker Hughes Inc Shear activated inflation fluid system for inflatable packers
WO2004046500A1 (en) * 2002-11-18 2004-06-03 Baker Hughes Incorporated Shear activated inflation fluid system for inflatable packers
US6938698B2 (en) 2002-11-18 2005-09-06 Baker Hughes Incorporated Shear activated inflation fluid system for inflatable packers
US7395857B2 (en) 2003-07-09 2008-07-08 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Methods and apparatus for expanding tubing with an expansion tool and a cone
GB2435580B (en) * 2004-11-01 2009-10-28 Hpi As A device for fluid displacement
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US7503396B2 (en) 2006-02-15 2009-03-17 Weatherford/Lamb Method and apparatus for expanding tubulars in a wellbore
WO2011042492A1 (en) * 2009-10-07 2011-04-14 Welltec A/S An annular barrier
CN102575508A (en) * 2009-10-07 2012-07-11 韦尔泰克有限公司 An annular barrier
WO2012045355A1 (en) * 2010-10-07 2012-04-12 Welltec A/S An annular barrier

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB2320734B (en) 2001-03-07 grant
GB9726421D0 (en) 1998-02-11 grant
CA2224668A1 (en) 1998-06-14 application
CA2224668C (en) 2004-09-21 grant

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