US20020139537A1 - Method for enabling movement of a centralized pipe through a reduced diameter restriction and apparatus therefor - Google Patents

Method for enabling movement of a centralized pipe through a reduced diameter restriction and apparatus therefor Download PDF

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Publication number
US20020139537A1
US20020139537A1 US09/973,684 US97368401A US2002139537A1 US 20020139537 A1 US20020139537 A1 US 20020139537A1 US 97368401 A US97368401 A US 97368401A US 2002139537 A1 US2002139537 A1 US 2002139537A1
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Prior art keywords
centralizer
defined
pipe
slip
slip collars
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Abandoned
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US09/973,684
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Jimmy Young
Jean Buytaert
Eugene Miller
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ANTELOPE OIL TOOL & MANUFACTURING COMPANY Inc
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ANTELOPE OIL TOOL & MANUFACTURING COMPANY Inc
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Priority to US09/824,928 priority Critical patent/US20020139538A1/en
Application filed by ANTELOPE OIL TOOL & MANUFACTURING COMPANY Inc filed Critical ANTELOPE OIL TOOL & MANUFACTURING COMPANY Inc
Priority to US09/973,684 priority patent/US20020139537A1/en
Assigned to ANTELOPE OIL TOOL & MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC. reassignment ANTELOPE OIL TOOL & MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BUYTAERT, JEAN P., MILLER, EUGENE E., YOUNG, JIMMY MACK
Publication of US20020139537A1 publication Critical patent/US20020139537A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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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
    • E21B17/00Drilling rods or pipes; Flexible drill strings; Kellies; Drill collars; Sucker rods ; Cables; Casings; Tubings
    • E21B17/10Wear protectors; Centralising devices, e.g. stabilisers
    • E21B17/1014Flexible or expansible centering means, e.g. with pistons pressing against the wall of the well
    • E21B17/1021Flexible or expansible centering means, e.g. with pistons pressing against the wall of the well with articulated arms or arcuate springs
    • E21B17/1028Flexible or expansible centering means, e.g. with pistons pressing against the wall of the well with articulated arms or arcuate springs with arcuate springs only, e.g. baskets with outwardly bowed strips for cementing operations

Abstract

A centralizer for laterally positioning a pipe in an opening larger in diameter than an opening through which the centralizer may freely pass is disclosed. The centralizer includes a plurality of helically shaped spring blades affixed at each end thereof to a slip collar. The slip collars are adapted to slide and rotate about the exterior surface of the pipe. A retaining device is disposed axially between the slip collars and is adapted to limit axial motion of the slip collars. One embodiment of the retaining device is a sleeve which is adapted to be affixed to the exterior surface of the pipe at a selected axial position.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This is a continuation in part of application serial No. 09/824,928 filed on Apr. 3, 2001 and assigned to the assignee of the present invention.[0001]
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • Not applicable. [0002]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0003]
  • The invention is related generally to the field of centralizers, such as used on casing inserted in wellbores drilled through the earth. More specifically, the invention is related to centralizers which can pass through an opening that is smaller than the opening in which a device is to be centralized. [0004]
  • 2. Background Art [0005]
  • Wellbores drilled through the earth to extract petroleum and the like are commonly “completed” by cementing a steel pipe or casing in the wellbore after it is drilled. The casing serves to maintain the mechanical integrity of the wellbore, provides a conduit for produced fluids to move to the earth's surface, and hydraulically isolates earth formations from each other so that high fluid pressure earth formations do not discharge fluid into lower fluid pressure earth formations. [0006]
  • The casing is typically inserted into the drilled wellbore by coupling segments of the casing together and lowering the coupled segments into the wellbore. To cement the casing in place in the wellbore, cement is typically pumped through the interior of the casing, and is discharged into an annular space between the casing and the wellbore from the bottom of the casing. An important aspect of properly cementing the casing in place to complete a wellbore is that the casing have a substantially uniform annular space around it at all places along the length of the wellbore. Uniformity of the annular space increases the likelihood that the cement will completely and uniformly fill the annular space, thereby ensuring that the wellbore properly hydraulically isolates earth formations from each other. Uniformity of the annular space is affected by the trajectory of the wellbore and the final shape of the wellbore, among other factors. Frequently wellbores are drilled along trajectories other than vertical, so earth's gravity and bends in the wellbore cause the casing to rest on the wall of the wellbore in some places along the wellbore. In other cases, the wall of the wellbore may include out of round sections, for example washouts or keyseats, which make cementing operations more difficult. [0007]
  • It is known in the art to use centralizers to keep the casing as close as possible to the center of the wellbore for proper cementing. Typical centralizers known in the art are shown, for example, in a sales brochure published by Antelope Oil Tool & Manufacturing Company, Mineral Wells, Tex. (not dated). Centralizers are typically coupled to the exterior surface of the casing at selected locations along the casing prior to inserting the casing into the wellbore. Spring blades on the centralizers provide a restoring force which tends to push the casing into the center of the wellbore. Specifications for the amount of restoring force, and proper use of centralizers are described in a document entitled, [0008] Specifications for Bow-Spring Centralizers, API Specification 10D, fifth edition, American Petroleum Institute, Wash., D. C. (1994). Generally speaking, casing centralizers are made to center a particular outside diameter (OD) casing within a particular nominal diameter wellbore. The casing OD is selected by the wellbore operator to closely match the wellbore diameter, which is primarily related to the diameter of the drill bit used to drill that segment of the wellbore.
  • More recently, it has become known in the art to drill wellbores to a depth greater than a depth to which casing has been set, in which the greater depth portion of the wellbore has a diameter larger than the diameter of the casing. This type of drilling can be performed using various types of reaming tools such as hydraulic underreamers or specialized drill bits known as bi-center bits. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,039,131 issued to Beaton. Drilling this type of wellbore makes it possible to insert a larger completion device in the deeper portion of the wellbore, such as gravel pack or sand screens, than would be possible using conventional drilling techniques. Completing wellbores having such deeper sections including oversize diameters using centralizers known in the art has proven difficult because it is impracticable to move a larger outside diameter centralizer through a smaller internal diameter casing or other opening. [0009]
  • It is desirable to have a centralizer which can position a casing inside a larger diameter wellbore than the opening through which the centralizer can freely pass. One such type of centralizer known in the art includes a plurality of bow shaped spring blades coupled at each end thereof to a collar. One of the collars is affixed to an exterior surface of the casing. The other collar is allowed to “float” or move axially along the outer surface of the casing. Typically, the exterior surface of the casing will be machined or otherwise reduced in diameter under the position of the spring blades. The centralizer is thus able to laterally compress when the centralizer is pushed through an opening smaller than the uncompressed diameter of the spring blades. When the spring blades are compressed, they extend a longer distance along the length of the casing. The floating collar is able to move in response thereto. When the compressible centralizer is moved into a larger diameter opening after passing through the restriction, the spring blades expand laterally, providing a restoring force to centralize the casing inside the larger diameter opening. [0010]
  • A limitation to the laterally compressible centralizer known in the art is that it requires a relatively high starting force and running force to move axially through the restricted diameter opening. [0011]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • One aspect of the invention is a centralizer for laterally positioning a pipe in an opening larger in diameter than an opening through which the centralizer may freely pass. The centralizer includes a plurality of helically shaped spring blades affixed at each end thereof to a slip collar. The slip collars are adapted to slide and rotate about the exterior surface of the pipe. A retaining device is disposed axially between the slip collars, and is adapted to limit axial motion of the slip collars. In one embodiment, the retaining device is a sleeve which is adapted to be affixed to the exterior surface of the pipe at a selected axial position. [0012]
  • In one embodiment, the slip collars include grooves in the exterior surface adapted to receive the ends of the spring blades. In one embodiment, the sides of the grooves are radiused to avoid distorting the slip collars. In one embodiment, a thickness of the slip collar material below the groove is substantially the same as that of the retaining sleeve. In one embodiment, the centralizer includes an anti-friction bearing between at least one of the slip collars and the retaining device. The anti-friction bearing is adapted to reduce rotational friction of the slip collar about the casing when the spring blades are laterally compressed. In one embodiment of a sleeve type retaining device, the, a sleeve includes a plurality of set screws arranged in a helical pattern corresponding to the shape of the spring blades to enable access to the set screws. In one embodiment, the retaining device is a sleeve assembled from circumferential segments. In this embodiment, the segments are affixed to the exterior surface of the pipe using an adhesive such as epoxy, or by welding. In one embodiment, the slip collars include mud channels on an exterior surface to avoid surge and swab effects when running the centralizer. [0013]
  • Other aspects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and the appended claims.[0014]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a laterally compressible centralizer assembly according to one aspect of the invention. [0015]
  • FIG. 2 shows a cross section of one end of an embodiment of the centralizer. [0016]
  • FIG. 3 shows a partial side view of a particular embodiment of one of the slip collars. [0017]
  • FIG. 4 shows an end view of the slip collar embodiment shown in FIG. 3. [0018]
  • FIG. 5 shows two centralizers according to the invention affixed to a pipe being passed through a restricted diameter opening. [0019]
  • FIG. 6 shows a particular embodiment adapted to pass through an opening substantially smaller than the opening in which the pipe is to be laterally positioned. [0020]
  • FIG. 7 shows a particular embodiment of the retaining sleeve. [0021]
  • FIG. 8 shows the embodiment of FIG. 6 partially disposed inside one end of an outer casing string.[0022]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 shows a laterally compressible centralizer according to one aspect of the invention. The centralizer is placed on the exterior of a joint of casing [0023] 10 which is to be moved through an opening having a smaller diameter than the opening in which the centralizer ultimately will be positioned. Such smaller diameter openings may include, for example, a casing string in a wellbore drilled through the earth, below which open wellbore is “underreamed” to a larger diameter than the internal diameter of the casing string. The centralizer includes slip collars 14 disposed on the exterior of the casing 10 at axially spaced apart locations thereon. The slip collars 14 are interconnected by “bow” shaped spring blades 16, of a type conventional for bow spring type centralizers. Each of the spring blades 16 is affixed at each of its ends to one of the slip collars 14. In their uncompressed state, the spring blades 16 extend laterally a predetermined radial distance beyond the radius of the casing 10. This distance, and the number of spring blades 16 are selected based on factors such as the diameter of the opening into which the casing 10 is to be centralized and the weight of the casing 10, among other factors. In this embodiment, the spring blades 16 are preferably helically shaped. More preferably, the helical angle of each spring blade 16 is within a range of about 15 to 20 degrees away from being parallel to the longitudinal axis (not shown) of the casing 10. The spring blades 16 may be welded, adhesively bonded, or otherwise affixed to the slip collars 14. The spring blades 16 and slip collars 14 may also be formed from a single sheet, tube, or other piece of material. The material from which the spring blades 16 are formed is typically steel, but may be any other suitable material capable of providing the required restoring force.
  • The centralizer in this embodiment includes a retaining device adapted to be affixed to the exterior surface of the casing [0024] 10 at a selected axial position along the exterior surface. In this embodiment, the retaining device is a sleeve 12 which is affixed to the exterior surface of the casing 10. The retaining sleeve 12 in this embodiment includes a plurality of set screws 18 which are disposed inside threaded holes to enable tightening against the exterior of the casing 10. In this embodiment, the set screws 18 are disposed in a helical pattern about the exterior of the sleeve 12. The helical pattern of the set screws 18 is preferably selected so that they are easily accessible between the individual spring blades 16. Although set screws are shown in this embodiment to retain the sleeve 12 on the exterior of the casing 10, other means for retaining the retaining sleeve may be used, including welding and/or adhesive. Other embodiments of the retaining sleeve 12 will be further explained. The retaining sleeve shown in FIG. 1 is only one embodiment of a retaining device. Other embodiments of retaining device may be used in accordance with the invention. Generally speaking, the retaining device is intended to limit axial motion of the slip collars 14, while presenting an external diameter sufficiently small to enable lateral compression of the spring blades 16 when the centralizer is moved through a small diameter opening. Other embodiments of the retaining device will be further explained.
  • An outer edge of at least the lowermost slip collar [0025] 14 preferably includes thereon a beveled or tapered edge 14A to reduce the possibility of the centralizer becoming caught on any protrusions or shoulders in a wellbore (not shown) during movement of the casing 10 therethrough.
  • The edges of the retaining sleeve [0026] 12 preferably include thereon an anti-friction bearing 20 which may be a roller or ball bearing, a low friction coating or any other device which is adapted to reduce friction of rotation between the slip collar 14 and the retaining sleeve 12 when the edges of the slip collar 14 and retaining sleeve 12 come into contact. The reason for this contact will be further explained. Alternatively, the anti-friction bearing 20 may be formed or attached to the corresponding edge of the slip collars 14. Additionally, an anti-friction bearing surface 22 may be applied to or otherwise formed into the exterior surface of the casing 10, or on a corresponding interior surface of the slip collars 14, to enable the slip collars 14 to slide axially along the casing 10 and to rotate about the exterior of the casing 10.
  • A cross-sectional view of one end of the centralizer as affixed to the exterior of the casing [0027] 10 is shown in FIG. 2. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the slip collars 14 preferably include therein a slot or groove 15 adapted to receive the end of each one of the spring blades 16. As shown in FIG. 2, preferably, the groove 15 is formed in the outer surface of the slip collar 14, such as by milling, grinding, cutting (such as by laser) or preforming into the exterior surface of the slip collar material, so that the spring blade 16 is substantially flush with the exterior surface of the remainder of the slip collar 14 when inserted into the groove 15. The groove 15 preferably also has a depth selected so that the thickness of a tongue portion 17 therein substantially matches the thickness of the retaining sleeve 12. This configuration enables the spring blades 16 to compress laterally to nearly as small a diameter as the external diameter of the slip collars 14, without binding or sticking on the outer surface of the sleeve 12. Because in this embodiment, the spring blades 16 are flush with the exterior of the slip collars 14, the diameter of the restricted opening through which the centralizer may pass in its compressed state is minimized. This feature increases the useful diameter range of the centralizer.
  • FIG. 3 shows a side view of a segment of one of the slip collars [0028] 14 to explain another aspect of a centralizer according to the invention. The grooves 15 in this embodiment of the slip collar 14 have therein radiused sides 19. The radiused sides 19 preferably have substantially the same width as the spring blades 16 at the ends of the blades, but increase in width towards the tongue end (17 in FIG. 2). The radiused sides 19 better enable twisting of the spring blades 16, as a result of relative rotation of the slip collars 14, without distorting the shape of the slip collars 14. The term “radiused” as used herein to describe the shape of the sides of the grooves 15 is meant to include within its scope any form of curved or tapered change in width along the length of the groove such that the spring blades 16 may twist around the axis (not shown) of the casing (10 in FIG. 1) substantially without distorting the shape of the slip collars 14. Accordingly, the exact shape of the radius in the grooves shown in FIG. 3 is not intended to limit the scope of the invention.
  • The embodiment shown in FIG. 3 also includes “mud channels” shown at [0029] 21, which may be slots or grooves, cut or otherwise formed into the exterior surface of the slip collar 14. The mud channels 21 are preferably located on the circumference of the slip collars 14 between the spring blade grooves 15, and are cut to a depth such that the thickness of the remaining portion of the slip collars 14 underneath the mud channels 21 is substantially the same as that of the retaining sleeve (12 in FIG. 1). The mud channels 21 enable passage of fluid by the slip collars 14 when the centralizer is inserted into a restricted opening having an internal diameter only slightly larger than the external diameter of the slip collars 14. The mud channels therefore reduce “surge” and “swab” effects as the centralizer is moved along the inside of the restricted opening (not shown). Surge and swab are terms used in the art to describe a piston-like hydraulic action when a member is moved inside a wellbore. An end view of the embodiment of the slip collar 14 is shown in FIG. 4.
  • Another embodiment of the retaining sleeve is shown in more detail in FIG. 7. In this embodiment, the retaining sleeve [0030] 12 is formed from a plurality, in this case four, interlocking segments 12A. The segments 12A may be affixed to the exterior surface of the casing (10 in FIG. 1) using epoxy or similar adhesive, or may be welded or otherwise affixed to the exterior surface of the casing (10 in FIG. 1). The embodiment of the segments 12A shown in FIG. 7 includes interlocking structures on circumferential ends of each of the segments 12A. Such structures may be in the form of a tongue 12C at one circumferential end of the segment 12A which fits into a corresponding slot 12B in a mating circumferential end of another segment 12A. Tongue and slot interlocking structures are only one example of interlocking structures which may be used in other embodiments of the retaining sleeve. Generally speaking, the interlocking structures are intended to maintain proper axial and circumferential alignment of the segments 12A as they are affixed to the exterior surface of the casing (10 in FIG. 1). By maintaining proper axial and circumferential alignment, the bonding of the segments 12A to the casing can be improved, particularly when the segments are bonded to the casing using adhesive such as epoxy.
  • Having explained the general structure of a centralizer according to the various aspects of this invention, the manner in which the invention is used in a wellbore will now be explained. Referring to FIG. 5, when the sleeve [0031] 12 and centralizer (including slip collars 14 and spring blades 16) are attached to a joint of casing 10, the spring blades extend to an uncompressed diameter D1. When the joint of casing 10 is to be passed through a restricted diameter opening (such as a casing string 10A in a wellbore), typically the joint of casing 10 will be coupled to similar joints of casing, some of which may include centralizers such as shown in FIG. 1 and previously explained. As the joint of casing 10 is moved into the restricted diameter opening 10A, the spring blades 16 are laterally compressed, to D2 in FIG. 5, which is the internal diameter of the restricted diameter opening 10A. Lateral compression extends the blades 16 axially along the joint of casing 10. Because the slip collars 14 are free to slide along the casing 10, axial extension of the spring blades 16 is substantially unhindered. Further, the bearing surface (22 in FIG. 2) used in some embodiments reduces axial friction between the slip collars 14 and the joint of casing 10. Note that the retaining sleeve 12 limits the axial movement of one of the slip collars 14, but does not limit the axial separation between the slip collars 14. Therefore, the axial position of the centralizer is ultimately limited, but the spring blades 16 are substantially free to compress because the axial separation of the slip collars is not limited by the retaining sleeve 12. Because the spring blades 16 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 5 are also helically shaped, lateral compression of the spring blades 16 also results in some rotation of the slip collars 14 about the exterior of the casing 10, as the spring blades 16 twist under the lateral compression. The slip collars 14, as previously explained, are also free to rotate about the casing joint 10. Further, as one of the slip collars 14 comes into contact with the edge of the sleeve 12, the anti-friction bearing used in some embodiments (20 in FIG. 2) reduces rotational friction between the sleeve 12 and the slip collar 14. The combination of axial extension and twisting of the spring blades 16 enables the spring blades 16 to more easily compress to fit within the restricted diameter opening (not shown), and then to laterally expand as the centralizer is moved into a larger diameter opening (not shown).
  • In the invention, it has been determined that using helical spring blades [0032] 16 on a centralizer such as shown in FIG. 1 reduces the amount of axial force needed to move the centralizer and casing (10 in FIG. 1) through any particular restricted diameter opening, while retaining enough lateral expansion force to provide enough restoring force to lift the casing 10 away from the wall of the larger diameter opening. Such forces are referred to in the art as “starting force” for initiating movement into the restricted diameter opening, and “running force” to continue movement along the restricted diameter opening.
  • As a practical matter, a centralizer as shown in FIG. 1 including the sleeve [0033] 12 therein may be made, for example, by welding or otherwise affixing the spring blades 16 to the slip collars 14 while the sleeve 12 is disposed axially between the slip collars 14. This may be performed, for example, on a suitable diameter mandrel (not shown) for convenience of positioning the sleeve 12 and slip collars 14 prior to welding the spring blades 16 thereon. The mandrel (not shown) may also be used to store and transport the centralizer including the sleeve 12 therein until it is to be affixed to the casing 10.
  • It is known in the art to affix a helical bow spring blade centralizer so as to straddle a casing collar (not shown in the Figures) wherein the slip collars are free both to rotate and slide along the casing. Typically, the centralizer used to straddle a casing collar is in the form of “half shells” or a “clam shell” which is opened to clamp around the casing. The centralizer and method for attaching to the casing in the invention are different from the prior art “straddle” type centralizers in that the straddle type centralizer is limited as to its amount of lateral compressibility by the diameter of the casing collar. Typically, straddle type centralizers are not intended to be moved through a restricted diameter opening and therefore do not have the useful diameter range of the centralizer of the present invention. Further, the position along the exterior of the casing is limited, when using straddle type centralizers, to the position of the casing collar itself. In embodiments of the invention, the retaining sleeve and the centralizer can be positioned at any selected location along a “joint” of casing. [0034]
  • An embodiment of the invention which is adapted to pass through an opening substantially smaller than the diameter of the opening in which a pipe is to be laterally positioned is shown in FIG. 6. The pipe to be laterally positioned may be a casing, for example, just as in the previous embodiments. In FIG. 6, a segment of this casing on which a centralizer according to one embodiment of the invention is mounted is shown at [0035] 10B. In this embodiment, the segment of casing 10B may be a full length joint (about 30 feet or 10 meters in length) or may be a special, short-length segment (“pup joint”). In order to enable the centralizer to be able to pass through an opening having a substantially smaller diameter than the opening in which the pipe 10B is ultimately to be positioned, the present embodiment includes a reduced diameter section 10C formed on the exterior surface of the pipe segment 10B. The reduced diameter section 10C may be formed by any method known in the art, including milling or grinding. Having the reduced diameter section 10C enables the centralizer to be formed using blades 18 having sufficient thickness to provide adequate strength and restoring force, while enabling, in some embodiments, compression of the centralizer to a diameter of not more than the nominal outer diameter of the pipe or casing 10B. An example of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 includes casing having a nominal outer diameter of 11.875 inches, wherein the casing having centralizers according to the invention pass through a pipe string having a drift (minimum) internal diameter of 12.25 inches. The casing is to be laterally positioned (centralized) within a hole, below the pipe string, having a nominal diameter of about 14.75 inches. In this example, it is contemplated that the reduced diameter section 10C has a nominal outside diameter of about 11.5 inches. The foregoing diameters and pipe sizes are meant only to be illustrative and are not in any way intended to limit the scope of the invention.
  • As in the other embodiments of the invention, the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 includes slip collars [0036] 14 adapted to slidingly, rotatably fit on the exterior of the pipe 10B, a retaining device, which may be a retaining sleeve 12 mounted between the slip collars 14 on the exterior of the pipe 10B, and helical bow springs 16 interconnecting the slip collars 14. In some adaptations of the embodiment of FIG. 6, the slip collars 14 may be adapted to fit on the reduced diameter section 10C. In other adaptations, the slip collars 14 may be adapted to fit on the full-diameter part of the pipe section 10B.
  • Another embodiment which can be inferred by viewing FIG. 6 includes the retaining device [0037] 12 being integrally formed with the casing 10. The retaining device 12 may be formed simply by leaving metal on the exterior of the casing 10 substantially undisturbed, while forming, such as by grinding or milling, the reduced diameter section 10C on either side of the preferred position of the retaining sleeve. In such embodiments using an integral retaining device, the slip collars 14 and affixed bow springs are preferably assembled to the reduced diameter section 10C by coupling the slip collars 14 together from circumferential segments (not shown). Assembly of the slip collars may be performed by welding the slip collar segments (not shown) together. If the slip collars are assembled from segments, preferably the segments include interlocking structures on the circumferential ends thereof to improve axial and circumferential alignment during assembly. As in other embodiments of the invention, the integrally formed retaining device may be positioned at a selected axial location along the exterior surface of the casing.
  • The embodiment of FIG. 6 is shown in FIG. 8 as being moved into an opening having a smaller internal diameter than the opening (borehole) in which the casing [0038] 10 is ultimately expected to be centralized or laterally positioned. The opening shown in FIG. 8 is one end of an outer casing string 11. Typically, the internal diameter of the outer casing string 11 will be smaller than the hole in which the casing 10 will be laterally positioned. As can be seen in FIG. 8, the spring blades 16 are laterally compressed by being moved into the outer casing string 11. Lateral compression of the spring blades 16 causes the slip collars 14 to move apart axially. Axial movement of the slip collars 14 is limited by the retaining device 12. Advantageously, having the axial movement limited by the retaining device 12 enables relatively free and easy compression of the spring blades 16 irrespective of the direction of motion of the casing 10 within the outer casing string 11. Some prior art compressible centralizers limited axial motion by affixing one end of the spring blades to the outer surface of the casing, or used the shoulder of a groove to limit axial motion. Such devices may have more difficulty in compressing the spring blades in one or the other direction of motion.
  • While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, those skilled in the art, having benefit of this disclosure, will appreciate that other embodiments can be devised which do not depart from the spirit of the invention as disclosed herein. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be limited only by the attached claims. [0039]

Claims (45)

What is claimed is:
1. A centralizer for laterally positioning a pipe in an opening larger in diameter than an opening through which the centralizer may freely pass, comprising:
a plurality of helically shaped spring blades affixed at each end thereof to a slip collar, the slip collars adapted to slide and rotate about an exterior surface of the pipe; and
a retaining device disposed axially between the slip collars at a selected axial position along the exterior surface of the pipe so as to limit axial motion of the slip collars.
2. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 wherein an axial outermost edge of at least one of the slip collars comprises a taper adapted to reduce sticking of the slip collar as it is moved through the opening through which the centralizer may freely pass.
3. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 wherein the retaining device comprises a sleeve including a plurality of set screws therein to affix the sleeve to the pipe, the set screws arranged in a pattern substantially conforming to a shape of the spring blades whereby the set screws may be accessed through the blades.
4. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 wherein the retaining device comprises a sleeve adapted to be affixed to the exterior surface of the pipe.
5. The centralizer as defined in claim 4 wherein the sleeve is formed from a plurality of circumferential segments.
6. The centralizer as defined in claim 5 wherein the segments comprise interlocking structures on circumferential ends thereof.
7. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 wherein the spring blades define an angle of about 15 to 20 degrees with respect to a longitudinal axis of the pipe.
8. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 further comprising an anti-friction bearing disposed between an edge of the retaining device and at least one of the slip collars.
9. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 further comprising an anti-friction bearing surface disposed between the retaining device and at least one of the slip collars.
10. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 wherein the spring blades are affixed to the slip collars in corresponding grooves on an exterior surface thereof, the corresponding grooves having a depth selected to make an exterior surface of the spring blades substantially flush with an exterior surface of the slip collars.
11. The centralizer as defined in claim 10 wherein the depth of the corresponding grooves is selected so that a material thickness of the slip collar therein is substantially equal to a thickness of the retaining sleeve.
12. The centralizer as defined in claim 10 wherein sides of the grooves are radiused.
13. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 wherein the slip collars comprise mud channels in an exterior surface thereof.
14. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 wherein the spring blades and the slip collars are formed from a single piece of material.
15. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 wherein the retaining device is adapted to fit on a pipe section having a smaller outer diameter than an outer diameter of the pipe to be laterally positioned.
16. The centralizer as defined in claim 15 wherein the slip collars are adapted to fit on the pipe section.
17. The centralizer as defined in claim 16 wherein the slip collars and the spring blades are adapted to compress to at most the outer diameter of the pipe to be laterally positioned.
18. The centralizer as defined in claim 1 further comprising a pipe section having an outer diameter smaller than an outer diameter of the pipe to be laterally positioned, and wherein the retaining device is disposed on the pipe section.
19. The centralizer as defined in claim 18 wherein the slip collars are disposed on the pipe section.
20. A method for laterally positioning a pipe in an opening larger in diameter than an opening through which the pipe may freely pass, comprising:
sliding a bow spring centralizer and a retaining device onto an exterior surface of the pipe, the centralizer comprising a plurality of helically shaped spring blades affixed at each end thereof to a slip collar, the slip collars adapted to slide and rotate about the exterior surface of the pipe, the retaining sleeve disposed axially between the slip collars, the retaining sleeve adapted to be affixed to the pipe so as to limit axial motion of the slip collars;
affixing the retaining device to the exterior surface of the pipe; and
inserting the pipe having the centralizer and retaining device attached thereto into the opening through which the pipe may freely pass and thence into the opening having the larger diameter.
21. The method as defined in claim 20 wherein an axial outermost edge of at least one of the slip collars comprises a taper adapted to reduce sticking of the slip collar as it is moved through the opening through which the centralizer may freely pass.
22. The method as defined in claim 20 wherein the retaining device comprises a sleeve including a plurality of set screws therein to affix the sleeve to the pipe, the set screws arranged in a pattern substantially conforming to a shape of the spring blades whereby the set screws may be accessed through the blades.
23. The method as defined in claim 20 wherein the spring blades define an angle of about 15 to 20 degrees with respect to a longitudinal axis of the pipe.
24. The method as defined in claim 20 further comprising an anti-friction bearing disposed between an edge of the retaining device and at least one of the slip collars.
25. The method as defined in claim 20 further comprising an anti-friction bearing surface disposed between the retaining device and at least one of the slip collars.
26. The method as defined in claim 20 wherein the spring blades are affixed to the slip collars in corresponding grooves on an exterior surface thereof, the corresponding grooves having a depth selected to make an exterior surface of the spring blades substantially flush with an exterior surface of the slip collars.
27. The method as defined in claim 26 wherein the depth of the corresponding grooves is selected so that a material thickness of the slip collar therein is substantially equal to a thickness of the retaining device.
28. The method as defined in claim 26 wherein sides of the grooves are radiused.
29. The method as defined in claim 20 wherein the slip collars comprise mud channels in an exterior surface thereof.
30. The method as defined in claim 20 wherein the spring blades and slip collars are made from a single piece of material.
31. The method as defined in claim 20 further comprising a pipe section having an outer diameter smaller than an outer diameter of the pipe to be laterally positioned, and wherein the retaining device is disposed on the pipe section.
32. The method as defined in claim 31 wherein the slip collars are disposed on the pipe section.
33. The method as defined in claim 32 wherein the spring blades and slip collars are adapted to compress to a diameter at most equal to the outer diameter of the pipe to be laterally positioned.
34. A centralizer for laterally positioning a pipe in an opening larger in diameter than an opening through which the centralizer may freely pass, comprising:
a plurality of helically shaped spring blades affixed at each end thereof to a slip collar, the slip collars adapted to slide and rotate about an exterior surface of the pipe; and
a retaining device disposed axially between the slip collars, the retaining device formed integrally with the exterior surface of the pipe so as to limit axial motion of the slip collars.
35. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 wherein the pipe comprises reduced diameter segments on an exterior surface thereof, the reduced diameter segments adapted to receive the slip collars about an exterior surface thereof, the retaining sleeve formed by retaining at least part of an exterior diameter of the pipe in a location axially disposed between the reduced diameter segments.
36. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 wherein an axial outermost edge of at least one of the slip collars comprises a taper adapted to reduce sticking of the slip collar as it is moved through the opening through which the centralizer may freely pass.
37. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 wherein the spring blades define an angle of about 15 to 20 degrees with respect to a longitudinal axis of the pipe.
38. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 farther comprising an anti-friction bearing disposed between an edge of the retaining device and at least one of the slip collars.
39. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 further comprising an anti-friction bearing surface disposed between the retaining device and at least one of the slip collars.
40. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 wherein the spring blades are affixed to the slip collars in corresponding grooves on an exterior surface thereof, the corresponding grooves having a depth selected to make an exterior surface of the spring blades substantially flush with an exterior surface of the slip collars.
41. The centralizer as defined in claim 40 wherein the depth of the corresponding grooves is selected so that a material thickness of the slip collar therein is substantially equal to a thickness of the retaining device.
42. The centralizer as defined in claim 40 wherein sides of the grooves are radiused.
43. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 wherein the slip collars comprise mud channels in an exterior surface thereof.
44. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 wherein the spring blades and the slip collars are formed from a single piece of material.
45. The centralizer as defined in claim 34 wherein the slip collars and the spring blades are adapted to compress to at most the outer diameter of the pipe to be laterally positioned.
US09/973,684 2001-04-03 2001-10-09 Method for enabling movement of a centralized pipe through a reduced diameter restriction and apparatus therefor Abandoned US20020139537A1 (en)

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US09/973,684 US20020139537A1 (en) 2001-04-03 2001-10-09 Method for enabling movement of a centralized pipe through a reduced diameter restriction and apparatus therefor

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US6679325B2 (en) * 2002-02-08 2004-01-20 Frank's International, Inc. Minimum clearance bow-spring centralizer
US20040226714A1 (en) * 2003-05-14 2004-11-18 Rogers Henry E. Limit clamp for use with casing attachments
US20080035331A1 (en) * 2006-06-28 2008-02-14 Jean Buytaert Epoxy secured web collar
US20080264629A1 (en) * 2007-04-24 2008-10-30 Frank's International, Inc. Field-Assemblable Bow-Spring Casing Centralizer and Method of Making A Centralizer
US20080283253A1 (en) * 2007-05-16 2008-11-20 Frank's International, Inc. Expandable Centralizer For Expandable Pipe String
US20080283237A1 (en) * 2007-05-16 2008-11-20 Frank's International, Inc. Low Clearance Centralizer and Method of Making Centralizer
US20090025929A1 (en) * 2007-07-26 2009-01-29 Frank's International, Inc. Apparatus for and Method of Deploying a Centralizer Installed on an Expandable Casing String
US20100078173A1 (en) * 2008-09-29 2010-04-01 Frank's International, Inc. Downhole device actuator and method
US20100326671A1 (en) * 2009-04-07 2010-12-30 Frank's International, Inc. Interference-fit stop collar and method of positioning a device on a tubular
US20110042102A1 (en) * 2009-08-18 2011-02-24 Frank's International, Inc. Method of and kit for installing a centralizer on a pipe segment
US20110297366A1 (en) * 2010-06-03 2011-12-08 Wittle J Kenneth Jumper
US20120006533A1 (en) * 2010-07-07 2012-01-12 Baker Hughes Incorporated Wellbore Centralizer for Tubulars
US8505624B2 (en) 2010-12-09 2013-08-13 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Integral pull-through centralizer
US8573296B2 (en) 2011-04-25 2013-11-05 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Limit collar
US8678096B2 (en) 2011-01-25 2014-03-25 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite bow centralizer
US8770280B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2014-07-08 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co., Llc Expandable centralizer for expandable pipe string
US8833446B2 (en) * 2011-01-25 2014-09-16 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite bow centralizer
WO2015017568A3 (en) * 2013-07-30 2015-05-21 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Centralizer
US9074430B2 (en) 2011-09-20 2015-07-07 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite limit collar
WO2016030689A1 (en) * 2014-08-27 2016-03-03 Reece Innovation Centre Limited Improvements in or relating to centralisers
US9556687B2 (en) 2013-08-17 2017-01-31 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Multi-vane centralizer and method of forming
US9556994B2 (en) 2009-06-30 2017-01-31 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Wrap-around band and sleeve attachment apparatus for an oilfield tubular
WO2017019934A1 (en) * 2015-07-30 2017-02-02 Frank's International, Llc Apparatus and method for reducing torque on a drill string
US9745803B2 (en) 2009-04-07 2017-08-29 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Centralizer assembly and method for attaching to a tubular
US9759023B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2017-09-12 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Apparatus for securing a centralizer to a tubular
US9765576B2 (en) 2013-08-17 2017-09-19 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Wrap-around stop collar and method of forming
US9771763B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2017-09-26 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Low-clearance centralizer
US9920412B2 (en) 2013-08-28 2018-03-20 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Chromium-free thermal spray composition, method, and apparatus
EP3247865A4 (en) * 2014-12-31 2018-09-26 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co., LLC Turned-down centralizer sub assembly
WO2018197578A1 (en) * 2017-04-25 2018-11-01 Ace Oil Tools Stop collar attachment
US10161198B2 (en) 2015-07-08 2018-12-25 Weatherford Technology Holdings, Llc Centralizer with integrated stop collar
US10280695B2 (en) 2014-06-27 2019-05-07 Weatherford Technology Holdings, Llc Centralizer
WO2019104322A1 (en) * 2017-11-27 2019-05-31 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. A running tool and method of cleaning a downhole well casing

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US6679325B2 (en) * 2002-02-08 2004-01-20 Frank's International, Inc. Minimum clearance bow-spring centralizer
US20040226714A1 (en) * 2003-05-14 2004-11-18 Rogers Henry E. Limit clamp for use with casing attachments
WO2004101949A1 (en) * 2003-05-14 2004-11-25 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Limit clamp for use with casing attachments
US6957704B2 (en) 2003-05-14 2005-10-25 Halliburton Energy Services Inc. Limit clamp for use with casing attachments
US20080035331A1 (en) * 2006-06-28 2008-02-14 Jean Buytaert Epoxy secured web collar
US20080264629A1 (en) * 2007-04-24 2008-10-30 Frank's International, Inc. Field-Assemblable Bow-Spring Casing Centralizer and Method of Making A Centralizer
US20110146971A1 (en) * 2007-05-16 2011-06-23 Frank's International, Inc. Low Clearance Centralizer and Method of Making Centralizer
US20080283237A1 (en) * 2007-05-16 2008-11-20 Frank's International, Inc. Low Clearance Centralizer and Method of Making Centralizer
US8770280B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2014-07-08 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co., Llc Expandable centralizer for expandable pipe string
US20080283253A1 (en) * 2007-05-16 2008-11-20 Frank's International, Inc. Expandable Centralizer For Expandable Pipe String
US7845061B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2010-12-07 Frank's International, Inc. Low clearance centralizer and method of making centralizer
US9771763B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2017-09-26 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Low-clearance centralizer
US7878241B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2011-02-01 Frank's International, Inc. Expandable centralizer for expandable pipe string
US9759023B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2017-09-12 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Apparatus for securing a centralizer to a tubular
US8662166B2 (en) 2007-05-16 2014-03-04 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co., Llc Low clearance centralizer
US20090025929A1 (en) * 2007-07-26 2009-01-29 Frank's International, Inc. Apparatus for and Method of Deploying a Centralizer Installed on an Expandable Casing String
US8701783B2 (en) 2007-07-26 2014-04-22 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co., Llc Apparatus for and method of deploying a centralizer installed on an expandable casing string
US8360161B2 (en) 2008-09-29 2013-01-29 Frank's International, Inc. Downhole device actuator and method
US20100078173A1 (en) * 2008-09-29 2010-04-01 Frank's International, Inc. Downhole device actuator and method
US20100326671A1 (en) * 2009-04-07 2010-12-30 Frank's International, Inc. Interference-fit stop collar and method of positioning a device on a tubular
US8832906B2 (en) * 2009-04-07 2014-09-16 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co., Llc Interferece-fit stop collar and method of positioning a device on a tubular
US9745803B2 (en) 2009-04-07 2017-08-29 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Centralizer assembly and method for attaching to a tubular
US9273525B2 (en) 2009-06-30 2016-03-01 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Interference-fit stop collar and method of positioning a device on a tubular
US9556994B2 (en) 2009-06-30 2017-01-31 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Wrap-around band and sleeve attachment apparatus for an oilfield tubular
US20110042102A1 (en) * 2009-08-18 2011-02-24 Frank's International, Inc. Method of and kit for installing a centralizer on a pipe segment
US20110297366A1 (en) * 2010-06-03 2011-12-08 Wittle J Kenneth Jumper
US8408287B2 (en) * 2010-06-03 2013-04-02 Electro-Petroleum, Inc. Electrical jumper for a producing oil well
US8443882B2 (en) * 2010-07-07 2013-05-21 Baker Hughes Incorporated Wellbore centralizer for tubulars
US20120006533A1 (en) * 2010-07-07 2012-01-12 Baker Hughes Incorporated Wellbore Centralizer for Tubulars
US8505624B2 (en) 2010-12-09 2013-08-13 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Integral pull-through centralizer
US8678096B2 (en) 2011-01-25 2014-03-25 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite bow centralizer
US10240404B2 (en) 2011-01-25 2019-03-26 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite bow centralizer
US10087689B2 (en) 2011-01-25 2018-10-02 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite bow centralizer
US9493994B2 (en) 2011-01-25 2016-11-15 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite bow centralizer
US8833446B2 (en) * 2011-01-25 2014-09-16 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite bow centralizer
US8573296B2 (en) 2011-04-25 2013-11-05 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Limit collar
US9074430B2 (en) 2011-09-20 2015-07-07 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Composite limit collar
US10113372B2 (en) 2013-07-30 2018-10-30 Weatherford Technology Holdings, Llc Centralizer
WO2015017568A3 (en) * 2013-07-30 2015-05-21 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Centralizer
US9556687B2 (en) 2013-08-17 2017-01-31 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Multi-vane centralizer and method of forming
US9765576B2 (en) 2013-08-17 2017-09-19 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Wrap-around stop collar and method of forming
US9920412B2 (en) 2013-08-28 2018-03-20 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co. Chromium-free thermal spray composition, method, and apparatus
US10280695B2 (en) 2014-06-27 2019-05-07 Weatherford Technology Holdings, Llc Centralizer
WO2016030689A1 (en) * 2014-08-27 2016-03-03 Reece Innovation Centre Limited Improvements in or relating to centralisers
US10208544B2 (en) 2014-12-31 2019-02-19 Innovex Downhole Solutions, Inc. Turned-down centralizer sub assembly
EP3247865A4 (en) * 2014-12-31 2018-09-26 Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co., LLC Turned-down centralizer sub assembly
US10161198B2 (en) 2015-07-08 2018-12-25 Weatherford Technology Holdings, Llc Centralizer with integrated stop collar
WO2017019934A1 (en) * 2015-07-30 2017-02-02 Frank's International, Llc Apparatus and method for reducing torque on a drill string
AU2016301150B2 (en) * 2015-07-30 2019-01-24 Frank's International, Llc Apparatus and method for reducing torque on a drill string
US10087690B2 (en) 2015-07-30 2018-10-02 Frank's International, Llc Apparatus and method for reducing torque on a drill string
WO2018197578A1 (en) * 2017-04-25 2018-11-01 Ace Oil Tools Stop collar attachment
WO2019104322A1 (en) * 2017-11-27 2019-05-31 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. A running tool and method of cleaning a downhole well casing

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