US20080135252A1 - Adjustable Expansion Cone Assembly - Google Patents

Adjustable Expansion Cone Assembly Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080135252A1
US20080135252A1 US11942478 US94247807A US2008135252A1 US 20080135252 A1 US20080135252 A1 US 20080135252A1 US 11942478 US11942478 US 11942478 US 94247807 A US94247807 A US 94247807A US 2008135252 A1 US2008135252 A1 US 2008135252A1
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Prior art keywords
expansion cone
filed
tubular
attorney docket
tubular support
Prior art date
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Abandoned
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US11942478
Inventor
Lev Ring
David Paul Brisco
Kevin Waddell
Robert Lance Cook
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Shell Oil Co
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Shell Oil Co
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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
    • E21B23/00Apparatus for displacing, setting, locking, releasing, or removing tools, packers or the like in the boreholes or wells
    • E21B23/004Indexing systems for guiding relative movement between telescoping parts of downhole tools
    • E21B23/006"J-slot" systems, i.e. lug and slot indexing mechanisms
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/02Subsoil filtering
    • E21B43/10Setting of casings, screens, liners or the like in wells
    • E21B43/103Setting of casings, screens, liners or the like in wells of expandable casings, screens, liners, or the like
    • E21B43/105Expanding tools specially adapted therefor

Abstract

A adjustable expansion cone assembly.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a National Stage filing of PCT patent application serial no. PCT/US02/25608, attorney docket no. 25791.58.02, filed on Aug. 13, 2002, which claimed the benefit of the filing date of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/318,021, attorney docket no. 25791.58, filed on Sep. 7, 2001, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • This application is related to the following: (1) U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (2) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/510,913, attorney docket no. 25791.7.02, filed on Feb. 23, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,702, filed on Feb. 25, 1999, (3) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/502,350, attorney docket no. 25791.8.02, filed on Feb. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/119,611, filed on Feb. 11, 1999, (4) U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (5) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/169,434, attorney docket no. 25791.10.04, filed on Jul. 1, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/183,546, filed on Feb. 18, 2000, (6) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (7) U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,471, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/512,895, attorney docket no. 25791.12.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,841, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (8) U.S. Pat. No. 6,575,240, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/511,941, attorney docket no. 25791.16.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,907, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (9) U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,640, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/588,946, attorney docket no. 25791.17.02, filed on Jun. 7, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/137,998, filed on Jun. 7, 1999, (10) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/981,916, attorney docket no. 25791.18, filed on Oct. 18, 2001 as a continuation-in-part application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (11) U.S. Pat. No. 6,604,763, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/559,122, attorney docket no. 25791.23.02, filed on Apr. 26, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/131,106, filed on Apr. 26, 1999, (12) U.S. patent application Ser. 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No. 60/455,051, attorney docket no. 25791.40, filed on Mar. 14, 2003, (23) PCT application US02/2477, filed on Jun. 26, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.44.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/303,711, attorney docket no. 25791.44, filed on Jul. 6, 2001, (24) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/311,412, filed on Dec. 12, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.45.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,443, attorney docket no. 25791.45, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (25) U.S. patent application serial no. 10/______, filed on Dec. 18, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.46.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,645, attorney docket no. 25791.46, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (26) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/322,947, filed on Jan. 22, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.47.03, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. 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No. 60/259,486, attorney docket no. 25791.52, filed on Jan. 3, 2001, (31) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/452,303, filed on Mar. 5, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.53, (32) U.S. Pat. No. 6,470,966, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/850,093, filed on May 7, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.55, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (33) U.S. Pat. No. 6,561,227, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/852,026, filed on May 9, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.56, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. 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No. 60/397,284, attorney docket no. 25791.106, filed on Jul. 19, 2002, (78) PCT application US 03/13787, filed on May 5, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.107.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/387,486, attorney docket no. 25791.107, filed on Jun. 10, 2002, (79) PCT application US 03/18530, filed on Jun. 11, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.108.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/387,961, attorney docket no. 25791.108, filed on Jun. 12, 2002, (80) PCT application US 03/20694, filed on Jul. 1, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.110.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/398,061, attorney docket no. 25791.110, filed on Jul. 24, 2002, (81) PCT application US 03/20870, filed on Jul. 2, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.111.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. 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No. 60/412,653, attorney docket no. 25791.118, filed on Sep. 20, 2002, (87) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/405,610, attorney docket no. 25791.119, filed on Aug. 23, 2002, (88) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/405,394, attorney docket no. 25791.120, filed on Aug. 23, 2002, (89) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/412,544, attorney docket no. 25791.121, filed on Sep. 20, 2002, (90) PCT application PCT/US03/24779, filed on Aug. 8, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.125.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/407,442, attorney docket no. 25791.125, filed on Aug. 30, 2002, (91) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/423,363, attorney docket no. 25791.126, filed on Dec. 10, 2002, (92) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/412,196, attorney docket no. 25791.127, filed on Sep. 20, 2002, (93) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/412,187, attorney docket no. 25791.128, filed on Sep. 20, 2002, (94) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/412,371, attorney docket no. 25791.129, filed on Sep. 20, 2002, (95) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/382,325, attorney docket no. 25791.145, filed on Mar. 5, 2003, which is a continuation of U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,640, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/588,946, attorney docket no. 25791.17.02, filed on Jun. 7, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/137,998, filed on Jun. 7, 1999, (96) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/624,842, attorney docket no. 25791.151, filed on Jul. 22, 2003, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/502,350, attorney docket no. 25791.8.02, filed on Feb. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/119,611, filed on Feb. 11, 1999, (97) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. 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No. 60/454,896, attorney docket no. 25791.236, filed on Mar. 14, 2003, (106) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/450,504, attorney docket no. 25791.238, filed on Feb. 26, 2003, (107) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/451,152, attorney docket no. 25791.239, filed on Mar. 9, 2003, (108) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/455,124, attorney docket no. 25791.241, filed on Mar. 17, 2003, (109) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/453,678, attorney docket no. 25791.253, filed on Mar. 11, 2003, (110) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/421,682, attorney docket no. 25791.256, filed on Apr. 23, 2003, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (111) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/457,965, attorney docket no. 25791.260, filed on Mar. 27, 2003, (112) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/455,718, attorney docket no. 25791.262, filed on Mar. 18, 2003, (113) U.S. Pat. No. 6,550,821, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/811,734, filed on Mar. 19, 2001, (114) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/436,467, attorney docket no. 25791.268, filed on May 12, 2003, which is a continuation of U.S. Pat. No. 6,604,763, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/559,122, attorney docket no. 25791.23.02, filed on Apr. 26, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/131,106, filed on Apr. 26, 1999, (115) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/459,776, attorney docket no. 25791.270, filed on Apr. 2, 2003, (116) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/461,094, attorney docket no. 25791.272, filed on Apr. 8, 2003, (117) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/461,038, attorney docket no. 25791.273, filed on Apr. 7, 2003, (118) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/463,586, attorney docket no. 25791.277, filed on Apr. 17, 2003, (119) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/472,240, attorney docket no. 25791.286, filed on May 20, 2003, (120) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/619,285, attorney docket no. 25791.292, filed on Jul. 14, 2003, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. utility patent application Ser. No. 09/969,922, attorney docket no. 25791.69, filed on Oct. 3, 2001, which is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (121) U.S. utility patent application Ser. No. 10/418,688, attorney docket no. 25791.257, which was filed on Apr. 18, 2003, as a division of U.S. utility patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, and (122) U.S. utility patent application Ser. No. ______, attorney docket no. 25791.318, filed on Feb. 23, 2004, which was a continuation-in-part of U.S. utility patent application Ser. No. 10/089,419, attorney docket no. 25791.36.03, filed on Mar. 27, 2002, which issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,695,012, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates generally to wellbore casings, and in particular to wellbore casings that are formed using expandable tubing.
  • Conventionally, when a wellbore is created, a number of casings are installed in the borehole to prevent collapse of the borehole wall and to prevent undesired outflow of drilling fluid into the formation or inflow of fluid from the formation into the borehole. The borehole is drilled in intervals whereby a casing which is to be installed in a lower borehole interval is lowered through a previously installed casing of an upper borehole interval. As a consequence of this procedure the casing of the lower interval is of smaller diameter than the casing of the upper interval. Thus, the casings are in a nested arrangement with casing diameters decreasing in downward direction. Cement annuli are provided between the outer surfaces of the casings and the borehole wall to seal the casings from the borehole wall. As a consequence of this nested arrangement a relatively large borehole diameter is required at the upper part of the wellbore. Such a large borehole diameter involves increased costs due to heavy casing handling equipment, large drill bits and increased volumes of drilling fluid and drill cuttings. Moreover, increased drilling rig time is involved due to required cement pumping, cement hardening, required equipment changes due to large variations in hole diameters drilled in the course of the well, and the large volume of cuttings drilled and removed.
  • The present invention is directed to overcoming one or more of the limitations of the existing procedures for forming new sections of casing in a wellbore.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to one aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first lug coupled to and extending from the first tubular support body in the radial direction, a second lug coupled to and extending from the first tubular support body in the radial direction, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar assembly is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body defining N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A first drag block assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first drag block body defining a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar, and a first J-shaped slot for receiving the first lug, and one or more first drag blocks coupled to the first drag block body. A second drag block assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second drag block body defining a second J-shaped slot for receiving the second lug, and one or more second drag blocks coupled to the second drag block body. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second drag block assemblies.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a first tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A first collet assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar, a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a first radial passage, a first spring received within the first counterbore, a first retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a first load transfer pin coupled to the first retaining ring and extending through the first radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin, a first resilient collet coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned above the first tapered flange, and a third tubular sleeve coupled to the first resilient collet. A second collet assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a fourth tubular sleeve that defines a second counterbore for receiving the second flange, and a second radial passage, a second spring received within the second counterbore, a second retaining ring received within the second counterbore, a second load transfer pin coupled to the second retaining ring and extending through the second radial passage, a fifth tubular sleeve coupled to the second load transfer pin, a second resilient collet coupled to the fifth tubular sleeve and positioned above the second tapered flange, and a sixth tubular sleeve coupled to the second resilient collet. First and second packer cups coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second collet assemblies.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first radial passage defined in the first tubular support body fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a first tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A first dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar, a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a second radial passage, a first spring received within the first counterbore, a first retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a first load transfer pin coupled to the first retaining ring and extending through the second radial passage, and a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin that defines a second counterbore for receiving the first tubular sleeve, a first resilient dog coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the first tapered flange. A second dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular sleeve that defines a second counterbore for receiving the second flange, a third radial passage, and a fourth radial passage fluidicly coupled to the first radial passage, a second spring received within the second counterbore, a second retaining ring received within the second counterbore, a second load transfer pin coupled to the second retaining ring and extending through the third radial passage, a fourth tubular sleeve coupled to the second load transfer pin, and a second resilient dog coupled to the fourth tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the second tapered flange. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second dog assemblies.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage including a throat passage, a first radial passage defined in the first tubular support body fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body that defines a second radial passage defined in the second flange fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar, a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a third radial passage, a spring received within the first counterbore, a retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a load transfer pin coupled to the retaining ring and extending through the third radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin that defines a first counterbore for receiving the first tubular sleeve, a second counterbore for receiving and mating with the tapered flange, and includes a third flange that defines a third counterbore for receiving the second flange, a fourth counterbore for receiving the second flange, and a fourth radial passage, and a resilient dog coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the tapered flange. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the resilient dog and the third flange.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a tubular support body and an expansion cone support body coupled to the tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A tubular actuating sleeve is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes a tapered tubular support member defining N stepped slots. An expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body movably coupled to the first tubular support body defining an L-shaped slot, and N expansion cone segments extending from the second tubular support member. Each expansion cone segment includes a resilient collet coupled to the second tubular support member, an expansion cone segment body coupled to the resilient collet including arcuate conical outer surfaces, and a retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the stepped slots of the expansion cone support body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body, a first L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body for mating with the L-shaped slot of the second tubular support body of the expansion cone assembly, and a second L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular body. A tubular actuating sleeve is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the second L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes a tapered tubular support member defining N slots. An expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body movably coupled to the first tubular support body defining an L-shaped slot, and N expansion cone segments extending from the second tubular support member. Each expansion cone segment includes a resilient collet coupled to the second tubular support member, an expansion cone segment body coupled to the resilient collet including arcuate conical outer surfaces, and a retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the slots of the expansion cone support body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body, a first L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body for mating with the L-shaped slot of the second tubular support body, and a second L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body. A tubular actuating sleeve is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the second L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes a tapered tubular support member defining N slots. An expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body movably coupled to the first tubular support body defining an L-shaped slot, N/2 first expansion cone segments extending from the second tubular support member, and N/2 second expansion cone segments extending from the second tubular member. Each first expansion cone segment includes a first resilient collet coupled to the second tubular support member, a first expansion cone segment body coupled to the resilient collet including arcuate conical outer surfaces, and a first retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the slots of the expansion cone support body. Each second expansion cone segment includes a second resilient collet coupled to the second tubular support member, a second expansion cone segment body coupled to the resilient collet including arcuate conical outer surfaces, and a second retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the slots of the expansion cone support body. The second expansion cone segments overlap and are interleaved with the first expansion cone segments. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body, a first L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body for mating with L-shaped slot of the second tubular support body, and a second L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body. A tubular actuating sleeve is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the second L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N/2 first expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including a first expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the first expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the first expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the first expansion cone segment body. N/2 second expansion cone segments are also movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including a second expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a third T-shaped retaining member coupled to the second expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the second expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a fourth T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. The first and second expansion cone segments are interleaved. The first expansion cone segment bodies are complementary shaped with respect to the second expansion cone segment bodies. A split ring collar assembly is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second and fourth T-shaped retaining members of the interleaved first and second expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A tubular actuating sleeve movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first lug coupled to and extending from the first tubular support body in the radial direction, and a second lug coupled to and extending from the first tubular support body in the radial direction. An adjustable expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member. A first drag block assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first drag block body coupled to the adjustable expansion cone assembly that defines: a first J-shaped slot for receiving the first lug, and one or more first drag blocks coupled to the first drag block body. A second drag block assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second drag block body that defines: a second J-shaped slot for receiving the second lug, and one or more second drag blocks coupled to the second drag block body. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second drag block assemblies.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a first tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and a second tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body. An adjustable expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member. A first collet assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve coupled to the adjustable expansion cone assembly and defines a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a first radial passage, a first spring received within the first counterbore, a first retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a first load transfer pin coupled to the first retaining ring and extending through the first radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin, a first resilient collet coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned above the first tapered flange, and a third tubular sleeve coupled to the first resilient collet. A second collet assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a fourth tubular sleeve that defines: a second counterbore for receiving the second flange, and a second radial passage, a second spring received within the second counterbore, a second retaining ring received within the second counterbore, a second load transfer pin coupled to the second retaining ring and extending through the second radial passage, a fifth tubular sleeve coupled to the second load transfer pin, a second resilient collet coupled to the fifth tubular sleeve and positioned above the second tapered flange, and a sixth tubular sleeve coupled to the second resilient collet. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second collet assemblies.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first radial passage defined in the first tubular support body fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a first tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and a second tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body. An adjustable expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member. A first dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve coupled to the adjustable expansion cone assembly that defines: a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a second radial passage, a first spring received within the first counterbore, a first retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a first load transfer pin coupled to the first retaining ring and extending through the second radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin that defines: a second counterbore for receiving the first tubular sleeve, a first resilient dog coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the first tapered flange. A second dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular sleeve that defines a second counterbore for receiving the second flange;
  • a third radial passage, and a fourth radial passage fluidicly coupled to the first radial passage, a second spring received within the second counterbore, a second retaining ring received within the second counterbore, a second load transfer pin coupled to the second retaining ring and extending through the third radial passage, a fourth tubular sleeve coupled to the second load transfer pin, a second resilient dog coupled to the fourth tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the second tapered flange. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second dog assemblies.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage including a throat passage, a first radial passage defined in the first tubular support body fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body that defines: a second radial passage defined in the second flange fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage. An adjustable expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member. A dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve coupled to the adjustable expansion cone assembly that defines a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a third radial passage, a spring received within the first counterbore, a retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a load transfer pin coupled to the retaining ring and extending through the third radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin that defines: a first counterbore for receiving the first tubular sleeve, a second counterbore for receiving and mating with the tapered flange, and includes a third flange that defines a third counterbore for receiving the second flange, a fourth counterbore for receiving the second flange, and a fourth radial passage, and a resilient dog coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the tapered flange. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the resilient dog and the third flange.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, and means for adjusting the adjustable expansion cone assembly.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a tubular support member. An adjustable expansion cone is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, and means for guiding the expansion cone segments on the tubular support member. The assembly further includes means for adjusting the adjustable expansion cone.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, a method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments is provided that includes guiding the expansion cone segments on a tapered body, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, a method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments is provided that includes guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, interlocking the expansion cone segments, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, a method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments is provided that includes resiliently guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, guiding each of the expansion cone segments on opposite sides in the circumferential direction, interlocking the expansion cone segments, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, a method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments is provided that includes dividing the expansion cone segments into first and second groups of expansion cone segments, interleaving the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, overlapping the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, resiliently guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, guiding each of the expansion cone segments on opposite sides in the circumferential direction, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, a method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments is provided that includes dividing the expansion cone segments into first and second groups of expansion cone segments, interleaving the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body while also relatively displacing the first and second groups of expansion cone segments in opposite directions.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, a method of plastically deforming and radially expanding an expandable tubular member using an apparatus including a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, and an actuator movably coupled to the tubular support member for adjusting the adjustable expansion cone assembly, is provided that includes coupling a first end of the expandable tubular member to a tubular structure, locking the actuator to the tubular support member of the apparatus, inserting the apparatus into the first end of the expandable tubular member, moving the actuator and the adjustable expansion cone assembly of the apparatus out of the second end of the expandable tubular member, reinserting the actuator of the apparatus into the second end of the expandable tubular member, unlocking the actuator from the tubular support member of the apparatus, rotating the actuator relative to the tubular support member of the apparatus, and increasing the outside diameter of the adjustable expansion cone assembly by moving the tubular support member relative to the actuator, the adjustable expansion cone assembly and the expandable tubular member, and plastically deforming and radially expanding the expandable tubular member by moving the adjustable expansion cone assembly through the expandable tubular member.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, a method of plastically deforming and radially expanding an expandable tubular member using an apparatus including a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, and an actuator movably coupled to the tubular support member for adjusting the adjustable expansion cone assembly, is provided that includes coupling a first end of the expandable tubular member to a tubular structure, inserting the apparatus into the first end of the expandable tubular member in a first direction, displacing the actuator of the apparatus in a second direction opposite to the first direction, applying a resilient biasing force to the adjustable expansion cone assembly in the second direction, moving the actuator and the adjustable expansion cone assembly of the apparatus out of the second end of the expandable tubular member, reinserting the actuator of the apparatus into the second end of the expandable tubular member in the second direction, increasing the outside diameter of the adjustable expansion cone assembly by displacing the actuator and the adjustable expansion cone assembly relative to the expandable tubular member in the first direction, and plastically deforming and radially expanding the expandable tubular member by moving the adjustable expansion cone assembly through the expandable tubular member in the second direction.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for guiding the expansion cone segments on a tapered body, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, means for interlocking the expansion cone segments, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for resiliently guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, means for guiding each of the expansion cone segments on opposite sides in the circumferential direction, means for interlocking the expansion cone segments, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for dividing the expansion cone segments into first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for interleaving the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for overlapping the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for resiliently guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, means for guiding each of the expansion cone segments on opposite sides in the circumferential direction, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an adjustable expansion cone assembly is provided that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for dividing the expansion cone segments into first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for interleaving the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body while also relatively displacing the first and second groups of expansion cone segments in opposite directions.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for plastically deforming and radially expanding an expandable tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, means for actuating the adjustable expansion cone assembly, means for locking the actuator to the tubular support member of the apparatus, means for unlocking the actuator from the tubular support member of the apparatus, and means for increasing the outside diameter of the adjustable expansion cone assembly by moving the tubular support member relative to the actuator, the adjustable expansion cone assembly, and the expandable tubular member.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for plastically deforming and radially expanding an expandable tubular member is provided that includes a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, means for actuating the adjustable expansion cone assembly, means for displacing the actuator of the apparatus in a first direction, means for applying a resilient biasing force to the adjustable expansion cone assembly when the actuator is displaced in the first direction, and means for increasing the outside diameter of the adjustable expansion cone assembly by displacing the actuator and the adjustable expansion cone assembly relative to the expandable tubular member in a second direction opposite to the first direction.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d are fragmentary cross-sectional views of an embodiment of the placement of an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member within a tubular member within a borehole within a subterranean formation.
  • FIG. 1 e is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the expansion cone support body of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d.
  • FIG. 1 f is a cross-sectional view of the expansion cone support body of FIG. 1 e.
  • FIG. 1 g is a side view of an embodiment of an expansion cone segment for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d.
  • FIG. 1 h is a front view of the expansion cone segment of FIG. 1 g.
  • FIG. 1 i is a top view of the expansion cone segment of FIG. 1 g.
  • FIG. 1 j is a top view of an embodiment of interlocking expansion cone segments for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d.
  • FIG. 1 k is a top fragmentary circumferential view of an embodiment of the coupling arrangement between the expansion cone segments and the split ring collar for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d.
  • FIGS. 1 l and 1 m are top schematic views of an embodiment of the coupling between the J-slots of the drag blocks and the lugs of the tubular support member of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d.
  • FIGS. 2 and 2 a-2 d are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d during the radial expansion of the tubular member within the borehole within the subterranean formation.
  • FIGS. 2 e and 2 f are illustrations of an embodiment of the J-slots of the drag blocks and the lugs of the tubular support member of the apparatus of FIGS. 2 and 2 a-2 d.
  • FIGS. 2 g and 2 h are illustrations of an alternative embodiment of the J-slots of the drag blocks and the lugs of the tubular support member of the apparatus of FIGS. 2 and 2 a-2 d.
  • FIGS. 3 and 3 a-3 c are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the placement of an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member within a wellbore casing within a subterranean formation.
  • FIG. 3 d is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the expansion cone support body of the apparatus of FIGS. 3 and 3 a-3 c.
  • FIG. 3 e is a cross-sectional view of the expansion cone support body of FIG. 3 d.
  • FIG. 3 f is a side view of an embodiment of an expansion cone segment for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 3 and 3 a-3 c.
  • FIG. 3 g is a front view of the expansion cone segment of FIG. 3 f.
  • FIG. 3 h is a top view of the expansion cone segment of FIG. 3 f.
  • FIG. 3 i is a top view of an embodiment of interlocking expansion cone segments for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 3 and 3 a-3 c.
  • FIG. 3 j is a top fragmentary circumferential view of an embodiment of the coupling arrangement between the expansion cone segments and the split ring collar for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 3 and 3 a-3 c.
  • FIGS. 4 and 4 a-4 d are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the placement of the apparatus of FIGS. 3 and 3 a-3 c including an expandable tubular member within an expandable tubular member within a subterranean formation.
  • FIGS. 5 and 5 a-5 d are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the operation of the apparatus of FIGS. 4 and 4 a-4 d during the radial expansion of the expandable tubular member within the borehole within the subterranean formation.
  • FIGS. 6 and 6 a-6 d are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the placement of an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member within a borehole within a subterranean formation.
  • FIG. 6 e is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the expansion cone support body of the apparatus of FIGS. 6 and 6 a-6 d.
  • FIG. 6 f is a cross-sectional view of the expansion cone support body of FIG. 6 e.
  • FIG. 6 g is a side view of an embodiment of an expansion cone segment for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 6 and 6 a-6 d.
  • FIG. 6 h is a front view of the expansion cone segment of FIG. 6 g.
  • FIG. 6 i is a top view of the expansion cone segment of FIG. 6 g.
  • FIG. 6 j is a top view of an embodiment of interlocking expansion cone segments for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 6 and 6 a-6 d.
  • FIG. 6 k is a top fragmentary circumferential view of an embodiment of the coupling arrangement between the expansion cone segments and the split ring collar for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 6 and 6 a-6 d.
  • FIGS. 7 and 7 a-7 c are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the placement of the apparatus of FIGS. 6 and 6 a-6 d including an expandable tubular member within a borehole within a subterranean formation.
  • FIGS. 8 and 8 a-8 d are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the operation of the apparatus of FIGS. 7 and 7 a-7 d during the radial expansion of the expandable tubular member within a borehole within a subterranean formation.
  • FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of an embodiment of an expansion cone assembly in an unexpanded position.
  • FIG. 9 a is a cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 9.
  • FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 9 in an expanded position.
  • FIG. 10 a is a cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 10.
  • FIG. 11 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of an embodiment of an expansion cone assembly in an unexpanded position.
  • FIG. 11 a is a cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 12 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 11 in an expanded position.
  • FIG. 12 a is a cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 12.
  • FIG. 13 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of an embodiment of an expansion cone assembly in an unexpanded position.
  • FIG. 13 a is a cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 13.
  • FIG. 13 b is a fragmentary top circumferential illustration of the expansion cone segment assembly of FIG. 13 that illustrates the interleaved sets of collets.
  • FIG. 13 c is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of the interleaved collets of FIG. 13 b.
  • FIG. 14 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 13 in an expanded position.
  • FIG. 14 a is a cross sectional illustration of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 14.
  • FIGS. 15 and 15 a-15 c are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the placement of an apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member within a borehole within a subterranean formation.
  • FIG. 15 d is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the expansion cone support body of the apparatus of FIGS. 15 and 15 a-15 c.
  • FIG. 15 e is a cross-sectional view of the expansion cone support body of FIG. 15 d.
  • FIG. 15 f is a side view of an embodiment of an expansion cone segment for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 15 and 15 a-15 c.
  • FIG. 15 g is a front view of the expansion cone segment of FIG. 15 f.
  • FIG. 15 h is a top view of the expansion cone segment of FIG. 15 f.
  • FIG. 15 i is a top view of an embodiment of interlocking expansion cone segments for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 15 and 15 a-15 c.
  • FIG. 15 j is a top fragmentary circumferential view of an embodiment of the coupling arrangement between the expansion cone segments and the split ring collar for use in the apparatus of FIGS. 15 and 15 a-15 c.
  • FIGS. 16 and 16 a-16 c are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the placement of the apparatus of FIGS. 15 and 15 a-15 j including an expandable tubular member within a borehole within a subterranean formation.
  • FIGS. 17 and 17 a-17 c are fragmentary cross-sectional illustrations of an embodiment of the operation of the apparatus of FIGS. 16 and 16 a-16 c during the radial expansion of the expandable tubular member within a borehole within a subterranean formation.
  • FIG. 18 a is a cross sectional illustration of an embodiment of a segmented expansion cone assembly in an unexpanded position.
  • FIG. 18 b is a fragmentary circumferential top illustration of the expansion cone and split ring collar of FIG. 18 a.
  • FIG. 18 c is a fragmentary cross-sectional illustration of the expansion cone support flange of the expansion cone assembly of FIG. 18 a.
  • FIG. 18 d is a cross-sectional illustration of the expansion cone support flange of FIG. 18 c.
  • FIG. 19 a is a cross sectional illustration of an embodiment of the segmented expansion cone assembly of FIG. 18 a in an expanded position.
  • FIG. 19 b is a fragmentary circumferential top view of the expansion cone of FIG. 19 a.
  • FIGS. 20 a-20 m are top circumferential views of various alternative embodiments of interlocking expansion cone segment geometries.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring initially to FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d, an embodiment of an apparatus and method for radially expanding a tubular member will now be described. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d, a wellbore 100 is positioned in a subterranean formation 105. In an exemplary embodiment, the wellbore 100 may include a pre-existing cased section 110. The wellbore 100 may be positioned in any orientation from vertical to horizontal.
  • In order to extend the wellbore 100 into the subterranean formation 105, a drill string is used in a well known manner to drill out material from the subterranean formation 105 to form a new wellbore section 115. In a preferred embodiment, the inside diameter of the new wellbore section 115 is greater than or equal to the inside diameter of the preexisting wellbore casing 110.
  • A tubular member 120 defining a passage 120 a may then be positioned within the wellbore section 115 with the upper end 120 b of the tubular member coupled to the wellbore casing 110 and the lower end 120 c of the tubular member extending into the wellbore section. The tubular member 120 may be positioned within the wellbore section 115 and coupled to the wellbore casing 110 in a conventional manner. In a preferred embodiment, the tubular member 120 is positioned within the wellbore section 115 and coupled to the wellbore casing 110 using one or more of the methods and apparatus disclosed in one or more of the following: (1) U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (2) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/510,913, attorney docket no. 25791.7.02, filed on Feb. 23, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,702, filed on Feb. 25, 1999, (3) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/502,350, attorney docket no. 25791.8.02, filed on Feb. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/119,611, filed on Feb. 11, 1999, (4) U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (5) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/169,434, attorney docket no. 25791.10.04, filed on Jul. 1, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/183,546, filed on Feb. 18, 2000, (6) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (7) U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,471, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/512,895, attorney docket no. 25791.12.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,841, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (8) U.S. Pat. No. 6,575,240, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/511,941, attorney docket no. 25791.16.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,907, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (9) U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,640, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/588,946, attorney docket no. 25791.17.02, filed on Jun. 7, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/137,998, filed on Jun. 7, 1999, (10) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/981,916, attorney docket no. 25791.18, filed on Oct. 18, 2001 as a continuation-in-part application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (11) U.S. Pat. No. 6,604,763, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/559,122, attorney docket no. 25791.23.02, filed on Apr. 26, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/131,106, filed on Apr. 26, 1999, (12) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/030,593, attorney docket no. 25791.25.08, filed on Jan. 8, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/146,203, filed on Jul. 29, 1999, (13) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/143,039, attorney docket no. 25791.26, filed on Jul. 9, 1999, (14) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/111,982, attorney docket no. 25791.27.08, filed on Apr. 30, 2002, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/162,671, attorney docket no. 25791.27, filed on Nov. 1, 1999, (15) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/154,047, attorney docket no. 25791.29, filed on Sep. 16, 1999, (16) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/438,828, attorney docket no. 25791.31, filed on Jan. 9, 2003, (17) U.S. Pat. No. 6,564,875, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/679,907, attorney docket no. 25791.34.02, on Oct. 5, 2000, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,082, attorney docket no. 25791.34, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (18) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/089,419, filed on Mar. 27, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.36.03, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,039, attorney docket no. 25791.36, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (19) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/679,906, filed on Oct. 5, 2000, attorney docket no. 25791.37.02, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,033, attorney docket no. 25791.37, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (20) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/303,992, filed on Nov. 22, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.38.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/212,359, attorney docket no. 25791.38, filed on Jun. 19, 2000, (21) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/165,228, attorney docket no. 25791.39, filed on Nov. 12, 1999, (22) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/455,051, attorney docket no. 25791.40, filed on Mar. 14, 2003, (23) PCT application US02/2477, filed on Jun. 26, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.44.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/303,711, attorney docket no. 25791.44, filed on Jul. 6, 2001, (24) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/311,412, filed on Dec. 12, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.45.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,443, attorney docket no. 25791.45, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (25) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/______, filed on Dec. 18, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.46.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,645, attorney docket no. 25791.46, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (26) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/322,947, filed on Jan. 22, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.47.03, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/233,638, attorney docket no. 25791.47, filed on Sep. 18, 2000, (27) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/406,648, filed on Mar. 31, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.48.06, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/237,334, attorney docket no. 25791.48, filed on Oct. 2, 2000, (28) PCT application US02/04353, filed on Feb. 14, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.50.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/270,007, attorney docket no. 25791.50, filed on Feb. 20, 2001, (29) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/465,835, filed on Jun. 13, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.51.06, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/262,434, attorney docket no. 25791.51, filed on Jan. 17, 2001, (30) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/465,831, filed on Jun. 13, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.52.06, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/259,486, attorney docket no. 25791.52, filed on Jan. 3, 2001, (31) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/452,303, filed on Mar. 5, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.53, (32) U.S. Pat. No. 6,470,966, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/850,093, filed on May 7, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.55, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (33) U.S. Pat. No. 6,561,227, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/852,026, filed on May 9, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.56, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (34) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/852,027, filed on May 9, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.57, as a divisional application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (35) PCT Application US02/25608, attorney docket no. 25791.58.02, filed on Aug. 13, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/318,021, filed on Sep. 7, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.58, (36) PCT Application US02/24399, attorney docket no. 25791.59.02, filed on Aug. 1, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/313,453, attorney docket no. 25791.59, filed on Aug. 20, 2001, (37) PCT Application US02/29856, attorney docket no. 25791.60.02, filed on Sep. 19, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/326,886, attorney docket no. 25791.60, filed on Oct. 3, 2001, (38) PCT Application US02/20256, attorney docket no. 25791.61.02, filed on Jun. 26, 2002, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/303,740, attorney docket no. 25791.61, filed on Jul. 6, 2001, (39) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/962,469, filed on Sep. 25, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.62, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (40) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/962,470, filed on Sep. 25, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.63, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (41) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/962,471, filed on Sep. 25, 2001, attorney docket no. 25791.64, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. 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No. 6,695,012, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 d, an apparatus 200 for radially expanding a tubular member may then be positioned in the new section 115 of the wellbore 100 within the tubular member 120. The apparatus 200 includes a tubular support member 205 defining an internal passage 205 a that is coupled to an end of a tubular coupling 210 defining an internal passage 210 a. The other end of the tubular coupling 210 is coupled to an end of a tubular support member 215 defining an internal passage 215 a that includes a first lug 215 b, a radial passage 215 c, a first flange 215 d, a second flange 215 e, a second lug 215 f, and an expansion cone support body 215 g. The other end of the tubular support member 215 is coupled to a tubular end stop 220 that defines a passage 220 a.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1 e and 1 f, the expansion cone support body 215 g includes a first end 215 ga, a tapered hexagonal portion 215 gb that includes a plurality of T-shaped slots 215 gba provided on each of the external faceted surfaces of the tapered hexagonal portion, and a second end 215 gc. In an exemplary embodiment, the angle of attack of the tapered hexagonal portion ranges from about 35 to 50 degrees for reasons to be described.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 1 a-1 d, 1 g, 1 h, and 1 i, a plurality of expansion cone segments 225 are provided that include first ends 225 a that include T-shaped retaining members 225 aa and second ends 225 b that include T-shaped retaining members 225 ba that mate with and are received within corresponding T-shaped slots 215 gba on the tapered hexagonal portion 215 gb of the expansion cone support body 215 g, first external surfaces 225 bb, second external surfaces 225 bc, and third external surfaces 225 bd. Thus, in an exemplary embodiment, a total of six expansion cone segments 225 are provided that are slidably coupled to corresponding sides of the tapered hexagonal portion 215 gb of the expansion cone support body.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, the widths of the first external surfaces 225 bb of the expansion cone segments 225 increase in the direction of the second external surfaces 225 bc, the widths of the second external surfaces are substantially constant, and the widths of the third external surfaces 225 bd decrease in the direction of the first ends 225 a of the expansion cone segments for reasons to be described. In an exemplary embodiment, the first external surfaces 225 bb of the expansion cone segments 225 taper upwardly in the direction of the second external surfaces 225 bc, the second external surfaces taper upwardly in the direction of the third external surfaces 225 bd, and the third external surfaces 225 bd taper downwardly in the direction of the first ends 225 a of the expansion cone segments for reasons to be described. In an exemplary embodiment, the angle of attack of the taper of the first external surfaces 225 bb of the expansion cone segments 225 are greater than the angle of attack of the taper of the second external surfaces 225 bc. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second external surfaces, 225 bb and 225 bc, of the expansion cone segments 225 are arcuate such that when the expansion cone segments 225 are displaced in the direction of the end stop 220, the first and second external surfaces of the expansion cone segments provide a substantially continuous outer circumferential surface for reasons to be described.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 1 j, in an exemplary embodiment, the external surfaces, 225 bb, 225 bc, and 225 bd, of the second ends 225 b of the expansion cone segments 225 are adapted to mate with one another in order to interlock adjacent expansion cone segments.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 1 a-1 d, and 1 k, a split ring collar 230 that defines a passage 230 a for receiving the tubular support member 215 is provided that includes a first end that includes plurality of T-shaped slots 230 b for receiving and mating with corresponding T-shaped retaining members 225 aa of the expansion cone segments 225 and a second end that includes an L-shaped retaining member 230 c. In an exemplary embodiment, the split ring collar 230 is a conventional split ring collar commercially available from Halliburton Energy Services modified in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 1 a-1 d, and 1 m, a drag block assembly 235 that defines a passage 235 a for receiving the tubular support member 215 is provided that includes a first end that includes an L-shaped slot 235 b for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member 230 c of the split ring collar 230, one or more conventional drag block elements 235 c, and a J-shaped slot 235 d including a retaining slot 235 da for receiving the second lug 215 f of the tubular support member 215. In an exemplary embodiment, the longitudinal axis of the J-shaped slot 235 d of the drag block assembly 235 is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tubular support member 215 for reasons to be described.
  • A first conventional packer cup assembly 240 that defines a passage 240 a for receiving the tubular support member 215 includes a first end 240 b that mates with the second flange 215 e of the tubular support member, a conventional sealing cup 240 c, and a second end 240 d. A tubular spacer 245 that defines a passage 245 a for receiving the tubular support member 215 includes a first end 245 b that mates with the second end 240 c of the first packer cup assembly 240 and a second end 245 c. A second conventional packer cup assembly 250 that defines a passage 250 a for receiving the tubular support member 215 includes a first end 250 b that mates with the second end 245 c of the spacer 245, a conventional sealing cup 250 c, and a second end 250 d that mates with the first flange 215 d of the tubular support member.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 1 a-1 d, and 1 l, a drag block assembly 255 that defines a passage 255 a for receiving the tubular support member 215 is provided that includes a first end that includes sealing members, 255 b and 255 c, one or more conventional drag block elements 255 d, and a J-shaped slot 255 e including a retaining slot 255 ea for receiving the first lug 215 b of the tubular support member 215. In an exemplary embodiment, the longitudinal axis of the J-shaped slot 255 e of the drag block assembly 255 is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tubular support member 215 for reasons to be described.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, during operation of the apparatus 200, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1 a-1 m, the apparatus may be positioned in the wellbore 115, within the tubular member 120, with the first and second lugs, 215 b and 215 f, respectively, positioned within the retaining slots, 255 ea and 235 da, respectively, of the J-slots, 255 e and 235 da, respectively, of the drag block assembly 255 and 235, respectively. In this manner, the drag block assembly 235 is maintained in a substantially stationary position relative to the tubular support member 215 thereby preventing the expansion cone segments 225 from being displaced downwardly in the longitudinal direction relative to the tubular support member 215 towards the end stop 220. Furthermore, in this manner, the drag block assembly 255 is also maintained in a substantially stationary position relative to the tubular support member 215 thereby preventing the drag block assembly from sealing off the radial passage 215 c. In an exemplary embodiment, during the placement of the apparatus 200 within the wellbore 115 and the tubular member 120, the radial passage 215 c permits fluidic materials outside of the tubular support member 215 to pass into the passage 215 a thereby minimizing overpressure conditions within the annulus outside of the tubular support member.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, the apparatus 200 is positioned within the expandable tubular member 120 such that the expansion cone body 215 g, the end stop 220, and the expansion cone segments 225 extend out of the expandable tubular member. In this manner, the expansion cone segments 225 may be driven up the tapered hexagonal portion 215 gb of the expansion cone body 215 g, thereby increasing the outside diameters of the expansion cone segments, without impacting the expandable tubular member 120.
  • The tubular support member 215 may then be rotated relative to the drag block assemblies, 235 and 255, thereby displacing the lugs, 215 f and 215 b, with respect to the J-shaped slots, 235 d and 255 e, respectively. The tubular support member 215 may then be displaced upwardly relative to the drag block assemblies, 235 and 255, in the longitudinal direction thereby displacing the drag block assemblies downwardly relative to the tubular support member. During the longitudinal upward displacement of the tubular support member 215 relative to the drag block assemblies, 235 and 255, the drag block assemblies, 235 and 255, are maintained in a substantially stationary position with respect to the expandable tubular member 120 by the frictional forces exerted by the drag blocks, 235 c and 255 d, of the drag block assemblies on the expandable tubular member, and during the upward longitudinal displacement of the tubular support member 215 relative to the drag block assemblies, the lugs, 215 f and 215 b, are guided in a substantially longitudinal direction by the J-slots, 235 d and 255 e, respectively, of the drag block assemblies.
  • The downward longitudinal displacement of the drag block assembly 235 relative to the tubular support member 215 displaces the split ring collar 230 downwardly along with the expansion cone segments 225. As a result, the expansion cone segments 225 are driven up the tapered hexagonal portion 215 gb of the expansion cone support body 215 g until the end faces of the expansion cone segments impact the stop member 220. As a result, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 225 increases. In an exemplary embodiment, once the expansion cone segments 225 impact the stop member 220, the outer surfaces, 225 bb and 225 bc, of the expansion cone segments provide a substantially continuous outer surface in the circumferential direction having a diameter that is greater than the inside diameter of the expandable tubular member 120. The downward longitudinal displacement of the drag block assembly 255 relative to the tubular support member 215 seals off the radial passage 215 c thereby preventing the pressurized fluidic material 275 from entering the annulus surrounding the tubular support member 215 through the radial passage.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 2 a-2 f, the expandable tubular member 120 may then be radially expanded using the apparatus 200 by injecting a fluidic material 275 into the apparatus through the passages 205 a, 210 a, and 215 a. The injection of the fluidic material 275 may pressurize the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member 120. In addition, because the packer cup assemblies, 240 and 250, seal off an annular region 120 aa below the packer cup assemblies between the expandable tubular member 120 and the tubular support member 215, the injection of the fluidic material 275 may also pressurize the annular region.
  • The continued injection of the fluidic material 275 may then pressurize the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member 120 thereby plastically deforming and radially expanding the expandable tubular member off of the expansion cone segments 225. Because the outer surfaces, 225 bb and 225 bc, of the expansion cone segments 225 are tapered, the plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 proximate the expansion cone segments is facilitated. Furthermore, in an exemplary embodiment, the continued injection of the fluidic material 275 also pressurizes the annular region 120 aa defined between the interior surface of the expandable tubular member 120 and the exterior surface of the tubular support member 215 that is bounded on the upper end by the packer cup assembly 240 and on the lower end by the expansion cone segments 225. Furthermore, in an exemplary embodiment, the pressurization of the annular region 120 aa also radially expands the surrounding portion of the expandable tubular member 120. In this manner, the plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 is enhanced. Furthermore, during operation of the apparatus 200, the packer cup assemblies 240 and 250 prevent the pressurized fluidic material 275 from passing above and beyond the packer cup assemblies and thereby define the length of the pressurized annular region 120 aa. In an exemplary embodiment, the pressurization of the annular region 120 aa decreases the operating pressures required for plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 by as much as 50% and also reduces the angle of attack of the tapered external surfaces, 225 bb and 225 bc, of the expansion cone segments 225.
  • The radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 may then continue until the upper end 120 b of the expandable tubular member is radially expanded and plastically deformed along with the overlapping portion of the wellbore casing 110. Because the expansion cone segments 225 may be adjustable positioned from an outside diameter less than the inside diameter of the expandable tubular member 120 to an outside diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the pre-existing casing 110, the resulting wellbore casing, including the casing 110 and the radially expanded tubular member 120, created by the operation of the apparatus 200 may have a single substantially constant inside diameter thereby providing a mono-diameter wellbore casing.
  • If the expansion cone segments 225 become lodged within the tubular member 120 during the radial expansion process, the tubular support member 215 may be displaced downwardly in the longitudinal direction and then rotated relative to the drag block assemblies, 235 and 255, thereby positioning the lugs, 215 b and 215 f, within the retaining slots, 255 ea and 235 da, respectively, of the J-slots, 255 e and 235 d, respectively. As a result, the expansion cone segments 225 may be displaced down the tapered hexagonal portion 215 gb of the expansion cone support body 215 g and away from the end stop 220 thereby decreasing the external diameter of the expansion cone segments. In this manner, the tubular support member 205, the tubular support member 210, the tubular support member 215, the end stop 220, the expansion cone segments 225, the split ring collar 230, the drag block assembly 235, the pack cup assembly 240, the spacer 245, the packer cup assembly 250, and the drag block assembly 255 may then be removed from the tubular member 120.
  • During the radial expansion process, the expansion cone segments 225 may be raised out of the expanded portion of the tubular member 120 by applying an upward axial force to the tubular support member 215. In a preferred embodiment, during the radial expansion process, the expansion cone segments 225 are raised at approximately the same rate as the tubular member 120 is expanded in order to keep the tubular member stationary relative to the new wellbore section 115. In an alternative preferred embodiment, the expansion cone segments 225 are maintained in a stationary position during the radial expansion process thereby allowing the tubular member 120 to be radially expanded and plastically deformed off of the expansion cone segments 225 and into the new wellbore section 115 under the force of gravity and the operating pressure of the interior of the tubular member 120.
  • In a preferred embodiment, when the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 and the lower portion of the wellbore casing 110 that overlap with one another are plastically deformed and radially expanded by the expansion cone segments 225, the expansion cone segments 225 are displaced out of the wellbore 100 by both the operating pressure within the interior of the tubular member 120 and a upwardly directed axial force applied to the tubular support member 205.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the operating pressure and flow rate of the fluidic material 275 is controllably ramped down when the expansion cone segments 225 reach the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120. In this manner, the sudden release of pressure caused by the complete radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member 120 off of the expansion cone segments 225 can be minimized. In a preferred embodiment, the operating pressure is reduced in a substantially linear fashion from 100% to about 10% during the end of the extrusion process beginning when the expansion cone segments 225 are within about 5 feet from completion of the extrusion process.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, the wall thickness of the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 is tapered in order to gradually reduce the required operating pressure for plastically deforming and radially expanding the upper end portion of the tubular member. In this manner, shock loading of the apparatus is at least reduced.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, a shock absorber is provided in the tubular support member 205 in order to absorb the shock caused by the sudden release of pressure. The shock absorber may comprise, for example, any conventional commercially available shock absorber, bumper sub, or jars adapted for use in wellbore operations.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, an expansion cone catching structure is provided in the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 in order to catch or at least decelerate the expansion cone segments 225.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, during the radial expansion process, an upward axial force is applied to the tubular support member 215 sufficient to plastically deform and radially expand the tubular member 120 off of the external surfaces, 225 bb and 225 bc, of the expansion cone segments 225.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, in order to facilitate the pressurization of the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member by the injection of the fluidic materials 275, the region within the wellbore section 115 below the apparatus 200 may be fluidicly sealed off in a convention manner using, for example, a packer.
  • Once the radial expansion process is completed, the tubular support member 205, the tubular support member 210, the tubular support member 215, the end stop 220, the expansion cone segments 225, the split ring collar 230, the drag block assembly 235, the pack cup assembly 240, the spacer 245, the packer cup assembly 250, and the drag block assembly 255 are removed from the wellbore 100.
  • In an alternative embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 h and 2 i, the J-slots, 235 d and 255 e, include one or more intermediate retaining slots, 235 db and 255 eb, respectively, that permit the relative longitudinal displacement of the tubular support member 215 relative to the drag block assemblies, 235 and 255, to be set at one or more intermediate stop positions. In this manner, the expansion segments 225 may be positioned at one or more intermediate positions on the tapered hexagonal portion 215 gb of the expansion cone support body 215 g thereby permitting the external diameter of the expansion cone segments 225 to be adjusted to one or more intermediate sizes. In this manner, the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member 120 be provided in different operation stages, each having a different expansion diameter. Furthermore, if the expansion cone segments 225 become lodged within the expandable tubular member 120, then the position of the expansion cone segments may be adjusted to provide a smaller outside diameter and the radial expansion process may be continued by injecting the fluidic material 275 and/or applying an upward axial force to the tubular support member 215.
  • Referring to FIGS. 3 and 3 a-3 j, an alternative embodiment of an apparatus 300 for forming a wellbore casing in a subterranean formation will now be described. The apparatus 300 includes a tubular support member 305 defining an internal passage 305 a that is coupled to an end of a tubular coupling 310 defining an internal passage 310 a. The other end of the tubular coupling 310 is coupled to an end of a tubular support member 315 defining an internal passage 315 a that includes a first flange 315 b having oppositely tapered end-walls, 315 ba and 315 bb, a second flange 315 c, a radial passage 315 d, a third flange 315 e, a fourth flange 315 f, a fifth flange 315 g having oppositely tapered end-walls, 315 ga and 315 gb, a fifth flange 315 h, and an expansion cone support body 315 i. The other end of the tubular support member 315 is coupled to a tubular end stop 320 that defines a passage 320 a.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 3 d and 3 e, the expansion cone support body 315 i includes a first end 315 ia, a tapered hexagonal portion 315 ib that includes a plurality of T-shaped slots 315 iba provided on each of the external faceted surfaces of the tapered hexagonal portion, and a second end 315 ic. In an exemplary embodiment, the angle of attack of the tapered hexagonal portion 315 ib ranges from about 35 to 50 degrees for reasons to be described.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 3, 3 a-3 c, and 3 f-3 h, a plurality of expansion cone segments 325 are provided that include first ends 325 a that include T-shaped retaining members 325 aa and second ends 325 b that include T-shaped retaining members 325 ba that mate with and are received within corresponding T-shaped slots 315 iba on the tapered hexagonal portion 315 ib of the expansion cone support body 315 i, first external surfaces 325 bb, second external surfaces 325 bc, and third external surfaces 325 bd. Thus, in an exemplary embodiment, a total of six expansion cone segments 325 are provided that are slidably coupled to corresponding sides of the tapered hexagonal portion 315 ib of the expansion cone support body 315 i.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, the widths of the first external surfaces 325 bb of the expansion cone segments 325 increase in the direction of the second external surfaces 325 bc, the widths of the second external surfaces are substantially constant, and the widths of the third external surfaces 325 bd decrease in the direction of the first ends 325 a of the expansion cone segments for reasons to be described. In an exemplary embodiment, the first external surfaces 325 bb of the expansion cone segments 325 taper upwardly in the direction of the second external surfaces 325 bc, the second external surfaces taper upwardly in the direction of the third external surfaces 325 bd, and the third external surfaces 325 bd taper downwardly in the direction of the first ends 325 a of the expansion cone segments for reasons to be described. In an exemplary embodiment, the angle of attack of the taper of the first external surfaces 325 bb of the expansion cone segments 325 are greater than the angle of attack of the taper of the second external surfaces 325 bc. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second external surfaces, 325 bb and 325 bc, of the expansion cone segments 325 are arcuate such that when the expansion cone segments 325 are displaced in the direction of the end stop 320, the first and second external surfaces of the expansion cone segments provide a substantially continuous outer circumferential surface for reasons to be described.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 3 i, in an exemplary embodiment, the external surfaces, 325 bb, 325 bc, and 325 bd, of the second ends 325 b of the expansion cone segments 325 are adapted to mate with one another in order to interlock adjacent expansion cone segments.
  • A split ring collar 330 that defines a passage 330 a for receiving the tubular support member 315 is provided that includes a first end that includes plurality of T-shaped slots 330 b for receiving and mating with corresponding T-shaped retaining members 325 aa of the expansion cone segments 325 and a second end that includes an L-shaped retaining member 330 c. In an exemplary embodiment, the split ring collar 330 is a conventional split ring collar commercially available from Halliburton Energy Services modified in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure.
  • A collet assembly 335 is provided that includes a support ring 335 a that defines a passage 335 aa for receiving the tubular support member 315 and is coupled to an end of a resilient collet 335 b having upper and lower sets of oppositely tapered shoulders, 335 ba and 335 bb, and, 335 bc and 335 bd, respectively, that is positioned proximate the fourth flange 315 g of the tubular support member 315. The other end of the collet 335 b is coupled to an end of a tubular sleeve 335 c that defines a passage 335 ca. The other end of the tubular sleeve 335 c is coupled to an end of a pin 335 d. The other end of the pin 335 d is coupled to a ring 335 e that defines a passage 335 ea for receiving the fifth flange 315 h of the tubular support member 315. An end of a tubular coupling sleeve 335 f that defines a passage 335 fa for receiving the tubular support member 315 is received within the opening 335 ca of the tubular sleeve 335 c that includes a recess 335 fb for receiving the fifth flange 315 h of the tubular support member 315 and the ring 335 e, and a radial passage 335 fc for receiving the pin 335 d. Another end of the tubular coupling sleeve 335 f includes a passage 335 fd for receiving the tubular support member 315 and a slot 335 fe for receiving the L-shaped retaining member 330 c of the split ring collar 330. A ring 335 g that defines a passage 335 ga for receiving the tubular support member 315, a spring 335 h, and a ring 335 i that defines a passage 335 ia for receiving the tubular support member 315 are also received within the recess 335 fb. The ring 335 g is positioned proximate one end of the recess 335 fb, the ring 335 i is positioned proximate the fifth flange 315 h of the tubular support member 315 within the other end of the recess, and the spring 335 h is positioned between the rings.
  • A first conventional packer cup assembly 340 that defines a passage 340 a for receiving the tubular support member 315 includes a first end 340 b that mates with the fourth flange 315 f of the tubular support member, a conventional sealing cup 340 c, and a second end 340 d. A tubular spacer 345 that defines a passage 345 a for receiving the tubular support member 315 includes a first end 345 b that mates with the second end 340 d of the first packer cup assembly 340 and a second end 345 c. A second conventional packer cup assembly 350 that defines a passage 350 a for receiving the tubular support member 315 includes a first end 350 b that mates with the second end 345 c of the spacer 345, a conventional sealing cup 350 c, and a second end 350 d that mates with the third flange 315 e of the tubular support member.
  • A collet assembly 355 is provided that includes a support ring 355 a that defines a passage 355 aa for receiving the tubular support member 315 and is coupled to an end of a resilient collet 355 b having upper and lower sets of oppositely tapered shoulders, 355 ba and 355 bb, and, 355 bc and 355 bd, respectively, that is positioned proximate the first flange 315 b of the tubular support member 315. The other end of the collet 355 b is coupled to an end of a tubular sleeve 355 c that defines a passage 355 ca. The other end of the tubular sleeve 355 c is coupled to an end of a pin 355 d. The other end of the pin 355 d is coupled to a ring 355 e that defines a passage 355 ea for receiving the second flange 315 c of the tubular support member 315. An end of a tubular sleeve 355 f that defines a passage 355 fa for receiving the tubular support member 315 is received within the opening 355 ca of the tubular sleeve 355 c that includes a recess 355 fb for receiving the second flange 315 c of the tubular support member 315 and the ring 355 e, and a radial passage 355 fc for receiving the pin 355 d. Another end of the tubular sleeve 355 f includes a passage 355 fd for receiving the tubular support member 315, a recess 355 fe for receiving an end of the tubular sleeve 355 c, and sealing members 355 ff. A ring 355 g that defines a passage 355 ga for receiving the tubular support member 315 and a spring 355 h are also received within the recess 355 fb. An end of the ring 355 g is positioned proximate the second flange 315 c of the tubular support member 315 within an end of the recess 355 fb and the other end of the ring is positioned an end of the spring 355 h. The other end of the spring 355 h is positioned proximate the other end of the recess 355 fb.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, during operation of the apparatus 300, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 3 a-3 j, the apparatus may be initially positioned in the wellbore 100, within the casing 110, with the collet assemblies 335 and 355 positioned in a neutral position in which the radial passage 315 d of the tubular support member 315 is not covered by the tubular sleeve 355 f and the expansion cone segments 325 are not driven up the tapered hexagonal portion 315 ib of the expansion cone support body 315 i of the tubular support member 315 into contact with the stop member 320. In this manner, fluidic materials within the interior 315 a of the tubular support member 315 may pass through the radial passage 315 d into the annulus between the apparatus 300 and the casing 110 thereby preventing over pressurization of the annulus. Furthermore, in this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 325 is less than or equal to the outside diameter of the stop member 320 thereby permitting the apparatus 300 to be displaced within the casing 110.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 4, and 4 a-4 d, the apparatus 300 may then be positioned in the tubular member 120. During the insertion of the apparatus into the tubular member 120, the upper end 120 b of the tubular member may impact the tapered shoulders, 335 bb and 355 bb, of the collets, 335 b and 355 b, respectively, thereby driving the collets backward until the tapered shoulders, 335 bd and 355 bd, of the collets are positioned proximate the tapered shoulders, 315 ga and 315 ba, respectively, of the tubular support member. As a result, the support rings, 335 a and 355 a, the collets, 335 b and 355 b, the tubular sleeves, 335 c and 355 c, the pins, 335 d and 355 d, the rings, 335 e and 355 e, and the rings, 335 g and 355 g, of the collet assemblies, 335 and 355, respectively, are driven backward, compressing the springs, 335 h and 355 h, thereby applying axial biasing forces to the tubular coupling sleeve 335 f and the tubular sleeve 355 f, respectively. In this manner, an axial biasing force is applied to the split ring collar 330 and the expansion cone segments 325 that prevents the expansion cone segments from being driven up the tapered hexagonal portion 315 ib of the expansion cone support body 315 i of the tubular support member 315 into contact with the stop member 320. Thus, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 325 is maintained in a position that is less than the inside diameter of the tubular member 120 thereby permitting the apparatus 300 to be displaced within the tubular member. Furthermore, in this manner, an axial biasing force is applied to the tubular sleeve 355 f thereby preventing the tubular sleeve from covering the radial passage 315 d in the tubular support member 315. Thus, fluidic materials within the interior 315 a of the tubular support member 315 may pass through the radial passage 315 d into the annulus between the apparatus 300 and the tubular member 120 thereby preventing over pressurization of the annulus.
  • The apparatus 300 may then be at least partially positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 c of the tubular member 120. In an exemplary embodiment, that portion of the apparatus 300 that includes the stop member 320, the expansion cone segments 325, the split ring collar 330, the collet assembly 335, the packer cup assembly 340, the spacer 345, the packer cup assembly 350, and the collet assembly 355 is then positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 of the tubular member for reasons to be described. Because the collets, 335 b and 355 b, are resilient, once the apparatus 300 has been positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 c of the tubular member 120, the tapered shoulders, 335 ba and 355 ba, of the collets may spring outwardly in the radial direction.
  • The apparatus 300 may then be repositioned at least partially back within the tubular member 120. During the re-insertion of the apparatus into the tubular member 120, the lower end 120 c of the tubular member may impact the tapered shoulders, 335 ba and 355 ba, of the collets, 335 b and 355 b, respectively, thereby driving the collets forward until the tapered shoulders, 335 bc and 355 bc, of the collets are positioned proximate the tapered shoulders, 315 gb and 315 bb, respectively, of the tubular support member 315. As a result, the support rings, 335 a and 355 a, the collets, 335 b and 355 b, the tubular sleeves, 335 c and 355 c, the pins, 335 d and 355 d, the rings, 335 e and 355 e, the tubular coupling sleeve 335 f, the tubular sleeve 355 f, the rings, 335 g and 355 g, and the ring 335 i of the collet assemblies, 335 and 355, respectively, are driven forward, thereby compressing the springs, 335 h and 355 h, thereby sealing off the radial passage 315 d and driving the expansion cone segments 325 up the tapered hexagonal portion 315 ib of the expansion cone support body 315 i of the tubular support member 315 into contact with the stop member 320.
  • As a result, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 325 is now greater than the inside diameter of expandable tubular member 120 thereby permitting the apparatus 300 to be used to radially expand and plastically deform the tubular member, and fluidic materials within the interior 315 a of the tubular support member 315 may no longer pass through the radial passage 315 d into the annulus between the apparatus 300 and the tubular member thereby permitting the interior of the apparatus to be pressurized.
  • The apparatus 300 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform the tubular member 120 by applying an upward axial force to the tubular support member 315 and/or by injecting a pressurized fluidic material into the tubular support member.
  • In particular, as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 5 a-5 d, the expandable tubular member 120 may then be radially expanded using the apparatus 300 by injecting a fluidic material 275 into the apparatus through the passages 305 a, 310 a, 315 a, and 320 a. The injection of the fluidic material 275 may pressurize the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member 120. In addition, because the packer cup assemblies, 340 and 350, seal off an annular region 120 aa below the packer cup assemblies between the expandable tubular member 120 and the tubular support member 315, the injection of the fluidic material 275 may also pressurize the annular region.
  • The continued injection of the fluidic material 275 may then pressurize the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member 120 thereby plastically deforming and radially expanding the expandable tubular member off of the expansion cone segments 325. Because the outer surfaces, 325 bb and 325 bc, of the expansion cone segments 325 are tapered, the plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 proximate the expansion cone segments is facilitated. Furthermore, in an exemplary embodiment, the continued injection of the fluidic material 275 also pressurizes the annular region 120 aa defined between the interior surface of the expandable tubular member 120 and the exterior surface of the tubular support member 315 that is bounded on the upper end by the packer cup assembly 340 and on the lower end by the expansion cone segments 325. Furthermore, in an exemplary embodiment, the pressurization of the annular region 120 aa also radially expands at least a portion of the surrounding portion of the expandable tubular member 120. In this manner, the plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 is enhanced. Furthermore, during operation of the apparatus 300, the packer cup assemblies 340 and 350 prevent the pressurized fluidic material 275 from passing above and beyond the packer cup assemblies and thereby define the length of the pressurized annular region 120 aa. In an exemplary embodiment, the pressurization of the annular region 120 aa decreases the operating pressures required for plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 by as much as 50% and also reduces the angle of attack of the tapered external surfaces, 325 bb and 325 bc, of the expansion cone segments 325.
  • The radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 may then continue until the upper end 120 b of the expandable tubular member is radially expanded and plastically deformed along with the overlapping portion of the wellbore casing 110. Because the expansion cone segments 325 may be adjustable positioned from an outside diameter less than the inside diameter of the expandable tubular member 120 to an outside diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the pre-existing casing 110, the resulting wellbore casing, including the casing 110 and the radially expanded tubular member 120, created by the operation of the apparatus 300 may have a single substantially constant inside diameter thereby providing a mono-diameter wellbore casing.
  • During the radial expansion process, the expansion cone segments 325 may be raised out of the expanded portion of the tubular member 120 by applying an upward axial force to the tubular support member 315. In a preferred embodiment, during the radial expansion process, the expansion cone segments 325 are raised at approximately the same rate as the tubular member 120 is expanded in order to keep the tubular member stationary relative to the new wellbore section 115.
  • In a preferred embodiment, when the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 and the lower portion of the wellbore casing 110 that overlap with one another are plastically deformed and radially expanded by the expansion cone segments 325, the expansion cone segments are displaced out of the wellbore 100 by both the operating pressure within the interior of the tubular member 120 and a upwardly directed axial force applied to the tubular support member 305.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the operating pressure and flow rate of the fluidic material 275 is controllably ramped down when the expansion cone segments 325 reach the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120. In this manner, the sudden release of pressure caused by the complete radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member 120 off of the expansion cone segments 325 can be minimized. In a preferred embodiment, the operating pressure is reduced in a substantially linear fashion from 100% to about 10% during the end of the extrusion process beginning when the expansion cone segments 325 are within about 5 feet from completion of the extrusion process.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, the wall thickness of the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 is tapered in order to gradually reduce the required operating pressure for plastically deforming and radially expanding the upper end portion of the tubular member. In this manner, shock loading of the apparatus is at least reduced.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, a shock absorber is provided in the tubular support member 305 in order to absorb the shock caused by the sudden release of pressure. The shock absorber may comprise, for example, any conventional commercially available shock absorber, bumper sub, or jars adapted for use in wellbore operations.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, an expansion cone catching structure is provided in the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 in order to catch or at least decelerate the expansion cone segments 325.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, during the radial expansion process, an upward axial force is applied to the tubular support member 315 sufficient to plastically deform and radially expand the tubular member 120 off of the external surfaces, 225 bb and 225 bc, of the expansion cone segments 325.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, in order to facilitate the pressurization of the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member by the injection of the fluidic materials 275, the region within the wellbore section 115 below the apparatus 300 may be fluidicly sealed off in a convention manner using, for example, a packer.
  • Once the radial expansion process is completed, the tubular support member 305, the tubular support member 310, the tubular support member 315, the end stop 320, the expansion cone segments 325, the split ring collar 330, the collet assembly 335, the packer cup assembly 340, the spacer 345, the packer cup assembly 350, and the collet assembly 355 are removed from the wellbores 100 and 115.
  • Referring to FIGS. 6 and 6 a-6 k, an alternative embodiment of an apparatus 400 for forming a wellbore casing in a subterranean formation will now be described. The apparatus 400 includes a tubular support member 405 defining an internal passage 405 a that is coupled to an end of a tubular coupling 410 defining an internal passage 410 a. The other end of the tubular coupling 410 is coupled to an end of a tubular support member 415 defining an internal passage 415 a that includes a first flange 415 b, a first radial passage 415 c, a second radial passage 415 d, a second flange 415 e, a stepped flange 415 f, a third flange 415 g, a fourth flange 415 h, a fifth flange 415 i, and an expansion cone body 415 j. The other end of the tubular support member 415 is coupled to a tubular end stop 420 that defines a passage 420 a.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 6 e and 6 f, the expansion cone support body 415 j includes a first end 415 ja, a tapered hexagonal portion 415 jb that includes a plurality of T-shaped slots 415 jba provided on each of the external faceted surfaces of the tapered hexagonal portion, and a second end 415 jc. In an exemplary embodiment, the angle of attack of the tapered hexagonal portion 415 jb ranges from about 35 to 50 degrees for reasons to be described.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 6, 6 a-6 d, and 6 g-6 i, a plurality of expansion cone segments 425 are provided that include first ends 425 a that include T-shaped retaining members 425 aa and second ends 425 b that include T-shaped retaining members 425 ba that mate with and are received within corresponding T-shaped slots 415 jba on the tapered hexagonal portion 415 jb of the expansion cone support body 415 j, first external surfaces 425 bb, second external surfaces 425 bc, and third external surfaces 425 bd. Thus, in an exemplary embodiment, a total of six expansion cone segments 425 are provided that are slidably coupled to corresponding sides of the tapered hexagonal portion 415 jb of the expansion cone support body 415 j.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, the widths of the first external surfaces 425 bb of the expansion cone segments 425 increase in the direction of the second external surfaces 425 bc, the widths of the second external surfaces are substantially constant, and the widths of the third external surfaces 425 bd decrease in the direction of the first ends 425 a of the expansion cone segments for reasons to be described. In an exemplary embodiment, the first external surfaces 425 bb of the expansion cone segments 425 taper upwardly in the direction of the second external surfaces 425 bc, the second external surfaces taper upwardly in the direction of the third external surfaces 425 bd, and the third external surfaces 425 bd taper downwardly in the direction of the first ends 425 a of the expansion cone segments for reasons to be described. In an exemplary embodiment, the angle of attack of the taper of the first external surfaces 425 bb of the expansion cone segments 425 are greater than the angle of attack of the taper of the second external surfaces 425 bc. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second external surfaces, 425 bb and 425 bc, of the expansion cone segments 425 are arcuate such that when the expansion cone segments 425 are displaced in the direction of the end stop 420, the first and second external surfaces of the expansion cone segments provide a substantially continuous outer circumferential surface for reasons to be described.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 6 j, in an exemplary embodiment, the external surfaces, 425 bb, 425 bc, and 425 bd, of the second ends 425 b of the expansion cone segments 425 are adapted to mate with one another in order to interlock adjacent expansion cone segments.
  • A split ring collar 430 that defines a passage 430 a for receiving the tubular support member 415 is provided that includes a first end that includes plurality of T-shaped slots 430 b for receiving and mating with corresponding T-shaped retaining members 425 aa of the expansion cone segments 425 and a second end that includes an L-shaped retaining member 430 c. In an exemplary embodiment, the split ring collar 430 is a conventional split ring collar commercially available from Halliburton Energy Services modified in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure.
  • A dog assembly 435 is provided that includes a tubular sleeve 435 a that defines a passage 435 aa for receiving the tubular support member 415 that includes a first end that includes a slot 435 ab for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member 430 c of the split ring collar 430, a radial passage 435 ac, and a recess 435 ad for receiving the fifth flange 415 a of the tubular support member 415. A second end of the tubular sleeve 435 a includes a flange 435 ae that mates with the fourth flange 415 h of the tubular support member 415. A retaining ring 435 b that defines a passage 435 ba for receiving the fifth flange 415 i is received within the recess 435 ad of the tubular sleeve 435 a and is coupled to an end of a load transfer pin 435 c. The opposite end of the load transfer pin 435 c is received within the radial passage 435 ac of the tubular sleeve 435 a and is coupled to an end of a tubular sleeve 435 d that includes a recess 435 da at a first end for receiving the tubular sleeve 435 a, and a radial opening 435 dc for receiving a conventional resilient dog 435 e. A spring 435 f and a ring 435 g that defines a passage 435 ga for receiving the tubular support member 415 are received within the recess 435 ad of the tubular sleeve 435 a between a first end of the recess and the fifth flange 415 i of the tubular support member.
  • A first conventional packer cup assembly 440 that defines a passage 440 a for receiving the tubular support member 415 includes a first end 440 b that mates with the fourth flange 415 g of the tubular support member, a conventional sealing cup 440 c, and a second end 440 d. A tubular spacer 445 that defines a passage 445 a for receiving the tubular support member 415 includes a first end 445 b that mates with the second end 440 d of the first packer cup assembly 440 and a second end 445 c. A second conventional packer cup assembly 450 that defines a passage 450 a for receiving the tubular support member 415 includes a first end 450 b that mates with the second end 445 c of the spacer 445, a conventional sealing cup 450 c, and a second end 450 d that mates with the stepped flange 415 f of the tubular support member.
  • A dog assembly 455 is provided that includes a tubular sleeve 455 a that defines a passage 455 aa for receiving the tubular support member 415. A first end of the tubular sleeve 455 a includes a radial opening 455 ab for receiving a conventional resilient dog 455 b. A second end of the tubular sleeve 455 a includes a recess 455 ac and is coupled to an end of a load transfer pin 455 c. The opposite end of the load transfer pin 455 c is coupled to a retaining ring 455 d that defines a passage 455 da for receiving the tubular support member 415. A tubular sleeve 455 e is received within the recess 455 ac of the tubular sleeve 455 a that defines a passage 455 ea for receiving the tubular support member 415 and includes a first end that includes a radial passage 455 eb for receiving the load transfer pin 455 c and a recess 455 ec for receiving a spring 455 f. A ring 455 g that defines a passage 455 ga for receiving the tubular support member 415 is further received within the recess 455 ec of the tubular sleeve 455 e between the spring 455 f and the second flange 415 e of the tubular support member 415. A second end of the tubular sleeve 455 e includes a radial passage 455 ed, sealing members, 455 ef and 455 eg, and a recess 455 eh that mates with the first flange 415 b of the tubular support member 415.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, during operation of the apparatus 400, as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 6 a-6 k, the apparatus may be initially positioned in the wellbore 100, within the casing 110, with the dog assemblies 435 and 455 positioned in a neutral position in which the radial passage 415 d of the tubular support member 415 is fluidicly coupled to the radial passage 455 ed of the dog assembly 455 and the expansion cone segments 425 are not driven up the tapered hexagonal portion 415 jb of the expansion cone support body 415 j of the tubular support member 415 into contact with the stop member 320. In this manner, fluidic materials within the interior 415 a of the tubular support member 415 may pass through the radial passages, 415 d and 455 ed, into the annulus between the apparatus 400 and the casing 110 thereby preventing over pressurization of the annulus. Furthermore, in this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 425 is less than or equal to the outside diameter of the stop member 420 thereby permitting the apparatus 400 to be displaced within the casing 110.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 7, and 7 a-7 c, the apparatus 400 may then be positioned in the tubular member 120. During the insertion of the apparatus into the tubular member 120, the upper end 120 b of the tubular member may impact the ends of the resilient dogs, 435 e and 455 b, of the dog assemblies, 435 and 455, respectively, thereby driving the resilient dogs, 435 e and 455 b, backwards off of and adjacent to one side of the flanges, 415 h and 415 f, respectively. As a result of the backward axial displacement of the resilient dog 435 e, the tubular sleeve 435 d, the pin 435 c, the retaining ring 435 b, and the ring 435 g of the dog assembly 435 are driven backward thereby compressing the spring 435 f and applying an axial biasing force to the tubular sleeve 435 a that prevents the expansion cone segments 425 from being displaced toward the end stop 420. As a result of the backward axial displacement of the resilient dog 455 b, the tubular sleeve 455 a, the pin 455 c, the retaining ring 455 d, and the ring 455 g of the dog assembly 455 are driven backward thereby compressing the spring 455 f and applying an axial biasing force to the tubular sleeve 455 e that prevents the radial passages, 415 d and 455 ed from being fluidicly decoupled.
  • The apparatus 400 may then be at least partially positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 c of the tubular member 120. In an exemplary embodiment, that portion of the apparatus 400 that includes the stop member 420, the expansion cone segments 425, the split ring collar 430, the dog assembly 435, the packer cup assembly 440, the spacer 445, the packer cup assembly 450, and the dog assembly 455 is then positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 of the tubular member for reasons to be described. Because the dogs, 435 e and 455 b, of the dog assemblies, 435 and 455, respectively, are resilient, once the apparatus 400 has been positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 c of the tubular member 120, the resilient dogs, 435 e and 455 b, of the dog assemblies may spring outwardly in the radial direction.
  • The apparatus 400 may then be repositioned at least partially back within the tubular member 120. During the re-insertion of the apparatus into the tubular member 120, the lower end 120 c of the tubular member may impact the ends of the resilient dogs, 435 e and 455 b, of the dog assemblies, 435 and 455, respectively, thereby driving the resilient dogs forward until the resilient dogs are positioned beyond and adjacent to the other side of the flanges, 415 h and 415 f, of the tubular support member 415.
  • As a result, of the forward axial displacement of the resilient dog 435 e, the tubular sleeve 435 a, the retaining ring 435 b, the pin 435 c, the tubular sleeve 435 d, the spring 435 f, and the ring 435 g of the dog assembly 435 are displaced in the forward axial direction thereby also displacing the split ring collar 430 and the expansion cone segments 425 in the forward axial direction. As a result, the expansion cone segments 425 are driven up the tapered hexagonal portion 415 jb of the expansion cone support body 415 j of the tubular support member 415 into contact with the stop member 320.
  • As a result of the forward axial displacement of the resilient dog 455 b, the tubular sleeve 455 a, the pin 455 c, the retaining ring 455 d, the tubular sleeve 455 e, the spring 455 f, and the ring 455 g of the dog assembly 455 are driven forward in the axial direction thereby fluidicly decoupling the radial passages, 415 d and 455 ed, and fluidicly coupling the radial passages 415 c and 415 d. As a result fluidic materials within the tubular support member 415 may not pass into the annulus between the tubular support member and the tubular member 120.
  • As a result of the forward axial displacement of the resilient dog 435 e, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 425 is now greater than the inside diameter of expandable tubular member 120 thereby permitting the apparatus 400 to be used to radially expand and plastically deform the tubular member, and fluidic materials within the interior 415 a of the tubular support member 415 may no longer pass through the radial passages, 415 d and 455 ed, into the annulus between the apparatus 400 and the tubular member thereby permitting the interior of the apparatus to be pressurized.
  • The apparatus 400 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform the tubular member 120 by applying an upward axial force to the tubular support member 415 and/or by injecting a pressurized fluidic material into the tubular support member.
  • In particular, as illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 8 a-8 d, the expandable tubular member 120 may then be radially expanded using the apparatus 400 by injecting a fluidic material 275 into the apparatus through the passages 405 a, 310 a, 415 a, and 420 a. The injection of the fluidic material 275 may pressurize the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member 120. In addition, because the packer cup assemblies, 440 and 450, seal off an annular region 120 aa below the packer cup assemblies between the expandable tubular member 120 and the tubular support member 415, the injection of the fluidic material 275 may also pressurize the annular region.
  • The continued injection of the fluidic material 275 may then pressurize the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member 120 thereby plastically deforming and radially expanding the expandable tubular member off of the expansion cone segments 425. Because the outer surfaces, 425 bb and 425 bc, of the expansion cone segments 425 are tapered, the plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 proximate the expansion cone segments is facilitated. Furthermore, in an exemplary embodiment, the continued injection of the fluidic material 275 also pressurizes the annular region 120 aa defined between the interior surface of the expandable tubular member 120 and the exterior surface of the tubular support member 415 that is bounded on the upper end by the packer cup assembly 440 and on the lower end by the expansion cone segments 425. Furthermore, in an exemplary embodiment, the pressurization of the annular region 120 aa also radially expands at least a portion of the surrounding portion of the expandable tubular member 120. In this manner, the plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 is enhanced. Furthermore, during operation of the apparatus 300, the packer cup assemblies 440 and 450 prevent the pressurized fluidic material 275 from passing above and beyond the packer cup assemblies and thereby define the length of the pressurized annular region 120 aa. In an exemplary embodiment, the pressurization of the annular region 120 aa decreases the operating pressures required for plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 by as much as 50% and also reduces the angle of attack of the tapered external surfaces, 425 bb and 425 bc, of the expansion cone segments 425.
  • The radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 may then continue until the upper end 120 b of the expandable tubular member is radially expanded and plastically deformed along with the overlapping portion of the wellbore casing 110. Because the expansion cone segments 425 may be adjustably positioned from an outside diameter less than the inside diameter of the expandable tubular member 120 to an outside diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the pre-existing casing 110, the resulting wellbore casing, including the casing 110 and the radially expanded tubular member 120, created by the operation of the apparatus 400 may have a single substantially constant inside diameter thereby providing a mono-diameter wellbore casing.
  • During the radial expansion process, the expansion cone segments 425 may be raised out of the expanded portion of the tubular member 120 by applying an upward axial force to the tubular support member 415. In a preferred embodiment, during the radial expansion process, the expansion cone segments 425 are raised at approximately the same rate as the tubular member 120 is expanded in order to keep the tubular member stationary relative to the new wellbore section 115.
  • In a preferred embodiment, when the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 and the lower portion of the wellbore casing 110 that overlap with one another are plastically deformed and radially expanded by the expansion cone segments 425, the expansion cone segments are displaced out of the wellbore 100 by both the operating pressure within the interior of the tubular member 120 and a upwardly directed axial force applied to the tubular support member 405.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the operating pressure and flow rate of the fluidic material 275 is controllably ramped down when the expansion cone segments 425 reach the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120. In this manner, the sudden release of pressure caused by the complete radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member 120 off of the expansion cone segments 425 can be minimized. In a preferred embodiment, the operating pressure is reduced in a substantially linear fashion from 100% to about 10% during the end of the extrusion process beginning when the expansion cone segments 425 are within about 5 feet from completion of the extrusion process.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, the wall thickness of the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 is tapered in order to gradually reduce the required operating pressure for plastically deforming and radially expanding the upper end portion of the tubular member. In this manner, shock loading of the apparatus is at least reduced.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, a shock absorber is provided in the tubular support member 405 in order to absorb the shock caused by the sudden release of pressure. The shock absorber may comprise, for example, any conventional commercially available shock absorber, bumper sub, or jars adapted for use in wellbore operations.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, an expansion cone catching structure is provided in the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 in order to catch or at least decelerate the expansion cone segments 425.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, during the radial expansion process, an upward axial force is applied to the tubular support member 415 sufficient to plastically deform and radially expand the tubular member 120 off of the external surfaces, 225 bb and 225 bc, of the expansion cone segments 425.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, in order to facilitate the pressurization of the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member by the injection of the fluidic materials 275, the region within the wellbore section 115 below the apparatus 400 may be fluidicly sealed off in a convention manner using, for example, a packer.
  • Once the radial expansion process is completed, the tubular support member 405, the tubular support member 410, the tubular support member 415, the end stop 420, the expansion cone segments 425, the split ring collar 430, the dog assembly 435, the packer cup assembly 440, the spacer 445, the packer cup assembly 450, and the dog assembly 455 are removed from the wellbores 100 and 115.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 9, 9 a, 10 and 10 a, an embodiment of an adjustable expansion cone assembly 500 will be described. The assembly 500 includes a tubular support member 505 that defines a passage 505 a and includes a flange 505 b, an expansion cone support flange assembly 505 c, and an end stop 505 d. The expansion cone support flange assembly 505 c includes a tubular body 505 ca and a plurality of equally spaced apart expansion cone segment support members 505 cb that extend outwardly from the tubular body in the radial direction that each include identical bases 505 cba and extensions 505 cbb. The support members 505 cb further include first sections 505 cbc having arcuate conical outer surfaces and second sections 505 cbd having arcuate cylindrical outer surfaces for reasons to be described.
  • An expansion cone segment assembly 510 is provided that includes a tubular support 510 a defining a passage 510 aa for receiving the tubular support member 505 and a slot 510 ab. A plurality of spaced apart and substantially identical resilient expansion cone segment collets 510 b extend from the tubular support 510 a in the axial direction that include expansion cone segments 510 ba extending therefrom in the axial direction. Each of the expansion cone segments 510 ba further include arcuate conical expansion surfaces 510 baa for radially expanding an expandable tubular member.
  • A split ring collar 515 is provided that defines a passage 515 a for receiving the tubular support member 505 that includes an L-shaped retaining member 515 b at one end for mating with the slot 510 ab of the tubular support 510 a of the expansion cone segment assembly 510. Another end of the split ring collar 515 includes an L-shaped retaining member 515 c. A tubular sleeve 520 is provided that defines a passage 520 a for receiving the tubular support member 505 that includes a slot 520 b for receiving the L-shaped retaining member 515 c of the split ring collar 515.
  • During operation of the assembly 500, as illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 9 a, in an unexpanded position, the expansion cone segments 510 ba of the expansion cone segment assembly 510 are positioned adjacent to the base of the conical section 505 cbc of the expansion cone segment support members 505 cb with the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments less than or equal to the maximum outside diameter of the assembly. As illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 10 a, the assembly 500 may then be expanded by displacing the tubular sleeve 520, the split ring collar 515, and the expansion cone segment assembly 510 in the axial direction towards the expansion cone segment support members 505 cb. As a result, the expansion cone segments 510 ba are driven up the conical section 505 cbc of the expansion cone segment support members 505 cb and then onto the cylindrical section 505 cbd of the expansion cone segment support members until the expansion cone segments impact the end stop 505 d. In this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion segments 510 ba is greater than the maximum diameter of the remaining components of the assembly 500. Furthermore, the conical outer surfaces 510 baa of the expansion cone segments 510 ba may now be used to radially expand a tubular member. Note that the extensions 505 cbb of the expansion cone segment support members 505 cb provide support in the circumferential direction to the adjacent expansion cone segments 510 ba. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer conical surfaces 510 baa of the expansion cone segments 510 ba in the expanded position of the assembly 500 provide a substantially continuous outer conical surfaces in the circumferential direction.
  • The assembly 500 may then be returned to the unexpanded position by displacing the tubular sleeve 520, the split ring collar 515, and the expansion cone segment assembly 510 in the axial direction away from the expansion cone segment support members 505 cb. As a result, the expansion cone segments 510 ba are displaced off of the cylindrical section 505 cbd and the conical section 505 cbc of the expansion cone segment support members 505 cb. Because the collets 510 b of the expansion cone segment assembly 510 are resilient, the expansion segments 510 ba are thereby returned to a position in which the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments is less than or equal to the maximum diameter of the remaining components of the assembly 500.
  • In several alternative embodiments, the assembly 500 is incorporated into the assemblies 200, 300 and/or 400.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 11, 11 a, 12 and 12 a, an embodiment of an adjustable expansion cone assembly 600 will be described. The assembly 600 includes a tubular support member 605 that defines a passage 605 a and includes an expansion cone support flange assembly 605 b, and an end stop 605 c. The expansion cone support flange assembly 605 b includes a tubular body 605 ba and a plurality of equally spaced apart expansion cone segment substantially identical support members 605 bb that extend outwardly from the tubular body in the radial direction. The support members 605 bb further include first sections 605 bba having arcuate cylindrical outer surfaces, second sections 605 bbb having arcuate conical outer surfaces, and third sections 605 bbc having arcuate cylindrical outer surfaces for reasons to be described.
  • An expansion cone segment assembly 610 is provided that includes a tubular support 610 a defining a passage 610 aa for receiving the tubular support member 605 and a slot 610 ab. A plurality of spaced apart and substantially identical resilient expansion cone segment collets 610 b extend from the tubular support 610 a in the axial direction that include expansion cone segments 610 ba extending therefrom in the axial direction. Each of the expansion cone segments 610 ba further include arcuate conical expansion surfaces 610 baa for radially expanding an expandable tubular member.
  • A split ring collar 615 is provided that defines a passage 615 a for receiving the tubular support member 605 that includes an L-shaped retaining member 615 b at one end for mating with the slot 610 ab of the tubular support 610 a of the expansion cone segment assembly 610. Another end of the split ring collar 615 includes an L-shaped retaining member 615 c. A tubular sleeve 620 is provided that defines a passage 620 a for receiving the tubular support member 605 that includes a slot 620 b for receiving the L-shaped retaining member 615 c of the split ring collar 615.
  • During operation of the assembly 600, as illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 11 a, in an unexpanded position, the expansion cone segments 610 ba of the expansion cone segment assembly 610 are positioned on the cylindrical section 605 bba, adjacent to the base of the conical section 605 bbb, of the expansion cone segment support members 605 bb with the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments less than or equal to the maximum outside diameter of the assembly. As illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 12 a, the assembly 600 may then be expanded by displacing the tubular sleeve 620, the split ring collar 615, and the expansion cone segment assembly 610 in the axial direction towards the expansion cone segment support members 605 bb. As a result, the expansion cone segments 610 ba are driven up the conical section 605 bbb of the expansion cone segment support members 605 bb and then onto the cylindrical section 605 bbc of the expansion cone segment support members until the expansion cone segments impact the end stop 605 c. In this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion segments 610 ba is greater than the maximum diameter of the remaining components of the assembly 600. Furthermore, the conical outer surfaces 610 baa of the expansion cone segments 610 ba may now be used to radially expand a tubular member. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer conical surfaces 610 baa of the expansion cone segments 610 ba in the expanded position of the assembly 600 provide a substantially continuous outer conical surfaces in the circumferential direction.
  • The assembly 600 may then be returned to the unexpanded position by displacing the tubular sleeve 620, the split ring collar 615, and the expansion cone segment assembly 610 in the axial direction away from the expansion cone segment support members 605 bb. As a result, the expansion cone segments 610 ba are displaced off of the cylindrical section 605 bbc and the conical section 605 bbb and back onto the cylindrical section 605 bba of the expansion cone segment support members 605 bb. Because the collets 610 b of the expansion cone segment assembly 610 are resilient, the expansion segments 610 ba are thereby returned to a position in which the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments is less than or equal to the maximum diameter of the remaining components of the assembly 600.
  • In several alternative embodiments, the assembly 600 is incorporated into the assemblies 200, 300 and/or 400.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 13, 13 a, 13 b, 13 c, 14 and 14 a, an embodiment of an adjustable expansion cone assembly 700 will be described. The assembly 700 includes a tubular support member 705 that defines a passage 705 a and includes an expansion cone support flange assembly 705 b, and an end stop 705 c. The expansion cone support flange assembly 705 b includes a tubular body 705 ba and a plurality of equally spaced apart expansion cone segment substantially identical support members 705 bb that extend outwardly from the tubular body in the radial direction. The support members 705 bb further include first sections 705 bba having arcuate cylindrical outer surfaces, second sections 705 bbb having arcuate conical outer surfaces, and third sections 705 bbc having arcuate cylindrical outer surfaces for reasons to be described.
  • An expansion cone segment assembly 710 is provided that includes a first tubular support 710 a defining a passage 710 aa for receiving the tubular support member 705 that includes a slot 710 ab and a second tubular support 710 b defining a passage 710 ba for receiving the tubular support member 705 that includes a plurality of spaced apart and substantially identical axial slots 710 bb. A plurality of spaced apart and substantially identical resilient expansion cone segment collets 710 ac extend from the first tubular support 710 a in the axial direction and are received within corresponding ones of the axial slots 710 bb in the second tubular support 710 b that include substantially identical expansion cone segments 710 aca extending therefrom in the axial direction. A plurality of spaced apart and substantially identical resilient expansion cone segment collets 710 bc extend from the second tubular support 710 b in the axial direction that are interleaved and overlap with the expansion cone segment collets 710 ac and that include substantially identical expansion cone segments 710 bca extending therefrom in the axial direction. Each of the expansion cone segments, 710 aca and 710 bca, further include arcuate conical expansion surfaces, 710 acaa and 710 bcaa, respectively, for radially expanding an expandable tubular member. A plurality of pins 715 a-715 d couple the expansion cone segment collets 710 ac to the second tubular support 710 b.
  • A split ring collar 720 is provided that defines a passage 720 a for receiving the tubular support member 705 that includes an L-shaped retaining member 720 b at one end for mating with the slot 710 ab of the first tubular support 710 a of the expansion cone segment assembly 710. Another end of the split ring collar 720 includes an L-shaped retaining member 720 c. A tubular sleeve 725 is provided that defines a passage 725 a for receiving the tubular support member 705 that includes a slot 725 b for receiving the L-shaped retaining member 720 c of the split ring collar 720.
  • During operation of the assembly 700, as illustrated in FIGS. 13, 13 a, 13 b, and 13 c, in an unexpanded position, the expansion cone segments 710 aca of the expansion cone segment assembly 710 overlap with and are positioned over the expansion cone segments 710 bca of the expansion cone segment assembly, adjacent to the base of the conical section 705 bbb, of the expansion cone segment support members 705 bb with the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments less than or equal to the maximum outside diameter of the assembly. As illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 14 a, the assembly 700 may then be expanded by displacing the tubular sleeve 725, the split ring collar 720, and the expansion cone segment assembly 710 in the axial direction towards the expansion cone segment support members 705 bb. As a result, the expansion cone segments, 710 aca and 710 bca, are driven up the conical section 705 bbb of the expansion cone segment support members 705 bb and then onto the cylindrical section 705 bbc of the expansion cone segment support members until the expansion cone segments impact the end stop 705 c. In this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion segments, 710 aca and 710 bca, is greater than the maximum diameter of the remaining components of the assembly 700. Furthermore, the conical outer surfaces, 710 acaa and 710 bcaa, of the expansion cone segments, 710 aca and 710 bca, respectively, may now be used to radially expand a tubular member. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer conical surfaces, 710 acaa and 710 bcaa, of the expansion cone segments, 710 aca and 710 bca, respectively, in the expanded position of the assembly 700 provide a substantially continuous outer conical surfaces in the circumferential direction.
  • The assembly 700 may then be returned to the unexpanded position by displacing the tubular sleeve 720, the split ring collar 715, and the expansion cone segment assembly 710 in the axial direction away from the expansion cone segment support members 705 bb. As a result, the expansion cone segments, 710 aca and 710 bca, are displaced off of the cylindrical section 705 bbc and the conical section 705 bbb and back onto the cylindrical section 705 bba of the expansion cone segment support members 705 bb. Because the collets, 710 ac and 710 bc, of the expansion cone segment assembly 710 are resilient, the expansion segments, 710 aca and 710 bca, are thereby returned to a position in which the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments is less than or equal to the maximum diameter of the remaining components of the assembly 700.
  • In several alternative embodiments, the assembly 700 is incorporated into the assemblies 200, 300 and/or 400.
  • Referring to FIGS. 15 and 15 a-15 j, an alternative embodiment of an apparatus 800 for forming a wellbore casing in a subterranean formation will now be described. The apparatus 800 includes a tubular support member 805 defining an internal passage 805 a that is coupled to an end of a tubular coupling 810 defining an internal passage 810 a. The other end of the tubular coupling 810 is coupled to an end of a tubular support member 815 defining an internal passage 815 a having a throat passage 815 aa that includes a first radial passage 815 b, a first flange 815 c having a second radial passage 815 d, a second flange 815 e having opposite shoulders, 815 ea and 815 eb, a third flange 815 f, and an expansion cone support body 815 g. The other end of the tubular support member 815 is coupled to a tubular end stop 820 that defines a passage 820 a.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 15 d and 15 e, the expansion cone support body 815 g includes a first end 815 ga, a tapered hexagonal portion 815 gb that includes a plurality of T-shaped slots 815 gba provided on each of the external faceted surfaces of the tapered hexagonal portion, and a second end 815 gc. In an exemplary embodiment, the angle of attack of the tapered hexagonal portion 815 gb ranges from about 35 to 50 degrees for reasons to be described.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 15, 15 a-15 c, and 15 f-15 j, a plurality of expansion cone segments 825 are provided that include first ends 825 a that include T-shaped retaining members 825 aa and second ends 825 b that include T-shaped retaining members 825 ba that mate with and are received within corresponding T-shaped slots 815 gba on the tapered hexagonal portion 815 gb of the expansion cone support body 815 g, first external surfaces 825 bb, second external surfaces 825 bc, and third external surfaces 825 bd. Thus, in an exemplary embodiment, a total of six expansion cone segments 825 are provided that are slidably coupled to corresponding sides of the tapered hexagonal portion 815 gb of the expansion cone support body 815 g.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, the widths of the first external surfaces 825 bb of the expansion cone segments 825 increase in the direction of the second external surfaces 825 bc, the widths of the second external surfaces are substantially constant, and the widths of the third external surfaces 825 bd decrease in the direction of the first ends 825 a of the expansion cone segments for reasons to be described. In an exemplary embodiment, the first external surfaces 825 bb of the expansion cone segments 825 taper upwardly in the direction of the second external surfaces 825 bc, the second external surfaces taper upwardly in the direction of the third external surfaces 825 bd, and the third external surfaces 825 bd taper downwardly in the direction of the first ends 825 a of the expansion cone segments for reasons to be described. In an exemplary embodiment, the angle of attack of the taper of the first external surfaces 825 bb of the expansion cone segments 825 are greater than the angle of attack of the taper of the second external surfaces 825 bc. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second external surfaces, 825 bb and 825 bc, of the expansion cone segments 825 are arcuate such that when the expansion cone segments 825 are displaced in the direction of the end stop 420, the first and second external surfaces of the expansion cone segments provide a substantially continuous outer circumferential surface for reasons to be described.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 15 i, in an exemplary embodiment, the external surfaces, 825 bb, 825 bc, and 825 bd, of the second ends 825 b of the expansion cone segments 825 are adapted to mate with one another in order to interlock adjacent expansion cone segments.
  • A split ring collar 830 that defines a passage 830 a for receiving the tubular support member 815 is provided that includes a first end that includes plurality of T-shaped slots 830 b for receiving and mating with corresponding T-shaped retaining members 825 aa of the expansion cone segments 825 and a second end that includes an L-shaped retaining member 830 c. In an exemplary embodiment, the split ring collar 830 is a conventional split ring collar commercially available from Halliburton Energy Services modified in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure.
  • A dog assembly 835 is provided that includes a tubular sleeve 835 a that defines a passage 835 aa for receiving the tubular support member 815 and includes a slot 835 ab for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member 830 c of the split ring collar 830, a counterbore 835 ac, and a radial passage 835 ad. An end of a load transfer pin 835 b passes through the radial passage 835 ad and is coupled to a retaining ring 835 c that defines a passage 835 ca for receiving the flange 815 f of the tubular support member 815 and is received within the counterbore 835 ac of the tubular sleeve. A ring 835 d that defines a passage 835 da for receiving the tubular support member 815 and a spring 835 e are also received within the counterbore 835 ac of the tubular sleeve 835 a between the flange 815 f and the end of the counterbore. The other end of the load transfer pin 835 b is coupled to an end of a tubular sleeve 835 f that includes a counterbore 835 fa for receiving the tubular sleeve 835 a, a radial passage 835 fb for receiving a conventional resilient dog 835 g, a counterbore 835 fc for receiving and mating with the flange 815 e of the tubular support member 815, a flange 835 fd, and a flange 835 fe including counterbores, 835 ff and 835 fg, that mate with and receive the flange 815 c of the tubular support member, and a radial passage 835 fh.
  • A first conventional packer cup assembly 840 that defines a passage 440 a for receiving the tubular sleeve 835 f includes a first end 840 b that mates with the flange 835 fd of the tubular sleeve 835 f, a conventional sealing cup 840 c, and a second end 840 d. A tubular spacer 845 that defines a passage 845 a for receiving the tubular sleeve 835 f includes a first end 845 b that mates with the second end 840 d of the first packer cup assembly 840 and a second end 845 c. A second conventional packer cup assembly 850 that defines a passage 850 a for receiving the tubular sleeve 835 f includes a first end 850 b that mates with the second end 845 c of the spacer 845, a conventional sealing cup 850 c, and a second end 850 d that mates with the flange 835 fe of the tubular sleeve.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, during operation of the apparatus 800, as illustrated in FIGS. 15 and 15 a-15 j, the apparatus may be initially positioned in the wellbore 100, within the casing 110, with the dog assembly 835 positioned in a neutral position in which the radial passage 815 d of the tubular support member 815 is fluidicly coupled to the radial passage 835 fh of the dog assembly 835 and the expansion cone segments 825 are not driven up the tapered hexagonal portion 815 gb of the expansion cone support body 815 g of the tubular support member 815 into contact with the stop member 320. In this manner, fluidic materials within the interior 815 a of the tubular support member 815 may pass through the radial passages, 815 d and 835 fh, into the annulus between the apparatus 800 and the casing 110 thereby preventing over pressurization of the annulus. Furthermore, in this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 825 is less than or equal to the outside diameter of the stop member 820 thereby permitting the apparatus 800 to be displaced within the casing 110.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 16, and 16 a-16 c, the apparatus 800 may then be positioned in the tubular member 120. During the insertion of the apparatus into the tubular member 120, the upper end 120 b of the tubular member may impact the end of the resilient dog 835 g of the dog assembly 835 thereby driving the resilient dog 835 g backwards onto the shoulder 815 ea of the flange 815 e of the tubular support member 815. As a result of the backward axial displacement of the resilient dog 835 g, the tubular sleeve 835 f, the pin 835 b, the retaining ring 835 c, the ring 835 d, and the spring 835 e of the dog assembly 835 are driven backward thereby compressing the spring 835 e and applying an axial biasing force to the tubular sleeve 835 a that prevents the expansion cone segments 825 from being displaced toward the end stop 820.
  • The apparatus 800 may then be at least partially positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 c of the tubular member 120. In an exemplary embodiment, that portion of the apparatus 800 that includes the stop member 820, the expansion cone segments 825, the split ring collar 830, and the dog assembly 835 is then positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 of the tubular member for reasons to be described. Because the dog 835 g of the dog assembly 835 is resilient, once the apparatus 800 has been positioned in the open hole section 115 a of the wellbore section 115, beyond the lower end 120 c of the tubular member 120, the resilient dog of the dog assembly may spring outwardly in the radial direction.
  • The apparatus 800 may then be repositioned at least partially back within the tubular member 120. During the re-insertion of the apparatus into the tubular member 120, the lower end 120 c of the tubular member may impact the ends of the resilient dog 835 g of the dog assembly 835 thereby driving the resilient dog forward until the resilient dog is positioned onto the shoulder 815 eb of the flange 815 e of the tubular support member 815.
  • As a result of the forward axial displacement of the resilient dog 835 g, the tubular sleeve 835 f, the spring 835 e, the ring 835 d, the ring 835 c, the pin 835 b, and the tubular sleeve 835 a are displaced in the forward axial direction thereby also displacing the split ring collar 830 and the expansion cone segments 825 in the forward axial direction. As a result, the expansion cone segments 825 are driven up the tapered hexagonal portion 815 gb of the expansion cone support body 815 g of the tubular support member 815 into contact with the stop member 320. Furthermore, as a result of the forward axial displacement of the tubular sleeve 835 f, the radial passages, 815 d and 835 fh, are fluidicly decoupled. As a result fluidic materials within the tubular support member 815 may not pass into the annulus between the tubular support member and the tubular member 120.
  • As a result of the forward axial displacement of the resilient dog 435 e, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 825 is now greater than the inside diameter of expandable tubular member 120 thereby permitting the apparatus 800 to be used to radially expand and plastically deform the tubular member, and fluidic materials within the interior 815 a of the tubular support member 815 may no longer pass through the radial passages, 815 d and 455 ed, into the annulus between the apparatus 800 and the tubular member thereby permitting the interior of the apparatus to be pressurized.
  • The apparatus 800 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform the tubular member 120 by applying an upward axial force to the tubular support member 815 and/or by injecting a pressurized fluidic material into the tubular support member.
  • In particular, as illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 17 a-17 c, the expandable tubular member 120 may then be radially expanded using the apparatus 800 by injecting a fluidic material 275 into the apparatus through the passages 805 a, 810 a, 815 a, and 820 a. The injection of the fluidic material 275 may pressurize the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member 120. In addition, because the packer cup assemblies, 840 and 850, seal off an annular region 120 aa below the packer cup assemblies between the expandable tubular member 120 and the tubular support member 815, the injection of the fluidic material 275 may also pressurize the annular region.
  • The continued injection of the fluidic material 275 may then pressurize the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member 120 thereby plastically deforming and radially expanding the expandable tubular member off of the expansion cone segments 825. Because the outer surfaces, 825 bb and 825 bc, of the expansion cone segments 825 are tapered, the plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 proximate the expansion cone segments is facilitated. Furthermore, in an exemplary embodiment, the continued injection of the fluidic material 275 also pressurizes the annular region 120 aa defined between the interior surface of the expandable tubular member 120 and the exterior surface of the tubular support member 815 that is bounded on the upper end by the packer cup assembly 840 and on the lower end by the expansion cone segments 825. Furthermore, in an exemplary embodiment, the pressurization of the annular region 120 aa also radially expands at least a portion of the surrounding portion of the expandable tubular member 120. In this manner, the plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 is enhanced. Furthermore, during operation of the apparatus 300, the packer cup assemblies 840 and 850 prevent the pressurized fluidic material 275 from passing above and beyond the packer cup assemblies and thereby define the length of the pressurized annular region 120 aa. In an exemplary embodiment, the pressurization of the annular region 120 aa decreases the operating pressures required for plastic deformation and radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 by as much as 50% and also reduces the angle of attack of the tapered external surfaces, 825 bb and 825 bc, of the expansion cone segments 825.
  • The radial expansion of the expandable tubular member 120 may then continue until the upper end 120 b of the expandable tubular member is radially expanded and plastically deformed along with the overlapping portion of the wellbore casing 110. Because the expansion cone segments 825 may be adjustably positioned from an outside diameter less than the inside diameter of the expandable tubular member 120 to an outside diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the pre-existing casing 110, the resulting wellbore casing, including the casing 110 and the radially expanded tubular member 120, created by the operation of the apparatus 800 may have a single substantially constant inside diameter thereby providing a mono-diameter wellbore casing.
  • During the radial expansion process, the expansion cone segments 825 may be raised out of the expanded portion of the tubular member 120 by applying an upward axial force to the tubular support member 815. In a preferred embodiment, during the radial expansion process, the expansion cone segments 825 are raised at approximately the same rate as the tubular member 120 is expanded in order to keep the tubular member stationary relative to the new wellbore section 115.
  • In a preferred embodiment, when the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 and the lower portion of the wellbore casing 110 that overlap with one another are plastically deformed and radially expanded by the expansion cone segments 825, the expansion cone segments are displaced out of the wellbore 100 by both the operating pressure within the interior of the tubular member 120 and a upwardly directed axial force applied to the tubular support member 405.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the operating pressure and flow rate of the fluidic material 275 is controllably ramped down when the expansion cone segments 825 reach the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120. In this manner, the sudden release of pressure caused by the complete radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member 120 off of the expansion cone segments 825 can be minimized. In a preferred embodiment, the operating pressure is reduced in a substantially linear fashion from 100% to about 10% during the end of the extrusion process beginning when the expansion cone segments 825 are within about 5 feet from completion of the extrusion process.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, the wall thickness of the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 is tapered in order to gradually reduce the required operating pressure for plastically deforming and radially expanding the upper end portion of the tubular member. In this manner, shock loading of the apparatus is at least reduced.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, a shock absorber is provided in the tubular support member 805 in order to absorb the shock caused by the sudden release of pressure. The shock absorber may comprise, for example, any conventional commercially available shock absorber, bumper sub, or jars adapted for use in wellbore operations.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, an expansion cone catching structure is provided in the upper end portion of the expandable tubular member 120 in order to catch or at least decelerate the expansion cone segments 825.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, during the radial expansion process, an upward axial force is applied to the tubular support member 815 sufficient to plastically deform and radially expand the tubular member 120 off of the external surfaces, 225 bb and 225 bc, of the expansion cone segments 825.
  • Alternatively, or in combination, in order to facilitate the pressurization of the interior 120 a of the expandable tubular member by the injection of the fluidic materials 275, the region within the wellbore section 115 below the apparatus 800 may be fluidicly sealed off in a convention manner using, for example, a packer.
  • Once the radial expansion process is completed, the tubular support member 805, the tubular support member 810, the tubular support member 815, the end stop 820, the expansion cone segments 825, the split ring collar 830, the dog assembly 835, the packer cup assembly 840, the spacer 845, and the packer cup assembly 850 are removed from the wellbores 100 and 115.
  • If the expansion cone segments 825 become lodged within the expandable tubular member 120 during the radial expansion process, then a ball 280 may be placed in the throat 815 aa of the passage 815 a of the tubular support member 815. The continued injection of the fluidic material 275 following the placement of the ball 280 in the throat 815 aa of the passage 815 a of the tubular support member will then pressurize the radial passage 815 b and an annular portion 835 fga of the counterbore 835 fg. As a result of the pressurization of the annular portion 835 fga of the counterbore 835 fg, the tubular sleeve 835 f, the pin 835 b, the retaining ring 835 c, the ring 835 d, the spring 835 e, and the tubular sleeve 835 a of the dog assembly 835, and the split ring collar 830 are driven backward thereby displacing the expansion cone segments 825 backwards in the axial direction away from the end stop 820. In this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments 825 is thereby reduced and the apparatus 800 may then be removed from the expandable tubular member 120.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 18 a, 18 b, 18 c, and 18 d, an embodiment of an adjustable expansion cone assembly 900 will be described. The assembly 900 includes a tubular support member 905 that defines a passage 905 a and includes an expansion cone support flange assembly 905 b that is coupled to an end stop 910 that defines a passage 910 a. The expansion cone support flange assembly 905 b includes a first tubular end 905 ba, a second tubular end 905 bb, and an intermediate hexagonal conical tubular body 905 bc that includes a plurality of substantially identical and equally spaced apart expansion cone segment support slots 905 bcaa-905 bcaf on each of the facets of the hexagonal tubular body.
  • A plurality of first expansion cone segments 915 a-915 c are provided that include T-shaped retaining members 915 aa-915 ca that mate with and are movably received within the T-shaped slots 905 bcaa, 905 bcac, and 905 bcae of the hexagonal conical tubular body 905 bc of the expansion cone support assembly 905 b, T-shaped retaining members 915 ab-915 cb, exterior top surfaces 915 ac-915 cc, exterior top surfaces 915 ad-915 cd, exterior top surfaces 915 ae-915 ce, exterior top surfaces 915 af-915 cf, and exterior top surfaces 915 ag-915 cg. In an exemplary embodiment, the exterior top surfaces 915 ac-915 cc and the exterior top surfaces 915 ad-915 cd are arcuate conical surfaces in which the angle of attack of the exterior top surfaces 915 ac-915 cc is greater than the angle of attack of the exterior top surfaces 915 ad-915 cd.
  • A plurality of second expansion cone segments 920 a-920 c, that are interleaved with and complementary shaped to the first expansion cone segments 915 a-915 c, are also provided that include T-shaped retaining members 920 aa-920 ca that mate with and are movably received within the T-shaped slots 905 bcab, 905 bcad, and 905 bcaf of the hexagonal conical tubular body 905 bc of the expansion cone support assembly 905 b, T-shaped retaining members 920 ab-920 cb, exterior top surfaces 920 ac-920 cc, exterior top surfaces 920 ad-920 cd, exterior top surfaces 920 ae-920 ce, exterior top surfaces 920 af-920 cf, and exterior top surfaces 920 ag-920 cg. In an exemplary embodiment, the exterior top surfaces 920 ac-920 cc and the exterior top surfaces 920 ad-920 cd are arcuate conical surfaces in which the angle of attack of the exterior top surfaces 920 ac-920 cc is greater than the angle of attack of the exterior top surfaces 920 ad-920 cd.
  • A split ring collar 925 is provided that defines a passage 925 a for receiving the tubular support member 905 that includes an L-shaped retaining member 925 b at one end and another end of the split ring collar 925 includes T-shaped slots, 925 c, 925 d, 925 e, 925 f, 925 g, and 925 h, for mating with and receiving the T-shaped retaining members, 915 ab, 920 ab, 915 bb, 920 bb, 915 cb, and 920 cb, of the expansion cone segments, 915 a, 920 a, 915 b, 920 b, 915 c, and 920 c, respectively. A tubular sleeve 930 is provided that defines a passage 930 a for receiving the tubular support member 905 and that also includes a slot 930 b for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member 925 b of the split ring collar 925.
  • During operation of the assembly 900, as illustrated in FIGS. 18 a, 18 b, 18 c, and 18 d, in an unexpanded position, the expansion cone segments, 915 a, 915 b, 915 c, 915 d, 920 a, 920 b, 920 c, and 920 d are positioned adjacent to the base of the hexagonal conical tubular body 905 bc of the expansion cone support flange 905 b away from the end stop 910. In this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments is less than or equal to the maximum outside diameter of the assembly. Furthermore, in the unexpanded position, the expansion cone segments, 915 a, 915 b, and 915 c, are positioned further away from the end stop 910 than the expansion cone segments, 920 a, 920 b, and 920 c.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 19 and 19 a, the assembly 900 may then be expanded by displacing the tubular sleeve 930 and the split ring collar 925 in the axial direction towards the expansion cone segment support members 705 bb. As a result, the expansion cone segments, 915 a, 915 b, 915 c, 920 a, 920 b, 920 c, are driven up the hexagonal conical tubular body 905 bc of the expansion cone support flange 905 b until the expansion cone segments impact the end stop 910. In this manner, the outside diameter of the expansion segments, 915 a, 915 b, 915 c, 920 a, 920 b, and 920 c, is greater than the maximum diameter of the remaining components of the assembly 900. Furthermore, the conical outer surfaces, 915 ac, 915 bc, 915 cc, 920 ac, 920 bc, and 920 cc, and the conical outer surfaces, 915 ad, 915 bd, 915 cd, 920 ad, 920 bd, and 920 cd of the expansion cone segments, 915 a, 915 b, 915 c, 920 a, 920 b, and 920 c, respectively, may now be used to radially expand a tubular member. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer conical surfaces, 915 ac, 915 bc, 915 cc, 920 ac, 920 bc, and 920 cc, and the conical outer surfaces, 915 ad, 915 bd, 915 cd, 920 ad, 920 bd, and 920 cd of the expansion cone segments, 915 a, 915 b, 915 c, 920 a, 920 b, and 920 c, respectively, in the expanded position of the assembly 900, provide a substantially continuous outer conical surfaces in the circumferential direction. Furthermore, note that in the expanded position of the assembly 900, the first set of expansion cone segments, 915 a, 915 b, and 915 c, are brought into alignment with the second set of expansion cone segments, 920 a, 920 b, and 920 c.
  • The assembly 900 may then be returned to the unexpanded position by displacing the tubular sleeve 930 and the split ring collar 925 in the axial direction away from the end stop 910. As a result, the expansion cone segments, 915 a, 915 b, 915 c, 920 a, 920 b, and 920 c, are displaced away from the end top 910, down the conical hexagonal tubular member 905 bc and thereby are returned to a position in which the outside diameter of the expansion cone segments is less than or equal to the maximum diameter of the remaining components of the assembly 900.
  • In several alternative embodiments, the assembly 900 is incorporated into the assemblies 200, 300, 400, and 800.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 a, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1000 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1000 a, 1000 b, 1000 c, 1000 d, 1000 e, and 1000 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 b, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1100 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1100 a, 1100 b, 1100 c, 1100 d, 1100 e, and 1100 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 c, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1200 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1200 a, 1200 b, 1200 c, 1200 d, 1200 e, and 1200 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 d, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1300 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1300 a, 1300 b, 1300 c, 1300 d, 1300 e, and 1300 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 e, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1400 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1400 a, 1400 b, 1400 c, 1400 d, 1400 e, and 1400 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 f, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1500 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1500 a, 1500 b, 1500 c, 1500 d, 1500 e, and 1500 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 g, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1600 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1600 a, 1600 b, 1600 c, 1600 d, 1600 e, and 1600 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 h, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1700 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1700 a, 1700 b, 1700 c, 1700 d, 1700 e, and 1700 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 i, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1800 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1800 a, 1800 b, 1800 c, 1800 d, 1800 e, and 1800 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 j, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 1900 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 1900 a, 1900 b, 1900 c, 1900 d, 1900 e, and 1900 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 k, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 2000 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 2000 a, 2000 b, 2000 c, 2000 d, 2000 e, and 2000 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 l, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 2100 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 2100 a, 2100 b, 2100 c, 2100 d, 2100 e, and 2100 f.
  • Referring to FIG. 20 m, an embodiment of an expansion cone segment assembly 2200 includes interlocking expansion cone segments, 2200 a, 2200 b, 2200 c, 2200 d, 2200 e, and 2200 f.
  • The expansion cone segment assemblies 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, and 2200 provide enhanced operational properties such as, for example, efficient radial expansion of expandable tubular members and durability during operation.
  • In several alternative embodiments, the design and operational features of the apparatus 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, and 2200 may be combined, in whole or in part, and/or the design and operational elements of the apparatus 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, and 2200 may be interspersed among each other.
  • In several alternative embodiments, the apparatus 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, and 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, and 2200 may be used to form or repair wellbore casings, pipelines, or structural supports.
  • In several alternative embodiments, the apparatus 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, and 2200 include two or more expansion cone segments that may be movably support and guided on a tapered expansion cone support body that may, for example, be conical, or may be a multi-sided body.
  • In several alternative embodiments, the design and operation of the apparatus 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, and 2200 are provided substantially as disclosed in one or more of the following: (1) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, (2) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/510,913, attorney docket no. 25791.7.02, filed on Feb. 23, 2000, (3) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/502,350, attorney docket no. 25791.8.02, filed on Feb. 10, 2000, (4) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket no. 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, (5) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,460, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, (6) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/512,895, attorney docket no. 25791.12.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, (7) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/511,941, attorney docket no. 25791.16.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, (8) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/588,946, attorney docket no. 25791.17.02, filed on Jun. 7, 2000, (9) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/559,122, attorney docket no. 25791.23.02, filed on Apr. 26, 2000, (10) PCT patent application serial no. PCT/US00/18635, attorney docket no. 25791.25.02, filed on Jul. 9, 2000, (11) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/162,671, attorney docket no. 25791.27, filed on Nov. 1, 1999, (12) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/154,047, attorney docket no. 25791.29, filed on Sep. 16, 1999, (13) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,082, attorney docket no. 25791.34, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (14) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,039, attorney docket no. 25791.36, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (15) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,033, attorney docket no. 25791.37, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (16) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/212,359, attorney docket no. 25791.38, filed on Jun. 19, 2000, (17) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/165,228, attorney docket no. 25791.39, filed on Nov. 12, 1999, (18) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,443, attorney docket no. 25791.45, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (19) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,645, attorney docket no. 25791.46, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (20) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/233,638, attorney docket no. 25791.47, filed on Sep. 18, 2000, (21) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/237,334, attorney docket no. 25791.48, filed on Oct. 2, 2000, (22) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/270,007, attorney docket no. 25791.50, filed on Feb. 20, 2001; and (23) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/262,434, attorney docket no. 25791.51, filed on Jan. 17, 2001; and (24) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/259,486, attorney docket no. 25791.52, filed on Jan. 3, 2001, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first lug coupled to and extending from the first tubular support body in the radial direction, a second lug coupled to and extending from the first tubular support body in the radial direction, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar assembly is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body defining N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A first drag block assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first drag block body defining a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar, and a first J-shaped slot for receiving the first lug, and one or more first drag blocks coupled to the first drag block body. A second drag block assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second drag block body defining a second J-shaped slot for receiving the second lug, and one or more second drag blocks coupled to the second drag block body. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second drag block assemblies.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a first tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A first collet assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar, a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a first radial passage, a first spring received within the first counterbore, a first retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a first load transfer pin coupled to the first retaining ring and extending through the first radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin, a first resilient collet coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned above the first tapered flange, and a third tubular sleeve coupled to the first resilient collet. A second collet assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a fourth tubular sleeve that defines a second counterbore for receiving the second flange, and a second radial passage, a second spring received within the second counterbore, a second retaining ring received within the second counterbore, a second load transfer pin coupled to the second retaining ring and extending through the second radial passage, a fifth tubular sleeve coupled to the second load transfer pin, a second resilient collet coupled to the fifth tubular sleeve and positioned above the second tapered flange, and a sixth tubular sleeve coupled to the second resilient collet. First and second packer cups coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second collet assemblies.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first radial passage defined in the first tubular support body fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a first tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A first dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar, a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a second radial passage, a first spring received within the first counterbore, a first retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a first load transfer pin coupled to the first retaining ring and extending through the second radial passage, and a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin that defines a second counterbore for receiving the first tubular sleeve, a first resilient dog coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the first tapered flange. A second dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular sleeve that defines a second counterbore for receiving the second flange, a third radial passage, and a fourth radial passage fluidicly coupled to the first radial passage, a second spring received within the second counterbore, a second retaining ring received within the second counterbore, a second load transfer pin coupled to the second retaining ring and extending through the third radial passage, a fourth tubular sleeve coupled to the second load transfer pin, and a second resilient dog coupled to the fourth tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the second tapered flange. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second dog assemblies.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage including a throat passage, a first radial passage defined in the first tubular support body fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body that defines a second radial passage defined in the second flange fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar, a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a third radial passage, a spring received within the first counterbore, a retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a load transfer pin coupled to the retaining ring and extending through the third radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin that defines a first counterbore for receiving the first tubular sleeve, a second counterbore for receiving and mating with the tapered flange, and includes a third flange that defines a third counterbore for receiving the second flange, a fourth counterbore for receiving the second flange, and a fourth radial passage, and a resilient dog coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the tapered flange. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the resilient dog and the third flange.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a tubular support body and an expansion cone support body coupled to the tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including an expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second T-shaped retaining members of the expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A tubular actuating sleeve is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes a tapered tubular support member defining N stepped slots. An expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body movably coupled to the first tubular support body defining an L-shaped slot, and N expansion cone segments extending from the second tubular support member. Each expansion cone segment includes a resilient collet coupled to the second tubular support member, an expansion cone segment body coupled to the resilient collet including arcuate conical outer surfaces, and a retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the stepped slots of the expansion cone support body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body, a first L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body for mating with the L-shaped slot of the second tubular support body of the expansion cone assembly, and a second L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular body. A tubular actuating sleeve is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the second L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes a tapered tubular support member defining N slots. An expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body movably coupled to the first tubular support body defining an L-shaped slot, and N expansion cone segments extending from the second tubular support member. Each expansion cone segment includes a resilient collet coupled to the second tubular support member, an expansion cone segment body coupled to the resilient collet including arcuate conical outer surfaces, and a retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the slots of the expansion cone support body. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body, a first L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body for mating with the L-shaped slot of the second tubular support body, and a second L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body. A tubular actuating sleeve is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the second L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes a tapered tubular support member defining N slots. An expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body movably coupled to the first tubular support body defining an L-shaped slot, N/2 first expansion cone segments extending from the second tubular support member, and N/2 second expansion cone segments extending from the second tubular member. Each first expansion cone segment includes a first resilient collet coupled to the second tubular support member, a first expansion cone segment body coupled to the resilient collet including arcuate conical outer surfaces, and a first retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the slots of the expansion cone support body. Each second expansion cone segment includes a second resilient collet coupled to the second tubular support member, a second expansion cone segment body coupled to the resilient collet including arcuate conical outer surfaces, and a second retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the slots of the expansion cone support body. The second expansion cone segments overlap and are interleaved with the first expansion cone segments. A split ring collar is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body, a first L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body for mating with L-shaped slot of the second tubular support body, and a second L-shaped retaining member coupled to the third tubular support body. A tubular actuating sleeve is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the second L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body, and an expansion cone support body coupled to the first tubular support body. The expansion cone support body includes an N-sided tapered tubular support member, wherein each side of the multi-sided tapered tubular support member defines a T-shaped slot. N/2 first expansion cone segments are movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including a first expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a first T-shaped retaining member coupled to the first expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the first expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a second T-shaped retaining member coupled to the first expansion cone segment body. N/2 second expansion cone segments are also movably coupled to the expansion cone support body, each including a second expansion cone segment body including arcuate conical outer surfaces, a third T-shaped retaining member coupled to the second expansion cone segment body for movably coupling the second expansion cone segment body to a corresponding one of the T-shaped slots of the expansion cone support body, and a fourth T-shaped retaining member coupled to the expansion cone segment body. The first and second expansion cone segments are interleaved. The first expansion cone segment bodies are complementary shaped with respect to the second expansion cone segment bodies. A split ring collar assembly is movably coupled to the exterior of the tubular support member that includes a second tubular support body that defines N T-shaped slots for movably receiving corresponding ones of the second and fourth T-shaped retaining members of the interleaved first and second expansion cone segments, and an L-shaped retaining member coupled to the second tubular support body. A tubular actuating sleeve movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular support body that defines a slot for receiving and mating with the L-shaped retaining member of the split ring collar.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first lug coupled to and extending from the first tubular support body in the radial direction, and a second lug coupled to and extending from the first tubular support body in the radial direction. An adjustable expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member. A first drag block assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first drag block body coupled to the adjustable expansion cone assembly that defines: a first J-shaped slot for receiving the first lug, and one or more first drag blocks coupled to the first drag block body. A second drag block assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a second drag block body that defines: a second J-shaped slot for receiving the second lug, and one or more second drag blocks coupled to the second drag block body. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second drag block assemblies.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a first tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and a second tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body. An adjustable expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member. A first collet assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve coupled to the adjustable expansion cone assembly and defines a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a first radial passage, a first spring received within the first counterbore, a first retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a first load transfer pin coupled to the first retaining ring and extending through the first radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin, a first resilient collet coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned above the first tapered flange, and a third tubular sleeve coupled to the first resilient collet. A second collet assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a fourth tubular sleeve that defines: a second counterbore for receiving the second flange, and a second radial passage, a second spring received within the second counterbore, a second retaining ring received within the second counterbore, a second load transfer pin coupled to the second retaining ring and extending through the second radial passage, a fifth tubular sleeve coupled to the second load transfer pin, a second resilient collet coupled to the fifth tubular sleeve and positioned above the second tapered flange, and a sixth tubular sleeve coupled to the second resilient collet. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second collet assemblies.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage, a first radial passage defined in the first tubular support body fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body, a first tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and a second tapered flange coupled to the first tubular support body. An adjustable expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member. A first dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve coupled to the adjustable expansion cone assembly that defines: a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a second radial passage, a first spring received within the first counterbore, a first retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a first load transfer pin coupled to the first retaining ring and extending through the second radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin that defines: a second counterbore for receiving the first tubular sleeve, a first resilient dog coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the first tapered flange. A second dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a third tubular sleeve that defines a second counterbore for receiving the second flange, a third radial passage, and a fourth radial passage fluidicly coupled to the first radial passage, a second spring received within the second counterbore, a second retaining ring received within the second counterbore, a second load transfer pin coupled to the second retaining ring and extending through the third radial passage, a fourth tubular sleeve coupled to the second load transfer pin, a second resilient dog coupled to the fourth tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the second tapered flange. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the first and second dog assemblies.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member that includes a first tubular support body defining a longitudinal passage including a throat passage, a first radial passage defined in the first tubular support body fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage, a first flange coupled to the first tubular support body, and a second flange coupled to the first tubular support body that defines: a second radial passage defined in the second flange fluidicly coupled to the longitudinal passage. An adjustable expansion cone assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member. A dog assembly is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a first tubular sleeve coupled to the adjustable expansion cone assembly that defines a first counterbore for receiving the first flange, and a third radial passage, a spring received within the first counterbore, a retaining ring received within the first counterbore, a load transfer pin coupled to the retaining ring and extending through the third radial passage, a second tubular sleeve coupled to the first load transfer pin that defines: a first counterbore for receiving the first tubular sleeve, a second counterbore for receiving and mating with the tapered flange, and includes a third flange that defines a third counterbore for receiving the second flange, a fourth counterbore for receiving the second flange, and a fourth radial passage, and a resilient dog coupled to the second tubular sleeve and positioned adjacent to the tapered flange. First and second packer cups are coupled to the tubular support member between the resilient dog and the third flange.
  • An apparatus for radially expanding a tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, and means for adjusting the adjustable expansion cone assembly.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a tubular support member. An adjustable expansion cone is movably coupled to the tubular support member that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, and means for guiding the expansion cone segments on the tubular support member. The assembly further includes means for adjusting the adjustable expansion cone.
  • A method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments has also been described that includes guiding the expansion cone segments on a tapered body, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • A method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments has also been described that includes guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, interlocking the expansion cone segments, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • A method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments has also been described that includes resiliently guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, guiding each of the expansion cone segments on opposite sides in the circumferential direction, interlocking the expansion cone segments, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • A method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments has also been described that includes dividing the expansion cone segments into first and second groups of expansion cone segments, interleaving the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, overlapping the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, resiliently guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, guiding each of the expansion cone segments on opposite sides in the circumferential direction, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • A method of operating an adjustable expansion cone assembly including a plurality of expansion cone segments has also been described that includes dividing the expansion cone segments into first and second groups of expansion cone segments, interleaving the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, and controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body while also relatively displacing the first and second groups of expansion cone segments in opposite directions.
  • A method of plastically deforming and radially expanding an expandable tubular member using an apparatus including a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, and an actuator movably coupled to the tubular support member for adjusting the adjustable expansion cone assembly, has also been described that includes coupling a first end of the expandable tubular member to a tubular structure, locking the actuator to the tubular support member of the apparatus, inserting the apparatus into the first end of the expandable tubular member, moving the actuator and the adjustable expansion cone assembly of the apparatus out of the second end of the expandable tubular member, reinserting the actuator of the apparatus into the second end of the expandable tubular member, unlocking the actuator from the tubular support member of the apparatus, rotating the actuator relative to the tubular support member of the apparatus, and increasing the outside diameter of the adjustable expansion cone assembly by moving the tubular support member relative to the actuator, the adjustable expansion cone assembly and the expandable tubular member, and plastically deforming and radially expanding the expandable tubular member by moving the adjustable expansion cone assembly through the expandable tubular member.
  • A method of plastically deforming and radially expanding an expandable tubular member using an apparatus including a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, and an actuator movably coupled to the tubular support member for adjusting the adjustable expansion cone assembly, has also been described that includes coupling a first end of the expandable tubular member to a tubular structure, inserting the apparatus into the first end of the expandable tubular member in a first direction, displacing the actuator of the apparatus in a second direction opposite to the first direction, applying a resilient biasing force to the adjustable expansion cone assembly in the second direction, moving the actuator and the adjustable expansion cone assembly of the apparatus out of the second end of the expandable tubular member, reinserting the actuator of the apparatus into the second end of the expandable tubular member in the second direction, increasing the outside diameter of the adjustable expansion cone assembly by displacing the actuator and the adjustable expansion cone assembly relative to the expandable tubular member in the first direction, and plastically deforming and radially expanding the expandable tubular member by moving the adjustable expansion cone assembly through the expandable tubular member in the second direction.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for guiding the expansion cone segments on a tapered body, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, means for interlocking the expansion cone segments, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for resiliently guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, means for guiding each of the expansion cone segments on opposite sides in the circumferential direction, means for interlocking the expansion cone segments, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for dividing the expansion cone segments into first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for interleaving the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for overlapping the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for resiliently guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, means for guiding each of the expansion cone segments on opposite sides in the circumferential direction, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body.
  • An adjustable expansion cone assembly has also been described that includes a plurality of expansion cone segments, means for dividing the expansion cone segments into first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for interleaving the first and second groups of expansion cone segments, means for guiding the expansion cone segments on a multi-sided tapered body, and means for controllably displacing the expansion cone segments along the tapered body while also relatively displacing the first and second groups of expansion cone segments in opposite directions.
  • An apparatus for plastically deforming and radially expanding an expandable tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, means for actuating the adjustable expansion cone assembly, means for locking the actuator to the tubular support member of the apparatus, means for unlocking the actuator from the tubular support member of the apparatus, and means for increasing the outside diameter of the adjustable expansion cone assembly by moving the tubular support member relative to the actuator, the adjustable expansion cone assembly, and the expandable tubular member.
  • An apparatus for plastically deforming and radially expanding an expandable tubular member has also been described that includes a tubular support member, an adjustable expansion cone assembly movably coupled to the tubular support member, means for actuating the adjustable expansion cone assembly, means for displacing the actuator of the apparatus in a first direction, means for applying a resilient biasing force to the adjustable expansion cone assembly when the actuator is displaced in the first direction, and means for increasing the outside diameter of the adjustable expansion cone assembly by displacing the actuator and the adjustable expansion cone assembly relative to the expandable tubular member in a second direction opposite to the first direction.
  • Although illustrative embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, a wide range of modification, changes and substitution is contemplated in the foregoing disclosure. In some instances, some features of the present invention may be employed without a corresponding use of the other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the invention.

Claims (3)

  1. 1. A method of radially expanding and plastically deforming a tubular member, comprising;
    radially expanding at least a portion of the tubular member by increasing an operating pressure of a volume of a fluidic material contained by at least a portion of the tubular member; and
    radially expanding and plastically deforming at least a portion of the tubular member by displacing an expansion device within the tubular member.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein the volume comprises an annular volume.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1, wherein the expansion device is controllably adjustable from a first outside diameter to a second outside diameter.
US11942478 2001-09-07 2007-11-19 Adjustable Expansion Cone Assembly Abandoned US20080135252A1 (en)

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US31802101 true 2001-09-07 2001-09-07
PCT/US2002/025608 WO2003023178B1 (en) 2001-09-07 2002-08-13 Adjustable expansion cone assembly
US10488574 US7416027B2 (en) 2001-09-07 2002-08-13 Adjustable expansion cone assembly
US11942478 US20080135252A1 (en) 2001-09-07 2007-11-19 Adjustable Expansion Cone Assembly

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US20050022986A1 (en) 2005-02-03 application
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WO2003023178B1 (en) 2004-09-16 application
WO2003023178A2 (en) 2003-03-20 application
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GB0406258D0 (en) 2004-04-21 grant
CA2459910C (en) 2010-04-13 grant

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