US20080230236A1 - Packing element and method - Google Patents

Packing element and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080230236A1
US20080230236A1 US11/726,265 US72626507A US2008230236A1 US 20080230236 A1 US20080230236 A1 US 20080230236A1 US 72626507 A US72626507 A US 72626507A US 2008230236 A1 US2008230236 A1 US 2008230236A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
packing
tubular
packing element
seal member
method
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/726,265
Inventor
Marie Wright
Alan T. Simpson
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Baker Hughes Inc
Original Assignee
Baker Hughes Inc
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Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Baker Hughes Inc filed Critical Baker Hughes Inc
Priority to US11/726,265 priority Critical patent/US20080230236A1/en
Assigned to BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED reassignment BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SIMPSON, ALAN T., WRIGHT, MARIE
Publication of US20080230236A1 publication Critical patent/US20080230236A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B33/00Sealing or packing boreholes or wells
    • E21B33/10Sealing or packing boreholes or wells in the borehole
    • E21B33/12Packers; Plugs
    • E21B33/1208Packers; Plugs characterised by the construction of the sealing or packing means
    • E21B33/1212Packers; Plugs characterised by the construction of the sealing or packing means including a metal-to-metal seal element
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B33/00Sealing or packing boreholes or wells
    • E21B33/10Sealing or packing boreholes or wells in the borehole
    • E21B33/12Packers; Plugs
    • E21B33/128Packers; Plugs with a member expanded radially by axial pressure

Abstract

A packing element includes a mandrel, at least one seal member having a Chevron shape and composed of a metal material, and an energizer in operable communication with the at least one seal member and a method for packing a tubular.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Packing elements are well known and often used components of downhole operations. Packing elements are used for a number of different reasons in a number of different systems but generally all operate similarly. Packing elements are annular structures used to press against an inside or outside diameter of a target tubular, sometimes sealing thereagainst, to prevent all fluid communication past the packing element/tubular interface.
  • While the ubiquity of packing elements clearly evidences their effectiveness, it will be recognized by those of ordinary skill in the art that because of the elastomeric material utilized in most packing elements, degradation remains a problem for the art. The art is therefore always receptive to alternatives and especially those with greater robustness.
  • SUMMARY
  • A packing element includes a mandrel, at least one seal member having a Chevron shape and composed of a metal material, and an energizer in operable communication with the at least one seal member.
  • Further disclosed herein is a method of packing a tubular. The method includes compressing a packing element, splaying open at least one seal member to enlarge a radial dimension of the member, and maintaining energy in the at least one seal member.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Referring now to the drawings wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several Figures:
  • FIG. 1 is a quarter section view of a packing element in accordance with this disclosure in the run in position;
  • FIG. 2 is a quarter section view of the element of FIG. 1 in the set position;
  • FIG. 3 is a quarter section view of an alternative arrangement of a packing element.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Referring to FIG. 1, one embodiment of a packing element 10 that is in one iteration free of elastomeric members is illustrated in the run-in position. The element 10 includes a mandrel 12 upon which is disposed a series of components. The components include (arbitrarily starting from an uphole end of the packing element 10) a slip 14 in operable communication with a moveable ramp 16 disposed upon the mandrel; a release member 18 (such as a sheer screw) releasably attaching the moveable ramp 16 to the mandrel 12; a series (one or more sealing elements 20) of Chevron shaped seal members 22 disposed between the ramp 16 and an energizer 24; another series (one or more sealing elements) of Chevron shaped seal member 26 disposed between the energizer 24 and another moveable ramp 28; a release member 30 releasably attaching the ramp 28 to the mandrel 12; a slip 32 in operable communication with the ramp 28, and a ratchet assembly 34.
  • The packing element 10 is set to create a seal, by being axially compressed which causes a compression of each of the components numerically identified above to an axially smaller area. That is, in order to set the element 10, slip 14 is caused to reside more axially proximate to ratchet 34. This can be effected by preventing movement of ratchet 34 while moving mandrel 12 in a direction that brings a mandrel shoulder 36 closer to ratchet 34, thereby forcing all other components to also become closer to ratchet 34; by moving mandrel 12 in the same direction while moving ratchet 34 in an opposing direction; and by fixing the mandrel in place and moving the ratchet 34 toward mandrel shoulder 36. In each case, the axial distance between mandrel shoulder 36 and ratchet 34 is reduced thereby compressing all intermediary components into a smaller axial space. During such movement of the components hereof, the slips 14 and 32 are caused to move up ramp surfaces 38 and 40, respectively, thereby moving slips 14 and 32 radially outwardly of mandrel 12 into interfacing contact with an inside surface 42 of a tubular (not otherwise shown). Slips 14 and 32 thus provide anchoring of the packing element 10. The slips 14 and 32 are maintained in this position by ratchet assembly 34, which ratchets in the direction of compression of the packing element 10 and prevents movement in an opposite direction. Contemporaneously with the movement of slips 14 and 32, and as noted above, movable ramps 16 and 28 are also urged to move toward one another. In the illustrated embodiment, movement is unidirectional, though collectively converging. This can be noted from a review of FIG. 2 with specific attention focused upon release members 18 and 30, which are illustrated as shear members, in the sheared position. The converging relative movement of movable ramps 16 and 28 causes an axial load to be applied to seal members 22 and 26 as well as to energizer 24, positioned therebetween. In the compressed condition, the seal members 22 and 26 tend to yield to a configuration that is flatter, or alternatively stated, more radially directed than the condition in which they exist when at rest, (see FIGS. 1 and 2 in comparison). Due to the Chevron shape of each sealing element 20 of seal members 22 and 26, a flattening, i.e. a growth, or splaying open of an inside angle alpha, necessarily translates to an increasing radial distance between an inside edge 44 and an outside edge 46 of each sealing element 20 of each seal member 22 and 26. Radial growth is precisely what is needed to seal the annulus between mandrel 12 and inside diameter 42. In addition, because of the directional nature of the seal members 22 and 26, utilizing both directions in a single packing element 10 ensures that pressure is held from both directions.
  • Energizer 24, which is a resilient member such as a spring, ensures that sealing energy stays in the seal members even after multiple pressure reversals in the downhole environment. Such pressure reversals have been a cause of seal leakage and such is avoided in the context of the invention by employing the energizer 24.
  • In an alternate embodiment, referring to FIG. 3, the direction of the seal members 22 and 26 is reversed. Sealing is, however, effected in substantially the same way as the forgoing embodiment since the same forces are not at work to cause an enlargement of the angle alpha in the Chevron shaped members thereby increasing their radial dimensions.
  • In the foregoing embodiments, the seal members comprise non-elastomeric materials to enhance resistance of the packing element to downhole environmental conditions thereby ensuring a long, useful life of the element.
  • Because of the particular configuration of the sealing elements 20 of each seal member 22 and 26, a series of relatively narrow annular seal areas are created against both the inside surface 42 of a target tubular and the mandrel 12. This means that ridges and other surface irregularities of the target tubular are much more easily accommodated than with prior art packing elements having a broader contact surface in one element, where bridging might occur. For example, if a target tubular presents a series of annular irregularities, each of the individual sealing elements 20 of the seal members 22 and 26 will automatically adjust to the surface by extending more radially outwardly (limited of course to a maximum radial expansion related to total axial compression and the ability of the seals to flatten) or by being more highly loaded against a “high spot” on the casing so that the individual sealing element member does not expand radially to its otherwise fullest potential. Due to this property, the individual sealing element will create individual annular seals that together combine to create a more competent packing element while being exceptionally robust.
  • It is to be appreciated that while a pair of slips is shown and a pair of sealing members is shown, singles of each is also workable while still maintaining good sealing properties of the packing element. In such a configuration, the seal members 20 or even the energizer 24 could be arranged to abut the mandrel shoulder 36, for example, so that energy is storable in the packing element through axial compression thereof against the shoulder 36 or similar.
  • In yet another embodiment, where anchoring is not needed or desired, the seal members 22 (or 22 and 26) may be employed alone with such as ratchet assembly 34 to hold energy in the seals.
  • While preferred embodiments have been shown and described, modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustrations and not limitation.

Claims (18)

1. A packing element comprising:
a mandrel;
at least one seal member having a Chevron shape and composed of a metal material; and
an energizer in operable communication with the at least one seal member.
2. The packing element as claimed in claim 1 wherein the element further comprises at least one slip and at least one ramp in operable communication with the mandrel.
3. The packing element as claimed in claim 2 wherein the at least one ramp is movable on the mandrel.
4. The packing element as claimed in claim 2 wherein the at least one slip and at least one ramp is two slips and two ramps, one of each operable as a set and responsive to axial compression along the mandrel to increase an outside diameter of each slip and ramp combination.
5. The packing element as claimed in claim 1 wherein the at least one seal member comprises a stack of seal member elements.
6. The packing element as claimed in claim 1 wherein the at least one seal member is two seal members having a direction of the Chevron shape of each member opposed.
7. The packing element as claimed in claim 1 wherein the energizer is a resilient member.
8. The packing element as claimed in claim 1 wherein the energizer is a spring member.
9. The packing element as claimed in claim 1 wherein the at least one seal member when actuated creates a series of relatively narrow annular seals with a target tubular.
10. The packing element as claimed in claim 9 wherein the series of seals are at different relative diameters.
11. A method of packing a tubular comprising:
compressing a packing element as claimed in claim 1;
splaying open at least one seal member to enlarge a radial dimension of the member; and
maintaining energy in the at least one seal member.
12. The method of packing a tubular as claimed in claim 11 wherein the compression is axial.
13. The method of packing a tubular as claimed in claim 11 wherein the splaying of at least one seal member is splaying open of a number of sealing elements to cause a number of relatively narrow annular seals to form against a target tubular.
14. The method of packing a tubular as claimed in claim 13 wherein the relatively narrow annular seals have different diameters.
15. The method of packing a tubular as claimed in claim 11 wherein the maintaining is by compressing an energizer to store energy that is automatically released upon a reduction in axial compression of the packing element.
16. The method of packing a tubular as claimed in claim 11 wherein the maintaining is by setting a ratcheting assembly.
17. The method of packing a tubular as claimed in claim 11 wherein the at least one seal member is a number of seal members, the members each including at least one sealing element.
18. The method of packing a tubular as claimed in claim 17 wherein the seal members are a mirror image of one another.
US11/726,265 2007-03-21 2007-03-21 Packing element and method Abandoned US20080230236A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/726,265 US20080230236A1 (en) 2007-03-21 2007-03-21 Packing element and method

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/726,265 US20080230236A1 (en) 2007-03-21 2007-03-21 Packing element and method
PCT/US2008/057575 WO2008116034A1 (en) 2007-03-21 2008-03-20 Packing element and method

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WO (1) WO2008116034A1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110247835A1 (en) * 2010-04-12 2011-10-13 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Sequenced packing element system
US20120298349A1 (en) * 2011-05-25 2012-11-29 I-Tec As Packer for Sealing Against a Wellbore Wall
US8397803B2 (en) 2010-07-06 2013-03-19 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Packing element system with profiled surface
CN103032042A (en) * 2011-10-05 2013-04-10 韦特柯格雷公司 Damage tolerant casing hanger seal
US20140124193A1 (en) * 2011-03-04 2014-05-08 Parker-Hannifin Corporation Metal chevron axial seal

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US2320589A (en) * 1941-04-28 1943-06-01 Smith Corp A O Packing assembly
US2799345A (en) * 1953-11-24 1957-07-16 Baker Oil Tools Inc Tubing tester and well packer apparatus
US2903281A (en) * 1956-08-28 1959-09-08 Gen Electric Metallic fluid seal
US3047300A (en) * 1959-07-01 1962-07-31 Lockheed Aircraft Corp Metal sealing assembly
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US4234197A (en) * 1979-01-19 1980-11-18 Baker International Corporation Conduit sealing system
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US4630636A (en) * 1983-11-16 1986-12-23 Baker Cac Actuator with nonelastomeric seal
US4691776A (en) * 1986-05-29 1987-09-08 Camco, Incorporated Retrievable well safety valve with expandable external seals
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US4811959A (en) * 1987-11-27 1989-03-14 Otis Engineering Corporation Seal assembly for well locking mandrel
US5263683A (en) * 1992-05-05 1993-11-23 Grace Energy Corporation Sliding sleeve valve
US5316084A (en) * 1990-08-27 1994-05-31 Baker Hughes Incorporated Well tool with sealing means
US5685369A (en) * 1996-05-01 1997-11-11 Abb Vetco Gray Inc. Metal seal well packer
US6098717A (en) * 1997-10-08 2000-08-08 Formlock, Inc. Method and apparatus for hanging tubulars in wells
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US20040065446A1 (en) * 2002-10-08 2004-04-08 Khai Tran Expander tool for downhole use
US20040149439A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-05 Badrak Robert P. Flash welding process for field joining of tubulars for expandable applications
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US20040244994A1 (en) * 2001-09-10 2004-12-09 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Expandable hanger and packer
US6896049B2 (en) * 2000-07-07 2005-05-24 Zeroth Technology Ltd. Deformable member
US20050161232A1 (en) * 2004-01-27 2005-07-28 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Annular Barrier Tool
US20050252662A1 (en) * 1998-12-22 2005-11-17 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Apparatus and method for expanding a tubular
US20060032640A1 (en) * 2002-04-15 2006-02-16 Todd Mattingly Haynes And Boone, L.L.P. Protective sleeve for threaded connections for expandable liner hanger
US20070089887A1 (en) * 2005-10-24 2007-04-26 Baker Hughes Incorporated Metal-to-metal non-elastomeric seal stack
US20070200299A1 (en) * 2006-02-17 2007-08-30 Innicor Subsurface Technologies Inc Spring/seal element
US20080061510A1 (en) * 2006-09-11 2008-03-13 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Forming a metal-to-metal seal in a well
US20080135229A1 (en) * 2006-12-07 2008-06-12 Vetco Gray Inc. Flex-lock metal seal system for wellhead members
US7401788B2 (en) * 2002-05-30 2008-07-22 Baker Hughes Incorporated High pressure and temperature seal for downhole use

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FR2820457B1 (en) * 2001-02-02 2003-08-01 Inst Francais Du Petrole safety valve is installed directly in a production tubing of an oil well and implementation method
NO316288B1 (en) * 2002-10-25 2004-01-05 Reslink As Brönnpakning of a tubing string and a method of feeding a wire past brönnpakningen

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US2799345A (en) * 1953-11-24 1957-07-16 Baker Oil Tools Inc Tubing tester and well packer apparatus
US2903281A (en) * 1956-08-28 1959-09-08 Gen Electric Metallic fluid seal
US3047300A (en) * 1959-07-01 1962-07-31 Lockheed Aircraft Corp Metal sealing assembly
US3443638A (en) * 1967-06-09 1969-05-13 Henry C Haynie Pack-off assembly and method of running pipe
US3894818A (en) * 1973-04-27 1975-07-15 Smith International In-hole motors
US4127168A (en) * 1977-03-11 1978-11-28 Exxon Production Research Company Well packers using metal to metal seals
US4160551A (en) * 1977-10-03 1979-07-10 Engineering Enterprises, Inc. Seal assembly
US4234197A (en) * 1979-01-19 1980-11-18 Baker International Corporation Conduit sealing system
US4291768A (en) * 1980-01-14 1981-09-29 W-K-M Wellhead Systems, Inc. Packing assembly for wellheads
US4288082A (en) * 1980-04-30 1981-09-08 Otis Engineering Corporation Well sealing system
US4372390A (en) * 1980-09-02 1983-02-08 Hughes Tool Company Well valve
US4406469A (en) * 1981-09-21 1983-09-27 Baker International Corporation Plastically deformable conduit seal for subterranean wells
US4515213A (en) * 1983-02-09 1985-05-07 Memory Metals, Inc. Packing tool apparatus for sealing well bores
US4630636A (en) * 1983-11-16 1986-12-23 Baker Cac Actuator with nonelastomeric seal
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US4730670A (en) * 1985-12-06 1988-03-15 Baker Oil Tools, Inc. High temperature packer for well conduits
US4691776A (en) * 1986-05-29 1987-09-08 Camco, Incorporated Retrievable well safety valve with expandable external seals
US4811959A (en) * 1987-11-27 1989-03-14 Otis Engineering Corporation Seal assembly for well locking mandrel
US5316084A (en) * 1990-08-27 1994-05-31 Baker Hughes Incorporated Well tool with sealing means
US5263683A (en) * 1992-05-05 1993-11-23 Grace Energy Corporation Sliding sleeve valve
US5685369A (en) * 1996-05-01 1997-11-11 Abb Vetco Gray Inc. Metal seal well packer
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US20030221830A1 (en) * 2002-06-04 2003-12-04 Leising Lawrence J. Re-enterable gravel pack system with inflate packer
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US20040065446A1 (en) * 2002-10-08 2004-04-08 Khai Tran Expander tool for downhole use
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US20080061510A1 (en) * 2006-09-11 2008-03-13 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Forming a metal-to-metal seal in a well
US20080135229A1 (en) * 2006-12-07 2008-06-12 Vetco Gray Inc. Flex-lock metal seal system for wellhead members

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8602116B2 (en) * 2010-04-12 2013-12-10 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Sequenced packing element system
US20110247835A1 (en) * 2010-04-12 2011-10-13 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Sequenced packing element system
US8397803B2 (en) 2010-07-06 2013-03-19 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Packing element system with profiled surface
US9458691B2 (en) * 2011-03-04 2016-10-04 Parker-Hannifin Corporation Metal chevron axial seal
US20140124193A1 (en) * 2011-03-04 2014-05-08 Parker-Hannifin Corporation Metal chevron axial seal
US8960277B2 (en) * 2011-05-25 2015-02-24 I-Tec As Packer for sealing against a wellbore wall
US20120298349A1 (en) * 2011-05-25 2012-11-29 I-Tec As Packer for Sealing Against a Wellbore Wall
GB2495394A (en) * 2011-10-05 2013-04-10 Vetco Gray Inc Chevron shaped seal elements
GB2495394B (en) * 2011-10-05 2014-04-02 Vetco Gray Inc Damage tolerant casing hanger seal
CN103032042A (en) * 2011-10-05 2013-04-10 韦特柯格雷公司 Damage tolerant casing hanger seal
US9341039B2 (en) 2011-10-05 2016-05-17 Vetco GrayInc. Damage tolerant casing hanger seal
US20130087977A1 (en) * 2011-10-05 2013-04-11 Gary L. Galle Damage tolerant casing hanger seal
AU2012232952B2 (en) * 2011-10-05 2016-11-24 Vetco Gray Inc. Damage tolerant casing hanger seal

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AS Assignment

Owner name: BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED, TEXAS

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WRIGHT, MARIE;SIMPSON, ALAN T.;REEL/FRAME:019403/0303

Effective date: 20070607

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION