US20100212883A1 - Swell packer setting confirmation - Google Patents

Swell packer setting confirmation Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100212883A1
US20100212883A1 US12/390,950 US39095009A US2010212883A1 US 20100212883 A1 US20100212883 A1 US 20100212883A1 US 39095009 A US39095009 A US 39095009A US 2010212883 A1 US2010212883 A1 US 2010212883A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
swellable
setting confirmation
swellable material
arrangement
configurations
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
US12/390,950
Inventor
Alan B. Emerson
Keith J. Murphy
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
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Baker Hughes Inc
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Publication date
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Priority to US12/390,950 priority Critical patent/US20100212883A1/en
Assigned to BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED reassignment BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MURPHY, KEITH J., EMERSON, ALAN B.
Publication of US20100212883A1 publication Critical patent/US20100212883A1/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
    • 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
    • E21B47/00Survey of boreholes or wells
    • E21B47/0006Measuring stresses in a well bore pipe string or casing

Abstract

A swellable setting confirmation arrangement comprising: a mandrel; a swellable material supported by the mandrel; one or more sensory configurations at the swellable material and a method for confirming setting of a swellable material and for installing a swellable material having a setting confirmation function.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • Sealing devices are well known in the hydrocarbon recovery industry due to their ubiquitous use pursuant to varied needs throughout the wellbore. There are also many different types of sealing devices, some of which allow for testing immediately after setting by pressuring up on the well system to ensure that the setting procedure was successful. This is clearly beneficial as there is an immediate confirmation of a successful job. This occurs before the operator leaves the job site to insure that the job went well and thus promotes customer satisfaction.
  • While the above testing opportunity is the case for many kinds of sealing devices it is not so for all devices. Swellable devices cannot be tested because their initial actuation is a much longer-term program. More specifically, swellable materials that are used in the wellbore generally set over a time period of about two weeks. While setting time does vary (due to particular fluid concentration and chemistry and the temperature of the wellbore at the location of the set), it is always over time long enough that it would be decidedly uneconomical to maintain testing equipment at a site to test such a seal after it is expected to be fully set.
  • Because swellable materials have other beneficial properties and are favored in the art, they are becoming more and more prevalent despite the fact that testing is not realistically plausible.
  • SUMMARY
  • A swellable setting confirmation arrangement comprising a mandrel; a swellable material supported by the mandrel; one or more sensory configurations at the swellable material.
  • A method for confirming setting of a swellable material comprising: running a swellable material to a target location in a wellbore; swelling the swellable material for a period of time; measuring strain caused by the swelling of the swellable material with one or more sensory configurations.
  • A method for installing a swellable material having a setting confirmation function in a wellbore comprising: Installing one or more sensory configurations in a wellbore; installing a swellable material radially adjacent the one or more sensory configurations.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Referring now to the drawings wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several Figures:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a first embodiment of a set verification arrangement for a swellable device;
  • FIG. 1A is an alternate configuration showing the sensory configuration in a spaced helical pattern;
  • FIG. 1B is an alternate configuration showing the sensory configuration in a non-spaced helical pattern;
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a second embodiment of a set verification arrangement for a swellable device;
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a third embodiment of a set verification arrangement for a swellable device; and
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a fourth embodiment of a set verification arrangement for a swellable device.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The above-described drawback to the use of swellable devices in the downhole environment is overcome through various embodiments and methods as disclosed herein.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, a first embodiment is illustrated schematically in quarter section. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement 10 comprises a mandrel 12 having a swellable material 14 disposed there around. In one iteration, the swellable material 14 is around the mandrel 12 for 360 degrees but it should be noted that it is not necessarily required that the swellable material 14 be so configured. It is possible in other embodiments for the material 14 to be something short of 360 degrees about the mandrel 12 for particular applications without effect on the arrangement disclosed herein. Between the mandrel 12 and the swellable material 14 is disposed one or more sensory configuration(s) 16. The configuration may comprise one or more optic fibers, load cells, strain sensors, such as hall effect sensors, momentary switches, etc. that have the ability to sense a load placed thereon (on or off, a “dichotomous measurement”). In one embodiment, the sensor(s) not only sense the presence of a load but additionally quantifies that load as well. The foregoing sensory configurations can be configured to sense quantitatively by known methods. Such sensing includes but are not limited to mercury strain gauges, rubber strain gauges, piezo resistance strain gauges, silicon strain gauges, wheatstone bridges, intrinsic sensors, extrinsic sensors, electro mechanical sensors, electro optic sensors, etc. An optic fiber based sensory configuration is an example of a configuration capable of both. The one or more sensory configurations 16 may thus be a single optic fiber, a plurality of fibers, a bundle of fibers, etc. extending roughly longitudinally and generally parallel to the mandrel 12, or extending helically about the mandrel 12 (with the helix ranging from tightly wrapped (see FIG. 1B) such that there is no gap between adjacent wraps of the optic fiber(s) to loosely wrapped (see FIG. 1 A) so that gaps from small to large may exist between the adjacent wraps of optic fiber(s)depending upon resolution desired). Determination of the density of the sensory configuration is directly related to the resolution of the information desired to be obtained. The greater the resolution desired, the greater the density needed. It is to be understood that the helical illustration of FIG. 1 is equally applicable to the FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 embodiments by substituting the configuration 16 in those illustrations for the configurations 16 shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. It is intended that the reader understand that the helical conditions shown are applicable to any of the embodiments of the invention.
  • In other embodiments, the one or more sensory configurations 16 may be placed randomly between the swellable material 14 and mandrel 12 or may be placed in any desired pattern between material 14 and mandrel 12. This includes a pattern that is affected by the use of a network of strain sensors in a net of electrical connection, etc. The pattern may itself be unrelated to any anticipated distribution of strain (in which case the distribution is likely to be uniform but is not required to be) or may be specifically placed with regard to anticipated strain distribution. In either case, the purpose of the one or more sensory configurations 16 is to sense strain placed thereon by the swelling of the swellable material 14.
  • When a swellable material is set in a wellbore the material 14 will exert pressure against the mandrel 12 and the structure against which it is set. Depending upon a number of factors including but not limited to the degree of swelling attained and the geometric shape of the structure in which the swellable device is being set, the strain experienced at various portions of the swellable material and thus the mandrel may be different. The swellable setting confirmation arrangement 10 provides information to this effect to an operator. As noted above, since the swellable material swells slowly in the wellbore, on the order of two weeks, there is no way to test the set of the swellable while the installation crew and equipment is still on site. This means that if the swellable did not attain a set that enables it to do its job, this will not necessarily be known and presumably, production will suffer. If a well operator knows that something was a miss, remedial action could be taken. Where the arrangement 10 merely shows existence or absence of strain enough information is provided that the operator knows the device must be pulled and a new one put in. Where however, the arrangement 10 also provides a quantification of the strain thereon, a much more resolute picture of the downhole environment can be gleaned. This enables an operator or swellable installation crew to determine more precisely what type, shape, style, etc. of swellable would be best suited to have the desired effect in the particular wellbore. This is possible because with a quantification of strain, the geometry in the wellbore is far better defined since areas of greater strain and areas of lesser strain will indicate washed out areas or out of round areas of the structure downhole in which the device is being set.
  • In the embodiments discussed above, as the swellable material swells into contact with a structure in which it is being set, the material 14 itself exerts more and more pressure on the mandrel. Because the one or more sensory configurations 16 are located between the material 14 and the mandrel 12, they are compressed there between and hence will register that condition either dichotomously or quantitatively depending upon application.
  • In another embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the one or more sensory configurations 16 are embedded in the swellable material 14. The one or more sensory configurations are hence put into compression upon swelling of the swellable material 14 similarly to that of the embodiment of FIG. 1 but the compression profile is distinct in that the configurations 16 are not directly compressed against the mandrel 12. While the magnitude of compression may be smaller in this embodiment, it is still easily measured dichotomously or quantitatively. Further, in this embodiment the one or more sensory configurations may be better environmentally protected for some applications.
  • In yet another embodiment, referring to FIG. 3, the one or more sensory configurations 16 are located on an outside surface 20 of the material 14. In this embodiment, the configurations 16 are exposed to the wellbore and are more likely to experience damage but they also will be directly in contact with the surface against which the swellable material 14 is to be set. This will provide a very accurate indication of the surface irregularities of the structure in applications where such is useful.
  • In yet another embodiment, referring to FIG. 4, the one or more sensory configurations 16 (each of those disclosed above are possible) are separated from the swellable material 14. In one iteration the separated sensory configurations are still mounted to the same mandrel so that they can be put in place in a single run whereas in another iteration, the sensory configurations 16 could be mounted to a separate string for run in separately from the swellable material 14 if dictated by a particular need. FIG. 4 schematically illustrates both concepts by including a break line 26 that is intended to signify alternatively length of the mandrel 12 or a separate mandrel run at a different time. In either of these iterations, the one or more sensory configurations 16 are mountable in the wellbore 22 via a deployment method such as expansion. One embodiment will use rings 28 and 30 on either end of the configurations 16 that are expandable and will anchor the configurations 16 to the wellbore 22. The configurations 16 are thus affixed to the wellbore 22 where after the swellable material 14 is positioned inside of the configuration(s) 16 and allowed to swell in the normal course. Progress of the swellable material can be monitored, as can that of the foregoing embodiments through the one or more sensory configurations 16. It is also to be noted that the components can be reversed such that the configurations 16 are placed at a radially inward position instead of outward with similar effects.
  • 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 (21)

1. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement comprising:
a mandrel;
a swellable material supported by the mandrel;
one or more sensory configurations at the swellable material.
2. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the one or more sensory configurations are positioned between the swellable material and the mandrel.
3. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the one or more sensory configurations are positioned within the swellable material.
4. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the one or more sensory configurations are positioned between an outside surface of the swellable material.
5. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the one or more sensory configurations are positioned to contact a structure against which the swellable material is to be set.
6. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the one or more sensory configurations is one or more optic fibers.
7. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 6 wherein the one or more optic fibers are positioned axially of the mandrel or the swellable material.
8. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 6 wherein the one or more optic fibers are positioned helically about one of the mandrel, the swellable material or within the swellable material.
9. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 8 wherein the helical positioning is spaced apart.
10. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 8 wherein the helical positioning is without spacing between wraps.
11. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the one or more sensory configurations is one or more hall effect sensors.
12. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the one or more sensory configurations is one or more momentary switches.
13. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein at least one of the one or more sensory configurations is capable of dichotomous measurement only.
14. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein at least one of the one or more sensory configurations is capable of quantitative measurement.
15. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the arrangement is runnable in a single run.
16. A swellable setting confirmation arrangement as claimed in claims 1 wherein the swellable material and the one or more sensory configurations are located axially spaced from each other.
17. A method for confirming setting of a swellable material comprising: running a swellable material to a target location in a wellbore; swelling the swellable material for a period of time; measuring strain caused by the swelling of the swellable material with one or more sensory configurations.
18. A method as claimed in claim 17 wherein the measuring is dichotomous.
19. A method as claimed in claim 17 wherein the measuring is quantitative.
20. A method as claimed in claim 17 wherein the method further comprises mapping the measured strain to produce an image of the structure against which the swellable material is being set.
21. A method for installing a swellable material having a setting confirmation function in a wellbore comprising: Installing one or more sensory configurations in a wellbore; Installing a swellable material radially adjacent the one or more sensory configurations.
US12/390,950 2009-02-23 2009-02-23 Swell packer setting confirmation Abandoned US20100212883A1 (en)

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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100243269A1 (en) * 2009-03-24 2010-09-30 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Well Tools Utilizing Swellable Materials Activated on Demand
US20110083861A1 (en) * 2006-11-15 2011-04-14 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Well tool including swellable material and integrated fluid for initiating swelling
US9074464B2 (en) 2011-05-20 2015-07-07 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Verification of swelling in a well
US9464500B2 (en) 2010-08-27 2016-10-11 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Rapid swelling and un-swelling materials in well tools
US9488029B2 (en) 2007-02-06 2016-11-08 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Swellable packer with enhanced sealing capability

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Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110083861A1 (en) * 2006-11-15 2011-04-14 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Well tool including swellable material and integrated fluid for initiating swelling
US9273533B2 (en) 2006-11-15 2016-03-01 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Well tool including swellable material and integrated fluid for initiating swelling
US9488029B2 (en) 2007-02-06 2016-11-08 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Swellable packer with enhanced sealing capability
US20100243269A1 (en) * 2009-03-24 2010-09-30 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Well Tools Utilizing Swellable Materials Activated on Demand
US8047298B2 (en) * 2009-03-24 2011-11-01 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Well tools utilizing swellable materials activated on demand
US8453750B2 (en) 2009-03-24 2013-06-04 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Well tools utilizing swellable materials activated on demand
US9464500B2 (en) 2010-08-27 2016-10-11 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Rapid swelling and un-swelling materials in well tools
US9074464B2 (en) 2011-05-20 2015-07-07 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Verification of swelling in a well
US9938817B2 (en) 2011-05-20 2018-04-10 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Verification of swelling in a well
US10202838B2 (en) 2011-05-20 2019-02-12 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Verification of swelling in a well

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