US20100307770A1 - Contaminant excluding junction and method - Google Patents

Contaminant excluding junction and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100307770A1
US20100307770A1 US12/481,329 US48132909A US2010307770A1 US 20100307770 A1 US20100307770 A1 US 20100307770A1 US 48132909 A US48132909 A US 48132909A US 2010307770 A1 US2010307770 A1 US 2010307770A1
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Prior art keywords
tubular
junction
exclusion
tool
lem
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Abandoned
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US12/481,329
Inventor
Barton F. Sponchia
Amy L. Farrar
Aubrey C. Mills
Douglas J. Murray
John J. Johnson
James L. Mcgowin
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Baker Hughes Inc
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Baker Hughes Inc
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Priority to US12/481,329 priority Critical patent/US20100307770A1/en
Assigned to BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED reassignment BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SPONCHIA, BARTON F., MCGOWIN, JAMES L., MURRAY, DOUGLAS J., FARRAR, AMY L., JOHNSON, JOHN J., MILLS, AUBREY C.
Publication of US20100307770A1 publication Critical patent/US20100307770A1/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
    • E21B41/00Equipment or details not covered by groups E21B15/00 - E21B40/00
    • E21B41/0035Apparatus or methods for multilateral well technology, e.g. for the completion of or workover on wells with one or more lateral branches
    • E21B41/0042Apparatus or methods for multilateral well technology, e.g. for the completion of or workover on wells with one or more lateral branches characterised by sealing the junction between a lateral and a main bore
    • 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
    • E21B41/00Equipment or details not covered by groups E21B15/00 - E21B40/00
    • E21B41/0035Apparatus or methods for multilateral well technology, e.g. for the completion of or workover on wells with one or more lateral branches

Abstract

A junction selective contaminant exclusion tool includes a tubular positionable within the junction and having an opening through a wall thereof, a material disposed on an outside surface of the tubular, the material being capable of increasing a radial dimension between a surface of the material in contact with the tubular and an opposite surface of the material upon exposure to a selected species. A method for excluding selected contaminants from a wellbore junction is also disclosed. The method includes: disposing a junction at a wellbore casing window; disposing a tubular member having at least one opening through a wall thereof at the junction, the tubular member including an exclusion material thereon capable of existing in a first configuration and a second configuration, the second configuration obtainable upon exposure to a selected species; and exposing the material to the selected species.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • In the downhole drilling and completion art, extensive use is made of multilateral borehole systems for reasons such as reduced cost and reduced surface footprint. More specifically, it is far more economically prudent to drill a single surface-down primary borehole and then multiple lateral boreholes therefrom than it is to drill the same number of total boreholes (primary and laterals) from the surface. A multilateral borehole system allows access to various zones of a hydrocarbon containing formation while minimizing the total length of boreholes as duplicative length is avoided.
  • One consideration to be addressed in multilateral borehole systems is the one or more junctions and the exclusion of contaminants from the borehole system at that point. Because milling a window in a casing is imprecise with respect to exact window shape, and potential damage to the material at the edge of the window, exclusionary means such as sealing or filtering thereagainst is difficult and sometimes impossible to accomplish. This leaves the junction vulnerable to influx of debris, sand or other particulate material or other contaminant that can deleteriously affect equipment installed in the borehole system or surface equipment or could reduce quality of produced fluids. Thus it is normally common to utilize particulate resistant borehole tools capable of continued function in the presence of the particulate laden fluid flow and other exclusionary or purification type devices but these are expensive and in the case of particulate contaminants the expected working life is still necessarily reduced over that of equipment in non particulate-laden flows. Junction technology resulting in the exclusion of particulate matter and or other contaminants from the flow of fluid through the borehole system would therefore be well received by the art.
  • SUMMARY
  • A junction selective contaminant expandable exclusion tool includes a tubular positionable within the junction and having one or more opening therein at least one being a window through a wall thereof, the tubular being expandable into contact with a wall of a borehole in which the tool is to be set, and one or more end rings constructed of a material different than the material of the tubular attached at one or more openings thereof.
  • An exclusion system includes an expansion tool; an expandable LEM configured to respond to the expansion tool.
  • A sealed junction includes a junction; a tubular disposed at the junction, the tubular having one or more openings at least one of which being a window through a wall thereof the tubular being expanded into contact with adjoining structures; and one or more end rings at openings of the expanded tubular.
  • A method for excluding selected contaminants from a wellbore junction includes disposing a junction at a wellbore casing window; disposing a tubular member having one or more openings at least one of which being a window through a wall thereof at the junction; and expanding the tubular into contact with the junction.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Referring now to the drawings wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several Figures:
  • FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view of a functional portion of a borehole system having a liner hanger function and a lateral entry module therein;
  • FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of the lateral entry module of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 and 4 are together an enlarged view of a flange portion of the liner hanger function separated from other components thereof for illustrative purposes;
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-section view taken along section line 5-5 in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective section view at the same section point as FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5 but including an alternate construction;
  • FIG. 8 is a view of the configuration of FIG. 7 in the activated position;
  • FIG. 9 is a schematic view of an expansion tool as disclosed herein; and
  • FIG. 10 is a schematic view of an expandable LEM system as disclosed herein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Referring to FIG. 1, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate a multi-lateral junction portion 10 of a borehole system illustrated in axial section to reveal internal components thereof. For reference, a primary casing is identified by numeral 12. A casing window 14 is generally machined through the casing 12 by any number of window opening techniques that are not germane to this application. Through window 14 and partially resident in the primary casing 12 is a junction 16 which may be a liner hanger and in one embodiment is a hook hanger liner hanger commercially available from Baker Oil Tools, Houston, Tex. and disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,477,925, for example, and which is incorporated herein by reference. Junction 16 includes a lateral leg 18 that is as will be recognized, intended to be run into a lateral borehole (not shown but implied by the location of leg 18). Included in the junction 16, in one embodiment, is a flange 20 (see FIGS. 3, 4 and 5). Flange 20 is not a separate component but is a permanently attached component of the junction 16. It has been illustrated separately here for illustrative purposes to provide a greater understanding of the invention and will be addressed further hereunder to that end. While it is desirable to include flange 20 in a junction, it is to be understood that flange 20 is not necessarily needed. The concept set forth herein is applicable to a junction that does not include a flange as well, with the seal or sieve (discussed hereunder) sealing or creating a sieve on a surface of the junction 16 instead.
  • The final component illustrated in FIG. 1 and germane to the invention is a tubular member positionable within the junction 16 such as a lateral entry module (LEM) 22, which is illustrated. It is important to make clear that while an LEM is depicted, this is for illustrative purposes only as the inventive concept is not limited to a configuration having an LEM. Rather, any tubular placable in a junction and with which a seal (or filter sieve) may be formed to flange 20 (or similar structure on the junction) is sufficient. It is also to be noted that a full window is not necessary in this tubular. A series of holes or a smaller hole, or a partially misaligned hole is also contemplated although such would, while still passing fluid, not allow easy reentry to the lateral. Facilitation of lateral reentry is an added benefit if an LEM is utilized. Applicants hereinafter utilize the term “LEM” simply because it is an easier term to identify than “tubular” particularly in an application for patent directed to downhole tools.
  • LEM 22 is similar in function to commercially available products from Baker Oil Tools, Houston, Tex. under part number H28918 but may include differences in structure as desired for particular applications.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 together, the LEM 22 includes an uphole end portion 24, a body 26, a window 28, and a downhole end portion 30. The uphole and downhole end portions 24 and 30 are of a material thickness greater than the body 26 with the differential in thickness being located at the outside dimension of the LEM 22. This provides for a continuous inside dimension surface 32 and a stepped outside surface where the greater dimension surface 34 is defined by the outside dimension of ends 24 and 30 and the lesser dimension surface 36 is defined by the outside dimension of the body 26. Joining the surfaces 34 and 36 is an annular shoulder surface 38 and 40 (one at each end of the LEM 22). As will be appreciated from the drawings, an effective recess is created by surface 34, surface 38 and surface 40. Within the recess, a seal material or a sieve material is located and is relatively protected during run-in.
  • To illustrate the seal or sieve material reference is made to FIG. 2 where a cross section makes the nature of the seal or sieve material understandable. To a careful observer, it will be apparent that the outside dimension of the seal material 42 is of a lesser dimension than that of surface 34. This is to reduce the potential for damage to the seal during run-in. In this embodiment, the seal material 42 is lined for elastomer but it is to be appreciated that any material capable of creating a seal with flange 20 of the liner hanger is possible. Included in possible materials (though not an exhaustive list and thus not intended to be limiting) are elastomers in general, elastomers that swell upon exposure to certain chemicals (e.g. diesel, water, etc.) shape memory materials (including shape memory foams such as those disclosed in U.S. Application No. 60/852,275, filed on Oct. 17, 2006, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, shape memory polymers, reinforced shape memory polymers, shape memory alloys.)
  • For swellable materials, the material configuration will be such that it does not significantly impede run-in while at the same time having sufficient swelling ability to bridge between surface 36 of LEM 22 and a surface 44 of flange 20 (see FIGS. 3-6). Shape memory materials on the other hand may be those having macro shapes that change such as a tubular (possibly cylindrical) configuration in one state and a flanged configuration in another state. Further, the shape memory materials may be such as to have a compressed condition that exhibits a relatively small differential between one side surface and another side surface in one state and then a markedly larger differential between one side surface and the other in a second state. The ordinarily skilled artisan will be familiar with slow recovery polyurethane foam earplugs, which while not exhibiting properties of use for this disclosure are a good example of the change in material dimension that is being described herein. Such changes in dimension may be effected by a number of species such as purely by heat or chemical species at the target location or may be augmented by an adhesive or other bonding agent that either physically restrains collapsed cells of a foam to themselves until a selected period of time after compression or until a selected chemical exposure (water, oil, etc.) occurs for a sufficient time to defeat the bond and thus allow the material to come away from the surface 36 at selected areas (in the first example) or to expand the cellular structure (in the second example). It is further to be noted that each of the materials noted may be either fluid impermeable or fluid permeable. Where the material is fluid impermeable, a seal is created and consideration is warranted regarding the pressure differential thereacross either from the standpoint of maintaining the pressure differential below a selected maximum or ensuring that the seal itself is created with sufficient contact pressure that the maximum expected pressure can be held without extrusion of the seal. In the event the seal is fluid permeable, pressure differential is less an issue for consideration as most situations will be self-equalized. In this case, only particulate matter is excluded. Further, it is contemplated that different materials 42 may be employed simultaneously in various locations between surface 36 and 44 such as for example alternating between a seal and a sieve perimetrically to facilitate a particular application.
  • In any of the above cases, the material is intended when deployed to extend from surface 36 to a surface 44 (see FIGS. 3, 5 and 6). With reference to FIG. 6, it is apparent that the area requiring sealing at surface 44 is relatively narrow. FIGS. 3 and 4 are helpful in illustrating this. For this reason, and although the seal or sieve material 42 is illustrated extending cylindrically about the entire circumference of LEM 22, this is not necessary for sealing or for the sieve. Rather, providing the seal or sieve material 42 is located so that it will contact at least a perimetral region of surface 44 around a window 46 of flange 20, the intent of the seal or sieve will be realized by providing for exclusion of at least particulate matter and possibly fluid from entry to the junction through the window machined in the casing. Applying the material 42 cylindrically about LEM 22 eases required consideration of alignment to produce the desired seal/sieve.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, an alternative embodiment is illustrated. In this embodiment, additional consideration is given to seal or sieve support to alleviate possible extrusion thereof. In both of the Figures, a support lip (50 and 52) is added to at least a portion of LEM window 28. In the Figures, the lips 50 and 52 are illustrated bilaterally in the cross section view. The lips could actually be a single lip extending perimetrically around the window 28 or could be short sections or even could be configured as only one lip in a single small portion of the window perimeter. Nevertheless, as illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, one can ascertain one location of the lips and how they function by comparison of the two figures. It is to be appreciated that each lips 50 and 52 include a surface 54 and 56, respectively. As illustrated surfaces 54 and 56 are not aligned with edge regions 60 and 62 of flange 20, however the degree of alignment is variable and may be set where desired in particular applications. In some applications the surfaces 54 and 56 will be aligned directly with edge regions 60 and 62.
  • In yet another embodiment hereof, an expansion system for debris exclusion at a junction is disclosed. The sealing or sieving duty of the foregoing embodiments is primarily taken up by a direct expansion of the LEM itself. For embodiments where the expansion is sufficient to create a fully sealed interface between the junction and the LEM, a pressure rated Junction can be created even without cement. Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, an expansion tool 100 and an expandable LEM system 120 are illustrated. The expansion tool 100 comprises a series of components that together provide the capability to expand the expandable LEM system 120 shown in FIG. 10.
  • Components included in the expansion tool 100 beginning from an uphole end of the tool are a stroker 102, a fluid loss control valve 104, a secondary expansion configuration such as a variable expansion cone 106, a primary expansion configuration such as a variable expansion cone 108, an LEM running tool 110 and a hydraulic anchor 112. The tool 100 will be connected to the LEM system 120 for run in and will remain connected to the same throughout the expansion process after which the expansion tool 100 will be disengaged from the system 120 and tripped out of the hole.
  • One of skill in the art may note from the drawing FIG. 9 that the primary variable expansion cone 108 appears unusually long relative to other components of the expansion tool and to that of the system 120. The Figures are drawn at the same scale and indeed the cone 108 is unusually long. This is because the inventors hereof have discovered that a primary variable expansion cone 108 that is as long or longer than an expandable LEM 126 enables the expansion of such structure wherein a window 132 resides prior to expansion. Heretofore it has not been possible to expand a windowed tubular but as a portion of the invention herein described the inventors hereof have solved this problem.
  • Returning for a moment to the expansion tool 100, it will be appreciated that the hydraulic anchor 112 and LEM running tool 110 operate as they have in the embodiments hereinbefore described and in the prior art to run the expandable LEM to depth and to anchor in that location prior to the expansion step. Once the hydraulic anchor is anchored in place, the primary variable expansion cone is driven through the LEM. It will be understood that the cone size is selected at a surface location or a variable cone may be used. The cone size will be between the unexpanded size of the LEM and the size of the secondary cone. The secondary cone then will further expand the LEM to the desired sealed size. After the cones 108 and 106 are adjusted, the stroker 102 is actuated to push the cones 108/106 through the expandable LEM 120. The first contact of the cone 108 with the LEM 120 is at end effect ring 122. Ring 122 comprises a malleable material that will tend to “splay open” following expansion to assist in maintaining drift of the LEM post expansion. In one embodiment, there are end effect rings 122, 130 on each end of the LEM 120 and at the window 132. The end effect ring at the window is identified by the numeral 134 and comprises a brass material or other malleable material such as aluminum, platinum, gold, woven polycarbonate, lead, etc. having similar or otherwise suitable material properties to maintain window drift post expansion. Further, it is to be noted that at the immediate vicinity of the window 132, it is not important to actually stretch the expandable material but rather it is important to expand a portion of the LEM identified with numeral 136 uphole of the window and the portion identified with numeral 138 downhole of the window 132. The section of the LEM in which the window is actually formed need only splay open to allow an edge of the window 132 to be pushed into contact with an adjoining structure of the junction (not shown) in order to create a seal or debris exclusion sieve effect. Because expanded materials tend to roll back on themselves post expansion, the end effect ring 134 on the window edge is beneficial to the arrangement. During the expansion operation, expandable hanger 124 is expanded into contact with a casing or open hole to hang the LEM 126 and the expandable lower anchor 128 is expanded against the casing or open hole to anchor the expandable LEM 120 in place. Each of the hanger and the anchor include packers and wickers as is known to the art.
  • Due to the combined action of the elongated primary variable expansion cone 108, secondary cone 106 and the end rings 122, 130 and 134, the post expansion expandable LEM 120 is properly deployed to produce a TAML level 3 junction without the need for cement. Further the expandable LEM provides hydraulic isolation and maintains maximum flow areas through the junction.
  • In one embodiment of the expandable LEM, the LEM window portion 126 is coated with a sealing material such as a polymeric material, for example, rubber (be it swellable rubber or nonswellable rubber), lead, copper or other soft metal or other sealing type material.
  • While the discussion regarding the expandable LEM has been focused primarily on a mechanical swaging arrangement, this is not intended to be limiting. The swages are but one way to create the desired expansion. It is indeed contemplated that inflatables may be used to expand the expandable LEM system 120 with similar beneficial results.
  • In another embodiment of the expandable LEM a plate is added to the window prior to expansion to reduce the potential for a swage or inflatable to preferentially move through the widow rather than expand it. The plate, which is simply in the shape of the widow and covers the window from the inside is positioned at the inside surface of the LEM 126 overlapping the edge of the window 132 so that upon an expansive load, the plate will be pushed into the LEM at the edge of the window transferring the load applied to the plate area to the edge of the window to assist in expansion rather than that force being lost through the window 132.
  • In another embodiment referring back to FIG. 10, an orientation and location configuration 140 is provided within LEM 126 to assist in re-entering the lateral and positioning tools that do not necessarily go into the lateral. One embodiment of the configuration 140 is a helical profile that is illustrated in FIG. 10. The profile comprises a material that is resistant to smearing so that the edge thereof useful for guiding later run tools is not lost to the expansion process. Materials contemplated include graphite impregnated carbon steel, chromoly steel, diamond encrusted steel, etc.
  • Finally it is important to note that the LEM 126 can be employed in a borehole by itself and without the balance of the components of the expandable LEM system 126.
  • 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 (20)

1. A junction selective contaminant expandable exclusion tool comprising:
a tubular positionable within the junction and having one or more opening therein at least one being a window through a wall thereof, the tubular being expandable into contact with a wall of a borehole in which the tool is to be set; and
one or more end rings constructed of a material different than the material of the tubular attached at one or more openings thereof.
2. The exclusion tool as claimed in claim 1 wherein the tubular further includes a sealing material coating thereon.
3. The exclusion tool as claimed in claim 2 wherein the sealing material is a metal.
4. The exclusion tool as claimed in claim 2 wherein the sealing material is a polymeric material.
5. The exclusion tool as claimed in claim 2 wherein the one or more end rings include an end ring positioned about a periphery of the window of the tubular.
6. The exclusion tool as claimed in claim 2 wherein the one or more end rings include an end ring positioned at least one axial end of the tubular.
7. The exclusion tool as claimed in claim 2 wherein the one or more end rings include an end ring positioned at both axial ends of the tubular.
8. An exclusion system comprising:
an expansion tool; and
an expandable LEM configured to respond to the expansion tool.
9. The exclusion system as claimed in claim 8 wherein the expansion tool includes an expansion configuration.
10. The exclusion system as claimed in claim 9 wherein the expansion configuration is a swage.
11. The exclusion system as claimed in claim 9 wherein the expansion configuration is an inflatable.
12. The exclusion system as claimed in claim 8 wherein the expandable LEM includes one or more end rings.
13. The exclusion system as claimed in claim 12 wherein the one or more end rings are constructed of a material different than that of the expandable LEM.
14. The exclusion system as claimed in claim 8 wherein the expansion tool includes at least one elongated swage.
15. The exclusion system as claimed in claim 14 wherein the elongated swage is longer than an LEM it is intended to expand.
16. The exclusion system as claimed in claim 14 wherein the system further includes a secondary swage.
17. A sealed junction comprising:
a junction;
a tubular disposed at the junction, the tubular having one or more openings at least one of which being a window through a wall thereof the tubular being expanded into contact with adjoining structures; and
one or more end rings at openings of the expanded tubular.
18. A method for excluding selected contaminants from a wellbore junction comprising:
disposing a junction at a wellbore casing window;
disposing a tubular member having one or more openings at least one of which being a window through a wall thereof at the junction; and
expanding the tubular into contact with the junction.
19. A method for excluding selected contaminants from a wellbore junction as claimed in claim 18 further including expanding one or more end rings located at one or more openings of the tubular.
20. A method for excluding selected contaminants from a wellbore junction as claimed in claim 18 wherein the expanding is by driving a swage having a length greater than the tubular through the tubular.
US12/481,329 2009-06-09 2009-06-09 Contaminant excluding junction and method Abandoned US20100307770A1 (en)

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WO2014126917A1 (en) * 2013-02-12 2014-08-21 Schlumberger Canada Limited Lateral junction for use in a well
US10240415B2 (en) 2012-10-12 2019-03-26 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Alignment assembly

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US20080099201A1 (en) * 2006-10-31 2008-05-01 Sponchia Barton F Contaminant excluding junction and method

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10240415B2 (en) 2012-10-12 2019-03-26 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Alignment assembly
WO2014126917A1 (en) * 2013-02-12 2014-08-21 Schlumberger Canada Limited Lateral junction for use in a well
US10392904B2 (en) 2013-02-12 2019-08-27 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Lateral junction for use in a well

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WO2010144583A3 (en) 2011-03-17
WO2010144583A2 (en) 2010-12-16

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