US20110062670A1 - Load delayed seal element, system, and method - Google Patents

Load delayed seal element, system, and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110062670A1
US20110062670A1 US12/559,139 US55913909A US2011062670A1 US 20110062670 A1 US20110062670 A1 US 20110062670A1 US 55913909 A US55913909 A US 55913909A US 2011062670 A1 US2011062670 A1 US 2011062670A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
seal assembly
force
seal
transmission portion
force transmission
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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
US12/559,139
Inventor
Jason A. Allen
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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Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Baker Hughes Inc filed Critical Baker Hughes Inc
Priority to US12/559,139 priority Critical patent/US20110062670A1/en
Assigned to BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED reassignment BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ALLEN, JASON A.
Publication of US20110062670A1 publication Critical patent/US20110062670A1/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

Abstract

A seal assembly including, a deformable force transmission portion having an inner surface and an outer surface, the force transmission portion operative to transmit an applied force to a component linked to the seal assembly, and deformable in a direction transverse to a main axis of the seal assembly in response to a increased applied force greater than a threshold setting force, and a flexible outer seal portion attached to the outer surface and method.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • Flow control seals are well known in downhole industries such as drilling and completion industries and especially so in the hydrocarbon recovery industry. Those of skill in the art will readily recognize that all manner of seals are used including compression seals, inflatable seals, etc. for different applications in the downhole environment.
  • Compression set seals are traditionally fabricated from flexible rubber material. The seals are set by an axial force that may be applied mechanically by, for example, decreasing the weight of a tubing string supported by equipment uphole such as a derrick. Applying an axial force to the seal expands the seal such that the seal contacts the walls of a borehole. And while compression set seals are some of the oldest seals, and indeed some of the most reliable seals, the art is always receptive to improvements in performance.
  • SUMMARY
  • A seal assembly including, a deformable force transmission portion having an inner surface and an outer surface, the force transmission portion operative to transmit an applied force to a component linked to the seal assembly, and deformable in a direction transverse to a main axis of the seal assembly in response to a increased applied force greater than a threshold setting force, and a flexible outer seal portion attached to the outer surface.
  • A method for sealing a borehole includes applying a first axial force to a seal system operative to actuate a first seal assembly, applying a second axial force greater than the first axial force operative to actuate a second seal assembly.
  • A seal assembly system includes a first seal assembly and a second seal assembly each having a deformable force transmission portion having an inner surface and an outer surface, the force transmission portion operative to transmit an applied force to a component linked to the seal assembly, and deformable in a direction transverse to a main axis of the seal assembly in response to a increased applied force greater than a threshold setting force, and a flexible outer seal portion attached to the outer surface.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Referring now to the drawings wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several figures:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective partially cut away view of an exemplary embodiment of a seal assembly;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the force transmission portion of the seal assembly of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a side cut-away view of the assembly of FIG. 1;
  • FIGS. 4A-4C illustrate an exemplary method for setting seals;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a seal assembly; and
  • FIG. 6 is an alternate embodiment of a force transmission portion.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective partially cut away view of an exemplary embodiment of a seal assembly 10. The assembly 10 includes a deformable force transmission portion 12, which may be tubular in geometry. An outer seal portion 14 is positioned adjacent to, and in one embodiment sealed to, an outer diameter surface of the force transmission portion 12. An inner seal portion 16 is positioned adjacent to, and in one embodiment sealed to, an inner diameter surface of the force transmission portion. The outer seal portion 14 and the inner seal portion 16 may be formed from a flexible material such as, for example, rubber. The force transmission portion 12 may be formed from metal, plastic, or a composite material. The force transmission portion 12 functions to resist a compressive load being applied to the seal 10 so that the same load may be transmitted thorough the seal 10 in order to be used downhole thereof. In one iteration, the use to be made of the force downhole of the seal 10 is as an actuation force. As noted above, compressive forces from uphole of a compressively set seal are traditionally not available downhole of the seal since those forces are reacted out by the radial expansion of the seal into contact with parametrical walls of the annulus in which they are positioned. Once the compression set seal is compressed into sealing contact, much if not all of the compressive load from uphole thereof can be borne by the compression set seal and hence does not transmit therethrough. Because of the configuration taught herein including the force transmission portion 12, compressive setting force can indeed be used downhole of the seal 10. This is effected by delaying the setting of the seal 10.
  • The seal assembly 10 is capable of transmitting a compressive axial force through the force transmission portion 12, and due thereto, to components downhole of seal assembly 10. This occurs while a threshold compressive force is not achieved whereat the seal 10 will itself set. Therefore depending upon the selected threshold force dictated by the ability of the force transmission portion to hold a load without itself deforming, other tools including seals, slips, or any other mechanically activated device downhole may be set (at lower threshold loads than the seal 10) prior to seal 10 setting and effectively preventing the application of compressive force downhole thereof thereafter. It is to be understood that multiple seals 10 may be used in a single system with increasing threshold compression set levels toward a surface location and setting of all of these is effectible through the compression set concept noted herein.
  • After more downhole components are set, the seal assembly 10 may be set by applying a compressive axial force of greater than the threshold force to the seal assembly 10 that is sufficient to deform the force transmission portion 12. At this point the seal 10 will set substantially normally. It is noted that a byproduct of the teaching hereof may be that the seal 10 is energized to a greater degree than traditional compression set seals because of the embedded force transmission portion that will tend to want to stay deformed once deformation thereof is effected. This is because it is contemplated that the deformation of the portion 12 is plastic deformation somewhere beyond the yield point of the material employed.
  • While it is to be appreciated that a number of different shaped of force transmission portions 12 could be used, as illustrated, the profile of the force transmission portion 12 has a greater outer diameter in the center of the force transmission portion 12 relative to the ends. This encourages a more uniform deformation of the portion 12 thereby avoiding seal contact pressure irregularities. Other embodiments may include a force transmission portion 12 having a greater outer diameter that is offset from the center resulting in an asymmetrical profile.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the force transmission portion 12 alone, without the balance of the seal assembly 10 provides a greater understanding of the configuration and therefore working of the portion 12. In the illustrated embodiment, circumferential lines 11 and 13 indicate areas of higher bending stress where the portion 12 will tend to yield under compressive load at the selected threshold level.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a side cut-away view of the seal assembly 10. The force transmission portion 12 has an outer diameter at the center of the force transmission portion 12 that is greater than the outer diameter of the ends of the force transmission portion 12. The main axis of the assembly 10 is represented by line 38.
  • FIGS. 4A-4C illustrate an example of the operation of an array of seal assemblies 10 in an arrangement 400. Referring to FIG. 4A, a force 4 is transmitted through the tubing string 2 through the seal assemblies 10 a and 10 b such that the force 4 actuates a downhole tool 6 (which could be another compression set seal or some other tool responsive to compressive load). The axial force 4 may be applied mechanically by, for example, decreasing support of the weight of a tubing string 2 by, for example, a derrick at the surface (not shown). Referring to FIG. 4B, once the tool 6 is set, the force 4 is increased such that the force is greater than the threshold setting force of the seal assembly 10 b (but less than the threshold setting force for the seal assembly 10 a); setting the seal assembly 10 b. Referring to FIG. 4C, once the seal assembly 10 b is set, the force 4 is increased above the threshold setting force for the seal assembly 10 a, resulting in the setting of the seal assembly 10 a.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a seal assembly 50 having a force transmission portion 52, an outer seal portion 54, and an inner seal portion 56. The seal assembly 50 is similar to the seal assemblies described above, however, a force transmission portion 52 includes threaded ends 60 that may be used to connect or link the assembly 50 to downhole and uphole equipment. This configuration would allow transmission of a tensile force through the seal. Where this force could be used to activate devices either before or after the elements were set.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates another alternate embodiment of a force transmission portion 70. The force transmission portion 70 comprises a plurality of ribs 72 arranged radially about the rotational axis of a seal assembly. The force transmission portion 70 operates similarly to the force transmission portions described above.
  • While one or more 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 (19)

What is claimed is:
1. A seal assembly comprising:
a deformable force transmission portion having an inner surface and an outer surface, the force transmission portion operative to transmit an applied force to a component linked to the seal assembly, and deformable in response to a increased applied axial compression force greater than a threshold setting force; and
a flexible outer seal portion attached to the outer surface.
2. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the assembly further comprises a flexible inner seal portion attached to the inner surface.
3. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the force transmission portion has a center portion having a greater outer diameter than an outer diameter of an end portion.
4. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the deformable force transmission portion has a deformable zone defined by a first circumferential line and a second circumferential line spaced along the main axis of the force transmission portion.
5. The seal assembly of claim 4, wherein the deformable force transmission portion has a third circumferential line disposed between the first and second circumferential lines having a diameter greater than the diameter of the first and second circumferential lines.
6. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the force transmission portion is metallic.
7. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the flexible outer seal portion is a rubber product.
8. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the force transmission portion has at least one end having a threaded portion.
9. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the applied force is an axial force.
10. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the force transmission portion is tubular.
11. The seal assembly of claim 1, wherein the force transmission portion is a plurality of ribs disposed radially about the main axis of seal assembly.
12. A method for sealing a borehole comprising:
applying a first axial force to a seal system operative to actuate a first seal assembly; and
applying a second axial force greater than the first axial force operative to actuate a second seal assembly.
13. The method of claim 12, wherein the first seal assembly is disposed downhole in the borehole relative to the second seal assembly.
14. The method of claim 12, wherein the first axial force is greater than a first threshold force level associated with the first seal assembly and less than a second threshold force level associated with the second seal assembly.
15. The method of claim 12, wherein the method further comprises applying a third axial force to the seal system prior to applying the first axial force to actuate a tool connected to the first seal assembly.
16. A seal assembly system comprising:
a first seal assembly and a second seal assembly each having a deformable force transmission portion having an inner surface and an outer surface, the force transmission portion operative to transmit an applied force to a component linked to the seal assembly, and deformable in a direction transverse to a main axis of the seal assembly in response to a increased applied force greater than a threshold setting force, and a flexible outer seal portion attached to the outer surface.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein the threshold setting force of the first seal assembly is greater than the threshold setting force of the second seal assembly.
18. The system of claim 17, wherein the first seal assembly is disposed uphole of the second seal assembly.
19. The system of claim 16, wherein the threshold setting force of the first seal assembly equals the threshold setting force of the second seal assembly.
US12/559,139 2009-09-14 2009-09-14 Load delayed seal element, system, and method Abandoned US20110062670A1 (en)

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US12/559,139 US20110062670A1 (en) 2009-09-14 2009-09-14 Load delayed seal element, system, and method

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US12/559,139 US20110062670A1 (en) 2009-09-14 2009-09-14 Load delayed seal element, system, and method

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20130140775A1 (en) * 2011-12-02 2013-06-06 Vetco Gray Inc. Seal With Bellows Type Nose Ring
WO2015140579A1 (en) * 2014-03-20 2015-09-24 Xtreme Well Technology Limited Seal arrangement
NO338447B1 (en) * 2015-01-19 2016-08-15 Archer Oiltools As A casing annulus cement foundation system and a method for forming a flange collar constituting a cement foundation
US20180252054A1 (en) * 2016-07-14 2018-09-06 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Alignment sub with deformable sleeve

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US6296054B1 (en) * 1999-03-12 2001-10-02 Dale I. Kunz Steep pitch helix packer
US6578638B2 (en) * 2001-08-27 2003-06-17 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Drillable inflatable packer & methods of use
US6843315B2 (en) * 2001-06-07 2005-01-18 Baker Hughes Incorporated Compression set, large expansion packing element for downhole plugs or packers
US7134506B2 (en) * 2000-07-07 2006-11-14 Baker Hughes Incorporated Deformable member
US7234533B2 (en) * 2003-10-03 2007-06-26 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Well packer having an energized sealing element and associated method
US20090058017A1 (en) * 2007-09-05 2009-03-05 Baker Hughes Incorporated Downhole tubular seal system and method
US20090277649A9 (en) * 2002-09-23 2009-11-12 Gano John C System and method for thermal change compensation in an annular isolator
US7647980B2 (en) * 2006-08-29 2010-01-19 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Drillstring packer assembly

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US2254060A (en) * 1939-04-20 1941-08-26 Merla Tool Company Packing element
US2612953A (en) * 1946-05-04 1952-10-07 Lane Wells Co Packer
US2660247A (en) * 1949-09-13 1953-11-24 Sweet Oil Well Equipment Inc Retrievable well packer
US2699214A (en) * 1949-09-13 1955-01-11 Sweet Oil Well Equipment Inc Mechanically expanded packer
US2738013A (en) * 1952-09-05 1956-03-13 Oil Recovery Corp Oil well tool
US2738015A (en) * 1954-07-23 1956-03-13 Oil Recovery Corp Oil well packer construction
US2738014A (en) * 1954-07-23 1956-03-13 Oil Recovery Corp Oil well packer construction
US3288222A (en) * 1964-03-11 1966-11-29 Schlumberger Well Surv Corp Progressively expanded packing element for a bridge plug
US3392785A (en) * 1966-07-18 1968-07-16 William R. King Retractable packer
US3776561A (en) * 1970-10-16 1973-12-04 R Haney Formation of well packers
US3784214A (en) * 1971-10-18 1974-01-08 J Tamplen Seal that is responsive to either mechanical or pressure force
US4258926A (en) * 1979-06-13 1981-03-31 Dresser Industries, Inc. High temperature well packer
US4253676A (en) * 1979-06-15 1981-03-03 Halliburton Company Inflatable packer element with integral support means
US4349204A (en) * 1981-04-29 1982-09-14 Lynes, Inc. Non-extruding inflatable packer assembly
US4372562A (en) * 1981-09-09 1983-02-08 Halliburton Company Inflatable packer with liquid resin anchored reinforcing sheath
US4897139A (en) * 1984-04-04 1990-01-30 Completion Tool Company Method of producing progressively inflated packers
US4640351A (en) * 1985-10-02 1987-02-03 Arrow Oil Tools, Inc. Sealing packer
US4730835A (en) * 1986-09-29 1988-03-15 Baker Oil Tools, Inc. Anti-extrusion seal element
US4745972A (en) * 1987-06-10 1988-05-24 Hughes Tool Company Well packer having extrusion preventing rings
US4979570A (en) * 1989-11-28 1990-12-25 Baker Hughes Incorporated Inflatable tool with rib expansion support
US5101908A (en) * 1990-08-23 1992-04-07 Baker Hughes Incorporated Inflatable packing device and method of sealing
US5261492A (en) * 1992-03-31 1993-11-16 Halliburton Company Well casing apparatus and method
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US7134506B2 (en) * 2000-07-07 2006-11-14 Baker Hughes Incorporated Deformable member
US6843315B2 (en) * 2001-06-07 2005-01-18 Baker Hughes Incorporated Compression set, large expansion packing element for downhole plugs or packers
US6578638B2 (en) * 2001-08-27 2003-06-17 Weatherford/Lamb, Inc. Drillable inflatable packer & methods of use
US20090277649A9 (en) * 2002-09-23 2009-11-12 Gano John C System and method for thermal change compensation in an annular isolator
US7234533B2 (en) * 2003-10-03 2007-06-26 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Well packer having an energized sealing element and associated method
US7647980B2 (en) * 2006-08-29 2010-01-19 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Drillstring packer assembly
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US7588077B2 (en) * 2007-09-05 2009-09-15 Baker Hughes Incorporated Downhole tubular seal system and method

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20130140775A1 (en) * 2011-12-02 2013-06-06 Vetco Gray Inc. Seal With Bellows Type Nose Ring
WO2015140579A1 (en) * 2014-03-20 2015-09-24 Xtreme Well Technology Limited Seal arrangement
AU2015233160B2 (en) * 2014-03-20 2019-09-12 Xtreme Well Technology Limited Seal arrangement
NO338447B1 (en) * 2015-01-19 2016-08-15 Archer Oiltools As A casing annulus cement foundation system and a method for forming a flange collar constituting a cement foundation
US9784071B2 (en) 2015-01-19 2017-10-10 Archer Oiltools As Casing annulus cement foundation system and a method for forming a flange collar constituting a cement foundation
US20180252054A1 (en) * 2016-07-14 2018-09-06 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Alignment sub with deformable sleeve
US10435960B2 (en) * 2016-07-14 2019-10-08 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Alignment sub with deformable sleeve

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AS Assignment

Owner name: BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED, TEXAS

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ALLEN, JASON A.;REEL/FRAME:023342/0524

Effective date: 20090916

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

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