US20130051739A1 - Fiber deployment assembly and method - Google Patents

Fiber deployment assembly and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130051739A1
US20130051739A1 US13666009 US201213666009A US20130051739A1 US 20130051739 A1 US20130051739 A1 US 20130051739A1 US 13666009 US13666009 US 13666009 US 201213666009 A US201213666009 A US 201213666009A US 20130051739 A1 US20130051739 A1 US 20130051739A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
fiber
conduit
material
surface
hardenable
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
US13666009
Inventor
Carl Stoesz
Paul S. Zerwekh
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Baker Hughes Inc
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Baker Hughes Inc
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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/02Optical fibre with cladding with or without a coating
    • G02B6/02057Optical fibre with cladding with or without a coating comprising gratings
    • G02B6/02076Refractive index modulation gratings, e.g. Bragg gratings
    • G02B6/02209Mounting means, e.g. adhesives, casings
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/44Mechanical structures for providing tensile strength and external protection for fibres, e.g. optical transmission cables
    • G02B6/4401Optical cables
    • G02B6/4479Fabrication methods
    • G02B6/449Fabrication methods twisting

Abstract

A hydrocarbon recovery tubular system including one or more axially elongated tubulars arranged to receive a hydrocarbon bearing fluid therein. One or more helically curved conduits are positioned radially adjacent a surface of the one or more tubulars. One or more fibers are disposed in the one or more helically curved conduits and are immovably positioned at a shortest pathway through the one or more helically curved conduits.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation of U.S. Non-provisional application Ser. No. 12/062,588 filed Apr. 4, 2008, published as U.S. Patent Publication No. 2009/0252463, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein in their entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Real time casing imaging (RTCI) is known in the hydrocarbon recovery arts and comprises an optic fiber with fiber bragg gratings (FBG) disposed within a conduit. The conduit is commonly composed of a metallic material and may be a control line. The fiber is fixed within the conduit using a hardenable material such as epoxy to promote the transfer of strain in the conduit to the fiber, where that strain can be measured. Traditionally, the fiber is pumped into the conduit with a pumping fluid or with the epoxy itself. Pumping is done while the conduit is straight to reduce the pumping pressures necessary to move the fiber to an end of the conduit opposite the end thereof used for entry of the fiber. The completed conduit is then bent into a shape conducive to the imaging task it is meant to discharge. Alternately the fiber can be installed inside a polymer and encased within tubing during the tubing manufacturing process. While these systems work well enough to have been accepted by the art, they are not entirely reliable. The art would therefore well receive improvements.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0003]
    A hydrocarbon recovery tubular system including one or more axially elongated tubulars arranged to receive a hydrocarbon bearing fluid therein; one or more helically curved conduits positioned radially adjacent a surface of the one or more tubulars; and one or more fibers disposed in the one or more helically curved conduits and immovably positioned at a shortest pathway through the one or more helically curved conduits.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0004]
    Referring now to the drawings wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several Figures:
  • [0005]
    FIG. 1 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a tubular having a Fiber deployment assembly disposed thereat in accordance with the disclosure hereof;
  • [0006]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective illustration of a Fiber deployment assembly in a helix within a tubular; and
  • [0007]
    FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional representation of a Fiber deployment assembly having a plurality of hardenable material layers therein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0008]
    Referring to FIG. 1, it will be appreciated that a Fiber deployment assembly 10 is illustrated as disposed at an inside surface 12 of a tubular 14 and another Fiber deployment assembly 16 is disposed at an outside surface 18 of the tubular 14. These are alternative locations for the Fiber deployment assembly or they may both be used as desired. For purposes of discussion, the cable 10 at the inside surface will be addressed more specifically. Cable 10 comprises a conduit 20 that may be constructed of any material having properties consistent with the intended use of the Fiber deployment assembly in a downhole environment. One such material is metal and thus hydraulic control line can be used. Within the conduit 20 is illustrated a fiber 22 (one or more could be used). The fiber selected for the Fiber deployment assembly is to be one that is sensitive to strain such that strain may be measured thereon from a remote location. In one embodiment, the fiber will be a fiber with one or more fiber bragg gratings (FBG). The fiber 22 is to be relatively rigidly retained in place within the conduit 20 by a hardenable material to ensure that the fiber will “see” any strain that is placed upon the conduit 20 by the environment or other well equipment.
  • [0009]
    In one iteration, the hardenable material is initially flowable such that it can be pumped into the conduit 20 after installation of the fiber. While it is also possible to actually pump the fiber 22 with the hardenable material, it is less efficient for the overall process due to the volume of material needed to pump the fiber and the higher cost of the hardenable material. In the pumping process, a substantial amount of the hardenable material would be wasted flowing out the other end of the conduit 20.
  • [0010]
    The conduit 20 is caused to have a curvature prior to installation of the fiber 22, which curvature may be a simple or complex curve providing that it continues in a general direction such that a clearly definable shortest path can be observed therein. In one embodiment, the curvature is a helix. This creates a condition between the conduit 20 and the fiber 22 that ensures that the fiber 22 is in a consistent position within the conduit 20 along the length of the Fiber deployment assembly 10. Consistent positioning of the fiber 22 within the conduit 20 is caused by the natural tendency of the fiber to take the shortest path, that path having been dictated by the curvature created in the conduit. Consistent positioning of the fiber overcomes reliability problems of the prior art thereby rendering the Fiber deployment assembly 10 disclosed herein superior to the prior art.
  • [0011]
    The shortest path through a helical conduit, for example, is the path with the smallest radius, therefore, an inside surface 24 of the conduit 20 having the smallest radius to a central axis 26 (see FIG. 2) of the helix will define the shortest path for the fiber 22 extending through the conduit 20. Because of the nature of an elongate fiber to take and remain in the position that is shortest from its origin point to its termination point, it is axiomatic that the fiber will locate itself in that position. This is a significant advantage over the prior art technique as related above because in the prior art technique, the fiber will necessarily wander through the conduit due to flow of the pumping fluid. Since no significant change in the length of the run is dictated by the conduit due to teachings that the conduit be straight for pumping fiber, it necessarily will be inconsistently located. This has been determined by the present inventor to be a significant source of error introduction into the system. Therefore, the removal of the wandering path of the fiber is of great benefit to the art.
  • [0012]
    In addition to the foregoing, it is further noted that the fiber in the helical configuration has no appreciable stress therein. This is because the FBG is put into compression on one side of the neutral axis of the fiber while it is put under tension on the other side of the neutral axis. The stresses cancel one another leaving the fiber in an optimum condition to sense externally induced strain. Another benefit to the positioning of the fiber in the shortest path is that the bend radius of the fiber is necessarily smaller. This causes the fiber to be more sensitive to strain changes and therefore more specific. Because the bend radius does have a significant effect for sensitivity of the Fiber deployment assembly, it will be appreciated that the fiber positioned at the inside surface 12 of tubular 14 will be more sensitive to strain than the Fiber deployment assembly 16 at the outside surface 18. Due to the end radius effect, it is desirable, though not required, to place the Fiber deployment assembly 10 at the inside surface 12 of the tubular 14 that it is intended to measure. Because of the intended pathway of the fiber in the conduit, the fiber will necessarily be as far from the inside surface of the tubular 14 as possible consistent with each possible connection technique. More specifically, if the Fiber deployment assembly 10 is directly affixed to the tubular 14, then the fiber is spaced from the tubular by the diameter of the conduit 20 minus one wall thickness thereof. A greater distance from the tubular can be created by adding a spacer (not shown) between the Fiber deployment assembly 10 and the inside surface 12 if desired. Beneficial effects from these constructions all are based upon the bend radius of the fiber and thus design considerations should take this into account.
  • [0013]
    While the fiber 22 is reliably located within the conduit 20 and is likely to stay in that position even without any affixation within the conduit, simply because for it to move to move would require that the fiber stretch, it is still desirable to affix the fiber 22 to the inside wall of the conduit 20. This is done with a hardenable material 28 (see FIG. 3) such as, but not limited to, a material containing epoxy. The material is pumped into the conduit 20 as noted above and allowed to harden. In the hardened state, all strain imparted to the conduit is transmitted to the fiber 22. The hardenable material may completely fill the conduit, substantially completely fill the conduit, or may be configured as a tube itself In the first and second iterations, the material is simply pumped though the conduit and allowed to harden when the conduit is full or substantially full. In the third noted iteration, however, the material is first pumped through the conduit 20 to coat the inside surface thereof and then the excess is pumped out of the fiber using a gas such as air. The coating is sufficient to affix the fiber 22 to the conduit 20 while creating another tubular structure within the conduit 20. This can be repeated to add layers of fibers and “coating tubulars” stacked within conduit 20 (additional layer indicated with primes as 22′ and 28′), if desired, or alternatively, the open central tubular may be used as a control conduit, which may be filled with a communication fluid, for example, a hydraulic fluid. In such an embodiment, the control line may be employed for any use to which a prior art control line may be put. Too, the open inside of the hardenable material tubular may be used to house one or more non-affixed fibers that might be used for temperature sensing, for example. Temperature sensing fibers need not be affixed, as affixation does not affect specificity of the fibers for such purpose. In an embodiment with both a strain sensing fiber and a temperature sensing fiber, a temperature compensated strain measurement is possible for even greater accuracy in overall information obtained about the conditions within the well.
  • [0014]
    In embodiments where the conduit is particularly long, the friction of the hardenable material may be undesirably hard on the one or more fibers. More particularly, the friction may put an undue strain in the one or more fibers. In such case, it is beneficial to thin the hardenable material with a thinner. In the case of an epoxy containing hardenable material, the thinner may be acetone or Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) for example. This reduces pumping pressures needed to move the material through the conduit 20 and reduces frictional stresses on the one or more fiber. The thinned epoxy is pumped through the conduit 20 as noted above and in embodiments where a coating is to be formed and the material is to be cored to create a tubular, the gas pumped through after the hardenable material functions to open the inside of the hardenable material tubular and to help evaporate the thinner (acetone, MEK, etc.).
  • [0015]
    In another embodiment, the one or more fibers are metalized in known ways so that the fiber itself is wettable by a solder. The fiber may then be affixed by heating the conduit to above the melting temperature of the solder and flowing solder into the conduit. Subsequent cooling of the conduit solidifies the solder thus permanently affixing the one or more fibers to the conduit.
  • [0016]
    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 (14)

  1. 1. A hydrocarbon recovery tubular system comprising:
    one or more axially elongated tubulars arranged to receive a hydrocarbon bearing fluid therein;
    one or more helically curved conduits positioned radially adjacent a surface of the one or more tubulars; and
    one or more fibers disposed in the one or more helically curved conduits and immovably positioned at a shortest pathway through the one or more helically curved conduits.
  2. 2. The system of claim 1, wherein the one or more fibers are optical fibers.
  3. 3. The system of claim 1, wherein the surface is an outer surface of the one or more tubulars.
  4. 4. The system of claim 1, wherein the surface is an inner surface of the one or more tubulars.
  5. 5. The system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the one or more fibers is immovably positioned at an inside surface of the one or more conduits.
  6. 6. The system of claim 5, wherein the system further includes a hardenable material disposed in the one or more conduits to affix the at least one fiber to the inside surface.
  7. 7. The system of claim 6, wherein the hardenable material is a material containing epoxy.
  8. 8. The system of claim 6, wherein the hardenable material is thinned with a thinner.
  9. 9. The system of claim 8, wherein the thinner is acetone.
  10. 10. The system of claim 6, wherein the hardenable material is configured as a coating on the inside surface of the one or more conduits.
  11. 11. The system of claim 10, wherein the coating defines an open passageway that is receptive to a communication fluid.
  12. 12. The system of claim 10, wherein hardenable material is configured as a plurality of stacked coatings on the inside surface of the one or more conduits.
  13. 13. The system of claim 1, wherein the one or more fibers include one or more fiber bragg gratings therein.
  14. 14. The system of claim 1, wherein the one or more tubulars form at least a portion of a casing of the hydrocarbon recovery tubular system.
US13666009 2008-04-04 2012-11-01 Fiber deployment assembly and method Abandoned US20130051739A1 (en)

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US12062588 US8326103B2 (en) 2008-04-04 2008-04-04 Cable and method
US13666009 US20130051739A1 (en) 2008-04-04 2012-11-01 Fiber deployment assembly and method

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US12400468 Active US7792405B2 (en) 2008-04-04 2009-03-09 Fiber deployment assembly and method
US13666009 Abandoned US20130051739A1 (en) 2008-04-04 2012-11-01 Fiber deployment assembly and method

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Cited By (3)

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US20150125117A1 (en) * 2013-11-06 2015-05-07 Baker Hughes Incorporated Fiber optic mounting arrangement and method of coupling optical fiber to a tubular
US9335502B1 (en) 2014-12-19 2016-05-10 Baker Hughes Incorporated Fiber optic cable arrangement
US9488794B2 (en) 2012-11-30 2016-11-08 Baker Hughes Incorporated Fiber optic strain locking arrangement and method of strain locking a cable assembly to tubing

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US8326103B2 (en) * 2008-04-04 2012-12-04 Baker Hughes Incorporated Cable and method
US8662165B2 (en) * 2010-07-06 2014-03-04 Baker Hughes Incorporated Fiber support arrangement and method
US8638444B2 (en) 2011-01-11 2014-01-28 Baker Hughes Incorporated Sensor array configuration for swept-wavelength interferometric-based sensing systems
US8592747B2 (en) 2011-01-19 2013-11-26 Baker Hughes Incorporated Programmable filters for improving data fidelity in swept-wavelength interferometry-based systems
US20130094798A1 (en) * 2011-10-12 2013-04-18 Baker Hughes Incorporated Monitoring Structural Shape or Deformations with Helical-Core Optical Fiber
US20130094812A1 (en) * 2011-10-12 2013-04-18 Baker Hughes Incorporated Conduit Tube Assembly and Manufacturing Method for Subterranean Use
GB2536142A (en) * 2013-09-12 2016-09-07 Aker Solutions As Load carrying bundle intended for use in a power cable or a power umbilical
EP3311108A1 (en) 2015-06-16 2018-04-25 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie Device and method for detecting a deformation of a flexible three-dimensional structure

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US20090120600A1 (en) * 2007-11-09 2009-05-14 Ching-Ling Pan Nano carbon crystal material and method of manufacturing electrothermal board by using the same
US20090252463A1 (en) * 2008-04-04 2009-10-08 Baker Hughes Incorporated Rtci cable and method

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9488794B2 (en) 2012-11-30 2016-11-08 Baker Hughes Incorporated Fiber optic strain locking arrangement and method of strain locking a cable assembly to tubing
US20150125117A1 (en) * 2013-11-06 2015-05-07 Baker Hughes Incorporated Fiber optic mounting arrangement and method of coupling optical fiber to a tubular
US9335502B1 (en) 2014-12-19 2016-05-10 Baker Hughes Incorporated Fiber optic cable arrangement

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Publication number Publication date Type
CA2720499C (en) 2014-09-30 grant
US20090252463A1 (en) 2009-10-08 application
US8326103B2 (en) 2012-12-04 grant
CA2720499A1 (en) 2009-11-12 application
US7792405B2 (en) 2010-09-07 grant
US20090252464A1 (en) 2009-10-08 application
WO2009137179A3 (en) 2009-12-30 application
WO2009137179A2 (en) 2009-11-12 application

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