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Method of Running a Hydrocarbon Gas Expandable Element

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000187170D
Publication Date: 2009-Sep-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 58K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention involves methods to compress an expandable packer element under surface conditions to a first compression dimension such that the element will pass through upper hole equipment (BOP's, Annular preventers, surface casing, risers, wellheads, tubing hangers, tubing etc). Once started into the well, the hydraulic pressure of the wellbore fluids will exert a compression on the packer elements to further compress them. This further compression may cause the original compression means to be released. Once the packer element is exposed to the substance that causes its expansion (hydrocarbon gas), the packer element is able to expand out to some subsurface boundary (casing, open hole, tubing) having been freed of the original compression means. The removal of the original compression device may be by mechanical means (springs etc), chemical means (solvent left in a least a portion of the down hole environment), degradation (degradable materials). The following write up contains some of the methods envisioned.

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008735

Method of Running a Hydrocarbon Gas Expandable Element

Abstract:

The invention involves methods to compress an expandable packer element under surface conditions to a first compression dimension such that the element will pass through upper hole equipment (BOP's, Annular preventers, surface casing, risers, wellheads, tubing hangers, tubing etc). Once started into the well, the hydraulic pressure of the wellbore fluids will exert a compression on the packer elements to further compress them. This further compression may cause the original compression means to be released. Once the packer element is exposed to the substance that causes its expansion (hydrocarbon gas), the packer element is able to expand out to some subsurface boundary (casing, open hole, tubing) having been freed of the original compression means. The removal of the original compression device may be by mechanical means (springs etc), chemical means (solvent left in a least a portion of the down hole environment), degradation (degradable materials). The following write up contains some of the methods envisioned.

Introduction:

There are a number of different types of expandable packer elements used in the oil and gas industry. The expandable element may be a material that swells when in comes in contact with oil or gas. It would be common to run the packer into the well in a water based completion fluid and the element only come in contact with oil or gas once the well is placed on production. After being contacted by the hydrocarbon, the packer element material begins to swell and form a seal in the annulus between the open hole or casing and the completion string. This is just one configuration. Other configuration might involve a water swellable packer element that is run in an oil based fluid system. Yet other types might involve a water swellable material ran in a water based system and the element treated in such a way as to retard the water up take into the element.

Designs of packer elements that swell when contacted by gas may have significant compressibility compared to other type designs. In order to have sufficient expansion down hole (under hydrostatic pressure), these elements may have to take on dimensions at surface conditions that require their diameter to be larger than the equipment the packer has to be placed through, at least until the element encounters enough hydrostatic pressure to compress the element (perhaps at a few hundred feet depth). The types of equipment the packer may have to pass through at or near the surface are blow out preventers, annular preventers, surface casing, risers, wellheads, tubing hangers and tubing. In order to compress the packer element enough to run through this upper- wellbore equipment, a means of mechanically compressing the element is needed. Once the packer has been lowered to a dep...