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Downhole Electrical Conductor Connector Assembly, System Having the Same, and Method Thereof

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236125D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-07

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

BACKGROUND [0001] In the drilling and completion industry, the formation of boreholes for the purpose of production or injection of fluid is common. The boreholes are used for exploration or extraction of natural resources such as hydrocarbons, oil, gas, water, and alternatively for CO2 sequestration. A completion system for producing natural resources from the borehole typically includes tubing to deliver the natural resources from a reservoir to a surface location. Some completion systems further incorporate devices and downhole tools that require a supply of power. An electrical submersible pump (“ESP”), for example, provides artificial lift to increase the flow of fluid through the tubing from the reservoir to the surface. [0002] The ESP includes a motor that must be run using an electrical power system that includes a power line extending alongside the tubing from the downhole location of the motor to a surface location of a power source, such as a generator. Typically the power line includes a motor lead and a power cable. The motor lead has a plug on its lower end that secures to a receptacle known as a “pothead” at the upper end of the electrical motor. A splice connects the motor lead to the power cable. The power cable may then connect to an additional splice to connect the power cable to a wellhead penetrator to provide the power line with an uninterrupted electrical connection from the surface power source, through the wellhead, and to the motor. [0003] Since water or other fluids in the electrical connections of the power line can cause electrical issues including a burned connection, the connectors used to connect sections of the power line, including the pothead, the splice, and the penetrator, include sealed sections to prevent seepage therein. The art would be receptive to alternative electrical connector assemblies for preventing electrical problems and methods for protecting the connector assemblies from damage due to fluids.

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Downhole Electrical Conductor Connector Assembly, System Having the Same, and Method Thereof

BACKGROUND

[0001]   In the drilling and completion industry, the formation of boreholes for the purpose of production or injection of fluid is common.  The boreholes are used for exploration or extraction of natural resources such as hydrocarbons, oil, gas, water, and alternatively for CO2 sequestration.  A completion system for producing natural resources from the borehole typically includes tubing to deliver the natural resources from a reservoir to a surface location.  Some completion systems further incorporate devices and downhole tools that require a supply of power.  An electrical submersible pump (“ESP”), for example, provides artificial lift to increase the flow of fluid through the tubing from the reservoir to the surface. 

[0002]   The ESP includes a motor that must be run using an electrical power system that includes a power line extending alongside the tubing from the downhole location of the motor to a surface location of a power source, such as a generator.  Typically the power line includes a motor lead and a power cable.  The motor lead has a plug on its lower end that secures to a receptacle known as a “pothead” at the upper end of the electrical motor.  A splice connects the motor lead to the power cable.  The power cable may then connect to an additional splice to connect the power cable to a wellhead penetrator to provide the power line with an uninterrupted electrical connection from the surface power source, through the wellhead, and to the motor.        

[0003]   Since water or other fluids in the electrical connections of the power line can cause electrical issues including a burned connection, the connectors used to connect sections of the power line, including the pothead, the splice, and the penetrator, include sealed sections to prevent seepage therein.  The art would be receptive to alternative electrical connector assemblies for preventing electrical problems and methods for protecting the connector assemblies from damage due to fluids. 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005]   Referring now to the drawings wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several Figures:

[0006]   FIG.  1 is a partial cross-section and partial side view of an exemplary embodiment of a downhole system disclosed herein;

[0007]   FIG.  2 is a schematic view of an exemplary embodiment of a connector assembly for use in the downhole system of FIG.  1;

[0008]   FIG.  3 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a pothead connector for use in the downhole system of FIG.  1; and,

[0009]   FIG.  4 is an exploded isometric view of the pothead connector of FIG.  3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0010]   FIG.  1 shows a downhole system 100 partially within a borehole 10 extending through a formation 112 and partially above a surface 114 of the formation 112.  The borehole 10 may extend vert...