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Swell Seal Cross Coupling Connector

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241719D
Publication Date: 2015-May-26
Document File: 3 page(s) / 187K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Multiple-zone frac- or gravel-pack systems are becoming increasingly popular in the oil industry as they allow for multiple zones in a well to be treated during a single trip of the workstring. The newer versions of these systems rely on the sand screen assembly to provide fluid flow control. The sand screen assembly used in this type of completion provides annular space between the screen and the base pipe where production fluid collects, Figure 1. The fluid from multiple joints of screen flows to a single collection point where it enters the base pipe ID, Figure 2. In order for this to be possible, the space between interconnecting joints has to also provide annular flow area. This is generally achieved by placing a sleeve (also called a shroud) over the coupling which provides continuous annular space, Figure 3. This connection is one of the more challenging parts of the sand screen assembly design as the screen assemblies are torqued together on the rig and the shroud that creates the annular flow area requires some type of assembly on the rig. In addition, this connection has to be sealed so there is no loss of sand control. In one current design the connection is sealed with a metal to metal seal on the top and O-ring seal on the bottom. The metal to metal seal is done by mechanically deforming the shroud (called crimping) so the gap between it and the mating part is closed off. This process takes time and additional equipment, which is not ideal on the rig. A new method to seal off the gaps between the shroud and mating parts has been developed, utilizing swellable rubber seal. This seal will be activated by the downhole fluids, expanding to close the gap between the shroud and the mating part, effectively sealing the annulus across the coupling and allowing the flow of production fluid.

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Page 01 of 3

Swell Seal Cross Coupling Connector

Multiple-zone frac- or gravel-pack systems are becoming increasingly popular in the oil industry as they allow for multiple zones in a well to be treated during a single trip of the workstring. The newer versions of these systems rely on the sand screen assembly to provide fluid flow control. The sand screen assembly used in this type of completion provides annular space between the screen and the base pipe where production fluid collects, Figure 1. The fluid from multiple joints of screen flows to a single collection point where it enters the base pipe ID, Figure 2. In order for this to be possible, the space between interconnecting joints has to also provide annular flow area. This is generally achieved by placing a sleeve (also called a shroud) over the coupling which provides continuous annular space, Figure 3. This connection is one of the more challenging parts of the sand screen assembly design as the screen assemblies are torqued together on the rig and the shroud that creates the annular flow area requires some type of assembly on the rig. In addition, this connection has to be sealed so there is no loss of sand control. In one current design the connection is sealed with a metal to metal seal on the top and O-ring seal on the bottom. The metal to metal seal is done by mechanically deforming the shroud (called crimping) so the gap between it and the mating part is closed off. This process takes time and additional equipment, which is not ideal on the rig.

A new method to seal off the gaps between the shroud and mating parts has been developed, utilizing swellable rubber seal. This seal will be activated by the downhole fluids, expanding to close the gap between the shroud and the mating part, effectively sealing the annulus across the coupling and allowing the flow of production fluid.

Figure 1 - Tall rib wire wrap screen for large annular space between basepipe and screen OD. This space allows high annular flow for production fluids and for gravel pack carrier fluid returns.

Abstract



Page 02 of 3

Figure 2 - Annular flow travels to a central location with an inlet to the basepipe. The flow can come from one side or from both heel and toe directions. As shown a sleeve can be placed to allow closing flow from that zone.

Figure 3 - A cover shroud connects screen joints or breaks in annular flow regions. In most cases the shroud must provide only a sand tight seal.

Design & Function

The Swell Seal Cross Coupling Connector consists...