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Bypass Crossover Sub with Customized Pathways for Slurry Placement in a Subterranean Well

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243478D
Publication Date: 2015-Sep-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 19K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The Bypass Crossover Sub is made by additive manufacturing (3-d printing) out of a material suitable for expected tensile, burst, and collapse loading. This process allows the circulation paths to be customized for optimum gravel pack performance (less turbulence and erosion for a given rate and volume of proppant pumped Gravel Pack Crossover Tools are used in subterranean wells to place gravel pack sand or proppant around screens and inside perforation tunnels. One component of that Tool, the Bypass Crossover Sub, directs downward slurry flow from the workstring ID to the annulus below the Gravel Pack Packer between the casing and the Screen. As the slurry flows through the Screen, the sand or proppant is separated from the slurry and trapped on the outside of the screen. The Bypass Crossover Sub then directs upward flow (filtered fluid) from the screen bore to the annulus above the Packer between the workstring and casing. As wells are being completed with higher slurry pumping rates and larger propant volumes, the flow areas in the Bypass Crossover Sub become more critical to successful completion of the gravel pack operation. Optimizing flow patterns and flow areas can reduce fluid velocities and turbulence thereby lessening the erosion damage inflicted on the Bypass Crossover Sub and components attached below the Packer. A breech between the ports carrying slurry downhole and the ports carrying the filtered fluid uphole would "short circuit" the flow path with undesirable results - such as an incomplete pack; or, a Crossover Tool stuck in the Packer. This particular design has a "wide mouth" exit port to handle moderate flow rates and proppant volumes. The return ports, consist of a series of gun-drilled holes. The holes are carefully placed with respect to the exit port in order to provide the maximum amount of material between them. This allows for a longer service life since the part is discarded once the metal separating the ports reaches a minimum threshold value. Typically, an Isolation Sleeve is assembled in the ID of the Bypass Crossover Sub. It allows for the workstring ID and annulus outside the Crossover Tool to be isolated when running downhole in order to allow fluid to be circulated to the bottom of the Screen. Once in place downhole, the Isolation Sleeve is shifted and its through bore is blocked, opening the "wide mouth" exit port and establishing the aforementioned circulation path. In this particular concept, the Bypass Crossover Sub is made by additive manufacturing (3-d printing) out of a material suitable for tensile, burst, and collapse loading. This process allows the circulation paths to be customized for optimum performance. This design has 12 exit ports (3 rows of 4 ports). The ports are staggered around the circumference so that the streamlines in the workstring ID are exposed in a straight-line fashion to one of the ports. This should minimize directional changes in the fluid flow thereby reducing turbulence. The exit ports can overlap on the outer circumference in a similar manner. Also, the shape of the exit ports can be customized, presumably by using CFD, to minimize resistance to flow. The exit ports on a particular row have narrower as you move downhole. This is done in an effort to minimize the pressure drop at the uppermost row and maximize the pressure drop at the lowermost row. This would encourage more even flow from all of the ports. If the ports were all the same size, fluid momentum would force the majority of flow out the lowermost ports causing them to suffer a disproportionate amount of erosion. Since the exit ports encompass the entire circumference of the part, the localized erosion caused by fluid exiting at a single location (like in the "wide mouth" port) and then re-establishing full annular flow would be minimized. In this design, an Inner Liner, preferably made of Tungsten Carbide is fitted inside the Bypass Crossover Sub and held in place by a Retainer. A lug on the Liner serves to orient holes in the Liner with the corresponding holes in the Bypass Crossover Sub. The Liner is the first component that will see the separation of flow paths and serves to protect the entry holes in the Bypass Crossover Sub. In the preferred design, the manufacturing process would include a boriding step (similar to pack carburizing) that would provide a hard surface, albeit fairly shallow, for all the internal channels in the Bypass Crossover Sub. In this design, the return ports are envisioned as four sets of spiral holes with 3 holes per set. The holes can be placed a maximum distance from the exit ports for extended service life. For applications where only screen ID pressure is to be monitored and return flow is minimal, the number of return ports would be reduced. With the additive manufacturing process, the number, size, shape, and location of the exit and return ports can all be customized for maximum performance. That offers a significant advantage over conventional machining or casting methods

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Bypass Crossover Sub with Customized Pathways for Slurry Placement in a Subterranean Well

The Bypass Crossover Sub is made by additive manufacturing (3-d printing) out of a material suitable for expected tensile, burst, and collapse loading. This process allows the circulation paths to be customized for optimum gravel pack performance (less turbulence and erosion for a given rate and volume of proppant pumped

Gravel Pack Crossover Tools are used in subterranean wells to place gravel pack sand or proppant around screens and inside perforation tunnels. One component of that Tool, the Bypass Crossover Sub, directs downward slurry flow from the workstring ID to the annulus below the Gravel Pack Packer between the casing and the Screen. As the slurry flows through the Screen, the sand or proppant is separated from the slurry and trapped on the outside of the screen. The Bypass Crossover Sub then directs upward flow (filtered fluid) from the screen bore to the annulus above the Packer between the workstring and casing. As wells are being completed with higher slurry pumping rates and larger propant volumes, the flow areas in the Bypass Crossover Sub become more critical to successful completion of the gravel pack operation. Optimizing flow patterns and flow areas can reduce fluid velocities and turbulence thereby lessening the erosion damage inflicted on the Bypass Crossover Sub and components attached below the Packer. A breech between the ports carrying slurry downhole and the ports carrying the filtered fluid uphole would "short circuit" the flow path with undesirable results - such as an incomplete pack; or, a Crossover Tool stuck in the Packer. This particular design has a "wide mouth" exit port to handle moderate flow rates and proppant volumes. The return ports, consist of a series of gun-drilled holes. The holes are carefully placed with respect to the exit port in order to provide the maximum amount of material between them. This allows for a longer service life since the part is discarded once the metal separating the ports reaches a minimum threshold value. Typically, an Isolation Sleeve is assembled in the ID of the Bypass Crossover Sub. It allows for the workstring ID and annulus outside the Crossover Tool to be isolated when running downhole in order to allow fluid to be circulated to the bottom of the Screen. Once in place downhole, the Isolation Sleeve is shifted and its through bore is blocked, opening the "wide mouth" exit port and establishing the aforementioned circulation p...