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Bi-directional Actuation of Sleeves using Single Control Line

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248383D
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-22
Document File: 11 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Interval Control Valves (ICVs) are installed as part of the tubing string (typically in Intelligent Completions wells) and they allow operators to control flow into or out of an isolated reservoir interval in the formation; thus, giving control over the hydrocarbon production entering the tubing string. They can also be used as a communication tool between the tubing string and the annulus around the tubing for circulation and injection purposes. In its traditional avatar, the ICV consists of a sleeve that translates (relative to housing) between 2 positions along the tubing axis. The sleeve is positioned in its 'UP' or 'DOWN' position by means of 2 control lines – pressuring up on one control line moves the sleeve downwards and pressuring on the other moves it up. There are communication ports on the housing as well as the sleeve that align to allow fluid communication in the 'UP' position and block communication in 'DOWN' position of the sleeve. A similar mechanism is also used in lubricator valves where 2 control lines are used to actuate a sleeve up/down, which in turn rotates a ball between closed/open positions respectively. The invention disclosed hereby, seeks to device a mechanism using which a sleeve can be moved bi-directionally by means of a single control line. This invention reduces the total number of control lines in intelligent completion systems that have several ICVs and Lube Valves by 50%. This in turn would guarantee significant cost savings as the expense of buying and installing control lines is high.

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Bi-directional Actuation of Sleeves using Single Control Line

Abstract:

Interval Control Valves (ICVs) are installed as part of the tubing string (typically in Intelligent Completions wells) and they allow operators to control flow into or out of an isolated reservoir interval in the formation; thus, giving control over the hydrocarbon production entering the tubing string. They can also be used as a communication tool between the tubing string and the annulus around the tubing for circulation and injection purposes. In its traditional avatar, the ICV consists of a sleeve that translates (relative to housing) between 2 positions along the tubing axis. The sleeve is positioned in its ‘UP’ or ‘DOWN’ position by means of 2 control lines – pressuring up on one control line moves the sleeve downwards and pressuring on the other moves it up. There are communication ports on the housing as well as the sleeve that align to allow fluid communication in the ‘UP’ position and block communication in ‘DOWN’ position of the sleeve. A similar mechanism is also used in lubricator valves where 2 control lines are used to actuate a sleeve up/down, which in turn rotates a ball between closed/open positions respectively.

The invention disclosed hereby, seeks to device a mechanism using which a sleeve can be moved bi-directionally by means of a single control line. This invention reduces the total number of control lines in intelligent completion systems that have several ICVs and Lube Valves by 50%. This in turn would guarantee significant cost savings as the expense of buying and installing control lines is high.

Description of the Invention:

As an example this single control line bidirectional actuation is described with reference to an example ICV. However, note that this may also be implemented in a lubricator valve or more broadly, any other application which requires actuation of a sleeve member relative to a housing. Figures 1 & 2 shows this mechanism implemented in the lower section of an ICV.

The actuation mechanism consists of a Sleeve (3) that translates linearly within housing (10).  In the ‘UP’ position as shown in Figures 1 & 2, communication ports (labelled in fig) on the housing (10) allow fluid flow between the annulus and tubing. When the sleeve is moved to the ‘DOWN’ position, a metal-to-metal seal is established at the bottom portion of the sleeve as shown in the figure. This would seal off the communication ports and no further flow is allowed through them.

Referring to Figure 3, the actuation of the sleeve is triggered by a single control line which is connected to the housing at the control line port (7). Control line pressure through the control line port (7) enters the annulus between the sleeve (3) and housing (10) through 2 branches - ENTRY A & ENTRY B.

Pressure through ENTRY A is isolated by seals (9) which creates a piston force on wedge (1). The piston force on the wedge (1) acts against a small spring (5)...