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Flexible Tubing and Method for Use in Frac Plug Surface Flow Back Retrieval

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000250474D
Publication Date: 2017-Jul-24
Document File: 3 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

After a well has been fracked rather than mill out the plugs in the well all of the plugs are flowed back to surface. This is accomplished by using frac plugs that do not have upper slips. By flowing back the well, at the appropriate rate, the plug can be brought to surface through a plug retriever. The plugs are then removed and the well is free to start production. This eliminates the need for any intervention after completion of the frac job, and the customer is able to bring production on immediately without any obstructions in the well bore. The invention proposes the use of a flexible hose above of the wellhead for the purpose of redirecting and capturing frac plugs as they flow to the surface, without the need for tall structures above the wellhead that require special rigging and equipment at location.

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Flexible Tubing and Method for Use in Frac Plug Surface Flow Back Retrieval

After a well has been fracked rather than mill out the plugs in the well all of the plugs are flowed back to surface.

This is accomplished by using frac plugs that do not have upper slips. By flowing back the well, at the appropriate

rate, the plug can be brought to surface through a plug retriever. The plugs are then removed and the well is free

to start production. This eliminates the need for any intervention after completion of the frac job, and the customer

is able to bring production on immediately without any obstructions in the well bore. The invention proposes the

use of a flexible hose above of the wellhead for the purpose of redirecting and capturing frac plugs as they flow to

the surface, without the need for tall structures above the wellhead that require special rigging and equipment at

location.

The invention consists of use of a plug trap/counter that will be placed between the wellhead and the start of the

flexible tubing, followed by a bypass line and valve, and then a valve and the flexible tubing above, in order to

allow frac plugs to flow from the well, through the flexible tubing, and into a retrieval tank/mechanism/structure,

or be contained in the flexible tubing entirely. The plug trap will prevent plugs from falling back downhole after

they have passed the wellhead, and the counter will be used to trigger the main and bypass flow valves located

above the trap/counter once a designated number of plugs have flowed past. In scenarios utilizing the flexible

tubing as a capturing device, instead of a tank or other mechanism, once the designated number of plugs have

flowed past the counter, the main valve to the flexible tubing will close and the bypass valve will open the bypass

line, allowing production to continue.

Typically composite plugs are milled out. This method completely removes the plug from the well which removes

any need for intervention and any debris from the plugs. It removes any need to wait for dissolvable plugs and

prevents any damage that would have occurred to the casing from mill out. The use of a flexible hose to flow frac

plugs through is novel and allows for long flow lengths without needing a vertical structure and the equipment

required for that. The invention also utilizes the flexible tubing as both a carrier mechanism and a retrieving

mechanism, in that frac plugs can either be flowed through the tubing and into a tank, or flowed directly into the

tubing and held there until the tubing is removed. After a typical plug and perf job composite frac plugs are drilled

out. This is done by bringing in coil tubing or a workover rig. This new method completely removes the need for

this process. After the frac is completed all plugs are flowed up to surface and after being removed production can

start immediately. It removes any need to wait for dissolvable plugs and prevents any damage that would have

occurred to the casing f...