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Title:
A DEVICE FOR FORMING A BARRIER IN AN ANNULUS OF A WELL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/112438
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A device (1) for forming a barrier in an annulus (5) of a well (11). The device comprises an injection tool (20) adapted to introduce a polymeric hardening liquid in through an opening in the annulus (5), and a pump unit (26) adapted to provide pressure to said liquid so that the liquid is introduced into the opening in the annulus with a controllable pressure. The device comprises a control unit (30) adapted to control the pump unit (26) so that said liquid is provided into the opening with an initial pressure at a start-up phase of introducing the liquid into the opening and a final pressure at a close-down phase of introducing the liquid into the opening, wherein the final pressure is higher than the initial pressure.

Inventors:
GUNNARSON, Bengt (Ormøydalen 1, 4085 Hundvåg, 4085, NO)
Application Number:
NO2018/050297
Publication Date:
June 13, 2019
Filing Date:
November 29, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CANNSEAL AS (Heiamyrå 20, 4031 Stavanger, 4031, NO)
International Classes:
E21B33/13; E21B33/138
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014060293A22014-04-24
WO2010147476A12010-12-23
WO2006098634A12006-09-21
Foreign References:
EP2574720A12013-04-03
US9631454B12017-04-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HÅMSØ PATENTBYRÅ AS (P.O. Box 171, 4301 Sandnes, 4301, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
C l a i m s

A device (1 ) for forming a barrier in an annulus (5) of a well (1 1 ), the device (1 ) comprises

- an injection tool (20) adapted to introduce a polymeric hardening liquid in through an opening in the annulus (5), and

- a pump unit (26) adapted to provide pressure to said liquid so that the liquid is intro duced into the opening in the annulus (5) with a controllable pressure,

c h a r a c t e r i s e d i n that

the device (1 ) comprises a control unit (30) adapted to control the pump unit (26) so that said liquid is provided into the opening with an initial pressure at a start up phase of intro ducing the liquid into the opening and a final pressure at a close-down phase of introduc ing the liquid into the opening, wherein the final pressure is higher than the initial pres sure.

The device (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein the control unit (30) is adapted to control the pump unit (26) so that said liquid is provided into the opening with a gradual increasing pressure over time from the start up phase to the close-down phase of introducing the liquid into the opening in the annulus (5).

The device (1 ) according to any of claim 1 and 2, wherein the initial pressure is between 1 -50 bar, preferably between 10-30 bar.

The device (1 ) according to any of the previous claims, wherein the final pressure is be tween 2-400 bar, preferably between 30-250 bar.

The device (1 ) according to any of the previous claims, wherein the control unit (30) adapted to control the pump unit (26) between the start up phase and the close-down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening at a time period between one hour and 72 hours, preferably between 12 and 48 hours.

The device (1 ) according to any of the previous claims, wherein the device (1 ) further comprises a device (22) for forming said opening in the annulus (5).

The device (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein the control unit (30) adapted to control the pump unit (26) so that said liquid is provided into the opening in the annulus (5) with two or more injection sequences with increasing pressure.

An arrangement (10) for forming a barrier in an annulus (5) of a well (1 1 ), wherein the ar rangement comprises the device (1 ) according to claim 1 -7 and a polymeric hardening liquid.

9. The arrangement (10) according to claim 8, wherein said liquid has a viscosity between 5-1 *10L6 cP at the start up phase of introducing the liquid to the opening, preferably a viscosity of between 15-20000 cP.

10. The arrangement (10) according to any of claim 8-9, wherein said liquid has a viscosity between 1 *10L6 - 10*10L6 cP at the close down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening, preferably between 2*10L6 - 5*10L6 cP.

1 1 . The arrangement (10) according to any of claim 8-10, wherein said liquid mainly compris es a thermoset material.

12. A method for forming a barrier in an annulus (5) of a well (1 1 ), the method comprises:

- positioning an injection tool (20) at a position of an opening in the annulus (5) for intro ducing a polymeric hardening liquid,

- at a start up phase, introducing the liquid into the opening at an initial pressure, and

- at a close-down phase, introducing the liquid into the opening at a final pressure, where in the final pressure is higher than the initial pressure.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein the method comprises:

- gradual increasing pressure over time from the start up phase to the close-down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening.

14. The method according to any of claim 12-13, wherein the initial pressure is between 1 - 50 bar, preferably between 10 - 30 bar.

15. The method according to any of claim 12-15, wherein the final pressure is between 2 - 400 bar, preferably between 30 - 250 bar.

16. The method according to any of claim 12-15, wherein a time period between the start up phase and the close-down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening is between one hour and 72 hours, preferably between 12 and 48 hours.

17. The method according to any of claim 12-16, wherein the method comprises

- providing said liquid into the opening in the annulus (5) with two or more injection se quences with increasing pressure.

Description:
A DEVICE FOR FORMING A BARRIER IN AN ANNULUS OF A WELL

Introduction

The present invention relates to a device for forming a barrier in an annulus of a well, such as a hydrocarbon or water injector well. The device comprises an injection tool adapted to introduce a polymeric hardening liquid in through an opening in the annulus, and a pump unit adapted to pro vide pressure to said liquid so that the liquid is introduced into the opening in the annulus with a controllable pressure.

The present invention further relates to an arrangement and a method for forming a barrier in an annulus of a well. Prior art

In various situations, an annulus of a well needs to be remedially repaired in order to provide the required and necessary annulus sealing capabilities. The annulus of the well is located between two pieces of pipes, tubing-casings or casing to casing. The annulus can also be between the said tubing/casing and the wellbore formation. The purpose of the casings are for example to isolate different zones of the well, or to function as a well barrier to the surface.

In prior art, the annulus isolation are formed by either cement, another sealing material or by a mechanical packer being part of the initial well completion. A challenge with a cemented annulus is that it can leak water or hydrocarbons in between the zones, or to the surface via the cemented annulus. Prior art devices for repairing a leaking cemented barrier is called a cement squeeze and comprising a method where cement is squeezed into the annulus to repair the failed barrier. To repair a leaking packer is by traditional means not possible.

Prior art method of forming barriers by means of a polymeric hardening liquid, such as various types of resins are known. However, it has also proven to be difficult to form barriers using such resins with high reliability. WO2010/147476A1 discloses a well tool and a method for forming a barrier in a well using a resin.

Summary of the invention The invention has for its object to remedy or to reduce at least one of the drawbacks of the prior art, or at least provide a useful alternative to prior art. The object is achieved through features, which are specified in the description below and in the claims that follow.

The object of the invention is to provide an improved device for forming a barrier in an annulus of a well. In particular, an object of the invention is to provide a device that enables a barrier to be formed in an annulus of a well subjected to a differential pressure with improved reliability.

This object is provided by means of a device for forming a barrier in an annulus of a well according to the invention. The device comprises

- an injection tool adapted to introduce a polymeric hardening liquid in through an opening in the annulus, and

- a pump unit adapted to provide pressure to said liquid so that the liquid is introduced into the opening in the annulus with a controllable pressure.

The device is characterized in that it comprises a control unit adapted to control the pump unit so that said liquid is provided into the opening with an initial pressure at a start up phase of introducing the liquid into the opening and a final pressure at a close-down phase of introducing the liquid into the opening, wherein the final pressure is higher than the initial pressure.

The injection tool is configured to introduce a polymeric hardening liquid in through the opening in the annulus when forming the barrier. The pump unit is adapted to provide pressure to the liquid so that the liquid is introduced in through the opening with a pressure. The control unit is adapted to control the pressure in which the pump unit introduces the liquid in through the opening in the an nulus.

By means of introducing the polymeric hardening liquid in through the opening in the annulus dur ing a period of time in which the pressure of introducing the liquid from the start up phase to the close-down phase is increased, the quality of the formed barrier is improved. The polymeric hard- ening liquid relates to a polymeric based liquid that is hardening with time, i.e. the viscosity of the hardening liquid increases from a pumpable liquid to a none pumpable paste, and being a solid at the final stage.

It is believed that by introducing the liquid at a low pressure at the start-up phase when the liquid has low viscosity, and subsequently introducing the liquid at a high pressure at the close-down phase when the liquid has a high viscosity, allows the liquid to first penetrate into the larger cracks of the annulus, and thereafter fill up the smaller volume of the cracks, whereby a barrier of high quality is formed. The“low” and“high” in the previous sentence is to be regarded as relative terms. The viscosity is lower at the start-up phase than at the close-down phase as the liquid is hardening with time. The pressure is lower at the start-up phase than at the close-down phase. According to an embodiment of the invention, the control unit is adapted to control the pump unit so that said liquid is provided into the opening with a gradual increasing pressure over time from the start up phase to the close-down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening in the annulus.

The device is in particular preferably for forming a barrier in an annulus comprising a cement mate rial. However, it shall be understood that the device may be applied to an annulus filed with other types of solids.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the initial pressure is between 1 - 50 bar, preferably between 10 - 30 bar.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the final pressure is between 2 - 400 bar, preferably between 30 - 250 bar. According to an embodiment of the invention, the control unit adapted to control the pump unit be tween the start up phase and the close-down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening at a time period between one hour and 72 hours, preferably between 12 and 48 hours.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the device further comprises a device for forming said opening in the annulus. The device for forming said opening comprises for example a perfora- tion unit or a drill unit.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the control unit adapted to control the pump unit so that said liquid is provided into the opening in the annulus with two or more injection sequences with increasing pressure.

The object of the invention is further obtained by means of an arrangement for forming a barrier in a concrete annulus of a well. The arrangement comprises the device according to any of above embodiments and a polymeric hardening liquid.

According to an embodiment of the invention, said liquid has a viscosity between 5 - 1 * 10 L 6 cP at the start up phase of introducing the liquid to the opening, preferably a viscosity of between 15 - 20000 cP. According to an embodiment of the invention, said liquid has a viscosity between 1 * 10 L 6 - 10 * 10 L 6 cP at the close down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening, preferably between 2 * 10 L 6 - 5 * 10 L 6 cP.

According to an embodiment of the invention, said liquid mainly comprises a thermoset material.

The object of the invention is further obtained by means of a method for forming a barrier in a con- Crete annulus of a well. The method comprises:

- positioning an injection tool at a position of an opening in the annulus for introducing a polymeric hardening liquid, - at a start up phase, introducing the liquid into the opening at a initial pressure, and

- at a close-down phase, introducing the liquid into the opening at a final pressure, wherein the final pressure is higher than the initial pressure.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the method comprises:

- gradual increasing pressure over time from the start up phase to the close-down phase of intro ducing the liquid into the opening in the annulus.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the initial pressure is between 1 - 50 bar, preferably between 10 - 30 bar.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the final pressure is between 2 - 400 bar, preferably between 30 - 250 bar.

According to an embodiment of the invention, a time period between the start up phase and the close-down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening is between one hour and 72 hours, pref erably between 12 and 48 hours.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the method comprises providing said liquid into the opening in the annulus with two or more injection sequences with increasing pressure.

Brief description of drawings

In the following is described examples of preferred embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein :

Fig. 1 discloses a schematic view of device for forming a barrier in an annulus of a well according to an embodiment of the invention ;

Fig. 2 discloses a schematic view of a well comprising an annulus to be provide with a bar rier by means of the device in fig. 1 ;

Fig. 3 discloses a flow chart of a method for forming a barrier in an annulus of a well ac cording to an embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 4 discloses a flow chart of a method for forming a barrier in an annulus of a well ac cording to a further embodiment of the invention ; and

Fig. 5 discloses a flow chart of a method for forming a barrier in an annulus of a well ac cording to yet another embodiment of the invention.

Detailed description In fig. 1 is a schematic view of device 1 for forming a barrier in an annulus 5 of a well according to an embodiment of the invention disclosed. Fig. 1 also discloses an arrangement 10 comprising the device 1 configured with a polymeric hardening liquid.

The device 1 comprises an elongated structure to be inserted in the well 1 1 , such as a hydrocarbon or water injector well. In fig. 2 is a schematic view of a well 1 1 comprising the annulus 5 to be provided with a barrier by means of the device 1 in fig. 1. The well 1 1 comprises a well head 12 and a first casing 14 and second casing 16 concentric between which an annulus 5 is formed that has been filled with a sol id, such a solid comprising a cement material or other suitable material. The device 1 is adapted to be introduced into the well 1 1 . For example, in fig. 2, a part of the annulus 5 is filled with a good cement column, another part of the annulus 5 is filled with poor cement column, and yet another part of the annulus 5 is without filling. The annulus 5 is to be provided with one or several barriers by means of the device 1 in fig.

1 .

The device 1 comprises an injection tool 20, a device 22 for forming the opening into the annulus 5, a reservoir 24 for containing the polymeric hardening liquid and a pump unit 26.

The device 22 for forming the opening in the annulus 5 comprises for example a drill unit compris ing a drive unit and a drill bit for drilling through the first casing 14 and into the annulus 5. The de vice 22 for forming the opening in the annulus 5 comprises alternatively a perforation unit.

The injection tool 20 is adapted to introduce the polymeric hardening liquid in through an opening in the annulus 5. The injection tool 20 comprises an outlet adapted to be aligned with the opening in the annulus 5 for providing the liquid into the opening.

The pump unit 26 is configured to provide pressure to the liquid so that the liquid is introduced into the opening in the annulus 5 with a controllable pressure. The pump unit 26 comprises for example a hydraulic induced pump or an electric induced pump. The device 1 further comprises a control unit 30 adapted to control the pump unit 26 and accord ingly the pressure in which the liquid is introduced into the opening in the annulus 5. The control unit 30 adapted to control the pump unit 26 so that said liquid is provided into the opening with an initial pressure at a start up phase of introducing the liquid into the opening and a final pressure at a close-down phase of introducing the liquid into the opening. The final pressure is higher than the initial pressure. Accordingly, the control unit 30 is adapted to control the pump unit 26 so that the liquid is introduced at a low pressure when the liquid has a low viscosity at the start-up phase of forming the barrier and at a high pressure when the liquid has a high viscosity at the close-down phase when forming the barrier. The“low” and“high” in the previous sentence is to be regarded as relative terms for the purpose of explaining the invention. Details on parameters for forming will be explained in connection with the explanation of the method.

The control unit 30 comprises a logic unit, such as a CPU, adapted to execute a computer pro gram, and signalling means connected to the pump unit 26 for controlling the pressure of introduc ing the liquid into the opening in the annulus 5. It shall be understood that the control unit 30 com- prises the necessary features for controlling the pressure of introducing the liquid into the opening in the annulus 5 during a period of time of forming the barrier.

In the disclosed embodiment in fig. 1 , the device 1 comprises the control unit 30 and further control means 31 for controlling the control unit 30 from the surface. The further control means 31 is for example a computer unit comprising a CPU adapted to execute a computer program. The further control means 31 is connected to the control unit 30, which in the disclosed embodiment is located in vicinity of the pump unit 26.

Preferably, the polymeric hardening liquid comprise mainly a thermoset material. The liquid has preferably the characteristic in form a viscosity between 5 - 2000 cP at the start up phase of intro ducing the liquid to the opening, preferably a viscosity of between 15 - 1 * 10 L 6 cP. Furthermore, the liquid has preferably the characteristic in form a viscosity between 1 * 10 L 6 - 10 * 10 L 6 cP at the close down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening, preferably between 2 * 10 L 6 - 5 * 10 L 6 cP.

The invention will now be explain in view of a method for forming a barrier in an annulus 5 of a well 1 1 . It shall be understood that the control unit 30 of above discussed device 1 is configured to con trol the device 1 accordingly. In fig. 3 is a flow chart of a method for forming a barrier in an annulus 5 of a well 1 1 according to an embodiment of the invention disclosed.

The method comprises, in a step 1 10, positioning an injection tool 20 at a position of an opening in in the annulus 5 for introducing the polymeric hardening liquid.

In a step 120, the method comprises, at a start-up phase, introducing the liquid into the opening at an initial pressure. Subsequently, in a step 130, the method comprises, at a close-down phase, introducing the liquid into the opening at a final pressure, wherein the final pressure is higher than the initial pressure.

According to a preferred embodiment, the method comprises introducing the liquid into the opening at the initial pressure between 1 - 50 bar, preferably between 10 - 30 bar. According to a preferred embodiment, the method comprises introducing the liquid into the opening at the final pressure is between 2 - 400 bar, preferably between 30 - 250 bar.

According to a preferred embodiment, the duration between the start up phase and the close-down phase of introducing the liquid to the opening is between one hour and 72 hours, preferably be- tween 12 and 48 hours.

In fig. 4 is a flow chart of a method for forming a barrier in an annulus 5 of a well 1 1 according to a further embodiment of the invention disclosed. The method in fig. 4 differs from the method in fig. 3 in that the method further comprises, in a step 125, gradually increasing the pressure of the liquid over time from the start up phase to the close-down phase of introducing the liquid into the open ing.

In fig. 5 is a flow chart of a method for forming a barrier in an annulus 5 of a well 1 1 according to yet another embodiment of the invention disclosed. The method in fig. 5 differs from the method in fig. 3 in that the method further comprises, in a step 127, providing said liquid into the opening in the annulus 5 with two or more injection sequences with increasing pressure.

It shall be understood that the method in fig. 3-5 may also involve the step of forming the opening into the annulus 5 if the opening into the annulus 5 has not yet been established.

It should be noted that the above-mentioned embodiments illustrate rather than limit the invention, and that those skilled in the art will be able to design many alternative embodiments without depart- ing from the scope of the appended claims. In the claims, any reference signs placed between parentheses shall not be construed as limiting the claim. Use of the verb "comprise" and its conj u gations does not exclude the presence of elements or steps other than those stated in a claim. The article "a" or "an" preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such ele ments. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to advantage.