Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PLACING AN ELONGATED ELEMENT INSIDE TUBING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/172863
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present application is relating to a method, system for placing an elongated element inside a tubing. The method comprises the following steps: a) providing a first section of tubing; b) placing a first portion of the elongated element inside the first section of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first section of tubing; c) providing a first spool; d) wrapping the first section of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element around the first spool, forming a first winding; e) providing a second section of tubing; f) placing a second portion of the elongated element inside the second section of tubing; g) partially unwrapping the first winding so that an end of the first section of tubing is accessible to the second section of tubing; h)attaching the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing.

Inventors:
MADRID, Reydesel Galindo (1220 Arabian Ct, Angleton, Texas, 77515, US)
BURNS, David Booth (15710 Star Creek Lane, Houston, Texas, 77044, US)
Application Number:
US2017/066933
Publication Date:
September 12, 2019
Filing Date:
March 05, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SHELL OIL COMPANY (P.O. Box 576, Houston, Texas, 77001-0576, US)
SHELL INTERNATIONALE RESEARCH MAATSCHAPPIJ B.V. (Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, The Hague, Hague, NL)
International Classes:
H02G1/08; B65H75/00; B65H75/34; E21B17/02; E21B17/20; E21B19/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VAN DENZEN, Melody (SHELL OIL COMPANY, P.O. Box 576Houston, Texas, 77001-0576, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A method for placing an elongated element inside a tubing, comprising:

a) providing a first section of tubing;

b) placing a first portion of the elongated element inside the First section of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first section of tubing;

c) providing a first spool;

d) wrapping the first section of tubing and at least a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element around the first spool, forming a first winding;

e) providing a second section of tubing;

f) placing a second portion of the elongated element inside the second section of tubing;

g) partially unwrapping the first winding so that an end of the first section of tubing is accessible to the second section of tubing;

h) attaching the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein step h) comprising:

i) attaching the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing, leaving an

unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first and second sections of tubing;

the method further comprising:

j) wrapping the first section of tubing, the second section of tubing and at least a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element on the first spool to form a second winding;

k) providing a third section of tubing;

l) placing a third portion of the elongated element inside the third section of tubing; m) partially unwrapping the second winding so that an end of the second section of tubing is accessible to the third section of tubing;

n) attaching the third section of tubing to the second section of tubing.

3. The method of claim 2, comprising:

- repeating steps i)-n) for at least one additional section of tubing until a sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing meets a predefined condition.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the steps i)-n) are repeated until the sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing reaches any of the following:

- about 750 meters;

- about 1000 meters;

- about 2000 meters; or

- about 2500 meters.

5. The method of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising, before step b):

- providing the elongated element, which is wound on the second spool, forming a third winding;

the method further comprising:

- wrapping and/or unwrapping the third winding according to the action of the first spool.

6. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein each of the sections of tubing has a length of about 250 meters to 1000 meters.

7. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the elongated element comprises a heating cable and/or an instrument string comprising one or more fiber optic cables.

8. A system for placing an elongated element inside a tubing, wherein the tubing comprising at least two sections, the system comprising:

a first means for placing a first portion of the elongated element inside a first section of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first section of tubing;

a first spool configured to form a first winding around it by wrapping the first section of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element; a second means for placing a second portion of the elongated element inside a second section of tubing;

the first spool is further configured to partially unwrap the first winding so that an end of the first section of tubing is accessible to the second portion of tubing; a third means for attaching the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the tubing comprises three or more sections, the third means is further configured to: - attach the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first and second sections of tubing;

the first spool is further configured to form a second winding on it by wrapping the first section of tubing, the second section of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element;

the system further comprises:

a fourth means for placing a third portion of the elongated element inside a third section of tubing;

the first spool is further configured to partially unwrap the second winding so that an end of the second tubing is accessible to the third section of tubing;

a fifth means for attaching the third section of tubing to the second section of tubing.

10. The system of claim 8, being configured to repeat the process until a sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing meets a defined condition.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the process is repeated until the sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing reach any of the following:

- about 750 meters;

- about 1000 meters;

- about 2000 meters; or

- about 2500 meters.

12. The system of any one of claims 7-11, further comprising:

a second spool, around which the elongated element is wound to form a third winding;

the second spool is configured to wind and/or de-wind the third winding as required by the operation of the first spool.

13. The system of any one of claims 7-12, wherein each of the sections of tubing has a length of about 250 meters to about 1000 meters.

14. The system of any one of claims 7-13, wherein the elongated element comprises a heating cable and/or an instrument string comprising one or more fiber optic cables.

Description:
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PLACING AN ELONGATED ELEMENT INSIDE

TUBING

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention disclosure relates to a method and system for placing an elongated element inside a tubing. More specifically, it relates to a method and system for preparing a long heater assembly for placement in a wellbore in subsurface formation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Hydrocarbons obtained from subterranean formations are often used as energy resources, as feed stocks, and as consumer products. Concerns over depletion of available hydrocarbon resources and concerns over declining overall quality of produced

hydrocarbons have led to development of processes for more efficient recovery, processing and/or use of available hydrocarbon resources.

In situ processes may be used to remove hydrocarbon materials from subterranean formations that were previously inaccessible and/or too expensive to extract using available methods. Chemical and/or physical properties of hydrocarbon materials in a subterranean formation may need to be changed to allow easier removal from the subterranean formation and/or increase the value of the hydrocarbon materials. The chemical and physical changes may include in situ reactions that produce removable fluids, composition changes, solubility changes, density changes, phase changes, and/or viscosity changes of the hydrocarbon material in the formation.

Downhole heaters for placement in wellbores to heat a formation during an in situ process have been developed for decades. Examples of in situ processes utilizing downhole heaters are illustrated in U.S. Patent Nos. 2,634,961 to Ljungstrom; 2,732,195 to Ljungstrom; 2,780,450 to Ljungstrom; 2,789,805 to Ljungstrom; 2,923,535 to Ljungstrom; 4,886,118 to Van Meurs et al.; and 6,688,387 to Wellington et al., which are all incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

Shell in-situ conversion process, which converts oil shale into high-grade crude oil, and the in-situ upgrading process, a bitumen recovery technology that heats the formation using electrical heaters to convert the bitumen into lighter crude oil and gas while still underground, require a long heater assembly formed by placing a long heating element and/or an instrument string inside a tubing. The inventors of the present invention disclosure also found a similar problem to be solved in other industries, e.g., telecommunications, it is also needed to place a long optic cable or a copper wire into tubing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of certain embodiments of the present invention disclosure is to provide a method and system for placing an elongated element inside a tubing. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that the method and system could be used to prepare a long heater assembly, a long telecommunication cable, and any other elongated product which requires placing an elongated element inside a tubing.

In accordance with an embodiment of an aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for placing an elongated element inside a tubing, comprising: a) providing a first section of tubing; b) placing a first portion of the elongated element inside the first section of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first section of tubing; c) providing a first spool; d) wrapping the first section of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element around the first spool, forming a first winding; e) providing a second section of tubing; f) placing a second portion of the elongated element inside the second section of tubing; g) partially unwrapping the first winding so that an end of the first section of tubing is accessible to the second section of tubing; hjattaching the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing.

In certain embodiments, the method might stop after step h) if e.g., a sum of lengths of the first portion and the second portion of the elongated element is long enough. In this case, only two sections of tubing are used.

In an embodiment, wherein step h) comprising: i) attaching the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first and second sections of tubing; the method further comprising: j) wrapping the first section of tubing, the second section of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element on the first spool to form a second winding; k) providing a third section of tubing; 1) placing a third portion of the elongated element inside the third section of tubing; m) partially unwrapping the second winding so that and end of the second section of tubing is accessible to the third section of tubing; n) attaching the third section of tubing to the second section of tubing. In an embodiment, the method further comprising: repeating steps i)-n) for at least one additional section of tubing until a sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing meets a predefined condition. For example, the steps i)-n) might be repeated until the sum of lengths reaches a certain predefined length value, such as about 750m, about lOOOm, about 2000m or about 2500m.

In an embodiment, the method may further comprise, before step b): providing the elongated element, which is wound on the second spool, forming a third winding; the method further comprises: wrapping and/or unwrapping the third winding according to the action of the first spool.

In an embodiment, each of the sections of tubing has a length of about 250m to lOOOm. Usually, the length of the sections shall be selected according to the assembly area. It can be as small as about 250m or as long as about lOOOm. For practicality reasons, it might not be longer than lOOOm.

In an embodiment, the method is for preparing a long heater assembly, the elongated element comprises a heating cable and/or an instrument string, the instrument string may comprise one or more fiber optic cables.

In accordance with an embodiment of another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a system for placing an elongated element inside a tubing, wherein the tubing comprising at least two sections, the system comprising: a first means for placing a first portion of the elongated element inside a first section of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first section of tubing; a first spool configured to form a first winding around it by wrapping the first section of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element; a second means for placing a second portion of the elongated element inside a second section of tubing; the first spool is further configured to partially unwrap the first winding so that an end of the first section of tubing is accessible to the second portion of tubing; a third means for attaching the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing.

In an embodiment, the tubing comprises three or more sections, the third means is further configured to attach the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first and second sections of tubing; the first spool is further configured to form a second winding on it by wrapping the first section of tubing, the second section of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element; the system further comprises a fourth means for placing a third portion of the elongated element inside a third section of tubing; the first spool is further configured to partially unwrap the second winding so that an end of the second tubing is accessible to the third section of tubing; a fifth means for attaching the third section of tubing to the second section of tubing.

In an embodiment of the system, the system is configured to repeat the process until a sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing meets a defined condition. Without loss of generality, the process might be repeated until the sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing reach any of the following: about 750 meters; about 1000 meters; about 2000 meters; or about 2500 meters.

In an embodiment, the system further comprises a second spool, around which the elongated element is wound to form a third winding; the second spool is configured to wind and/or de-wind the third winding as required by the operation of the first spool.

In an embodiment, each of the sections of tubing has a length of about 250 meters to about 1000 meters.

In an embodiment, the elongated element comprises a heating cable and/or an instrument string, the instrument string may comprise one or more fiber optic cable.

An alternative to the aforementioned method and system might be, using one single long tubing instead of a plurality of sections of tubing to receive the elongated element.

The length of the single long tubing is equal to the required length of the final product, e.g., long heating assembly. This requires the entire length of the tubing, e.g. lOOOm, to be laid out straight and the long heating element and instrument strip to be pulled through the tubing. People can imagine this requires a huge assembling area and the overall pulling force needed could be extremely strong.

Advantageously, the method and system according to certain embodiments of the invention reduce the overall pulling force needed to install the elongated element inside a tubing so it allows for elongated element such as mineral insulated (MI) cables with lower tensile strengths to be utilized in long assemblies. It also resolves issues with laying out one single long tubing on a runway and dealing with the expansion/contraction problems associated with changes in ambient temperature during the assembly process, which can be quite significant with long assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other features, embodiments and advantages of the method and system according to embodiments of the invention are described in the accompanying claims, abstract and the following detailed description of non-limiting embodiments depicted in the accompanying drawings, in which description reference numerals are used which refer to corresponding reference numerals that are depicted in the drawings.

FIGS la-lb depict a system for placing an elongated element inside a tubing.

FIGS. 2a-2o depict statuses before, during and after performing the steps of the method illustrated in FIGS. 3a-3b.

FIG. 3a depicts a flowchart of a method for placing an elongated element inside a tubing having two sections according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3b depicts a flowchart of a method for placing an elongated element inside a tubing having three sections according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 depicts a block diagram of a system for placing an elongated element inside a tubing according to an embodiment of the invention.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof are shown by way of example in the drawings and will herein be described in detail. The drawings may not be to scale. It should be understood that the drawings and detailed description thereto are not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed, but to the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DEPICTED EMBODIMENTS

In the context, unless specified otherwise, terms shall be interpreted as below:

“Coupled” means either a direct connection or an indirect connection (for example, one or more intervening connections) between one or more objects or components. The phrase“directly connected” means a direct connection between objects or components such that the objects or components are connected directly to each other so that the objects or components operate in a“point of use” manner.

“In situ conversion process” refers to a process of heating a hydrocarbon containing formation from heat sources to raise the temperature of at least a portion of the formation above a pyrolysis temperature so that pyrolyzation fluid is produced in the formation. “In situ heat treatment process” refers to a process of heating a hydrocarbon containing formation with heat sources to raise the temperature of at least a portion of the formation above a temperature that results in mobilized fluid, visbreaking, and/or pyrolysis of hydrocarbon containing material so that mobilized fluids, visbroken fluids, and/or pyrolyzation fluids are produced in the formation.

“Wellbore” refers to a hole in a formation made by drilling or insertion of a conduit into the formation. A wellbore may have a substantially circular cross section, or another cross-sectional shape. As used herein, the terms“well” and“opening,” when referring to an opening in the formation may be used interchangeably with the term“wellbore.”

FIGS la-lb depicts a solution for placing an elongated element inside a tubing.

In FIG. la, one single long tubing 14’ is provided, the length of which is roughly identical to the length of the assembly to be prepared, for instance, lOOOm or even longer. As a preparation, the tubing 14’ is fully laid out in an assembling area, e.g. an airport runway. An elongated element, e.g. a long heating (MI) cable 10’, is coiled around a spool 12’.

In FIG. lb, a rope 20 is placed inside the tubing 14’ first, which will be used for pulling the cable 10’ into the tubing 14’.

The rope 20 has two ends 20a and 20b. The end 20a might be coupled to a pulling means, e.g. a winch (not shown), and the end 20b is coupled to an end 16’ of the cable 10’.

By operating the winch, a pulling force will be applied to the end 16’ of the cable 10’ in a direction 30 via the rope 20, pulling the cable 10’ into the tubing 14’ via an end l8a of the tubing 14’.

Eventually, the end 16’ of the cable 10’ will come out from an end 20a of the tubing 14’, the assembling is thereby finished.

This solution however, has certain disadvantages, including:

- In practice, the tubing 14’ can be rigid, therefore laying it out straight requires a very long distance.

- When pulling the cable 10’ in direction 30, the friction force between (the exterior surface of) the cable 10’ and the (the interior surface of) the tubing 14’ keeps increasing, therefore the overall pulling force required is quite strong. Consequently, this set a high requirement for the tensile strength of the cable 10’, which otherwise will break during the pulling. - The solution is subject to expansion/contraction problems associated with changes in ambient temperature during the assembly process, which can be quite significant with long assembly.

Features and advantages of the method and system according to embodiments of the invention will become more obvious by reading the following description, and in comparison with the aforementioned solution as illustrated in FIGS la- lb.

FIGS. 2a-2o, FIGS. 3a-3b will be jointly referred to below to describe a method for placing an elongated element inside a tubing according to embodiments of the invention. Specifically, FIGS. 3a-3b depict flowcharts of the method, and FIGS. 3a-3o depict the statuses before, during and after performing the steps of the method as illustrated in FIGS. 2a- 2c.

FIG. 3 a depicts a flowchart of a method 30 for placing an elongated element inside a tubing having two sections according to an embodiment of the invention.

In this example, the method 30 comprises steps S302-S316, and after performing these 8 steps, two portions of the elongated element are placed in tubing, this is therefore also the simplest example of the method. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that, the order in which the steps are presented is only an example, variations are possible.

In step S302, also referring to FIG. 2a, a first section l4a of tubing (e.g., coiled tubing) is provided. The first section l4a has a first end 19 and a second end 18. The first section l4a is laid out along a direction 20, along which the elongated element 10 will be pulled.

The elongated element 10 can be, in an example, a mineral insulated cable, or an instrument string, or a combination thereof. The instrument string may comprise one or more fiber optic cables for distributed temperature sensing, strain measurement, pressure measurement or thermocouples. In a preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2a, the elongated element 10 is initially wound around a second spool 12, forming a third winding 102. The third winding 102 will be, as further elaborated in the context, wrapped or unwrapped as required by the assembling.

In step 304, referring to FIGS. 2b-2c, a first portion l5a of the elongated element 10 is placed in the first section l4a, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element 10 outside the first section l4a of tubing. In the context,“unassembled” means not placed in tubing. Thus in an example illustrated in FIG. 2c, the unassembled portion of the elongated element includes: 1) the part marked as 104; and 2) the third winding 102, part of which has been unwrapped to form the first portion l5a and the part 104.

To execute step 304, in an example, a rope (not shown) may be placed inside the tubing 14 first, which will be used for pulling the first portion l5a into the first section l4a of tubing. The rope can be pulled into the first section using a jet-line string, once the rope exits the first section, it can be connected to the end 16 of the elongated element 10.

The rope has two ends, a first end might be coupled to a pulling means, e.g. a winch (not shown), and a second end is coupled to the end 16 of the elongated element 10.

By operating the winch at the opposite end of the first section l4a, a pulling force will be applied to the end 16 along e.g. direction 23 via the rope, pulling the first portion l5a into the first section l4a via an end 18 of the first section l4a.

Eventually, referring to FIG. 2c, the end 16 of the elongated element 10 may come out a bit from the end 19 of the first section l4a, step 304 is thereby finished.

In practice, a length of the first section l4a can be selected by considering the following factors:

- the maximum friction force between the elongated element 10 and the first section l4a increases with the length of the first section l4a, a relatively short first section l4a allows a lower requirement for the tensile strength of the elongated element 10;

- as elaborated below, certain steps of the method need to be repeated for each extra section of the tubing. To protect the tubing from too frequent wrapping and unwrapping, the lengths of the first, second ... and the n lh sections should not be too short.

This also applies to the selection of the lengths of the second, third, ... , and n lh sections of tubing. In different embodiments, the lengths of different sections of tubing can be the same or different. In an example, the length of any section of tubing ranges from about 250m to lOOOm. As a result, the distance between the first spool 17 and the second spool 12 can be roughly similar to the length of the sections of tubing.

In step 306, also referring to FIG. 2d, a first spool 17 is provided. In an embodiment, the end 16 of the elongated element 10 can be placed into a rat hole (not shown) on the first spool 17, and secured with a clamp (not shown). After then, the first section l4a (with the first portion l5a received therein) is ready to be wound on the first spool 17. In step S308, also referring to FIG. 2d, when rotating the spool 17 in direction 21 by e.g. operating a spooling unit (not shown), the first section l4a of tubing starts to be wound around the first spool 17, forming a first winding 103.

In step 308, the first spool 17 keeps rotating, as observed from FIG. 2e, the first section l4a, together with the first portion l5a of the elongated element 10, will be fully wound around the first spool 17, leaving a part 104 of the elongated element 10 extending from the first winding 103 to the third winding 102.

In step 308, the first spool 17 keeps rotating, as observed from FIG. 2f, a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element 10 is then also wound around the first spool 17 as a part of the first winding 103.

In this step 308, accordingly, the third winding 102 keeps unwrapping, until the elongated element 10 is fully unwrapped from the second spool 12. The other end 105 of the elongated element 10 might have been inserted in a rat hole (not shown) on the second spool 12 and secured by a clamp (not shown) therein. In that case, the end 105 needs to be freed before step 310.

In step 310, referring to FIG. 2g, a second section l4b of tubing is provided.

In step 312, referring to FIGS. 2g-2h, a second portion l5b of the elongated element 10 is placed into the second section l4b of tubing.

In an embodiment, this is done by connecting another rope (not shown) between the end 105 and a winch (not shown), and pull the rope in direction 24 by operating the winch. Once the end 105 is pulled out of the second section l4b, it might be re-inserted into the rat hole on the second spool 12 and secured by a clamp.

In step 314, referring to FIGS. 2h-2i, the first winding 103 on the first spool 17, which includes the first section l4a and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element 10, is partially unwrapped. This can be done by rotating the second spool 12 by a spooling unit (not shown), thereby rotating the first winding 103 in direction 25 and unwrapping the same. In this step 314, the third winding 102 is also re-formed. It is obvious that the maximum pulling force required in step 314 is at least partially depending on the length of the second section l4b, which shall be therefore decided in a similar manner as the one of the first section l4a. In an embodiment, the lengths of different sections of the tubing are the same, which can be jointed decided. Referring to FIG. 2j, in step 314, the first winding 103 keeps unwrapping until the end 18 of the first section l4a is accessible to the second section l4b. In step 316, the second section l4b is attached to the first section l4a by e.g. welding.

Typically, the preparation of the assembly is finished when a sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing reaches certain value, for example any of the following: about 750 meters, about 1000 meters, about 2000 meters or about 2500 meters. In certain embodiments, maybe a short assembly is needed, or the sections of tubing are relatively long, therefore only two sections of tubing are needed. In that case, the method can stop after step 316. The two terminal ends of the elongated element 10 may be outside the tubing and connected to a testing device to test e.g. whether the elongated element 10 has been broken by the pulling force. After the test, the assembly may be wound on a spool for storage.

In another embodiment, three sections of tubing are needed to prepare the assembly, which will be further described by referring to FIGS. 2k-2o and 3b.

FIG. 3b illustrates steps for placing a third portion l5c of the elongated element 10 in a third section l4c of tubing, following the aforementioned step S314.

In step S316’, the second section l4b of tubing is attached to the first section l4a of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first and second sections of tubing (l4a, l4b), the unassembled portion includes e.g. the third winding 102 illustrated in FIG. 2j.

In step S318, also referring to FIG. 2k-2i, the first spool 17 starts to rotate in direction 21, the first section l4a with the first portion l5a received therein, the second section l4b with the second portion l5b received therein, and a part of the unassembled (i.e. not received by any section of tubing) portion of the elongated element is wrapped on the first spool 17 to form a second winding 103’. Preferably, the first spool 17 continues rotating until the second winding 102 on the second spool 12 is fully unwrapped. The end 105 of the elongated element 10 can therefore be detached from the second spool 12.

In step 320, also referring to FIG. 2m, a third section l4c of tubing is provided, similar to aforementioned step S310.

In step 322, also referring to Fig. 2n, a third portion l5c of the elongated element 10 is placed in the third section l4c, similar to step S312.

In step S324, the second winding 103’ is partially unwrapped so that an end 106 of the second section l4b of tubing becomes accessible to the third section l4c. In step S326, also referring to FIG. 20, the third section l4c of tubing is attached to the second section l4b of tubing by e.g. welding.

After step S326, if the assembly is as long as required, the method may stop. The assembly can then be tested and moved away for storage or placement in wellborn.

In another embodiment, more sections of tubing are required for preparing the assembly. For the n lh section of tubing and the n lh portion of the elongated element to be placed therein, steps S316’ to S326 are repeated. Basically, the (n- 1 ) lh and (n-2) th sections of tubing are attached to each other, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element 10 outside the sections of tubing. The I st to (n-l) sections of tubing, with the I st to (n-l) portions of the elongated element received therein, and at least a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element 10 are then wrapped on the first spool 17, forming a new winding. After that, the n* section of tubing is provided, and the n* portion of the elongated element 10 is placed therein. The new winding is then partially unwrapped, so that an end of the (n-l)* section of tubing is exposed and accessible to the n* section. Finally, the n* section of tubing is attached to the (n-l) th section of tubing. If needed, the steps may be repeated for a (n+l) section of tubing, which will be appreciated by those skilled in the art by reading the foregoing and will not be further described.

FIG. 4 depicts a block diagram of a system 40 for placing an elongated element 10 inside a tubing according to an embodiment of the invention, the tubing may includes two or more sections l4a, l4b, and (..., 14h). The system 40 will be described referring to FIGS. 2a-2o, basically, by operating the system 40, the method 30/30a in FIGs. 3a-3b are executed.

The system 40 includes:

A first means 401 for placing a first portion l5a of the elongated element 10 inside a first section l4a of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element 10 outside the first section l4a of tubing. The first means 401 may be a winch, executing the step S304.

A first spool 17 configured to form a first winding 103 around it by wrapping the first section l4a of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element 10. In practice the first spool 17 may be driven by a spooling unit, executing the step S308.

A second means 402 for placing a second portion l5b of the elongated element 10 inside a second section l4b of tubing and executing the step S312. The first spool 17 is further configured to partially unwrap the first winding 103 so that an end of the first section l4a of tubing is accessible to the second portion l4b of tubing.

A third means 403 for attaching the second section of tubing to the first section of tubing.

In an embodiment, the tubing comprises three or more sections, the third means 403 is further configured to attach the second section l4b of tubing to the first section l4a of tubing, leaving an unassembled portion of the elongated element outside the first and second sections of tubing.

The first spool 17 is further configured to form a second winding 103’ on it by wrapping the first section l4a of tubing, the second section l4b of tubing and a part of the unassembled portion of the elongated element 10.

The system further comprises a fourth means 404 for placing a third portion l5c of the elongated element 10 inside a third section l4c of tubing. The first spool 17 is further configured to at least partially unwrap the second winding 103’ so that an end of the second tubing l4b is accessible to the third section l4c of tubing.

The system may further comprise a fifth means 405 for attaching the third section l4c of tubing to the second section l4b of tubing.

In an embodiment of the system 40, the system 40 is configured to repeat the foregoing process until a sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing meets a defined condition. Without loss of generality, the process might be repeated until the sum of lengths of portions of the elongated element placed in sections of tubing reach any of the following: about 750 meters; about 1000 meters; about 2000 meters; or about 2500 meters.

In an embodiment, the system further comprises a second spool 12, around which the elongated element 10 is wound to form a third winding 102 at the beginning of the preparation of the assembly.

The second spool 12 is configured to wind and/or de-wind the third winding 102 as required by the operation of the first spool.

In an embodiment, each of the sections of tubing has a length of about 250 meters to about 1000 meters.

In an embodiment, the elongated element 10 may be a heating cable and/or an instrument string, the instrument string may comprise one or more fiber optic cable, and the tubing may be carbon-steel H570 coiled tube. In another embodiment, the elongated element 10 may be a copper wire, and the tubing is a jacket made by e.g. non-conducting rubber.

In practice, the preparation of the assembly may further benefit from the following equipment, processes and settings (not shown):

Straighteners placed e.g. in front of the spools, straightening the elongated element and/or the tubing;

As briefly mentioned, pooling ropes in each sections of tubing, and jet- line strings used to pull the ropes into the sections of tubing;

Before the assembling, the elongated element e.g. heating cable could be transferred from a shipping spool to the second spool, and cut to the required length, e.g. 1000 meters.

- Pulling rod(s) may be weld to one or both ends of the heating cable, configured to be connected to a winch for pulling the cable.

A spooling unit setup at one end of the assembling area, to operate the first spool 17, and another spooling unit setup at the other end of the assembly area, to operate the second spool 12. Each newly provided section of tubing will be staged and extending between the first and second spooling unit.

- Plywood or other suitable materials may be provided to avoid the cable from dragging on e.g. rock pad.

- Counter weight may need to be provided to secure the sections of tubing, during the assembling process.

- Bands are used to secure spooled section(s) of tubing on the first spool 17 to avoid the same from unspooling. In an example, the bands may be installed every 2 wraps in the same location so that bands will overlap every 3 wrap.

- Protective guides may be provided at one or both ends of the tubing to prevent the cable from being damaged during the operation.

Therefore, the method, system and/or any products according to present invention are well adapted to attain the ends and advantages mentioned as well as those that are inherent therein.

The particular embodiments disclosed above are illustrative only, as the present invention may be modified, combined and/or practiced in different but equivalent manners apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings herein. Furthermore, no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown, other than as described in the claims below.

It is therefore evident that the particular illustrative embodiments disclosed above may be altered, combined and/or modified and all such variations are considered within the scope of the present invention as defined in the accompanying claims.

While any methods, systems and/or products embodying the invention are described in terms of“comprising,”“containing,” or“including” various described features and/or steps, they can also“consist essentially of’ or“consist of’ the various described features and steps.

All numbers and ranges disclosed above may vary by some amount. Whenever a numerical range with a lower limit and an upper limit is disclosed, any number and any included range falling within the range is specifically disclosed. In particular, every range of values (of the form,“from about a to about b,” or, equivalently,“from approximately a to b,” or, equivalently,“from approximately a-b”) disclosed herein is to be understood to set forth every number and range encompassed within the broader range of values.

Also, the terms in the claims have their plain, ordinary meaning unless otherwise explicitly and clearly defined by the patentee.

Moreover, the indefinite articles“a” or“an”, as used in the claims, are defined herein to mean one or more than one of the element that it introduces.

If there is any conflict in the usages of a word or term in this specification and one or more patent or other documents that may be cited herein by reference, the definitions that are consistent with this specification should be adopted.