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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
EUTECTIC CASING WINDOW
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/069596
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A device in accordance to an embodiment includes a tubular casing joint constructed of a first material with a portion of the first material removed to form a window and an eutectic material closing the window. In accordance with an embodiment casing joint having a pre-formed window closed with an eutectic material is deployed in a wellbore. The pre-formed casing window may be opened without milling by melting the eutectic material for example by activating a heating element adjacent to the eutectic material.

Inventors:
SANCHEZ MARIANO RUBEN (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2015/057574
Publication Date:
May 06, 2016
Filing Date:
October 27, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SCHLUMBERGER CA LTD (CA)
SCHLUMBERGER SERVICES PETROL (FR)
SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY BV (NL)
SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORP (US)
International Classes:
E21B7/04; E21B7/08; E21B17/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013135583A22013-09-19
Foreign References:
US20140224510A12014-08-14
US20100155085A12010-06-24
US20020170713A12002-11-21
US20120061096A12012-03-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GROESBECK, David J. et al. (IP Administration Center of ExcellenceRoom 472, Houston Texas, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A device, comprising:

a tubular casing joint constructed of a first material;

a portion of the first material removed to form a window; and

an eutectic material closing the window.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the first material is steel.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein the tubular casing joint is connected within a casing

string.

4. The device of claim 1 , wherein the tubular casing joint is disposed in a wellbore with the eutectic material closing the window.

5. A method, comprising deploying a casing joint within a wellbore, the casing joint

comprising an eutectic material closing a window pre-formed in the casing joint.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the casing joint is constructed of a first material different from the eutectic material.

7. The method of claim 5, comprising pre-forming the window in the casing joint by

removing a portion of the casing joint prior to deploying the casing joint in the wellbore.

8. The method of claim 7, comprising filling the window with a liquefied eutectic material, the liquefied eutectic material solidifying in response to cooling to close the window.

9. The method of claim 5, comprising opening the window in the wellbore without milling the casing joint.

10. The method of claim 9, comprising drilling a lateral wellbore extending from the

wellbore through the opened window.

11. The method of claim 5, comprising heating the eutectic material in the wellbore to melt the eutectic material and thereby open the window.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the heating comprises positioning a heating element adjacent to the eutectic material.

13. The method of claim 5, comprising deploying a heating element on a conveyance into the wellbore to a position adjacent to the eutectic material; and

emitting heat from the heating element thereby melting the eutectic material and opening the window.

14. The method of claim 13, comprising pre-forming the window in the casing joint by removing a portion of the casing joint prior to deploying the casing joint in the wellbore.

15. The method of claim 14, comprising filling the window with a liquefied eutectic material, the liquefied eutectic material solidifying in response to cooling to close the window.

16. The method of claim 15, comprising drilling a lateral wellbore extending from the

wellbore through the opened window.

17. A method of opening a casing window without milling, the method comprising opening a window pre-formed in a casing string deployed in a wellbore in response to melting an eutectic material disposed in the window.

18. The method of claim 17, comprising drilling a lateral wellbore extending from the

wellbore through the opened window.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the melting comprises deploying a heating element on a conveyance into the wellbore to a position adjacent to the eutectic material; and emitting heat from the heating element thereby melting the eutectic material and opening the window. The method of claim 19, comprising drilling a lateral wellbore extending from the wellbore through the opened window.

Description:
EUTECTIC CASING WINDOW

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present document is based on and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Serial No.: 62/068826, filed October 27, 2014, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] This section provides background information to facilitate a better understanding of the various aspects of the disclosure. It should be understood that the statements in this section of this document are to be read in this light, and not as admissions of prior art.

[0003] Exploring, drilling and completing hydrocarbon and other wells are generally complicated, time consuming, and ultimately very expensive endeavors. As a result, over the years, a significant amount of added emphasis has been placed on maximizing hydrocarbon recovery for every well drilled. Along these lines, well monitoring and maintenance have become critical to effective well management throughout the life of the well. By the same token, considerable efforts are directed at the overall architecture and layout of the well for sake of maximizing recovery from a given reservoir. For example, wells may be multi-zonal or include multiple lateral legs emerging therefrom so as to effectively target and access particular portions of the reservoir. [0004] In the case of a multilateral well, the initial drilling, cementing and casing of the well may be quite time consuming and complex. For example, once a main bore is drilled and cased, follow-on milling through the casing may be required at each location where a lateral leg is to be drilled. Once each window is milled out, follow-on drilling may take place to form the various lateral legs which are to emerge from the main bore. Unfortunately, separately dedicated milling applications as described are both time consuming and tend to leave behind uneven surfaces at the casing defining the main bore.

SUMMARY

[0005] A device in accordance to an embodiment includes a tubular casing joint constructed of a first material with a portion of the first material removed to form a window and an eutectic material closing the window. In accordance with an embodiment casing joint having a preformed window closed with an eutectic material is deployed in a wellbore. The pre-formed casing window may be opened without milling by melting the eutectic material for example by activating a heating element adjacent to the eutectic material.

[0006] This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts that are further described below in the detailed description. This summary is not intended to identify key or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in limiting the scope of claimed subject matter. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] The disclosure is best understood from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying figures. It is emphasized that, in accordance with standard practice in the industry, various features are not drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions of various features may be arbitrarily increased or reduced for clarity of discussion.

[0008] Figure 1 illustrates an eutectic casing window according to one or more aspects of the disclosure.

[0009] Figure 2 illustrates wellbore incorporating an eutectic casing window according to one or more aspects of the disclosure.

[0010] Figure 3 illustrates opening a wellbore casing window without milling according to one or more aspects of the disclosure.

[0011] Figure 4 illustrates drilling a lateral wellbore extending through an eutectic casing window according to one or more aspects of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0012] It is to be understood that the following disclosure provides many different embodiments, or examples, for implementing different features of various embodiments. Specific examples of components and arrangements are described below to simplify the disclosure. These are, of course, merely examples and are not intended to be limiting. In addition, the disclosure may repeat reference numerals and/or letters in the various examples. This repetition is for the purpose of simplicity and clarity and does not in itself dictate a relationship between the various embodiments and/or configurations discussed.

[0013] As used herein, the terms connect, connection, connected, in connection with, and connecting may be used to mean in direct connection with or in connection with via one or more elements. Similarly, the terms couple, coupling, coupled, coupled together, and coupled with may be used to mean directly coupled together or coupled together via one or more elements. Terms such as up, down, top and bottom and other like terms indicating relative positions to a given point or element are may be utilized to more clearly describe some elements. Commonly, these terms relate to a reference point such as the surface from which drilling operations are initiated.

[0014] Figure 1 illustrates a eutectic casing window generally denoted by the numeral 10 according to one or more embodiment. The eutectic casing window 10 includes a tubular joint or section of steel wellbore casing, referred to herein as casing joint 12, with a section removed to form a window 14 as illustrated by the dashed lines. The wellbore casing joint 12 is constructed of steel material as is known in the art. Once the steel section of casing joint 12 is removed the open window 14 is filled, e.g., plugged, with an eutectic material 16, which is referred to at times as an eutectic plug 16. As used herein, the term "eutectic" is meant to refer to any material or composition which may be provided in a solid form and controllably heated to effectively liquefy and remove. This may include conventional soldering alloys suitable for downhole use and may also include non-alloy compositions. The eutectic material may contain for example bismuth, lead, tin, cadmium, or indium. The eutectic material may expand when it is cooled and solidifies. For example, liquefied eutectic material 16 can be filled into the open window 14 and cooled to solidify in the window 14 and seal with the casing joint 12 providing an eutectic material 16 plugged window.

[0015] Figure 2 illustrates a well system 18 incorporating an eutectic casing window 10 in accordance to one or more embodiments. The depicted well system 18 includes a primary wellbore 20 extending into a subterranean formation 21. The illustrated primary wellbore includes a vertical section 22 and a horizontal section 24. At least at portion of the primary wellbore 20 includes a casing 26 (i.e., casing string) which incorporates the eutectic casing window 10. As is well known in the art casing 26 is formed of a plurality of interconnected joints of casing, for example by welding or threading. The casing joint 12 including the eutectic material 16 plugged window 14 is incorporated into the casing 26 as the casing is being run into the wellbore. The casing 26 may include one or more eutectic casing windows 10. The eutectic casing windows 10 may be located so that the window 14 is located vertically and circumferential in a location in which a lateral wellbore may be positioned. A lower completion 28 is illustrated positioned in the substantially horizontal section 24 of the primary wellbore. [0016] Referring now to Figure 3, in conjunction with Figures 1 and 2, the eutectic plug 16 is melted and thereby removed from the casing joint 26 leaving an open window 14 through which a lateral wellbore can be drilled. The eutectic plug 16 is removed from the casing by heating such that the eutectic material liquefies. The eutectic material may be melted for example by heating via various mechanisms, including without limitation heat delivery lines (e.g., electric lines), pyrotechnic devices and chemical reactions, for example thermite. The heating element or device may be disposed with the tubular string for activation when desired or run into the central passage when it is desired to liquefy the eutectic material plug. In this example, a heating device or element 30 is conveyed into the casing 26 on a conveyance 30 (e.g., wire line, coil tubing) and positioned adjacent to the eutectic plug. Heating element 30 may be a single use device, such as a propellant charge, or a multiple use device. The heating element 30 is activated to emit heat at a sufficient temperature to melt, e.g. liquefy, the eutectic plug 16 so that window 14 is opened. Accordingly, an open window 14 is created without milling the casing.

[0017] Referring now to Figure 4 a lateral leg or lateral wellbore 34 is illustrated being drilled extending from the main wellbore 20 through open window 14. For example a whipstock 36 is positioned in the main wellbore 20 below the open window 14. A drill string 38 having a drill bit 40 is run into the primary wellbore 20 and sidetracked through open window 14.

[0018] The foregoing outlines features of several embodiments so that those skilled in the art may better understand the aspects of the disclosure. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they may readily use the disclosure as a basis for designing or modifying other processes and structures for carrying out the same purposes and/or achieving the same advantages of the embodiments introduced herein. Those skilled in the art should also realize that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the disclosure, and that they may make various changes, substitutions and alterations herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure. The scope of the invention should be determined only by the language of the claims that follow. The term "comprising" within the claims is intended to mean "including at least" such that the recited listing of elements in a claim are an open group. The terms "a," "an" and other singular terms are intended to include the plural forms thereof unless specifically excluded.