Title:
Actuation tool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An actuation tool includes a mandrel; at least one protrusion in the mandrel representing a deformation of the material of the mandrel resulting in the mandrel having a lesser axial dimension than it does with the protrusion removed or diminished; and a fluid inlet positioned to facilitate application of pressure to one of an inside or outside surface of the mandrel and method.



Inventors:
Mcanally, Yvonne B. (Spring, TX, US)
Akande, Jesse A. (Houston, TX, US)
Arrazola, Alvaro J. (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/732561
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
04/04/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
166/207
International Classes:
E21B23/00
View Patent Images:
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20030164235Slurry recovery processSeptember, 2003Leeson et al.
20060260809Method and apparatus for replacing drive pipeNovember, 2006Crain
20090205843EXPANDABLE PACKERAugust, 2009Gandikota et al.
20080296014INTERVENTIONLESS COMPOSITE PACKERDecember, 2008Richard et al.
20070193373Isokinetic samplingAugust, 2007Xie et al.



Primary Examiner:
HUTCHINS, CATHLEEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CANTOR COLBURN LLP (20 Church Street 22nd Floor, Hartford, CT, 06103, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An actuation tool comprising: a mandrel; at least one protrusion in the mandrel representing a deformation of the material of the mandrel resulting in the mandrel having a lesser axial dimension than it does with the protrusion removed or diminished; and a fluid inlet positioned to facilitate application of pressure to one of an inside or outside surface of the mandrel.

2. The actuation tool as claimed in claim 1 wherein the at least one protrusion is a plurality of protrusions.

3. The actuation tool as claimed in claim 2 wherein each of the plurality of protrusions is of different dimensions than any other protrusion.

4. The actuation tool as claimed in claim 2 wherein the plurality of protrusions include at least one protrusion having different material thickness than at least one other protrusion.

5. The actuation tool as claimed in claim 1 wherein the at least one protrusion is substantially straightenable upon application of pressure through the fluid inlet.

6. The actuation tool as claimed in claim 2 wherein the plurality of protrusions include at least one protrusion having different dimensions than at least one other protrusion.

7. The actuation tool as claimed in claim 6 wherein the plurality of protrusions include at least one protrusion having different material thickness than at least one other protrusion.

8. A method for applying a linear force comprising: applying pressure to the tool of claim 1; undeforming the at least one protrusion; and causing extension of the mandrel due to the undeforming.

9. The method for applying a linear force as claimed in claim 8 wherein the applying is directed to an inside dimension of the mandrel.

10. The method for applying a linear force as claimed in claim 8 wherein the undeforming of the at least one protrusion is undeforming of a number of protrusions.

11. The method for applying a linear force as claimed in claim 10 wherein the protrusions are sequentially undeformed.

12. The method for applying a linear force as claimed in claim 11 wherein the sequence is one or more at a time and one or more at another time.

13. The method for applying a linear force as claimed in claim 8 wherein the method further comprises connecting the tool to an actuatable device.

14. The method for applying a linear force as claimed in claim 8 wherein the method further comprises actuating the actuatable device.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the hydrocarbon recovery arts, actuation tools are a familiar component of most wellbore operations. Many different wellbore tools require setting once they are appropriately positioned in the downhole environment. Some examples include packers and bridge plugs although it will be recognized by those of skill in the art that many other devices also require setting. In many cases, the setting operation of such devices requires an axial motion. While hydraulic pressure derived from hydrostatic well pressure or from a pressure increasing action may be sufficient for some devices, others, because of their particular construction, are not settable based upon direct application of hydraulic pressure and instead require alternate actuation.

Since there are a large number of different types of tools and a large number of types of actuation, the art is always in search of alternative actuation tool configurations.

SUMMARY

An actuation tool includes a mandrel; at least one protrusion in the mandrel representing a deformation of the material of the mandrel resulting in the mandrel having a lesser axial dimension than it does with the protrusion removed or diminished; and a fluid inlet positioned to facilitate application of pressure to one of an inside or outside surface of the mandrel.

A method for applying a linear force includes applying pressure to the tool described immediately above, undeforming the at least one protrusion and causing extension of the mandrel due to the undeforming.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring now to the drawings wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several Figures:

FIG. 1 is a schematic cross-sectional illustration of an actuation tool in accordance with the teaching hereof; and

FIG. 2 is an illustration of the tool depicted in FIG. 1 in the stroked condition.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a schematic illustration of an embodiment of an actuation tool 10 is shown in a non-actuated position. The tool 10 includes a mandrel 12 having a number of deformed portions 14. There may be one or more deformed portions 14 as desired. The greater the number of deformed portions 14, the greater the length change in the mandrel 12 upon actuation of the tool. One end 16 of mandrel 12 is open for fluid communication through inlet 38 to an inside volume 38 defined by mandrel 12, while an opposite end 18 is closed. As such mandrel 12 is receptive to hydraulic fluid at the volume defined thereby and responsive to an increase in pressure of that fluid to undeform any deformed portions of the mandrel 12. Upon undeformation, one will appreciate that the frustoconical segments 20 at each deformed portion 14 become more axially aligned with the mandrel 12 and thereby cause growth in the axial length thereof. The appearance of the tool 10 will be as illustrated in FIG. 2 after undeformation.

Each deformed portion 14 is formed by a circumferential radially inward collapse of the material of mandrel 12 to form inside dimensions 22 of portions 14 that are smaller than an inside dimension 24 of an undeformed portion 26 of mandrel 12. In some configurations, the difference in inside dimension(s) 22 to inside dimension(s) 24 is substantial while in other configurations, it may be less. Moreover, it should be noted that in different portions 14 in the same mandrel 12, the inside dimensions 22 may be different in order to create a staged actuation. This is possible because depending both upon the axial length of a deformed portion 14 and the amount of deformation of that portion 14, the angle presented by the frustocones 20 is varied. The greater the angle, the higher the hydraulic pressure required to undeform the portion (and the greater the length change). Where different configurations of the portions 14 are included in the same tool, then, the tool will extend more slowly as individual portions undeform in a sequence governed by their individual angular structure.

Alternatively, to the forgoing explanation of sequenced elongation of the mandrel 12, it is also possible to create such sequencing by varying the thickness of the material at individual deformed portions 14. In this alternative, the thinner material sections will undeform first followed sequentially by the next successively thicker section. It will also be appreciated that angularity and material thickness can also be used together in some embodiments.

Facilitating creation of the deformed portions, in one embodiment, is a plurality of lines of weakness in the material of the mandrel. These lines of weakness are substantially circumferential and may represent a complete circumference or a broken circumference as desired. The lines of weakness in one configuration may be grooves in the material of mandrel 12 located at numerals 30, 32 and 34. It is to be noted that the lead lines for numerals 30, 32, and 34 not only point to nodes of deformation of the mandrel 12 but also indicate which surface of mandrel 12 is grooved. The grooves in one embodiment are positioned such that when the deformation of the deformed position 14 is effected, the grooves close.

While preferred embodiments have been shown and described, modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustrations and not limitation.