Title:
METHOD OF EXPANSION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of expansion.



Inventors:
Brisco, David Paul (Duncan, OK, US)
Watson, Brock Wayne (Carrollton, TX, US)
Shuster, Mark (Voorburg, NL)
Gray, Malcolm (Houston, TX, US)
Grinberg, Grigoriy (Sylvania, OH, US)
Costa, Scott (Katy, TX, US)
Wasson, Russell (Bourbon, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/573485
Publication Date:
02/04/2010
Filing Date:
08/11/2005
Assignee:
ENVENTURE GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY, LLC (Houston, TX, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
166/384, 72/370.08
International Classes:
E21B29/00; B21D39/20; E04B1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ANDREWS, DAVID L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Conley Rose P. C. (P.O. Box 3267, Houston, TX, 77253-3267, US)
Claims:
1. 1-77. (canceled)

78. A method of forming a tubular liner within a preexisting structure, comprising: positioning a tubular assembly within the preexisting structure; and radially expanding and plastically deforming the tubular assembly within the preexisting structure; wherein, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the tubular assembly, a predetermined portion of the tubular assembly has a lower yield point than another portion of the tubular assembly.

79. The method of claim 78, wherein the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly comprises one or more of the following: a higher ductility and a lower yield point prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation than after the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a higher ductility prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation than after the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a lower yield point prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation than after the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an end portion of the tubular assembly; a plurality of predetermined portions of the tubular assembly; and a plurality of spaced apart predetermined portions of the tubular assembly.

80. The method of claim 78, wherein the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly has a larger inside diameter after the radial expansion and plastic deformation than other portions of the tubular assembly.

81. The method of claim 80, further comprising: positioning another tubular assembly within the preexisting structure in overlapping relation to the tubular assembly; and radially expanding and plastically deforming the other tubular assembly within the preexisting structure; wherein, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the tubular assembly, a predetermined portion of the other tubular assembly has a lower yield point than another portion of the other tubular assembly.

82. The method of claim 81, wherein the inside diameter of the radially expanded and plastically deformed other portion of the tubular assembly is equal to the inside diameter of the radially expanded and plastically deformed other portion of the other tubular assembly.

83. The method of claim 78, wherein the other portion of the tubular assembly comprises one or more of the following: an end portion of the tubular assembly; a plurality of other portions of the tubular assembly; and a plurality of spaced apart other portions of the tubular assembly.

84. The method of claim 78, wherein the tubular assembly comprises a plurality of tubular members coupled to one another by corresponding tubular couplings.

85. The method of claim 84, wherein the tubular couplings comprise the predetermined portions of the tubular assembly; and wherein the tubular members comprise the other portion of the tubular assembly.

86. The method of claim 84, wherein one or more of the tubular couplings comprise the predetermined portions of the tubular assembly.

87. The method of claim 84, wherein one or more of the tubular members comprise the predetermined portions of the tubular assembly.

88. The method of claim 78, wherein the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly defines one or more openings.

89. The method of claim 88, wherein one or more of the openings comprise slots.

90. The method of claim 88, wherein the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly comprises one or more of the following: an anisotropy greater than 1; a strain hardening exponent greater than 0.12; and an anisotropy greater than 1 and a strain hardening exponent greater than 0.12.

91. The method of claim 78, wherein the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly comprises one or more of the following: a first steel alloy comprising: 0.065% C, 1.44% Mn, 0.01% P, 0.002% S, 0.24% Si, 0.01% Cu, 0.01% Ni, and 0.02% Cr; a second steel alloy comprising: 0.18% C, 1.28% Mn, 0.017% P, 0.004% S, 0.29% Si, 0.01% Cu, 0.01% Ni, and 0.03% Cr; a third steel alloy comprising: 0.08% C, 0.82% Mn, 0.006% P, 0.003% S, 0.30% Si, 0.16% Cu, 0.05% Ni, and 0.05% Cr; and a fourth steel alloy comprising: 0.02% C, 1.31% Mn, 0.02% P, 0.001% S, 0.45% Si, 9.1% Ni, and 18.7% Cr.

92. The method of claim 91, wherein the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly comprises one or more of the following: a yield point of at most about 46.9 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation and at least about 65.9 ksi after the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a yield point after the radial expansion and plastic deformation that is at least about 40% greater than the yield point prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an anisotropy of about 1.48 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a yield point of at most about 57.8 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation and at least about 74.4 ksi after the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a yield point after the radial expansion and plastic deformation that is at least about 28% greater than the yield point prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an anisotropy of about 1.04 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an anisotropy of about 1.92 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; and an anisotropy of about 1.34 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation.

93. The method of claim 78, wherein the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly comprises one or more of the following: a yield point of at most about 46.9 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation and at least about 65.9 ksi after the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a yield point after the radial expansion and plastic deformation that is at least about 40% greater than the yield point prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an anisotropy of about 1.48 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a yield point of at most about 57.8 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation and at least about 74.4 ksi after the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a yield point after the radial expansion and plastic deformation that is at least about 28% greater than the yield point prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an anisotropy of at least about 1.04 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an anisotropy of at least about 1.92 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an anisotropy of at least about 1.34 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an anisotropy ranging from about 1.04 to about 1.92 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; a yield point ranging from about 47.6 ksi to about 61.7 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; an expandability coefficient of greater than 0.12 prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; and an expandability coefficient that is greater than the expandability coefficient of the other portion of the tubular assembly.

94. The method of claim 78, wherein the tubular assembly comprises one or more of the following: a wellbore casing; a pipeline; and a structural support.

95. The method of claim 78, wherein the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly comprises one or more of the following: a combination comprising a carbon content of less than or equal to 0.12 percent and a carbon equivalent value of less than 0.21; and a combination comprising a carbon content of greater than 0.12 percent and a carbon equivalent value of less than 0.36.

96. The method of claim 78, wherein a yield point of an inner tubular portion of at least a portion of the tubular assembly is less than a yield point of an outer tubular portion of the portion of the tubular assembly.

97. The method of claim 96, wherein the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies as a function of the radial position within the tubular body.

98. The method of claim 97, wherein the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a fashion comprising one of the following: a linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and a non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body.

99. The method of claim 96, wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies as a function of the radial position within the tubular body.

100. The method of claim 99, wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a fashion comprising one of the following: a linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and a non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body.

101. The method of claim 96, wherein the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies as a function of the radial position within the tubular body.

102. The method of claim 101, wherein the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a fashion comprising one of the following: a linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and a non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a fashion comprising one of the following: a linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and a non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body.

103. The method of claim 101, wherein the rate of change of the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body is different than the rate of change of the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body.

104. The method of claim 78, wherein prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, at least a portion of the tubular assembly comprises a microstructure comprising a hard phase structure and a soft phase structure.

105. The method of claim 104, wherein prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, at least a portion of the tubular assembly comprises a microstructure comprising a transitional phase structure.

106. The method of claim 104, wherein the hard phase structure comprises martensite.

107. The method of claim 104, wherein the soft phase structure comprises ferrite.

108. The method of claim 104, wherein the transitional phase structure comprises retained austentite.

109. The method of claim 104, wherein the hard phase structure comprises martensite; wherein the soft phase structure comprises ferrite; and wherein the transitional phase structure comprises retained austentite.

110. The method of claim 104, wherein the portion of the tubular assembly comprising a microstructure comprising a hard phase structure and a soft phase structure comprises, by weight percentage, about 0.1% C, about 1.2% Mn, and about 0.3% Si.

111. A method of radially expanding and plastically deforming a tubular assembly comprising a first tubular member coupled to a second tubular member, comprising: radially expanding and plastically deforming the tubular assembly within a preexisting structure; and using less power to radially expand each unit length of the first tubular member than to radially expand each unit length of the second tubular member.

112. The method of claim 111, wherein the tubular member comprises one or more of the following: a wellbore casing; a pipeline; and a structural support.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/600,679, attorney docket number 25791.194, filed on Aug. 11, 2004, the disclosure which is incorporated herein by reference.

This application is a continuation-in-part of one or more of the following: (1) PCT application US02/04,353, filed on Feb. 14, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.50.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/270,007, attorney docket no. 25791.50, filed on Feb. 20, 2001; (2) PCT application US 03/00,609, filed on Jan. 9, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.71.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/357,372, attorney docket no. 25791.71, filed on Feb. 15, 2002; and (3) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/585,370, attorney docket number 25791.299, filed on Jul. 2, 2004, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

This application is related to the following co-pending applications: (1) U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,289, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/111,293, filed on Dec. 7, 1998, (2) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/510,913, attorney docket no. 25791.7.02, filed on Feb. 23, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,702, filed on Feb. 25, 1999, (3) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/502,350, attorney docket no. 25791.8.02, filed on Feb. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/119,611, filed on Feb. 11, 1999, (4) U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on Nov. 16, 1998, (5) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/169,434, attorney docket no. 25791.10.04, filed on 7/1/02, which claims priority from provisional application 60/183,546, filed on Feb. 18, 2000, (6) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,468, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/124,042, filed on Mar. 11, 1999, (7) U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,471, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/512,895, attorney docket no. 25791.12.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,841, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (8) U.S. Pat. No. 6,575,240, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/511,941, attorney docket no. 25791.16.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/121,907, filed on Feb. 26, 1999, (9) U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,640, which was filed as patent application Ser. No. 09/588,946, attorney docket no. 25791.17.02, filed on Jun. 7, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/137,998, filed on Jun. 7, 1999, (10) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/981,916, attorney docket no. 25791.18, filed on Oct. 18, 2001 as a continuation-in-part application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,113, which was filed as U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket number 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, which claims priority from provisional application 60/108,558, filed on 11/16/98, (11) U.S. Pat. No. 6,604,763, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/559,122, attorney docket no. 25791.23.02, filed on Apr. 26, 2000, which claims priority from provisional application 60/131,106, filed on Apr. 26, 1999, (12) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/030,593, attorney docket no. 25791.25.08, filed on Jan. 8, 2002, which claims priority from provisional application 60/146,203, filed on Jul. 29, 1999, (13) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/143,039, attorney docket no. 25791.26, filed on Jul. 9, 1999, (14) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/111,982, attorney docket no. 25791.27.08, filed on Apr. 30, 2002, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/162,671, attorney docket no. 25791.27, filed on Nov. 1, 1999, (15) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/154,047, attorney docket no. 25791.29, filed on Sep. 16, 1999, (16) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/438,828, attorney docket no. 25791.31, filed on Jan. 9, 2003, (17) U.S. Pat. No. 6,564,875, which was filed as application Ser. No. 09/679,907, attorney docket no. 25791.34.02, on Oct. 5, 2000, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,082, attorney docket no. 25791.34, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (18) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/089,419, filed on Mar. 27, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.36.03, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,039, attorney docket no. 25791.36, filed on Nov. 12, 1999, (19) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/679,906, filed on Oct. 5, 2000, attorney docket no. 25791.37.02, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,033, attorney docket no. 25791.37, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (20) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/303,992, filed on Nov. 22, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.38.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/212,359, attorney docket no. 25791.38, filed on Jun. 19, 2000, (21) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/165,228, attorney docket no. 25791.39, filed on Nov. 12, 1999, (22) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/455,051, attorney docket no. 25791.40, filed on Mar. 14, 2003, (23) PCT application US02/2477, filed on 6/26/02, attorney docket no. 25791.44.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/303,711, attorney docket no. 25791.44, filed on Jun. 6, 2001, (24) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/311,412, filed on Dec. 12, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.45.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,443, attorney docket no. 25791.45, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (25) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/______ filed on Dec. 18, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.46.07, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,645, attorney docket no. 25791.46, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (26) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/322,947, filed on Jan. 22, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.47.03, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/233,638, attorney docket no. 25791.47, filed on Sep. 18, 2000, (27) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/406,648, filed on Mar. 31, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.48.06, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/237,334, attorney docket no. 25791.48, filed on Oct. 2, 2000, (28) PCT application US02/04353, filed on Feb. 14, 2002, attorney docket no. 25791.50.02, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/270,007, attorney docket no. 25791.50, filed on Feb. 20, 2001, (29) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/465,835, filed on Jun. 13, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.51.06, which claims priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/262,434, attorney docket no. 25791.51, filed on Jan. 17, 2001, (30) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/465,831, filed on Jun. 13, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.52.06, which claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/259,486, attorney docket no. 25791.52, filed on Jan. 3, 2001, (31) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/452,303, filed on Mar. 5, 2003, attorney docket no. 25791.53, (32) U.S. Pat. No. 6,470,966, which was filed as patent application Ser. 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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to oil and gas exploration, and in particular to forming and repairing wellbore casings to facilitate oil and gas exploration.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention, a method of forming a tubular liner within a preexisting structure is provided that includes positioning a tubular assembly within the preexisting structure; and radially expanding and plastically deforming the tubular assembly within the preexisting structure, wherein, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the tubular assembly, a predetermined portion of the tubular assembly has a lower yield point than another portion of the tubular assembly.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a method of radially expanding and plastically deforming a tubular assembly including a first tubular member coupled to a second tubular member is provided that includes radially expanding and plastically deforming the tubular assembly within a preexisting structure; and using less power to radially expand each unit length of the first tubular member than to radially expand each unit length of the second tubular member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular member positioned within a preexisting structure.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of FIG. 1 after positioning an expansion device within the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of FIG. 2 after operating the expansion device within the expandable tubular member to radially expand and plastically deform a portion of the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of FIG. 3 after operating the expansion device within the expandable tubular member to radially expand and plastically deform another portion of the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 5 is a graphical illustration of exemplary embodiments of the stress/strain curves for several portions of the expandable tubular member of FIGS. 1-4.

FIG. 6 is a graphical illustration of the an exemplary embodiment of the yield strength vs. ductility curve for at least a portion of the expandable tubular member of FIGS. 1-4.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of an embodiment of a series of overlapping expandable tubular members.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular member positioned within a preexisting structure.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of FIG. 8 after positioning an expansion device within the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of FIG. 9 after operating the expansion device within the expandable tubular member to radially expand and plastically deform a portion of the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of FIG. 10 after operating the expansion device within the expandable tubular member to radially expand and plastically deform another portion of the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 12 is a graphical illustration of exemplary embodiments of the stress/strain curves for several portions of the expandable tubular member of FIGS. 8-11.

FIG. 13 is a graphical illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the yield strength vs. ductility curve for at least a portion of the expandable tubular member of FIGS. 8-11.

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular member positioned within a preexisting structure.

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of FIG. 14 after positioning an expansion device within the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of Fig. 15 after operating the expansion device within the expandable tubular member to radially expand and plastically deform a portion of the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the expandable tubular member of Fig. 16 after operating the expansion device within the expandable tubular member to radially expand and plastically deform another portion of the expandable tubular member.

FIG. 18 is a flow chart illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a method of processing an expandable tubular member.

FIG. 19 is a graphical illustration of the an exemplary embodiment of the yield strength vs. ductility curve for at least a portion of the expandable tubular member during the operation of the method of FIG. 18.

FIG. 20 is a graphical illustration of stress/strain curves for an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular member.

FIG. 21 is a graphical illustration of stress/strain curves for an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular member.

FIG. 35a is a fragmentary cross-sectional illustration of an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular member.

FIG. 35b is a graphical illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the variation in the yield point for the expandable tubular member of FIG. 35a.

FIG. 36a is a flow chart illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a method for processing a tubular member.

FIG. 36b is an illustration of the microstructure of an exemplary embodiment of a tubular member prior to thermal processing.

FIG. 36c is an illustration of the microstructure of an exemplary embodiment of a tubular member after thermal processing.

FIG. 37a is a flow chart illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a method for processing a tubular member.

FIG. 37b is an illustration of the microstructure of an exemplary embodiment of a tubular member prior to thermal processing.

FIG. 37c is an illustration of the microstructure of an exemplary embodiment of a tubular member after thermal processing.

FIG. 38a is a flow chart illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a method for processing a tubular member.

FIG. 38b is an illustration of the microstructure of an exemplary embodiment of a tubular member prior to thermal processing.

FIG. 38c is an illustration of the microstructure of an exemplary embodiment of a tubular member after thermal processing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Referring initially to FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular assembly 10 includes a first expandable tubular member 12 coupled to a second expandable tubular member 14. In several exemplary embodiments, the ends of the first and second expandable tubular members, 12 and 14, are coupled using, for example, a conventional mechanical coupling, a welded connection, a brazed connection, a threaded connection, and/or an interference fit connection. In an exemplary embodiment, the first expandable tubular member 12 has a plastic yield point YP1, and the second expandable tubular member 14 has a plastic yield point YP2. In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular assembly 10 is positioned within a preexisting structure such as, for example, a wellbore 16 that traverses a subterranean formation 18.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, an expansion device 20 may then be positioned within the second expandable tubular member 14. In several exemplary embodiments, the expansion device 20 may include, for example, one or more of the following conventional expansion devices: a) an expansion cone; b) a rotary expansion device; c) a hydroforming expansion device; d) an impulsive force expansion device; d) any one of the expansion devices commercially available from, or disclosed in any of the published patent applications or issued patents, of Weatherford International, Baker Hughes, Halliburton Energy Services, Shell Oil Co., Schlumberger, and/or Enventure Global Technology L.L.C. In several exemplary embodiments, the expansion device 20 is positioned within the second expandable tubular member 14 before, during, or after the placement of the expandable tubular assembly 10 within the preexisting structure 16.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the expansion device 20 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform at least a portion of the second expandable tubular member 14 to form a bell-shaped section.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the expansion device 20 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform the remaining portion of the second expandable tubular member 14 and at least a portion of the first expandable tubular member 12.

In an exemplary embodiment, at least a portion of at least a portion of at least one of the first and second expandable tubular members, 12 and 14, are radially expanded into intimate contact with the interior surface of the preexisting structure 16.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the plastic yield point YP1 is greater than the plastic yield point YP2. In this manner, in an exemplary embodiment, the amount of power and/or energy required to radially expand the second expandable tubular member 14 is less than the amount of power and/or energy required to radially expand the first expandable tubular member 12.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 6, the first expandable tubular member 12 and/or the second expandable tubular member 14 have a ductility DPE and a yield strength YSPE prior to radial expansion and plastic deformation, and a ductility DAE and a yield strength YSAE after radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, DPE is greater than DAE, and YSAE is greater than YSPE. In this manner, the first expandable tubular member 12 and/or the second expandable tubular member 14 are transformed during the radial expansion and plastic deformation process. Furthermore, in this manner, in an exemplary embodiment, the amount of power and/or energy required to radially expand each unit length of the first and/or second expandable tubular members, 12 and 14, is reduced. Furthermore, because the YSAE is greater than YSPE, the collapse strength of the first expandable tubular member 12 and/or the second expandable tubular member 14 is increased after the radial expansion and plastic deformation process.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 7, following the completion of the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular assembly 10 described above with reference to FIGS. 1-4, at least a portion of the second expandable tubular member 14 has an inside diameter that is greater than at least the inside diameter of the first expandable tubular member 12. In this manner a bell-shaped section is formed using at least a portion of the second expandable tubular member 14. Another expandable tubular assembly 22 that includes a first expandable tubular member 24 and a second expandable tubular member 26 may then be positioned in overlapping relation to the first expandable tubular assembly 10 and radially expanded and plastically deformed using the methods described above with reference to FIGS. 1-4. Furthermore, following the completion of the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular assembly 20, in an exemplary embodiment, at least a portion of the second expandable tubular member 26 has an inside diameter that is greater than at least the inside diameter of the first expandable tubular member 24. In this manner a bell-shaped section is formed using at least a portion of the second expandable tubular member 26. Furthermore, in this manner, a mono-diameter tubular assembly is formed that defines an internal passage 28 having a substantially constant cross-sectional area and/or inside diameter.

Referring to FIG. 8, an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular assembly 100 includes a first expandable tubular member 102 coupled to a tubular coupling 104. The tubular coupling 104 is coupled to a tubular coupling 106. The tubular coupling 106 is coupled to a second expandable tubular member 108. In several exemplary embodiments, the tubular couplings, 104 and 106, provide a tubular coupling assembly for coupling the first and second expandable tubular members, 102 and 108, together that may include, for example, a conventional mechanical coupling, a welded connection, a brazed connection, a threaded connection, and/or an interference fit connection. In an exemplary embodiment, the first and second expandable tubular members 12 have a plastic yield point YP1, and the tubular couplings, 104 and 106, have a plastic yield point YP2. In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular assembly 100 is positioned within a preexisting structure such as, for example, a wellbore 110 that traverses a subterranean formation 112.

As illustrated in FIG. 9, an expansion device 114 may then be positioned within the second expandable tubular member 108. In several exemplary embodiments, the expansion device 114 may include, for example, one or more of the following conventional expansion devices: a) an expansion cone; b) a rotary expansion device; c) a hydroforming expansion device; d) an impulsive force expansion device; d) any one of the expansion devices commercially available from, or disclosed in any of the published patent applications or issued patents, of Weatherford International, Baker Hughes, Halliburton Energy Services, Shell Oil Co., Schlumberger, and/or Enventure Global Technology L.L.C. In several exemplary embodiments, the expansion device 114 is positioned within the second expandable tubular member 108 before, during, or after the placement of the expandable tubular assembly 100 within the preexisting structure 110.

As illustrated in FIG. 10, the expansion device 114 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform at least a portion of the second expandable tubular member 108 to form a bell-shaped section.

As illustrated in FIG. 11, the expansion device 114 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform the remaining portion of the second expandable tubular member 108, the tubular couplings, 104 and 106, and at least a portion of the first expandable tubular member 102.

In an exemplary embodiment, at least a portion of at least a portion of at least one of the first and second expandable tubular members, 102 and 108, are radially expanded into intimate contact with the interior surface of the preexisting structure 110.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 12, the plastic yield point YP1 is less than the plastic yield point YP2. In this manner, in an exemplary embodiment, the amount of power and/or energy required to radially expand each unit length of the first and second expandable tubular members, 102 and 108, is less than the amount of power and/or energy required to radially expand each unit length of the tubular couplings, 104 and 106.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 13, the first expandable tubular member 12 and/or the second expandable tubular member 14 have a ductility DPE and a yield strength YSPE prior to radial expansion and plastic deformation, and a ductility DAE and a yield strength YSAE after radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, DPE is greater than DAE, and YSAE is greater than YSPE. In this manner, the first expandable tubular member 12 and/or the second expandable tubular member 14 are transformed during the radial expansion and plastic deformation process. Furthermore, in this manner, in an exemplary embodiment, the amount of power and/or energy required to radially expand each unit length of the first and/or second expandable tubular members, 12 and 14, is reduced. Furthermore, because the YSAE is greater than YSPE, the collapse strength of the first expandable tubular member 12 and/or the second expandable tubular member 14 is increased after the radial expansion and plastic deformation process.

Referring to FIG. 14, an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular assembly 200 includes a first expandable tubular member 202 coupled to a second expandable tubular member 204 that defines radial openings 204a, 204b, 204c, and 204d. In several exemplary embodiments, the ends of the first and second expandable tubular members, 202 and 204, are coupled using, for example, a conventional mechanical coupling, a welded connection, a brazed connection, a threaded connection, and/or an interference fit connection. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the radial openings, 204a, 204b, 204c, and 204d, have circular, oval, square, and/or irregular cross sections and/or include portions that extend to and interrupt either end of the second expandable tubular member 204. In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular assembly 200 is positioned within a preexisting structure such as, for example, a wellbore 206 that traverses a subterranean formation 208.

As illustrated in FIG. 15, an expansion device 210 may then be positioned within the second expandable tubular member 204. In several exemplary embodiments, the expansion device 210 may include, for example, one or more of the following conventional expansion devices: a) an expansion cone; b) a rotary expansion device; c) a hydroforming expansion device; d) an impulsive force expansion device; d) any one of the expansion devices commercially available from, or disclosed in any of the published patent applications or issued patents, of Weatherford International, Baker Hughes, Halliburton Energy Services, Shell Oil Co., Schlumberger, and/or Enventure Global Technology L.L.C. In several exemplary embodiments, the expansion device 210 is positioned within the second expandable tubular member 204 before, during, or after the placement of the expandable tubular assembly 200 within the preexisting structure 206.

As illustrated in FIG. 16, the expansion device 210 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform at least a portion of the second expandable tubular member 204 to form a bell-shaped section.

As illustrated in FIG. 16, the expansion device 20 may then be operated to radially expand and plastically deform the remaining portion of the second expandable tubular member 204 and at least a portion of the first expandable tubular member 202.

In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy ratio AR for the first and second expandable tubular members is defined by the following equation:


AR=ln (WTf/WTo)/ln (Df/Do);

where AR=anisotropy ratio;

where WTf=final wall thickness of the expandable tubular member following the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member;

where WTi=initial wall thickness of the expandable tubular member prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member;

where Df=final inside diameter of the expandable tubular member following the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member; and

where Di=initial inside diameter of the expandable tubular member prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member.

In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy ratio AR for the first and/or second expandable tubular members, 204 and 204, is greater than 1.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, the second expandable tubular member 204 had an anisotropy ratio AR greater than 1, and the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the second expandable tubular member did not result in any of the openings, 204a, 204b, 204c, and 204d, splitting or otherwise fracturing the remaining portions of the second expandable tubular member. This was an unexpected result.

Referring to FIG. 18, in an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102,104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204 are processed using a method 300 in which a tubular member in an initial state is thermo-mechanically processed in step 302. In an exemplary embodiment, the thermo-mechanical processing 302 includes one or more heat treating and/or mechanical forming processes. As a result, of the thermo-mechanical processing 302, the tubular member is transformed to an intermediate state. The tubular member is then further thermo-mechanically processed in step 304. In an exemplary embodiment, the thermo-mechanical processing 304 includes one or more heat treating and/or mechanical forming processes. As a result, of the thermo-mechanical processing 304, the tubular member is transformed to a final state.

In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 19, during the operation of the method 300, the tubular member has a ductility DPE and a yield strength YSPE prior to the final thermo-mechanical processing in step 304, and a ductility DAE and a yield strength YSAE after final thermo-mechanical processing. In an exemplary embodiment, DPE is greater than DAE, and YSAE is greater than YSPE. In this manner, the amount of energy and/or power required to transform the tubular member, using mechanical forming processes, during the final thermo-mechanical processing in step 304 is reduced. Furthermore, in this manner, because the YSAE is greater than YSPE, the collapse strength of the tubular member is increased after the final thermo-mechanical processing in step 304.

In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204, have the following characteristics:

CharacteristicValue
Tensile Strength60 to 120 ksi
Yield Strength50 to 100 ksi
Y/T RatioMaximum of 50/85%
Elongation During Radial Expansion andMinimum of 35%
Plastic Deformation
Width Reduction During Radial ExpansionMinimum of 40%
and Plastic Deformation
Wall Thickness Reduction During RadialMinimum of 30%
Expansion and Plastic Deformation
AnisotropyMinimum of 1.5
Minimum Absorbed Energy at −4 F. (−20 C.) in80 ft-lb
the Longitudinal Direction
Minimum Absorbed Energy at −4 F. (−20 C.) in60 ft-lb
the Transverse Direction
Minimum Absorbed Energy at −4 F. (−20 C.)60 ft-lb
Transverse To A Weld Area
Flare Expansion TestingMinimum of 75%
Without A Failure
Increase in Yield Strength Due To RadialGreater than 5.4%
Expansion and Plastic Deformation

In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204, are characterized by an expandability coefficient f:

    • i. f=r×n
    • ii. where f=expandability coefficient;
      • 1. r=anisotropy coefficient; and
      • 2. n=strain hardening exponent.

In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy coefficient for one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204 is greater than 1. In an exemplary embodiment, the strain hardening exponent for one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204 is greater than 0.12. In an exemplary embodiment, the expandability coefficient for one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204 is greater than 0.12.

In an exemplary embodiment, a tubular member having a higher expandability coefficient requires less power and/or energy to radially expand and plastically deform each unit length than a tubular member having a lower expandability coefficient. In an exemplary embodiment, a tubular member having a higher expandability coefficient requires less power and/or energy per unit length to radially expand and plastically deform than a tubular member having a lower expandability coefficient.

In several exemplary experimental embodiments, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204, are steel alloys having one of the following compositions:

SteelElement and Percentage By Weight
AlloyCMnPSSiCuNiCr
A0.0651.440.010.0020.240.010.010.02
B0.181.280.0170.0040.290.010.010.03
C0.080.820.0060.0030.300.160.050.05
D0.021.310.020.0010.459.118.7

In exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 20, a sample of an expandable tubular member composed of Alloy A exhibited a yield point before radial expansion and plastic deformation YPBE, a yield point after radial expansion and plastic deformation of about 16% YPAE16%, and a yield point after radial expansion and plastic deformation of about 24% YPAE24%. In an exemplary experimental embodiment, YPAE24%>YPAE16%>YPBE. Furthermore, in an exemplary experimental embodiment, the ductility of the sample of the expandable tubular member composed of Alloy A also exhibited a higher ductility prior to radial expansion and plastic deformation than after radial expansion and plastic deformation. These were unexpected results.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, a sample of an expandable tubular member composed of Alloy A exhibited the following tensile characteristics before and after radial expansion and plastic deformation:

WidthWall
YieldElon-Reduc-Thickness
PointYieldgationtionReductionAniso-
ksiRatio%%%tropy
Before46.90.6953−52550.93
Radial
Expansion
and Plastic
Deformation
After 16%65.90.831742510.78
Radial
Expansion
After 24%68.50.83544540.76
Radial
Expansion
% Increase40% for
16%
radial
expansion
46% for
24%
radial
expansion

In exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 21, a sample of an expandable tubular member composed of Alloy B exhibited a yield point before radial expansion and plastic deformation YPBE, a yield point after radial expansion and plastic deformation of about 16% YPAE16%, and a yield point after radial expansion and plastic deformation of about 24% YPAE24%. In an exemplary embodiment, YPAE24%>YPAE16%>YPBE. Furthermore, in an exemplary experimental embodiment, the ductility of the sample of the expandable tubular member composed of Alloy B also exhibited a higher ductility prior to radial expansion and plastic deformation than after radial expansion and plastic deformation. These were unexpected results.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, a sample of an expandable tubular member composed of Alloy B exhibited the following tensile characteristics before and after radial expansion and plastic deformation:

WidthWall
YieldElon-Reduc-Thickness
PointYieldgationtionReductionAniso-
ksiRatio%%%tropy
Before57.80.714443460.93
Radial
Expansion
and Plastic
Deformation
After 16%74.40.841638420.87
Radial
Expansion
After 24%79.80.862036420.81
Radial
Expansion
% Increase28.7%
increase
for 16%
radial
expansion
38%
increase
for 24%
radial
expansion

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, samples of expandable tubulars composed of Alloys A, B, C, and D exhibited the following tensile characteristics prior to radial expansion and plastic deformation:

Absorbed
SteelYieldYieldElongationAniso-EnergyExpandability
AlloyksiRatio%tropyft-lbCoefficient
A47.60.71441.48145
B57.80.71441.0462.2
C61.70.80391.92268
D480.55561.34

In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204 have a strain hardening exponent greater than 0.12, and a yield ratio is less than 0.85.

In an exemplary embodiment, the carbon equivalent Ce, for tubular members having a carbon content (by weight percentage) less than or equal to 0.12%, is given by the following expression:


Ce=C+Mn/6+(Cr+Mo+V+Ti+Nb)/5+(Ni+Cu)/15

where Ce=carbon equivalent value;

a. C=carbon percentage by weight;

b. Mn=manganese percentage by weight;

c. Cr=chromium percentage by weight;

d. Mo=molybdenum percentage by weight;

e. V=vanadium percentage by weight;

f. Ti=titanium percentage by weight;

g. Nb=niobium percentage by weight;

h. Ni=nickel percentage by weight; and

i. Cu=copper percentage by weight.

In an exemplary embodiment, the carbon equivalent value Ce, for tubular members having a carbon content less than or equal to 0.12% (by weight), for one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204 is less than 0.21.

In an exemplary embodiment, the carbon equivalent Ce, for tubular members having more than 0.12% carbon content (by weight), is given by the following expression:


Ce=C+Si/30+(Mn+Cu+Cr)/20+Ni/60+Mo/15+V/10+5*B

where Ce=carbon equivalent value;

a. C=carbon percentage by weight;

b. Si=silicon percentage by weight;

c. Mn=manganese percentage by weight;

d. Cu=copper percentage by weight;

e. Cr=chromium percentage by weight;

f. Ni=nickel percentage by weight;

g. Mo=molybdenum percentage by weight;

h. V=vanadium percentage by weight; and

i. B=boron percentage by weight.

In an exemplary embodiment, the carbon equivalent value Ce, for tubular members having greater than 0.12% carbon content (by weight), for one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102,104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204 is less than 0.36.

In several exemplary embodiments, the first and second tubular members described above with reference to FIGS. 1 to 21 are radially expanded and plastically deformed using the expansion device in a conventional manner and/or using one or more of the methods and apparatus disclosed in one or more of the following: The present application is related to the following: (1) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/454,139, attorney docket no. 25791.03.02, filed on Dec. 3, 1999, (2) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/510,913, attorney docket no. 25791.7.02, filed on Feb. 23, 2000, (3) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/502,350, attorney docket no. 25791.8.02, filed on Feb. 10, 2000, (4) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/440,338, attorney docket no. 25791.9.02, filed on Nov. 15, 1999, (5) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/523,460, attorney docket no. 25791.11.02, filed on Mar. 10, 2000, (6) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/512,895, attorney docket no. 25791.12.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, (7) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/511,941, attorney docket no. 25791.16.02, filed on Feb. 24, 2000, (8) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/588,946, attorney docket no. 25791.17.02, filed on Jun. 7, 2000, (9) U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/559,122, attorney docket no. 25791.23.02, filed on Apr. 26, 2000, (10) PCT patent application serial no. PCT/US00/18635, attorney docket no. 25791.25.02, filed on Jul. 9, 2000, (11) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/162,671, attorney docket no. 25791.27, filed on No. 1, 1999, (12) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/154,047, attorney docket no. 25791.29, filed on Sep. 16, 1999, (13) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,082, attorney docket no. 25791.34, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (14) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,039, attorney docket no. 25791.36, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (15) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/159,033, attorney docket no. 25791.37, filed on Oct. 12, 1999, (16) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/212,359, attorney docket no. 25791.38, filed on Jun. 19, 2000, (17) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/165,228, attorney docket no. 25791.39, filed on No. 12, 1999, (18) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,443, attorney docket no. 25791.45, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (19) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/221,645, attorney docket no. 25791.46, filed on Jul. 28, 2000, (20) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/233,638, attorney docket no. 25791.47, filed on Sep. 18, 2000, (21) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/237,334, attorney docket no. 25791.48, filed on Oct. 2, 2000, (22) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/270,007, attorney docket no. 25791.50, filed on Feb. 20, 2001, (23) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/262,434, attorney docket no. 25791.51, filed on Jan. 17, 2001, (24) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/259,486, attorney docket no. 25791.52, filed on Jan. 3, 2001, (25) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/303,740, attorney docket no. 25791.61, filed on Jul. 6, 2001, (26) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/313,453, attorney docket no. 25791.59, filed on Aug. 20, 2001, (27) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/317,985, attorney docket no. 25791.67, filed on Sep. 6, 2001, (28) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/3318,386, attorney docket no. 25791.67.02, filed on Sep. 10, 2001, (29) U.S. utility patent application Ser. No. 09/969,922, attorney docket no. 25791.69, filed on Oct. 3, 2001, (30) U.S. utility patent application Ser. No. 10/016,467, attorney docket no. 25791.70, filed on Dec. 10, 2001, (31) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/343,674, attorney docket no. 25791.68, filed on Dec. 27, 2001; and (32) U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/346,309, attorney docket no. 25791.92, filed on Jan. 7, 2002, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

Referring to FIG. 35a an exemplary embodiment of an expandable tubular member 3500 includes a first tubular region 3502 and a second tubular portion 3504. In an exemplary embodiment, the material properties of the first and second tubular regions, 3502 and 3504, are different. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield points of the first and second tubular regions, 3502 and 3504, are different. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the first tubular region 3502 is less than the yield point of the second tubular region 3504. In several exemplary embodiments, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202 and/or 204 incorporate the tubular member 3500.

Referring to FIG. 35b, in an exemplary embodiment, the yield point within the first and second tubular regions, 3502a and 3502b, of the expandable tubular member 3502 vary as a function of the radial position within the expandable tubular member. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point increases as a function of the radial position within the expandable tubular member 3502. In an exemplary embodiment, the relationship between the yield point and the radial position within the expandable tubular member 3502 is a linear relationship. In an exemplary embodiment, the relationship between the yield point and the radial position within the expandable tubular member 3502 is a non-linear relationship. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point increases at different rates within the first and second tubular regions, 3502a and 3502b, as a function of the radial position within the expandable tubular member 3502. In an exemplary embodiment, the functional relationship, and value, of the yield points within the first and second tubular regions, 3502a and 3502b, of the expandable tubular member 3502 are modified by the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member.

In several exemplary embodiments, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202, 204 and/or 3502, prior to a radial expansion and plastic deformation, include a microstructure that is a combination of a hard phase, such as martensite, a soft phase, such as ferrite, and a transitionary phase, such as retained austentite. In this manner, the hard phase provides high strength, the soft phase provides ductility, and the transitionary phase transitions to a hard phase, such as martensite, during a radial expansion and plastic deformation. Furthermore, in this manner, the yield point of the tubular member increases as a result of the radial expansion and plastic deformation. Further, in this manner, the tubular member is ductile, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, thereby facilitating the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the composition of a dual-phase expandable tubular member includes (weight percentages): about 0.1% C, 1.2% Mn, and 0.3% Si.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 36a-36c, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202, 204 and/or 3502 are processed in accordance with a method 3600, in which, in step 3602, an expandable tubular member 3602a is provided that is a steel alloy having following material composition (by weight percentage): 0.065% C, 1.44% Mn, 0.01% P, 0.002% S, 0.24% Si, 0.01% Cu, 0.01% Ni, 0.02% Cr, 0.05% V, 0.01% Mo, 0.01% Nb, and 0.01% Ti. In an exemplary experimental embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3602a provided in step 3602 has a yield strength of 45 ksi, and a tensile strength of 69 ksi.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 36b, in step 3602, the expandable tubular member 3602a includes a microstructure that includes martensite, pearlite, and V, Ni, and/or Ti carbides.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3602a is then heated at a temperature of 790° C. for about 10 minutes in step 3604.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3602a is then quenched in water in step 3606.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 36c, following the completion of step 3606, the expandable tubular member 3602a includes a microstructure that includes new ferrite, grain pearlite, martensite, and ferrite. In an exemplary experimental embodiment, following the completion of step 3606, the expandable tubular member 3602a has a yield strength of 67 ksi, and a tensile strength of 95 ksi.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3602a is then radially expanded and plastically deformed using one or more of the methods and apparatus described above. In an exemplary embodiment, following the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member 3602a, the yield strength of the expandable tubular member is about 95 ksi.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 37a-37c, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202, 204 and/or 3502 are processed in accordance with a method 3700, in which, in step 3702, an expandable tubular member 3702a is provided that is a steel alloy having following material composition (by weight percentage): 0.18% C, 1.28% Mn, 0.017% P, 0.004% S, 0.29% Si, 0.01% Cu, 0.01% Ni, 0.03% Cr, 0.04% V, 0.01% Mo, 0.03% Nb, and 0.01% Ti. In an exemplary experimental embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3702a provided in step 3702 has a yield strength of 60 ksi, and a tensile strength of 80 ksi.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 37b, in step 3702, the expandable tubular member 3702a includes a microstructure that includes pearlite and pearlite striation.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3702a is then heated at a temperature of 790° C. for about 10 minutes in step 3704.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3702a is then quenched in water in step 3706.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 37c, following the completion of step 3706, the expandable tubular member 3702a includes a microstructure that includes ferrite, martensite, and bainite. In an exemplary experimental embodiment, following the completion of step 3706, the expandable tubular member 3702a has a yield strength of 82 ksi, and a tensile strength of 130 ksi.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3702a is then radially expanded and plastically deformed using one or more of the methods and apparatus described above. In an exemplary embodiment, following the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member 3702a, the yield strength of the expandable tubular member is about 130 ksi.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 38a-38c, one or more of the expandable tubular members, 12, 14, 24, 26, 102, 104, 106, 108, 202, 204 and/or 3502 are processed in accordance with a method 3800, in which, in step 3802, an expandable tubular member 3802a is provided that is a steel alloy having following material composition (by weight percentage): 0.08% C, 0.82% Mn, 0.006% P, 0.003% S, 0.30% Si, 0.06% Cu, 0.05% Ni, 0.05% Cr, 0.03% V, 0.03% Mo, 0.01% Nb, and 0.01% Ti. In an exemplary experimental embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3802a provided in step 3802 has a yield strength of 56 ksi, and a tensile strength of 75 ksi.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 38b, in step 3802, the expandable tubular member 3802a includes a microstructure that includes grain pearlite, widmanstatten martensite and carbides of V, Ni, and/or Ti.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3802a is then heated at a temperature of 790° C. for about 10 minutes in step 3804.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3802a is then quenched in water in step 3806.

In an exemplary experimental embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 38c, following the completion of step 3806, the expandable tubular member 3802a includes a microstructure that includes bainite, pearlite, and new ferrite. In an exemplary experimental embodiment, following the completion of step 3806, the expandable tubular member 3802a has a yield strength of 60 ksi, and a tensile strength of 97 ksi.

In an exemplary embodiment, the expandable tubular member 3802a is then radially expanded and plastically deformed using one or more of the methods and apparatus described above. In an exemplary embodiment, following the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the expandable tubular member 3802a, the yield strength of the expandable tubular member is about 97 ksi.

In several exemplary embodiments, the teachings of the present disclosure are combined with one or more of the teachings disclosed in FR 2 841626, filed on Jun. 28, 2002, and published on Jan. 2, 2004, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

A method of forming a tubular liner within a preexisting structure has been described that includes positioning a tubular assembly within the preexisting structure; and radially expanding and plastically deforming the tubular assembly within the preexisting structure, wherein, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the tubular assembly, a predetermined portion of the tubular assembly has a lower yield point than another portion of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly has a higher ductility and a lower yield point prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation than after the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly has a higher ductility prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation than after the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly has a lower yield point prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation than after the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly has a larger inside diameter after the radial expansion and plastic deformation than other portions of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the method further includes positioning another tubular assembly within the preexisting structure in overlapping relation to the tubular assembly; and radially expanding and plastically deforming the other tubular assembly within the preexisting structure, wherein, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation of the tubular assembly, a predetermined portion of the other tubular assembly has a lower yield point than another portion of the other tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the inside diameter of the radially expanded and plastically deformed other portion of the tubular assembly is equal to the inside diameter of the radially expanded and plastically deformed other portion of the other tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly includes an end portion of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly includes a plurality of predetermined portions of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly includes a plurality of spaced apart predetermined portions of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the other portion of the tubular assembly includes an end portion of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the other portion of the tubular assembly includes a plurality of other portions of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the other portion of the tubular assembly includes a plurality of spaced apart other portions of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the tubular assembly includes a plurality of tubular members coupled to one another by corresponding tubular couplings. In an exemplary embodiment, the tubular couplings include the predetermined portions of the tubular assembly; and wherein the tubular members comprise the other portion of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the tubular couplings include the predetermined portions of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the tubular members include the predetermined portions of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly defines one or more openings. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more of the openings include slots. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy for the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is greater than 1. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy for the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is greater than 1. In an exemplary embodiment, the strain hardening exponent for the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is greater than 0.12. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy for the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is greater than 1; and the strain hardening exponent for the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is greater than 0.12. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is a first steel alloy including: 0.065% C, 1.44% Mn, 0.01% P, 0.002% S, 0.24% Si, 0.01% Cu, 0.01% Ni, and 0.02% Cr. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is at most about 46.9 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; and the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is at least about 65.9 ksi after the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly after the radial expansion and plastic deformation is at least about 40% greater than the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is about 1.48. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly includes a second steel alloy including: 0.18% C, 1.28% Mn, 0.017% P, 0.004% S, 0.29% Si, 0.01% Cu, 0.01% Ni, and 0.03% Cr. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is at most about 57.8 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; and the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is at least about 74.4 ksi after the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly after the radial expansion and plastic deformation is at least about 28% greater than the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is about 1.04. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly includes a third steel alloy including: 0.08% C, 0.82% Mn, 0.006% P, 0.003% S, 0.30% Si, 0.16% Cu, 0.05% Ni, and 0.05% Cr. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is about 1.92. In an exemplary embodiment, the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly includes a fourth steel alloy including: 0.02% C, 1.31% Mn, 0.02% P, 0.001% S, 0.45% Si, 9.1% Ni, and 18.7% Cr. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is about 1.34. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is at most about 46.9 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; and wherein the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is at least about 65.9 ksi after the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly after the radial expansion and plastic deformation is at least about 40% greater than the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is at least about 1.48. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is at most about 57.8 ksi prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation; and the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is at least about 74.4 ksi after the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly after the radial expansion and plastic deformation is at least about 28% greater than the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is at least about 1.04. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is at least about 1.92. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is at least about 1.34. In an exemplary embodiment, the anisotropy of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, ranges from about 1.04 to about 1.92. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, ranges from about 47.6 ksi to about 61.7 ksi. In an exemplary embodiment, the expandability coefficient of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, is greater than 0.12. In an exemplary embodiment, the expandability coefficient of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is greater than the expandability coefficient of the other portion of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, the tubular assembly includes a wellbore casing, a pipeline, or a structural support. In an exemplary embodiment, the carbon content of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is less than or equal to 0.12 percent; and wherein the carbon equivalent value for the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is less than 0.21. In an exemplary embodiment, the carbon content of the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is greater than 0.12 percent; and wherein the carbon equivalent value for the predetermined portion of the tubular assembly is less than 0.36. In an exemplary embodiment, a yield point of an inner tubular portion of at least a portion of the tubular assembly is less than a yield point of an outer tubular portion of the portion of the tubular assembly. In an exemplary embodiment, yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies in an linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies in an non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies in an linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies in an non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body; and wherein the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body varies in a non-linear fashion as a function of the radial position within the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the rate of change of the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body is different than the rate of change of the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, the rate of change of the yield point of the inner tubular portion of the tubular body is different than the rate of change of the yield point of the outer tubular portion of the tubular body. In an exemplary embodiment, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, at least a portion of the tubular assembly comprises a microstructure comprising a hard phase structure and a soft phase structure. In an exemplary embodiment, prior to the radial expansion and plastic deformation, at least a portion of the tubular assembly comprises a microstructure comprising a transitional phase structure. In an exemplary embodiment, the hard phase structure comprises martensite. In an exemplary embodiment, the soft phase structure comprises ferrite. In an exemplary embodiment, the transitional phase structure comprises retained austentite. In an exemplary embodiment, the hard phase structure comprises martensite; wherein the soft phase structure comprises ferrite; and wherein the transitional phase structure comprises retained austentite. In an exemplary embodiment, the portion of the tubular assembly comprising a microstructure comprising a hard phase structure and a soft phase structure comprises, by weight percentage, about 0.1% C, about 1.2% Mn, and about 0.3% Si.

A method of radially expanding and plastically deforming a tubular assembly including a first tubular member coupled to a second tubular member has been described that includes radially expanding and plastically deforming the tubular assembly within a preexisting structure; and using less power to radially expand each unit length of the first tubular member than to radially expand each unit length of the second tubular member. In an exemplary embodiment, the tubular member includes a wellbore casing, a pipeline, or a structural support.

It is understood that variations may be made in the foregoing without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, the teachings of the present illustrative embodiments may be used to provide a wellbore casing, a pipeline, or a structural support. Furthermore, the elements and teachings of the various illustrative embodiments may be combined in whole or in part in some or all of the illustrative embodiments. In addition, one or more of the elements and teachings of the various illustrative embodiments may be omitted, at least in part, and/or combined, at least in part, with one or more of the other elements and teachings of the various illustrative embodiments.

Although illustrative embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, a wide range of modification, changes and substitution is contemplated in the foregoing disclosure. In some instances, some features of the present invention may be employed without a corresponding use of the other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the invention.