Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ENGAGING WELL EQUIPMENT IN A WELLBORE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A technique is provided for moving a downhole equipment assembly into engagement or out of engagement with a lower completion positioned in a wellbore. An upper communication line extends past the downhole equipment assembly, and a lower communication line is located with the lower completion. During engagement, the downhole equipment assembly is connected with the lower completion and the communication lines are coupled via a wet mate system.



Inventors:
Du, Michael H. (Pearland, TX, US)
Arena, Michele (Rome, IT)
Rytlewski, Gary L. (League City, TX, US)
Chapman, William D. (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
12/056643
Publication Date:
03/26/2009
Filing Date:
03/27/2008
Assignee:
SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION (Sugar Land, TX, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
166/66.4, 166/179, 166/316
International Classes:
E21B23/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100000734Controlling Coal Fines in Coal Bed OperationsJanuary, 2010Huang et al.
20080245532APPARATUS AND METHODS OF MILLING A RESTRICTED CASING SHOEOctober, 2008Rhinehart et al.
20020177955Completions architectureNovember, 2002Jalali et al.
20090321085PUMP OFF JUNK MILLDecember, 2009Rodgers
20100032169Method and Apparatus for Expanded Liner Extension Using Uphole ExpansionFebruary, 2010Adam et al.
20030037928Enhanced oil recoveryFebruary, 2003Ramachandran et al.
20060131030Remotely Actuating a ValveJune, 2006Sheffield
20080179055Flow Control Packer (FCP) And Aquifer Storage And Recovery (ASR) SystemJuly, 2008Baski
20080093072METHOD OF IMPROVING SOLIDS SEPARATION EFFICIENCYApril, 2008Oakley et al.
20030098153Composite packer cupMay, 2003Serafin
20090200031IRREGULAR SPACING OF HEAT SOURCES FOR TREATING HYDROCARBON CONTAINING FORMATIONSAugust, 2009Miller et al.



Primary Examiner:
SAYRE, JAMES G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHLUMBERGER ROSHARON CAMPUS (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A well system, comprising: a lower completion; a downhole equipment assembly; and a wet mate system coupled to the downhole equipment assembly to enable disconnection of the downhole equipment assembly from the lower completion assembly and reconnection of the downhole equipment assembly to the lower completion assembly, the wet mate system comprising: a lower portion having a lower communication line; an upper portion having an upper communication line; a latch mechanism to selectively engage and disengage the upper portion from the lower portion; and a concentric union to enable connection of the lower and upper communication lines at a range of rotational orientations of the upper portion relative to the lower portion.

2. The well system as recited in claim 1, wherein the downhole equipment assembly comprises an electric submersible pumping system.

3. The well system as recited in claim 1, wherein the downhole equipment assembly comprises a packer.

4. The well system as recited in claim 1, wherein the downhole equipment assembly comprises a flow control valve.

5. The well system as recited in claim 1, wherein the lower communication line and the upper communication line comprise hydraulic lines.

6. The well system as recited in claim 1, wherein the lower communication line and the upper communication line comprise pneumatic lines.

7. The well system as recited in claim 1, wherein the lower communication line and the upper communication line comprise electric lines.

8. The well system as recited in claim 1, wherein the lower communication line and the upper communication line comprise optical lines.

9. The well system as recited in claim 1, wherein the wet mate system further comprises an upper protection sleeve positioned to cover the upper communication line when the upper completion is disengaged from the lower completion.

10. The well system as recited in claim 9, wherein the wet mate system further comprises a lower protection sleeve positioned to cover the lower communication line when the upper completion is disengaged from the lower completion.

11. A method, comprising: providing an upper completion with a downhole equipment assembly; engaging the upper completion with a lower completion via a wet mate system; coupling an upper communication line and a lower communication line during engagement of the upper completion with the tower completion while the upper completion is at any of a plurality of rotational positions with respect to the lower completion.

12. The method as recited in claim 11, further comprising using a latch mechanism to secure the upper completion to the lower completion.

13. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein providing comprises providing the upper completion with an electric submersible pumping system.

14. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein providing comprises providing the upper completion with a packer.

15. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein providing comprises providing the upper completion with a flow control valve.

16. The method as recited in claim 12, further comprising selectively shifting a power sleeve to interact with the latch mechanism to secure the upper completion in engagement with the lower completion.

17. The method as recited in claim 11, further comprising using at least one protection sleeve positioned to block flow with respect to at least one of the upper communication line and the lower communication line when the upper completion is disengaged from the lower completion.

18. The method as recited in claim 11, further comprising temporarily blocking flow through at least one of the upper communication line and the lower communication line with a frangible member.

19. The method as recited in claim 11, further comprising moving the upper completion and the lower completion downhole in a one-trip mode with the upper completion engaged with the lower completion.

20. The method as recited in claim 11, further comprising moving the upper completion and the lower completion downhole in a two-trip mode in which the lower completion is initially installed in a wellbore and the upper completion is subsequently engaged with the lower completion via the wet mate system.

21. A well system, comprising: an electric submersible pumping system combined with an upper communication line routed past electric submersible pumping system; a lower completion having a lower communication line; and a wet mate system positioned to enable selective disconnection and connection of the electric submersible pumping system with the lower completion, the wet mate system comprising: a latch mechanism to enable selective mechanical engagement of the electric submersible pumping system with the lower completion; and a union to enable connection of the upper communication line with the lower communication line at a plurality of rotational orientations of the electric submersible pumping system relative to the lower completion.

22. The well system as recited in claim 21, further comprising blocking the upper communication line prior to engagement with the lower communication line.

23. The well system as recited in claim 21, further comprising blocking the lower communication line prior to engagement with the upper communication line.

24. The well system as recited in claim 21, wherein the latch mechanism comprises threaded fingers that can be held in an engagement position or a disengagement position via movement of a shiftable power sleeve.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The following is a continuation-in-part of prior patent application Ser. No. 11/850,243, filed Sep. 5, 2007.

BACKGROUND

Completion assemblies are used in a variety of well related applications. For example, completion assemblies can be utilized in well treatment and well production applications in oil wells and gas wells. The completion assemblies are deployed downhole into a wellbore and secured at a desired location within the wellbore. In many applications, a given well is completed with two or more completion assemblies.

Various control lines are routed downhole along or through the completion assemblies to enable communication with many types of well tools. If completion assemblies are deployed separately or subsequently disconnected, accommodation must be made for connecting and/or disconnecting the control lines. However, the process of engaging and/or disengaging the mechanical structure of the completion assemblies and the control lines can be difficult. For example, difficulties have arisen in orienting the completion assemblies with respect to each other to enable coupling of control lines. Difficulties also have arisen in providing a system that can be engaged and disengaged in a relatively easy, dependable and repeatable manner.

SUMMARY

In general, the present invention provides a system and method for moving a downhole equipment assembly into engagement or out of engagement with a lower completion positioned in a wellbore. An upper communication line extends through or past the downhole equipment assembly, and a lower communication line is located with the lower completion. During engagement, the downhole equipment assembly is connected with the lower completion and the communication lines are coupled via a wet mate system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Certain embodiments of the invention will hereafter be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements, and:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a well system having a downhole equipment assembly in an upper completion combined with a lower completion in a wellbore, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of a portion of the well system illustrated in FIG. 1, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of another portion of the well system illustrated in FIG. 1, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an orthogonal view of an embodiment of a latch mechanism utilized in selectively coupling the downhole equipment assembly to the lower completion assembly, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of a well system deployed in a wellbore, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a view of an upper portion of a wet connect system formed as part of the well system of FIG. 5, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is view of a lower portion of a wet connect system formed as part of the well system of FIG. 5, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a wet connect system joining a downhole equipment assembly with a lower completion assembly, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is a front elevation view of one type of downhole equipment assembly joined with a lower completion, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, numerous details are set forth to provide an understanding of the present invention. However, it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these details and that numerous variations or modifications from the described embodiments may be possible.

The present invention generally relates to a well system that facilitates the engagement and disengagement of a downhole equipment assembly with a lower completion in a wellbore. The downhole equipment assembly may be part of an upper completion. The well system also enables communication lines to be engaged and/or disengaged in a simple, repeatable manner while in a wellbore. The communication line or lines routed along the downhole equipment assembly and lower completion are automatically engaged or disengaged as the downhole equipment assembly and the lower completion are mechanically engaged or disengaged, respectively, via a wet mate system.

In oil and gas wells, the wells can be completed with two or more completion assemblies in which an upper completion comprises the downhole equipment assembly. Communication lines, such as a hydraulic communication lines, pneumatic communication lines, electrical communication lines, and optical communication lines, are connected between completions. The connections allow an upper completion to be disconnected from a lower completion and pulled out of the well without removing the lower completion. Subsequently, the upper completion can be reconnected to the lower completion and communications can resume along the communication lines.

The system and methodology described herein are useful in, for example, both one-trip and two-trip approaches to deployment of downhole equipment assemblies and lower completions. By way of example, the downhole equipment assembly may comprise an electric submersible pumping system, a packer, a flow control valve, or other equipment below which hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, optical or other communication is required. In the one-trip approach, an upper completion (including a downhole equipment assembly) and a lower completion may be assembled together on the surface and installed into the well during the same trip downhole. When desired, the upper completion can be disconnected from the lower completion and pulled. For the one-trip approach, the connection between the upper completion and the tower completion is designed to handle the tensile load applied by the lower completion during deployment into the wellbore. In the two-trip approach, the upper completion is installed into the well after installation of the lower completion. This allows a well treatment or well treatments, e.g. a gravel pack, to be carried out after installation of the lower completion but prior to installation of the upper completion. The two-trip approach enables use of a connection between completions that does not have as high a load bearing requirement.

Referring generally to FIG. 1, one embodiment of a well system 30 is illustrated. In this embodiment, well system 30 can be utilized in one-trip applications in which a downhole equipment assembly, e.g. upper completion assembly, and a lower completion are assembled on the surface and installed into a wellbore in a single trip downhole. Well system 30 comprises a lower completion 32 that is engaged by a downhole equipment assembly 33 which forms part of an upper completion 34. The well system 30 is illustrated as deployed in a wellbore 36, and the upper completion 34 is engaged with the lower completion 32 via a wet mate system 37. Lower completion 32 comprises a lower communication line 38, and upper completion 34 comprises an upper communication line 40 that is connected to the lower communication line 38 via wet mate system 37. The upper and lower communication lines may comprise hydraulic lines, pneumatic lines, electrical lines, optical lines or other types of communication lines. In many applications, the lower communication line 38 and the upper communication line 40 comprise enclosed passages 42, 44 formed in the walls of lower completion 32 and upper completion 34 to create flow paths for hydraulic communication and/or passages through which optical fibers, conductors, or other signal carriers are routed. In the case of hydraulic communication lines, the enclosed passages serve to carry hydraulic fluid for conducting communication signals, e.g. pressure signals, uphole and/or downhole.

Upper completion 34 can be selectively moved out of engagement with lower completion 32 and back into engagement with lower completion 32 repeatedly via wet mate system 37. In the embodiment illustrated, upper completion 34 may comprise a variety of downhole equipment assemblies 33. The equipment assembly 33 often comprises many additional components, although only a top sub 46 of the assembly is illustrated as connected to an upper completion mandrel 48 to facilitate explanation. Top sub 46 is representative of, for example, an electric submersible pumping system, a packer, a flow control valve, or another suitable assembly 33. Furthermore, wet mate system 37 comprises a latch mechanism 50 that may be in the form of a collet used to mechanically engage upper completion 34 with lower completion 32. By way of example, collet 50 comprises a snap latch collet.

The wet mate system 37 may further comprise a shiftable power sleeve 52 that is shiftable between a locked position in which collet 50 is locked in engagement with lower completion 32 and a release position that enables mechanical release of upper completion 34/downhole equipment assembly 33 from lower completion 32. The actuation of shiftable power sleeve 52 is explained in greater detail below. Wet mate system 37 also may comprise a secondary collet 54 positioned below collet 50. Secondary collet 54 can be used to perform specific actions upon the engagement and/or disengagement of upper completion 34 and lower completion 32. For example, secondary collet 54 can be utilized in shifting components to block access to lower communication line 38 when upper completion 34 is disengaged and moved away from lower completion 32.

For example, lower completion 32 may comprise a lower completion housing 56 having a lower protection sleeve 58 movable to block access to lower communication line 38. In the embodiment illustrated, lower protection sleeve 58 is slidably mounted along an interior of lower completion housing 56. The lower protection sleeve 58 comprises engagement features 60 designed to releasably engage corresponding engagement features 62 of secondary collet 54. Thus, when upper completion 34 is disengaged and pulled upwardly from lower completion 32, secondary collet 54 moves lower protection sleeve 58 upwardly until the sleeve blocks access to lower communication line 38.

When upper completion 34 is engaged with lower completion 32 within wellbore 36, a primary fluid flow, e.g. a production fluid flow, can be established through the completion assemblies. For example, lower completion 32 may comprise a central flow passage 64 that is aligned with a corresponding central flow passage 66 of upper completion 34. Flow passages 64, 66 enable the production of fluid up through well system 30 and wet mate system 37 to a desired collection location and/or down through well system 32 and wet mate system 37 to the surrounding formation. The components and configuration of the wet mate system 37 can be selected to allow the wet mate system to be separate from or integrated into the upper and lower completions depending on the overall design of well system 30. In the present example, components of wet mate system 37 are positioned on the lower end of upper completion 34 and on the upper end of lower completion 32.

An enlarged view of the wet mate system 37 comprising a portion of upper completion 34 and lower completion 32 is provided in FIG. 2. As illustrated, shiftable power sleeve 52 is disposed around upper completion mandrel 48 in a locked position. The shiftable power sleeve 52 comprises an extension 68 that slides between collet 50 and upper completion mandrel 48 to lock an engagement region 70 of collet 50 against a corresponding engagement region 72 of lower completion 32 at, for example, an upper portion of lower completion housing 56. The collet 50 is held against rotational movement along upper completion mandrel 48 by an abutment 74 to enable, for example, threading and unthreading of engagement region 70 and corresponding engagement region 72.

The shiftable power sleeve 52 can be shifted to a release position by applying an appropriate input downhole, such as a hydraulic pressure input. For example, if one or more of the upper communication lines 40 comprises a hydraulic communication line, the hydraulic communication line can be pressurized to move the shiftable power sleeve. In the example illustrated in FIG. 2, sufficient hydraulic pressure is applied through one of the upper communication lines 40 to break a rupture disk 76 otherwise blocking fluid flow to a chamber 78. As chamber 78 fills with pressurized fluid, shiftable power sleeve 52 is moved in an upward direction until extension 68 is withdrawn from its position between upper completion mandrel 48 and collet 50. Without the support of extension 68, collet 50 collapses inwardly when upper completion 34 is pulled in an upward direction. The upper completion 34 can then be retrieved to a surface location or other appropriate location. Prior to shifting the shiftable power sleeve 52 to the release position, the power sleeve 52 can be held in position by a shear member 80, e.g. a shear pin.

In the event there are no hydraulic communication lines or the hydraulic communication line providing flow to chamber 78 is blocked, a redundant hydraulic actuation system can be used to move shiftable power sleeve 52. In this example, upper completion 34 comprises a second rupture disk 82 deployed in a passage 84 extending between the internal passage 66 of upper completion 34 and chamber 78. Application of sufficient pressure along the completion interior, e.g. along internal passage 66, of upper completion 34 causes rupture disk 82 to break. The pressurized fluid is then able to flow through passage 84 to chamber 78 and move shiftable power sleeve 52 to the release position, thereby disengaging the upper completion 34 from the lower completion 32.

If the interior of upper completion 34 is hydraulically connected with the surrounding annulus, the ability to create a pressure differential for moving shiftable power sleeve 52 by applying pressure along passage 66 is not possible. Accordingly, upper completion 34 may further comprise an atmospheric chamber 86 that enables shifting of the shiftable power sleeve 52 to its release position by applying sufficient pressure along upper completion 34. The pressure can be applied along the interior of upper completion 34, along the exterior, e.g. surrounding annulus, of upper completion 34, or along both the interior and exterior of upper completion 34. This application of internal and external pressure creates a pressure differential with atmospheric chamber 86 and shifts power sleeve 52 to the release position. Further redundancy can be provided by constructing shiftable power sleeve 52, or at least a lower portion of shiftable power sleeve 52, from a material that is dissolvable over time when exposed to a specific well fluid.

Another frangible member, e.g. rupture disk, 87 can be employed in passage 44. Member 87 is used to selectively block the passage 44/communication line 40 to prevent inadvertent formation of a high speed jet exiting the communication line due to hydrostatic pressure. Without member 87, the jet can occur while the upper completion 34 is separated from the lower completion 32. Following engagement of the upper completion 34/downhole equipment assembly 33 with lower completion 32, the frangible member 87 can be broken via pressure applied from the surface to establish communication with the lower completion 32.

When upper completion 34 is moved upwardly, the secondary or lower collet 54 pulls lower protection sleeve 58 upwardly. As illustrated in FIG. 3, lower protection sleeve 58 comprises a slot 88 positioned to receive a stop, such as a limiter screw 90 extending inwardly from lower completion housing 56. The limiter screw 90 stops the upward movement of lower protection sleeve 58 so that lower collet 54 is forced to disengage from lower protection sleeve 58. When upward movement of the lower protection sleeve 58 is stopped, the lower protection sleeve is in a position to cover a side port 92 and block entry of foreign material along lower communication line 38. As discussed in greater detail below, an upper protection sleeve that is similar to lower protection sleeve 58 can be installed on upper completion mandrel 48 to protect the upper communication line. The upper protection sleeve can be installed along the outside diameter of the upper completion mandrel 48 in a position to move over a side port of the upper communication line.

During disengagement and/or engagement of upper completion 34 with lower completion 32 via wet mate system 37, a communication line union 94 operatively connects the upper communication line or lines 40 with the lower communication line or lines 38 regardless of the rotational orientation of the upper completion 34 relative to the lower completion 32. The union 94 may be designed to provide communication between upper communication line 40 and lower communication line 38 at a plurality of relative angles between the upper and lower completions. In the embodiment illustrated, the communication lines are operatively connected throughout 360° of angular displacement of the upper completion 34 relative to the lower completion 32. The union 94 may be an annular ring member in the form of a hydraulic channel or other physical signal conductor able to transmit signals between upper and lower communication lines. By way of example, union 94 may comprise a concentric union deployed circumferentially around upper completion mandrel 48 at a location that positions union 94 proximate side port 92 when the upper and lower completions are fully engaged.

By way of further example, union 94 may comprise an annular hydraulic channel for use with hydraulic communication lines. In addition or alternatively, the union 94 may comprise an annular conductive member for connecting electrical lines. The conductive member comprises, for example, a pair of contact rings, a ring and a brush, an inductive coupler, or other suitable conductive elements that extend around the circumference of the upper completion mandrel. Similarly, an optical signal connector also can be constructed to provide an annular connection for transmitting optical signals. In FIG. 3, union 94 is illustrated as an annular member representative of a hydraulic, electrical and/or optical signal transmission medium that enables coupling of the communication lines regardless of the rotational alignment between upper completion 34 and lower completion 32. Appropriate seal elements 96 can be provided above and below union 94 to seal the union 94 and prevent unwanted ingress or egress of fluids.

One embodiment of collet 50 is illustrated in FIG. 4. In this embodiment, collet 50 comprises a base region 98 and a plurality of flexible fingers 100 extending in an axial direction from base region 98. The flexible fingers 100 have threaded ends 102 that form a threaded region for engagement with lower completion 32. In this example, engagement region 70 (see FIG. 2) is a threaded engagement region that may be threadably engaged with corresponding engagement region 72, also threaded. However, once shiftable power sleeve 52 is moved to the release position, flexible fingers 100 are flexed inwardly under a sufficient upward pull on upper completion 34. Accordingly, the threaded engagement can be disengaged without relative rotation of the completion assemblies.

When a two-trip approach is used, the wet mate system forming the connection between upper completion 34 and lower completion 32 need not be as robust because the connection need not take the load of the lower completion during deployment. One embodiment of a well system 30 designed for deployment of a completion and a downhole equipment assembly in a two-step approach is illustrated in FIG. 5. The two-trip well system is very similar to that illustrated and described with respect to FIGS. 1-4, however the structure of the connection between the upper and lower completions is simpler.

The connection between upper completion 34 and lower completion 32 can once again be formed with a collet, e.g. collet 50 illustrated in FIG. 4. However, the shiftable power sleeve 52 is not required to lock engagement region 70 against corresponding engagement region 72 of the lower completion 32. Instead, a space 104 is left between the flexible collet fingers 100 and the underlying upper completion mandrel 48. When the upper completion 34 is engaged with the lower completion 32, the upper completion is pushed downwardly until collet 50 is sufficiently deformed to connect engagement region 70 with corresponding engagement region 72. The upper completion 34 can be disengaged from lower completion 32 simply by providing a sufficient upward pull on upper completion 34 to deform collet 50 so that it releases from the lower completion assembly. It should be noted that the type of upper completion assembly illustrated in FIG. 5 is readily usable with the lower completion assembly deployed in a one-trip approach after the original upper completion has been disengaged and pulled from the wellbore. Referring generally to FIG. 6, a similar embodiment of the upper portion of wet mate system 37 used with upper completion 34 is illustrated.

As in the one-trip embodiment, the upper portion of wet mate system 37 used in a two-trip approach also may comprise secondary collet 54 used to lift lower protection sleeve 58, as illustrated in FIG. 7. When the upper completion is disengaged from the lower completion and pulled upwardly, lower protection sleeve 58 moves upwardly with secondary collet 54 until stopped by limiter screw 90 or other appropriate stop mechanism. As illustrated, the lower protection sleeve 58 blocks access to side port 92. It should be noted that if a protection sleeve is used on the upper completion 34 to block access to a hydraulic communication line, an appropriate rupture disk or disks, e.g. rupture disk 87, can be placed in the hydraulic communication line to prevent high-speed discharge of hydraulic fluid when the protection sleeve is shifted during engagement of the upper completion and lower completion. Once the completion assemblies are engaged, such a rupture disk can be broken by applying sufficient pressure from a surface location.

In an alternate embodiment, an upper protection sleeve 106 is slidably mounted along the exterior of upper mandrel 48, as illustrated in FIG. 8. The upper protection sleeve 106 can be positioned to cover a port 108 of upper communication line 40 when upper completion 34 and lower completion 32 are not engaged. Upper protection sleeve 106 protects the upper communication line 40 from exposure to the wellbore environment, similar to the manner in which lower protection sleeve 58 protects lower communication line 38 from exposure to the wellbore environment. The upper protection sleeve 106 also can be used to prevent fluid within upper communication line 40 from flowing out of the upper communication line. By way of example, upper protection sleeve 106 can be used to cover port 108 prior to engagement of upper completion 34 with lower completion 32. However, as the upper completion 34 engages lower completion 32, upper protection sleeve 106 is slid along seals 96 and upper completion mandrel 48 to expose port 108 and to enable communicative engagement of the upper and lower communication lines. In the example illustrated, upper protection sleeve 106 is moved by a shoulder 110 within lower completion housing 56. Upper protection sleeve 106 and lower protection sleeve 58 can be used individually or in combination, depending on the specific design requirements of well system 30.

Referring generally to FIG. 9, another embodiment of well system 30 is illustrated in which wet mate system 37 is used in connecting one embodiment of downhole equipment assembly 33 with an embodiment of lower completion 32. In this example, lower completion 32 is positioned in wellbore 36 at a production zone. Fluid flow into or out of wellbore 36 is accommodated by a plurality of perforations 112 formed in a well casing 114. The illustrated lower completion 32 comprises a tubing 116 having a screen section 118 through which fluid can flow from the surrounding formation. A packer 120 can be deployed between tubing 116 and the surrounding well casing 114. Additionally, the lower completion 32 may comprise a variety of components that receive signals from or output signals through lower communication lines 38. By way of example, the lower communication lines 38 may comprise a hydraulic line coupled to a flow control valve 122 and an electric or fiber optic line coupled to a gauge 124. However, a variety of other components and communication lines can be incorporated into lower completion 32.

As illustrated, downhole equipment assembly 33 is selectively joined with lower completion 32 via wet mate system 37. Wet mate system 37 may comprise an upper section 126 and a lower section 128 that may be selectively connected and disconnected to enable corresponding engagement and disengagement of the downhole equipment assembly 33 and upper communication lines 40 with lower completion 32 and lower communication lines 38. By way of example, the wet mate system 37 may comprise the components described above in which one or more latch mechanisms and non-directional unions are used to facilitate repeated engagement and disengagement.

As described above, downhole equipment assembly 33 may comprise a variety of assemblies including electric submersible pumping systems, packers, flow control valves, and other assemblies. In the example illustrated, the assembly 33 comprises an electric submersible pumping system 129 having a submersible motor 130 coupled to a submersible pump 132 through a motor protector 134. Production fluid may be delivered from lower completion 32 up through wet mate system 37 and discharged into an annulus via a discharge head 136. The discharged fluid flows past submersible motor 130 and motor protector 134 until being drawn into submersible pump 132 via an intake 138. The fluid can then be produced uphole through a tubing 140. The components and arrangement of components in electric submersible pumping system 129 can vary, and those components can be incorporated into a variety of upper completions.

In the event the electric submersible pumping system 129 requires maintenance or other service, the wet mate system 37 is disengaged and the upper completion 34, with electric submersible pumping system 129, is pulled to the surface. After maintenance, replacement and/or other servicing is completed, the upper completion 34 is run downhole and installed onto the lower completion 32 by engaging wet mate system 37. Upon engagement of the wet mate system, communication along the hydraulic lines, electric lines or other communication lines 40, 38 can be resumed.

The embodiments described above provide examples of well systems that utilize the wet mate system 37 to facilitate engagement and disengagement of a variety of downhole equipment assemblies and the completions used in a well environment. However, the size, shape, and configuration of the various components can be adjusted according to the specific application and the number of downhole trips used for a given job. Various components can be arranged differently, and additional components can be incorporated into the design. For example, the connection between the upper and lower completions can be formed by a collet or other suitable mechanisms. Additionally, the collet can be mounted on the upper completion or the lower completion. If a threaded collet is utilized, the threaded region can be positioned to engage a threaded region on either the lower completion or the upper completion. Additionally, the number, type and arrangement of communication lines can be selected according to the specific well applications for which the system is designed.

Accordingly, although only a few embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail above, those of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible without materially departing from the teachings of this invention. Such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined in the claims.