Title:
Setting Sleeve
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A packer has a tubular body and a setting sleeve disposed around the tubular body, where the setting sleeve has an upper end, a lower end, and a slot formed through a wall of the setting sleeve. The slot has a perimeter defining a shape of the slot, the perimeter having a top wall with a positively sloping portion extending to a top peak. The slot shape also includes a first axial extension extending axially along the sleeve from a first upper portion to a first lower portion, a second axial extension circumferentially spaced apart from the first extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a second upper portion to a second lower portion, and a lateral extension extending from the first upper portion to the second upper portion. A load pin is directly or indirectly connected to the tubular body and extends through the slot. p



Inventors:
Pulat, Ozgur (Missouri City, TX, US)
Gramcko, Antonio (Caracas, VE)
Application Number:
14/965558
Publication Date:
06/16/2016
Filing Date:
12/10/2015
Assignee:
Schlumberger Technology Corporation (Sugar Land, TX, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
166/196
International Classes:
E21B33/128; E21B23/06
View Patent Images:



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

1. A packer tool, comprising: a tubular body; one or more expansion components disposed around the tubular body; and a sleeve disposed around the tubular body, the sleeve comprising: an upper end; a lower end opposite the upper end; and a slot formed in a wall of the sleeve, wherein the slot has a perimeter defining a shape comprising: a first axial extension extending axially along the sleeve from a first upper portion to a first lower portion; a second axial extension circumferentially spaced apart from the first extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a second upper portion to a second lower portion, where the second lower portion is closer to the lower end of the sleeve than the first lower portion; a lateral extension extending from the first upper portion to the second upper portion, the lateral extension comprising: a positively sloping extension defined by an upper positively sloping wall of the perimeter and a lower positively sloping wall of the perimeter; and a negatively sloping extension having a varying width measured between an upper negatively sloping wall of the perimeter and a lower negatively sloping wall of the perimeter, wherein the upper positively sloping wall and upper negatively sloping wall extend to a top peak, wherein the lower positively sloping wall and the lower negatively sloping wall extend to a lower peak, and wherein the top peak is circumferentially offset from the lower peak a distance around a circumference of the sleeve; and a load pin directly or indirectly connected to the tubular body and extending through the slot, wherein the distance between the top peak and lower peak is greater than a width of the load pin.

2. The packer tool of claim 1, wherein the shape of the slot further comprises: a third axial extension abutting the second axial extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a third upper portion to a third lower portion, the third lower portion being closer to the lower end of the sleeve than the second lower portion; a fourth axial extension extending axially along the sleeve from a fourth upper portion to a fourth lower portion, the fourth lower portion being closer to the upper end of the sleeve than the second and third lower portions; and a second positively sloping extension extending from the third upper portion to the fourth upper portion.

3. The packer tool of claim 2, wherein the perimeter of the second lower portion comprises a negatively sloping wall.

4. The packer tool of claim 1, wherein the first axial extension, second axial extension, and positively sloping extension each have a substantially constant width.

5. The packer tool of claim 4, wherein the distance between the top peak and lower peak is greater than the substantially constant width.

6. The packer tool of claim 1, wherein the first upper portion is at substantially the same axial position along the sleeve as the second upper portion.

7. A packer tool, comprising: a tubular body; a sleeve disposed around the tubular body, the sleeve comprising: an upper end; a lower end opposite the upper end; and a slot formed in the sleeve, the slot comprising: a perimeter defining a shape of the slot, the perimeter comprising a top wall having a positively sloping portion extending to a top peak; a first axial extension extending axially along the sleeve from a first upper portion to a first lower portion; a second axial extension circumferentially spaced apart from the first extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a second upper portion to a second lower portion; and a lateral extension extending from the first upper portion to the second upper portion, wherein the top wall forms portions of the perimeter of the lateral extension, and wherein the top peak is axially closer to the upper end of the sleeve than the first upper portion and the second upper portion; and a load pin directly or indirectly connected to the tubular body and extending through the slot.

8. The packer tool of claim 7, wherein the top wall further comprises a negatively sloping portion extending from the top peak to the second upper portion.

9. The packer tool of claim 7, wherein the top peak is located along the lateral extension and is between the first and second axial extensions.

10. The packer tool of claim 7, wherein the first axial extension is located circumferentially between the top peak and the second axial extension.

11. The packer tool of claim 7, further comprising: a third axial extension abutting the second axial extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a third upper portion to a third lower portion, the third lower portion being closer to the lower end of the sleeve than the second lower portion; a fourth axial extension extending axially along the sleeve from a fourth upper portion to a fourth lower portion; and a positively sloping extension extending from the third upper portion to the fourth upper portion, wherein the top wall further forms portions of the perimeter of the positively sloping extension and the fourth upper portion.

12. The packer tool of claim 11, wherein the portion of the top wall forming the perimeter of the fourth upper portion is at an axial location along the sleeve that at least partially overlaps with the axial location of the top peak.

13. The packer tool of claim 11, wherein the first lower portion is at an axial location along the sleeve that at least partially overlaps with the axial location of the fourth lower portion.

14. A method of positioning a packer within a wellbore, comprising: inserting the packer into the wellbore, the packer comprising: a tubular body; a load pin directly or indirectly connected with the body, where movement of the load pin corresponds with movement of the body; and a sleeve having a slot formed therein, wherein the load pin extends through the slot, and wherein the slot has a shape comprising: a plurality of axial extensions, each axial extension extending axially along the sleeve, wherein the plurality of axial extensions comprises: a first axial extension; and a second axial extension circumferentially spaced apart from the first axial extension; and at least one lateral extension, comprising: a first lateral extension extending from a first upper portion of the first axial extension to a second upper portion of the second axial extension, wherein the first lateral extension comprises a top peak spaced apart from the first and second axial extensions; manipulating the tubular body to move the load pin to a set position to set the packer in the wellbore, the manipulating comprising rotating the tubular body in a single rotational direction and pushing the tubular body downward; unsetting the packer, the unsetting comprising pulling the tubular body upward to move the load pin into a neutral position; and repositioning the packer, repositioning comprising pushing the tubular body downward without rotating the tubular body in an opposite rotational direction from the single rotational direction to move the load pin into the first extension.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the neutral position is at the top peak, and wherein prior to manipulating the tubular body to set the packer, the tubular body is pulled upward and rotated in the single rotational direction to move the load pin from the first lower position to the neutral position.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the slot further comprises: a third axial extension abutting the second extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a third upper portion to a third lower portion; and a fourth axial extension spaced apart from the third axial extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a fourth upper portion to a fourth lower portion; and a second lateral extension extending in a positively sloping direction from the third upper portion to the fourth upper portion.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein prior to manipulating the tubular body to set the packer, the tubular body is pulled upward to move the load pin from the fourth lower position to the fourth upper portion.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein unsetting the packer further comprises rotating the tubular body in the single rotational direction during pulling the tubular body upward.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein repositioning further comprises rotating the tubular body in the single rotational direction during pushing the tubular body downward.

20. The method of claim 14, further comprising resetting the packer in the wellbore after the packer is repositioned, the resetting comprising pulling the tubular body upward to move the load pin into the neutral position.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Hydrocarbon fluids such as oil and natural gas are obtained from a subterranean geologic formation, referred to as a reservoir, by drilling a well that penetrates the hydrocarbon-bearing formation. Once a wellbore is drilled, various forms of well completion components may be installed in order to control and enhance the efficiency of producing the various fluids from the reservoir.

Downhole packers may be used to seal an annular area formed between two coaxially disposed tubulars within a wellbore or between the formation and a tubular in a wellbore. A packer may seal, for example, an annulus formed between production tubing disposed within wellbore casing. Alternatively, some packers seal an annulus between the outside of a tubular and an unlined borehole. Routine uses of packers include the protection of casing from pressure, both well and stimulation pressures, and protection of the wellbore casing from corrosive fluids. Other common uses may include the isolation of formations or of leaks within wellbore casing, squeezed perforation, or multiple producing zones of a well. Downhole packers help prevent migration of fluid or pressure between zones. Packers may also be used to hold kill fluids or treating fluids in the casing annulus.

A downhole packer assembly may be run into a wellbore with a small initial outside diameter and then radially expanded to seal the wellbore. Packers employ flexible, elastomeric elements that expand. The expansion of the elastomeric elements may be accomplished by squeezing the elastomeric elements (somewhat doughnut-shaped) between two plates, forcing the sides to bulge outward. Packers may be set in cased holes or open holes. Open hole packers may be configured with one large sealing element that can be deformed to contact the uneven surface of the formation, yet retain sufficient strength and integrity to withstand expected differential pressures. Installing the packer downhole may involve running it on wireline, jointed pipe, or coiled tubing. While some packers may be designed to be removable, others are installed as permanent, and therefore are not retrievable. Permanent packers must be drilled out and destroyed to be removed from a wellbore. The pieces of the packer are circulated back to the surface in the drilling fluid. As such, permanent packers are constructed of materials that are easy to drill or mill out.

Some packers include a sealing element having anti-extrusion rings on both upper and lower ends. A setting tool may be run with the packer to set the packer, where the setting may be accomplished hydraulically due to relative movement created by the setting tool when subjected to applied pressure. In mechanical weight-set packers, the packer may be set mechanically due to the relative movement of the packer with the tubing. Relative movement between components of a packer may cause the slips of the packer to move radially outward and extend into the surrounding tubular casing wall. At the same time, a sealing element of the packer may be compressed into sealing contact with the surrounding tubular casing wall. The set position of the packer may be held in place by a body lock ring, which may prevent reversal of the relative movement.

SUMMARY

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

In one aspect, embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a packer tool that includes a tubular body, one or more expansion components decoupled from the tubular body, and a sleeve disposed around the tubular body. The sleeve has an upper end, a lower end opposite the upper end, and a slot formed in a wall of the sleeve. The slot has a perimeter defining a shape that includes a first axial extension extending axially along the sleeve from a first upper portion to a first lower portion, a second axial extension circumferentially spaced apart from the first extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a second upper portion to a second lower portion, where the second lower portion is closer to the lower end of the sleeve than the first lower portion, and a lateral extension extending from the first upper portion to the second upper portion. The lateral extension has a positively sloping extension defined by an upper positively sloping wall of the perimeter and a lower positively sloping wall of the perimeter and a negatively sloping extension having a varying width measured between an upper negatively sloping wall of the perimeter and a lower negatively sloping wall of the perimeter, wherein the upper positively sloping wall and upper negatively sloping wall extend to a top peak, wherein the lower positively sloping wall and the lower negatively sloping wall extend to a lower peak, and wherein the top peak is circumferentially offset from the lower peak a distance around a circumference of the sleeve. A load pin directly or indirectly connected to the tubular body and extends through the slot.

In another aspect, embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a packer tool that includes a tubular body and a setting sleeve disposed around the tubular body, where the setting sleeve has an upper end, a lower end, and a slot formed through a wall of the setting sleeve. The slot has a perimeter defining a shape of the slot, the perimeter having a top wall with a positively sloping portion extending to a top peak. The slot shape also includes a first axial extension extending axially along the sleeve from a first upper portion to a first lower portion, a second axial extension circumferentially spaced apart from the first extension and extending axially along the sleeve from a second upper portion to a second lower portion, and a lateral extension extending from the first upper portion to the second upper portion. A load pin is directly or indirectly connected to the tubular body and extends through the slot.

In yet another aspect, embodiments of the present disclosure relate to methods of positioning a packer within a wellbore. The packer includes a tubular body, a load pin directly or indirectly connected with the body, where movement of the load pin corresponds with movement of the body, and a sleeve having a slot formed therein, where the load pin extends through the slot. The slot has a shape that includes a plurality of axial extensions, each axial extension extending axially along the sleeve, wherein the plurality of axial extensions includes a first axial extension and a second axial extension circumferentially spaced apart from the first axial extension. The slot further includes at least one lateral extension that includes a first lateral extension extending from a first upper portion of the first axial extension to a second upper portion of the second axial extension, wherein the first lateral extension has a top peak circumferentially spaced apart from the first and second axial extensions. Methods of positioning the packer in the wellbore may include inserting the packer into the wellbore, manipulating the tubular body to move the load pin to a set position by rotating the tubular body in a single rotational direction and pushing the tubular body downward to set the packer in the wellbore, pulling the tubular body upward to move the load pin into a neutral position to unset the packer, and pushing the tubular body downward without rotating the tubular body in an opposite rotational direction from the single rotational direction to move the load pin into a safe position to reposition the packer.

Other aspects and advantages of the claimed subject matter will be apparent from the following description and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a partial cross-sectional view of a weight-set packer tool.

FIG. 2 shows a partial cross-sectional view of the packer tool of FIG. 1 in a set position.

FIG. 3 shows a conventional setting slot.

FIG. 4 shows a setting sleeve according to embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 5-7 show a load pin path through a setting slot according to embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 8 shows a setting slot according to embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 9 shows a setting slot according to embodiments of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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

In the specification and appended claims: the terms “connect”, “connection”, “connected”, “in connection with”, and “connecting” are used to mean “in direct connection with” or “in connection with via one or more elements”; and the term “set” is used to mean “one element” or “more than one element”. Further, the terms “couple”, “coupling”, “coupled”, “coupled together”, and “coupled with” are used to mean “directly coupled together” or “coupled together via one or more elements”. As used herein, the terms “up” and “down”, “upper” and “lower”, “upwardly” and downwardly”, “upstream” and “downstream”; “above” and “below”; and other like terms indicating relative positions above or below a given point or element are used in this description to more clearly describe some embodiments of the disclosure.

Embodiments of the present disclosure relate generally to setting sleeves for mechanical weight-set packer tools and methods of setting such packer tools. For example, FIGS. 1 and 2 show partial cross-section views of a mechanical weight-set packer 100 in unset and set positions, respectively. The packer 100 includes a tubular body 102, which may also be referred to as a mandrel, and an outer setting sleeve 110, which is moveable in relation to the tubular body 102, according to embodiments of the present disclosure. The setting sleeve 110 may be retained within an axial length along the tubular body 102 of the packer 100 by a pin 140, which extends from the tubular body 102 and through a slot formed in the setting sleeve 110, where the setting sleeve 110 may be moveable in relation to the tubular body 102 via the pin's path along the slot (described in detail below). The body 102 may be mounted on a work string (not shown), such as a drill pipe. The setting sleeve 110 has or is associated with spring loaded drag blocks 120. For example, in the packer 100 shown, the drag blocks 120 are located adjacent to and above the setting sleeve 110, where upward axial movement of the setting sleeve 110 may push the spring loaded drag blocks 120 axially upward. A retainer ring 112 may be disposed around the tubular body 102 and below the setting sleeve 110.

The packer 100 further includes packer elements 130 assembled within a packer element assembly 132 and disposed around the tubular body 102. The packer element assembly 132 is positioned substantially above the setting sleeve 110 and axially between annular seats 104, 106, which are configured to exert a reactive force in opposite axial directions to axially compress the packer elements 130. For example, an upper annular seat 106 and a lower annular seat 104 may be decoupled from (but axially retained along) the tubular body 102, such that in set position, a shoulder 108 formed on the tubular body 102 may contact the upper annular seat 106 and move the upper annular seat 106 axially downward relative to the lower annular seat 104. The packer elements 130 may be formed of an elastic material or moulded rubber material, which may expand radially outward in the packer's set position, when the packer element assembly 132 is axially compressed between the annular seats 104, 106.

Further, when in the set position, a set of slips 160 and spring-loaded drag blocks 120 positioned axially between the packer element assembly 132 and setting sleeve 110 may radially expand and engage the inner diameter of the wellbore (or the inner diameter of a casing in a cased portion of a wellbore) to hold the packer element assembly 132 in the set position. The spring-loaded drag blocks 120 are positioned axially between the setting sleeve 110 and the set of slips 160. The slips 160 are positioned at a lower end of a conical ramp sleeve 150, which is positioned around the tubular body 102 and axially below the packer element assembly 132. The conical ramp sleeve 150 has a reduced radius portion, where the outer diameter of the reduced radius portion of the conical ramp sleeve 150 slopes radially inward from an outermost diameter with distance away from the packer elements 130 to the lower end of the conical ramp sleeve 150. When the spring-loaded drag blocks 120 are pushed axially upward by the setting sleeve 110 during setting of the packer 100, the spring-loaded drag blocks 120 may push the slips 160 axially upward over the reduced radius portion of the conical ramp sleeve 150, thereby expanding the slips 160 radially outward. The radially expanded slips 160 and the conical ramp sleeve 150 may support the lower annular seat 104, such that when the tubular body 102 exerts a downward force on the upper annular seat 106, the upper and lower annular seats 106, 104 exert axially opposing forces on the packer element assembly 132 to radially expand the packer elements 130. Thus, when the packer 100 is in set position, the packer elements 130 are axially compressed between components of the packer axially above and below the packer elements 130, and the packer elements 130 expand radially outward to seal the annulus between the packer element assembly and the wellbore (or the casing of a cased portion of the wellbore) in which the packer is disposed. The packer 100 is shown in an unset position in FIG. I and a set position in FIG, 2.

The packer element assembly 132 and the spring-loaded drag blocks 120 may be referred to as expansion components, as they are capable of expanding radially outward to contact a wellbore or wellbore casing in set position. Because the expansion components are decoupled from the tubular body 102 (but are axially retained along a length of the tubular body 102), the expansion components do not move with the tubular body 102 as the tubular body 102 is moved with respect to the tool. Rather, the expansion components may move upon activation by relative movement between the tubular body 102 and the setting sleeve 110. In other words, in the packer setting process, the expansion components do not follow the same movement as the tubular body 102. Instead, during the packer setting process, the expansion components may move differently than the tubular body 102 in reaction to movement of the tubular body 102.

For example, according to embodiments of the present disclosure, the packer 100 may be mounted on a work string (not shown) and run into a pre-formed wellbore for setting. The pre-formed wellbore may be lined by a casing. The packer 100 may be run through the wellbore until the packer 100 is in a desired location for sealing. To move into set position, the tubular body 102 is pulled upward (by pulling up on the attached work string) to move the pin 140 into a neutral position within the slot formed in the setting sleeve 110. Weight is then set down on the work string and tubular body 102 as the work string is rotated in a single rotational direction, until the pin 140 moves into an axially lowermost point in the slot. When the pin 140 is moved into the axially lowermost point in the slot formed in the sleeve 110, the tubular body 102 may move the greatest axial distance relative to the setting sleeve 110, and a shoulder 108 located axially above the packer element assembly 132 and attached to or formed on the tubular body 102 may move an axial distance low enough to contact and compress the packer element assembly 132.

Setting sleeves according to embodiments of the present disclosure have a slot with multiple axial extensions and a neutral position circumferentially offset from each of the axial extensions to translate a load in a preferential direction within a mechanical weight set packer. When landing a mechanical packer in a target position, the setting sleeve allows for movement of the string while locked into a safe position, i.e., a position where the running load is not transmitted to the expansion components of the packer. Unlike continuous rotation style setting sleeves, where repeated reciprocation of the string results in continuous rotation and indexing through the running/set positions, non-continuous rotation style setting sleeves, such as setting sleeves disclosed herein, use non-continuous rotational movements of the drill string to move to the running/set position, where the string is lifted and rotated to place the packer in the setting position. Further, a continuous rotation setting sleeve allows for 360° rotation of the load pin through the target positions, whereas non-continuous rotation setting sleeve has less than 360° rotation by providing a mechanical barrier to additional rotational motion.

Current versions of non-continuous setting sleeves have a single J-style profile for manipulation of the load pin. An example of a J-style slot on a setting sleeve is shown in FIG. 3, where the J-style slot includes a short axial extension 310, a long axial extension 320 spaced apart from and axially offset lower than the short axial extension 310, and a lateral extension 330 extending from an upper portion of the long axial extension 320 to an upper portion of the short axial extension 310. During operation of a mechanical packer having a traditional J-style setting sleeve, as shown in FIG. 3, the load pin 340 begins in a safe position, in a lower portion of the short axial extension 310, while running in hole. When landing the mechanical packer at a target position, the J-style setting sleeve allows for movement of the string while locked into this safe position and not transmitting any of the run-in hole load through the setting components (i.e., components of a packer that are capable of contacting and axially compressing packing elements). With the load pin 340 in the short axial extension 310 (in the safe position), the location of the packer can be manipulated vertically until it is determined that the proper landing zone has been located. An upward pull on the string pulls the setting pin into a neutral position, in the upper portion of the short axial extension 310, before setting the packer in the landing zone. A downward load on the string combined with a rotational load in a single rotational direction will take the load pin 340 into the long axial extension 320, i.e., the setting slot.

As connections between components in packers and/or between the packer and the string may include threaded connections, the rotational load applied to set the packer is commonly a right hand rotation (clockwise) to avoid un-threading any of the threaded connections. Once the load pin 340 is in the long axial extension 320 (setting slot), the load pin 340 is free to travel until the load is transmitted to the expansion components of the packer, thereby anchoring the packer to the casing. In the event that the packer must be released and placed back into the safe position (in the short axial extension 310) an upward load must be transmitted to the string to move the load pin 340 back to the neutral position (in the upper portion of the short axial extension 310). A downward load on the string may move the load pin 340 into the safe position (short axial extension 310) allowing for repositioning of the packer. However, residual torque through the packer and string may cause the tubular body and connected load pin 340 to rotate in a right handed (clockwise) direction, which may cause the load pin 340 to miss the short axial extension 310 (the safe position) while applying the downward load. Thus, multiple attempts at putting the packer back in safe position may be performed before the packer may be repositioned.

According to embodiments of the present disclosure, a setting sleeve may have a slot formed therein that allows for setting and repositioning of a packer using a rotational load in a single rotational direction. For example, in some embodiments a setting sleeve may have a Y-style slot formed in the setting sleeve to translate a set down load in a single rotational direction within a mechanical weight set packer. In such embodiments, the single rotational direction may be a right hand torque rotation through the drill string to manipulate the setting position of the packer. The right hand rotation may act as rotational confirmation that the load pin has shifted back into a safe running position. The Y-style setting sleeve may also allow a user to choose between a single setting position, and two safe positions during operation.

Certain embodiments of the disclosure will hereafter be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements. It should be understood, however, that the accompanying drawings illustrate only the various implementations described herein and are not meant to limit the scope of various technologies described herein. The drawings show and describe various embodiments of the current disclosure.

Referring to FIG. 4, Y-style setting sleeve 400 according to embodiments of the present disclosure is shown. The setting sleeve 400 has an upper end 402, a lower end 404 opposite the upper end 402, and a slot 406 formed through the wall of the setting sleeve 400. As used herein, the terms “upper” and “lower” may refer to axial directions relative to each other along the setting sleeve and/or packer. In certain embodiments, the packer and/or sleeve may be rotated or oriented to where the “upper” end and “lower” end are in different positions relative to a surface of a formation. A load pin 490 extends through the depth of the slot 406 and may be directly or indirectly connected to the tubular body (not shown) running through the setting sleeve 400. The slot 406 has a perimeter 408 defining a shape having four axial extensions and two lateral extensions extending between the axial extensions. The axial extensions include a first, second, third and fourth axial extension 410, 420, 430, 440, respectively, where the first and fourth axial extensions 410, 440 are relatively shorter than the second and third axial extensions 420, 430.

The first axial extension 410 extends axially along the setting sleeve 400 from a first upper portion 412 to a first lower portion 414. The second axial extension 420 extends axially along the setting sleeve 400 from a second upper portion 422 to a second lower portion 424, where the second lower portion 424 is closer to the lower end 404 of the setting sleeve 400 than the first lower portion 414. The first upper portion 412 may be at substantially the same axial position along the setting sleeve 400 as the second upper portion 422, or the first upper portion 412 may be axially higher or lower than the second upper portion 422 along the setting sleeve 400. Further, the perimeter of the second lower portion 424 may include a negatively sloping wall 423, which may be used to aid the load pin 490 in moving between the second and third axial extensions 420, 430.

A curved lateral extension 450 having two slanting extensions (a positively sloping extension 452 and a negatively sloping extension 454) extending to a top peak 456 extends from the first upper portion 412 of the first axial extension 410 to the second upper portion 422 of the second axial extension 420. The positively sloping extension 452 abuts and joins the negatively sloping extension 454 in an end-to-end configuration such that the curved lateral extension 450 forms a lateral path through which the load pin 490 may travel. Likewise, the first upper portion 412 and the second upper portion 422 abut and join to the ends of the curved lateral extension 450, such that the first axial extension 410, curved lateral extension 450 and second axial extension 420 form a slot path through which the load pin 490 may travel.

The third axial extension 430 extends axially along the setting sleeve 400 from a third upper portion 432 to a third lower portion 434 and abuts the second axial extension 420. As shown, the third lower portion 434 is closer to the lower end 404 of the setting sleeve 400 than the second lower portion 424. The fourth axial extension 440 is spaced apart from the third axial extension 430 and extends axially along the setting sleeve 400 from a fourth upper portion 442 to a fourth lower portion 444. The fourth lower portion 444 is closer to the upper end 402 of the setting sleeve 400 than the second and third lower portions 424, 434. Further, the fourth lower portion 444 may at least partially overlap with the axial position of the first lower portion 414 along the setting sleeve 400. In other words, the first and fourth lower portions 414, 444 may be at approximately the same axial position but circumferentially offset from each other on the sleeve 400. A second lateral extension is a second positively sloping extension 460 extending from the third upper portion 432 to the fourth upper portion 442.

The first positively sloping extension 452 is defined by an upper positively sloping wall 451 of the perimeter 408 and a lower positively sloping wall 453 of the perimeter 408, and the negatively sloping extension 454 is defined by an upper negatively sloping wall 455 of the perimeter 408 and a lower negatively sloping wall 457 of the perimeter 408, where the upper positively sloping wall 451 and upper negatively sloping wall 455 extend to the top peak 456, and where the lower positively sloping wall 453 and the lower negatively sloping wall 457 extend to a lower peak 459. The top and lower peaks 456, 459 are circumferentially spaced apart from both the first and second axial extensions 410, 420.

Further, the top peak 456 is spaced apart or offset from the lower peak 459 a distance 480 around the circumference of the setting sleeve 400. The lower peak 459 may be offset from the top peak 456 in the single rotational direction in which the load pin 490 is rotated through the slot 406 to set and unset the packer. For example, in the embodiment shown and as described in more detail below, the load pin 490 may be moved axially upward and downward and rotationally in a single right-handed or clockwise rotational direction through the slot (by moving the tubular body to which the load pin is attached) to set and unset the packer. In such embodiments, the lower peak 459 is offset the distance 480 from the top peak 456 in a clockwise rotational direction along the circumference of the setting sleeve 400. The offset distance 480 between the top peak 456 and the lower peak 459 may be, for example, greater than a diameter 492 of the load pin 490, greater than 1.5 times the diameter 492 of the load pin 490, or greater than 2 times the diameter 492 of the load pin 490. In some embodiments, the offset distance 480 between the top peak 456 and lower peak 459 may be greater than the widths of the axial extensions 410, 420, 430, 440.

Each extension 410, 420, 430, 440 has a width measured between opposite walls of the extensions along the perimeter 408. The first, second, third and fourth axial extensions 410, 420, 430, 440 and the first and second positively sloping extensions 452, 460 may have a substantially constant and equal width 470. To form the offset top and lower peaks 456, 459, the negatively sloping extension 454 has a varying width 472. Widths 470 and 472 may be greater than the diameter 492 of the load pin 490, such that the load pin 490 may move through each extension.

An example of a load pin path through a slot formed in a setting sleeve according to embodiments of the present disclosure during setting and repositioning of a packer is described with reference to FIGS. 5-7. In FIGS. 5-7, a packer tool (not shown) may include a tubular body (not shown) and a setting sleeve disposed around the tubular body, where a load pin 590 is directly or indirectly attached to the tubular body (such that the load pin 590 moves with the tubular body) and extends through a slot 506 formed in the setting sleeve.

The slot 506 has a perimeter 508 defining a shape of the slot (e.g., a Y-style slot), where the perimeter 508 includes a top wall 501 having a positively sloping portion 551 extending to a top peak 556, a negatively sloping portion 555 extending downwardly from the top peak 556, and a second positively sloping portion 560. A first axial extension 510 extends axially along the sleeve from a first upper portion 512 to a first lower portion 514. A second axial extension 520 is circumferentially spaced apart from the first axial extension 510 and extends axially along the sleeve from a second upper portion 522 to a second lower portion 524. A first lateral extension 550 extends from the first upper portion 512 to the second upper portion 522, where a portion of the top wall 501 defines the upper boundary of the first lateral extension 550. A third axial extension 530 abuts/adjoins the second axial extension 520 and extends axially along the sleeve from a third upper portion 532 to a third lower portion 534, where the third lower portion 534 is closer to the lower end of the sleeve than the second lower portion 524. A fourth axial extension 540 is circumferentially spaced apart from the third axial extension 530 and extends axially along the sleeve from a fourth upper portion 542 to a fourth lower portion 544. A second lateral extension is a second positively sloping extension 560 that extends from the third upper portion 532 to the fourth upper portion 542, where another portion of the top wall 501 defines the upper boundary of the second lateral extension.

As shown, the top wall 501 forms portions of the perimeter 508 of the first lateral extension 550, including the positively sloping portion 551 (extending from the first upper portion 512 to the top peak 556), the top peak 556, and a negatively sloping portion 555 (extending from the top peak 556 to the second upper portion 522), portions of the perimeter 508 of the positively sloping extension 560, and portions of the perimeter 508 of the fourth upper portion 542. The top peak 556 is axially closer to the upper end of the sleeve than the first upper portion 512 and the second upper portion 522. Further, the top peak 556 is located along the first lateral extension 550 and is between the first and second axial extensions 510, 520. A lower wall 553 of the perimeter 508 defining the first lateral extension 550 includes a lower peak 559, where the lower peak 559 is offset a distance around the circumference of the sleeve from the top peak 556 in a right handed or clockwise direction.

The portion of the top wall 501 forming the perimeter 508 of the fourth upper portion 542 is at an axial location along the sleeve that at least partially overlaps with the axial location of the top peak 556 (i.e., the fourth upper portion 542 and the top peak 556 share an axial position along the sleeve). The axial location of the slot 506 upwardly bounded by the top peak 556 and the axial location of the fourth upper portion 542 may be referred to as neutral positions. When the load pin 590 is in a neutral position, the packer may be moved axially upward without activating the expansion components of the packer. Further, the first lower portion 514 is at an axial location along the sleeve that at least partially overlaps with the axial location of the fourth lower portion 544, i.e., the first and fourth lower portions 514, 544 share an axial position along the sleeve. The axial locations of the first and fourth lower portions 514, 544 may be referred to as safe positions. When the load pin 590 is in a safe position, the packer may be moved within the wellbore without activating the expansion components of the packer. Thus, the axial locations of the first and fourth lower portions 514, 544 are far enough from the lower end of the sleeve to prevent the expansion components in the packer from being axially compressed.

Briefly, methods of positioning a packer within a wellbore may include inserting the packer into the wellbore, where the tubular body of the packer may be threadedly connected to a string and have the load pin 590 directly or indirectly connected thereto (such that movement of the load pin 590 corresponds with movement of the tubular body). The sleeve having the slot 506 formed therein, as shown in FIGS. 5-7, is disposed around the tubular body, such that the load pin 590 extends through and is capable of moving within the slot 506. The string, and thus the tubular body, may be manipulated to move the load pin 590 into a set position (in the third lower portion 534) within the slot 506 in order to set the packer in the wellbore, which may include rotating the tubular body in a single rotational direction and pushing the tubular body downward. The packer may be unset by pulling the tubular body upward to move the load pin 590 into a neutral position within the slot 506. The packer may then be repositioned by pushing the tubular body downward without rotating the tubular body in an opposite rotational direction to move the load pin 590 into a safe position (i.e., first lower portion 514 or fourth lower portion 544) within the slot 506.

As shown in FIG. 5, the load pin 590 may be in first safe running position, within the fourth axial extension 540 of the slot 506. An upward pull on the string (attached to the tubular body) may move the load pin 590 into a first neutral position (in the fourth upper portion 542) before attempting to set the packer. A downward force combined with a right hand (clockwise) rotational force may move the load pin 590 into the setting slot (in the third axial extension 530). The axial location of the third lower portion 534 of the third extension 530 is low enough (close enough to the lower end of the sleeve) that the tubular body and connected setting components (i.e., components capable of contacting and axially compressing packing elements) may contact and compress packing or sealing element assemblies to set the packer. In other words, the load pin 590 and thus the tubular body is allowed to travel a great enough axial distance along the third axial extension 530 to allow for force to be transmitted into the setting components of the packer and anchor the packer to the casing or open wellbore.

Using a setting sleeve having a Y-style slot, such as shown in FIGS. 5-7 may provide an operator with two options for unsetting the packer and either moving into a running position, or a retrieval position. Both of these options may be separated by a single direction rotation (e.g., right handed or clockwise rotation) in some embodiments, or the absence of a rotation in some embodiments.

As shown in FIG. 6, if the operator wishes to reposition the packer, an upward pull on the string may be combined with a right hand rotation to move the load pin 590 into a second neutral position at the top peak 556. To enter into the second safe position in the first lower portion 514 of the first axial extension 510, a right hand (clockwise) rotation combined with a downward load moves the load pin 590 into the second safe position (first lower portion 514). While in the second safe position, the operator may manipulate the position of the packer along the length of the wellbore without setting the packer.

Referring to FIG. 7, once the proper position along the length of the wellbore has been located, an upward pull on the string (and thus tubular body) may move the load pin 590 back to the second neutral position (at the top peak 556). A downward load may then be applied to the string (without rotating in an opposite direction from the right hand/clockwise rotation) to move the load pin 590 back into the setting position (the third lower portion 534). The lower peak 559 formed in the lower wall 553 of the first lateral extension 550 is offset from the top peak 556 in a right handed or clockwise direction an offset distance great enough to where the load pin 590 lands on a negatively sloping portion of the perimeter 508 when a downward load (without rotation) is applied to the load pin 590 from the second neutral position (proximate the top peak 556). When the load pin 590 lands on the negatively sloping portion of the perimeter (while a downward load without rotation is being applied), the load pin 590 may slide downwardly along the first lateral extension 550 to the second and third axial extensions 520, 530. A selective taper at the second lower portion 524 may direct the load pin 590 back into the setting position at the third lower portion 534, where the operator again has two options for manipulation of the packer into the first and second safe positions. From the set position the operator can also pull upward on the string without rotation to move the load pin 590 into a retrieval position, in the first or second neutral positions.

Using slot shapes according to embodiments of the present disclosure, a packer may be set, unset and repositioned using a single rotational direction in combination with upward and downward axial loads. In other words, by using slot shapes according to embodiments of the present disclosure, a packer may be operated using upward and downward axial loads without rotating the packer in two opposite rotational directions. For example, methods of positioning a packer within a wellbore according to embodiments of the present disclosure may include applying a downward load on the packer tubular body to insert the packer into the wellbore, applying an upward load on the tubular body to move a connected load pin into a neutral position within a slot of the packer setting sleeve, rotating the tubular body in a single rotational direction in combination with applying a downward load on the tubular body to move the connected load pin to a set position within a slot of the setting sleeve to set the packer in the wellbore, applying an upward load on the tubular body to move the load pin into a neutral position and unset the packer, and applying a downward load on the tubular body without rotating the tubular body in an opposite rotational direction from the single rotational direction to move the load pin into a safe position within the setting sleeve slot to reposition the packer along the length of the wellbore.

FIG. 8 shows another example of a slot formed on a setting sleeve according to embodiments of the present disclosure, which may allow for setting, unsetting and repositioning of a packer within a wellbore using a single rotational direction in combination with upward and downward axial loads.

As shown, the slot 806 has a perimeter 808 defining an altered j-style shape. The slot 806 has a first axial extension 810 extending axially along a sleeve from a first upper portion 812 to a first lower portion 814. A second axial extension 520 is circumferentially spaced apart from the first axial extension 810 and extends axially along the sleeve from a second upper portion 822 to a second lower portion 524. A lateral extension 850 extends from the first upper portion 812 to the second upper portion 822. A top wall 801 of the perimeter 808 defines the upper side of the lateral extension 850 and includes an upper positively sloping wall 851 extending from the second upper portion 822 to a top peak 856 and an upper negatively sloping wall 855 extending downwardly from the top peak 856 to the first upper portion 812. The top peak 856 is axially offset along the length of the sleeve from the first upper portion 812 and the second upper portion 822.

A lower wall 853 of the perimeter 808 defining the lower side of the lateral extension 850 includes a lower peak 859, a lower positively sloping wall extending from the second upper portion 822 to the lower peak 859, and a lower negatively sloping wall extending from the lower peak 859 to the first upper portion 812. The lower peak 859 is laterally offset from the top peak 856 an offset distance 880 around the circumference of the sleeve, where the lower peak 859 is laterally closer to the second axial extension 820 than the top peak 856, and where the top peak 856 is laterally closer to the first axial extension 810 than the lower peak 859. The offset top and lower peaks 856, 859 form a varying width 872 of the lateral extension 850 along the negatively sloping portion of the lateral extension 850. As shown, the lateral extension 850 has a width 872 that increases along the length of the negatively sloping extension from the first upper portion 812 to the top and lower peaks 856, 859. The widths 870 of the slot 806 along the first axial extension 810, the second axial extension 820 and the negatively sloping portion of the lateral extension 850 may be substantially constant and equal.

The lower peak 859 is offset in the lateral direction (i.e., circumferentially) away from the top peak 856 to allow the load pin 890 to be set using a right handed or clockwise rotation in combination with applying a downward load and to be unset using upward and downward loads without applying a rotational load. In methods of positioning a packer having a setting sleeve with the slot 806 shown in FIG. 8 formed therein, the packer may be set, unset and repositioned using a single rotational direction in combination with applying upward and downward loads to the tubular body of the packer.

FIG. 9 shows another example of a slot formed in a setting sleeve according to embodiments of the present disclosure, which may allow for setting, unsetting and repositioning of a packer within a wellbore using a single rotational direction in combination with upward and downward axial loads.

As shown, the slot 906 has a perimeter 908 defining a shape of the slot 906 that includes a first axial extension 910 extending axially along a sleeve (not shown) from a first upper portion 912 to a first lower portion 914. A second axial extension 920 is circumferentially spaced apart from the first axial extension 910 and extends axially along the sleeve from a second upper portion 922 to a second lower portion 924. A lateral extension 950 extends from the second upper portion 922 to the first upper portion 912 and past the first upper portion 912 in a direction away from the second upper portion 922. A top wall 901 of the perimeter 908 defining an upper side of the lateral extension 950 extends from the second upper portion 922 to a top peak 956 in a positively sloping direction. The top peak 956 is axially offset and above both the first and second upper portions 912, 922. Further, the top peak 956 is circumferentially offset and spaced apart from the first and second upper portions 912, 922, where the first axial extension 910 is located circumferentially between the top peak 956 and the second axial extension 920.

When the load pin 990 is in the first lower portion 914, the load pin 990 is in a safe position, and the packer may be manipulated within the wellbore without setting the packer. An upward load may be applied to the tubular body to move the load pin 990 from the safe position to a neutral position in the portion of the slot 906 at the top peak 956. An upward load without applying a rotational load may move the load pin 990 from the safe position to the neutral position due to the positive slop of the lateral extension 950 to the top peak 956. Particularly, the setting sleeve in which the slot 906 is formed has a weight and is movable relative to the tubular body, such that the weight of the setting sleeve may pull the sleeve downwardly relative to the load pin 990, thereby moving the load pin 990 into the neutral position at the top peak 956 of the slot 906. When the tubular body is pulled upward and the load pin 990 is in the neutral position at the top peak 956 of the slot 906, the setting sleeve is pulled upward with the tubular body.

From the neutral position, the string to which the tubular body is attached may be rotated in a single rotational direction and pushed downwardly so as to move the load pin 990 down the first axial extension 910 to the safe position. When the load pin 990 is in the safe position, the load applied to the tubular body of the packer is not transferred to the setting components of the packer.

From the safe position (i.e., the first lower portion 914), the tubular body may be moved upward and rotated in a single rotational direction (in a right handed rotation in the embodiment shown) to move the load pin 990 upward through the first axial extension 910, and then once the load pin 990 reaches the lateral extension 950, the single rotational load (being applied from the combination of the upward and single rotation directional loads of the tubular body) moves the load pin 990 to the second upper portion 922. Once the load pin 990 is rotated to the end of the lateral extension, at the second upper portion 922, a downward load may be applied to the tubular body to move the load pin 990 into the set position (i.e., in the second lower position 924). When the load pin 990 is in the set position, load applied to the tubular body may be transferred to the setting components of the packer to set the packer. Thus, a packer may include two decoupled systems: a first system including the packer setting sleeve with a slot formed therein; and a second system including the components directly and indirectly connected to the load pin 990. When the decoupled components are coupled together in the set position, load may be transferred to the setting components of the packer to radially expand the setting components and seal the packer to the wellbore or wellbore casing.

According to methods of the present disclosure, a setting sleeve may have a slot formed therein with a shape engineered to selectively transfer a load from a tubular body of the packer to setting components of the packer. The slot shape may be further designed to allow for setting and unsetting of the packer by applying a rotational load in a single rotational direction in combination with upward and downward loads.

For example, methods of positioning a packer within a wellbore may include inserting a packer into the wellbore, where the packer has a tubular body, a load pin directly or indirectly connected with the tubular body (such that movement of the load pin corresponds with movement of the body), and a setting sleeve having a slot formed therein, wherein the load pin extends through and is capable of moving within the slot. The slot may have a shape that includes a plurality of axial extensions, each axial extension extending axially along the sleeve. Axial extensions may include a first axial extension and a second axial extension spaced apart from the first axial extension, and in some embodiments, more than two axial extensions. The slot shape may further have at least one lateral extension, including a first lateral extension extending from a first upper portion of the first extension to a second upper portion of the second extension, where the first lateral extension has a top peak spaced apart from the first and second extensions.

The tubular body may be manipulated to move the load pin to a set position within the slot to set the packer in the wellbore, where manipulating may include rotating the tubular body in a single rotational direction and pushing the tubular body downward.

The packer may be unset by pulling the tubular body upward to move the load pin into a neutral position within the slot. The packer may then be repositioned by pushing the tubular body downward without rotating the tubular body in an opposite rotational direction from the single rotational direction to move the load pin into a safe position within the slot.

The packer may then be re-set by pulling the tubular body upward to move the load pin into a neutral position within the slot (which may be the same or different neutral position from the un-setting stage), and then pushing the tubular body downward to move the load pin into a set position within the slot. In some embodiments, the tubular body may be rotated in the single rotational direction during pushing the tubular body downward to move the load pin into the set position. In some embodiments, the tubular body may be pushed downward to move the load pin into the set position without applying a rotational load to the tubular body.

By using setting sleeves according to embodiments of the present disclosure, an operator may set, unset and reposition a packer without rotating the packer in opposite directions. By using setting sleeves of the present disclosure with a Y-style setting slot, the operator may have two options for repositioning the packer within a wellbore in the event that trouble is encountered when trying to enter back into the safe position. A second safe position in a Y-style setting slot may be chosen through a positive right hand (clockwise) rotation of the string by forcing the load pin into the secondary safe position path (such as shown in FIG. 6). The right hand rotation may serve as positive confirmation that the second safe profile has been selected, which would not be possible with a J-style setting sleeve, such as shown in FIG. 3. Additionally, using setting sleeves according to embodiments of the present disclosure, an operator may employ a right hand rotation (clockwise) of the string to move the load pin from one position to another within the setting slot. The absence of left hand rotation (counter clockwise) may prevent or inhibit un-torqueing the connecting joints in the string.