Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2344729 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2344729
(54) English Title: INTELLIGENT THRU TUBING BRIDGE PLUG WITH DOWNHOLE INSTRUMENTATION
(54) French Title: BOUCHON PROVISOIRE DE TUBAGE DEBOUCHANT INTELLIGENT AVEC INSTRUMENTATION DE FOND DE PUITS
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • E21B 33/134 (2006.01)
  • H01H 1/00 (2006.01)
  • H01H 9/42 (2006.01)
  • H01Q 1/38 (2006.01)
  • H01Q 3/24 (2006.01)
  • H01Q 9/04 (2006.01)
  • H01H 9/40 (2006.01)
  • H01H 59/00 (2006.01)
  • H01H 61/00 (2006.01)
  • H01H 67/22 (2006.01)
  • H01H 67/24 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • WILLAUER, DARRIN L. (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED (United States of America)
(74) Agent: MARKS & CLERK
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2004-11-02
(22) Filed Date: 2001-04-19
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2001-10-19
Examination requested: 2001-04-19
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
60/198,065 United States of America 2000-04-19

English Abstract

A conventional thru tubing bridge plug is rendered in a more effective and useful downhole tool by incorporating a sensor module complete with preferably a plurality of downhole sensors to monitor downhole parameters such as but not limited to temperature and pressure both within the inflatable tool and in the annulus of the well created thereby.


French Abstract

Un bouchon-pont en puits de colonne de production conventionnel est transformé en outil de fond plus utile et efficace par l'incorporation d'un module de capteur complet avec de préférence des capteurs de fond pour surveiller des paramètres de fond tels que sans s'y limiter la température et la pression tant à l'intérieur de l'outil gonflable que dans l'espace annulaire du puits ainsi créé.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.



8

What is claimed is:

1. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug comprising:
an inflatable element;
a sensor module connected to said inflatable element; and
at least one pressure transducer calibrated to sense one of element pressure,
annulus pressure uphole of the element, and annulus pressure downhole of the
element.

2. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 1
wherein said at least one pressure transducer is a plurality of pressure
transducers,
each calibrated to sense one of element pressure, annulus pressure uphole of
the
element, and annulus pressure downhole of the element.

3. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 1
wherein said at least one pressure transducer is connected to a pressure
pathway
provided in said retrievable bridge plug terminating at an access point to a
target
pressure.

4. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 1
wherein said at least one pressure transducer is in pressure reading
communication
with direct element pressure in said element.

5. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in and one
of Claims 1 to 4 wherein said bridge plug further comprises a controller
module
operably connected to said sensor module.

6. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 5
wherein said control module stores data received from said at least one
pressure
transducer.



9

7. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in any one
of Claims 1 to 6 wherein said sensor module further includes a transmitter
operably
connected to said at least one pressure transducer, said transmitter having
transmission capability.

8. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 7
wherein said transmitter transmits acoustically.

9. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 7
wherein said transmitter transmits by radio transmission.

10. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 7
wherein said transmitter transmits by electromagnetic transmission.

11. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 6
wherein said control module continuously releases stored data to a transmitter
connected thereto.

12. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 6
wherein said control module upon command releases stored data to a transmitter
connected thereto.

13. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim 6
wherein said control module at intervals of time releases stored data to a
transmitter
connected thereto.

14. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug comprising:
an inflatable element;
a sensor sensing at least one parameter of the element; and
a transmitter capable of transmitting information from said sensor to a remote
location.


10

15. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim
14
wherein said plug comprises a sensor for each parameter of the element to be
sensed.

16. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim
15
wherein said sensors sense at least one of temperature, flow rate, pressure,
gamma
radiation, radio waves, electromagnetic wave or a combination with at least
one of the
foregoing.

17. A downhole parameter sensing bridge plug as claimed in any one of Claims
14
to 16 wherein said transmitter transmits said information by one of
acoustically, radio
wave, electromagnetic wave, and vibration.

18. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug comprising:
an inflatable element;
a sensor sensing at least on of annulus pressure uphole of the element and
annulus pressure downhole of the element; and
a transmitter capable of transmitting information from said sensor to a remote
location.

19. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim
18
wherein said plug comprises a sensor for each parameter of the element to be
sensed.

20. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in Claim
19
wherein said sensors sense at least one of temperature, flow rate, pressure,
gamma
radiation, radio waves, electromagnetic wave or a combination with at least
one of the
foregoing.

21. A downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug as claimed in any one
of Claims 18 to 20 wherein said transmitter transmits one of acoustically, by
radio
wave, by electromagnetic wave, and by vibration.


Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


CA 02344729 2004-O1-08
INTELLIGENT THRU TUBING BRIDGE PLUG
WITH DOWNHOLE INSTRUMENTATION
BACKGROUND
Thru tubing retrievable bridge plugs provide a means of temporarily
plugging selected sections of a well, without the need for pulling production
tubing.
Avoidance of the need to pull the production tubing dramatically reduces costs
associated with plugging particular sections of a well. Different sections of
a well
might need to be plugged because of, for example, water breakthrough, gas
production, etc. Retrievable bridge plugs are also run to plug certain
sections of a
well in order to test different fluids flowing into the well at that location
or above that
location from shallower zones within the wellbore. Such bridge plugs generally
include a lower valve which provides a seal, blanking off a section of mandrel
so that
a packer element, also contained within the retrievable bridge plug, can be
inflated.
The packing element provides for the plugging off of the selected sections of
the well.
The construction and use of a conventional bridge plug is considered known to
one of
ordinary skill in the art. Such bridge plugs are commercially available from
many
sources including Baker Oil Tools, Houston, Texas (Product Nos. 340-10 and 330-

72).
SUMMARY
The above-identified drawbacks of the prior art are overcome, or
alleviated, by the intelligent bridge plug system of the invention.
The present invention avails itself of the benefits evident in
conventional retrievable bridge plugs and further provides a method and
apparatus for
accurately setting the inflation pressure of a retrievable bridge plug and
verification of
that setting. The apparatus of the invention is a thru tubing bridge plug
having
downhole instrumentation and employing an electric wireline setting tool. The
device
further comprises several sections of a retrievable bridge plug and several
downhole
sensors. The sensors are worked into the tool preferably in a sensor module
which is
a part of the retrievable bridge plug assembly. The sensor module is located
in
different sections of the tool for different embodiments as disclosed
hereinbelow. The


CA 02344729 2004-O1-08
2
tool of the invention preferably measures element inflation pressure,
temperature
inside the packer and the annulus temperature as well as pressure uphole of
(above)
and downhole of (below) the packer. These parameters of the well may be used
to
ensure a proper setting of the inflatable element and thereby ensure that the
bridge
plug operates as intended. The invention provides a superior advantage over
the prior
art for many reasons including that the temperature of the inflation fluid is
nearly
always cooler than the temperature downhole. If a packer is fully inflated
with
relatively cooler fluid, the thermal expansion of that fluid subsequent to
filling could
rupture the element. Such occurrence could be problematic and would preferably
be
avoided. The present invention provides the means to avoid such a condition
and also
will provide a high degree of confidence that the inflatable element is
properly
inflated every time the bridge plug is employed.
It is also important to note that one of the key points in measuring
pressure below the bridge plug is to determine how the well is responding to
the plug.
This is an important benefit of the invention not heretofore available;
comparing
pressure above the plug with pressure below the plug which provides
information
about whether or not a zone has been effectively shut off and whether or not
the
packer has achieved a good seal. The existence of leaking through the casing
or
through fractures in the formation, etc. would be identified by comparing the
above
and below pressure. Moreover, the comparison indicated above provides
information
about whether or not pressure below a plug is being adversely affected by
other wells
in a situation where production wells and injection wells are operating in the
same
field. Furthermore, by monitoring all three of above the plug pressure, below
the plug
pressure and element inflation pressure verification can be obtained that the
inflation
pressure ratings for the element being employed have not been exceeded.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is
provided a downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug comprising:
an inflatable element;
a sensor module connected to said inflatable element; and
at least one pressure transducer calibrated to sense one of element
pressure, annulus pressure uphole of the element, and annulus pressure
downhole of
the element.


CA 02344729 2004-O1-08
3
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is
provided a downhole parameter sensing retrievable bridge plug comprising:
an inflatable element;
a sensor sensing at least one parameter of the element; and
a transmitter capable of transmitting information from said sensor to a
remote location.
In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention there is
provided a downhole parameter sensing bridge plug comprising:
an inflatable element;
a sensor sensing at least on of annulus pressure uphole of the element
and annulus pressure downhole of the element; and
a transmitter capable of transmitting information from said sensor to a
remote location.
IN THE DRAWINGS
Embodiments of the present invention will now be described more
fully with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURES 1-5 are an elongated view of a cross-section with a first
embodiment of the invention; and
FIGURES 6-10 are an elongated view of a cross-section of a second
embodiment of the invention.
DETAILED I ELSCRIPTION
Referring to Figures 1-5, a first embodiment of the invention is
illustrated. It will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art that
Figures 1 and
2 and Figures 4 and 5 depict portions of the inventive bridge plug that are
identical to
a prior art bridge plug commercially available from Baker Oil Tools, Houston,
Texas,
under Product Nos.340-10 and 330-72. Since these portions are very well known
to
the art, a detailed description thereof is not necessary to a full
understanding of the
invention. For orientation and clarity, one of skill in the art will recognize
upper
valve sleeve 12, valve shaft 14 and equalizing mandrel 16 in Figure 1. In
Figure 2,
bumper housing 18 and associated components will be recognized.


CA 02344729 2004-O1-08
4
Referring now to Figure 3, the sensor module 30 of the invention is
illustrated. Sensor module 30 is important to the function desired in the
present
invention since it houses all of power, telemetry and sensor assemblies.
Module 30 is
essentially "cut into" the conventional tool in the position, in this
embodiment,
illustrated by Figures 1-5. Where bumper housing 18 would be connected to
collet
sub 20 in a prior art tool, the sensor module 30 is connected therebetween. It
is
important to note that collet sub 20 is modified in the invention to provide
pressure
paths which allow the sensing desired in the invention to take place. Poppet
housing
22 is also modified, again to provide a pressure path for the sensing desired
in the
invention. Pressure is measured at the back side of the poppet to obtain
accurate
element pressure. The balance of the tool in this embodiment, refernng to
Figures 4
and 5 is conventional. One of skill in the art will recognize spring housing
24
connected to poppet housing 22 and element 26 connected to spring housing 24.
Guide 28 is shown at the downhole end of the tool at the right side of Figure
5.
Refernng back to Figure 3, the detail of the invention is discussed. At
the box thread 32 of bumper housing 18, an uphole end of sensor module 30 is
provided with a pin thread 34. The pin thread 34 is actually cut on a mandrel
36 of
sensor module 30. Mandrel 36 is connected at its downhole end at pin thread 38
to
collet sub 20 via box thread 40. Mandrel 36 is made pressure tight between
tubing
pressure and exterior wellbore pressure by o-rings 42 and 44 on the uphole and
downhole ends thereof, respectively. Since sensitive electronic equipment must
be
delivered to the downhole environment in this tool, it is necessary to create
a sealed
chamber which may be atmospheric or hydraulic fluid filled. The chamber is
numerated 46 and is formed annularly between mandrel 36 and sleeve housing 48.
Sleeve housing 48 shares an o-ring with mandrel 36 at 42 and is provided with
an
additional o-ring 50 at an outer surface of collect sub 20. Chamber 46 is
filled, in the
invention, with a transmitter 52 locked in a desired position as shown by
locking ring
54 which is threadedly connected to mandrel 36 at thread 56. Transmitter 52,
preferably a piezo ceramic transducer, is connected via contacts (not shown)
to an
electrical control module with signal receiver 60 which is connected to
battery pack
58. The control module regulates power to the transmitter 52, receiver 60 and
the
pressure transducers. Typically, a sine or square wave is sent to the
transmitter to


CA 02344729 2004-O1-08
create either pulser or frequency acoustic outputs. It should be noted that
several
different control modules 60 or a single annular one may be employed. It is
preferable to employ several modules 60 to reduce cost of manufacture.
Constructing
annular circuit boards for modules is expensive. The one or more modules 60
are
5 connected to pressure transducers 62 and 64 which each monitor pressure in a
different place via pressure pathways as shown. Pressure transducer 64 is
"plumbed"
to element pressure via pathway 66. Numeral 66 is repeated several times in
the
drawings to indicate the pathway. It will be noted that plug 68 is provided to
close
annular pressure from conduit 66. The plug is needed as a consequence of the
manufacturing process for creating the pressure pathway 66 to element
pressure.
In the case of pressure transducer 62, a pressure pathway 70 is
provided which is left open to annulus pressure at port 72. This transducer
will sense
annulus pressure above the element 26 (Figure 5). Differences between this
pressure
location and pressure below the element provides information about the setting
of the
I 5 element 26. Pressure below the annulus is measured by a similar set of
components
which cannot be seen in this drawing but will be understood to one of skill in
the art
by exposure to the shown component sets illustrated.
The tool as described is operable in several modes. One mode is a
continuous data stream mode wherein the transmitter of the invention transmits
acoustic (radio wave, electromagnetic wave, vibration or other) data at all
times. As
required or desired, a receiver is run in the hole to acquire the acoustic
(radio wave,
electromagnetic wave, vibration or other) signal and transmit data uphole. It
should
be noted that in situations where it is physically possible for the signal
from the
transmitter to reach the surface on its own, a receiver can be positioned at
the surface.
In another mode of operation of the invention, data is stored downhole until a
signal
to transmit is received by the tool. The signal could be generated at the
surface and
sent downhole or generated downhole by a receiver run in the hole for that
purpose
and for retrieving the data released.
In another embodiment of the invention, refernng to Figures 6-10, a
sensor module is differently configured and is located in a position within
the
otherwise conventional (except for pressure pathways) bridge plug. Power and
communication is provided through an inductive coupler coil discussed
hereunder. In


CA 02344729 2004-O1-08
6
this embodiment, it is the uphole end of the tool which is most modified from
its
conventional cousin. For clarity, conventional components such as upper valve
sleeve
80, lock segments 82, extension spring 84 and equalizing mandrel 16 are
numbered.
All other downhole components of the tool are conventional except for pressure
pathways as noted in each of the figures. Pressure pathways are numbered in
numerous places on the figures to provide an understanding to one of ordinary
skill in
the art as to the precise location thereof.
Focusing on the sensor module 90 in this embodiment of the invention,
a sensor housing 92 has an uphole profile 94 to act as a fishing neck which
functions
as is known in the art. It will be appreciated that in prior art bridge plugs
the fishing
neck would be threaded directly to the equalizing mandrel 16. In the invention
however, the equalizing mandrel 16 is threadedly connected to a porting sub 95
threadedly connected to sensor housing 92 at thread 96 and inner mandrel 98 at
thread
100. The connections to porting sub 95, as stated, are sealed with o-rings
102.
A chamber 104 is created between inner mandrel 98 and sensor
housing 92 which is sealed at the uphole end by o-ring 106 against an i.d. of
sensor
housing 92. Within chamber 104, electronic equipment similar to the first
discussed
embodiment is disposed. At least one electronic control modules) 108 is
connected
to pressure transducers 110 and 112. Pressure transducer 110 is connected to
pressure
pathway 114 which leads to annulus pressure downhole of the element 26. Plug
118
is required incident to the manufacturing process to prevent annulus pressure
above
the element 26 from being registered. Conversely, pressure transducer 112
measures
pressure in the annulus uphole of element 26 through pressure pathway 120
which has
access to annulus pressure through port 122.
In this embodiment, power is provided to the electronic components
enumerated above via an inductive coupler coil 124. Power will thus be
initiated at
the surface or another remote power source. Since batteries are not the
limiting factor
on the life of this tool regarding testing of the parameters readable by the
electronics
therein, readings may be performed at any time, even many years after
installation of
the tool simply by providing power via a complementary coil (not shown). The
sensors so powered can then communicate with a remote location or store data
for
later retrieval through the inductive coupler which in such an embodiment is


CA 02344729 2004-O1-08
7
employed as a communication link to a remote location. In one embodiment, the
inductive coupler will not supply power at all but rather will act solely as a
communications pathway and will function to extract data from the bridge plug
whether the data is stored or is being actively recorded.
In yet another embodiment of the invention, transmission of data is
forsaken entirely. More specifically, a battery pack is utilized to power the
tool and
data is stored on the control module. This activity would continue as long as
the
battery pack supplies energy. Further the data storage could be continuous or
could
be at time intervals. Subsequently, when the bridge plug is pulled out of the
well, the
stored data on the control module could be downloaded for review and/or
analysis. It
will be appreciated that other sensors for parameters such as gamma radiation,
temperature flow and other element or formation parameter may be added to any
embodiment hereof.
While preferred embodiments have been shown and described, various
modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the
spirit
and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the
present
invention has been described by way of illustrations and not limitation.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2004-11-02
(22) Filed 2001-04-19
Examination Requested 2001-04-19
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2001-10-19
(45) Issued 2004-11-02

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $400.00 2001-04-19
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2001-04-19
Application Fee $300.00 2001-04-19
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2003-04-22 $100.00 2003-04-11
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2004-04-19 $100.00 2004-04-07
Final Fee $300.00 2004-08-18
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 4 2005-04-19 $100.00 2005-04-01
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 5 2006-04-19 $200.00 2006-03-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 6 2007-04-19 $200.00 2007-03-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 7 2008-04-21 $200.00 2008-03-31
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 8 2009-04-20 $200.00 2009-03-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2010-04-19 $200.00 2010-03-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2011-04-19 $250.00 2011-03-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2012-04-19 $250.00 2012-03-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2013-04-19 $250.00 2013-03-14
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2014-04-22 $250.00 2014-03-12
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2015-04-20 $250.00 2015-04-09
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2016-04-19 $450.00 2016-03-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2017-04-19 $450.00 2017-03-29
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2018-04-19 $450.00 2018-03-28
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 18 2019-04-23 $450.00 2019-03-26
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 19 2020-04-20 $450.00 2020-04-01
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
WILLAUER, DARRIN L.
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Description 2004-01-08 7 378
Claims 2004-01-08 3 116
Abstract 2001-04-19 1 9
Description 2001-04-19 7 322
Representative Drawing 2001-07-19 1 10
Claims 2001-04-19 3 71
Drawings 2001-04-19 6 212
Drawings 2001-07-19 6 229
Cover Page 2001-10-12 1 35
Cover Page 2004-10-06 1 34
Prosecution-Amendment 2004-01-08 12 573
Correspondence 2001-05-25 1 25
Assignment 2001-04-19 3 109
Prosecution-Amendment 2001-07-19 7 262
Correspondence 2001-07-19 2 103
Assignment 2002-02-19 5 173
Assignment 2002-04-19 5 220
Prosecution-Amendment 2003-07-08 2 67
Correspondence 2004-08-18 1 48