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Patent Analysis of

Flow device and methods of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10000996

Application Number

US14/700998

Application Date

30 April 2015

Publication Date

19 June 2018

Current Assignee

BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED

Original Assignee (Applicant)

RUSSELL, RONNIE D.,PETERSON, ELMER RICHARD

International Classification

E21B43/12,E21B34/08,E21B43/16

Cooperative Classification

E21B43/12,E21B34/08,E21B43/16

Inventor

RUSSELL, RONNIE D.,PETERSON, ELMER RICHARD

Patent Images

This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.

US10000996 Flow 1 US10000996 Flow 2 US10000996 Flow 3
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Abstract

A flow device includes a flow-through region comprising at least one stage having a pocket configured to create a first pressure drop across the flow-through region in response to flow through the flow-through region in a first direction and a second pressure drop in response to flow through the flow-through region in a second direction. The first pressure drop is less than the second pressure drop under the same flow rates. The flow device has no moving parts to create the difference in pressure drop between the first direction and the second direction, the pocket has a larger cross sectional flow area than a first opening and a second opening fluidically connected to the pocket and a baffle positioned within the pocket having a “U” shape with a concave side of the baffle facing toward the second opening.

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Claims

1. A wellbore flow device, comprising: a flow-through region configured to create a first pressure drop across the flow-through region in response to flow through the flow-through region in a first direction and a second pressure drop in response to flow through the flow-through region in a second direction, the first pressure drop being less than the second pressure drop under the same flow rates, the flow device having no moving parts to create the difference in pressure drop between the first direction and the second direction; at least two pockets defining the flow-through region each pocket having a larger cross sectional flow area than a first opening and a second opening fluidically connected to each pocket, the first and second openings being in opposing sides of the pocket; and a baffle positioned within the pocket nearer the first opening than the second opening of each pocket and being “U” shaped with a concave side of the baffle facing toward the second opening.

2. The flow device of claim 1, wherein the first opening and the second opening serve as inlets and outlets to the pocket.

3. The flow device of claim 1, wherein the baffle is positioned equidistant between opposing walls of the pocket not including the first opening or the second opening.

4. The flow device of claim 1, wherein a first end of the “U” shaped baffle is nearer to a wall of the pocket through which the second opening extends than a second end of the “U” shaped baffle.

5. The flow device of claim 4, wherein the baffle splits the flow through the pocket into multiple flows.

6. The flow device of claim 1, wherein walls defining at least one of the first opening and the second opening are tapered relative to a direction of flow through the at least one of the first opening and the second opening.

7. The flow device of claim 6, wherein walls defining both the first opening and the second opening are tapered in a same direction relative to a direction of flow through both the first opening and the second opening.

8. The flow device of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first opening and the second opening has a wall that is common with the pocket.

9. The flow device of claim 1, wherein the first opening is offset from the second opening.

10. The flow device of claim 1, wherein the first pressure drop is in a range of about 40 to 60 percent of the second pressure drop with all other things being equal.

11. The flow device of claim 1, wherein flow in the first direction is for treating an earth formation and flow in the second direction is for production from the earth formation.

12. The flow device of claim 1, wherein the flow device is configured to create a different pressure drop to different fluids flowing therethrough.

13. The flow device of claim 12, wherein pressure drop of oil flowing through the flow device is less than that of water flowing through the flow device all other things being equal.

14. A method of creating different pressure drops in a wellbore flow device based on a direction of flow, comprising: flowing fluid at a set flow rate through a flow-through region of a flow device having at least two pockets in a first direction through a first opening into one of the pockets configured in the shape of a square with rounded corners toward a convex side of a baffle located nearer the first opening than a second opening and out of the one of the pockets through the second opening and creating a first pressure drop in the process; and flowing fluid at the set flow rate through the flow-through region of the flow device in a second direction through the second opening into the one of the pockets toward a concave side of the baffle and out of the pocket through the first opening and creating a second pressure drop in the process, the first pressure drop being less than the second pressure drop with no part moving within the first opening, the second opening or the pocket to create the difference in pressure drop.

15. The method of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow of claim 14, further comprising impinging a baffle nearer to the second opening than to the first opening with fluid entering the pocket.

16. The method of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow of claim 14, further comprising splitting fluid flowing through the first opening into two flow paths with the baffle.

17. The method of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow of claim 14, further comprising impinging one end of the concave shaped baffle positioned nearer the second opening with fluid flowing into the pocket through the second opening than the other end of the concave shaped baffle.

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Claim Tree

  • 1
    1. A wellbore flow device, comprising:
    • a flow-through region configured to create a first pressure drop across the flow-through region in response to flow through the flow-through region in a first direction and a second pressure drop in response to flow through the flow-through region in a second direction, the first pressure drop being less than the second pressure drop under the same flow rates, the flow device having no moving parts to create the difference in pressure drop between the first direction and the second direction
    • at least two pockets defining the flow-through region each pocket having a larger cross sectional flow area than a first opening and a second opening fluidically connected to each pocket, the first and second openings being in opposing sides of the pocket
    • and a baffle positioned within the pocket nearer the first opening than the second opening of each pocket and being “U” shaped with a concave side of the baffle facing toward the second opening.
    • 2. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • the first opening and the second opening serve as inlets and outlets to the pocket.
    • 3. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • the baffle is positioned equidistant between opposing walls of the pocket not including
    • 4. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • a first end of the “U” shaped baffle is nearer to a wall of the pocket through which the second opening extends than a second end of the “U” shaped baffle.
    • 6. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • walls defining at least one of the first opening and the second opening are tapered relative to a direction of flow through the at least one of the first opening and the second opening.
    • 8. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • at least one of the first opening and the second opening has a wall that is common with the pocket.
    • 9. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • the first opening is offset from the second opening.
    • 10. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • the first pressure drop is in a range of about 40 to 60 percent of the second pressure drop with all other things being equal.
    • 11. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • flow in the first direction is for treating an earth formation and flow in the second direction is for production from the earth formation.
    • 12. The flow device of claim 1, wherein
      • the flow device is configured to create a different pressure drop to different fluids flowing therethrough.
  • 14
    14. A method of creating different pressure drops in a wellbore flow device based on a direction of flow, comprising:
    • flowing fluid at a set flow rate through a flow-through region of a flow device having at least two pockets in a first direction through a first opening into one of the pockets configured in the shape of a square with rounded corners toward a convex side of a baffle located nearer the first opening than a second opening and out of the one of the pockets through the second opening and creating a first pressure drop in the process
    • and flowing fluid at the set flow rate through the flow-through region of the flow device in a second direction through the second opening into the one of the pockets toward a concave side of the baffle and out of the pocket through the first opening and creating a second pressure drop in the process, the first pressure drop being less than the second pressure drop with no part moving within the first opening, the second opening or the pocket to create the difference in pressure drop.
    • 15. The method of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow of claim 14, further comprising
      • impinging a baffle nearer to the second opening than to the first opening with fluid entering the pocket.
    • 16. The method of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow of claim 14, further comprising
      • splitting fluid flowing through the first opening into two flow paths with the baffle.
    • 17. The method of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow of claim 14, further comprising
      • impinging one end of the concave shaped baffle positioned nearer the second opening with fluid flowing into the pocket through the second opening than the other end of the concave shaped baffle.
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Description

BACKGROUND

Flow control devices in tubular systems are employed for a multitude of purposes. One such purpose, as employed in the hydrocarbon recovery industry, is to equalize production flow across a length of wellbore to more evenly and thoroughly empty multiple reservoirs distributed along the wellbore. Without the inflow control devices, portions of the formation having higher permeability and thus higher flow rates could become depleted of hydrocarbon sooner than other portions of the formation that have lower permeability. Once depleted of hydrocarbon those portions of the formation may begin producing water that needs to be separated from the hydrocarbon at a later time. This separation is a costly and time consuming operation. Although conventional flow control devices serve the purpose for which they were designed; they can create undesirable restrictions to flow in a direction opposite to that of the produced fluids. Such flow restrictions can slow flow rates of treating fluids being pumped therethrough and hinder proper formation treatment in the process. The industry is therefore always receptive to new devices and methods that alleviate such undesirable characteristics of conventional inflow control devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Disclosed herein is a flow device. The device includes a flow-through region comprising at least one stage having a pocket configured to create a first pressure drop across the flow-through region in response to flow through the flow-through region in a first direction and a second pressure drop in response to flow through the flow-through region in a second direction. The first pressure drop is less than the second pressure drop under the same flow rates. The flow device has no moving parts to create the difference in pressure drop between the first direction and the second direction, the pocket has a larger cross sectional flow area than a first opening and a second opening fluidically connected to the pocket and a baffle positioned within the pocket having a “U” shape with a concave side of the baffle facing toward the second opening.

Further disclosed herein is a method of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow. The method includes flowing fluid at a set flow rate through a flow-through region of a flow device in a first direction through a first opening into a pocket toward a convex side of a baffle and out of the pocket through a second opening and creating a first pressure drop in the process. The method also includes flowing fluid at the set flow rate through the flow-through region of the flow device in a second direction through the second opening into the pocket toward a concave side of the baffle and out of the pocket through the first opening and creating a second pressure drop in the process, the first pressure drop is less than the second pressure drop with no part moving within the first opening, the second opening or the pocket to create the difference in pressure drop.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following descriptions should not be considered limiting in any way. With reference to the accompanying drawings, like elements are numbered alike:

FIG. 1 depicts a quarter cross sectional view of a flow device disclosed herein;

FIG. 2 depicts a partial cross sectional view through one of the stages of the flow device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through the stage of FIG. 2 in a first direction;

FIG. 4 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through the stage of FIG. 2 in a second direction;

FIG. 5 depicts a partial cross sectional view through an alternate embodiment of stage disclosed herein;

FIG. 6 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through the stage of FIG. 5 in a first direction;

FIG. 7 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through an alternate stage disclosed herein in a first direction;

FIG. 8 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through the stage of FIG. 7 in a second direction;

FIG. 9 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through the stage of an alternate stage disclosed herein in a second direction;

FIG. 10 depicts a perspective view of a stage disclosed herein with an arrow representing fluid flowing therethrough in a first direction;

FIG. 11 depicts a perspective view of the stage of FIG. 10 with an arrow representing fluid flowing therethrough in a second direction;

FIG. 12 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through an alternate stage disclosed herein in a first direction;

FIG. 13 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through the stage of FIG. 12 in a second direction;

FIG. 14 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through an alternate stage disclosed herein in a first direction; and

FIG. 15 depicts a print out of a computational fluid dynamics analysis of fluid flowing through the stage of FIG. 14 in a second direction.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A detailed description of one or more embodiments of the disclosed apparatus and method are presented herein by way of exemplification and not limitation with reference to the Figures.

Referring to FIG. 1-4, a flow device disclosed herein is illustrated at 10. The flow device 10 includes, a flow-through region 14 having at least one stage 18 (with just one stage being shown in FIG. 2-4) and configured to create a first pressure drop across the flow-through region 14 in response to flow through the flow-through region 14 being in a first direction depicted by arrows 22, and a second pressure drop in response to flow through the flow-through region 14 being in a second direction depicted by arrows 26. The flow device 10 requires no moving parts to create the difference in pressure drop between the first direction and the second direction.

The stage 18, illustrated in the Figures has a pocket 30. A first opening 34 and a second opening 38 fluidically connect the pocket 30 to other pockets 42 and serve as inlets and outlets to the pocket 30. A flow area through the pocket 30 is larger than a flow area through either of the first opening 34 or the second opening 38. Additionally, a flow area of both the first opening 34 and the second opening 38 varies in a direction of fluid flow therethrough. For example, walls 46 of the first opening 34 are tapered such that flow area of the first opening 34 decreases along the direction of arrows 22. Similarly, walls 50 of the second opening 38 are also tapered such that a flow area of the second opening 38 decreases along the direction of arrows 22. As such, the walls 46, 50 are tapered in a same direction relative to flow.

In one embodiment the pocket 30, the first opening 38 and the second opening 38 are positioned within an annular space 56 defined between a first tubular 60 and a second tubular 64. The walls 46, 50 can be formed in either the first tubular 60, the second tubular 64 or on a separate part positioned within the annular space 56. Flow enters and exits the annular space 56 through ports 68 in the first tubular 60 on one longitudinal end 72 and through a screen 76 on an opposing longitudinal end 80 of the annular space 56.

In one embodiment an included angle 54 between the walls 46 and 50 of the openings 34 and 38 respectively measure in a range of about 40 to 90 degrees. Evaluation of the embodiment predicts difference in pressure drop across the flow-through region 14 made of six of these stages 18 in series that is between about 55 and 60 percent less in the first direction than in the second direction, with all other parameters being equal. Some parameters employed during one particular evaluation included a flow rate of 200 barrels per day of oil (1.8 cP, 0.86 SG). It should be noted that by assembling a plurality of the stages 18 in series one can create even greater differences in pressure drop between flow in the first direction and flow in the second direction.

The flow-through region 14 creates the difference in pressure drop between the first direction and the second direction at least in part by accelerating (over a reducing area) and decelerating (over an expanding area) fluid flowing through the openings 34, 38 with the changes in flow area defined by the tapered walls 46, 50.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, an alternate embodiment of a stage employable in the flow-through region 14 of the flow device 10 is illustrated at 118. The stage 118 differs in that a baffle 120 is positioned within a pocket 130 and walls 146 and 150 of a first opening 134 and a second opening 138 respectively, are not tapered but are parallel instead. Although it should be noted that the walls 146, 150 could be tapered (as are the walls 46 and 50) in addition to having the baffle 120. The baffle 120 is positioned nearer to the first opening 134 than the second opening 138 in the pocket 130 and is at least partially aligned with the first opening 134. As such, fluid flowing into the pocket 130 through the first opening 134 impinges against the baffle 120. In one embodiment the baffle 120 is configured such that it divides flow through the pocket 130 into two channels 152A and 152B, one being to either side of the baffle 120. This configuration has shown through computational fluid dynamics simulation to be effective in creating less pressure drop to fluid flowing through the stage 118 in the first direction than in the second direction.

The baffle 120 of one embodiment presents a straight surface 156 that is oriented perpendicular to flow entering the pocket 130 from the first opening 134. In the illustrated embodiment more than half of the baffle 120 overlaps with the first opening 134, although in other embodiments more or less overlap could be employed, as could angles of the baffle 120 relative to the first opening 134.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, an alternate embodiment of a stage employable in the flow-through region 14 of the flow device 10 is illustrated at 218. Like the stage 118 the stage 218 also includes a baffle 220 that is located within a pocket 230 that is nearer to the first opening 134 than the second opening 138. One difference in the stage 218 is a shape of the baffle 220. The baffle 220 is “U” shaped. The concave side of the “U” faces the first opening 134. The baffle 220 splits flow in the first direction of arrows 22 entering through the first opening 134 into two separate flow streams. In contrast, flow that enters the pocket 230 in the second direction of arrows 26 through the second openings 138 does not impinge on the baffle 220 directly and as such is not forced to split. This difference is partially responsible for the lower pressure drop through the stage 218 in the first direction as opposed to the second direction. While the baffle 220 has the specific “U” shape oriented in a specific direction, it should be noted that other embodiments can have different shapes that are oriented differently to present a variety of surfaces that face the first opening 134. For example, the baffle 220 can be oriented such that a convex side or any other side is facing the first opening 134. Alternately, baffles can be employed that are round, oval, polyhedral, or have a zigzagged shape, for example, or even have combinations of two or more of the foregoing.

Referring to FIG. 9, another embodiment of a stage employable in the flow-through region 14 of the flow device 10 is illustrated at 318. The stages 318 do not include a baffle but instead have a first opening 334 that is offset a dimension 328 relative to a second opening 338 in a pocket 330. The offset dimension 328 is greater than an amount of offset in the other embodiments disclosed herein. In fact, the offset dimension 328 is sufficiently large to result in a wall 346 being common with both the first opening 334 and the pocket 330. Similarly, although optionally, a wall 350 also is common with both the second opening 338 and the pocket 330. As such stage 318 is also configured to cause less pressure drop to fluid flowing therethrough in a first direction along arrows 22 than in a second direction along arrows 26.

Referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, another embodiment of a stage employable in the flow-through region 14 of the flow device 10 is illustrated at 418. The stage 418 includes an offset pad 420 positioned adjacent to a first opening 434 that is attached to a surface 440 of a pocket 442 through which fluid flows between the first opening 434 and a second opening 438. Fluid flowing in through the first opening 434 in a direction of arrows 22 is substantially unaltered by the presence of the pad 420 as shown by the arrow 444 in FIG. 10. However flow in a direction of arrows 26 into the pocket 442 through the second opening 438 is altered by the presence of the pad 420. This alteration in flow will likely induce a vortex as depicted by arrow 448 in FIG. 11. The vortex can increase a pressure drop thereby resulting in the stage 418 having a greater pressure drop when fluid flows through the pocket 442 in the direction of arrows 26 than in the direction of arrows 22.

It should be appreciated that in other embodiments an alternate pad could be employed that is not attached to the surface 440 but instead leaves a small clearance therebetween. Similarly, other embodiments could have a pad that spans a thickness of the pocket 442 to essentially attach or abut with the surface 440 as well as a surface positioned opposite the surface 440 of the pocket 442. Alternatively, offset pad 420 may be offset a short distance from first opening 434 as opposed to being adjacent to first opening 434 and still achieve a desirable result.

Referring to FIGS. 12 and 13, an alternate embodiment of a stage employable in the flow-through region 14 of the flow device 10 is illustrated at 518. The stage 518 has similarities to the stage 218 as it includes a “U” shaped baffle 520 within a pocket 530. To avoid being repetitive primarily the differences between the two stages 218 and 518 will be detailed hereunder. The primary differences being the location and position of the baffle 520 within the pocket 530 and the size and shape of the pocket 530. The baffle 520 is positioned substantially symmetrical relative to opposing walls 532 of the pocket 530. The baffle 520 in one embodiment is positioned approximately equidistant from a first opening 534 and a second opening 538 in the pocket 530. Additionally, a concave side of the baffle 520 faces the second opening 538 instead of the first opening 534 as is the case in the stage 218. The stage 518 is in the shape of a square with rounded corners with the openings 534, 548 on opposing sides of the rounded square.

Referring to FIGS. 14 and 15, another alternate embodiment of a stage employable in the flow-through region 14 of the flow device 10 is illustrated at 618. The stage 618 has similarities to the stage 518. The primary differences between the two stages 618 and 518 is that “U” shaped baffles 620 are positioned and oriented within a pocket 630 differently than the baffle 520 within the pocket 530. The baffle 620 is located nearer to a second opening 638 than to a first opening 634 in the pocket 630. Additionally, the baffle 620 is rotated such that a first end 640 of the “U” shape of the baffle 620 is nearer to wall 644 wherein the second opening 638 extends than a second end 648 of the “U” shape of the baffle 620.

Some of the embodiments disclosed herein also exhibit lower pressure drops for certain fluids in comparison to other fluids. One study, for example, shows embodiments of the flow-through region 14 disclosed herein create less pressure drop to oil (having viscosity of 1.8 cP or centipoise and specific gravity of 0.86) than to water (having viscosity of 0.3 cP and specific gravity of 0.96) at a same flow rate of 200 BPM (barrels per minute). In fact, the study showed that some embodiments of the flow-through region 14 generate pressure drops for oil flowing therethrough that are as much as 15% less than for water flowing therethrough with all other parameters being equal.

Although the features of the stages 18, 118, 218, 318, 418, 518, 618 are shown separately, other embodiments can employ any two or more of the features disclosed herein that are compatible within a single embodiment. For example, the tapering of the first opening 34 and the second opening 38 can be included in either of the pockets 530 and 630, and the pads 420 could be employed within the pockets 530 and 630. Analysis has shown that embodiments of the flow device 10 employing one or more of the features in the stages 18, 118, 218, 318, 418, 518, 618 can result in pressure drops in the first direction that are in a range of about 40 to 60 percent of the pressure drop in the second direction all other parameters being equal.

In downhole applications, such as for hydrocarbon recovery for example, the flow device 10 allows an operator to use a plurality of just this one flow device 10 (possibly with some set at different levels of pressure drop differential than others) with no moving parts to inject fluids into an earth formation with very little restriction, while also having sufficient restriction to equalize production flow therethrough in the opposing direction.

While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment or embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the claims. Also, in the drawings and the description, there have been disclosed exemplary embodiments of the invention and, although specific terms may have been employed, they are unless otherwise stated used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention therefore not being so limited. Moreover, the use of the terms first, second, etc. do not denote any order or importance, but rather the terms first, second, etc. are used to distinguish one element from another. Furthermore, the use of the terms a, an, etc. do not denote a limitation of quantity, but rather denote the presence of at least one of the referenced item.

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22.0/100 Score

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Citation

Patents Cited in This Cited by
Title Current Assignee Application Date Publication Date
Flow control device that substantially decreases flow of a fluid when a property of the fluid is in a selected range BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED 03 December 2009 26 March 2013
Flow device and methods of creating different pressure drops based on a direction of flow BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED 02 September 2014 03 March 2016
Fluid flow control device HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC. 10 December 2009 16 June 2011
Method of providing a flow control device that substantially reduces fluid flow between a formation and a wellbore when a selected property of the fluid is in a selected range BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED 03 December 2009 03 September 2013
Bidirectional downhole fluid flow control system and method HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.,FRIPP, MICHAEL, LINLEY,DYKSTRA, JASON, D.,DEJESUS, ORLANDO 06 December 2011 13 June 2013
See full citation <>

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