Patents Examined by Kipp Wallace
  • Patent number: 9845656
    Abstract: A device and method to control the rate of radial expansion of a compressible sealing element on a packer over the longitudinal length of the sealing element. By varying the rate of compression of the element, the rate of radial expansion of the corresponding portions of the element may also be controlled. Additionally, the rate of radial expansion may also be controlled by controlling the direction and amount of radial expansion along the length of the sealing by reinforcing certain portions of the sealing element while decreasing the rigidity of the reinforcement for other portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: Weatherford Technology Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Patrick J. Zimmerman, Charles D. Parker, Michael C. Derby, Brandon C. Goodman
  • Patent number: 9834992
    Abstract: Adjustable drill string housings are described for use in the directional drilling of wellbores, e.g. wellbores for hydrocarbon recovery wells. The adjustable drill string housings permit adjustment of a bend angle in the housings without removing the housings from a wellbore. In some exemplary embodiments, the bend angle can be adjusted by changing the internal stresses in a support member carried by the housings. In other embodiments, the bend angle may be adjusted by causing failure of sacrificial support members carried by the housings, and the failure may be caused by delivering chemicals through a chemical delivery system to the sacrificial support members. Methods of operating the adjustable drill string housings include multi-lateral drilling operations wherein the bend angle is adjusted when a casing window has been detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Inventors: Gustav E. Lange, Fraser Wheeler, Amit Solanki
  • Patent number: 9828839
    Abstract: In one aspect, a device for use in a wellbore includes a tubular body; a barrier member associated with an outer surface of the tubular body configured to retain a proppant; an actuating member associated with the barrier member configured to expand the barrier member in an annular direction; and a fluid channel associated with an upper extent and a lower extent of the barrier member, configured to allow a fluid flow therethrough. In another aspect, a method for completing a multi-zone wellbore, includes deploying a barrier device at a downhole location within the wellbore; expanding a barrier member in an annulus of the wellbore; providing proppant in the annulus of the wellbore; retaining the proppant in the annulus via the barrier member; and providing a fluid flow between an upper extent and a lower extent of the barrier member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Inventors: Geoffrey York Powers, Kelly D. Ireland
  • Patent number: 9828832
    Abstract: A tool string carrying an external tool, such as a liner hanger, on a release mechanism is lowered into the wellbore. Interlocking lugs and J-slot profile, defined between the exterior surface of the mandrel and interior surface of the release mechanism, allow relative movement of release mechanism and mandrel without releasing the release mechanism. The relative movement allows mechanical operation of a valve or other tool positioned below the release mechanism. Weight-down and rotation of the tool string and mandrel actuates the lower valve assembly by turning a sleeve into alignment with cooperating members of the mandrel. The sleeve, no longer constrained, moves longitudinally in response to a biasing mechanism. Movement of the sleeve allows closure of the valve. After actuation of the valve tool, further weight-down releases the release mechanism from the carried tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Inventor: Arthur Stautzenberger
  • Patent number: 9822590
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for testing inductively coupled downhole systems are described. An example inductive coupler assembly for use in a wellbore includes an inductive coupler fixed to a completion in the wellbore, a drill pipe, a portion of which is to be located adjacent to the inductive coupler, and a sleeve surrounding the portion of the drill pipe to reduce a reluctance of a magnetic circuit including the inductive coupler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Inventors: Benoit Deville, Yann Dufour
  • Patent number: 9822776
    Abstract: Various methods for detecting and accounting for the effects of half-stroking by a pump are provided. In one embodiment, a method includes operating a pump of a downhole tool to pump fluid from a formation through the downhole tool and determining pressure differentials between a formation pressure and pressure of the fluid within the downhole tool. The pressure differentials for each of a forward stroke and reverse stroke of the pump can be summed and then compared to enable identification of onset of half-stroking by the pump. Additional systems, devices, and methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Inventor: Julian Pop
  • Patent number: 9822601
    Abstract: A system includes a setting tool configured to set a sealing assembly within an annular space between a hanger and a wellhead. The setting tool comprises an outer annular sleeve and an inner annular sleeve disposed radially inward of the outer annular sleeve. The inner annular sleeve includes a flexible finger configured to removably couple the setting tool to the sealing assembly. The setting tool includes a shear pin extending between the outer annular sleeve and the inner annular sleeve. The shear pin is configured to break in response to axial compression of the setting tool to enable the outer annular sleeve to move axially relative to the inner annular sleeve, and the outer annular sleeve is configured to interact with the sealing assembly to set the sealing assembly within the annular space via axial movement of the outer annular sleeve relative to the inner axial sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Dennis P. Nguyen, Kristin Vorderkunz, Frank Z. Pei
  • Patent number: 9822629
    Abstract: Casing removal operations may utilize an analytical model to the estimate the total force to (1) break bonding between a cut casing and the annular materials contained between the cut casing and the surrounding borehole and (2) pull the cut casing upward through the borehole while taking into account frictional forces inside and outside the cut casing, shear forces, and the like. Such models may further predict the casing overpull and total tension needed to extract the cut casing from the borehole. Using these models in conjunction with the specifications of the casing retrieval equipment may allow for determining the cutting depth for producing the cut casing with higher accuracy than previously available.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Inventors: Fnu Suparman, Philip Edmund Fox, Gary James Frisch
  • Patent number: 9816326
    Abstract: A connection assembly, system and method for connecting components of a wellsite are provided. The wellsite has a wellbore extending into a subsurface formation, the connection assembly includes a female connector having a cavity extending therein, a floating cartridge having, and a male connector. The female connector or floating cartridge is operatively connectable to a first of the components. The floating cartridge is operatively connectable to the female connector and laterally movable therein. The male connector is receivable in the cavity and is operatively connectable to the second of the components and the floating cartridge such that the male connector and the female connector are movably positionable relative to each other by the floating cartridge whereby a misalignment between the wellsite components is tolerated. The male connector may have a joint pivotally connectable to the floating cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: National Oilwell Varco, L.P.
    Inventors: Travis James Miller, Kent Allen Grebing, Michael Edwin Pollard, Frank Benjamin Springett
  • Patent number: 9816549
    Abstract: Various embodiments relate to a bearing assembly including a support ring configured to reduce thermal warping under operational temperature conditions, a bearing apparatus that may utilize such a thrust-bearing assembly, and applications that incorporate the disclosed bearing apparatuses such as downhole motors in subterranean drilling systems, directional drilling systems, and many other apparatuses. In an embodiment, a bearing assembly includes a plurality of superhard bearing elements distributed circumferentially about an axis. The thrust-bearing assembly further includes a support ring having the plurality of superhard bearing elements mounted thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Inventors: Timothy N. Sexton, Craig H. Cooley
  • Patent number: 9803434
    Abstract: A well lift frame, clamp assembly therefor, and method for handling well equipment is disclosed. In an embodiment, the lift frame includes a frame, a vertical slot forming an opening in a side of the frame, and a clamping assembly mounted to the side of the frame near the opening. The clamping assembly may include a linkage assembly arranged so as to travel along an arcuate path between a disengaged position, in which the clamping assembly is substantially clear of the opening, and an engaged position in which the clamping assembly at least substantially covers a horizontal extent of the opening. The linkage assembly may define a four-bar linkage mechanism. The clamping assembly may also include an actuator coupled to the linkage assembly so as to selectively position the linkage assembly, and a shoe carried by the linkage assembly for contacting and clamping equipment within the vertical slot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: Stingray Offshore Solutions, LLC
    Inventor: Matthew S. Elliott
  • Patent number: 9797205
    Abstract: A collapsible wiring conduit can provide an extendable and retractable wired connection between moving components in a downhole tool, such as components moved relative to one another by a linear actuator. The collapsible wiring conduit can include links, hinges, stoppers, and wiring. The hinges can couple the links to one another. The links can be coupled end to end by the hinges. The stoppers can prevent the hinges from opening to or beyond a predetermined amount, such as preventing the hinges from opening to a 180-degree orientation. The wiring can be routed from link to link along the collapsible wiring conduit. In some aspects, the hinges are hollow, and the wiring is routed from link to link through the hollow hinges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Inventor: Shao Hwa Lee
  • Patent number: 9797216
    Abstract: A blowout preventer comprising: a body comprising a bore therethrough; a cavity disposed through the body and intersecting the bore; first and second closure members moveably disposed within the cavity on opposite sides of the bore; a first rod having a length and comprising a first end coupled to the first closure member; a second rod having a length and comprising a first end coupled to the second closure member; a first glider assembly wherein a second end of the first rod is at least partially disposed within the first glider assembly; and a second glider assembly wherein a second end of the second rod is at least partially disposed within the second glider assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Inventors: Wilfredo Rosa, Curtis Len Wilie
  • Patent number: 9797215
    Abstract: A wellhead assembly includes an outer tubular wellhead member and an inner tubular wellhead member with a seal pocket between them. A seal ring is located in the seal pocket. An annular energizing ring urges the seal ring into sealing engagement with the outer tubular wellhead member and the inner tubular wellhead member. A recess is located on an outer diameter of the annular energizing ring or a radially inner diameter of the seal ring, and a ratcheted retainer is on the other. A ratchet clip with a clip profile is located within the recess. The recess and the ratchet clip extend less than a full circumferential distance around the outer diameter of the annular energizing ring or the radially inner diameter of the seal ring. A retainer profile on the ratcheted retainer selectively engages with the clip profile of the ratchet clip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: VETCO GRAY INC.
    Inventors: David Lawrence Ford, Daniel Ralph Barnhart, Daniel Caleb Benson
  • Patent number: 9784089
    Abstract: Methods and systems for drilling to a target location include a control system that receives an input comprising a planned drilling path to a target location and determines a projected location of a bottom hole assembly of a drilling system. The projected location of the bottom hole assembly is compared to the planned drilling path to determine a deviation amount. A modified drilling path is created to the target location as selected based on the amount of deviation from the planned drilling path, and drilling rig control signals that steer the bottom hole assembly of the drilling system to the target location along the modified drilling path are generated to intersect the planned drilling path if the amount of deviation from the planned path exceeds a first threshold amount of deviation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Inventors: Scott Gilbert Boone, Brian Ellis, Colin Gillan, Beat K├╝ttel
  • Patent number: 9771787
    Abstract: Embodiments of a downhole drilling assembly generally include a rotatable lower drilling assembly, a rotatable upper drilling assembly, and a drill bit, wherein the upper drilling assembly contains a mud motor adapted for clockwise rotation of its stator and counter-clockwise rotation of its rotor, whereby the lower drilling assembly is rotatable in the opposite direction of the upper drilling assembly or maintainable in a non-rotating state. The apparatus further includes sensors adapted to continuously measure physical properties and/or drilling parameters and a mechanism for continuously transmitting information relating thereto to the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Inventor: Gary Smith
  • Patent number: 9765575
    Abstract: A bulkhead connector assembly for assembly within a downhole tool to isolate a dry side of the downhole tool from a fluid side of the downhole tool and to allow electrical communication therebetween. The bulkhead connector assembly comprises a bulkhead comprising holes extending therethrough, wherein the bulkhead is adapted to form a fluid seal against an inside surface of the downhole tool. Terminals extend through the bulkhead, wherein an end of each terminal is in electrical communication with one of a plurality of electrical wires. Boots each extend about the end of a corresponding one of the terminals. A retaining block has holes each receiving one of the boots. A housing positioned around the retaining block is coupled to the bulkhead, thus positionally fixing the retaining block relative to the bulkhead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: Impact Selector International, LLC
    Inventors: Jason Allen Hradecky, John Hall
  • Patent number: 9759031
    Abstract: A method of freeing a pipe stuck in a subterranean well can include determining a location of a portion of the pipe stuck in the well, and penetrating and/or heating a sidewall of the pipe portion with a beam of light. A system for freeing a pipe stuck in a subterranean well can include a tool deployed into a portion of the pipe stuck in the well by a differential pressure from a wellbore to a formation penetrated by the wellbore. A beam of light emitted from the tool penetrates the pipe portion. Another method of freeing a pipe stuck in a subterranean well can include determining a location of a portion of the pipe which is biased against a wall of a wellbore by differential pressure, and directing a beam of light to the pipe portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Emad Bakri, Malcolm E. Whittaker, Neal G. Skinner
  • Patent number: 9752403
    Abstract: An apparatus for remediating water wells comprises a plurality of retractable cutting blades suitable for cutting openings in a well casing. The retractable cutting blades and corresponding drive mechanism are organized to be lowered through a well casing. At certain depths, the retractable blades are extended to cut openings in the well casing. The apparatus also includes inflatable retention elements both above and below the retractable blades to create a fluid seal within the well casing. A solidifying, waterproof slurry is injected to flow through the openings via a slurry delivery mechanism, and thereby create a waterproof barrier outside the well casing at the level of a waterproof confining soil layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Inventor: Robert J. Frey
  • Patent number: 9745821
    Abstract: A method of controlling fluid flow between two tubulars includes disposing a sealing member in an annular area between two tubulars, wherein the two tubulars partially overlap; moving the sealing member to a lower position where it is not in contact with one of the tubulars, thereby allowing fluid flow through the annular area; and moving the sealing member to an upper position where it is in contact with both of the tubulars, thereby preventing fluid flow through the annular area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Inventors: Eric M. Twardowski, Albert C. Odell, II, Tuong Thanh Le