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Hydrocarbon extraction well and a method of construction thereof / General Electric Company




Hydrocarbon extraction well and a method of construction thereof


A method for forming a leg junction in a well is provided. The method includes drilling a vertical leg upto a first predetermined depth to form a well bore. The method also includes underreaming the vertical leg at a junction location in the vertical leg to form a first junction section. The method further includes infusing a binding material in the first junction section. The method also includes drilling a lateral leg upto a first predetermined distance through a sidewall...



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USPTO Applicaton #: #20170022761
Inventors: Mahendra L. Joshi, Xuele Qi, Raymond Patrick Murphy, Dewey Lavonne Parkey, Jr.


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20170022761, Hydrocarbon extraction well and a method of construction thereof.


CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

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This application claims the priority and benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/195,814 entitled “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR WELL PARTITION AND DOWNHOLE SEPARATION OF WELL FLUIDS” filed on Jul. 23, 2015, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

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Embodiments of the present invention relate generally to wells, and more particularly to a hydrocarbon extraction well and a method of construction thereof

Non-renewable hydrocarbon fluids such as oil and gas are used widely in various applications for generating energy. Such hydrocarbon fluids are present below the surface of earth. The hydrocarbon fluids are extracted from the hydrocarbon extraction wells which extend below the surface of earth. However, the hydrocarbon fluids in their natural form are not available in a purified form and are available as a mixture of hydrocarbon fluids, water, sand, and other particulate matter together referred to as well fluid. Such well fluids are filtered using different mechanisms to extract hydrocarbon rich stream and a water stream.

Furthermore, different kinds of wells may be used to extract the hydrocarbon rich stream based on a geographical location of the hydrocarbon extraction well. In one approach, the well fluids are extracted to the surface of the earth and are separated at the surface of the earth, using a surface separator. The water separated from the well fluids is disposed at a certified central water disposal location. However, such an approach increases risk of seismic activity in the geographical location.

In another approach, the well fluids are separated within the well, using a downhole separator. The water stream separated from the hydrocarbon rich stream, is disposed within the same well. However, in such approaches, well fluids loose flow pressure over a period of time, which reduces life of the hydrocarbon extraction well. Moreover, in some approaches, the well may include lateral legs which may aid in maintaining the flow pressure of the well fluids. In such configurations, the downhole separator is installed at a junction between the vertical leg and the lateral leg, which may affect structural integrity of the well.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Briefly, in accordance with one embodiment, a method for forming a leg junction in a well is provided. The method includes drilling a vertical leg upto a first predetermined depth to form a well bore. The method also includes underreaming the vertical leg at a junction location in the vertical leg to form a first junction section. The method further includes infusing a binding material in the first junction section. The method also includes drilling a lateral leg upto a first predetermined distance through a sidewall of the first junction section. The method further includes underreaming the lateral leg through the sidewall of the first junction section to form a second junction section. The method also includes infusing the binding material in the first junction section and the second junction section to form the leg junction between the vertical leg and the lateral leg.

In another embodiment, a well is provided. The well includes a vertical leg and one or more lateral legs in fluid communication with the vertical leg. The well also includes one or more leg junctions formed using a binding material, wherein the one or more lateral legs are connected to the vertical leg at one or more leg junctions.

DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood when the following detailed description is read with reference to the accompanying drawings in which like characters represent like parts throughout the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a well in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of a well in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart representing steps involved in a method for forming a leg junction in a well in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a schematic representation of a step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of another step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a schematic representation of yet another step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a schematic representation of another step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a schematic representation of yet another step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a schematic representation of another step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a schematic representation of yet another step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a schematic representation of another step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 12 is a schematic representation of yet another step performed in a method for constructing the well of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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Embodiments of the present invention disclose a well and a method for constructing the well. The method includes drilling a vertical leg to a predetermined depth to form a well bore. The method also includes underreaming the vertical leg at a junction location in the vertical leg to form a first junction section. The method further includes infusing a binding material in the first junction section. The method also includes drilling a lateral leg upto a predetermined distance through a sidewall of the first junction section. The method further includes underreaming the lateral leg through the sidewall of the first junction section to form a second junction section. The method also includes infusing the binding material in the first junction section and the second junction section to form a leg junction between the vertical leg and the lateral leg.

FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a well 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The well 10 includes a vertical leg 90 and a lateral leg 118 in fluid communication with the vertical leg 90. The lateral leg 118 is connected to the vertical leg 90 via a leg junction 98. The leg junction 98 includes a first junction section 102 and a second junction section 126. The leg junction 98 is formed using a binding material 108 to provide additional structural integrity at a joint portion between the vertical leg 90 and the lateral leg 118.

In the illustrated embodiment, the lateral leg 118 includes a liner 138 which extends laterally from the second junction section 126. The lateral leg 118 is located in a production zone 100. The lateral leg 118 includes a plurality of perforations (not shown) which are configured to allow well fluids 140 from the production zone 100 to enter the lateral leg 118. In one embodiment, the well fluids 140 include a mixture of oil, water, and sand. A separator 142, for example, a downhole separator, is located at the leg junction 98 in the vertical leg 90. The separator 142 is configured to separate the well fluids 140 into a hydrocarbon rich stream 144 and water 146. In one embodiment, the separator 142 may include a centrifugal separator or a cyclonic separator. An electrical submersible pump 148 is located above the leg junction 98, in the vertical leg 90. The electrical submersible pump 148 is configured to transfer the hydrocarbon rich stream 144 to a surface 150 of earth.

Further, the leg junction 98 includes a first isolation packer 152 disposed at a first end 154 and a second isolation packer 156 disposed at a second end 158. As used herein, “isolation packer” may be defined as a sealing device, which is used to isolate different sections of the well. The electrical submersible pump 148 is disposed above the first isolation packer 152 of the leg junction 98. The vertical leg 90 is connected to a centralized subterranean water disposal zone 114. The water 146 which is separated from the well fluids 140, is disposed in the centralized subterranean water disposal zone 114 via the vertical leg 90.

FIG. 2 is a schematic representation 170 of another embodiment of a well 172 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The well 172 includes a vertical leg 174 and a plurality of lateral legs 176 in fluid communication with the vertical leg 174. Each of the plurality of lateral legs 176 is connected to the vertical leg 174 at corresponding leg junctions 178. In such embodiments, at least one of the plurality of lateral legs 176 is a production leg 180 which is configured to receive well fluids from a production zone 182. Furthermore, at least one of remaining lateral legs is a disposal leg 186, which is used for disposing the water separated from the well fluids. In one embodiment, a first lateral leg in the plurality of lateral legs 176 may be a production leg 180 and a second lateral leg in the plurality of lateral legs 176 may be a disposal leg 186. In another example, a first lateral leg may be a production leg and a second lateral leg, a third lateral leg, and a fourth lateral leg may be disposal legs. The second lateral leg, the third lateral leg, and the fourth lateral leg may be distributed at different locations in a disposal zone 188 to provide a distributed disposal of water separated from the well fluids.




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20170022761 A1
Publish Date
01/26/2017
Document #
14968292
File Date
12/14/2015
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
13


Hydrocarbon Hydrocarbon Extraction

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20170126|20170022761|hydrocarbon extraction well and a construction thereof|A method for forming a leg junction in a well is provided. The method includes drilling a vertical leg upto a first predetermined depth to form a well bore. The method also includes underreaming the vertical leg at a junction location in the vertical leg to form a first junction |General-Electric-Company
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