(11)EP 2 029 955 B1


(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
26.04.2017 Bulletin 2017/17

(21)Application number: 07870697.5

(22)Date of filing:  23.05.2007
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F42B 1/032(2006.01)
E21B 43/117(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
(87)International publication number:
WO 2008/066572 (05.06.2008 Gazette  2008/23)





(84)Designated Contracting States:

(30)Priority: 26.05.2006 US 809004 P
24.04.2007 US 789310

(43)Date of publication of application:
04.03.2009 Bulletin 2009/10

Houston TX 77210-4740 (US)

  • EVANS, Randy L.
    Sugar Land, TX 77478 (US)
  • HILL, Freeman L.
    Houston, TX 77065 (US)
  • HETZ, Avigdor
    Houston, TX 77096 (US)
  • HONEKAMP, Jeffrey
    Tomball, TX 77375 (US)

(74)Representative: BRP Renaud & Partner mbB Rechtsanwälte Patentanwälte Steuerberater 
Königstraße 28
70173 Stuttgart
70173 Stuttgart (DE)

(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 1 348 683
DE-A- 10 224 503
US-A- 3 237 559
US-A1- 2005 011 395
US-A- 3 235 005
US-A- 3 675 575
US-A1- 2005 211 467
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).



    [0001] The invention relates generally to the field of oil and gas production. More specifically, the present invention relates to a shaped charge system and/or gun body. Yet more specifically, the present invention relates to a perforating gun system that after detonation of its associated shaped charges minimizes wellbore gun fragments produced during well perforations. Also the gun system could be designed to disappear upon initiation, doing away with retrieval operations of hardware left downhole.


    [0002] Perforating systems are used for the purpose, among others, of making hydraulic communication passages, called perforations, in wellbores drilled through earth formations so that predetermined zones of the earth formations can be hydraulically connected to the wellbore. Perforations are needed because wellbores are typically completed by coaxially inserting a pipe or casing into the wellbore, and the casing is retained in the wellbore by pumping cement into the annular space between the wellbore and the casing. The cemented casing is provided in the wellbore for the specific purpose of hydraulically isolating from each other the various earth formations penetrated by the wellbore. As is known, hydrocarbon bearing strata, such as reservoirs, exist within these formations. The wellbores typically intersect these reservoirs.

    [0003] Perforating systems typically comprise one or more perforating guns strung together, these strings of guns can sometimes surpass a thousand feet of perforating length. Included with the perforating guns are shaped charges that typically include a charge case, a liner, and a quantity of high explosive inserted between the liner and the charge case. When the high explosive is detonated, the force of the detonation collapses the liner and ejects it from one end of the charge at very high velocity in a pattern called a "jet". The jet penetrates the casing, the cement and a quantity of the formation.

    [0004] Due to the high force caused by the explosive, the shaped charge and its associated components often shatter into many fragments, some that can exit the perforating gun into the fluids within the wellbore. These fragments can clog as well as damage devices such as chokes and manifolds thereby restricting the flow of fluids through these devices and possibly hampering the amount of hydrocarbons produced from the particular wellbore.

    [0005] WO 2005/035939 A1 discloses a shaped charge comprising a charge case, a liner and a main body of explosive disposed between the charge case and liner. An energetic material forms the charge case and the liner, such that upon detonation the charge case and the liner may be consumed by the reaction to reduce the likelihood of the formation of fragments. For example the energetic material is a stoichiometric mixture of at least two metals which are capable upon activation to produce an intermetallic product and heat.

    [0006] DE 102 24 503 A1, which forms a starting point for the preamble of independent claim 1, a shaped charge comprising a charge case, a liner and a main body of explosive disposed between the charge case and liner. The charge case is made of a plastic or energetic material which is combustible such that upon detonation of the shaped charge, the charge case does not leave any debris. The plastics include Nylon, PEEK, Polymide, Polysulfone, PVC, Polyethylen, Phenolic, Polypropylene or any other plastic possessing adequate thermal stability for use at the desired operating temperatures. In one embodiment paper is used.

    [0007] US 3 235 005 A discloses a shaped charge comprising a charge case, a liner and a main body of explosive disposed between the charge case and liner. The liner is made of titanium to create a highly exothermic reaction upon detonation of the charge.

    [0008] The problem underlying the invention is to provide a shaped charge and a perforating system for conducting perforating operations that can significantly reduce fragmentation associated with perforating and thus minimize debris.

    [0009] This problem is solved by a shaped charge comprising the features of claim 1. A perforating system comprising the shaped charge of the present invention and a gun body is claimed in claim 3. In a preferred embodiment of the perforating system the gun body comprises energetic material.



    Figure 1 depicts a perspective cross sectional view of an embodiment of a charge carrier.

    Figure 2 illustrates a partial cross sectional view of an embodiment of a perforating system.


    [0011] With reference to the drawings herein, Figure 1 depicts a cross sectional view of an embodiment of the present invention in a side aspect. As shown, this embodiment is a shaped charge 10 comprising a charge case 1, a liner 5, explosive 2, an initiator 4, and an optional covering 6. In the embodiment, the material for the charge case 1 and the liner 5 could comprise a reactive energetic material that changes its state from a solid material to a substantially vapor phase composition. The reaction of the energetic material (i.e. its change of state) can be induced subsequent to activation of the shaped charge 10. Initiation of the energetic material reaction may be accomplished by the activation of the shaped charge 10, or by a separate initiating event. It should however occur subsequent to the activation of shaped charge 10. It should be pointed out that the energetic material could have its change of state simultaneous to activation of the shaped charge 10 or at some time after that. The effect of the shaped charge detonation produces temperature and pressure changes that in turn initiate the reactive change of state of the material.

    [0012] The material may comprise an exothermic reactive material such as an oxidizer or propellant. Examples of such exothermic reactive materials include ammonium perchlorate and potassium perchlorate, among others, as well as combinations of such compounds. The reaction of the material due to the shaped charge detonation effectively vaporizes the energetic material after the shaped charge detonation thereby eliminating the presence of post explosion debris from the components of the shaped charge 10.

    [0013] Optionally, additives can be included with the energetic material, these include tungsten, magnesium, cement particles, rubber compounds, compound fibers, KEVLAR®, steel, steel alloys, zinc, and combinations thereof. Such additives can desensitize the energetic material to prevent an unplanned reaction of the material. Additionally, desensitizing additives can slow the rate of reaction of the state change of the energetic material thereby reducing localized pressure buildup during vaporization. These additives can also add strength to the energetic material. Desensitizing the material can be especially useful when the final product (i.e. the liner or charge case) is subjected to an environment that might promote early initiation of the material, such as high shock and or vibration, or an event that introduces excess temperature and/or pressure onto the material. Strength of material is important when the energetic material is used to form the shaped charge case 1.

    [0014] Currently oxidizers are used in the production of subterranean hydrocarbons to create pressure in a hydrocarbon producing wellbore. Such an increase in pressure can be useful for stimulating a hydrocarbon bearing reservoir intersected by the wellbore. These oxidizers are usually in the form of a tube that is exposed to the wellbore and set off with a ballistic action that breaks up the material and burns which creates pressure in the wellbore.

    [0015] With reference now to Figure 2, an application of the device herein disclosed is provided. Figure 2 provides a perforating system 20 disposed by wireline 15 in a wellbore 17, wherein the wellbore 17 intersects a subterranean formation 9. It should be pointed out however that the perforating system 20 is not limited to being disposed on a wireline, it may also be deployed on tubing, such as tubing conveyed perforation, or any other now known or later developed manner of deploying and/or controlling a perforating system. Moreover, the method of operating is not limited to a particular manner, and can include firing under pressure as well as firing heads. As shown, the perforating system 20 comprises individual perforating guns 22 assembled into a gun string. Apertures 26 are formed onto the body of the guns 22 for receiving shaped charges therein, such as the shaped charge of the present disclosure. Detonation of the shaped charges can be initiated from the surface 7 by a signal via the wireline 15 ultimately to the shaped charges. Upon detonation of the shaped charges, jets 24 are formed that extend into the formation 9. In addition to the shaped charge and liner, the other elements of the perforating system 20 may be comprised of the energetic material that changes form subsequent to detonation of the shaped charges. The other elements of the perforating system 20 that may be formed from the energetic material include the gun body, any connection subs that connect adjacent gun bodies, gun tubes, and any other material that may comprise a component of a perforating system.

    [0016] The present invention described herein, therefore, is well adapted to carry out the objects and attain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as others inherent therein. While a presently preferred embodiment of the invention has been given for purposes of disclosure, numerous changes exist in the details of procedures for accomplishing the desired results. For example, the invention described herein is applicable to any shaped charge phasing as well as any density of shaped charge. Moreover, the invention can be utilized with any size of perforating gun. It also should be pointed out that the apparatus herein disclosed is not limited to a shaped charge for use with a perforating gun, but can also include any type of ballistics shaped charge - such as those shaped charges used in weaponry and ordinance related technology. These and other similar modifications will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art, and are intended to be encompassed within the scope of the appended claims.


    1. A shaped charge comprising:

    - charge case (1);

    - a liner (5); and

    - a main body of explosive (2) disposed between the charge case (1) and the liner (5),

    - an energetic material forming the charge case (1) and liner (5), and

    - the energetic material being selected from the list consisting of a propellant, an oxidizer, and a combination thereof, ammonium perchlorate and potassium perchlorate or a combination thereof, so that when the energetic material is initiated, the state of the energetic material changes from a solid material to a substantially vapor phase composition

    characterized in that

    - tungsten and cement particles are added to the energetic material.

    2. The shaped charge of claim 1, further comprising a perforating system (20) coupled with the shaped charge (10).
    3. A perforating system comprising:

    - a gun body; and

    - a shaped charge (10) according to one of the claims 1 to 3.

    4. The perforating system of claim 3, wherein the gun body comprises the energetic material.


    1. Eine Hohlladung, Folgendes beinhaltend:

    - einen Ladungsmantel (1);

    - eine Einlage (5); und

    - einen Hauptsprengstoffkörper (2), angeordnet zwischen dem Ladungsmantel (1) und der Einlage (5),

    - ein energetisches Material, welches Ladungsmantel (1) und Einlage (5) bildet, und

    - wobei das energetische Material aus der Liste, beinhaltend einen Treibstoff, ein Oxidationsmittel und eine Kombination hieraus, Ammoniumperchlorat und Kaliumperchlorat oder eine Kombination hieraus, gewählt wird, so dass, wenn das Material initiiert ist, der Zustand des energetischen Materials sich von einem festen Material im Wesentlichen zu einer Dampfphasenzusammensetzung ändert,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    - Wolfram- und Zementpartikel zum energetischen Material hinzugefügt werden.

    2. Hohlladung nach Anspruch 1, weiterhin beinhaltend ein mit der Hohlladung (10) gekoppeltes Perforierungssystem (20).
    3. Perforierungssystem, Folgendes beinhaltend:

    - einen Pistolenkörper und

    - eine Hohlladung (10) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3.

    4. Perforierungssystem nach Anspruch 3, bei welchem der Pistolenkörper das energetische Material beinhaltet.


    1. Charge façonnée, comprenant :

    - un boîtier de charge (1) ;

    - une garniture (5) ; et

    - un corps principal d'explosif (2) agencé entre le boîtier de la charge (1) et la garniture (5) ;

    - un matériau énergétique formant le boîtier de la charge (1) et la garniture (5),

    - le matériau énergétique étant sélectionné de la liste constituée d'un agent propulseur, d'un comburant et d'une combinaison de ceux-ci, de perchlorate d'ammonium et de potassium ou d'une combinaison de ceux-ci, de sorte que lorsque le matériau énergétique est initié, l'état du matériau énergétique passe d'un matériau solide vers une composition sensiblement en phase vapeur ;

    caractérisée en ce que :

    - des particules de tungstène et de ciment sont ajoutées au matériau énergétique.

    2. Charge façonnée selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un système de perforation (20) couplé à la charge façonnée (10).
    3. Système de perforation, comprenant :

    - un corps de pistolet ; et

    - une charge façonnée (10) selon l'une des revendications 1 à 3.

    4. Système de perforation selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le corps de pistolet comprend le matériau énergétique.


    Cited references


    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description