(19)
(11)EP 2 753 780 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
20.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/21

(21)Application number: 12778367.8

(22)Date of filing:  07.09.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
E21B 17/22  (2006.01)
E21B 17/10  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/GB2012/052200
(87)International publication number:
WO 2013/034919 (14.03.2013 Gazette  2013/11)

(54)

DRILL STRING TUBULAR COMPONENT

ROHRFÖRMIGES BAUTEIL EINES BOHRSTRANGS

COMPOSANT TUBULAIRE DE TRAIN DE TIGES DE FORAGE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 07.09.2011 GB 201115459

(43)Date of publication of application:
16.07.2014 Bulletin 2014/29

(73)Proprietor: NXG Technologies Limited
Aberdeen AB12 3LY (GB)

(72)Inventor:
  • MACHOCKI, Krzysztof
    Aberdeen Aberdeenshire AB24 2TE (GB)

(74)Representative: Boult Wade Tennant LLP 
Salisbury Square House 8 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8AP
London EC4Y 8AP (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
GB-A- 2 473 094
US-A1- 2010 186 962
  
      
    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).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to apparatus and a method for mobilising drill cuttings in a wellbore.

    [0002] In wellbore drilling, a cutting bit is mounted on the end of a drill string comprising lengths of pipe joined end to end. The drill string is typically rotated as a whole from the surface rig to provide the rotation for the bit to cut into the formation. During the drilling process, fragments of rock and earth (drill cuttings) are generated as the bit cuts into the formation. These drill cuttings need to be removed from the interface between the bit and the formation, and transported back to the surface. This is typically achieved by pumping drilling fluid down through the inner hollow bore of the drill string, out through the drill bit and back up the annulus between the string and the hole, suspending the cuttings in the fluid flow, and carrying them away from the drill bit and back to surface, and at the same time lubricating and cooling the drill bit as it cuts into the formation. Settling of drill cuttings out of suspension during their upward transport in the annulus is typically problematic, as this can impede the movement of the drill string and therefore slow or stop the drilling process. This is particularly problematic in deviated wells and in directional drilling operations where the wellbore extends horizontally rather than vertically, and long horizontal sections of thousands of feet in length are common, which suffer from the cuttings tending to settle and accumulate in cuttings beds on the lower side of the wellbore.

    [0003] Existing measures to keep cuttings in suspension include various designs of impeller attached to the outer surface of the drill string, which rotate with the drill string, and keep the cuttings in suspension.

    [0004] GB 2 473 094 A discloses a rotating drill string sub to redistribute well bore drill cuttings into the drilling fluid flow stream.

    [0005] US 2010/186962 A1 discloses a spring loaded downhole tool for cleaning well casing bores.

    [0006] According to the present invention there is provided a drill string tubular component according to claim 1.

    [0007] Typically the radial impeller can comprise more than one radial projection. In certain embodiments with more than one radial projection, the radial projections can be spaced circumferentially around the axis of the tubular component.

    [0008] Each axial impeller comprises more than one radial projection, e.g. 2, 3, 4 or more radial projections are provided on each axial impeller. The radial projections are spaced circumferentially around the axis of the tubular component, typically aligned with one another at the same axial location along the axis of the tubular component.

    [0009] Each of the plurality of radial projections of the first and second axial impellers have a helical part extending helically around the tubular component. Typically, the helical parts of the plurality of radial projections of the first and second axial impellers are aligned with one another at the same axial location along the axis of the tubular component.

    [0010] The helical components of the first and second axial impellers may extend in respective opposite directions. For example, the helical components on the first axial impeller can extend clockwise, and those on the second axial impeller can extend anti-clockwise, or vice versa.

    [0011] The invention also provides a method of mobilising drill cuttings according to claim 13.

    [0012] The radial impeller can optionally have a ramp.

    [0013] Fluids flowing axially up the annular area between the drill string and the wellbore typically encounter the ramp and are diverted by the ramp radially away from the outer surface of the tubular component. Diverting the fluids radially outward from the outer surface of the tubular component typically moves the fluids into a region of the annulus with more turbulent and/or faster flow. Drill cuttings present in the fluids passing the ramp are therefore also diverted into the turbulent flow regions and their tendency to settle out of suspension is thereby reduced.

    [0014] Typically the axial impellers urge the fluid toward the radial impeller for diversion in a radial direction away from the axis of the tubular component.

    [0015] The radial impeller has at least one radial projection (also known as a blade) that extends radially from a root radially close to the outer surface of the tubular component to a typically flat outer edge that is radially spaced from the axis of the tubular. The flat outer edge typically has a larger diameter than the root. Optionally more than one blade can be provided. The blade(s) typically define fluid flow channels, typically between adjacent blades, adapted to guide flow of fluids in the annulus between the tubular and the wellbore.

    [0016] The blade(s) of the radial impeller are typically aligned with the axis of the tubular, and are typically straight. The channels are also typically aligned with the axis of the tubular and the blades, and are also straight. The floor of the channels typically merges into the radially extending walls of the blades.

    [0017] The side walls of the blades can optionally be composed of flat surfaces near to the outer face, typically extending generally perpendicular to the axis of the tubular. The sides of the blades at the root of each blade and the transition between the blade and the floor of the channel can optionally comprise an arcuate surface that extends between the generally perpendicular sides of the blades and the floor of the channel, thereby creating a circumferentially facing ramp, typically extending generally perpendicularly with respect to the blades. Typically the ramps on each side of the channel face one another, and optionally face the direction of rotation. Typically fluid passing through the channels between the blades is urged up the ramps in a radial direction by the rotation of the radial impeller along with the rotating drill string to which the tubular is attached, and is thus diverted radially outwards from the axis of the tubular.

    [0018] Typically the blade can have ramped surfaces on its side faces. Optionally the blade can have ramped surfaces on its uphole and downhole axial faces in addition to or instead of the circumferentially extending side ramps.

    [0019] Ramps typically have a tapered profile, with a first end having a low radius region close to the nominal outer diameter of the tubular component at that point, so that at the first end, the ramp does not deflect the fluids radially in the annulus, but permits substantially unhindered upward axial fluid flow of all of the fluids flowing up the annulus and onto the ramp. The second end of the ramp typically has a larger diameter than the first end, sufficient to divert the fluids flowing past or over the ramp (typically parallel to the axis of the tubular) radially outward from the axis of the tubular into a region of the annulus that has more turbulent flow than the region of the annulus immediately radially adjacent to the outer surface of the tubular. The second end can have different radial dimensions, dependent on the available annular spacing between the tubular component and the wellbore, which the skilled person will appreciate will be different in various situations, but typically, the ramp has a sufficient radial dimension to be effective to deflect substantially all of the fluids flowing past the ramp into the outer annular spacing between the tubular and the wellbore.

    [0020] Between the first and second ends of the ramp the diameter of the ramp typically increases gradually. The increase in diameter between the ends of the ramp can be linear or stepped, but it is especially advantageous if the surface of the ramp is a smooth curve rather than a series of steps or a straight line, as the fluid flowing up the ramp is then accelerated radially outward with the highest available energy and is therefore mostly diverted out of the low radius region close to the surface of the tubular, which generally experiences more laminar flow, and into the high flow rate and high turbulence high radius region of the annulus. The ramp surface can be straight or curved.

    [0021] The ramp surface can have different angles. The ramp can have a shallow angle at its first end, and a steeper angle at its second end, in order to scoop most of the fluids and start urging them radially before increasing the radial thrust applied to the fluids nearer to the second end of the ramp. The transition between the shallow lead in angle of the ramp at the downhole lower end of the ramp and the steeper angle at the uphole end can be a smooth curve or can be an abrupt change in angle occurring at a particular axial point on the ramp, or occurring over a small axial spacing. The shallow lead in angle at the downhole end can be 0-5 degrees, optionally 10-30 degrees. The steeper angle of the ramp surface at the uphole end can be 18-60 degrees.

    [0022] The radially outermost surface of the blade typically has a plateau region uphole of a downhole end ramp, which can have a different angle, e.g. a flat planar section parallel to the nominal outer surface of the tubular. Optionally the plateau region can be non-parallel to the axis of the tubular T, and can optionally be tapered from a narrower diameter at its downhole end to a slightly larger diameter at its up-hole end. Typically the plateau region has a taper angle of e.g. 1-5 degrees.

    [0023] Optionally the radial impeller can have more than one ramp. The radial impeller can typically have a downhole axial ramp at a lower end tapering from a low radius to a high radius, and an uphole axial ramp arranged at its uphole end, typically tapering from a high radius to a low radius, optionally back to the nominal radial diameter of the tubular. Optionally the uphole ramp and the downhole ramp can be spaced apart, typically by a plateau region.

    [0024] The uphole ramp can optionally have the same or a different angle or configuration as the downhole ramp. The uphole ramp typically has a steeper angle than the downhole ramp.

    [0025] The radial impeller is optionally substantially equidistant from the first and second axial impellers.

    [0026] The first and second axial impellers on either side of the radial impeller can optionally incorporate ramps (typically on the facing sides of adjacent projections) to impart radial thrust to fluids flowing up the annulus.

    [0027] The helical parts of the first and second axial impellers typically incorporate radially extending surfaces, typically generally perpendicular to the axis of the tubular and to the nominal outer surface of the tubular, in order to impart axial thrust to the fluids passing them, and to urge the fluids in a direction towards the radial impeller. Typically the helical parts of the first and second axial impellers are located on the outer ends of the first and second axial impellers. The first and second axial impellers have axial parts which are typically provided on the inner facing sides of the projections, and extend directly from the helical parts. On the first and second axial impellers, the respective radial projections define channels between circumferentially adjacent radial projections.

    [0028] The channels of the first and second axial impellers extend between the helical and axial parts, so that the channel is also partially helical, at its outer end, and partially axial, at its inner facing end. Accordingly, each channel has a helical outer part and an axial inner part disposed on the inner ends of the first and second axial impellers, closer to the radial impeller, so that fluids passing through the channels are diverted by the outer helical parts, and are urged through the inner axial parts in a generally straight line towards the radial impeller.

    [0029] The first and second axial impellers therefore both urge the fluids axially towards the radial impeller located between the first and second axial impellers, which thrusts the fluids radially outward into the high flow, high turbulence region of the annulus, thereby keeping the cuttings suspended in the fluids.

    [0030] Optionally the helical portions extend in straight lines. Optionally the helical portions (or parts of them) could extend in arcs. The helical portions on respective first and second axial impellers urge the fluids in opposite axial directions, typically towards the ramped projection.

    [0031] Typically, the radial and axial impellers are provided on respective collars that are connected to the outer surface of the tubular. Respective collars can be provided for the first and second axial impellers, and for the radial impeller. The impellers (e.g. the collars) are axially spaced from one another along the length of the tubular.

    [0032] Optionally more than one radial projection is provided on the radial impeller. 2, 3, 4, 5 or more radial projections are provided on each axial impeller and typically on the radial impeller. Typically the radial projections on each of the impellers are provided at the same location (e.g. on the same collar) along the axis of the tubular, and are circumferentially spaced apart (e.g. circumferentially spaced around the collar) around the axis of the tubular.

    [0033] Typically the first and second axial impellers are generally circumferentially aligned with one another, with the axial portions being typically provided at the same circumferential orientation.

    [0034] The first and second axial impellers are axially spaced apart from the radial impeller along the length of the tubular. In alternatives outside the scope of the present claims, the first and second axial impellers can be axially adjacent to the radial impeller, with substantially no axial spacing along the tubular on either side of the radial impeller.

    [0035] Typically the radial impeller is circumferentially staggered out of axial alignment with respect to the first and second axial impellers, so that the channels in the radial impeller typically align with the radial projections on the first and second axial impellers.

    [0036] Typically the tubular component is incorporated into a drill string and the connections are typically conventional box and pin arrangements suitable for transferring torque encountered in typical drill strings. Typically the tubular is configured to resist and transfer the torque encountered in typical drill strings.

    [0037] Typically the tubular is incorporated into a bottom hole assembly (BHA), and can comprise sections of heavy weight drill pipe for assembly near to the bit during drilling, but embodiments can alternatively or additionally be incorporated into strings of drill pipe or other tubular above the BHA.

    [0038] The tubular component can be incorporated as a sub in a drill string, either once, or in multiple locations, which can be randomly or equally spaced along the length of the string. The pattern of axial impeller, radial impeller and axial impeller can repeat once per tubular, or more than once, so that in a single strand of tubular adapted to be made up into a drill string the pattern can optionally repeat, optionally two or more than two repeats per stand of pipe.

    [0039] Typically the tubular has bearing surfaces optionally comprising hardened materials to bear against the inner surface of the wellbore, and to space the radial projections from the inner surface of the wellbore, so that they are available to rotate with the string and are less prone to being restricted from rotation by snagging on inwardly extending projections on the inner surface of the wellbore. Typically the bearing surfaces are located on collars that are disposed at axially spaced positions on the tubular, and can typically be located at opposite outside ends of the collars bearing the axial impellers. Typically the collars have a larger radial dimension than the axial and radial impellers, and space the radial projections radially away from the inner wall of the wellbore.

    [0040] Optionally the collars can have helical grooves which can act as an agitator to impart further thrust to the fluids, typically in an axial direction. These grooves could be orientated in either helical direction, and the grooves on each of the collars can optionally be oriented in opposite directions with respect to each other.

    [0041] Embodiments of the invention permit the profile on the outer surface of the tubular to agitate and accelerate drill cuttings into the high annular flow zone. Any proportion of the cuttings that remain in the low annular velocity laminar flow region close to the body of the tubular above the downhole projection will be accelerated axially towards the ramped projection which further accelerates drill cuttings into the high flow radially outside it. Any cuttings that pass the ramped projection and still remain in the lower flow inner layers of the annulus will be accelerated axial back down the hole towards the upper face of the ramped projection by the profile of the uphole projection which is opposite in orientation to the downhole profile. This opposite orientation creates a more efficient turbulent zone resisting the settlement of any other debris around the tool and raising more of the drill cuttings into the high annular zone, thereby keeping them in suspension. Any cuttings falling back radially towards the tubular and tending to re-form a cuttings bed will be accelerated again in a radially outward direction away form the tubular towards the high-flow region.

    [0042] Embodiments of the invention permit sweeping and agitation of drill cuttings beds in a more aggressive manner allowing a cleaner hole.

    [0043] The first and second axial impellers disposed at opposite ends of the radial impeller drive the cuttings in opposite axial directions to one another, so that when the pipe is rotated in its normal clockwise direction (as viewed from above) during conventional rotary drilling operations, the axial direction of thrust from each axial impeller urges the fluid and the cuttings inwardly towards the radial impeller. This tends to lock the cuttings in the region of the annulus between the two axial impellers, and because the axial impellers apply axial thrust in opposite directions to one another, the slug of drill cuttings trapped between them can be dragged out of the hole by continuing to rotate while pulling the string out. This technique works particularly well in horizontal sections of the well, and also has the benefit that bigger particles which sink more quickly and are more difficult to maintain in suspension can be dragged physically out of the well in the slug without necessarily holding them in suspension, rather than washing them out of the annulus while suspended in the fluid. At the very least, this locking and dragging feature can be used to move the slug of larger particles to a different section of the borehole, which may have a higher flow rate, for example a more vertical section of the well, where it may be easier to get the larger particles back into suspension for conventional recovery as a suspension.

    [0044] In the accompanying drawings:

    Fig 1 is a side view of a drill string tubular component in accordance with the invention;

    Fig 2 is an enlarged side view of Fig 1;

    Figs 3a-h are sectional views through lines C-C, D-D, E-E, F-F, G-G, H-H. J-J and K-K respectively of Fig 2;

    Fig 4 is a side view similar to Fig 1, but of the drill string tubular component turned through 60 degrees;

    Figs 5, 6, and 7 are perspective views of axial and radial impeller collars of the Fig 1 tubular component;

    Fig 8 is a side perspective view of the Fig 1 tubular component being used in a drill string to mobilise cuttings in a wellbore;

    Fig 9 is an end view of the Fig 8 arrangement; Fig 10 is a perspective view from the other side of the Fig 8 arrangement showing the fluid flow; and

    Fig 11 is a close up view of the Fig 10 arrangement.



    [0045] Referring now to the drawings, a drill string tubular member comprises a central tubular T having downhole and up-hole ends (see Fig. 1), and at those ends, typically has respective box and pin connectors for connection into a drill string. Typically, the tubular is provided in a bottom hole assembly (BHA) adjacent to the drill bit, and the tubular T can optionally be heavy weight drill collar or heavy weight drill pipe, known for such uses. The box and pin connectors at the ends of the tubular T typically have a larger outer diameter than the nominal outer diameter of the tubular T in between the two ends. In the example shown, the nominal outer diameter of the central section of the tubular T is typically 5-7/8" (14.9225 centimetres). The tubular T typically comprises 5-7/8" (14.9225 centimetres) Heavyweight Drill Pipe.

    [0046] On the outer surface of the tubular T, there are typically three collars that incorporate radial projections. At the downhole end, at least one first axial impeller is provided on a first collar 10. At the up-hole end, a second axial impeller is provided on a second collar 20. In between the first and second collars 10, 20, at least one radial impeller is provided by a third collar 30. The collars 10, 20, 30 can optionally be separately formed by machining from solid blocks for example and thereafter attached to the tubular T, or optionally can be formed as an integral part of the tubular T by machining the tubular and the collars from a single component. In the embodiment described, the collars 10, 20 and 30 are integrally formed with the tubular T.

    [0047] Referring now to the first axial impeller provided by the first collar 10 at the downhole end of the tubular T, the first axial impeller typically has three circumferentially spaced radial projections 11. More or less than three projections can optionally be provided. The radial projections extend radially away from the outer surface of the tubular T in a generally perpendicular direction. The radial projections 11 have an axial part 11a, which extends parallel to the axis of the tubular X (see Fig. 1), and a helical part 11h, which extends helically from the downhole end of the axial part, to which it connects. The helical part 11h extends in a clockwise direction when viewed from the up-hole end of the tool, which is commonly referred to in the art as extending in a "right hand" helix.

    [0048] The collar 10 is generally frusto-conical and has a relatively small outer diameter at its up-hole end, which gradually increases towards its larger diameter downhole end. The radial projections 11 each have a generally convex radially outermost surface which tapers in a generally straight axial line in accordance with the frusto-conical shape of the collar 10, from its up-hole end to its downhole end, which has a larger diameter than its up-hole end. The up-hole end of the collar 10 tapers down to a generally similar outer diameter to the tubular T as do the flat outer surfaces of the radial projections 11.

    [0049] The radial projections 11 are circumferentially spaced around the collar 10 as best shown in section views 3f and 3g. The side walls of the projections 11 are typically generally perpendicular to the axis of the tubular at the radially outermost edges of the projections, and typically change in angle as their radius decreases.

    [0050] Circumferentially adjacent radial projections 11 define channels 12 between them. The channels 12 have an axial part 12a defined between adjacent axial parts 11a of the radial projections, and helical parts 12h, defined between helical parts of the radial projections. Therefore, the path of the channels 12 generally tracks the path of the radial projections 11 in the collar 10.

    [0051] The channels 12 have a generally convex floor extending between the sides of the projections 11, as best shown in section views 3f and 3g; the floor typically follows the convex outer circumference of the tubular T, but in other embodiments of the invention the floor of the channel could be a different shape, e.g. convex or flat. In the axial direction, the floor of the channel is generally parallel to the axis of the tubular T. However, in alternative examples, the floor of the channel does not need to be parallel to the axis of the tubular T, but can adopt other configurations, for example the floor of the channel can optionally taper in the axial direction from the up-hole to the downhole end in a similar manner as the outer surface of the projections 11.

    [0052] The circumferential transition between the floor of the channel and the generally perpendicular side walls of the radial projections 11 is typically in the form of a ramp, which optionally can be an arcuate ramp transitioning in a circumferential direction from a generally horizontal configuration at the floor level, to a generally vertical configuration as it meets the generally vertical side walls of the radial projections 11. Between the side walls of the projections 11 and the floor of the channel 12, the ramp can typically follow a smooth curve, although in certain configurations of the invention the ramp can be a graduated series of straight lines or steps. In the present embodiment, the transitional parts of the channel between the generally horizontal convex floor and the generally vertical side walls is in the form of a smooth concave curve. At the outer (downhole) end of the channel 12, the transition between the side walls of the projections 11 and the floor of the channel 12 typically merge together with the end wall of the channel 12 to form a bowl in the end of the channel 12. The end wall of the channel typically extends circumferentially in a straight line that is typically perpendicular to the axis of the tubular T. The transitions between the floor of the bowl and the side and end walls typically follows a smooth curve, although in certain configurations a graduated series of straight lines or steps can be adopted.

    [0053] At the downhole end of the collar 10, beyond the bowl at the end of the channel 12, the outer diameter of the collar 10 increases in a step-wise manner at a wear strip 14. The wear strip 14 typically has channels 14c which extend helically in a right hand wrap through the wear strip 14, generally parallel to the channels 12 and radial projections 11 on the collar 10. The wear strip 14 can typically be faced with a hard wearing compound, such as polycrystalline material, or tungsten carbide etc., in order to resist abrasive damage during rotation of the tubular T. The wear strip 14 typically has a larger outer diameter (7-1/2" (19.05 centimetres) in this example) than the other components of the collar 10, and functions as a stand off device that radially spaces the smaller diameter components of the collar 10 from the inner surface of the borehole wall in use.

    [0054] The second axial impeller provided by the second collar 20 at the up-hole end of the tubular T is generally similar in structure to the first collar 10, but is typically arranged in an opposite orientation, typically in a mirror image relationship with the first collar 10. The second axial impeller also has three circumferentially spaced radial projections 21. It is possible in certain examples for the second collar 20 to have the same configuration as the first collar, but in this embodiment they are different. The radial projections 21 extend radially from the outer surface of the tubular T in a generally perpendicular direction. The radial projections 21 have an axial part 21a, which extends generally parallel to the axis of the tubular X (see Fig. 1), and a helical part 21h, which extends helically from the up-hole end of the axial part, to which it connects. The helical part 21h extends in an anti-clockwise direction when viewed from the up-hole end of the tool, or "left hand' helix, e.g. opposite to the helical parts 11h of the first collar 10. The second collar 20 is also generally frusto-conical and has a relatively small outer diameter at its downhole end, which gradually increases towards its larger diameter up-hole end. The radial projections 21 each have the same radially outermost surface which tapers in accordance with the frusto-conical shape of the collar 20, but in a different direction as compared with the first collar 10, from the downhole end to the up-hole end, which has a larger diameter than the downhole end. The downhole end of the collar 20 tapers down to a generally similar outer diameter to the tubular T as do the convex outer surfaces of the radial projections 21.

    [0055] The radial projections 21 are typically circumferentially spaced around the collar 20 as best shown in section views 3b and 3c. The side walls of the projections 21 are typically generally perpendicular to the axis of the tubular at the radially outermost edges of the projections, and typically change in angle as their radius decreases.

    [0056] Circumferentially adjacent radial projections 21 define channels 22 between them. The channels 22 have an axial part 22a defined between adjacent axial parts 21a of the radial projections, and helical parts 22h, defined between helical parts of the radial projections. Therefore, the path of the channels 22 generally tracks the path of the radial projections 21 in the collar 20, and forms a mirror image to the channels 12 in the first collar 10.

    [0057] The channels 22 have a generally convex floor as best shown in section views 3b and 3c, which generally follows the convex outer circumference of the tubular T. In the axial direction, the floor of the channel is generally parallel to the axis of the tubular T. The floor of the channel 22 may not be absolutely parallel to the axis of the tubular T, but instead tapers in the axial direction from the downhole to the up-hole end in a similar manner as the outer surface of the collar 20, and in opposite relationship to the first collar 10.

    [0058] The transition between the floor of the channel and the generally perpendicular side walls of the radial projections 21 is typically in the form of a ramp, which optionally can be an arcuate ramp transitioning from a generally horizontal configuration at the floor level, to a generally vertical configuration as it meets the generally vertical side walls of the radial projections 21. Between the side walls of the projections 21 and the floor of the channel 22, the ramp can typically be a smooth curve extending circumferentially, although in certain configurations of the invention the ramp can be a graduated series of straight lines or steps. In the present embodiment, the transitional parts of the channel between the flat floor and the vertical side walls is in the form of a smooth curve.

    [0059] At the up-hole end of the collar 20, the outer diameter typically increases in a step-wise manner at a wear strip 24. The wear strip typically has channels 24c which extend helically in a left hand helix through the wear strip 24, generally parallel to the channels 22 and radial projections 21 on the collar 20. The wear strip 24 can typically be faced with a hard wearing compound, such as polycrystalline material, or tungsten carbide etc., in order to resist abrasive damage to the collars during rotation of the tubular T. The wear strip 24 typically has a larger outer diameter than the other components of the collar 20, and functions as a stand off device that radially spaces the smaller diameter components of the collar 20 from the inner surface of the borehole wall in use.

    [0060] The third collar 30 is typically located between the first and second collars 10, 20, and is typically generally equidistantly located between the two. The third collar 30 can typically be formed from a single unit, in a similar manner to the first collar, and subsequently attached. The third collar 30 can typically be milled or cast, as can the first and second collars 10, 20, or optionally can be formed from an integral part of the tubular T. In this example, the third collar 30 is formed as an integral part of the outer surface of the tubular T by milling, in a similar manner to the first and second collars 10, 20.

    [0061] Optionally more than one third collar 30 can be provided between the downhole and up-hole first and second collars 10, 20. Optionally where more than one third collar is provided, the two third collars can be arranged in the same orientation or in opposite orientations with respect to one another.

    [0062] The third collar 30 in the present example typically has an outer diameter of 7.25" (18.415 centimetres) at its widest point. The radial impeller has three circumferentially spaced radial projections 31. The radial projections 31 are each formed from a downhole ramp 31d, an up-hole ramp 31u, and a plateau region 31p located between the downhole and up-hole ramps. Optionally the plateau region is non-parallel to the axis of the tubular T, and tapers from a narrower diameter at its downhole end to a slightly larger diameter at its up-hole end. The plateau region typically tapers between its downhole and up-hole ends at a taper angle of 1 or 2 degrees with respect to the axis of the tubular T. The projections 31 typically have a circumferential width of around 2" (5.08 centimetres), with an axial length of approx. 7.6" (19.304 centimetres).

    [0063] Typically, the downhole ramp 31 has a tapered profile with an initial diameter at its downhole end close to the outer diameter of the tubular T, which gradually increases typically in a straight line to the plateau section 31p. In a similar manner, the up-hole ramp 31u typically decreases from its maximum outer diameter at its transition with the plateau section 31p, to a smaller diameter up-hole end of the ramp 31u, typically in a straight line, and typically to a smaller diameter that is substantially similar to the outer diameter of the tubular T. The radial projections 31 are circumferentially spaced in a generally equi-distanced manner from one another around the circumference of the collar 30, as best shown in Fig. 3e, and are typically aligned with the axis X of the tubular T. Between the circumferentially adjacent pairs of radial projections 31, a channel 32 is created. The channels 32 typically extend axially, parallel to the axis of the tubular X and the radial projections 31. The floor of the channel 32 is typically generally convex, similar to the convex outer surface of the tubular T, but in the axial direction the floor of the channel 32 is typically not parallel to the axis X of the tubular. Instead, the floor of the channel 32 typically tapers in the form of a ramp from a small outer diameter at its downhole end (typically the downhole outer diameter of the floor of the channel 32 approaches the nominal outer diameter of the tubular T). The up-hole end of the floor of the channel 32 therefore typically has a larger outer diameter than its downhole end, and the floor of the channel typically extends in a generally straight axial line between the downhole and up-hole ends, so that a convex ramp (or frusto-conical section) having a ramp angle of at least 1 degree with respect to the axis of the tubular T is created by the floor of the channel 32.

    [0064] The circumferentially facing sides of the radial projections 31 on the radial impeller are typically generally parallel to one another, and generally perpendicular to the axis X of the tubular T. Like the transitions between the sides and floor of the channels 12 in the first projection collar 10, the transitions between the floor of the channel 32 and the side walls of the radial projections 31 are typically in the form of a concave curve, as best seen in Fig. 3e.

    [0065] Therefore, in a circumferential direction, the floor of the channel 32 typically transitions from its generally convex central floor section to a concave transition section having a smooth curve (or a series of flat plates or steps as previously described) merging into the generally vertical side walls of the radial projections 31.

    [0066] In the current embodiment, the concave transitions can extend substantially for the whole radial depth of the side walls of the radial projections 31, and substantially only the radially outermost tip of the side walls can be perpendicular to the axis X.

    [0067] As shown in the drawings, the first and second collars 10, 20 are of generally similar structure and are optionally in this embodiment set in opposite relationship to one another so that the helical parts of the projections 11, 21 and channels 12, 22 are set in opposite orientation with respect to one another. In use, and referring now to Figs. 8-11, the tubular T is typically incorporated into a drill string close to the bottom hole assembly in a region where drill cuttings C are known to accumulate in beds. Fig. 8 shows a schematic view of the tubular T inserted in a generally deviated wellbore B, in which the drill cuttings C generated by the drill bit located below the tubular C in the wellbore B have accumulated in a bed of cuttings C on the low side of the wellbore B. The cuttings C are therefore not circulating freely within the wellbore B, and are impeding the downward progress of the drill string into the formation. The drill string is rotating in a clockwise direction when viewed from the top of the hole, in the direction of the arrow shown in Fig. 8. Note that Figs. 10 and 11 show the opposite side of the tubular T, and so the direction of the arrow in Fig. 11 is different. Rotation of the drill string and tubular T in the clockwise direction shown in Figs. 8 and 11 rotates all of the collars 10, 20, 30 along with the tubular T. At the downhole end, the helical part 11h of the radial projections 11 on the first collar 10 engages the cuttings C in the bed on the low side of the wellbore B and typically urges them by means of the helical channels 12h in an axial direction into and through the channel 12h and into the axial part of the channel 12a by virtue of the scooping effect of the helical parts 11h. The drill cuttings are therefore urged axially upwards in the wellbore B, in a direction generally parallel to the axis X of the tubular T and towards the third collar 30.

    [0068] The drill cuttings C pass through the channels 32 between the radial projections 31 on the third collar 30 and as a result of the rotation of the collar 30 along with the tubular T, the drill cuttings passing through the channels 32 are engaged by the ramps on the side walls, and urged radially outwards from the collar 30 by the radial projections 31. The radial thrust imparted to the drill cuttings moves them away from the outer surface of the tubular and into the high flow high turbulence region F shown in Figs. 9, 10 and 11. The concave transition ramp between the floor and the sides of the channel maintains much of the momentum of the drill cuttings as they change direction and ensures that they are diverted radially outward from the tubular with the maximum amount of radial thrust available. Drill cuttings that are diverted radially outward from the third collar 30 enter the fast flowing high turbulence region F and are thus quickly transported up the wellbore B, away from the bottom hole assembly. The drill cuttings diverted into the high flow region F in this manner have a higher chance of remaining in suspension in the drilling fluid, and a lower chance of settling out of suspension and creating a further cuttings bed in an up-hole region of the wellbore B.

    [0069] The axial taper of the third collar 30 from a small diameter at its downhole end to a larger diameter at its up-hole end also diverts the cuttings towards the fast flowing fluid phase F, and imparts an additional radial thrust to the cuttings passing the third collar 30, which enhances the radial thrusting effect. Furthermore, the downhole and up-hole ramps 31d, 31u on the third collar also enhance the radial thrust effect of the third collar, ensuring that more of the cuttings encountering the ramps during the rotation of the drill string are urged radially away from the axis of the tubular into the faster flowing fluid.

    [0070] Any cuttings that pass axially through the channels 32 without substantial radial diversion typically encounter the up-hole second collar 20 above the third collar 30. Drill cuttings encountering the second collar 20 flow up the axial channels 22a between the radial projections 21a, but when they encounter the helical parts 22h of the channels between the helical parts 21h of the radial projections, they are typically urged downward in the wellbore B against the predominantly upward flow as a result of the opposites orientation of the helical parts 21h on the second collar in relation to the helical parts 11h on the first collar 10. As the cuttings are urged by the second collar 20 against the predominant direction of flow, an excessive amount of turbulence is created in the region between the third collar 30 and the second collar 20, which tends to fluidise any drill cuttings in that region and urge them radially into the high flow area F as shown in Figs. 10 and 11. Any drill cuttings that are urged axially down the wellbore B towards the third collar 30 as a result of the axial thrust provided by the radial parts 21h on the second collar 20 are diverted back towards the third collar 30 for further radial thrust, which also has the effect of ensuring that most of the cuttings C are maintained in suspension and thrust radially into the fast flowing fluid phase F. The steep angle on the uphole lead-in end of the third collar 30 has a more aggressive thrust effect on the fluids to accelerate cuttings that fall back towards the low side of the hole that have been recycled from the turbulent flow area between the second and third collars, and ensures that more of the cuttings reach the fast flow zone F and are maintained in suspension. The downhole lead in on the third collar has much shallower angle to help accelerate cuttings uphole from the lower first collar 10.


    Claims

    1. A drill string tubular component in the form of a tubular (T) having a central bore extending along an axis of the tubular (T), and two ends, the tubular component having an end connector at each end for connection of the drill string tubular component into a drill string for use in drilling a wellbore (B) into a formation, the tubular component having a mechanism for mobilising drill cuttings (C) in an oil or gas well, wherein the mechanism comprises:

    - a radial impeller comprising one or more radial projection(s) (31) extending from the tubular component, the radial projection(s) (31) of the radial impeller being configured to apply a radial thrust to the flow of cuttings in the drilling fluid passing through an annulus between the tubular (T) and the wellbore (B), so that the cuttings passing the radial projection(s) (31) are urged in a radial direction away from the outer surface of the tubular component; and

    - first and second axial impellers each comprising a plurality of circumferentially spaced radial projections (11, 21) extending radially from the tubular component, the first and second axial impellers being provided at axially spaced apart locations on the tubular component with respect to the radial impeller such that the radial impeller is located axially between the axial impellers, the axial impellers being configured to apply axial thrust to the fluids passing through the annulus between the tubular (T) and the wellbore (B), and wherein the direction of axial thrust applied to the fluid by the first axial impeller is opposite to the direction of axial thrust applied to the fluid by the second axial impeller,

    the first axial impeller being at a downhole end of the tubular component and each of the plurality of radial projections (11) of the first axial impeller having a helical part (11h) at its downhole end extending helically around the tubular component, and
    the second axial impeller being at an uphole end of the tubular component and each of the plurality of radial projections (21) of the second axial impeller having a helical part (21h) at its uphole end extending helically around the tubular component,
    characterised in that:

    each of the plurality of radial projections (11) of the first axial impeller comprises an axial part (11a) at its uphole end extending parallel to the axis of the tubular (T), circumferentially adjacent radial projections (11) of the plurality of radial projections (11) of the first axial impeller defining channels (12) between them with a floor of the channels (12) generally parallel to the axis of the tubular (T); and

    each of the plurality of radial projections (21) of the second axial impeller comprises an axial part (21a) at its downhole end extending parallel to the axis of the tubular (T), circumferentially adjacent radial projections (21) of the plurality of radial projections (21) of the second axial impeller defining channels (22) between them with a floor of the channels (22) generally parallel to the axis of the tubular (T).


     
    2. A drill string tubular component as claimed in claim 1, wherein each axial impeller urges the fluid toward the radial impeller for diversion in a radial direction away from the axis of the tubular component.
     
    3. A drill string tubular component as claimed in claim 1, wherein the helical parts (11h, 21h) of the plurality of radial projections (11, 21) of each axial impeller are aligned with one another at the same axial location along the axis of the tubular component, preferably the helical parts (11h) of the plurality of radial projections (11) of the first axial impeller extend in opposite directions with respect to the helical parts (21h) of the plurality of radial projections (21) of the second axial impeller.
     
    4. A drill string tubular component as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the radial impeller has a ramp (31d) to divert fluids flowing axially up the annular area between the drill string and the wellbore (B) radially away from the outer surface of the tubular component.
     
    5. A drill string tubular component as claimed in any preceding claim wherein at least one of the radial projection(s) (31) of the radial impeller extends radially from a root radially close to the outer surface of the tubular to a flat outer edge that is radially spaced from the axis of the tubular component.
     
    6. A drill string tubular component as claimed in claim 5, wherein the radial impeller has more than one radial projection (31), and wherein the radial projections (31) define fluid flow channels (32) between circumferentially adjacent radial projections (31), wherein the fluid flow channels (32) are adapted to guide flow of fluids in the annulus between the tubular component and the wellbore (B), preferably the radial projections (31) of the radial impeller are aligned with the axis of the tubular (T), and are straight, and wherein the channels (32) between radial projections (31) are also aligned with the axis of the tubular component and the radial projections (31), and are also straight.
     
    7. A drill string component as claimed in claim 6, wherein a transition between a floor of the channels (32) and radially extending walls of the radial projections (31) comprises an arcuate surface that extends between the radially extending walls of the radial projections (31) and the floor of the channel (32), thereby creating a circumferentially facing ramp tapering perpendicularly with respect to the radially extending walls of the radial projections (31), preferably the ramps face the direction of rotation of the tubular (T), wherein fluid passing through the channels (32) between the radial projections (31) is urged up the ramps in a radial direction by the rotation of the radial impeller along with the rotating drill string to which the tubular component is attached, and is thus diverted radially outwards from the axis of the tubular component.
     
    8. A drill string tubular component as claimed in any one of claims 5 to 7, wherein the radial impeller comprises uphole and downhole axial faces and ramped surfaces (31d, 31u) on the uphole and downhole axial faces, and wherein the downhole end has a lower diameter than the uphole end, sufficient to divert the fluids flowing past or over the ramp (31d) radially outward from the axis of the tubular (T) into a region of the annulus that has more turbulent flow than the region of the annulus immediately radially adjacent to the outer surface of the tubular component, preferably the diameter of the ramp (31d) increases gradually between axial ends of the ramp (31d).
     
    9. A drill string tubular component as claimed in claim 8, having a downhole axial ramp (31d) at a lower end tapering from a low radius to a high radius, and an uphole axial ramp (31u) arranged at its uphole end, tapering from a high radius to a low radius, preferably the uphole ramp (31u) has a steeper angle with respect to the axis of the tubular component than the downhole ramp (31d).
     
    10. A drill string tubular component as claimed in any preceding claim, incorporating bearing surfaces comprising a hardened material to bear against the inner surface of the wellbore (B), and to space the radial projections on each of the impellers from the inner surface of the wellbore (B).
     
    11. A drill string tubular component as claimed in claim 10, wherein the bearing surfaces are provided on outer surfaces of first and second collars (10, 20) located on opposite ends of the tubular component, adjacent to the respective first and second axial impellers.
     
    12. A drill string tubular component as claimed in claim 10 or claim 11, wherein the collars (10, 20) incorporate helical channels to channel fluid axially past the collars (10, 20), and wherein the channels on each collar (10, 20) extend in a first direction on the first collar (10), and in the opposite direction on the second collar (20).
     
    13. A method of mobilising drill cuttings (C) in a bore of an oil or gas well, the method comprising incorporating a drill string tubular component into the drill string and deploying the drill string in the bore, the drill string tubular component having a mechanism for mobilising drill cuttings (C) in the bore, wherein the mechanism comprises:

    - a radial impeller comprising one or more radial projection(s) (31) extending from the drill string tubular component, the radial projection(s) (31) of the radial impeller being configured to apply a radial thrust to the flow of cuttings in the drilling fluid passing through an annulus between the tubular component and the bore, so that the cuttings passing the radial projection(s) (31) are urged in a radial direction away from the outer surface of the tubular component,

    - first and second axial impellers each comprising a plurality of circumferentially spaced radial projections (11, 21) extending radially from the tubular component, the first and second axial impellers being provided at axially spaced apart locations on the tubular component with respect to the radial impeller such that the radial impeller is located axially between the axial impellers;

    - the first axial impeller being at a downhole end of the tubular component and each of the plurality of radial projections (11) of the first axial impeller having a helical part (11h) at its downhole end extending helically around the tubular component, and

    - the second axial impeller being at an uphole end of the tubular component and each of the plurality of radial projections (21) of the second axial impeller having a helical part (21h) at its uphole end extending helically around the tubular component, wherein the method comprises:

    - passing fluids past the radial impeller and diverting fluids flowing past the radial impeller radially outwards away from the outer surface of the tubular component; and

    - applying axial thrust to the fluids passing through the annulus between the tubular component and the bore by means of the axial impellers, wherein the direction of axial thrust applied to the fluid by the first axial impeller is opposite to the direction of axial thrust applied to the fluid by the second axial impeller,

    characterised in that:

    each of the plurality of radial projections (11) of the first axial impeller comprises an axial part (11a) at its uphole end extending parallel to the axis of the tubular (T), circumferentially adjacent radial projections (11) of the plurality of radial projections (11) of the first axial impeller defining channels (12) between them with a floor of the channels (12) generally parallel to the axis of the tubular (T); and

    each of the plurality of radial projections (21) of the second axial impeller comprises an axial part (21a) at its downhole end extending parallel to the axis of the tubular (T), circumferentially adjacent radial projections (21) of the plurality of radial projections (21) of the second axial impeller defining channels (22) between them with a floor of the channels (22) generally parallel to the axis of the tubular (T).


     
    14. A method according to claim 13, wherein the method includes rotating the tubular component to direct axial thrust from each axial impeller towards the radial impeller, and axially moving the tubular component in the bore to drag the cuttings axially within the bore whereby the drill cuttings (C) are urged to remain in the region between the two axial impellers as a result of the opposed thrust from the axial impellers, preferably the method includes moving a slug of drill cuttings (C) from a first section of the bore with a first relatively low flow rate of fluid, to a different second section of the bore, which has a higher fluid flow rate than the first section of the bore, and suspending the drill cuttings (C) in fluid in the second section of the bore for recovery at the surface as a suspension.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente in der Form eines Rohrs (T), das eine sich entlang einer Achse des Rohrs (T) erstreckende Mittelbohrung und zwei Enden aufweist, wobei die rohrförmige Komponente an jedem Ende einen Endanschluss aufweist, um die rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente in einen Bohrstrang einzubauen, zur Verwendung beim Bohren eines Bohrlochs (B) in eine Formation, wobei die rohrförmige Komponente einen Mechanismus zum Mobilisieren von Bohrabtragungen (C) in einer Öl- oder Gasbohrung aufweist, wobei der Mechanismus aufweist:

    - einen Radialimpeller, der einen oder mehrere radiale Vorsprünge (31) aufweist, die sich von der rohrförmigen Komponente erstrecken, wobei der oder die radialen Vorsprünge (31) des Radialimpellers konfiguriert sind, um einen radialen Schub auf die Strömung von Abtragungen in dem Bohrfluid auszuüben, das durch einen Ring zwischen dem Rohr (T) und dem Bohrloch (B) hindurchtritt, so dass die den einen oder die mehreren radialen Vorsprünge (31) passierenden Abtragungen in radialer Richtung von der Außenoberfläche der rohrförmigen Komponente weggedrückt werden; und

    - erste und zweite Axialimpeller, die jeweils eine Mehrzahl von mit Umfangsabstand angeordneten radialen Vorsprüngen (11, 21) aufweisen, die sich radial von der rohrförmigen Komponente erstrecken, wobei die ersten und zweiten Axialimpeller an im Bezug auf den Radialimpeller axial voneinander beabstandeten Orten an der rohrförmigen Komponente vorgesehen sind, so dass der Radialimpeller axial zwischen den Axialimpellern angeordnet ist, wobei die Axialimpeller konfiguriert sind, um einen axialen Schub auf die Fluide auszuüben, die durch den Ring zwischen dem Rohr (T) und dem Bohrloch (b) hindurchtreten, und wobei die Richtung des axialen Schubs, der von dem ersten Axialimpeller auf das Fluid ausgeübt wird, entgegen der Richtung des axialen Schubs ist, der von dem zweiten Axialimpeller auf das Fluid ausgeübt wird,

    wobei sich der erste Axialimpeller an einem im Loch unteren Ende der rohrförmigen Komponente befindet und jeder der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (11) des ersten Axialimpellers an seinem im Loch unteren Ende ein schraubenförmiges Teil (11h) aufweist, das sich schraubig um die rohrförmige Komponente herum erstreckt, und
    wobei sich der zweite Axialimpeller an einem im Loch oberen Ende der rohrförmigen Komponente befindet und jeder der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (21) des zweiten Axialimpellers an seinem im Loch oberen Ende ein schraubenförmiges Teil (21h) aufweist, das sich schraubig um die rohrförmige Komponente herum erstreckt,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:

    jeder der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (11) des ersten Axialimpellers an seinem im Loch oberen Ende ein axiales Teil (11a) aufweist, das sich parallel zur Achse des Rohrs (T) erstreckt, wobei umfangsmäßig benachbarte radiale Vorsprünge (11) der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (11) des ersten Axialimpellers zwischen sich Kanäle (12) definieren, wobei ein Boden der Kanäle (12) allgemein parallel zur Achse des Rohrs (T) ist; und

    jeder der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (21) des zweiten Axialimpellers an seinem im Loch unteren Ende ein axiales Teil (21a) aufweist, das sich parallel zur Achse des Rohrs (T) erstreckt, wobei umfangsmäßig benachbarte radiale Vorsprünge (21) der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (21) des zweiten Axialimpellers zwischen sich Kanäle (12) definieren, wobei ein Boden der Kanäle (22) allgemein parallel zur Achse des Rohrs (T) ist.


     
    2. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach Anspruch 1, wobei jeder axiale Impeller das Fluid zu dem radialen Impeller hin zur Ablenkung in radialer Richtung von der Achse der rohrförmigen Komponente weg drückt.
     
    3. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach Anspruch 1, wobei die schraubigen Teile (11h, 21h) der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (11, 21) jedes Axialimpellers an dem gleichen axialen Ort entlang der Achse der rohrförmigen Komponente miteinander ausgerichtet sind, wobei sich bevorzugt die schraubigen Teile (11h) der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (11) des ersten Axialimpellers in entgegengesetzte Richtungen im Bezug auf die schraubigen Teile (21h) der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (21) des zweiten Axialimpellers erstrecken.
     
    4. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach einem vorhergehenden Anspruch, wobei der Radialimpeller eine Rampe (31d) aufweist, um Fluide, die den ringförmigen Bereich zwischen dem Bohrstrang und dem Bohrloch (B) axial hochfließen, von der Außenoberfläche der rohrförmigen Komponente radial weg abzulenken.
     
    5. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach einem vorhergehenden Anspruch, wobei zumindest einer der radialen Vorsprünge (31) des Radialimpellers sich radial von einer Wurzel radial nahe der Außenoberfläche des Rohrs zu einem flachen Außenrand erstreckt, der von der Achse der rohrförmigen Komponente radial beabstandet ist.
     
    6. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach Anspruch 5, wobei der Radialimpeller mehr als einen radialen Vorsprung (31) aufweist, und wobei die radialen Vorsprünge (31) Fluidströmungskanäle (32) zwischen umfangsmäßig benachbarten radialen Vorsprüngen (31) definieren, wobei die Fluidströmungskanäle (32) dazu ausgelegt sind, den Fluidfluss in dem Ring zwischen der rohrförmigen Komponente und dem Bohrloch (B) zu führen, wobei bevorzugt die radialen Vorsprünge (31) des Radialimpellers mit der Achse des Rohrs (T) ausgerichtet sind und gerade sind, und wobei die Kanäle (32) zwischen radialen Vorsprüngen (31) auch mit der Achse der rohrförmigen Komponente und den radialen Vorsprüngen (31) ausgerichtet sind und auch gerade sind.
     
    7. Bohrstrangkomponente nach Anspruch 6, wobei ein Übergang zwischen einem Boden der Kanäle (32) und sich radial erstreckenden Wänden der radialen Vorsprünge (31) eine Bogenfläche aufweist, die sich zwischen den sich radial erstreckenden Wänden der radialen Vorsprünge (31) und dem Boden des Kanals (32) erstreckt, um hierdurch eine umfangsmäßig weisende Rampe zu erzeugen, die orthogonal im Bezug auf die sich radial erstreckenden Wände der radialen Vorsprünge (31) abgeschrägt ist, wobei bevorzugt die Rampen in der Drehrichtung des Rohrs (T) weisen, wobei Fluid, das durch die Kanäle (32) zwischen radialen Vorsprüngen (31) hindurchtritt, durch die Drehung des Radialimpellers einhergehend mit der Drehung des Bohrstrangs, an dem die rohrförmige Komponente angebracht ist, in radialer Richtung die Rampen hochgedrückt wird, und daher von der Achse der rohrförmigen Komponente radial auswärts abgelenkt wird.
     
    8. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach einem der Ansprüche 5 bis 7, wobei der Radialimpeller im Loch nach oben und unten weisende Axialflächen und an den im Loch nach oben und unten weisenden Axialflächen Rampenoberflächen (31d, 31u) aufweist, und wobei das im Loch untere Ende einen kleineren Durchmesser als das im Loch obere Ende aufweist, ausreichend, um die an und über die Rampe (31d) fließenden Fluide radial auswärts von der Achse des Rohrs (T) in einen Bereich des Rings abzulenken, der eine turbulentere Strömung als der Bereich des Rings unmittelbar radial benachbart der Außenoberfläche der rohrförmigen Komponente aufweist, wobei bevorzugt der Durchmesser der Rampe (31d) zwischen den axialen Enden der Rampe (31d) allmählich zunimmt.
     
    9. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach Anspruch 8, die an einem unteren Ende eine im Loch nach unten weisende axiale Rampe (31d) aufweist, die von einem kleinen Radius zu einem großen Radius abgeschrägt ist, sowie eine an ihrem im Loch oberen Ende angeordnete im Loch obere axiale Rampe (31u), die von einem großen Radius zu einem kleinen Radius abgeschrägt ist, wobei bevorzugt die im Loch obere Rampe (31u) einen steileren Winkel im Bezug auf die Achse der rohrförmigen Komponente hat als die im Loch untere Rampe (31d).
     
    10. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach einem vorhergehenden Anspruch, die Lageroberflächen enthält, die ein gehärtetes Material aufweisen, um sich gegen die Innenoberfläche des Bohrlochs (B) abzustützen, und um die radialen Vorsprünge an jedem der Impeller auf Abstand von der Innenoberfläche des Bohrlochs (B) zu halten.
     
    11. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach Anspruch 10, wobei die Lageroberflächen auf Außenoberflächen erster und zweiter Krägen (10, 20) vorgesehen sind, die sich an entgegengesetzten Enden der rohrförmigen Komponente benachbart den jeweiligen ersten und zweiten Axialimpellern befinden.
     
    12. Rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente nach Anspruch 10 oder Anspruch 11, wobei die Krägen (10, 20) schraubige Kanäle enthalten, um Fluid axial an den Krägen (10, 20) vorbei zu kanalisieren, und wobei sich die Kanäle an jedem Kragen (10, 20) in einer ersten Richtung an dem ersten Kragen (10) und in der entgegengesetzten Richtung an dem zweiten Kragen (20) erstrecken.
     
    13. Verfahren zum Mobilisieren von Bohrabtragungen (C) in einem Öl- oder Gasbohrloch, wobei das Verfahren aufweist, eine rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente in den Bohrstrang einzubauen und den Bohrstrang in die Bohrung abzusenken, wobei die rohrförmige Bohrstrangkomponente einen Mechanismus zum Mobilisieren von Bohrabtragungen (C) in der Bohrung aufweist, wobei der Mechanismus aufweist:

    - einen Radialimpeller, der einen oder mehrere radiale Vorsprünge (31) aufweist, die sich von der Bohrstrangkomponente erstrecken, wobei der oder die radialen Vorsprünge (31) des Radialimpellers konfiguriert sind, um einen radialen Schub auf die Strömung von Abtragungen in dem Bohrfluid auszuüben, das durch einen Ring zwischen der Rohrkomponente und der Bohrung hindurchtritt, so dass die den einen oder die mehreren radialen Vorsprünge (31) passierenden Abtragungen in radialer Richtung von der Außenoberfläche der rohrförmigen Komponente weggedrückt werden;

    - erste und zweite Axialimpeller, die jeweils eine Mehrzahl von mit Umfangsabstand angeordneten radialen Vorsprüngen (11, 21) aufweisen, die sich radial von der rohrförmigen Komponente erstrecken, wobei die ersten und zweiten Axialimpeller an im Bezug auf den Radialimpeller axial voneinander beabstandeten Orten an der rohrförmigen Komponente vorgesehen sind, so dass der Radialimpeller axial zwischen den Axialimpellern angeordnet ist,

    wobei sich der erste Axialimpeller an einem im Loch unteren Ende der rohrförmigen Komponente befindet und jeder der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (11) des ersten Axialimpellers an seinem im Loch unteren Ende ein schraubenförmiges Teil (11h) aufweist, das sich schraubig um die rohrförmige Komponente herum erstreckt, und
    wobei sich der zweite Axialimpeller an einem im Loch oberen Ende der rohrförmigen Komponente befindet und jeder der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (21) des zweiten Axialimpellers an seinem im Loch oberen Ende ein schraubenförmiges Teil (21h) aufweist, das sich schraubig um die rohrförmige Komponente herum erstreckt,
    wobei das Verfahren aufweist:

    - Leiten von Fluiden an dem Radialimpeller vorbei und Ablenken von an dem Radialimpeller vorbeifließenden Fluiden radial auswärts von der Außenoberfläche der rohrförmigen Komponente weg; und

    - Ausüben eines axialen Schubs auf die Fluide, die durch den Ring zwischen der rohrförmigen Komponente und der Bohrung hindurchtreten, mittels der Axialimpeller, wobei die Richtung des axialen Schubs, die durch den ersten Axialimpeller auf das Fluid ausgeübt wird, entgegen der Richtung des axialen Schubs ist, der von dem zweiten Axialimpeller auf das Fluid ausgeübt wird,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    jeder der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (11) des ersten Axialimpellers an seinem im Loch oberen Ende ein axiales Teil (11a) aufweist, das sich parallel zur Achse des Rohrs (T) erstreckt, wobei umfangsmäßig benachbarte radiale Vorsprünge (11) der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (11) des ersten Axialimpellers zwischen sich Kanäle (12) definieren, wobei ein Boden der Kanäle (12) allgemein parallel zur Achse des Rohrs (T) ist; und
    jeder der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (21) des zweiten Axialimpellers an seinem im Loxh unteren Ende ein axiales Teil (21a) aufweist, das sich parallel zur Achse des Rohrs (T) erstreckt, wobei umfangsmäßig benachbarte radiale Vorsprünge (21) der Mehrzahl von radialen Vorsprüngen (21) des zweiten Axialimpellers zwischen sich Kanäle (12) definieren, wobei ein Boden der Kanäle (22) allgemein parallel zur Achse des Rohrs (T) ist.
     
    14. Verfahren nach Anspruch 13, wobei das Verfahren enthält:

    Drehen der rohrförmigen Komponente, um einen axialen Schub von jedem Axialimpeller zu dem Radialimpeller hin auszurichten, und

    axiales Bewegen der rohrförmigen Komponente in der Bohrung, um Abtragungen innerhalb der Bohrung axial mitzunehmen, wodurch die Bohrabtragungen (C) infolge des entgegengesetzten Schubs von den Axialimpellern dazu veranlasst werden, in dem Bereich zwischen den zwei Axialimpellern zu verbleiben,

    wobei das Verfahren bevorzugt enthält, Slug der Bohrabtragungen (C) von einem ersten Abschnitt der Bohrung mit einer relativ niedrigen Fluidströmungsrate zu einem anderen zweiten Abschnitt der Bohrung zu bewegen, der eine höhere Fluidströmungsrate als der erste Abschnitt der Bohrung hat, und Suspendieren der Bohrabtragungen (C) in dem zweiten Abschnitt der Bohrung, um sie an der Oberfläche als Suspension zu gewinnen.


     


    Revendications

    1. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage se présentant sous la forme d'un élément tubulaire (T) ayant un alésage central s'étendant le long d'un axe de l'élément tubulaire (T), et deux extrémités, le composant tubulaire ayant un connecteur d'extrémité à chaque extrémité pour le raccordement du composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage dans un train de tiges de forage destiné à être utilisé pour forer un puits de forage (B) dans une formation, le composant tubulaire ayant un mécanisme pour mobiliser des déblais de forage (C) dans un puits de pétrole ou de gaz, dans lequel le mécanisme comprend :

    - une roue radiale comprenant une ou plusieurs saillies radiales (31) s'étendant à partir du composant tubulaire, la/les saillies radiales (31) de la roue radiale étant configurées pour appliquer une poussée radiale sur l'écoulement des déblais dans le fluide de forage passant par un espace annulaire entre l'élément tubulaire (T) et le puits de forage, de sorte que les déblais passant par la/les saillies radiales (31) sont poussés dans une direction radiale à distance de la surface externe du composant tubulaire ; et

    - des première et seconde roues axiales comprenant chacune une pluralité de saillies radiales (11, 21) circonférentiellement espacées, s'étendant radialement à partir du composant tubulaire, les première et seconde roues axiales étant prévues à des emplacements axialement espacés sur le composant tubulaire par rapport à la roue radiale de sorte que la roue radiale est positionnée axialement entre les roues axiales, les roues axiales étant configurées pour appliquer la pression axiale sur les fluides passant par l'espace annulaire entre l'élément tubulaire (T) et le puits de forage, et où la direction de la poussée axiale appliquée sur le fluide par la première roue axiale est opposée à la direction de la poussée axiale appliquée sur le fluide par la seconde roue axiale,

    la première roue axiale étant au niveau d'une extrémité de fond de trou du composant tubulaire et chacune de la pluralité de saillies radiales (11) de la première roue axiale ayant une partie hélicoïdale (11h) au niveau de son extrémité de fond de trou s'étendant de manière hélicoïdale autour du composant tubulaire, et
    la seconde roue axiale étant au niveau d'une extrémité de gueule de trou du composant tubulaire et chacune de la pluralité de saillies radiales (21) de la seconde roue axiale ayant une partie hélicoïdale (21h) au niveau de son extrémité de gueule de trou s'étendant de manière hélicoïdale autour du composant tubulaire,
    caractérisé en ce que :

    chacune de la pluralité de saillies radiales (11) de la première roue axiale comprend une partie axiale (11a) au niveau de son extrémité de gueule de trou s'étendant parallèlement à l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T), des saillies radiales (11) circonférentiellement adjacentes de la pluralité de saillies radiales (11) de la première roue axiale définissant des canaux (12) entre elles avec un plancher des canaux (12) généralement parallèle à l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T) ; et

    chacune de la pluralité de saillies radiales (21) de la seconde roue axiale comprend une partie axiale (21a) au niveau de son extrémité de fond de trou s'étendant parallèlement à l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T), des saillies radiales (21) circonférentiellement adjacentes de la pluralité de saillies radiales (21) de la seconde roue axiale définissant des canaux (22) entre elles avec un plancher des canaux (22) généralement parallèle à l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T).


     
    2. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel chaque roue axiale pousse le fluide vers la roue radiale pour la déviation dans une direction radiale à distance de l'axe du composant tubulaire.
     
    3. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les parties hélicoïdales (11h, 21h) de la pluralité de saillies radiales (11, 21) de chaque roue axiale sont alignées entre elles au même emplacement axial le long de l'axe du composant tubulaire, de préférence les parties hélicoïdales (11h) de la pluralité de saillies radiales (11) de la première roue axiale s'étendent dans des directions opposées par rapport aux parties hélicoïdales (21h) de la pluralité de saillies radiales (21) de la seconde roue axiale.
     
    4. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la roue radiale a une rampe (31d) pour dévier les fluides s'écoulant axialement vers le haut, vers la zone annulaire entre le train de tiges de forage et le puits de forage (B) radialement à distance de la surface externe du composant tubulaire.
     
    5. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel au moins l'une des saillies radiales (31) de la roue radiale s'étend radialement à partir d'une base radialement à proximité de la surface externe de l'élément tubulaire jusqu'à un bord externe plat qui est radialement espacé de l'axe du composant tubulaire.
     
    6. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon la revendication 5, dans lequel la roue radiale a plus d'une saillie radiale (31), et dans lequel les saillies radiales (31) définissent des canaux d'écoulement de fluide (32) entre des saillies radiales (31) circonférentiellement adjacentes, dans lequel les canaux d'écoulement de fluide (32) sont adaptés pour guider l'écoulement des fluides dans l'espace annulaire entre le composant tubulaire et le puits de forage (B), de préférence les saillies radiales (31) de la roue radiale sont alignées avec l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T) et sont droites, et dans lequel les canaux (32) entre les saillies radiales (31) sont également alignés avec l'axe du composant tubulaire et les saillies radiales (31), et sont également droits.
     
    7. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon la revendication 6, dans lequel une transition entre un plancher des canaux (32) et des parois s'étendant radialement des saillies radiales (31) comprend une surface arquée qui s'étend entre les parois s'étendant radialement des saillies radiales (31) et le plancher du canal (32), créant ainsi une rampe orientée de manière circonférentielle se rétrécissant progressivement perpendiculairement par rapport aux parois s'étendant radialement des saillies radiales (31), de préférence les rampes sont orientées dans la direction de rotation de l'élément tubulaire (T), dans lequel le fluide passant par les canaux (32) entre les saillies radiales (31) est poussé vers le haut vers les rampes dans une direction radiale par la rotation de la roue radiale conjointement avec la rotation du train de tiges de forage auquel le composant tubulaire est fixé, et est ainsi dévié radialement vers l'extérieur à partir de l'axe du composant tubulaire.
     
    8. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon l'une quelconque des revendications 5 à 7, dans lequel la roue radiale comprend des faces axiales de gueule de trou et de fond de trou et des surfaces à rampe (31d, 31u) sur les faces axiales de gueule de trou et de fond de trou, et dans lequel l'extrémité de fond de trou a un diamètre inférieur à celui de l'extrémité de gueule de trou, suffisant pour dévier les fluides s'écoulant au-delà ou sur la rampe (31d) radialement à l'extérieur de l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T) dans une région de l'espace annulaire qui a l'écoulement plus turbulent que la région de l'espace annulaire immédiatement radialement adjacente à la surface externe du composant tubulaire, de préférence le diamètre de la rampe (31d) augmente progressivement entre les extrémités axiales de la rampe (31d).
     
    9. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon la revendication 8, ayant une rampe axiale de fond de trou (31d) au niveau d'une extrémité inférieure se rétrécissant progressivement à partir d'un faible rayon jusqu'à un rayon élevé, et une rampe axiale de gueule de trou (31u) agencée au niveau de son extrémité de gueule de trou se rétrécissant progressivement d'un rayon élevé à un faible rayon, de préférence la rampe de gueule de trou (31u) a un angle plus prononcé par rapport à l'axe du composant tubulaire que la rampe de fond de trou (31d).
     
    10. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant des surfaces d'appui comprenant un matériau durci pour s'appuyer contre la surface interne du puits de forage (B), et pour espacer les saillies radiales sur chacune des roues par rapport à la surface interne du puits de forage (B).
     
    11. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon la revendication 10, dans lequel les surfaces d'appui sont prévues sur les surfaces externes de premier et second colliers (10, 20) positionnés sur les extrémités opposées du composant tubulaire, de manière adjacente aux première et seconde roues axiales respectives.
     
    12. Composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage selon la revendication 10 ou la revendication 11, dans lequel les colliers (10, 20) comprennent des canaux hélicoïdaux pour acheminer le fluide axialement au-delà des colliers (10, 20) et dans lequel les canaux sur chaque collier (10, 20) s'étendent dans une première direction sur le premier collier (10) et dans la direction opposée sur le second collier (20).
     
    13. Procédé pour mobiliser des déblais de forage (C) dans un alésage d'un puits de pétrole ou de gaz, le procédé comprenant les étapes consistant à incorporer un composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage dans le train de tiges de forage et déployer le train de tiges de forage dans l'alésage, le composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage ayant un mécanisme pour mobiliser les déblais de forage (C) dans l'alésage, dans lequel le mécanisme comprend :

    - une roue radiale comprenant une ou plusieurs saillies radiales (31) s'étendant à partir du composant tubulaire de train de tiges de forage, la/les saillies radiales (31) de la roue radiale étant configurées pour appliquer une poussée radiale sur l'écoulement des déblais dans le fluide de forage passant par un espace annulaire entre le composant tubulaire et l'alésage, de sorte que les déblais passant par la/les saillies radiales (31) sont poussés dans une direction radiale à distance de la surface externe du composant tubulaire,

    - des première et secondes roues axiales comprenant chacune une pluralité de saillies radiales circonférentiellement espacées (11, 21) s'étendant radialement à partir du composant tubulaire, les première et seconde roues axiales étant prévues à des emplacements axialement espacés sur le composant tubulaire par rapport à la roue radiale de sorte que la roue radiale est positionnée axialement entre les roues axiales ;

    - la première roue axiale étant au niveau d'une extrémité de fond de trou du composant tubulaire et chacune de la pluralité de saillies radiales (11) de la première roue axiale ayant une partie hélicoïdale (11h) au niveau de son extrémité de fond de trou s'étendant de manière hélicoïdale autour du composant tubulaire, et

    - la seconde roue axiale étant au niveau d'une extrémité de gueule de trou du composant tubulaire et chacune de la pluralité de saillies radiales (21) de la seconde roue axiale ayant une partie hélicoïdale (21h) au niveau de son extrémité de gueule de trou s'étendant de manière hélicoïdale autour du composant tubulaire, où le procédé comprend les étapes consistant à :

    - faire passer des fluides au-delà de la roue radiale et dévier les fluides s'écoulant au-delà de la roue radiale radialement vers l'extérieur à partir de la surface externe du composant tubulaire ; et

    - appliquer une poussée axiale sur les fluides passant par l'espace annulaire entre le composant tubulaire et l'alésage au moyen des roues axiales, où la direction de la poussée axiale appliquée sur le fluide par la première roue axiale est opposée à la direction de la poussée axiale appliquée sur le fluide par la seconde roue axiale,

    caractérisé en ce que :

    chacune de la pluralité de saillies radiales (11) de la première roue axiale comprend une partie axiale (11a) au niveau de son extrémité de gueule de trou s'étendant parallèlement à l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T), des saillies radiales (11) circonférentiellement adjacentes de la pluralité de saillies radiales (11) de la première roue axiale définissant des canaux (12) entre elles avec un plancher des canaux (12) généralement parallèle à l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T) ; et

    chacune de la pluralité de saillies radiales (21) de la seconde roue axiale comprend une partie axiale (21a) au niveau de son extrémité de fond de trou s'étendant parallèlement à l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T), des saillies radiales (21) circonférentiellement adjacentes de la pluralité de saillies radiales (21) de la seconde roue axiale définissant des canaux (22) entre elles avec un plancher des canaux (22) généralement parallèle à l'axe de l'élément tubulaire (T).


     
    14. Procédé selon la revendication 13, où le procédé comprend les étapes consistant à faire tourner le composant tubulaire pour diriger la poussée axiale à partir de chaque roue axiale vers la roue radiale, et déplacer axialement le composant tubulaire dans l'alésage afin de traîner les déblais axialement dans l'alésage, moyennant quoi les déblais de forage (C) sont poussés pour rester dans la région entre les deux roues axiales en raison de la poussée opposée des roues axiales, de préférence le procédé comprenant l'étape consistant à déplacer un bouchon de déblais de forage (C) à partir d'une première section de l'alésage avec un premier débit de fluide relativement faible jusqu'à une seconde section différentes de l'alésage qui a un débit de fluide supérieur à celui de la première section de l'alésage, et mettre en suspension les déblais de forage (C) dans le fluide dans la seconde section de l'alésage pour la récupération à la surface sous forme de suspension.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description