(19)
(11)EP 3 289 170 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
24.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/26

(21)Application number: 16720398.3

(22)Date of filing:  29.04.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
E21B 34/10(2006.01)
E21B 33/12(2006.01)
E21B 34/00(2006.01)
E21B 33/127(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2016/059587
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/174191 (03.11.2016 Gazette  2016/44)

(54)

ANNULAR BARRIER WITH EXPANSION UNIT

RINGFÖRMIGE ABSPERRUNG MIT ERWEITERUNGSEINHEIT

BARRIÈRE ANNULAIRE AVEC UNITÉ D'EXPANSION


(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: 30.04.2015 EP 15166050

(43)Date of publication of application:
07.03.2018 Bulletin 2018/10

(73)Proprietor: Welltec Oilfield Solutions AG
6300 Zug (CH)

(72)Inventor:
  • STÆHR, Lars
    3450 Allerød (DK)

(74)Representative: Hoffmann Dragsted A/S 
Rådhuspladsen 16
1550 Copenhagen V
1550 Copenhagen V (DK)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 4 653 588
US-A1- 2014 190 683
US-B1- 6 659 184
US-A- 5 400 855
US-A1- 2014 332 232
US-B2- 7 387 157
  
      
    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

    Field of the invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to an annular barrier to be expanded in an annulus between a well tubular structure and a wall of a borehole downhole for providing zone isolation between a first zone having a first pressure and a second zone. Furthermore, the invention relates to a downhole system.

    Background art



    [0002] When completing a well, production zones are provided by submerging a casing string having annular barriers, e.g. known from US 2014/190683, into a borehole or a casing of the well. When the casing string is in the right position in the borehole or in another casing in the borehole, the annular barriers are expanded or inflated. The annular barriers are in some completions expanded by pressurised fluid, which requires a certain amount of additional energy. In other completions, a compound inside the annular barrier is heated so that the compound becomes gaseous, hence increasing its volume and thus expanding the expandable sleeve.

    [0003] In order to seal off a zone between a well tubular structure and the borehole or an inner tubular structure and an outer tubular structure, a second annular barrier is used. The first annular barrier is expanded on one side of the zone to be sealed off, and the second annular barrier is expanded on the other side of that zone, and in this way, the zone is sealed off.

    [0004] After being expanded, annular barriers may be subjected to a continuous pressure or a periodically high pressure from the outside, either in the form of hydraulic pressure within the well environment or in the form of formation pressure. In some circumstances, such pressures may cause the annular barrier to collapse, which may have severe consequences for the zone which is to be sealed off by the annular barrier, as the sealing properties are then lost due to the collapse. A similar problem may arise when the expandable sleeve is expanded by an expansion means, e.g. pressurised fluid. If the fluid leaks from the sleeve, the back pressure may fade, and the sleeve itself may thereby collapse.

    [0005] The ability of the expanded sleeve of an annular barrier to withstand the collapse pressure is thus affected by many variables, such as strength of material, wall thickness, surface area exposed to the collapse pressure, temperature, well fluids, etc.

    [0006] A collapse rating currently achievable for the expanded sleeve within certain well environments is insufficient for all well applications. Thus, it is desirable to increase the collapse rating to enable annular barriers to be used in all wells, specifically in wells with a high drawdown pressure during production and depletion. The collapse rating may be increased by increasing the wall thickness or the strength of the material; however, this would increase the expansion pressure, which, as already mentioned, is not desirable.

    Summary of the invention



    [0007] It is an object of the present invention to wholly or partly overcome the above disadvantages and drawbacks of the prior art. More specifically, it is an object to provide an improved simple annular barrier which is easy to expand and does not collapse, without having a complex anti-collapse system.

    [0008] The above objects, together with numerous other objects, advantages and features, which will become evident from the below description, are accomplished by a solution in accordance with the present invention by an annular barrier to be expanded in an annulus between a well tubular structure and a wall of a borehole downhole for providing zone isolation between a first zone having a first pressure and a second zone, the annular barrier comprising:
    • a tubular metal part for mounting as part of the well tubular structure, the tubular metal part having a first expansion opening, an axial extension and an outer face,
    • an expandable sleeve surrounding the tubular metal part and having an inner face facing the tubular metal part and an outer face facing the wall of the borehole, each end of the expandable sleeve being connected with the tubular metal part, and
    • an annular space between the inner face of the expandable sleeve and the tubular metal part, the annular space having a space pressure,
    wherein fluid inside the tubular metal part has a tubular pressure, and
    wherein the annular barrier comprises an expansion unit having a first inlet in fluid communication with the expansion opening, a second inlet in fluid communication with the first zone and an outlet in fluid communication with the annular space, and the expansion unit comprising an element movable at least between a first position and a second position, in the first position the expansion opening being in fluid communication with the outlet and the tubular pressure being higher than the first pressure, and in the second position the outlet being in fluid communication with the first zone and the first pressure being higher than the tubular pressure, wherein the tubular metal part comprises at least one second expansion opening being fluidly connected with the first inlet.

    [0009] The expansion unit may comprise a collection part fluidly connected to the first expansion opening and the second expansion opening.

    [0010] Said collection part may be arranged outside the tubular metal part.

    [0011] Moreover, the collection part may comprise a collection sleeve arranged outside the tubular metal part and connected to the tubular metal part, forming an annular chamber between the tubular metal part and the collection sleeve.

    [0012] Further, the first expansion opening and the second expansion opening may be fluidly connected to the annular chamber, and the first inlet may be fluidly connected to the annular chamber.

    [0013] Also, one or more groove(s) may be arranged in the collection sleeve and/or the tubular metal part facing the annular chamber.

    [0014] Furthermore, the collection sleeve may have an outer sleeve face in which one or more circumferential groove(s) may be arranged.

    [0015] The outer sleeve face may have one or more longitudinal groove(s) along the axial extension.

    [0016] Moreover, the one or more longitudinal groove(s) may be in fluid communication with the second inlet.

    [0017] Further, a filtering element, such as a slotted or perforated plate, may be arranged between the tubular metal part and the collection sleeve and configured to filtrate the fluid from inside the tubular metal part.

    [0018] Additionally, the expansion unit may comprise a shuttle valve and the element of the expansion unit may be comprised in the shuttle valve.

    [0019] Also, the element of the expansion unit may move in the axial extension or radially perpendicular to the axial extension.

    [0020] Furthermore, the expansion unit may comprise a plurality of first inlets.

    [0021] In addition, the expansion unit may comprise a plurality of second inlets.

    [0022] The present invention also relates to an annular barrier to be expanded in an annulus between a well tubular structure and a wall of a borehole downhole for providing zone isolation between a first zone having a first pressure and a second zone, the annular barrier comprising:
    • a tubular metal part for mounting as part of the well tubular structure, the tubular metal part having a first expansion opening, an axial extension and an outer face,
    • an expandable sleeve surrounding the tubular metal part and having an inner face facing the tubular metal part and an outer face facing the wall of the borehole, each end of the expandable sleeve being connected with the tubular metal part, and
    • an annular space between the inner face of the expandable sleeve and the tubular metal part, the annular space having a space pressure,
    wherein fluid inside the tubular metal part has a tubular pressure, and
    wherein the annular barrier comprises an expansion unit having a first inlet in fluid communication with the expansion opening, a second inlet
    in fluid communication with the first zone and an outlet in fluid communication with the annular space, and the expansion unit comprising an element movable at least between a first position and a second position, in the first position the expansion opening being in fluid communication with the outlet and the tubular pressure being higher than the first pressure, and in the second position the outlet being in fluid communication with the first zone and the first pressure being higher than the tubular pressure, wherein the expandable sleeve has an expandable sleeve opening opposite the expansion opening, the expansion unit being arranged both in the expansion opening and the expandable sleeve opening so that the outlet is arranged in the annular space.

    [0023] The expansion unit may be arranged on the outer face of the tubular metal part or on an outer face of the well tubular structure.

    [0024] Moreover, the expansion unit may be arranged adjacent to or in abutment with the expandable sleeve.

    [0025] One or both of the ends of the expandable sleeve may be connected with the tubular metal part by means of connection parts, and the expansion unit may be arranged outside the annular space adjacent to or in the connection part.

    [0026] Further, the outlet of the expansion unit may be fluidly connected to the annular space through a fluid channel.

    [0027] Furthermore, the expansion unit may be arranged in the first or the second zone being a production zone.

    [0028] Also, the element may be a piston movable in a piston housing between the first position and the second position, the piston housing comprising a spring being compressed when the piston moves in a first direction.

    [0029] Additionally, the element may be a ball movable between a first seat when the element is in the first position and a second seat when the element is in the second position.

    [0030] The outlet may be arranged between the first seat and the second seat.

    [0031] Moreover, the shuttle valve may have a housing having a first and a second seat made of metal, ceramics, an elastomeric material or a polymeric material.

    [0032] The present invention also relates to a downhole system comprising:
    • a well tubular structure, and
    • a first annular barrier according to the present invention.


    [0033] The downhole system as described above may further comprise a second annular barrier which, when expanded, isolates a production zone together with the first annular barrier, the expansion units of the first annular barrier and the second annular barrier being arranged in a zone other than the production zone.

    [0034] Finally, the present invention also relates to an expansion method for providing and maintaining zone isolation between a first zone having a first pressure and a second zone having a second pressure of the borehole, the method comprising the steps of mounting an annular barrier as described above as part of a well tubular structure, providing pressurised fluid in through the expansion opening(s), arranging the element in the first position, the first position being the expansion position, so that the pressurised fluid is allowed to flow into the annular space, expanding the expandable sleeve of the annular barrier to provide zone isolation between the first zone and the second zone of the borehole, and maintaining zone isolation between the first zone and the second zone when the first pressure of the first zone is higher than the space pressure by arranging the element in the second position, whereby the second inlet is in fluid communication with the outlet.

    Brief description of the drawings



    [0035] The invention and its many advantages will be described in more detail below with reference to the accompanying schematic drawings, which for the purpose of illustration show some non-limiting embodiments and in which

    Fig. 1 shows a cross-sectional view of an annular barrier in a well, said annular barrier having an expansion unit,

    Fig. 2 shows a cross-sectional view of part of another annular barrier,

    Fig. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of part of another annular barrier,

    Fig. 4 shows the annular barrier of Fig. 3, seen from outside the annular barrier, the expansion unit being in its first position,

    Fig. 5 shows the annular barrier of Fig. 4, the expansion unit being in its second position,

    Fig. 6 shows a cross-sectional view of part of another annular barrier,

    Fig. 7 shows part of an annular barrier in perspective having a collection unit,

    Fig. 8 shows a cross-sectional view of part of another annular barrier,

    Fig. 9 shows a cross-sectional view of a downhole system, and

    Fig. 10 shows another cross-sectional view of part of another annular barrier.



    [0036] All the figures are highly schematic and not necessarily to scale, and they show only those parts which are necessary in order to elucidate the invention, other parts being omitted or merely suggested.

    Detailed description of the invention



    [0037] Fig. 1 shows an annular barrier 10 expanded in an annulus 2 between a well tubular structure 1 and an inside wall 5 of a borehole 6 downhole for providing zone isolation between a first zone 101 and a second zone 102 of the borehole 6. The pressure inside the first zone 101 will from hereon be denoted the first pressure P1, and the pressure inside the second zone 102 will from hereon be denoted the second pressure P2.

    [0038] The annular barrier 10 comprises a tubular metal part 7 for mounting as part of the well tubular structure 1 and an expandable sleeve 8 surrounding the tubular metal part 7. The tubular metal part 7 has a tubular pressure Tp and a first expansion opening 3. The expandable sleeve 8 has an inner face 9 facing the tubular metal part 7 and an outer face 16 facing the inside wall 5 of the borehole 6. A first end 12 and a second end 13 of the expandable sleeve 8 are connected with the tubular metal part 7 defining an annular space 15 between the expandable sleeve 8 and the tubular metal part 7. The annular space 15 has a space pressure Ps. The annular barrier 10 further comprises an expansion unit 11.

    [0039] As shown in Fig. 2, the expansion unit 11 has a first inlet 17 being in fluid communication with the expansion opening 3, a second inlet 18 being in fluid communication with the first zone 101 and an outlet 19 in fluid communication with the annular space 15. The expansion unit 11 comprises an element 20 movable at least between a first position and a second position. In the first position, the expansion opening 3 is in fluid communication with the outlet 19, and the tubular pressure is higher than the first pressure P1. In the second position, the outlet 19 is in fluid communication with the first zone 101, and the first pressure P1 is higher than the tubular pressure, wherein the tubular metal part 7 comprises at least one second expansion opening 3a being fluidly connected with the first inlet 17.

    [0040] The annular barrier 10 may be expanded by means of pressurised fluid from within the well tubular structure 1. When expanding the expandable sleeve 8 of the annular barrier 10, the pressurised fluid in the well tubular structure 1 enters the annular space 15 through the first inlet 17 of the expansion unit 11. If the element 20 is not positioned in expansion mode and thus in the first position, the pressurised fluid presses the element 20 to move, providing access to the outlet 19 fluidly connected with the annular space 15.

    [0041] After expanding the expandable sleeve 8 of the annular barrier 10, the second pressure P2 in the second zone 102 being the production zone may increase, e.g. during fracturing or production. During fracturing or production, the pressure inside the tubular metal part 7 increases just as during expansion, forcing the pressure inside the tubular metal part 7 to increase, and forcing the space pressure Ps to increase accordingly, so that the pressure inside the tubular metal part 7 and the pressure inside the annular space is substantially the same, thus avoiding collapse of the expandable sleeve 8. During fracturing, the well tubular structure 1 is pressurised, and fluid is let out through a production opening 51 in the well tubular structure 1, as indicated by arrows in Fig. 1.

    [0042] If the first pressure P1 of the first zone 101 subsequently becomes higher than the second pressure P2 in the production zone 102 (shown in Fig. 1), the expansion unit 11 moves to the second position in which the outlet 19 (shown in Fig. 2) is in fluid communication with the first zone 101 and the first pressure P1 is higher than the tubular pressure, providing fluid communication with the annular space 15.

    [0043] In Fig. 1, the expandable sleeve 8 is connected with the tubular metal part 7 by means of connection parts 14, so that the expandable sleeve 8 is squeezed between the connection parts and the tubular metal part 7. In another embodiment, the expandable sleeve 8 is welded to the tubular metal part 7, as shown in Fig. 8. The expansion unit 11 comprises a collection part 21 fluidly connected to the first and the second expansion openings 3, 3a. The collection part 21 is arranged outside the tubular metal part 7 so that it does not limit the inner diameter of the well tubular structure.

    [0044] As shown in Fig. 2, the collection part 21 comprises a collection sleeve 22 arranged outside the tubular metal part 7 and connected to the tubular metal part, forming an annular chamber 23 between the tubular metal part and the collection sleeve. The first and second expansion openings 3, 3a in the tubular metal part 7 are arranged substantially in the same cross-sectional plane along the circumference of the tubular metal part. The tubular metal part 7 may have a plurality of expansion openings arranged opposite the annular chamber. The expansion openings may be arranged with a mutual distance between them along the circumference and along the longitudinal extension of the tubular metal part. The first and the second expansion openings 3, 3a are fluidly connected to the annular chamber 23 so that fluid from the tubular metal part flows in through the expansion openings and into the annular chamber and from the annular chamber into the first inlet 17 of the expansion unit 11. The annular chamber 23 is thus fluidly connected to the first inlet 17 of the expansion unit 11. In the expansion unit 11, the pressurised fluid is let further out of the outlet 19 and into the annular space 15 through a conduit. The collection sleeve 22 has grooves 25, 26 (shown in Fig. 6) facing the annular chamber 23 and easing the flow from the expansion openings 3, 3a to the first inlet 17. The grooves may, in another embodiment, be arranged in the tubular metal part 7.

    [0045] In Figs. 3-5, the collection part 21 is a conduit joint having three conduit branches, each being connected to an expansion opening 3, 3a and joining the fluid from the tubular metal part 7 before the fluid is led into the first inlet 17 of the expansion unit 11. The outlet 19 of the expansion unit 11 is fluidly connected with the annular space 15 through a conduit 28 running through the connection part 14. In Fig. 4, the expansion unit 11 is positioned in the first position, in which the element 20 is forced against and blocks the second inlet 18 so that a fluid path between the first inlet 17 and the outlet 19 is created. In Fig. 5, the element 20 has shifted position to the second position, in which the element has been forced against and closes the first inlet 17 so that a fluid path between the second inlet 18 and the outlet 19 is provided, equalising the pressure in the first zone with the space pressure in the annular space. The expansion unit 11 of Figs. 3-5 comprises a shuttle valve 11b where the element is part of the shuttle valve shuttling back and forth between the first position and the second position, depending on the pressure inside the tubular metal part, the space pressure and the first pressure in the first zone. The element 20 of the expansion unit 11 moves in the axial extension but may, in another embodiment, move radially perpendicular to the axial extension.

    [0046] The collection part 21, shown in Fig. 6, furthermore serves to collect fluid into the second inlet 18. The collection sleeve 22 comprises circumferential grooves 25 in the outer sleeve face 24 of the collection sleeve 22 and longitudinal grooves 26 (shown in Fig. 7) joining the circumferential grooves 25 so that if the collection part 21 fills up most of the surrounding annulus 2, 37, the grooves in the outer sleeve face 24 of the collection part 21 form channels, guiding the fluid into the second inlet 18. The collection part 21 thus has a first channel 38 from the annular chamber 23 to a first outlet 41 of the collection part 21, the first outlet 41 being fluidly connected to the first inlet 17 of the expansion unit. The collection part 21 furthermore has a second channel 39 collecting fluid from the grooves 25, 26 (shown in Fig. 7) in the outer sleeve face 24 and ending in a second outlet 42 being fluidly connected to the second inlet 18 of the expansion unit.

    [0047] As shown in Fig. 6, the collection part 21 further comprises a filtering element 27 in the form of a slotted or perforated plate, arranged between the tubular metal part 7 and the collection sleeve 22 and configured to filtrate the fluid from inside the tubular metal part flowing in through the first and second expansion openings 3, 3a. The collection sleeve 22 and the filtering element 27 are welded to the tubular metal part 7.

    [0048] Fig. 7 shows part of an annular barrier in perspective having the expansion unit 11 mounted on the outer face 4 of the tubular metal part 7 and between the collection part 21 and the connection part 14, which mounts one end 12 of the expandable sleeve 8. The collection sleeve 22 of the collection part has both circumferential grooves 25 and longitudinal grooves 26 joining the circumferential grooves 25. The first outlet 41 of the collection part 21 is fluidly connected to the first inlet 17 of the expansion unit 11 by means of a conduit 28a, and the second outlet 42 of the collection part 21 is fluidly connected to the second inlet 18 of the expansion unit 11 by means of a conduit 28b.

    [0049] In Fig. 8, the expansion unit 11 is arranged so that the element 20 moves radially when moving back and forth between the first position and the second position. The expandable sleeve 8 has an expandable sleeve opening 31 opposite the expansion opening 3, and the expansion unit 11 is arranged both in the expansion opening 3 and the expandable sleeve 8 opening so that the outlet is arranged in the annular space. The element is a ball 20b movable between a first seat 48 when the element is in the first position and a second seat 49 when the element is in the second position. The outlet is arranged between the first seat and the second seat and in the annular space 15. The expansion unit may, in another embodiment, comprise a plurality of first inlets and/or a plurality of second inlets.

    [0050] As shown in Fig. 10, the expansion unit 11 is, as in Fig. 8, arranged so that the element 20 moves radially when moving back and forth between the first position and the second position. The annular barrier further comprises a connection part 14, which mounts one end 12 of the expandable sleeve 8 to the tubular metal part 7. The connection part is mounted from a first part 14a and a second part 14b, the second part of the connection part being connected to the expandable sleeve 8. The first part 14a and the second part 14b of the connection part 14 comprise channels 33 fluidly connecting the inside of the tubular metal part 7 and the space 15 when the valve is fluidly connecting the inside of the tubular metal part 7 and the channels 33.

    [0051] In another embodiment, the element 20 is a piston movable in a piston housing between the first position and the second position, the piston housing comprising a spring being compressed when the piston moves in a first direction.

    [0052] The invention further relates to a downhole system 100 comprising the well tubular structure 1, and the first annular barrier described above having an expansion unit as shown in Fig. 9. The downhole system may further comprise a second annular barrier 10b which, when expanded, isolates a production zone together with the first annular barrier 10. The expansion units 11 of the first annular barrier and the second annular barrier are arranged in a zone 101 other than the production zone 102.

    [0053] The present invention also relates to an expansion method for providing and maintaining zone isolation between a first zone 101 having a first pressure P1 and a second zone 102 having a second pressure of the borehole 6. The method comprises the steps of mounting an annular barrier 10 as described above as part of a well tubular structure, providing pressurised fluid in through the expansion opening(s), arranging the element in the first position, the first position being the expansion position, so that the pressurised fluid is allowed to flow into the annular space, expanding the expandable sleeve 8 of the annular barrier to provide zone isolation between the first zone and the second zone of the borehole, and maintaining zone isolation between the first zone and the second zone, when the first pressure of the first zone is higher than the space pressure, by arranging the element 20 in the second position, whereby the second inlet is in fluid communication with the outlet.

    [0054] Even though not shown, the annular barrier 10 may also be arranged in a casing and may also be used as an anchor of the well tubular structure 1.

    [0055] By fluid or well fluid is meant any kind of fluid that may be present in oil or gas wells downhole, such as natural gas, oil, oil mud, crude oil, water, etc. By gas is meant any kind of gas composition present in a well, completion or open hole, and by oil is meant any kind of oil composition, such as crude oil, an oil-containing fluid, etc. Gas, oil and water fluids may thus all comprise other elements or substances than gas, oil and/or water, respectively.

    [0056] By a casing is meant any kind of pipe, tubing, tubular, liner, string, etc. used downhole in relation to oil or natural gas production.

    [0057] Although the invention has been described in the above in connection with preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be evident for a person skilled in the art that several modifications are conceivable without departing from the invention as defined by the following claims.


    Claims

    1. An annular barrier (10) to be expanded in an annulus (2) between a well tubular structure (1) and a wall (5) of a borehole (6) downhole for providing zone isolation between a first zone (101) having a first pressure (P1) and a second zone (102), the annular barrier comprising:

    - a tubular metal part (7) for mounting as part of the well tubular structure, the tubular metal part having a first expansion opening (3), an axial extension (L) and an outer face (4),

    - an expandable sleeve (8) surrounding the tubular metal part and having an inner face (9) facing the tubular metal part and an outer face (16) facing the wall of the borehole, each end (12), (13) of the expandable sleeve being connected with the tubular metal part, and

    - an annular space (15) between the inner face of the expandable sleeve and the tubular metal part, the annular space having a space pressure (Ps),

    wherein fluid inside the tubular metal part has a tubular pressure (Pt), and
    wherein the annular barrier comprises an expansion unit (11) having a first inlet (17) in fluid communication with the expansion opening (3), a second inlet (18) in fluid communication with the first zone (101) and an outlet (19) in fluid communication with the annular space, characterised in that the expansion unit comprising an element (20) movable at least between a first position and a second position, in the first position the expansion opening (3) being in fluid communication with the outlet (19) and the tubular pressure (Pt) being higher than the first pressure (P1), and in the second position the outlet (19) being in fluid communication with the first zone (101) and the first pressure (P1) being higher than the tubular pressure (Pt), wherein the tubular metal part (7) comprises at least one second expansion opening (3a) being fluidly connected with the first inlet.
     
    2. An annular barrier according to claim 1, wherein the expansion unit comprises a collection part (21) fluidly connected to the first expansion opening and the second expansion opening.
     
    3. An annular barrier according to claim 2, wherein the collection part comprises a collection sleeve (22) arranged outside the tubular metal part and connected to the tubular metal part, forming an annular chamber (23) between the tubular metal part and the collection sleeve.
     
    4. An annular barrier according to claim 3, wherein the first expansion opening and the second expansion opening are fluidly connected to the annular chamber, and the first inlet is fluidly connected to the annular chamber.
     
    5. An annular barrier according to claim 4, wherein one or more groove(s) (25, 26) are arranged in the collection sleeve and/or the tubular metal part facing the annular chamber.
     
    6. An annular barrier according to claim 4 or 5, wherein the collection sleeve has an outer sleeve face (24) in which one or more circumferential groove(s) (25) is/are arranged.
     
    7. An annular barrier according to claim 6, wherein the outer sleeve face has one or more longitudinal groove(s) (26) along the axial extension.
     
    8. An annular barrier according to claim 7, wherein the one or more longitudinal groove(s) is/are in fluid communication with the second inlet.
     
    9. An annular barrier according to any of claims 4-8, wherein a filtering element (27), such as a slotted or perforated plate, is arranged between the tubular metal part and the collection sleeve and configured to filtrate the fluid from inside the tubular metal part.
     
    10. An annular barrier according to any of claims 1-9, wherein the expansion unit comprises a shuttle valve (11b) and the element of the expansion unit is comprised in the shuttle valve.
     
    11. An annular barrier according to claim 10, wherein the element of the expansion unit moves in the axial extension or radially perpendicular to the axial extension.
     
    12. An annular barrier (10) to be expanded in an annulus (2) between a well tubular structure (1) and a wall (5) of a borehole (6) downhole for providing zone isolation between a first zone (101) having a first pressure (P1) and a second zone (102), the annular barrier comprising:

    - a tubular metal part (7) for mounting as part of the well tubular structure, the tubular metal part having a first expansion opening (3), an axial extension (L) and an outer face (4),

    - an expandable sleeve (8) surrounding the tubular metal part and having an inner face (9) facing the tubular metal part and an outer face (16) facing the wall of the borehole, each end (12), (13) of the expandable sleeve being connected with the tubular metal part, and

    - an annular space (15) between the inner face of the expandable sleeve and the tubular metal part, the annular space having a space pressure (Ps),

    wherein fluid inside the tubular metal part has a tubular pressure (Pt), and
    wherein the annular barrier comprises an expansion unit (11) having a first inlet (17) in fluid communication with the expansion opening, a second inlet (18) in fluid communication with the first zone and an outlet (19) in fluid communication with the annular space, characterised in that the expansion unit comprising an element (20) movable at least between a first position and a second position, in the first position the expansion opening being in fluid communication with the outlet and the tubular pressure being higher than the first pressure, and in the second position the outlet being in fluid communication with the first zone and the first pressure being higher than the tubular pressure, wherein the expandable sleeve has an expandable sleeve opening (31) opposite the expansion opening, the expansion unit being arranged both in the expansion opening and the expandable sleeve opening so that the outlet is arranged in the annular space.
     
    13. An annular barrier according to any of claims 1-12, wherein the element is a ball (20b) movable between a first seat (48) when the element is in the first position and a second seat (49) when the element is in the second position.
     
    14. A downhole system (100) comprising:

    - a well tubular structure (1), and

    - a first annular barrier (10) according to any of the preceding claims.


     
    15. A downhole system (100) according to claim 14, further comprising a second annular barrier (10b) which, when expanded, isolates a production zone (102) together with the first annular barrier, the expansion units of the first annular barrier and the second annular barrier being arranged in a zone (101) other than the production zone.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Ringförmige Sperre (10), die dafür vorgesehen ist, in einem Ring (2) zwischen einer Bohrloch-Röhrenstruktur (1) und einer Wand (5) eines Bohrlochs (6) unten im Bohrloch expandiert zu werden, um eine Zonenabsperrung zwischen einer ersten Zone (101), die einen ersten Druck (P1) hat, und einer zweiten Zone (102) bereitzustellen, wobei die ringförmige Sperre Folgendes umfasst:

    - ein röhrenförmiges Metallteil (7), das dafür vorgesehen ist, als Teil der Bohrloch-Röhrenstruktur montiert zu werden, wobei das röhrenförmige Metallteil eine erste Expansionsöffnung (3), eine axiale Ausdehnung (L) und eine Außenseite (4) hat,

    - eine expandierbare Hülse (8), die das röhrenförmige Metallteil umgibt und die eine Innenseite (9) hat, die dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil zugewandt ist, sowie eine Außenseite (16), die der Wand des Bohrlochs zugewandt ist, wobei jedes Ende (12), (13) der expandierbaren Hülse mit dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil verbunden ist, und

    - einen ringförmigen Raum (15) zwischen der Innenseite der expandierbaren Hülse und dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil, wobei der ringförmige Raum einen Raumdruck (Ps) hat,

    wobei Fluid innerhalb des röhrenförmigen Metallteils einen Röhrendruck (Pt) hat, und
    wobei die ringförmige Sperre eine Expansionseinheit (11) umfasst, die einen ersten Einlass (17), der in Fluidverbindung mit der Expansionsöffnung (3) steht, einen zweiten Einlass (18), der in Fluidverbindung mit der ersten Zone (101) steht, und einen Auslass (19), der in Fluidverbindung mit dem ringförmigen Raum steht, hat, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Expansionseinheit ein Element (20) umfasst, das zwischen wenigstens einer ersten Position und einer zweiten Position beweglich ist, wobei in der ersten Position die Expansionsöffnung (3) in Fluidverbindung mit dem Auslass (19) steht und der Röhrendruck (Pt) höher ist als der erste Druck (P1), und in der zweiten Position der Auslass (19) in Fluidverbindung mit der ersten Zone (101) steht und der erste Druck (P1) höher ist als der Röhrendruck (Pt), wobei das röhrenförmige Metallteil (7) wenigstens eine zweite Expansionsöffnung (3a) umfasst, die mit dem ersten Einlass fluidbezogen verbunden ist.
     
    2. Ringförmige Sperre nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Expansionseinheit einen Sammlerteil (21) umfasst, der mit der ersten Expansionsöffnung und der zweiten Expansionsöffnung fluidbezogen verbunden ist.
     
    3. Ringförmige Sperre nach Anspruch 2, wobei der Sammlerteil eine Sammlerhülse (22) umfasst, die außerhalb des röhrenförmigen Metallteils angeordnet und mit dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil verbunden ist, wodurch zwischen dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil und der Sammlerhülse eine ringförmige Kammer (23) gebildet wird.
     
    4. Ringförmige Sperre nach Anspruch 3, wobei die erste Expansionsöffnung und die zweite Expansionsöffnung mit der ringförmigen Kammer fluidbezogen verbunden sind und der erste Einlass mit der ringförmigen Kammer fluidbezogen verbunden ist.
     
    5. Ringförmige Sperre nach Anspruch 4, wobei eine oder mehrere Rille(n) (25, 26) in der Sammlerhülse und/oder dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil eingerichtet und der ringförmigen Kammer zugewandt sind.
     
    6. Ringförmige Sperre nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, wobei die Sammlerhülse eine äußere Hülsenseite (24) hat, in der eine oder mehrere in Umfangsrichtung verlaufende Rille(n) (25) eingerichtet ist/sind.
     
    7. Ringförmige Sperre nach Anspruch 6, wobei die äußere Hülsenseite eine oder mehrere in Längsrichtung verlaufende Rille(n) (26) entlang der axialen Ausdehnung hat.
     
    8. Ringförmige Sperre nach Anspruch 7, wobei die eine oder mehreren in Längsrichtung verlaufenden Rille(n) in Fluidverbindung mit dem zweiten Einlass ist/sind.
     
    9. Ringförmige Sperre nach einem der Ansprüche 4 bis 8, wobei zwischen dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil und der Sammlerhülse ein Filterelement (27), wie etwa eine geschlitzte oder gelochte Platte, angeordnet und dafür eingerichtet ist, das Fluid aus dem Inneren des röhrenförmigen Metallteils zu filtern.
     
    10. Ringförmige Sperre nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 9, wobei die Expansionseinheit ein Wechselventil (11b) umfasst und das Element der Expansionseinheit im Wechselventil enthalten ist.
     
    11. Ringförmige Sperre nach Anspruch 10, wobei das Element der Expansionseinheit sich in der axialen Ausdehnung oder radial senkrecht zur axialen Ausdehnung bewegt.
     
    12. Ringförmige Sperre (10), die dafür vorgesehen ist, in einem Ring (2) zwischen einer Bohrloch-Röhrenstruktur (1) und einer Wand (5) eines Bohrlochs (6) unten im Bohrloch expandiert zu werden, um eine Zonenabsperrung zwischen einer ersten Zone (101), die einen ersten Druck (P1) hat, und einer zweiten Zone (102) bereitzustellen, wobei die ringförmige Sperre Folgendes umfasst:

    - ein röhrenförmiges Metallteil (7), das dafür vorgesehen ist, als Teil der Bohrloch-Röhrenstruktur montiert zu werden, wobei das röhrenförmige Metallteil eine erste Expansionsöffnung (3), eine axiale Ausdehnung (L) und eine Außenseite (4) hat,

    - eine expandierbare Hülse (8), die das röhrenförmige Metallteil umgibt und die eine Innenseite (9) hat, die dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil zugewandt ist, sowie eine Außenseite (16), die der Wand des Bohrlochs zugewandt ist, wobei jedes Ende (12), (13) der expandierbaren Hülse mit dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil verbunden ist, und

    - einen ringförmigen Raum (15) zwischen der Innenseite der expandierbaren Hülse und dem röhrenförmigen Metallteil, wobei der ringförmige Raum einen Raumdruck (Ps) hat,

    wobei Fluid innerhalb des röhrenförmigen Metallteils einen Röhrendruck (Pt) hat, und
    wobei die ringförmige Sperre eine Expansionseinheit (11) umfasst, die einen ersten Einlass (17), der in Fluidverbindung mit der Expansionsöffnung steht, einen zweiten Einlass (18), der in Fluidverbindung mit der ersten Zone steht, und einen Auslass (19), der in Fluidverbindung mit dem ringförmigen Raum steht, hat, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Expansionseinheit ein Element (20) umfasst, das zwischen wenigstens einer ersten Position und einer zweiten Position beweglich ist, wobei in der ersten Position die Expansionsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Auslass steht und der Röhrendruck höher ist als der erste Druck, und in der zweiten Position der Auslass in Fluidverbindung mit der ersten Zone steht und der erste Druck höher ist als der Röhrendruck, wobei die expandierbare Hülse der Expansionsöffnung gegenüberliegend eine Öffnung der expandierbaren Hülse (31) hat und wobei die Expansionseinheit sowohl in der Expansionsöffnung als auch der Öffnung der expandierbaren Hülse angeordnet ist, derart, dass der Auslass im ringförmigen Raum angeordnet ist.
     
    13. Ringförmige Sperre nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 12, wobei das Element eine Kugel (20b) ist, die zwischen einem ersten Sitz (48), wenn das Element sich in der ersten Position befindet, und einem zweiten Sitz (49), wenn das Element sich in der zweiten Position befindet, beweglich ist.
     
    14. Bohrlochsystem (100), Folgendes umfassend:

    - eine Bohrloch-Röhrenstruktur (1), und

    - eine erste ringförmige Sperre (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche.


     
    15. Bohrlochsystem (100) nach Anspruch 14, das außerdem eine zweite ringförmige Sperre (10b) umfasst, die, wenn sie expandiert ist, zusammen mit der ersten ringförmigen Sperre eine Produktionszone (102) isoliert, wobei die Expansionseinheiten der ersten ringförmigen Sperre und der zweiten ringförmigen Sperre in einer Zone (101) angeordnet sind, die von der Produktionszone verschieden ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Barrière annulaire (10) devant être déployée dans un anneau (2) entre une structure tubulaire de puits (1) et une paroi (5) d'un fond de trou d'un puits de forage (6) pour fournir une isolation de zone entre une première zone (101) présentant une première pression (P1) et une seconde zone (102), la barrière annulaire comprenant :

    - une pièce métallique tubulaire (7) destinée à être montée en tant que partie de la structure tubulaire de puits, la partie métallique tubulaire présentant une première ouverture de déploiement (3), une extension axiale (L) et une face externe (4),

    - un manchon expansible (8) entourant la pièce métallique tubulaire et présentant une face interne (9) faisant face à la partie métallique tubulaire et une face externe (16) faisant face à la paroi du puits de forage, chaque extrémité (12), (13) du manchon expansible étant connectée à la partie métallique tubulaire, et

    - un espace annulaire (15) entre la face interne du manchon expansible et la partie métallique tubulaire, l'espace annulaire présentant une pression d'espace (Ps),

    dans laquelle le fluide à l'intérieur de la partie métallique tubulaire a une pression tubulaire (Pt), et dans laquelle la barrière annulaire comprend une unité de déploiement (11) présentant une première entrée (17) en communication fluidique avec l'ouverture de déploiement (3), une seconde entrée (18) en communication fluidique avec la première zone (101) et une sortie (19) en communication fluidique avec l'espace annulaire, caractérisée en ce que l'unité de déploiement comprenant un élément (20) mobile au moins entre une première position et une seconde position, dans la première position, l'ouverture de déploiement (3) étant en communication fluidique avec la sortie (19) et la pression tubulaire (Pt) étant supérieure à la première pression (P1), et dans la seconde position, la sortie (19) étant en communication fluidique avec la première zone (101) et la première pression (P1) étant supérieure à la pression tubulaire (Pt), dans laquelle la partie métallique tubulaire (7) comprend au moins une seconde ouverture de déploiement (3a) reliée de manière fluidique à la première entrée.
     
    2. Barrière annulaire selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle l'unité de déploiement comprend une partie de collecte (21) connectée de manière fluidique à la première ouverture de déploiement et à la seconde ouverture de déploiement.
     
    3. Barrière annulaire selon la revendication 2, dans laquelle la partie de collecte comprend un manchon de collecte (22) agencé à l'extérieur de la partie métallique tubulaire et connecté à la partie métallique tubulaire, en formant une chambre annulaire (23) entre la partie métallique tubulaire et le manchon de collecte.
     
    4. Barrière annulaire selon la revendication 3, dans laquelle la première ouverture de déploiement et la seconde ouverture de déploiement sont connectées de manière fluidique à la chambre annulaire, et la première entrée est connectée de manière fluidique à la chambre annulaire.
     
    5. Barrière annulaire selon la revendication 4, dans laquelle une ou plusieurs rainures (25, 26) sont agencées dans le manchon de collecte et/ou la partie métallique tubulaire en faisant face à la chambre annulaire.
     
    6. Barrière annulaire selon la revendication 4 ou 5, dans laquelle le manchon de collecte a une face de manchon externe (24) dans laquelle une ou plusieurs rainures circonférentielles (25) est/sont agencée(s).
     
    7. Barrière annulaire selon la revendication 6, dans laquelle la face de manchon externe comporte une ou plusieurs rainures longitudinales (26) le long de l'extension axiale.
     
    8. Barrière annulaire selon la revendication 7, dans laquelle les une ou plusieurs rainures longitudinales sont en communication fluidique avec la seconde entrée.
     
    9. Barrière annulaire selon l'une quelconque des revendications 4 à 8, dans laquelle un élément filtrant (27), tel qu'une plaque à fentes ou perforée, est agencé entre la partie métallique tubulaire et le manchon de collecte et est configurée pour filtrer le fluide depuis l'intérieur de la partie métallique tubulaire.
     
    10. Barrière annulaire selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 9, dans laquelle l'unité de déploiement comprend un clapet-navette (11b) et l'élément de l'unité de déploiement est compris dans le clapet-navette.
     
    11. Barrière annulaire selon la revendication 10, dans laquelle l'élément de l'unité de déploiement se déplace dans l'extension axiale ou radialement perpendiculairement à l'extension axiale.
     
    12. Barrière annulaire (10) devant être déployée dans un anneau (2) entre une structure tubulaire de puits (1) et une paroi (5) d'un fond de trou d'un puits de forage (6) pour fournir une isolation de zone entre une première zone (101) présentant une première pression (P1) et une seconde zone (102), la barrière annulaire comprenant :

    - une pièce métallique tubulaire (7) destinée à être montée en tant que partie de la structure tubulaire de puits, la partie métallique tubulaire présentant une première ouverture de déploiement (3), une extension axiale (L) et une face externe (4),

    - un manchon expansible (8) entourant la partie métallique tubulaire et présentant une face interne (9) faisant face à la partie métallique tubulaire et une face externe (16) faisant face à la paroi du trou de forage, chaque extrémité (12), (13) du manchon expansible étant connectée à la partie métallique tubulaire, et

    - un espace annulaire (15) entre la face interne du manchon expansible et la partie métallique tubulaire, l'espace annulaire présentant une pression spatiale (Ps),

    dans laquelle du fluide à l'intérieur de la partie métallique tubulaire a une pression tubulaire (Pt), et
    dans laquelle la barrière annulaire comprend une unité de déploiement (11) ayant une première entrée (17) en communication fluidique avec l'ouverture de déploiement, une seconde entrée (18) en communication fluidique avec la première zone et une sortie (19) en communication fluidique avec l'espace annulaire, caractérisée en ce que l'unité de déploiement comprend un élément (20) mobile au moins entre une première position et une seconde position, dans la première position, l'ouverture de déploiement étant en communication fluidique avec la sortie et la pression tubulaire étant supérieure à la première pression, et dans la seconde position, la sortie étant en communication fluidique avec la première zone et la première pression étant supérieure à la pression tubulaire, dans laquelle le manchon expansible comporte une ouverture de manchon expansible (31) opposée à l'ouverture de déploiement, l'unité de déploiement étant agencée à la fois dans l'ouverture de déploiement et l'ouverture de manchon expansible de sorte que la sortie soit agencée dans l'espace annulaire.
     
    13. Barrière annulaire selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 12, dans laquelle l'élément est une bille (20b) mobile entre un premier siège (48) lorsque l'élément est dans la première position et un second siège (49) lorsque l'élément est dans la seconde position.
     
    14. Système de fond de trou (100) comprenant :

    - une structure tubulaire de puits (1), et

    - une première barrière annulaire (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes.


     
    15. Système de fond de trou (100) selon la revendication 14, comprenant en outre une seconde barrière annulaire (10b) qui, lorsqu'elle est déployée, isole une zone de production (102) conjointement avec la première barrière annulaire, les unités de déploiement de la première barrière annulaire et la seconde barrière annulaire étant agencées dans une zone (101) autre que la zone de production.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description