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United States Patent Application 20170268328
Kind Code A1
Kharal; Fraz Ahmad ;   et al. September 21, 2017

IDENTIFICATION OF PUMPING SYSTEM PLACEMENT

Abstract

A technique facilitates placement of a pumping system, e.g. an electric submersible pumping system, in a borehole. The pumping system is deployed downhole into the borehole via a conveyance which may be in the form of an electric power cable for providing electric power to the pumping system. A measuring device is disposed between the conveyance and the pumping system and connects the pumping system to the conveyance. The measuring device detects engagement of the pumping system with downhole equipment by monitoring a selected property, e.g. load on the conveyance.


Inventors: Kharal; Fraz Ahmad; (Singapore, SG) ; Gastaud; Nicolas; (Singapore, SG) ; Sundararajan; Mohan Kumar; (Singapore, SG) ; Ekambaram; Raju; (Singapore, SG)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Schlumberger Technology Corporation

Sugar Land

TX

US
Family ID: 1000002003080
Appl. No.: 15/179243
Filed: June 10, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62309688Mar 17, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: E21B 47/09 20130101; E21B 43/128 20130101; E21B 47/0007 20130101; E21B 47/06 20130101; E21B 47/065 20130101; E21B 47/12 20130101
International Class: E21B 47/09 20060101 E21B047/09; E21B 43/12 20060101 E21B043/12

Claims



1. A system for use downhole, comprising: an electric submersible pumping system deployed in a borehole; an electric power cable coupled to the electric submersible pumping system to provide electric power to the electric submersible pumping system; and a measuring device connected to, and disposed between, the electric power cable and the electric submersible pumping system to detect engagement of the electric submersible pumping system with downhole equipment located in the borehole, the measuring device outputting a signal indicating engagement of the electric submersible pumping system with the downhole equipment.

2. The system as recited in claim 1, wherein the measuring device measures tension in the electric power cable.

3. The system as recited in claim 1, wherein the measuring device measures a force exerted by the electric submersible pumping system on the electric power cable.

4. The system as recited in claim 1, wherein the measuring device comprises a load cell.

5. The system as recited in claim 1, wherein the measuring device comprises a strain gauge.

6. The system as recited in claim 1, wherein the measuring device communicates directly with a surface control system.

7. The system as recited in claim 1, wherein the measuring device communicates with a downhole monitoring gauge.

8. The system as recited in claim 1, wherein the signal output by the measuring device is transmitted to a surface control to indicate a decrease in tension in the electric power cable of at least 2000 pounds.

9. The system as recited in claim 1, wherein the signal output by the measuring device is transmitted to a surface control to indicate a decrease in tension in the electric power cable of at least 1000 pounds.

10. A system for use downhole, comprising: a pumping system deployed in a borehole via a conveyance; a completion system located in the borehole; and a measuring device connected to, and disposed between, the conveyance and the pumping system to detect engagement of the pumping system with the completion system, the measuring device comprising a mandrel coupled between the pumping system and the conveyance and a sensor disposed in the mandrel to detect engagement of the pumping system with the completion system via a predetermined decrease in tensile load on the conveyance.

11. The system as recited in claim 10, wherein the pumping system comprises an electric submersible pumping system.

12. The system as recited in claim 11, wherein the conveyance comprises an electric power cable.

13. The system as recited in claim 12, wherein the sensor comprises a load cell.

14. The system as recited in claim 12, wherein the sensor comprises a strain gauge.

15. The system as recited in claim 13, wherein the load cell is coupled with a telemetry system which transmits a signal indicating the predetermined decrease in tensile load to a surface control system.

16. The system as recited in claim 13, wherein the load cell transmits a signal indicating the predetermined decrease in tensile load to a downhole monitoring gauge.

17. A method, comprising: coupling an electric power cable to an electric submersible pumping system via a measuring device mandrel; positioning a sensor along the measuring device mandrel; deploying a completion system downhole into a borehole; conveying the electric submersible pumping system downhole via the electric power cable and into engagement with the completion system; monitoring the engagement via the sensor; and transmitting information from the sensor to a surface control system upon detection of a suitable engagement between the electric submersible pumping system and the completion system.

18. The method as recited in claim 17, wherein positioning the sensor comprises positioning a load cell within the measuring device mandrel.

19. The method as recited in claim 17, wherein positioning the sensor comprises positioning a strain gauge along the measuring device mandrel.

20. The method as recited in claim 17, further comprising operating the electric submersible pumping system, after determining the suitable engagement, to produce a well fluid.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present document is based on and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 62/309,688, filed Mar. 17, 2016, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Oil and gas wells utilize a borehole drilled into the earth and subsequently completed with equipment to facilitate production of desired fluids from a reservoir. A pumping system, e.g. an electric submersible pumping system, may be deployed downhole into the borehole and operated to pump fluids. In some applications, the electric submersible pumping system is deployed downhole by cable to a support position. For example, the cable deployed electric submersible pumping system may be landed on completion components positioned in the borehole. However, difficulty arises in determining when the pumping system is properly supported in the borehole. Operating the pumping system without sufficient support can damage the deployment cable, sometimes causing catastrophic failure which can further damage the completion components deployed in the borehole.

SUMMARY

[0003] In general, a system and methodology facilitate placement of a pumping system, e.g. an electric submersible pumping system, in a borehole. The pumping system is deployed downhole into the borehole via a conveyance which may be in the form of an electric power cable for providing electric power to the pumping system. A measuring device is disposed between the conveyance and the pumping system and connects the pumping system to the conveyance. The measuring device detects engagement of the pumping system with downhole equipment by monitoring a selected property, e.g. load on the conveyance.

[0004] However, many modifications are possible without materially departing from the teachings of this disclosure. Accordingly, such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this disclosure as defined in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] Certain embodiments of the disclosure will hereafter be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements. It should be understood, however, that the accompanying figures illustrate the various implementations described herein and are not meant to limit the scope of various technologies described herein, and:

[0006] FIG. 1 is an illustration of an example of an electric submersible pumping system as it is deployed downhole into a borehole toward engagement with downhole equipment, e.g. a downhole completion, according to an embodiment of the disclosure;

[0007] FIG. 2 is an illustration of another example of an electric submersible pumping system in the form of a cable deployed electric submersible pumping system positioned in engagement with a completion system, according to an embodiment of the disclosure;

[0008] FIG. 3 is an illustration of an example of a measuring device having a sensor to detect engagement of a pumping system with downhole equipment, according to an embodiment of the disclosure;

[0009] FIG. 4 is an illustration of an example of a measuring device utilizing a sensor in the form of a load cell disposed in a load cell mandrel, according to an embodiment of the disclosure; and

[0010] FIG. 5 is a flowchart illustrating an example of a methodology involving a cable deployed electric submersible pumping system conveyed downhole while monitoring a desired property, according to an embodiment of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0011] In the following description, numerous details are set forth to provide an understanding of some embodiments of the present disclosure. However, it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the system and/or methodology may be practiced without these details and that numerous variations or modifications from the described embodiments may be possible.

[0012] The present disclosure generally relates to a system and methodology which facilitate proper placement of a pumping system by enabling monitoring of the placement. For example, an electric submersible pumping system may be deployed into a borehole for engagement with downhole equipment, e.g. a downhole completion system. The pumping system is conveyed into the borehole via a conveyance which may be in the form of an electric power cable for providing electric power to the pumping system. The monitoring is enabled by a measuring device disposed between the conveyance and the pumping system. The measuring device may comprise at least one sensor combined with a connector mechanism, e.g. a mandrel, which connects the pumping system to the conveyance. The measuring device detects engagement of the pumping system with downhole equipment by monitoring a selected property, e.g. load on the conveyance.

[0013] According to an embodiment, a cable deployed electric submersible pumping system is deployed downhole into a wellbore by an electric power cable. The electric submersible pumping system is landed on a downhole completion system and proper engagement with the completion system is verified prior to operating the electric submersible pump. The verification is achieved by monitoring the engagement with a measuring device having a sensor, e.g. a load sensor, positioned in a mandrel which couples the electric submersible pumping system with the electric power cable. The sensor is able to output a signal indicating proper engagement to a suitable control system, such as a surface control system. By way of example, the sensor may be positioned to monitor the loading on the electric power cable, e.g. tension in the electric power cable, to determine when proper landout of the cable deployed electric submersible pumping system has occurred.

[0014] Referring generally to FIG. 1, an embodiment of a pumping system 20 is illustrated as being deployed in a borehole 22, e.g. a wellbore. The pumping system 20 may be constructed in a variety of configurations depending on the particular application or environment in which the pumping system 20 is employed. For example, pumping system 20 may be in the form of an electric submersible pumping system 24 having a variety of components selected according to the parameters of a given operation.

[0015] In the illustrated example, the electric submersible pumping system 24 comprises a submersible electric motor 26, a motor protector 28, and a submersible pump 30 power by the submersible motor 26. In at least some applications, the submersible pump 30 is in the form of a centrifugal pump which may comprise a plurality of stages, e.g. compression stages, having a plurality of impellers rotated with respect to a plurality of cooperating diffusers. The configuration of the stages may vary and may comprise radial flow stages, mixed flow stages, or axial flow stages.

[0016] The pumping system 20, e.g. electric submersible pumping system 24, is conveyed downhole into borehole 22 by a conveyance 32 coupled with the pumping system 20 via a suitable connector sub 33. The conveyance 32 also may have various configurations and may comprise tubing 34, e.g. coiled tubing or production tubing. However, the conveyance 32 may comprise other structures, such as cable used in a cable deployed system as described below with reference to FIG. 2. The monitoring systems described herein are very useful with cable deployed systems, but they also may be utilized with pumping systems 20 deployed by tubing or other types of conveyances.

[0017] In various well applications, the wellbore 22 is drilled into a geologic formation 36 containing desirable production fluids 38, such as petroleum. The wellbore 22 may be lined with a well casing 40, and perforations 42 may be formed through the well casing 40 to enable flow of fluids 38 between the surrounding formation 36 and the wellbore 22. In tubing deployed systems, such as the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, power may be provided to the submersible motor 26 via a cable 46 routed down along conveyance 32 and electric submersible pumping system 24. When electric power is supplied, the submersible motor 26 is able to power submersible pump 30 which, in turn, draws in fluid 38 through a pump intake 48. The pumped fluid 38 is discharged from electric submersible pumping system 24 and into an interior of tubing 34 (or sometimes into an annulus surrounding tubing 34) for production to a surface location.

[0018] Depending on the application, the submersible pumping system 20, e.g. electric submersible pumping system 24, may be conveyed downhole and into engagement with downhole equipment 50. By way of example, the downhole equipment 50 may be in the form of a downhole completion system 52. To determine when proper engagement between the pumping system 20 and the downhole equipment 50 has occurred, a measuring device 54 is disposed between conveyance 32 and pumping system 20.

[0019] By way of example, the measuring device 54 may comprise a connector mechanism 56, e.g. a mandrel, connected between the conveyance 32 and the pumping system 20 and a sensor or sensors 58 positioned along the mandrel 56. The sensor 58 is used to detect at least one property indicative of desired engagement between the pumping system 20 and the downhole equipment 50. For example, the sensor 58 may comprise a load cell or a strain gauge positioned within mandrel 56 to detect a predetermined reduction in tensile load along conveyance 32 as the pumping system 20 engages downhole equipment 50.

[0020] The sensor 58 is then able to output a signal indicative of the proper engagement, and the signal may be transmitted to a control system 60 at a surface location 62 or other suitable location. For example, the signal may be routed directly to the surface control system 60; or the signal may be initially routed to a downhole gauge or processor before being transmitted to the surface 62. Depending on the application, the signal may be transmitted by a suitable telemetry system via a wired and/or wireless communication line 64.

[0021] Referring generally to FIG. 2, another embodiment of electric submersible pumping system 24 is illustrated. In this embodiment, the electric submersible pumping system 24 is a cable deployed system deployed downhole into wellbore 22 via conveyance 32 in the form of an electric power cable 66. The electric power cable 66 has sufficient structural strength so that it may be used to deploy the electric submersible pumping system 24 downhole into engagement with completion system 52.

[0022] In this example, measuring device 54 is again positioned between conveyance 32 and electric submersible pumping system 24. As illustrated, the measuring device 54 is connected to, and disposed between, the electric power cable 66 and the pumping system 20, e.g. electric submersible pumping system 24. The measuring device 54 similarly contains at least one sensor 58 positioned to measure at least one property, e.g. at least one property related to engagement of the electric submersible pumping system 24 with downhole completion system 52.

[0023] For example, the sensor 58 may be a strain sensor or a load sensor coupled to mandrel 56 in a manner able to monitor loading in the electric power cable 66. In this manner, the sensor 58 may be used to monitor for proper engagement of the electric submersible pumping system 24 with completion system 52. In some applications, the sensor 58 is used to simply determine when the downhole completion system 52 provides sufficient support to the cable deployed electric submersible pumping system 24.

[0024] According to an embodiment, when the cable deployed electric submersible pumping system 24 encounters completion system 52, the measuring device 54 detects a change in a measured property or a new value of the measured property. In some applications, for example, the measuring device 54 may comprise sensor 58 in the form of a load cell able to monitor tension, e.g. detect a new value of tension, in the electric power cable 66. The tension in electric power cable 66 is monitored as the electric submersible pumping system 24 lands on the completion system 52. When a sufficient change in tension indicates proper landing of electric submersible pumping system 24, a signal is sent to control system 60 indicating the proper landing.

[0025] In some embodiments, a signal indicating the measured change in tension in the electric power cable 66 (or the new value of the measured property) may be conveyed to the surface control system 60 as a signal carried through the electric power cable 66. For example, the signal may be conveyed to control system 60 via a suitable telemetry system 68, e.g. a wired or wireless telemetry system, cooperating with electric power cable 66. However, other telemetry techniques may be used to transmit signals to control system 60. Depending on the weight of the electric submersible pumping system 24, the change in the measured property may be a specific change in load carried by electric power cable 66. For example, the signal may be used to indicate a change in load of a predetermined value, e.g. a reduction in tensile loading of at least 2000 pounds, at least 1500 pounds, at least 1000 pounds, or another suitable load reduction representative of proper engagement, e.g. landout, between the electric submersible pumping system 24 and the downhole equipment 50.

[0026] As referenced above, the signal may be sent directly to the appropriate control system 60, e.g. a surface control system. In some applications, however, electric submersible pumping system 24 may comprise various monitoring tools 70, e.g. downhole monitoring gauges, for monitoring pressures, temperatures, and/or other downhole parameters. With these types of embodiments, the signal from measuring device 54 may initially be sent to the monitoring tools 70 and then transmitted to surface control system 60 with other downhole data. Regardless, the surface control system 60 can be used for processing the signal and/or other data for conversion to readable units or other useful information.

[0027] Referring generally to FIG. 3, an embodiment of measuring device 54 is illustrated. In this embodiment, measuring device 54 comprises mandrel 56 in the form of a load cell mandrel positioned between electric submersible pumping system 24 and electric power cable 66 of a cable deployed system. In some embodiments, the mandrel 56 may be affixed to electric submersible pumping system 24 and/or cable 66 by threaded connections, such as the illustrated threaded connection 72. According to one example, the sensor 58 is positioned within an open interior 74 of mandrel 56 and is in the form of a strain gauge sensor 76. The strain gauge sensor 76 may be mounted on an internal surface 78 of the mandrel 56 to effectively detect changes in tensile loading along electric power cable 66.

[0028] In this example, the strain gauge sensor 76 is connected via one or more load cell wires 80 to suitable electronics 82, e.g. electronics in downhole monitoring gauge 70 or in an electronics module at the bottom of measuring device 54. In this manner, the sensor 58/strain gauge 76 may be used to output the appropriate signal indicating the desired engagement of pumping system 20 with completion system 52. That signal may then be transmitted via electronics 82 to the control system 60 via a twisted-pair 84 or other suitable communication line 64 for further processing. In this example, three phase conductors 85 of electric power cable 66 are routed through the interior 74 of mandrel 56 and then down to motor 26.

[0029] Referring generally to FIG. 4, another embodiment of measuring device 54 is illustrated. In this embodiment, the measuring device 54 again comprises mandrel 56 in the form of a load cell mandrel positioned between the electric submersible pumping system 24 and electric power cable 66. Sensor 58 is in the form of a load cell sensor 86 positioned within mandrel 56. For example, the load cell sensor 86 may be positioned between a top flange 88 and a lower flange 90 of load cell mandrel 56.

[0030] The mandrel 56 also may comprise a cover 92 extending between the top flange 88 and the lower flange 90 to define an interior volume 94 located between cover 92, the exterior of the load cell sensor 86, and between upper and lower flanges 88, 90. In some applications, a floating seal 96 may be positioned between the cover 92 and at least one of the upper flange 88 and lower flange 90. The floating seal 96 may be used to prevent formation of a parasitic load path through the cover 92.

[0031] In some embodiments, the interior volume 94 may be filled with an oil 98 or other suitable fluid. Additionally, components of electric power cable 66, e.g. three phase conductors 85, may be routed through the interior volume 94 for engagement with electric submersible pumping system 24. In some applications, the load cell sensor 86 may be powered via suitable electronics, e.g. electronics 82, located at a lower end of the measuring device 54.

[0032] FIG. 5 provides a flowchart illustrating a method for determining when a cable deployed electric submersible pumping system 24 engages completion system 52. According to this example, the cable deployed electric submersible pumping system 24 is provided with, e.g. combined with, measuring device 54, as represented by block 100. The electric power cable 66 is coupled to mandrel 56 or other suitable component of measuring device 54, and electric submersible pumping system 24 is lowered into wellbore 22, as represented by block 102.

[0033] At least one property, e.g. tensile loading in electric power cable 66, is monitored by the measuring device 54, as represented by block 104. A signal representing the at least one property, e.g. a change in load or other measured property, is provided to a suitable control system 60. The signal enables determination as to when the cable deployed electric submersible pumping system 24 has properly engaged downhole completion system 52, as represented by block 106.

[0034] However, the methodology as well as the system configuration can be adjusted according to the parameters of a given application and/or environment. For example, the pumping system 20 may comprise a variety of electric submersible pumping systems or other systems for moving fluids, e.g. for lifting production fluids to a desired collection location. The pumping system 20 also may be used in a variety of wellbores or other boreholes in many types of pumping operations. The components of the pumping system 20 may be selected according to the parameters of a given operation. Additionally, the control system 60 may be positioned in whole or in part downhole, at the surface, or at a remote location relative to the wellsite.

[0035] Similarly, the measuring device 54 may comprise a variety of mandrels and sensors positioned to detect at least one property, e.g. tension in electric power cable 66 or other conveyance 32. The sensor 58 may comprise a load cell, a strain gauge, or another sensor or sensors selected to monitor for a desired property. In some embodiments, monitoring of the property comprises continuously monitoring the property while the electric submersible pumping system is deployed downhole into borehole 22. In some embodiments, the sensor(s) 58 may be used for monitoring the force exerted by the electric submersible pumping system 24 on the electric power cable 66. Determining when the pumping system 20 is properly engaged with downhole equipment 50 may comprise comparing a first measured value with a second measured value of the property, e.g. values of tensile loading in electric power cable 66. Additionally, determining proper engagement of the pumping system 20 with the downhole equipment 50 may comprise determining whether the difference between a first measured value of the property and a second measured value of the property exceeds a predetermined quantity, e.g. threshold.

[0036] Although a few embodiments of the disclosure have been described in detail above, those of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible without materially departing from the teachings of this disclosure. Accordingly, such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this disclosure as defined in the claims.

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