Patent application title: Multiple Liner Hanger Assembly
Ananth Srinivasan (Houston, TX, US)
Alex D. Harris (Humble, TX, US)
Todd J. Talbot (Cypress, TX, US)
BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED
IPC8 Class: AE21B720FI
Class name: Processes placing or shifting well part providing support for well part (e.g., hanger or anchor)
Publication date: 2012-09-27
Patent application number: 20120241171
A hanger assembly provided for multiple hanging opportunities. If liner
is being run and the primary hanger doesn't work then a backup hanger is
available to set near the nonfunctional primary hanger. In drilling with
casing applications when there is a steering equipment malfunction or an
MWD breakdown or bit wear requiring the BHA to be pulled, the liner can
be hung where it is and the BHA pulled. Upon running back in with the BHA
on a running tool the initial hanger can be released and the running tool
configured to only set a different hanger when the total depth is reached
in drilling with the liner. The running tool is then retrieved and the
completion can go on.
1. A tubular string hanging method to an existing tubular in a
subterranean location, comprising: running in a tubular string with at
least one hanger through the existing tubular; securing said tubular
string to the surrounding tubular with said hanger at a first location on
the surrounding tubular; releasing said hanger and further advancing said
tubular string; securing said tubular string to the surrounding tubular
with said hanger at least one alternate location.
2. The method of claim 1, comprising: setting said hanger mechanically.
3. The method of claim 1, comprising: setting said hanger hydraulically.
4. The method of claim 1, comprising: using a plurality of hangers as said at least one hanger; setting a different hanger at said first and said alternate locations.
5. The method of claim 4, comprising: setting said plurality of hangers with different running tools.
6. The method of claim 5, comprising: configuring said running tool that sets said hanger at said alternate location to avoid actuating said hanger previously set at said first location by a different running tool.
7. The method of claim 6, comprising: releasing said hanger at said first location with said running tool that later sets another hanger at said alternate location.
8. The method of claim 7, comprising: locking said hanger released from said first location against resetting with said running tool that later sets another hanger at said alternate location.
9. The method of claim 6, comprising: locating a seat in said running tool that later sets another hanger at said alternate location adjacent a setting port on a hanger to be set; locating spaced isolators in said running tool that later sets another hanger at said alternate location to span setting ports for spaced apart hangers; dropping an object on said seat; pressuring up against said object to set a hanger at said alternate location while applying pressure to setting ports of said hanger previously set at said first location in a manner that will not set said now released hanger another time.
10. The method of claim 4, comprising: setting a plurality of hangers at said first and alternate locations with the same running tool.
11. The method of claim 6, comprising: locating an object on a first seat to set a hanger at said first location; passing the object though said first seat after setting said hanger at said first location with pressure on said object; locating a second object on a second seat below said first seat; setting another hanger at an alternate location with pressure on said second object.
12. The method of claim 11, comprising: providing said second object as larger than said first.
13. The method of claim 4, comprising: pulling a bottom hole assembly through said tubular string after setting said hanger at said first location; replacing said bottom hole assembly in said tubular string; retaining said tubular string with a running tool; releasing said hanger at said first location; setting another hanger with said running tool at said alternate location.
14. The method of claim 12, comprising: drilling while advancing said tubular string with said bottom hole assembly; engaging said hanger at said alternate location when reaching a desired location with said drilling.
15. The method of claim 13, comprising: preventing said hanger that is released from said first location from resetting after said release.
16. The method of claim 14, comprising: setting said hangers mechanically or hydraulically.
17. The method of claim 14, comprising: preventing said resetting mechanically or hydraulically.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The field of the invention is liners and hangers that suspend them from existing tubulars and more particularly an assembly where a liner can be hung off an existing tubular more than a single time and optionally at different locations.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 When running a liner to hang off an existing tubular with a line hanger, there is a risk that the hanger will malfunction. If that happens the liner has to be run out of the hole enough to expose the hanger so that it can be removed and repaired or replaced. The present invention addresses that issue and allows the liner to be hung with a backup hanger actuated from a common running tool.
 Other applications involve liner drilling where the bottom hole assembly (BHA) has measurement while drilling (MWD) or other steering tools and includes a bit. A malfunction of the directional tools or bit before the liner is sufficiently advanced to be properly hung at the intended location from the surrounding tubular used to mean that the liner had to be pulled out of the hole to gain access to the failed equipment. The reason for this was that known liner hangers are built for a single deployment and if set prematurely high while the BHA is pulled through the liner, the hanger could not then be released and redeployed at a new lower location when the drilling concluded. Here again the present invention allows for an interim hanging of the liner that has not been fully advanced to facilitate the equipment repair or replacement followed with an ability to resume liner drilling when the hanger is released and then hang the fully advanced liner in the originally intended location. In the preferred embodiment a backup liner hanger is used that can be subsequently set when the liner is fully advanced. The original liner can also be reconfigured to allow it to release and reset, as an option to the embodiment described in detail below. Those skilled in the art will better appreciate the details of the invention from the description and associated drawings that are presented below while appreciating that the full scope of the invention can be determined from the appended claims.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 A hanger assembly provided for multiple hanging opportunities. If liner is being run and the primary hanger doesn't work then a backup hanger is available to set near the nonfunctional primary hanger. In drilling with casing applications when there is a steering equipment malfunction or an MWD breakdown or bit wear requiring the BHA to be pulled, the liner can be hung where it is and the BHA pulled. Upon running back in with the BHA on a running tool the initial hanger can be released and the running tool configured to only set a different hanger when the total depth is reached in drilling with the liner. The running tool is then retrieved and the completion can go on.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIGS. 1-6 depict a prior art tool shown in the various steps in a method involving its use;
 FIG. 7 is a section view of a first embodiment of the present invention;
 FIG. 7a is a running tool for the tool in FIG. 7;
 FIG. 8 is an alternative embodiment to FIG. 7;
 FIG. 8a is the running tool for FIG. 8.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 FIG. 1 illustrates a known liner hanger 10 that has spaced ports 12 and 14 that lead to identical and opposed pistons (not shown) so that internal pressure in the passage 16 that communicates with both ports 12 and 14 at the same time will not result in movement of the slips 18 to hang the liner 10. A running tool 20 shown in FIG. 2 allows the slips 18 to be set. The running tool has spaced seals 22 and 24 and in between there is a lateral port 26 and a ball seat 28 just below the port 26. When the liner hanger slips 18 are to be set the ball seat 28 that is situated between ports 12 and 14 on the liner hanger 10 receives a ball (not shown) which allows pressure from above to communicate with port 12 on the hanger 10 while port 14 is isolated by the running tool seals 30 and 32. A pressure buildup allows the slips 18 to set and further pressure to blow the ball through the seat 28 allowing circulation to resume after the running tool 20 is removed with the pressure balanced on the opposed pistons that communicate with the passage 16.
 The method is illustrated with FIGS. 3-6. In FIG. 3 the seat has no ball in it and circulation flow represented by arrows 36 is possible. Pressure goes out port 26 but pressure is applied to oppositely disposed actuating pistons so that neither of them can be actuated. In FIG. 4 a ball 38 lands on the seat 28 and pressure is applied through passage 26 that now can only reach port 12 and move the piston associated with that port to set the slips 18 and hang the liner 10. Further pressure as in FIG. 5 shifts a sleeve 40 in the ball seat assembly and the ball 38 is blown through the seat 28 by extruding it through so that circulation can be regained.
 The present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. A primary hanger 50 is mounted preferably above a secondary hanger 52. The initial running tool 54 is similar to that described above. The liner assembly is represented schematically as 56. It can be a liner being run in for hanging or it can be a liner used in liner drilling that has a removable BHA. If the liner 56 is run in or drilled in without incident, then the primary hanger 50 is actuated with the hanger 20 in the manner described above. If the hanger 50 fails to set or has been initially set due to a problem with advancing the liner assembly to the desired depth, then the secondary hanger 52 is set with a running tool 58 shown in FIG. 8a. The difference between the running tools 54 and 58 is the positioning of the ball seat 28 and 28' with respect to the upper packoff 22 or 22'. Similarly port 26' is lower in the running tool 58 than port 26 is in running tool 54.
 One variation of the method is to run in with running tool 54 and if the liner assembly fully advances or is fully drilled in then a ball is dropped on seat 28 and the primary hanger 50 is set and the running tool 54 is pulled out. On the other hand if the liner assembly 56 fails to be drilled in to total depth and the BHA has to come out through the liner assembly 56, then the running tool 54 can set the primary hanger 50 wherever it is when drilling progress stops and the running tool 54 can retrieve the BHA through the liner assembly 56. A repaired or replacement BHA is run in with running tool 58 and secured to the liner in a known way. With the liner assembly 56 now supported on the running tool 58 and the BHA latched in position, the primary liner hanger is released with the running tool 58 by breaking a shear connection in a known way and liner drilling can commence to total depth. At total depth, the running tool 58 is now in position so that the actuation ports for hanger 50 are exposed to pressure in opposed directions so that when a ball hits seat 28' the only hanger getting pressure to one of its two opposed pistons is hanger 52 which is now set at the originally intended location at the lower end of the surrounding tubular.
 Other variations are envisioned. If liner is simply being run into an already drilled bore the running tool 58 can be used initially with two spaced apart ball seats 28' that are each just below a lateral port 26' associated with each seat. The higher seat 28' accepts a smaller ball that can set the primary hanger 50 and then get blown through both seats 28'. If the primary hanger fails then a bigger ball passes through the blown smaller upper ball seat 28' and lands on the intact lower ball seat 28'. The original ball having gone through the lower seat earlier without deforming the lower seat 28' allows the second ball to land on the lower seat and set the secondary hanger 52.
 In a liner drilling application the BHA has to come out so that it is easy enough to replace the initial running tool 54 with the extended reach running tool 58 for delivering the replacement BHA and setting releasing the primary hanger and after drilling is done setting the secondary hanger 52. A variation on this method is to again run in with a variation of the running tool 54 that allows it to accomplish two tasks. One is to retain the liner assembly 56 while releasing the primary hanger 50 after the replacement BHA is latched. However the release function for the initial hanger 50 can embody a lockout that keeps its slips 18 retracted such as a body lock ring that activates after a shear release that undermines the grip of the slips 18 of the primary hanger 50. Now the modified version of the running tool 54 can be used in a similar manner that it was used to set the primary hanger 50 to set the secondary hanger 52. In this variation a single running tool can be used to actuate the primary and secondary hangers and for release and locking out of the primary hanger.
 Another alternative would be to go in with single hanger but to configure it to be set, released and still be reset later at a different location. Doing the procedure this way allows the use of a single hanger that can be set at multiple locations such as might be needed if the BHA has to be pulled before liner drilling operations reach total depth. While two hangers are discussed options for use of more than two hangers are also contemplated.
 The above description is illustrative of the preferred embodiment and many modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the invention whose scope is to be determined from the literal and equivalent scope of the claims below.
Patent applications by BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED
Patent applications in class Providing support for well part (e.g., hanger or anchor)
Patent applications in all subclasses Providing support for well part (e.g., hanger or anchor)