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1. WO2020139944 - SMART WELLHEAD

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A method of installing a hanger at a target location within a wellhead, the hanger having a locking mechanism to secure the hanger within the wellhead, the wellhead having one or more sensors, the method comprising:

lowering the hanger within the wellhead;

using the one or more sensors to detect when the hanger is at the target location;

activating the locking mechanism; and

using the one or more sensors to detect when the locking mechanism has secured the hanger within the wellhead.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more sensors include a first sensor and a second sensor, using the one or more sensors to detect when the hanger is at the target location includes using the first sensor to detect when the hanger is at the target location, and using the one or more sensors to detect when the locking mechanism has secured the hanger within the wellhead includes using the second sensor to detect when the locking mechanism has secured the hanger within the wellhead.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the first sensor and the second sensor are positioned at different axial locations along the wellhead.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein using the one or more sensors to detect when the locking mechanism has secured the hanger within the wellhead includes using the one or more sensors to detect movement of a component of the locking mechanism radially outward into a recess of the wellhead.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein using the one or more sensors to detect movement of the component of the locking mechanism radially outward into the recess of the wellhead includes:

sensing a first ultrasonic signature from ultrasonic signals emitted from and received by the one or more sensors before activating the locking mechanism, wherein the first ultrasonic signature depends on a distance of the component of the locking mechanism from the one or more sensors; and

sensing a second ultrasonic signature from ultrasonic signals emitted from and received by the one or more sensors after activating the locking mechanism, wherein the second ultrasonic signature depends on the distance of the component of the locking mechanism from the one or more sensors and differs from the first ultrasonic signature due to the movement of the component of the locking mechanism radially outward into the recess of the wellhead.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the locking mechanism includes a

lockdown ring.

7. A method of installing a hanger or a packoff at a target location within a wellhead, the wellhead having one or more ultrasonic sensors, the method comprising: lowering the hanger or the packoff within the wellhead; and

using the one or more ultrasonic sensors to detect when the hanger or the packoff is at the target location.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein using the one or more ultrasonic sensors to detect when the hanger or the packoff is at the target location includes:

emitting ultrasonic waves into a bore of a wellhead assembly including the wellhead from a first ultrasonic sensor of the one or more ultrasonic sensors; and

sensing reflections of the ultrasonic waves from the hanger or the packoff.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein using the one or more ultrasonic sensors to detect when the hanger or the packoff is at the target location includes:

measuring a distance from the first ultrasonic sensor to the hanger or the packoff based on the sensed reflections; and

outputting a signal indicating the hanger or the packoff is at the target location based on the measured distance from the first ultrasonic sensor to the hanger or the packoff.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein the first ultrasonic sensor is aligned with a landing shoulder in the bore, lowering the hanger or the packoff within the wellhead includes landing the hanger or the packoff on the landing shoulder, the target position is a position at which the hanger or the packoff is landed on the landing shoulder, emitting ultrasonic waves into the bore from the first ultrasonic sensor includes emitting a beam of the ultrasonic waves from the first ultrasonic sensor across the landing shoulder, and sensing reflections of the ultrasonic waves from the hanger or the packoff includes sensing reflections of the ultrasonic waves from the hanger or the packoff after the hanger or the packoff is landed on the landing shoulder.

11. The method of claim 8, wherein the first ultrasonic sensor is axially offset from a landing shoulder in the bore, lowering the hanger or the packoff within the wellhead includes landing the hanger or the packoff on the landing shoulder, the target position is a position at which the hanger or the packoff is landed on the landing shoulder, and emitting ultrasonic waves into the bore from the first ultrasonic sensor includes emitting a beam of the ultrasonic waves from the first ultrasonic sensor into the bore at a location axially offset from the landing shoulder.

12. The method of claim 11, comprising sensing passage of an edge of the hanger or the packoff past the location axially offset from the landing shoulder at which the beam of ultrasonic waves from the first ultrasonic sensor is emitted into the bore, and determining that the hanger or the packoff has landed on the landing shoulder based on the sensed passage of the edge of the hanger or the packoff.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein sensing passage of the edge of the hanger or the packoff past the location axially offset from the landing shoulder at which the beam of ultrasonic waves from the first ultrasonic sensor is emitted into the bore includes sensing passage of an upper end of the hanger or the packoff past the location axially offset from the landing shoulder at which the beam of ultrasonic waves from the first ultrasonic sensor is emitted into the bore.

14. The method of claim 8, wherein using the one or more ultrasonic sensors to detect when the hanger or the packoff is at the target location includes:

emitting ultrasonic waves into the bore from a second ultrasonic sensor of the one or more ultrasonic sensors;

sensing reflections of the ultrasonic waves emitted by the first and second ultrasonic sensors;

using each of the first ultrasonic sensor and the second ultrasonic sensor to independently detect that the hanger or the packoff is at the target location based on the sensed reflections of the ultrasonic waves; and

based on the independent detection via each of the first ultrasonic sensor and the second ultrasonic sensor that the hanger or the packoff is at the target location, outputting a signal indicating that the hanger or the packoff is at the target location.

15. The method of claim 8, wherein sensing reflections of the ultrasonic waves from the hanger or the packoff includes sensing reflections of the ultrasonic waves from the hanger or the packoff with the first ultrasonic sensor.

16. The method of claim 7, comprising using the one or more ultrasonic sensors to detect concentricity of the hanger or the packoff in a bore of a wellhead assembly including the wellhead.

17. The method of claim 7, comprising using the one or more ultrasonic sensors to detect the position of a seal in a bore of a wellhead assembly including the wellhead.

18. The method of claim 7, wherein the target position is a landing position of the hanger or the packoff within the wellhead.

19. An apparatus comprising:

a wellhead assembly including a pressure-containing housing having a bore; and one or more ultrasonic sensors positioned along the pressure-containing housing outside the bore to detect landing or locking of well equipment within the pressure-containing housing.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein the one or more ultrasonic sensors include an ultrasonic sensor coupled to the pressure-containing housing, the pressure-containing housing has a curved outward- facing surface, and the ultrasonic sensor coupled to the pressure-containing housing includes a mating curved contact surface engaging the curved outward- facing surface of the pressure-containing housing.