Louisiana Patent of the Month – August 2023

Abrado, Inc. has made a name for itself by redefining section milling the surgical removal of multiple casing sections. Recently, the company has patented a new design for a downhole tubular cutting and milling system. Traditional casing cutting tools have faced limitations when deployed on coiled tubing strings, but Abrado’s novel solution is set to change the game.

The heart of their innovation lies in an elongated main body with a slidable piston and a spring that biases the piston in an uphole direction. Fluid flows through the bore of the coiled tubing string and the main body bears on the piston, allowing it to move either upward or downward. The piston is connected to operating arms, which, in turn, are rotatably connected to the main body. When the piston moves downhole, the operating arms rotate outwardly, extending the plurality of cutter bases attached to them.

This system allows precise milling and cutting of tubulars in oil and gas wells, even in the most challenging downhole conditions. The cutters, with their hardened cutting surfaces, make quick work of the toughest tubulars, improving operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

One key advantage of Abrado’s apparatus is the stabilizer section in the cutter bases. This section, with no cutters mounted, ensures stability during uphole milling operations, making it ideal for casing milling in an uphole direction. The lowermost ends of the cutter bases have angled configurations, facilitating entry into tubulars and enhancing overall performance.

Abrado’s apparatus features a piston locking mechanism that secures the piston in its downhole position, ensuring the cutter bases remain extended during the milling process. This innovation eliminates the risk of accidental retraction, enhancing safety and precision.

The versatility of the apparatus is further enhanced by its compatibility with both downhole mud motors and surface rotary devices for rotation. This adaptability allows for seamless integration into existing wellbore operations.

For the method of milling tubulars, Abrado provides a comprehensive step-by-step process. Starting with the deployment of the tubular milling assembly, the coiled tubing string, and the tubular milling apparatus are lowered to the desired depth in the wellbore. Fluid flows through the coiled tubing string moves the piston to the lower position, extending the operating arms and cutter bases. The apparatus is then rotated to initiate the milling process.

Abrado’s tubular milling assembly is designed to be pulled upward by the coiled tubing string during milling, allowing it to mill in an uphole direction, providing a remarkable advantage over conventional methods.

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