Inflatable Bridge Plugs

Bridge plugs are used to create a temporary or permanent barrier in a well to seal off a chosen section downhole. In oil and gas applications they are typically employed to block off unwanted water flow from an reservoir that has been encountered, or to assist with the abandonment of an old well.

Typically, an inflatable bridge plug or abandonment packer is run in on drill pipe to the required zone in the well. The plug is then inflated with water to high pressure via the drill string to lock into the casing or open hole. When satisfied with the setting, the string can be disconnected from the plug through either a left-hand back off sub or a direct shear sub. The inflation pressure is locked into the plug through check valves which are incorporated into the inlet pipework.

For well abandonment, grout can be placed on top of the plug after inflation to permanently block off the bore. AGE also manufactures plugs that incorporate deflation retrieval systems that can be used when only a temporary isolation is required.

Bridge plugs are available in a variety of lengths, diameters and configurations to suit your specific requirements. We also produce bridge plugs suitable for running on hose, poly pipe and even wireline systems. Each plugging program is carefully considered to match the specific conditions and requirements of the well, ensuring the most appropriate solution is selected.

AGE Developments designs and manufactures a large range of inflatable bridge plugs. These permanent plugs have the advantage of a relatively small run-in diameter, a large setting range and the ease of installation which is typical of AGE inflatable packers.

Features include:

  • Suitable for setting in open hole or casing.
  • Available to suit standard casing sizes.
  • Factory set spring check and relief valve systems assure positive pressure shut-in and prevent over-inflation.
  • Shear valve inflation protection system to prevent premature inflation.
  • Lifting points provided on both ends of all plugs to facilitate handling.

Although normally used in conjunction with a cement grout plug set on top of the packer, these bridge plugs can also support considerable differential pressure from either above or below.

Standard Casing Bridge Plugs

This range of standard plugs are principally designed for setting in casing. They employ a fixed-end inflatable packer element with synthetic cord and steel wire reinforcement. Specifications for standard 13 3/8″, 20″ & 30″ Bridge plugs are as follows:

Nominal SizeO.D. mm (in)Rubber Length
mm (in)
Inflation Volume
Litres (gal)
Differential Pressure Capacity
Supported kPa
(psi)
Unsupported kPa
(psi)
13 3/8″270 (10.63″)900 (35″)19 (5.0)6500 (950)2500 (360)
20″434 (17.1″)800 (32″)24 (6.3)6500 (950)2500 (360)
30″582 (22.9″)980 (39″)186 (49)2000 (300)800 (115)

 Open Hole Large Expansion Bridge Plugs

These plugs were originally designed to enable running through BOP restrictions and set in larger diameter casing. Owing to their large expansion capability, they are also useful for open-hole applications. They employ a sliding end, inflatable packer element, fully reinforced with steel wire.

Specifications for Large Expansion Bridge plugs are as follows:

Nominal SizeO.D. mm (in)Rubber Length
mm (in)
Inflation Volume
Litres (gal)
Differential Pressure Capacity
Supported kPa
(psi)
Unsupported kPa
(psi)
12″-20″300 (11.8″)1600 (63″)210 (55)4500 (650)2500 (360)
15″-25″384 (15.1″)2000 (79″)400 (105)3500 (500)1500 (215)
17″-30″434 (17.1″)2000 (79″)615 (162)2000 (300)800 (115)

Other sizes and capacities are available on request.

To find out more or to discuss any specific needs you have – be it for off the shelf equipment or custom designed equipment, contact AGE Developments.

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