Patents Represented by Attorney James Gabala
  • Patent number: 7706980
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for testing a blowout preventer (BOP) wherein a pressurization unit applies fluid to an isolated portion of the throughbore of the BOP. A signal that is representative of the actual pressure in the isolated portion of the throughbore over successive time points and a pre-determined non-deterministic finite state automaton are used to predict the pressure in the isolated portion of the throughbore as a function of time relative to a pre-determined acceptable leak rate and the time at which stability is achieved. In one embodiment stability is achieved when successive predicted pressures are within a predetermined difference over a predetermined interval of time. Visual indications are provided to depict the progress of testing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Warren J. Winters, Ronald B. Livesay
  • Patent number: 7401654
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed for testing a blowout preventer (BOP) by: using a drillpipe to install a test plug into one end of the throughbore of a (BOP); using a valve in the BOP to isolate the opposite end of the throughbore of the BOP, using piping to connect the output of a cementing unit to the throughbore of the BOP; using the cementing unit to increase the pressure in the throughbore of the BOP to a predetermined level; displaying the pressure in the piping as a function of time; and displaying the pressure in the piping as a function of time for the same blowout preventer system at an earlier time when leakage was deemed to be within predetermined acceptable limits. The pressure decline caused by a leak can be detected reliably and efficiently with high-resolution pressure data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventor: Charles M. Franklin
  • Patent number: 7333916
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed for monitoring the performance of a solar powered electrical supply where the supply comprises an array of photovoltaic cells that are mounted on a building. In one embodiment, the apparatus comprises: a device for producing a signal representative of solar irradiance; circuitry for computing a running performance signal by using at least the irradiance signal and a measure of the electrical power supplied to the load from the array; a radio for broadcasting the performance signal; and a portable unit for receiving the performance signal from the radio and for visually displaying the performance signal, power production, and electrical utility usage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2008
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Donald B. Warfield, Paul Garvison
  • Patent number: 7104329
    Abstract: A new marine oil production riser system for use in deepwater applications is disclosed. An efficient means for accommodating movements of the host facility, while maintaining riser top tension within the limits for long-term riser performance. Long riser stroke lengths can be accommodated without requiring complex interfacing with the topsides. The riser assembly comprises: a generally extendable substantially non-vertical section having an upper end adapted to be in flow communication with a generally vertical marine riser carried by a facility floating on the surface of a body of water, and having a lower end adapted to be in flow communication with a fluid source on the seafloor; and tensioning means, mechanically connecting the upper end of the marine riser with the lower end of the marine riser, for biasing said ends towards each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2006
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventor: John W. Kleinhans
  • Patent number: 6975560
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed for performing a seismic survey below the surface of a body of water and on the seabed. In one embodiment, a plurality of seismic data receivers are removably loaded in a carrier located above the surface of the water and the carrier is lowered into the water and placed at a depth relatively close to the seabed. Each of the receivers has a memory for recording the vibrations of the seabed and has a switch for activating the memory. A ROV is used to unload the receivers from the carrier and to deposit each receiver on the seabed and along a survey line. In one embodiment, the receivers comprise a frame, a pressure vessel for housing the memory and remotely activated controls, and a geophone that is separately planted into the seabed at a relatively short distance from the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2005
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Eivind W. Berg, Scott T. Michell, Nigel P. Purnell, Graham Openshaw, Atle H. Fyhn, Gerard J. Beaudoin
  • Patent number: 6944094
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for high-resolution measurement of seismic anisotropy, comprising: a recording system, a borehole having an axis that is deviated from the vertical by a known acute angle; a housing that is adapted to travel within the borehole and that is in electronic communication to the recording system, the housing carrying at least one source of acoustic energy and at least two receivers for receiving acoustic energy from geological formation elements and/or lithologic horizons and from the source; and processing means for operating the source and the receivers, for recording the position of the housing in the borehole and for processing data from said recording system in terms of both the direct raypaths from the source to the receivers and the indirect raypaths from the source through geological formation elements and/or lithologic horizons to the receivers to obtain measures of at least the seismic polar anisotropy parameters V0, ?, and ?.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Leon A. Thomsen, Joseph A. Dellinger
  • Patent number: 6729394
    Abstract: A method of producing fluids from a subterranean formation through a single well in a network of separate well-bores, comprising the steps of: forming a well having a horizontal section located within the formation; completing and equipping such well to produce fluids from the formation; producing fluids from the formation through such well; forming at least one additional well having a horizontal section located within the formation such that such well is in fluid communication with the first well, without intersecting with the horizontal section of the first well, and using such additional well as an conduit within the formation to allow and cause fluids contained in the formation which drain or flow into the horizontal section of such additional well-bore, to flow to and be produced through the first well-bore.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Hassan, Michael D. Chernichen, Earl M. Jensen
  • Patent number: 6353988
    Abstract: A highly tensioned, suspended pipeline (HTSP) which is especially useful in permafrost regions, rugged terrain, and active seismic fault areas. Basically, the pipeline is comprised of segments which are fluidly connected together to form the desired length of the line. Each segment is comprised of a length of tensioned pipeline which extends between two fixed anchors and which is suspended over a plurality of vertical support towers therebetween. The length of pipeline is greater than the distance between the anchors to allow the pipeline to sag significantly between adjacent vertical supports whereby there is no need for expansion loops in the line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Robert E. Smith, James D. Hart
  • Patent number: 6298671
    Abstract: A method for efficiently producing, transporting, offloading, storing and distributing a natural gas to a marketplace. The method comprising producing the natural gas from a first subterranean formation, liquefying the natural gas to produce a liquefied natural gas, transporting the liquefied natural gas to a re-gasification platform, offloading and pressurizing the liquefied natural gas, re-gasifying the liquefied natural gas to produce a re-gasified natural gas, and injecting the re-gasified natural gas into a second subterranean formation which is capable of storing natural gas and producing a product natural gas stream therefrom and transporting the product natural gas stream via a distribution system to a marketplace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: BP Amoco Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin Kennelley, Paul D. Patterson
  • Patent number: 6292754
    Abstract: The instant invention pertains generally to a method of seismic processing of multi-component converted wave 2-D and 3-D seismic data, wherein the seismic traces in each CCP gather may have been acquired at a variety of different source-receiver azimuths. According to one aspect of the instant invention there is provided a method of using recorded multi-component seismic data to determine an estimate of the orientation of the two principle coordinate axes of a subsurface medium, with this determination potentially being made in each seismic survey bin, and for each depth. Given this estimate, the seismic data may then be transformed via rotation into the coordinate system so defined, and thereafter processed using conventional algorithms (e.g., to produce velocity functions and images).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventor: Leon Thomsen
  • Patent number: 6263284
    Abstract: The instant invention is generally directed toward methods of using an AVO-type analysis on unstacked seismic data to identify subsurface exploration prospects. More particularly, a new method of identiflying and displaying converted mode seismic reflections is provided that has significant advantages over that in the prior art. Additionally, the instant invention can be used to attenuate or eliminate seismic reflections such as multiples that are not flattened by conventional velocity analysis. Further, a method is disclosed that provides for identification and display of only those seismic reflections deemed consistent with the usual or expected AVO behavior. Finally, another aspect of the instant invention involves the use of statistical goodness of fit measures, such as the Coefficient of Determination, to create a seismic display that is indicative of the degree to which each time slice in a gather conforms to a proposed AVO model.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Richard L. Crider, Leon Thomsen, Gerard Beaudoin
  • Patent number: 6236894
    Abstract: A computer system and method of operating the same to optimize the operating conditions of a petroleum production field, in which a plurality of wells are arranged according to drill sites, and connected to one or more central processing facilities, is disclosed. In this disclosed embodiment, gas compression capacity is a significant constraint on the operation of the complex production field, and surface line hydraulic effects of well production are to be considered in the optimization. A genetic algorithm is used to generate, and iteratively evaluate solution vectors, which are combinations of field operating parameters such as incremental gas-oil ratio cutoff and formation gas-oil ratio cutoff values. The evaluation includes the operation of an adaptive network to determine production header pressures, followed by modification of well output estimates to account for changes in the production header pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Richard F. Stoisits, Kelly D. Crawford, Donald J. MacAllister, Michael D. McCormack
  • Patent number: 6192316
    Abstract: A computer system (30) and method of operating the same to analyze well log data so as to distinguish fractures from drilling artifacts, such as caves, washouts, and breakouts, is disclosed. According to the disclosed system and method, a Stoneley wave well log obtained at a plurality of depths is analyzed at a low and a high frequency, to generate a low frequency reflection coefficient trace over depth and a high frequency reflection coefficient trace over depth. Comparison of these reflection coefficient traces with one another will indicate whether a reflecting feature includes a fracture (as indicated by good low frequency response) or a cave, washout, or other artifact (as indicated by good high frequency response), or both. The particular methods disclosed include the generation of the reflection coefficient traces through back-projection stacking of deconvolved impulse traces at both frequencies, and applying and evaluating an envelope function to the stacked traces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventor: Brian E. Hornby
  • Patent number: 6150822
    Abstract: Earth formation evaluation for detection of hydrocarbon fluids is carried out by a microwave frequency range sensor (antenna or wave guide) disposed in the face of a diamond or PDC drill bit configured to minimize invasion of drilling fluid into the formation ahead of the bit. The sensor is connected to an instrument disposed in a sub interposed in the drill stem for generating and measuring the alteration of microwave energy. In particular, the dielectric constant of the earth formation in a zone which is substantially uninvaded by drilling fluid may be detected and compared with density and/or porosity logs to determine the presence of hydrocarbons in relatively thin layers of formation material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Harry T. Hong, Keith W. Katahara
  • Patent number: 6142229
    Abstract: A method and system for producing hydrocarbons from a low permeability formation through a well wherein the formation is first fractured with steam. The pressure of the produced fluids is measured at timed intervals and signals representative of these measurements are inputted into a computer which, in turn, calculates the rate of change in the pressure and compares this rate to a preferred limit of rate change. When the limit is exceeded, the computer outputs a signal to adjust a control value in the production line to keep the rate of pressure decrease within the preferred limit. When production drops below a certain level, the control valve is fully opened to "bump" the well and allow the pressure to increase to a new maximum. This new maximum pressure is then used to set a new preferred limit of pressure rate change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Aubrey G. Branson, Jr., Michael Patrick Kelly, Robert S. Swain
  • Patent number: 6131071
    Abstract: The present invention is directed generally toward a method of processing seismic data to provide improved quantification and visualization of subtle seismic thin bed tuning effects and other sorts of lateral rock discontinuities. A reflection from a thin bed has a characteristic expression in the frequency domain that is indicative of the thickness of the bed: the reflection has a periodic sequence of notches in its amplitude spectrum, with the notches being spaced a distance apart that is inversely proportional to the temporal thickness of the thin bed. Further, this characteristic expression may be used to track thin bed reflections through a 3-D volume and estimate their thicknesses and lateral extent. The usefulness of this invention is enhanced by a novel method of frequency domain whitening that emphasizes the geologic information present within the spectrum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: BP Amoco Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory A. Partyka, James M. Gridley, Kurt J. Marfurt, R. Lynn Kirlin
  • Patent number: 6128580
    Abstract: The instant invention provides a method for processing converted-wave data into interpretable images using a compact two-parameter model. The method broadly comprises the steps of: collecting both P-wave and converted-wave seismic data; identifying the arrival times of the P-wave and the converted-wave data; computing the vertical velocity ratio from the arrival time data; computing the moveout velocity ratio from the corresponding moveout velocities; computing the effective velocity ratio from the vertical velocity ratio and the moveout velocity ratio; and computing the conversion point from the short-spread P-wave moveout velocity for each reflector, from the effective velocity ratio, the C-wave moveout velocity ratio, and from the arrival time data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: BP Amoco Corporation
    Inventor: Leon Thomsen
  • Patent number: 6116340
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for carrying out a downhole shut-in, pressure build-up test of a formation by lowering a string of coiled tubing having a pressure sensor and a packer thereon through the production tubing of the well. The packer is set to isolated the formation and the pressure is then measured by the pressure sensor. If the well is not flowing due to fluid standing in the wellbore, the well is first unloaded by flowing fluid down the coiled tubing to lift the fluid and reestablish flow into the well prior to setting the packer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Scott James Wilson, Keith Randall Ferguson, Medhat Mohamed Kamal
  • Patent number: 6092026
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for the exploration of hydrocarbons by obtaining a set of seismic signal traces distributed over a pre-determined three-dimensional volume of the earth and using a computer to: divide the three-dimensional volume into a plurality of vertically stacked and generally spaced apart horizontal slices; divide each of the slices into a plurality of cells having portions of at least three seismic traces located therein; measure the cross-correlation between one pair of traces lying in one vertical plane to obtain an in-line value and the cross-correlation between another pair of traces lying in another vertical plane to obtain a cross-line value; and combine the in-line value and the cross-line value to obtain one coherency value for each of the cells; and display the coherency values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: BP Amoco Corporation
    Inventors: Michael S. Bahorich, Steven L. Farmer
  • Patent number: 6049759
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a method for migrating prestack seismic data that can yield enormous gains in computational efficiency for some classes of seismic velocity models. The method disclosed herein provides an method of rapidly calculating a 2-D or 3-D prestack migration of common offset seismic data volumes for horizontally layered velocity models. Additionally, because of the way that the migration is implemented, it is possible to calculate the migration operator using a very accurate wave transmission model with little increase in overall computer run time, i.e., a "full fidelity" migration. Broadly speaking, the instant invention is founded on the following novel observation: when the underlying velocity model consists of horizontally layered constant-velocity media, the prestack migration of a collection of common offset traces can be written as a convolution of a migration operator with the seismic data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2000
    Assignee: BP Amoco Corporation
    Inventor: John T. Etgen