Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm William O. Jacobson
  • Patent number: 6688814
    Abstract: A substantially rigid riser to offshore platform connector and a process of using the connector allows a riser to be preloaded and adjustably positioned relative to the offshore platform. The connector allows the riser tensile load to be limited by preloading and adjustably positioning the connector. In the preferred embodiment, hydraulic cylinders are used to preload the connector as well as to partially or fully support the riser during maintenance or repair procedures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Stephen B. Wetch, Michael Ernest Utt
  • Patent number: 6651745
    Abstract: A preferred embodiment of the inventive fluid delivery system comprises a vertical liquid/vapor separator and riser assembly that comprises a multi-phase separator inlet, a vapor outlet and riser, and a liquid outlet port connected to a hydraulically-driven centrifugal pump. By controlling the operational speed of the pump, the level of the separated liquid within the separator can be controlled without the need for control valves. The vertical separator is capable of low pressure operation and large variations in controlled liquid levels within the separator, allowing the relatively slow reaction time pump to control the liquid level from low pressure wells penetrating low pressure reservoirs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: David Lush, Jonathan Eng, Hikmet Ucok, Dave Hopgood, Chris Landeck, Ken Carmon
  • Patent number: 6371204
    Abstract: An apparatus for improved detection of underground well kicks, preferably comprising a first acoustic sensor mounted on the top drive of a drilling rig in acoustic contact with a liquid level within a drill string which is generally located within a wellbore, a second acoustic sensor in a trip tank connected to the wellbore, and a drawworks position indicator. The acoustic sensors detect signals reflected from liquid level interfaces allowing calculation of injected liquid volumes from the trip tank into the wellbore and liquid volume changes within the drill string. The drawworks sensor allows calculation of tubular volumes removed from the wellbore over time. Comparison or totaling of calculated volumes allows early detection of unwanted fluid fluxes between the wellbore and an underground formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Baldeo Singh, Richard Dolan, Benny Mason
  • Patent number: 6370547
    Abstract: A multi-pass algorithm identifies duplicative information and correlates higher confidence and/or selected primary information in distributed databases. One embodiment determines a bounded area based at least in part on location information and/or location tolerances for a location-dependent attribute and comparing the bounded areas to previously indexed location information using a multi-pass algorithm to identify duplicative information. The algorithm may also use textual tolerances, confidence levels, and other factors to determine what information is to be correlated with the option of elevating the correlated information to a higher level database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: Marion J. Eftink
  • Patent number: 6236943
    Abstract: An integrated physical and statistical method provides predictions of a reservoir property by operating on seismic data both before and after it is significantly enhanced, e.g., stacked/filtered. One or more matrix functions are derived from pre-stacked, partially-stacked, and/or post-stacked seismic data that are used to obtain a new attribute as well as to correlate/integrate the physical and statistical methods to obtain significantly improved predictions of a reservoir property.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Fred Aminzadeh, Wenlong Xu
  • Patent number: 6182760
    Abstract: A duct assembly for drilling supplementary boreholes comprises a plurality of duct body sections, whipstocks, and separators forming multiple channel segments within the duct body sections. In one embodiment, the separators are plates that substantially divide each duct body section into two semicircular channel setments and align adjoining duct body sections, allowing the drilling of supplementary boreholes to be reliably directed without whipstock repositioning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: Leo I. Phelps
  • Patent number: 6176307
    Abstract: After installing an inventive tool attached to production tubing in a well, the well can be gravel packed without the use of a well intervention unit. The tool isolates a productive interval and diverts tubing-conveyed sand slurry towards an annular location by means of a port and an openable passageway restrictor. The entraining fluid component of the diverted sand slurry in the annular location is allowed to re-enter the production tubing through a first screen while the separated sand drops to the annular location to be packed in an axial direction. Rupture of a plug then allows the separated sand to be packed in an axial direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2001
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Joe C. Danos, Arlen R. Schmalz
  • Patent number: 6141622
    Abstract: A semblance attribute to more reliably detect a seismic discontinuity is provided. The semblance attribute of the center point of a seismic volume is calculated from 3D traces within a spatial and time window. The seismic attribute is dependent, at least in part, on the ratio of the square of the sum of the amplitudes of said traces within the window and the sum of the squared amplitudes of said seismic traces over within the window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: David Keller, Darrell L. Kramer
  • Patent number: 6112320
    Abstract: A watchdog timer for a computer with a CPU and a peripheral controller. The watchdog timer includes a program in the peripheral controller and a corresponding program in the peripheral interrupt service routine of the CPU. When the watchdog timer function is enabled, the peripheral controller will interrupt the CPU periodically and check the response from the CPU. If the CPU is not responding, or wrong data is returned from the CPU, the peripheral controller will generate a reset signal to reset the CPU and reboot the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Inventor: Ghing-Hsin Dien
  • Patent number: 6095245
    Abstract: A repositionable apparatus for perforating and gravel packing an underground well uses gravity or other means to reposition the apparatus instead of a conventional wireline or work string attached to a rig. Perforating and packing can be accomplished without a rig after the apparatus is initially placed and set in the well. One embodiment of the inventive apparatus uses a perforating gun assembly, a connected ported sub above the gun assembly, a translating annulus packer above the ported sub, a circumferential screen located above the packer, blank pipe connected above the screen, an openable port above the blank tubular pipe, and a second translating annulus packer attached to the blank tubular.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: Matthew J. Mount
  • Patent number: 5963030
    Abstract: An openable ring assembly is externally centered around and moved parallel to the centerline of a stationary pipe. As a low-frequency EM source signal is applied to the ring assembly, the time and/or frequency shifts of a detected EM signal from the source signal can be correlated to pipe wall thickness without removal of external pipe insulation and metal cladding, if present. The ring assembly may be opened or expandably segmented to allow pipe thickness detection around obstructions or larger diameter pipe. Centering is preferably accomplished by using rollers circumferentially attached to the ring assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: Mitchel A. Stark
  • Patent number: 5814120
    Abstract: A repositionable hot-glass contact pad composed at least in part of a relatively high-strength nonmetallic material having one or more repositionable support projections and a glass-contact surface. The high strength nonmetallic material and use of multiple support projections allow reliable attachment of the pad to a metal support structure in a plurality of positions to handle a variety of hot-glass article shapes and sizes with minimal checking or other damage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Patrick H. Lloyd, Kyle D. Nelson
  • Patent number: 5803178
    Abstract: A slidably sealing isolator and method for using the isolator in a wellbore tubular to control the injection and production of fluids to individual formation zones, the isolator having 1) a sliding band seal which does not need to be actuated or set in order to restrict fluid flow into a wellbore zone and is capable of slidably sealing at threaded joint portions of the wellbore tubular, and 2) a wellbore flow control means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: Michael A. Cain
  • Patent number: 5779276
    Abstract: Single or multi-piece, pipe joint seal elements have at least one slidable interface that contacts a sealing surface of an end ring attached to a cementitious pipe liner. The slidable interface allows for slippage between seal pieces and/or seal piece-end ring surfaces during pipe joint assembly and disassembly. The end rings help distribute and minimize rotational and other stresses exerted upon the liner end surfaces and seal pieces. Such end ring surfaces further provide a quality surface for the seal element to effect a seal. The slidable interface seal is especially useful for joining brittle-lined pipe sections handling harsh fluids such as geothermal brine, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: William C. Allen
  • Patent number: 5769920
    Abstract: A guide-ring comprises a graphite body and a mechanically attached insert, preferable made of metal. The insert and body form a guide ring supporting a split neck-ring used during glass container manufacturing. The graphite body avoids the need for separate lubrication while being sufficiently strong enough to enable mechanical attachment of the insert. The combination provides the structural integrity needed to resist damage during glass container manufacturing operations and the thermal properties needed to contact hot glass gobs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: James E. Sweetland, Thomas M. Smith, David H. Dodson, Timothy A. Stover, Michael E. Easley
  • Patent number: 5741343
    Abstract: Repositionable stacker bar pads composed of a relatively high-strength nonmetallic material have tongue-in-groove adjoining surfaces and glass-contact surfaces which are roughsned or serrated. The high strength material and overlapping tongue-in-groove "footprint" allows rigid and reliable attachment to a metal support structure. The rough finish of the glass-contact surface minimizes thermal checking and other hot-glass article problems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1998
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Patrick H. Lloyd, Jeff R. Long, Timothy A. Stover, Steven Richard Hubbard, Michael E. Easley
  • Patent number: 5725906
    Abstract: A polymer concrete pipe liner is formed from a fluidized, but substantially waterless cement containing mixture applied to the pipe interior. The mixture contains inorganic cement particles, a liquid styrene mixture and one or more poly-olefinically unsaturated co-monomers in a greater amount than the styrene. The mixture substantially excludes acrylonitrile and acrylamide. The co-monomers are preferably selected from a group including trimethylolpropane-trimethacrylate, trimethylolpropane-methacrylate, divinyl benzene, and hexadiene. Mixing liquid and solid aggregate components forms a slurry which is transferred to a pipe interior and centrifugally cast to form the liner. The composition avoids the need for high temperature curing the toxic reactive unsaturates to co-polymerize and cross-link polystyrene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: William C. Allen
  • Patent number: 5722494
    Abstract: One or more bracing structures are placed at an underwater mud line location. The bracing structure(s) are first used as a template to guide the offshore drilling and placement of well tubulars. After drilling through the template is completed, at least one of the bracing structures is raised and attached to the well tubulars to act as a support structure for bracing between the well tubulars. The uppermost raised structure typically acts as a working platform or a support for a working platform. If more than one bracing structure is used, they are stacked one on top the other at the underwater location until the well tubulars are in place and one or more of the structures are raised and spaced apart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventors: Chris R. Landeck, Frank L. Jones, Randall G. Scott
  • Patent number: 5660239
    Abstract: An iterative planning and monitoring method for drilling (and completing) difficult boreholes which avoids unnecessary risk or cost. The method provides multiple point value probability estimates of an indicator of drilling problems based upon a range of possible drilling variables, supplanting single point estimates. Expected drilling variables are perturbed within physically feasible bounds, and multiple estimates of the corresponding indicator values are made. The probability of each estimate is used to calculate the likelihood of an indicator of an unwanted condition. Mitigation measures are implemented if the probability of an unwanted condition exceeding a threshold value is unacceptable and the mitigated probability is reassessed. If the perturbed indicator change is not significant, the drilling variable is deleted from further analysis. Critical variables are thus quickly identified, allowing monitoring and selection of mitigation measures which are the most cost effective.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: Mark D. Mueller
  • Patent number: 5511593
    Abstract: A graphite funnel inserted into a metal funnel support sleeve guides hot glass gobs from a furnace to the glass blowing mold. The graphite insert is adjustable by set screws and is easily repositioned. The graphite insert has an outer diameter slightly less than the metal retainer to allow ambient air to pass upwardly past it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1996
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: James E. Sweetland