Patents Assigned to Western Atlas International, Inc.
  • Patent number: 6987386
    Abstract: Geological formation resistivity is determined. Circuitry is located within the borehole casing that is adjacent to the geological formation. The circuitry can measure one or more voltages across two or more voltage measurement electrodes associated with the borehole casing. The measured voltages are used by a processor to determine the resistivity of the geological formation. A common mode signal can also be reduced using the circuitry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2006
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: William Banning Vail, III
  • Patent number: 6577144
    Abstract: A cased well in the earth is electrically energized with A.C. current. Voltages are measured from three voltage measurement electrodes in electrical contact with the interior of the casing while the casing is electrically energized. In a measurement mode, A.C. current is conducted from a first current carrying electrode within the cased well to a remote second current carrying electrode located on the surface of the earth. In a calibration mode, current is passed from the first current carrying electrode to a third current carrying electrode located vertically at a different position within the cased well, where the three voltage measurement electrodes are located vertically in between the first and third current carrying electrodes. Voltages along the casing and resistances along the casing are measured to determine wall thickness and the location of any casing collars present so as to electrically inspect the casing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: William Banning Vail, III, Steven Thomas Momii
  • Patent number: 6510796
    Abstract: A shaped charge for generating a large hole in material such as well casing downhole in a wellbore. A shaped charge liner is oriented about a longitudinal axis, and a disk is positioned at the liner apex. When an explosive material is initiated the liner collapses into a perforating jet. The disk alters the jet formation process and changes the shape and location of a bulge within the perforating jet. Consequently, the shape of the perforating jet retains a larger diameter for generating a larger hole in the material to be perforated or for controlling the penetration depth. The disk surfaces can be flat, concave, convex or other shapes, and the disk composition can be varied to accomplish different design criteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2003
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: Meir Mayseless, Avigdor Hetz
  • Publication number: 20020043977
    Abstract: Methods of operation of different types of multiple electrode apparatus vertically disposed in a cased well to measure information useful to determine the resistivity of adjacent geological formations from within the cased well are described. The multiple electrode apparatus has a plurality of spaced apart voltage measurement electrodes that electrically engage a portion of the interior of the cased well. During measurements of information useful to determine formation resistivity, current is conducted between a first current conducting electrode in electrical contact with the interior of the cased well to a second current conducting electrode that is also in electrical contact with the interior of the cased well. The first and second current conducting electrodes are separated by a distance sufficient so that at least a portion of the current conducted between the first and second current conducting electrodes is conducted through the geological formation of interest.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2001
    Publication date: April 18, 2002
    Applicant: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: William Banning Vail
  • Patent number: 6305289
    Abstract: A shaped charge for generating a large hole in material such as well casing downhole in a wellbore. A shaped charge liner is oriented about a longitudinal axis, and a disk is positioned at the liner apex. When an explosive material is initiated the liner collapses into a perforating jet. The disk alters the jet formation process and changes the shape and location of a bulge within the perforating jet. Consequently, the shape of the perforating jet retains a larger diameter for generating a larger hole in the material to be perforated or for controlling the penetration depth. The disk surfaces can be flat, concave, convex or other shapes, and the disk composition can be varied to accomplish different design criteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: Meir Mayseless, Avigdor Hetz
  • Patent number: 6249122
    Abstract: A cased well in the earth is electrically energized with A.C. current. Voltages are measured from three voltage measurement electrodes in electrical contact with the interior of the casing while the casing is electrically energized. In a measurement mode, A.C. current is conducted from a first current carrying electrode within the cased well to a remote second current carrying electrode located on the surface of the earth. In a calibration mode, current is passed from the first current carrying electrode to a third current carrying electrode located vertically at a different position within the cased well, where the three voltage measurement electrodes are located vertically in between the first and third current carrying electrodes. Voltages along the casing and resistances along the casing are measured to determine wall thickness and the location of any casing collars present so as to electrically inspect the casing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: William Banning Vail, III, Steven Thomas Momii
  • Patent number: 6246240
    Abstract: Methods of operation of different types of multiple electrode apparatus vertically disposed in a cased well to measure information useful to determine the resistivity of adjacent geological formations from within the cased well are described. The multiple electrode apparatus has a plurality of spaced apart voltage measurement electrodes that electrically engage a portion of the interior of the cased well. During measurements of information useful to determine formation resistivity, current is conducted between a first current conducting electrode in electrical contact with the interior of the cased well to a second current conducting electrode that is also in electrical contact with the interior of the cased well. The first and second current conducting electrodes are separated by a distance sufficient so that at least a portion of the current conducted between the first and second current conducting electrodes is conducted through the geological formation of interest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: William Banning Vail, III
  • Patent number: 6230840
    Abstract: A marine vibrator has a hollow body formed of one shell or of two opposed shells defining an inner space therein with vibrator apparatus within the hollow body. At least one shell has a curved shape, and the shell can have a streamlined shape with relatively low hydrodynamic drag. Certain embodiments include one or more exterior control members to facilitate positioning of the vibrator in water. Other than their mating ends, when two shells are used the two shells may be different in shape and volume or they may be identical. In preferred two-shell embodiments, there is a flexible seal between and connecting the two opposed shells. In certain aspects the inner space is filled with gas. A vibrator apparatus in one aspect applies equal and opposite forces to the shells of a two-shell vibrator or to opposed sides of a single shell vibrator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: Loran D. Ambs
  • Patent number: 6218662
    Abstract: A logging tool system for analyzing the carbon dioxide concentration in a fluid sample downhole in a borehole. A chamber is filled with the fluid sample and is closed to isolate the fluid sample from the borehole. The interior chamber volume is expanded to decompress the fluid sample, and a transmitter discharges light in the mid-infrared range. A sensor measures the absorbance of mid-infrared light by the decompressed fluid sample and generates a signal representing the carbon dioxide concentration. Mid-infrared light absorbance in the range between 4.1 and 4.4 microns can be analyzed by the processor to identify the carbon dioxide concentration in the fluid sample, and infrared absorbance in the mid-infrared range between 3.2 and 3.6 microns can be analyzed to identify methyl and metheylene components. A wiper cleans the transmitter and sensor between readings to reduce measurement errors caused by fluid sample contamination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: Borislav J. Tchakarov, Rocco DiFoggio, Stanislav W. Forgang, Otto N. Fanini, James C. Hunziker, Marcelo F. Civarolo
  • Patent number: 6196319
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for removing sand and other debris from a wellbore. The apparatus is particularly suited for wireline operation, and requires minimal surface equipment. A housing is lowered into the wellbore until the housing is proximate to the sand, and a valve is opened to permit entry of the sand into a housing chamber. The housing can be raised to the wellbore surface so that the sand can be removed from the housing chamber. In one embodiment of the invention, the housing has two chambers each having a floating piston. A liquid is initially retained within the first chamber and is pressurized as the housing is lowered into the wellbore. Activation of a valve and differential pressures acting across the first piston move the liquid into the second chamber and draw the sand into the first chamber. The second chamber captures the liquid and facilitates return of the pistons to the initial position after the sand is emptied from the first chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: Rudolf Antonius Henskens, David Brands
  • Patent number: 6188962
    Abstract: A system for seismic data acquisition has been invented having, in certain aspects, one or multiple distributed data acquisition subsystems that are independent of energy source controller and/or of navigation system operation. Thus the distributed acquisition system(s) do not require a complicated and burdensome interface to the energy source controller or navigation systems. The seismic data acquisition system supplies a continuous flow of data which is buffered within a centralized data repository for short term storage until required by non-real-time processes. A seismic data acquisition method has been invented that replaces conventional closely coupled interaction between seismic acquisition systems and the energy source controller and the navigation systems by utilizing GPS time stamps on both the data as well as cycling events of the energy source controller and/or navigation systems to insure precise association of seismic data with cycling events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul McDonald Morgan, William Alfred Guyton, Kenneth Graeme Williamson
  • Patent number: 6176344
    Abstract: A method and system for determining the azimuth position and distance of a reflector or subterranean reflecting surface of a formation bed outside a borehole. A monopole transmitter may be used with a monopole/dipole receiver pair, or a monopole transmitter and a dipole transmitter pair may be used with a monopole receiver in accordance with the invention to determine the azimuth position and distance of the reflector. Azimuth resolution is improved through use of multiple receiver elements at equal radius about the longitudinal axis of a borehole tool, or through mathematical rotation of receiver elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert A. Lester
  • Patent number: 6175536
    Abstract: A method for determining a degree of acoustic non-linearity of an earth formation from seismic signals transmitted into the formation from within one wellbore and received from the formation in another wellbore. The seismic signals include two selected discrete frequencies. The method includes spectrally analyzing the received signals, determining from the spectral analysis the presence of a frequency representing a sum of the two selected frequencies, and determining a relative amplitude of the sum frequency with respect to the amplitudes of the two selected discrete frequencies. In a particular embodiment, the method includes determining the presence of a frequency in the spectrally analyzed signals representing the difference between the selected discrete frequencies, and determining the presence of harmonic multiples of one of the two selected discrete frequencies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2001
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: Tawassul A. Khan
  • Patent number: 6163153
    Abstract: A method for acquiring nuclear magnetic resonance measurements of a material. The method includes inducing a static magnetic field in the material, and inducing a first radio frequency magnetic field in the material to reorient nuclear magnetic spins in the material. The first radio frequency magnetic field has an amplitude and a duration selected to reorient the nuclear magnetic spins by about 90 degrees from their alignment with the static magnetic field. A second radio frequency static magnetic field is induced in the material. Nuclear magnetic resonance signals are detected after inducing the second radio frequency magnetic field. The steps of inducing the first and second radio frequency magnetic fields and detecting signals are repeated and the detected signals are stacked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: Arcady Reiderman, Gregory B. Itskovich
  • Patent number: 6161495
    Abstract: A marine vessel having backup power storage in the event of primary power source failure. The invention applies to different marine vessels and is particularly suited to vessels used in marine seismic operations. A rotating mass energy storage provides stored energy which can be distributed to the vessel following primary power source failure. A pulsed generator charges the energy storage means, and the pulsed generator can comprise a homopolar generator or a compensated pulsed alternator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc
    Inventor: Loran Ambs
  • Patent number: 6157195
    Abstract: Methods to quantitatively determine the separate amounts of oil and gas in a geological formation adjacent to a cased well using measurements of formation resistivity. The steps include obtaining resistivity measurements from within a cased well of a given formation, obtaining the porosity, obtaining the resistivity of formation water present, computing the combined amounts of oil and gas present using Archie's Equations, determining the relative amounts of oil and gas present from measurements within a cased well, and then quantitatively determining the separate amounts of oil and gas present in the formation. Resistivity measurements are obtained from within the cased well by conducting A.C. current from within the cased well to a remote electrode at a frequency that is within the frequency range of 0.1 Hz to 20 Hz.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: William Banning Vail, III
  • Patent number: 6154420
    Abstract: A system for selectively tuning the buoyancy of a marine seismic streamer or underwater cable. Trimming weights are positioned along the streamer cable and can be integrated within a solid buoyancy member or can be located within an outer streamer sheath. The weights overcome the flotation forces provided by an internal buoyancy section to control the elevation of the streamer section. The outer streamer sheath can be opened to permit the removal or addition of trimming weights to the streamer section, and can be resealed to prevent water from intruding into the streamer interior. A single trimming weight can be positioned along the buoyancy member, or a plurality of trimming weights can be used. The trimming weights permit a tight buoyancy range to be accomplished without increasing water drag forces or noise as the streamer is towed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael W. Norris
  • Patent number: 6148952
    Abstract: An apparatus for generating acoustic source energy in a liquid medium. A slotted cylinder has an interior volume filled with a fluid. An actuator selectively pressurizes the fluid to expand the slotted cylinder. Movement of the slotted cylinder due to expansion and contraction generates a pressure pulse in the liquid medium to create acoustic source energy. The device provides an acoustic source for marine seismic operations and for use downhole in a borehole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: Otis A. Johnston, Michael W. Norris
  • Patent number: 6124590
    Abstract: A method for determining thermal neutron capture cross-section of an earth formation penetrated by a wellbore from counts of capture gamma rays detected at spaced apart locations from a source irradiating the formations with bursts of high energy neutrons. An apparent capture cross-section is determined from counts detected at one of the spaced apart locations. The apparent capture cross-section is adjusted by a correction factor calculated from counts detected at each of the spaced apart locations. The correction factor is calculated from an empirical relationship of known values of formation capture cross-section, wellbore diameter and wellbore capture cross section, with respect to counts detected at each of the spaced apart locations. Coefficients of the empirical relationship are determined by simulating counts which would be detected in response to the known values of formation capture cross-section, wellbore diameter and capture cross section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2000
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventor: Medhat W. Mickael
  • Patent number: 6121773
    Abstract: The invention is a nuclear magnetic resonance sensing apparatus comprising a magnet for inducing a static magnetic field in a region containing materials to be analyzed. The static magnetic field is polarized generally along the axis of the apparatus. The static magnetic field has a predetermined maximum longitudinal and maximum radial amplitude gradient. The apparatus includes a transmitter antenna for generating a radio frequency magnetic field in the region for exciting nuclei of the materials to be analyzed by conducting a radio frequency current through the transmitter antenna. The apparatus includes a receiving antenna for detecting a nuclear magnetic resonance signal from the excited nuclei. In a particular embodiment, the transmitter antenna and receiver antenna consist of coil pairs, each coil in a pair separated from the other by 90 degrees, to generate a circularly polarized RF magnetic field and to perform quadrature detection of the NMR signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Western Atlas International, Inc.
    Inventors: Gersh (Zvi) Taicher, Arcady Reiderman