Patents by Inventor James R. Birchak

James R. Birchak has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 8107316
    Abstract: In some embodiments, an apparatus and a system, as well as a method and an article, may include exciting a plurality of signal source pairs having a substantially equal and non-zero acoustic signature amplitude difference in a frequency domain to provide acoustic signal data, and acquiring the acoustic signal data along a selected azimuth. The plurality of signal source pairs may comprise acoustic bender plates, perhaps included in the outer wall of a downhole tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Tim W. Geerits, James R. Birchak
  • Publication number: 20110094732
    Abstract: A system and method for stimulating a formation penetrated by a wellbore and vibrating a device for supporting a gravel pack in the wellbore, according to which the build up of scale on the device is sensed and a corresponding signal is output. A tool is lowered into the wellbore, and includes a driver for driving an acoustic transducer coupled to the device for vibrating the device and stimulating the formation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2003
    Publication date: April 28, 2011
    Inventors: Lyle V. Lehman, James R. Birchak, James J. Venditto, Diederick van Batenburg, Sau-Wai Wong, Ferdinand Van der Bas, Jeroen J. Groenenboom, Pedro Zuiderwijk, Peter Van der Sman, Wei Han
  • Patent number: 7318471
    Abstract: A system and method for determining blockage in a wellbore containing fluid and/or in a formation adjacent the wellbore, according to which energy is generated in the fluid and variables associated with the energy are measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2008
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul F. Rodney, Jeroen J. Groenenboom, Wei Han, James R. Birchak, Denis P. Schmitt, Tim W. Geerits, Eugene J. Linyaev
  • Patent number: 7216738
    Abstract: A method for generating acoustic waves, the method having the steps of: extending a tine from a support structure so that a proximal end of the tine is attached to the support structure and a distal end of the tine is uninhibited; positioning an oscillator so as to be supported by the support structure and to mechanically communicate with the tine; and oscillating the tine with the oscillator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Assignees: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., Shell International Exploration and Production B.V.
    Inventors: James R. Birchak, Thomas E. Ritter, Ali I. Mese, Diederik van Batenburg, William Trainor, Wei Han, Kwang Yoo, Daniel P. Kusmer, Mark A. Proett, Ferdinand van der Bas, Peter van der Sman, Jeroen Groenenboom, Pedro Zuiderwijk
  • Patent number: 7213681
    Abstract: An apparatus for generating acoustic waves, the apparatus having: a support structure; two tines extending from the support structure so that proximal ends of the two tines are attached to the support structure so that distal ends of the two tines are positioned with standoffs relative to a dimension of the support structure and the distal ends of the two tines are uninhibited, wherein the two tines each comprise a moment arm; and an oscillator in mechanical communication with the two tines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignees: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., Shell International Exploration and Production B.V.
    Inventors: James R. Birchak, Thomas E. Ritter, Ali I. Mese, Diederik van Batenburg, William Trainor, Wei Han, Kwang Yoo, Daniel P. Kusmer, Mark A. Proett, Ferdinand van der Bas, Peter van der Sman, Jeroen Groenenboom, Pedro Zuiderwijk
  • Patent number: 7213650
    Abstract: A system and method for stimulating a formation surrounding a well and vibrating a device for supporting a gravel pack in the well, according to which a build up of scale on the device is sensed and a corresponding signal is output. A driver is provided for driving a transducer coupled to the device for vibrating the device and removing scale from the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Lyle V. Lehman, James R. Birchak, James S. Venditto, Diederik van Batenburg, Sau-Wai Wong, Frederick van de Bas, Jeroen J. Groenenboom
  • Patent number: 6938458
    Abstract: An apparatus and system are disclosed for in situ measurement of downhole fluid flow using Doppler techniques. First, a baseline speed of sound is established as close to the desired measurement point as possible. This speed of sound measurement is then used in Doppler calculations for determining flow velocities based from induced Doppler shift resulting from fluid flow. A heterodyne receiver arrangement is preferably used for processing so that the flow direction can be determined and the detection sensitivity for low flow velocities can be enhanced. From in situ measurements, well kicks may be spotted and dealt with in real-time. In addition, current theoretical models of rheological properties may be verified and expounded upon using in situ downhole measurement techniques. Furthermore, the velocity measurements described herein can be used to recognize downhole lost circulation and/or gas/water/oil influxes as early as possible, even when the mud recirculation pumps are turned off.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Han, Jean M. Beique, James R. Birchak, Alan T. Hemphill, Tim Wiemers, Paul F. Rodney
  • Patent number: 6829947
    Abstract: apparatus and system are disclosed for in situ measurement of downhole fluid flow using Doppler techniques. First, a baseline speed of sound is established as close to the desired measurement point as possible. This speed of sound measurement is then used in Doppler calculations for determining flow velocities based from induced Doppler shift resulting from fluid flow. A heterodyne receiver arrangement is preferably used for processing so that the flow direction can be determined and the detection sensitivity for low flow velocities can be enhanced. From in situ measurements, well kicks may be spotted and dealt with in real-time. In addition, current theoretical models of rheological properties may be verified and expounded upon using in situ downhole measurement techniques. Furthermore, the velocity measurements described herein can be used to recognize downhole lost circulation and/or gas/water/oil influxes as early as possible, even when the mud recirculation pumps are turned off.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Han, Jean M. Beique, James R. Birchak, Alan T. Hemphill, Tim Wiemers, Paul F. Rodney
  • Patent number: 6817229
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for in-situ characterization of downhole fluids in a wellbore using ultrasonic acoustic signals. Measurements of the speed of sound, attenuation of the signal, and acoustic back-scattering are used to provide qualitative and quantitative data as to the composition, nature of solid particulates, compressibility, bubble point, and the oil/water ratio of the fluid. The tool generally comprises three sets of acoustic transducers mounted perpendicular to the direction of the flow. These transducers are capable of operating at different frequencies so that the spectrum of the acoustic signal can be optimized. The apparatus is capable of operating downhole to provide real time information as to conditions in the well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Han, James R. Birchak, Bruce H. Storm, Jr., Thomas E. Ritter
  • Patent number: 6701787
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for analyzing a deposited layer on the inner surface of a fluid container wall having inner and outer surfaces are disclosed. One embodiment of the method comprises (a) transmitting an acoustic signal from a transmitter at a first distance from the outer surface of the wall; (b) receiving a first received signal A, comprising a reflection from the wall outer surface; (c) receiving a second received signal B, comprising a reflection from the wall inner surface; (d) receiving a third received signal C from the wall inner surface; (e) calculating a coefficient Rwp from A, B and C, and (f) calculating a coefficient Rpd from A, B and Rwp, and calculating the acoustic impedance of the deposited layer Zd from Rwp, Rpd, and Zw, where Zw is the acoustic impedance of the material between the transmitter and the wall outer surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2004
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Han, Vimal V. Shah, James R. Birchak, Bruce H. Storm, Rajnikant M. Amin, Bayram Kalpakci, Fouad Fleyfel
  • Publication number: 20040003658
    Abstract: An apparatus and system are disclosed for in situ measurement of downhole fluid flow using Doppler techniques. First, a baseline speed of sound is established as close to the desired measurement point as possible. This speed of sound measurement is then used in Doppler calculations for determining flow velocities based from induced Doppler shift resulting from fluid flow. A heterodyne receiver arrangement is preferably used for processing so that the flow direction can be determined and the detection sensitivity for low flow velocities can be enhanced. From in situ measurements, well kicks may be spotted and dealt with in real-time. In addition, current theoretical models of Theological properties may be verified and expounded upon using in situ downhole measurement techniques. Furthermore, the velocity measurements described herein can be used to recognize downhole lost circulation and/or gas/water/oil influxes as early as possible, even when the mud recirculation pumps are turned off.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 14, 2003
    Publication date: January 8, 2004
    Applicant: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Han, Jean M. Beique, James R. Birchak, Alan T. Hemphill, Tim Wiemers, Paul F. Rodney
  • Patent number: 6672163
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for in-situ characterization of downhole fluids in a wellbore using ultrasonic acoustic signals. Measurements of the speed of sound, attenuation of the signal, and acoustic back-scattering are used to provide qualitative and quantitative data as to the composition, nature of solid particulates, compressibility, bubble point, and the oil/water ratio of the fluid. The tool generally comprises three sets of acoustic transducers mounted perpendicular to the direction of the flow. These transducers are capable of operating at different frequencies so that the spectrum of the acoustic signal can be optimized. The apparatus is capable of operating downhole to provide real time information as to conditions in the well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Han, James R. Birchak, Bruce H. Storm, Jr., Thomas E. Ritter
  • Patent number: 6619394
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for treating a wellbore, comprising subjecting a substantially same portion of the wellbore to vibratory waves produced by a plurality of vibratory wave generators. The vibratory waves may have about the same frequency or a plurality of frequencies, and the frequencies may partially overlap, not overlap, or be modulated across a range. Additionally, the frequencies may be modulated in an oval, hoop, and flexural modes. The vibratory waves may be produced by firing the vibratory wave generators simultaneously or in sequence. Combinations of a vibrating pipe, piston pulser, or valve may be used as vibratory wave generators. In a preferred embodiment, the thickness and change of thickness of a mudcake on the interior surface of a wellbore are measured to evaluate the effectiveness of the wellbore treatment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Mohamed Y. Soliman, Ali I. Mese, Clark E. Robison, James R. Birchak, Paul F. Rodney, Wei Han, Vimal V. Shah, Eugene J. Linyaev, Mark A. Proett
  • Publication number: 20030164038
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for in-situ characterization of downhole fluids in a wellbore using ultrasonic acoustic signals. Measurements of the speed of sound, attenuation of the signal, and acoustic back-scattering are used to provide qualitative and quantitative data as to the composition, nature of solid particulates, compressibility, bubble point, and the oil/water ratio of the fluid. The tool generally comprises three sets of acoustic transducers mounted perpendicular to the direction of the flow. These transducers are capable of operating at different frequencies so that the spectrum of the acoustic signal can be optimized. The apparatus is capable of operating downhole to provide real time information as to conditions in the well.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2003
    Publication date: September 4, 2003
    Inventors: Wei Han, James R. Birchak, Bruce H. Storm, Thomas E. Ritter
  • Publication number: 20030150262
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for in-situ characterization of downhole fluids in a wellbore using ultrasonic acoustic signals. Measurements of the speed of sound, attenuation of the signal, and acoustic back-scattering are used to provide qualitative and quantitative data as to the composition, nature of solid particulates, compressibility, bubble point, and the oil/water ratio of the fluid. The tool generally comprises three sets of acoustic transducers mounted perpendicular to the direction of the flow. These transducers are capable of operating at different frequencies so that the spectrum of the acoustic signal can be optimized. The apparatus is capable of operating downhole to provide real time information as to conditions in the well.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2003
    Publication date: August 14, 2003
    Inventors: Wei Han, James R. Birchak, Bruce H. Storm, Thomas E. Ritter
  • Patent number: 6594199
    Abstract: A pressure pulse sensor and associated methods provide enhanced functionality and convenience in detecting pressure pulses. In a described embodiment, a hydrophone includes a stack of disc-shaped lead titanate piezoelectric crystals enclosed within an epoxy membrane and a mounting portion which is aligned with a center of mass of the crystal stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: James R. Birchak, Alvin B. Miller, John W. Harrell
  • Patent number: 6568271
    Abstract: A system for monitoring the presence of deposits or buildup on the inside wall of a fluid-containing pipe comprises a pair of acoustic transmitters outside of the pipe and spaced apart along the length of the pipe and capable of transmitting an acoustic signal into the pipe wall, a pair of acoustic receivers outside of the pipe and spaced apart along the length of the pipe and capable of receiving an acoustic signal from the pipe wall, and a power source for causing the transmitters to transmit a signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Vimal V. Shah, James R. Birchak, Wei Han, Bruce H. Storm, Rajnikant M. Amin, Bayram Kalpakci, Fouad Fleyfel
  • Publication number: 20030033870
    Abstract: A system for monitoring the presence of deposits or buildup on the inside wall of a fluid-containing pipe comprises a pair of acoustic transmitters outside of the pipe and spaced apart along the length of the pipe and capable of transmitting an acoustic signal into the pipe wall, a pair of acoustic receivers outside of the pipe and spaced apart along the length of the pipe and capable of receiving an acoustic signal from the pipe wall, and a power source for causing the transmitters to transmit a signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2001
    Publication date: February 20, 2003
    Inventors: Vimal V. Shah, James R. Birchak, Wei Han, Bruce H. Storm, Rajnikant M. Amin, Bayram Kalpakci, Fouad Fleyfel
  • Publication number: 20030024316
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for analyzing a deposited layer on the inner surface of a fluid container wall having inner and outer surfaces are disclosed. One embodiment of the method comprises (a) transmitting an acoustic signal from a transmitter at a first distance from the outer surface of the wall; (b) receiving a first received signal A, comprising a reflection from the wall outer surface; (c) receiving a second received signal B, comprising a reflection from the wall inner surface; (d) receiving a third received signal C from the wall inner surface; (e) calculating a coefficient Rwp from A, B and C, and (f) calculating a coefficient Rpd from A, B and Rwp, and calculating the acoustic impedance of the deposited layer Zd from Rwp, Rpd, and Zw, where Zw is the acoustic impedance of the material between the transmitter and the wall outer surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 19, 2002
    Publication date: February 6, 2003
    Applicant: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Han, Vimal V. Shah, James R. Birchak, Bruce H. Storm, Rajnikant M. Amin, Bayram Kalpakci, Fouad Fleyfel
  • Patent number: 6513385
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for analyzing a deposited layer on the inner surface of a fluid container wall having inner and outer surfaces are disclosed. One embodiment of the method comprises (a) transmitting an acoustic signal from a transmitter at a first distance from the outer surface of the wall; (b) receiving a first received signal A, comprising a reflection from the wall outer surface; (c) receiving a second received signal B, comprising a reflection from the wall inner surface; (d) receiving a third received signal C from the wall inner surface; (e) calculating a coefficient Rwp from A, B and C, and (f) calculating a coefficient Rpd from A, B and Rwp, and calculating the acoustic impedance of the deposited layer Zd from Rwp, Rpd, and Zw, where Zw is the acoustic impedance of the material between the transmitter and the wall outer surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Han, Vimal V. Shah, James R. Birchak, Bruce H. Storm, Jr., Rajnikant M. Amin, Bayram Kalpakci, Fouad Fleyfel