Patents by Inventor Neal G. Skinner

Neal G. Skinner 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).

  • Publication number: 20190211671
    Abstract: Distributed sensing systems and methods with spatial location correlation of a reflection produced along an electromagnetic (EM) waveguide. A distributed sensing system comprises an EM waveguide, a distributed sensing interrogator, and a processor. The distributed sensing interrogator comprises a transmitter coupled to the EM waveguide and generates an interrogation pulse through the EM waveguide. The distributed sensing interrogator also comprises a receiver coupled to the EM waveguide and responsive to backscattered EM waves propagating through the EM waveguide. The processor determines a spatial location associated with a reflection produced along the EM waveguide using a return signal generated from the reflection by the interrogator and an interrogation signal including the interrogation pulse.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2016
    Publication date: July 11, 2019
    Applicant: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Neal G. Skinner, Andreas Ellmauthaler, David Andrew Barfoot
  • Patent number: 10317567
    Abstract: Systems and methods for measuring a characteristic of a fluid are provided. The system includes a plurality of waveguides embedded in a substrate, and an exposed surface of the substrate comprising a portion of a side surface of at least one of the plurality of waveguides. The system also includes a sensitized coating in the at least one of the plurality of waveguides. The exposed surface is curved in a direction perpendicular to a light propagation in the waveguide. A method of fabricating a system as above is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: William Cecil Pearl, Jr., Megan Renee Pearl, David L. Perkins, Neal G. Skinner
  • Patent number: 10261243
    Abstract: Optical sensors having one or more soluble coatings thereon are used to detect the presence of a degrading fluid. In a generalized embodiment, the fiber optic sensor includes a fiber optic cable having two strain sensor positioned therein. A soluble layer is positioned over one of the strain sensor. Due to the presence of the soluble layer, the covered strain sensor optically responds differently than the other strain sensor to changes in pressure, strain and temperature. In the presence of a degrading fluid, the soluble layer degrades and ultimately dissolves, thereby changing the optical response of the previously covered strain sensor. When the soluble layer is dissolved, the strain induced by the soluble layer relaxes, thus causing a wavelength shift in the signal of the grating. By monitoring the wavelength shifts of both strain sensors, the fiber optic sensor acts as a detector for the presence of the degrading fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Michel LeBlanc, Neal G. Skinner, William C. Pearl, Jr., Megan R. Pearl
  • Patent number: 10247840
    Abstract: A method of logging a well can include conveying an optical waveguide and at least one signal generator with a conveyance into the well, causing the signal generator to generate at least one signal in the well, and receiving the signal as distributed along the optical waveguide. A well logging system can include a conveyance with an optical waveguide, and at least one signal generator which is conveyed by the conveyance into a well with the optical waveguide, whereby the signal generator generates at least one signal received with the optical waveguide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Neal G. Skinner, Etienne M. Samson, Christopher L. Stokely, David A. Barfoot, John L. Maida, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20190094131
    Abstract: A method of monitoring a substance includes optically interacting at least one birefringent integrated computational element with at least the substance and a polarizer, thereby generating optically interacted light. The polarizer is being configured to generate at least x polarized light and y polarized light. The method includes receiving the optically interacted light with at least one detector. The method includes generating with the at least one detector output signals corresponding to at least two characteristics of the substance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2018
    Publication date: March 28, 2019
    Inventors: Neal G. Skinner, David L. Perkins
  • Patent number: 10221677
    Abstract: Purging of fiber optic conduits in subterranean wells. A downhole optical sensing system includes an optical line, at least two tubular conduits, one conduit being positioned within the other conduit, and the optical line being positioned within at least one of the conduits, and a purging medium flowed in one direction through one conduit, and flowed in an opposite direction between the conduits. A method of purging a downhole optical sensing system includes the steps of: installing at least two conduits and an optical line in a well as part of the sensing system, one conduit being positioned within the other conduit, and the optical line being positioned within at least one of the conduits; and flowing a purging medium through the conduits in the well, so that the purging medium flows in one direction through one conduit and in an opposite direction between the conduits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventor: Neal G. Skinner
  • Patent number: 10202842
    Abstract: A position determination system and a method for position detection within a wellbore are disclosed. A radioactive tag may be disposed within the wellbore. One or more scintillating optical fibers may be longitudinally disposed along a drill string, wireline, or the like, and run into the wellbore. A detector system is coupled to the optical fiber(s). A scintillating optical fiber emits short, bright flashes of visible light whenever exposed to the gamma radiation. When a scintillating flash is measured, it may be determined that the optical fiber is located within proximity to the radioactive tag. The amplitude of received pulses may be used to estimate where in the optical fiber scintillating events are occurring. By providing a second optical fiber coupled to a scintillating optical fiber, a time delay between received pulses may be used to indicate where along the scintillating optical fiber scintillation events are occurring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald Kyle, Neal G. Skinner, Paul D. Ringgenberg
  • Patent number: 10202824
    Abstract: A well tool actuator can include a series of chambers which, when opened in succession, cause the well tool to be alternately actuated. A method of operating a well tool actuator can include manipulating an object in a wellbore; a sensor of the actuator detecting the object manipulation; and the actuator actuating in response to the sensor detecting the object manipulation. A drilling isolation valve can comprise an actuator including a series of chambers which, when opened in succession, cause the isolation valve to be alternately opened and closed. A method of operating a drilling isolation valve can include manipulating an object in a wellbore, a sensor of the drilling isolation valve detecting the object manipulation, and the drilling isolation valve operating between open and closed configurations in response to the sensor detecting the object manipulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Neal G. Skinner, Michael L. Fripp
  • Patent number: 10184332
    Abstract: A well tool can include an outer housing and a vibratory transmitter disposed in the outer housing. The vibratory transmitter transmits a vibratory signal to an optical line disposed in the outer housing. A well system can include an optical line extending in a wellbore, and at least one well tool secured to the optical line and including a vibratory transmitter which transmits a vibratory signal to the optical line. The optical line conveys the well tool into the wellbore. A method of telemetering data from a well tool to an optical line can include securing the well tool to the optical line without optically connecting the well tool to the optical line, and conveying the well tool in a wellbore on the optical line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Etienne M. Samson, Neal G. Skinner, William Mark Richards
  • Patent number: 10168244
    Abstract: A gaseous fuel monitoring system can include a gaseous fuel supply enclosure, an optical line extending along the gaseous fuel supply enclosure, and a relatively highly thermally conductive material contacting both the gaseous fuel supply enclosure and the optical line. The relatively highly thermally conductive material can comprise a pyrolytic carbon material. A method of detecting leakage from a gaseous fuel supply enclosure can include securing an optical line to the gaseous fuel supply enclosure, the securing comprising contacting a pyrolytic carbon material with the optical line and the gaseous fuel supply enclosure. A gaseous fuel monitoring system can include an optical interrogator connected to the optical line, which interrogator detects changes in light transmitted by the optical line due to changes in vibrations of the enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Rory D. Daussin, Neal G. Skinner
  • Publication number: 20180364391
    Abstract: Systems and methods for measuring a characteristic of a fluid are provided. The system includes a plurality of waveguides embedded in a substrate, and an exposed surface of the substrate comprising a portion of a side surface of at least one of the plurality of waveguides. The system also includes a sensitized coating in the at least one of the plurality of waveguides. The exposed surface is curved in a direction perpendicular to a light propagation in the waveguide. A method of fabricating a system as above is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2018
    Publication date: December 20, 2018
    Inventors: William Cecil PEARL, Megan Renee PEARL, David L. PERKINS, Neal G. SKINNER
  • Publication number: 20180328843
    Abstract: A device including an ion-selective membrane arranged within an optical path of the device and coupled to a sample cell to interact with a fluid sample and thereby modify an optical response of the ion-selective membrane according to an ion con-centration in the fluid sample, is provided. The device also includes an integrated computational element (ICE) arranged within the optical path, so that the illumination light optically interacts with the ICE and with the ion-selective membrane to provide a modified light that has a property indicative of the ion concentration in the fluid sample. A detector that receives the modified light provides an electrical signal proportional to the property of the modified light. A method and a system for using the above device are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 27, 2016
    Publication date: November 15, 2018
    Inventors: Neal G. SKINNER, Michel Joseph LEBLANC, Kenneth G. DIXSON
  • Patent number: 10073188
    Abstract: Systems and methods for measuring a characteristic of a fluid are provided. The system includes a plurality of waveguides embedded in a substrate, and an exposed surface of the substrate comprising a portion of a side surface of at least one of the plurality of waveguides. The system also includes a sensitized coating in the at least one of the plurality of waveguides. The exposed surface is curved in a direction perpendicular to a light propagation in the waveguide. A method of fabricating a system as above is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: William Cecil Pearl, Jr., Megan Renee Pearl, David L. Perkins, Neal G. Skinner
  • Publication number: 20180252555
    Abstract: Optical sensors having one or more soluble coatings thereon are used to detect the presence of a degrading fluid. In a generalized embodiment, the fiber optic sensor includes a fiber optic cable having two strain sensor positioned therein. A soluble layer is positioned over one of the strain sensor. Due to the presence of the soluble layer, the covered strain sensor optically responds differently than the other strain sensor to changes in pressure, strain and temperature. In the presence of a degrading fluid, the soluble layer degrades and ultimately dissolves, thereby changing the optical response of the previously covered strain sensor. When the soluble layer is dissolved, the strain induced by the soluble layer relaxes, thus causing a wavelength shift in the signal of the grating. By monitoring the wavelength shifts of both strain sensors, the fiber optic sensor acts as a detector for the presence of the degrading fluid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 24, 2015
    Publication date: September 6, 2018
    Inventors: Michel LeBLANC, Neal G. SKINNER, William C. PEARL, Megan R, PEARL
  • Publication number: 20180135407
    Abstract: A position determination system and a method for position detection within a wellbore are disclosed. A radioactive tag may be disposed within the wellbore. One or more scintillating optical fibers may be longitudinally disposed along a drill string, wireline, or the like, and run into the wellbore. A detector system is coupled to the optical fiber(s). A scintillating optical fiber emits short, bright flashes of visible light whenever exposed to the gamma radiation. When a scintillating flash is measured, it may be determined that the optical fiber is located within proximity to the radioactive tag. The amplitude of received pulses may be used to estimate where in the optical fiber scintillating events are occurring. By providing a second optical fiber coupled to a scintillating optical fiber, a time delay between received pulses may be used to indicate where along the scintillating optical fiber scintillation events are occurring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2015
    Publication date: May 17, 2018
    Inventors: Kyle Donald, Neal G. Skinner, Paul D. Ringgenberg
  • Patent number: 9874081
    Abstract: A system for detecting fluid influxes and losses can include a sensor which detects floating vessel movement, and a neural network which receives a sensor output, and which outputs a predicted flow rate from a wellbore. A method can include isolating the wellbore from atmosphere with an annular sealing device which seals against a drill string, inputting to a neural network an output of a sensor which detects vessel movement, the neural network outputting a predicted flow rate from the wellbore, and determining whether the fluid influx or loss has occurred by comparing the predicted flow rate to an actual flow rate from the wellbore. Another method can include inputting to a neural network actual flow rates into and out of the wellbore, and an output of a sensor which detects vessel movement, and training the neural network to output a predicted flow rate from the wellbore.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Neal G. Skinner
  • Publication number: 20170342823
    Abstract: A method includes deploying an object inside a casing installed in a well, and transmitting a pulse conveyed by fluid in the casing. The method also includes receiving a reflection in response to the pulse, and analyzing a travel time for the reflection determine a position of the object in the well. A related system includes a casing installed in a well, and a pulse transmitter in fluid communication with the casing and configured to transmit pulses via fluid in the casing. The system also includes a receiver in fluid communication with the casing and configured to receive pulse reflections, and a processor in communication with the receiver. The processor analyzes a travel time for at least one pulse reflection to determine a position of an object in the well.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2014
    Publication date: November 30, 2017
    Applicant: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Vimal V. Shah, Neal G. Skinner, Chris Gordon
  • Patent number: 9823373
    Abstract: An acoustic telemetry method for use with a subterranean well can include positioning a well tool in the well, the well tool including an acoustic transmitter and a sensor, and an acoustic receiver in the well receiving an acoustic signal transmitted by the transmitter, the acoustic signal including information representative of a measurement by the sensor. A system for use with a subterranean well can include a well tool positioned in the well, the well tool including an acoustic transmitter and a sensor, the acoustic transmitter transmits an acoustic signal including information representative of a measurement by the sensor to an acoustic receiver positioned in the well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Neal G. Skinner
  • Patent number: 9784671
    Abstract: Optical computing devices including a light source that emits electromagnetic radiation into an optical train that extends from the light source to a detector, a substance arranged in the optical train and configured to optically interact with the electromagnetic radiation and produce sample interacted radiation, an integrated computational element (ICE) array arranged in the optical train and including a plurality of ICE cores arranged on a substrate, and a variable weighting array arranged in the optical train and including a plurality of weighting devices arranged on a weighting substrate, the plurality of weighting devices being configured to optically apply corresponding weighting factors to beams of modified electromagnetic radiation prior to being received by the detector, wherein the detector generates an output signal indicative of a characteristic of the substance based on the plurality of beams of modified electromagnetic radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Neal G. Skinner, David L. Perkins
  • Patent number: 9759031
    Abstract: A method of freeing a pipe stuck in a subterranean well can include determining a location of a portion of the pipe stuck in the well, and penetrating and/or heating a sidewall of the pipe portion with a beam of light. A system for freeing a pipe stuck in a subterranean well can include a tool deployed into a portion of the pipe stuck in the well by a differential pressure from a wellbore to a formation penetrated by the wellbore. A beam of light emitted from the tool penetrates the pipe portion. Another method of freeing a pipe stuck in a subterranean well can include determining a location of a portion of the pipe which is biased against a wall of a wellbore by differential pressure, and directing a beam of light to the pipe portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Emad Bakri, Malcolm E. Whittaker, Neal G. Skinner