Patents by Inventor Rick C. Hunter

Rick C. Hunter 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: 10203037
    Abstract: A valve assembly for managing a flow of fluids in hydrocarbon development and production operations includes a valve body having an internal body cavity and a body bore intersecting the body cavity. A valve plug is located within the body cavity and is rotatable between an open position and a closed position. A sleeve is located between the valve plug and the valve body and is rotationally fixed to the valve body and remains rotationally static relative to the valve body as the valve plug rotates. A seal groove is located on a sidewall surface of the sleeve and circumscribes one of the sleeve openings. A seal assembly has a seal ring that is U shaped in cross section with an inner leg that engages the seal groove and an outer leg that extends out of the seal groove and engages one of the valve body and the valve plug.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: GE Oil & Gas Pressure Control LP
    Inventors: Rick C. Hunter, Robert S. McKee, Manuel Garibay, Chad Eric Yates
  • Patent number: 10113383
    Abstract: A wellhead assembly includes a wellhead housing with a bore and an annular lock groove on an inner diameter surface of the bore. A wellbore member is concentrically located within the bore of the wellhead housing, defining an annulus between the wellbore member and the wellhead housing. An annular lock ring is positioned in the annulus. The annular lock ring has an outer diameter profile for engaging the lock groove and is radially expandable from an unset position to a set position. An energizing ring is positioned in the annulus to push the lock ring outward to the set position as the energizing ring moves downward. A retainer selectively engages the energizing ring and limits axial upward movement of the energizing ring relative to the wellbore member, retains the annular lock in the set position, and prevents axial upward movement of the wellbore member relative to the wellhead housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: VETCO GRAY, LLC
    Inventors: Khanh Anh Duong, Rick C. Hunter
  • Patent number: 9989157
    Abstract: A valve stem packing assembly can seal a valve stem to a valve body having a body cavity. The packing assembly includes a packing ring circumscribing the valve stem within a stem opening extending axially through the valve body. A primary dynamic seal is positioned to seal a dynamic leak path between the packing ring and the valve stem. A secondary dynamic seal is spaced axially apart and functionally independent from the primary dynamic seal and positioned to redundantly seal the dynamic leak path. A primary static seal is positioned to seal a static leak path between the packing ring and the valve body. A secondary static seal is spaced axially apart and functionally independent from the primary static seal and positioned to redundantly seal the static leak path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Assignee: Vetco Gray, LLC
    Inventor: Rick C. Hunter
  • Patent number: 9982503
    Abstract: A wellhead housing has a bore with an inner seal surface. A hanger with an outer seal surface lands in the bore. Wickers are formed on at least one of the seal surfaces. A metal seal ring lands between the seal surfaces, the seal ring having annular inner and outer legs separated by an annular slot. An energizing ring has inner and outer diameter surfaces that slide against the inner and outer legs of the seal ring when the energizing ring is moved downward in the slot to radially deform the inner and outer legs into sealing engagement with the wellhead housing and hanger. The energizing ring has an inner diameter relief and an outer diameter relief, each being a partially circumferential groove extending upward from a lower rim. The reliefs define a bridge of narrower radial thickness in the lower rim.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: VETCO GRAY, LLC
    Inventors: Joseph W. Pallini, Rick C. Hunter, David L. Ford, Robert Jen-Yue Du
  • Patent number: 9897215
    Abstract: A gate valve for use in oil field applications and including a seat seal assembly. The seat seal assembly includes primary, secondary, and tertiary seals for sealing the space between the seat rings and the valve body. The provision of multiple seals in the seat seal assembly provides redundancy that allows for maintenance of the seal between the components even if one or two of the individual seals fail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Rick C. Hunter, Jon B. Kahn, Fabio Okamoto Tanaka
  • Publication number: 20170284165
    Abstract: A wellhead housing has a bore with an inner seal surface. A hanger with an outer seal surface lands in the bore. Wickers are formed on at least one of the seal surfaces. A metal seal ring lands between the seal surfaces, the seal ring having annular inner and outer legs separated by an annular slot. An energizing ring has inner and outer diameter surfaces that slide against the inner and outer legs of the seal ring when the energizing ring is moved downward in the slot to radially deform the inner and outer legs into sealing engagement with the wellhead housing and hanger. The energizing ring has an inner diameter relief and an outer diameter relief, each being a partially circumferential groove extending upward from a lower rim. The reliefs define a bridge of narrower radial thickness in the lower rim.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2016
    Publication date: October 5, 2017
    Inventors: Joseph W. Pallini, Rick C. Hunter, David L. Ford, Robert Jen-Yue Du
  • Patent number: 9759334
    Abstract: A gate valve for use in oil field applications and including a stem seal assembly and a seat seal assembly. Each of the stem and seat seal assemblies accommodate independent primary, secondary, and tertiary seals for sealing the space between the stem and the bonnet, or the seat ring and the valve body, respectively. The provision of multiple seals in each assembly provides redundancy that allows for maintenance of the seal between the components even if one or two of the individual seals fail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Rick C. Hunter, Jon B. Kahn, Fabio Okamoto Tanaka
  • Publication number: 20160201811
    Abstract: A valve assembly for managing a flow of fluids in hydrocarbon development and production operations includes a valve body having an internal body cavity and a body bore intersecting the body cavity. A valve plug is located within the body cavity and is rotatable between an open position and a closed position. A sleeve is located between the valve plug and the valve body and is rotationally fixed to the valve body and remains rotationally static relative to the valve body as the valve plug rotates. A seal groove is located on a sidewall surface of the sleeve and circumscribes one of the sleeve openings. A seal assembly has a seal ring that is U shaped in cross section with an inner leg that engages the seal groove and an outer leg that extends out of the seal groove and engages one of the valve body and the valve plug.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2016
    Publication date: July 14, 2016
    Applicant: GE Oil & Gas Pressure Control LP
    Inventors: Rick C. Hunter, Robert S. Mckee, Manuel Garibay, Chad Eric Yates
  • Patent number: 9341039
    Abstract: A seal assembly is inserted within an annulus between inner and outer coaxially disposed annular members having a common axis. The seal assembly includes a seal stack having a compliant element sandwiched between two anti-extrusion elements that contain the flow of the compliant element. The seal assembly also includes a sealing ring and a locking ring coupled to the sealing ring. The seal assembly also includes an energizing ring configured to be moved axially in a first direction by a ring tool to apply an axial force to the locking ring, which in turn acts on the sealing ring to radially deform the sealing ring into sealing engagement with the annular members. Continued axial movement of the locking ring in the first direction radially deforms the locking ring into locking engagement with the annular members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: Vetco GrayInc.
    Inventors: Gary L. Galle, Rick C. Hunter
  • Patent number: 9163739
    Abstract: A coating for use in protecting surfaces susceptible to environmental degradation. The coating may be applied to metallic surfaces for providing a barrier against elements and/or ambient conditions that would otherwise degrade the surface material. The coating includes multiple layers, where a thermoplastic polymer is included, wholly or partly, within one or more of the layers. Example applications of the coating are for protecting valve seat seals and valve stem seals of a valve assembly used in conjunction with handling of fluids produced from a subterranean formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Rick C. Hunter, Khanh Anh Duong
  • Publication number: 20150226338
    Abstract: A valve stem packing assembly can seal a valve stem to a valve body having a body cavity. The packing assembly includes a packing ring circumscribing the valve stem within a stem opening extending axially through the valve body. A primary dynamic seal is positioned to seal a dynamic leak path between the packing ring and the valve stem. A secondary dynamic seal is spaced axially apart and functionally independent from the primary dynamic seal and positioned to redundantly seal the dynamic leak path. A primary static seal is positioned to seal a static leak path between the packing ring and the valve body. A secondary static seal is spaced axially apart and functionally independent from the primary static seal and positioned to redundantly seal the static leak path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2015
    Publication date: August 13, 2015
    Applicant: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Rick C. Hunter
  • Patent number: 9010725
    Abstract: A valve includes a stem seal assembly that prevent fluid flow in a first direction and vents in a second direction opposite the first direction. The assembly includes a packing assembly positioned within a valve stem opening of a valve body of the valve to seal a valve stem to the valve body. The packing assembly includes a first seal and a second seal preventing passage of fluid from a body cavity of the valve body to an exterior of the valve body along the valve stem while venting fluid from an exterior of the valve body to the body cavity along the valve stem. The packing assembly isolates the first seal and the second seal so that a load applied to the first seal ring is not transferred to the second seal ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Rick C. Hunter
  • Publication number: 20150068725
    Abstract: A wellhead assembly includes a wellhead housing with a bore and an annular lock groove on an inner diameter surface of the bore. A wellbore member is concentrically located within the bore of the wellhead housing, defining an annulus between the wellbore member and the wellhead housing. An annular lock ring is positioned in the annulus. The annular lock ring has an outer diameter profile for engaging the lock groove and is radially expandable from an unset position to a set position. An energizing ring is positioned in the annulus to push the lock ring outward to the set position as the energizing ring moves downward. A retainer selectively engages the energizing ring and limits axial upward movement of the energizing ring relative to the wellbore member, retains the annular lock in the set position, and prevents axial upward movement of the wellbore member relative to the wellhead housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2014
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Applicant: VETCO GRAY INC.
    Inventors: Khanh Anh Duong, Rick C. Hunter
  • Publication number: 20140345850
    Abstract: A seal assembly is inserted within an annulus between inner and outer coaxially disposed annular members having a common axis. The seal assembly includes a seal stack having a compliant element sandwiched between two anti-extrusion elements that contain the flow of the compliant element. The seal assembly also includes a sealing ring and a locking ring coupled to the sealing ring. The seal assembly also includes an energizing ring configured to be moved axially in a first direction by a ring tool to apply an axial force to the locking ring, which in turn acts on the sealing ring to radially deform the sealing ring into sealing engagement with the annular members. Continued axial movement of the locking ring in the first direction radially deforms the locking ring into locking engagement with the annular members.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2014
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Inventors: Gary L. Galle, Rick C. Hunter
  • Publication number: 20140183393
    Abstract: A gate valve for use in oil field applications and including a stem seal assembly. The stem seal assembly includes primary, secondary, and tertiary seals for sealing the space between the stem and the bonnet. The provision of multiple seals in the stem seal assembly provides redundancy that allows for maintenance of the seal between the components even if one or two of the individual seals fail.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Rick C. Hunter, Jon B. Kahn, Fabio Okamoto Tanaka, Raul Vega
  • Publication number: 20140183396
    Abstract: A gate valve for use in oil field applications and including a seat seal assembly. The seat seal assembly includes primary, secondary, and tertiary seals for sealing the space between the seat rings and the valve body. The provision of multiple seals in the seat seal assembly provides redundancy that allows for maintenance of the seal between the components even if one or two of the individual seals fail.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Rick C. Hunter, Jon B. Kahn, Fabio Okamoto Tanaka
  • Publication number: 20140183392
    Abstract: A gate valve for use in oil field applications and including a stem seal assembly and a seat seal assembly. Each of the stem and seat seal assemblies accommodate independent primary, secondary, and tertiary seals for sealing the space between the stem and the bonnet, or the seat ring and the valve body, respectively. The provision of multiple seals in each assembly provides redundancy that allows for maintenance of the seal between the components even if one or two of the individual seals fail.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Rick C. Hunter, Jon B. Kahn, Fabio Okamoto Tanaka
  • Patent number: 8622139
    Abstract: Wellhead-based systems, apparatus, and methods for controlling a well are provided. During a failure of an emergency system such as a blowout provider, a wellhead based emergency control apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention can be employed to control the well. A casing strings compression assembly can radially compress each of the casing strings and/or drilling pipe extending through the wellhead housing to restrict or stop well fluid passage. A casing strings penetrator of an emergency well fluid diversion assembly can also or alternatively be employed to form an aperture in the casing strings. A diverter, integral with or connected to the penetrator, is extended through an aperture in a side of the wellhead housing and one or more of the apertures cut by the penetrator to divert well fluid from within the wellhead housing through a passageway in the diverter and to an external conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan R. Herbel, Rick C. Hunter
  • Patent number: 8490950
    Abstract: A gate valve has a body, the body having a cavity and a flow passage intersecting the cavity. A seat ring is mounted to the body at the intersection of the flow passage and the cavity, the seat ring having an engaging face. A gate in the cavity has an engaging face that slidingly engages the face of the seat ring while being moved between open and closed positions. A friction-resistant coating is on at least one of the faces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Rick C. Hunter
  • Publication number: 20130161553
    Abstract: A valve includes a stem seal assembly that prevent fluid flow in a first direction and vents in a second direction opposite the first direction. The assembly includes a packing assembly positioned within a valve stem opening of a valve body of the valve to seal a valve stem to the valve body. The packing assembly includes a first seal and a second seal preventing passage of fluid from a body cavity of the valve body to an exterior of the valve body along the valve stem while venting fluid from an exterior of the valve body to the body cavity along the valve stem. The packing assembly isolates the first seal and the second seal so that a load applied to the first seal ring is not transferred to the second seal ring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2011
    Publication date: June 27, 2013
    Applicant: VETCO GRAY INC.
    Inventor: Rick C. Hunter