In Situ Combustion Patents (Class 166/256)
  • Patent number: 9719328
    Abstract: A downhole tool system includes a downhole tool string configured to couple to a downhole conveyance. The downhole conveyance extends into a wellbore, from a terranean surface, through at least a portion of a subterranean zone. The subterranean zone includes a geologic formation. The downhole tool system also includes a heating device coupled with the downhole tool string. The heating device is configured to transfer heat to the geologic formation in the wellbore at a specified temperature sufficient to adjust a quality of the geologic formation associated with a fluid absorption capacity of the geologic formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventor: Khaled A. Al-Buraik
  • Patent number: 9428978
    Abstract: A method for automatically shortening an injection well liner for underground coal gasification is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: CARBON ENERGY LIMITED
    Inventors: Burl Edward Davis, Kieran Maurice O'Leary
  • Patent number: 9385531
    Abstract: A system and method for optimizing the returns of power feedstock producers includes automated selection between selling raw feedstock or generating power and storing it in a storage device for subsequent sale under more favorable market conditions. The system may comprise grid-scale electric power storage devices which enable a feedstock supplier—e.g., a natural gas producer—to utilize real-time market data to allocate a feedstock between its sale “as is”—i.e., as fuel or chemical feedstock—and use of the feedstock to produce electric power which may be stored for later sale when the market price for peaking electric power is favorable. In certain embodiments, the system may be entirely automated and the collection of market data, the allocation of feedstock and the generation and subsequent supplying of electric power to a grid may be entirely performed by the system without operator intervention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Inventor: Bennett Hill Branscomb
  • Publication number: 20150144345
    Abstract: Described herein is a method of producing heated water from a hydrocarbon reservoir. The method includes injecting water into at least a portion of the hot bitumen-depleted zone to heat the water; and producing the heated water from a heated water production well. The method can includes generating the hot bitumen-depleted zone using steam-assisted gravity drainage, in situ combustion, steam flooding, cyclic steam stimulation, a solvent aided thermal recovery process, electric heating, electromagnetic heating, or any combination thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2014
    Publication date: May 28, 2015
    Inventors: Mark Bilozir, Christian CANAS, Subodh GUPTA, Arun SOOD
  • Publication number: 20150136390
    Abstract: Methods to extract oil from underground reservoirs are disclosed comprising pumping a gas comprising oxygen into the reservoir, causing combustion, and using the heat and pressure generated by the combustion to drive the oil through a well pipe to the surface. Systems for extracting oil from underground reservoirs are also disclosed comprising a gas compression system operable to pump oxygen from an oxygen source into the underground reservoir. The system has a supply pipe connected to the source of oxygen, a delivery pipe connected to the underground reservoir, a pump capable of pumping a liquid, a first tank with a first pipe and a second pipe, a second tank with a third and a fourth pipe and two pipe switchers operable to switch connections such that the tanks are swapped from a position between the supply pipe and the pump inlet and a position between the pump outlet and the delivery pipe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2015
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventor: Jasim Saleh Al-Azzawi
  • Patent number: 8978758
    Abstract: A method of the simultaneous production of oil and combustion gases using gravity phase segregation and gravity drainage to produce hydrocarbons from a subterranean oil-bearing formation. Such method comprises initially injecting a fluid such as a solvent, steam, or an oxidizing gas through a pair of horizontal wells placed high in the formation and producing oil through a plurality of parallel lower horizontal wells situated low in the reservoir, each lower horizontal well perpendicularly disposed to said upper horizontal wells. In a preferred embodiment well liner segments are provided in lower horizontal wells, having apertures therein, to allow oil to flow into said lower horizontal wells. At locations where an upper horizontal well traverses a lower horizontal well such well liners possess no apertures thereby preventing oxidizing gas injected in said upper horizontal wells from flowing directly into said lower horizontal wells at such point at which said lower wells are traversed by said upper wells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Capri Petroleum Technologies Ltd.
    Inventor: Conrad Ayasse
  • Publication number: 20150060061
    Abstract: A heater includes a heater housing with a fuel cell stack assembly disposed therein. The fuel cell stack assembly includes a plurality of fuel cells which convert chemical energy from a fuel into heat and electricity through a chemical reaction with an oxidizing agent. The fuel cell stack assembly includes a fuel cell manifold for receiving the fuel within a fuel inlet and the oxidizing agent within an oxidizing agent inlet and distributing the fuel and oxidizing agent to the fuel cells. A fuel supply conduit supplies the fuel to the fuel inlet and an oxidizing agent supply conduit supplies the oxidizing agent to the oxidizing agent inlet. A sonic orifice is disposed between the fuel supply conduit and the fuel inlet or between the oxidizing agent supply conduit and the oxidizing agent inlet, thereby limiting the velocity of the fuel or the oxidizing agent through the sonic orifice.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2013
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Inventors: BERNHARD A. FISCHER, KARL J. HALTINER, JR.
  • Publication number: 20140352957
    Abstract: An oil shale exploitation method comprises: forming a gas inlet pipeline (1) and a gas outlet pipeline (3) in an oil shale; forming a gasification channel (5) that connects the gas inlet pipeline and the gas outlet pipeline in the oil shale; feeding combustible gas and oxygen into the well through different gas inlet pipelines, and then igniting, in an aerobic environment, the combustible gas fed into the well at the lower opening of the pipeline for conveying the combustible gas, so as to heat the oil shale; and recycling through the gas outlet pipeline an oil-gas mixed product formed after thermal decomposition of kerogen in the oil shale. The method has simple process and low energy consumption, and is capable of heating kerogen in the shale bed, thereby exploiting an oil shale mineral layer to obtain oil and gas products more economically and reasonably.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 24, 2012
    Publication date: December 4, 2014
    Applicant: ENN COAL GASIFICATION MINING CO.
    Inventors: Feng Chen, Hongtao Liu, Jun Qiao
  • Publication number: 20140345859
    Abstract: A process for hydrocarbon recovery from an oil sands deposit includes injecting an oxidizing gas into an oil sands reservoir through an injection well. The oxidizing gas supports in situ combustion (ISC) in the reservoir. A generally horizontal well pair is used that is in fluid communication with the injection well to recover hydrocarbons mobilized by the ISC. The well pair includes: a generally horizontal segment of a hydrocarbon production well, and a generally horizontal segment of a combustion gas production well. The generally horizontal segment of the combustion gas production well is generally parallel to and spaced vertically above the horizontal segment of the hydrocarbon production well. The segment of the oxidizing gas injection well is spaced generally above the segment of the hydrocarbon production well and generally above the segment of the combustion gas production well.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2014
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Inventors: Christian CANAS, Simon GITTINS, Subodh GUPTA, Arun SOOD, Xinjie WU
  • Patent number: 8881810
    Abstract: A surface well testing facility for dispersing separated hydrocarbon gas into separated oil from a multiphase well fluid for improved oil mobility and combustion efficiency. A multiphase fluid is produced from a well. The gas constituent and the oil constituent are separated from the multiphase fluid, the oil constituent having an undesirable viscosity. Both the gas constituent and the oil constituent are measured. Thereafter, at least a first portion of the gas constituent is injected into the oil constituent. The first portion of the gas constituent is mixed with the oil constituent such that the first portion of the gas constituent is dispersed into the oil constituent to form an oil/gas mixture having a viscosity that is lower than the undesirable viscosity of the oil constituent and a BTU content higher than the oil constituent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Cyrus A. Irani, Steven D. Woolsey
  • Patent number: 8863839
    Abstract: Method for producing hydrocarbon fluids from an organic-rich rock formation include providing a plurality of in situ heat sources configured to generate heat within the formation so as to pyrolyze solid hydrocarbons into hydrocarbon fluids. Preferably, the organic-rich rock formation is heated to a temperature of at least 270° C. Heating of the organic-rich rock formation continues so that heat moves away from the respective heat sources and through the formation at a first value of effective thermal diffusivity, ?1. Heating of the formation further continues in situ so that thermal fractures are caused to be formed in the formation or so that the permeability of the formation is otherwise increased. The method also includes injecting a fluid into the organic-rich rock formation. The purpose for injecting the fluid is to increase the value of thermal diffusivity within the subsurface formation to a second value, ?2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
    Inventors: Robert D. Kaminsky, Matthew T. Shanley
  • Publication number: 20140196895
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method of recovering a hydrocarbon mixture from a subterranean formation comprising: (i) injecting an oxygen-rich gas into said formation; (ii) combusting said oxygen-rich gas in said formation thereby heating and reducing the viscosity of said hydrocarbon mixture and generating CO2-rich gas; (iii) recovering said heated hydrocarbon; and (iv) capturing at least a portion of CO2 from said CO2-rich gas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Publication date: July 17, 2014
    Applicant: Statoil ASA
    Inventors: Pentti Paurola, Harald Vindspoll, Knut Vebjørn Grande, Karina Heitnes Hofstad
  • Publication number: 20140166279
    Abstract: A process to recover hydrocarbons from a reservoir, where the hydrocarbons have an initial viscosity greater than 100,000 cp, preferably greater than 1,000 cp, the process including: (a) Initially injecting oxygen into the reservoir; (b) Allowing for combustion of the oxygen to vaporize connate water in the hydrocarbon reservoir; (c) Collecting hydrocarbons in a substantially horizontal production well in the reservoir and where the substantially horizontal production well has a length greater than about 800 metres.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2013
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Applicant: NEXEN ENERGY ULC
    Inventor: Richard Kelso Kerr
  • Publication number: 20140166278
    Abstract: A process to recover hydrocarbons from a reservoir having at least one lean zone, wherein said lean zone has an initial bitumen saturation level less than about 0.6, said process including: i) Initially injecting of oxygen into said reservoir; ii) Allowing for combustion of said oxygen to vaporize connate water in said at least one lean zone; and iii) Recovering said hydrocarbons from said reservoir.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2013
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Applicant: NEXEN ENERGY ULC
    Inventor: Richard Kelso Kerr
  • Publication number: 20140090834
    Abstract: A method of producing heavy oil from a heavy oil formation by combining electromagnetic heating to achieve fluid communication between wells, following by in situ combustion to mobilize and upgrade the heavy oil.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2013
    Publication date: April 3, 2014
    Applicants: Harris Corporation, ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Daniel R. Sultenfuss, Mark Alan Trautman
  • Publication number: 20140060823
    Abstract: Methods and systems produce petroleum products from a formation by a steam assisted process followed by an in situ combustion process. The steam assisted process utilizes an injector and first producer to form a steam chamber within the formation as the products are recovered. The in situ combustion then starts by injecting an oxidant into the formation and ignition of residual products. A combustion front advances toward a second producer that may be offset in a lateral direction from the first producer. Heat and pressure from the in situ combustion sweeps the products ahead of the combustion front to the second producer for recovery.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2013
    Publication date: March 6, 2014
    Applicant: CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY
    Inventors: Daniel Ray SULTENFUSS, Wayne Reid DREHER, JR.
  • Patent number: 8662169
    Abstract: A borehole metal member bonding system includes, a first metal member, a second metal member proximate the first metal member, and a pyrotechnic composition positioned proximate the first metal member and the second metal member configured to bond the first metal member to the second metal member subsequent undergoing an exothermic reaction while within a borehole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventor: Steve Michael Cortez
  • Publication number: 20140000878
    Abstract: A method for automatically shortening an injection well liner for underground coal gasification is provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2012
    Publication date: January 2, 2014
    Inventors: Burl Edward Davis, Kieran Maurice O'leary
  • Publication number: 20130341015
    Abstract: A downhole combustor system for a production well is provided. The downhole combustor includes a housing, a combustor and an exhaust port. The housing is configured and arranged to be positioned down a production well. The housing further forms a combustion chamber. The combustor is received within the housing. The combustor is further configured and arranged to combust fuel in the combustion chamber. The exhaust port is positioned to deliver exhaust fumes from the combustion chamber into a flow of oil out of the production well.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2013
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Applicant: ALLIANT TECHSYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: Daniel Tilmont, Troy Custodio
  • Publication number: 20130233539
    Abstract: A method of recovering petroleum from dormant oil wells or increasing the production of oil wells. An alkali or alkali earth carbonate is introduced into a water layer associated with a subterranean petroleum reservoir and/or an explosive composition is introduced into an oil layer associated with a subterranean petroleum reservoir. CO2 gas is produced by reacting the alkali or alkali earth carbonate with an acid and/or by detonating the explosive composition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2012
    Publication date: September 12, 2013
    Inventors: James Kenneth Sanders, Duck Joo Yang
  • Patent number: 8517097
    Abstract: A method of transporting carbon dioxide and crude oil in a pipeline is disclosed. The method includes providing supercritical carbon dioxide and heavy or extra heavy crude oil produced from a subterranean reservoir. The crude oil is mixed with the supercritical carbon dioxide to form a mixture having a viscosity less than the viscosity of the crude oil prior to mixing. The mixture is transported in a pipeline from a first location to a second location. The pipeline is maintained at sufficient pressures and temperatures such that any unsaturated carbon dioxide remains in a supercritical state while the mixture is transported through the pipeline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
    Inventor: John A. Segerstrom
  • Publication number: 20130206403
    Abstract: A method for recovering oil by injecting oxygen into an underground oil formation where in-situ combustion occurs. The oxygen may be co-injected with additional components to assist in the recovery of the oil, or it may be injected after the injection of the additional components sequentially. The recovered oil may be used in an integrated process above ground for the combustion and generation of power.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2012
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Inventor: Stevan Jovanovic
  • Publication number: 20130199777
    Abstract: A system and methods are provided for heating a hydrocarbon reservoir, wherein the reservoir includes a reduced oil saturation zone in proximity to a heavy oil zone. The method includes injecting an oxidizing gas into the reduced oil saturation zone and combusting hydrocarbons included within the reduced oil saturation zone. The method also includes determining a level of heating within the heavy oil zone that is conductively heated by combustion of the hydrocarbons within the reduced oil saturation zone, and producing hydrocarbons from the heavy oil zone once a desired level of heating has occurred.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Publication date: August 8, 2013
    Inventor: George R. Scott
  • Patent number: 8464792
    Abstract: A sub-surface hydrocarbon production system comprising an energy delivery well extending from the surface to a location proximate a bottom of the hydrocarbons to be produced. A production well extends from the surface to a location proximate the hydrocarbon and a convection passage extends between the energy delivery well and the production well thereby forming a convection loop. The energy delivery well and the production well intersect at a location proximate the hydrocarbon such that the convection loop is in the form of a triangle. Preferably, the convection passage extends upwardly from a point at which the convection passage intersects the production well. The system also includes a heater, such as an electric heater or down-hole burner, disposed in the energy delivery well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Assignee: American Shale Oil, LLC
    Inventors: Alan K. Burnham, Roger L. Day, P. Henrick Wallman, James R. McConaghy
  • Publication number: 20130146284
    Abstract: An in situ combustion process entailing the simultaneous production of oil and combustion gases that combines fluid drive, gravity phase segregation and gravity drainage to produce hydrocarbons from a subterranean oil-bearing formation, comprising initially injecting a gas through a pair of horizontal wells placed high in the formation and producing combustion gas and oil through parallel and laterally offset horizontal wells that are placed low in the formation intermediate the pair of horizontal wells placed high in the formation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Publication date: June 13, 2013
    Applicant: Archon Technologies Ltd.
    Inventor: Conrad AYASSE
  • Publication number: 20130146283
    Abstract: Method of entailing the simultaneous production of oil and combustion gases using gravity phase segregation and gravity drainage to produce hydrocarbons from a subterranean oil-bearing formation, comprising initially injecting a fluid such as a solvent, steam, or an oxidizing gas through a pair of horizontal wells placed high in the formation and producing oil through a plurality of parallel lower horizontal wells situated low in the reservoir, each lower horizontal well perpendicularly disposed to said upper horizontal wells. In a preferred embodiment well liner segments in lower horizontal wells have apertures therein to allow oil to flow into said lower horizontal wells, at locations where an upper horizontal well traverses a lower horizontal well, possess no apertures to thereby prevent oxidizing gas injected in said upper horizontal wells from flowing directly into said lower horizontal wells at such point at which said lower wells are traversed by said upper wells.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Publication date: June 13, 2013
    Applicant: Archon Technologies Ltd.
    Inventor: Conrad AYASSE
  • Publication number: 20130133884
    Abstract: An in situ combustion process entailing the simultaneous production of liquids and combustion gases that combines fluid drive, gravity phase segregation and gravity drainage to produce hydrocarbons from a subterranean oil-bearing formation, comprising initially injecting a gas through a horizontal well placed high in the formation and producing combustion gas and oil through parallel and laterally offset horizontal wells that are placed low in the formation. wherein the reservoir exploitation proceeds with sequential conversion of production wells to injection wells in a line-drive mode of operation. The process may also be employed without in situ combustion, using instead a gaseous solvent or steam injection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Publication date: May 30, 2013
    Applicant: Archon Technologies Ltd.
    Inventor: Conrad AYASSE
  • Patent number: 8450540
    Abstract: Methods for treating a subsurface formation and compositions produced therefrom are described herein. At least one method for producing hydrocarbons from a subsurface formation includes providing heat to the subsurface formation using an in situ heat treatment process. One or more formation particles may be formed during heating of the subsurface formation. Fluid that includes hydrocarbons and the formation particles may be produced from the subsurface formation. The formation particles in the produced fluid may include cenospheres and have an average particle size of at least 0.5 micrometers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Augustinus Wilhelmus Maria Roes, Vijay Nair, Erwin Hunh Munsterman, Petrus Franciscus Van Bergen, Franciscus Gondulfus Antonius Van Den Berg
  • Publication number: 20130098607
    Abstract: A process to recover heavy oil from a hydrocarbon reservoir, said process comprising injecting oxygen-containing gas and steam separately injected via separate wells into the reservoir to cause heated hydrocarbon fluids to flow more readily to a production well, wherein: (i) the hydrocarbon is heavy oil (API from 10 to 20; with some initial gas injectivity (ii) the ratio of oxygen/steam injectant gas is controlled in the range from 0.05 to 1.00 (v/v) (iii) the process uses Cyclic Steam Stimulation or Steam Flooding techniques and well geometry, with extra well(s) or a segregated zone to inject oxygen gas wherein the oxygen contact zone within the reservoir is less than substantially 50 metres long.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2012
    Publication date: April 25, 2013
    Applicant: Nexen Inc.
    Inventor: Richard Kelso Kerr
  • Publication number: 20130074470
    Abstract: An in-situ combustion process which process does not employ one or more separate gas venting wells. At least one vertical production well having a substantially vertical portion extending downwardly into the reservoir and a horizontal leg portion extending horizontally outwardly therefrom completed relatively low in the reservoir is provided. At least one vertical oxidizing gas injection well, positioned above and in spaced relation to the horizontal well, is positioned laterally along the horizontal well approximately midsection thereof. Oxidizing gas is injected therein and combustion fronts are caused to progress outwardly from such injection well in mutually opposite directions along the horizontal well.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2010
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Applicant: ARCHON TECHNOLOGIES LTD.
    Inventor: Conrad Ayasse
  • Publication number: 20130075092
    Abstract: Embodiments include methods for recovering petroleum products from a formation containing heavy crude oil. In one embodiment, a method includes positioning a steam generator within the petroleum-bearing formation, flowing a fuel source and an oxidizing agent into the steam generator, generating and releasing steam from the steam generator to heat the heavy crude oil, flowing a catalytic material containing a nanocatalyst into the petroleum-bearing formation, and exposing the catalytic material to the heavy crude oil. The method further provides forming lighter oil products from the heavy crude oil within the petroleum-bearing formation and extracting the lighter oil products from the petroleum-bearing formation. In some examples, the fuel source contains methane, syngas, or hydrogen gas, and the oxidizing agent contains oxygen gas, air, or oxygen enriched air. The nanocatalyst may contain cobalt, iron, nickel, molybdenum, chromium, tungsten, titanium, alloys thereof, or combinations thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2012
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Applicant: WORLD ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: World Energy Systems, Inc., John E. Langdon
  • Patent number: 8381810
    Abstract: An underground reservoir is provided comprising an injection well and a production well. The production well has a horizontal section oriented generally perpendicularly to a generally linear and laterally extending, upright combustion front propagated from the injection well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Wayne R. Dreher, Jr., Partha S. Sarathi
  • Patent number: 8353340
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus relate to in situ combustion. Configurations of the injection and production wells facilitate the in situ combustion. Utilizing wet combustion for some embodiments promotes heat displacement for hydrocarbon recovery with procedures in which one or more of the production and injection wells are configured with lengths deviated from vertical. In some embodiments for either dry or wet combustion, at least the production wells define intake lengths deviated from vertical and that are disposed at staged levels within a formation. Each of the productions wells during the in situ combustion allow for recovery of hydrocarbons through gravity drainage. Vertical separation between the intake lengths of the production wells enables differentiated and efficient removal of combustion gasses and the hydrocarbons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2013
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Partha S. Sarathi, Wayne Reid Dreher, Jr., Riley Bryan Needham, Abhishek Dutta
  • Patent number: 8336621
    Abstract: A process for the energy efficient, environmentally friendly recovery of liquid and gaseous products from solid or semi-solid hydrocarbon resources, in particular, oil shale or tar sands. The process involves non-oxidative pyrolysis to recover fluid energy values, oxidative combustion to recover energy values as recoverable heat, and environmental sequestration of gases produced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: JWBA, Inc.
    Inventors: James W. Bunger, Christopher P. Russell, Donald E. Cogswell
  • Publication number: 20120222859
    Abstract: A surface well testing facility for dispersing separated hydrocarbon gas into separated oil from a multiphase well fluid for improved oil mobility and combustion efficiency. A multiphase fluid is produced from a well. The gas constituent and the oil constituent are separated from the multiphase fluid, the oil constituent having an undesirable viscosity. Both the gas constituent and the oil constituent are measured. Thereafter, at least a first portion of the gas constituent is injected into the oil constituent. The first portion of the gas constituent is mixed with the oil constituent such that the first portion of the gas constituent is dispersed into the oil constituent to form an oil/gas mixture having a viscosity that is lower than the undesirable viscosity of the oil constituent and a BTU content higher than the oil constituent.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Publication date: September 6, 2012
    Applicant: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Cyrus A. Irani, Steven D. Woolsey
  • Patent number: 8191630
    Abstract: Methods for treating a tar sands formation are described herein. Methods for treating a tar sands may include heating a portion of a hydrocarbon layer in the formation from one or more heaters located in the portion. The heat may be controlled to increase the permeability of at least part of the portion to create an injection zone in the portion with an average permeability sufficient to allow injection of a fluid through the injection zone. A drive fluid and/or an oxidizing fluid may be provided into the injection zone. At least some hydrocarbons including mobilized hydrocarbons are produced from the portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: George Leo Stegemeier, Gary Lee Beer, Etuan Zhang
  • Patent number: 8186430
    Abstract: A system and method for extracting hydrocarbon products from oil sands using nuclear energy sources for power to decrease the viscosity of bitumen in oil sands deposits and provide sufficient heat and pressure to produce liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon products. Steps for extracting the hydrocarbon products form the oil sands deposits are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Shale and Sands Oil Recovery LLC
    Inventor: Thomas B. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 8167036
    Abstract: A novel method is provided for in situ combustion and recovery of oil from underground reservoirs including injecting oxygen into the reservoir at a region near the reservoir floor, establishing a combustion front wherein hot combustion gases rise at the combustion front, withdrawing hot combustion gases from a region near the reservoir ceiling, and extracting oil from a horizontal production well near the reservoir floor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Precision Combustion, Inc.
    Inventor: William C. Pfefferle
  • Patent number: 8151877
    Abstract: A method for in situ heating of an organic-rich rock formation is provided. Preferably the organic-rich rock formation comprises kerogen. The method may include the steps of providing a first wellbore extending at least to a depth of the organic-rich rock formation, and providing a second wellbore also extending to a depth of the organic-rich rock formation and intersecting the first wellbore. The method may also include injecting air and a combustible fuel into the first wellbore, and providing a downhole burner in the wellbore so as to cause the air and the combustible fuel to mix and to combust at substantially the depth of the organic-rich rock formation. The method may further include, circulating combustion products into and up the second wellbore such that a pyrolysis zone is created from the first wellbore and second wellbores that provides substantially complete pyrolysis of the organic-rich rock formation between the first wellbore and the second wellbore.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
    Inventors: Robert D. Kaminsky, Chad C. Rasmussen
  • Publication number: 20120067568
    Abstract: The present invention relates to systems, apparatuses, and methods for providing a reliable, high purity source of CO2 that is used in the recovery of formation deposits, such as fossil fuels. At least a portion of the fossil fuels recovered may be directly combusted or extracted using the same process used to provide the pure source of CO2 without the need to first remove CO2, sulfur, other fossil fuels, or other impurities.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2011
    Publication date: March 22, 2012
    Inventors: Miles Palmer, Rodney John Allam, Jeremy Eron Fetvedt, David Arthur Freed, Glenn William Brown, JR.
  • Patent number: 8127842
    Abstract: A method for the production of a CO2 rich stream for sequestration in depleted oil sand reservoirs. The method comprises the steps of: a) purging non-condensable gases from an oil sand reservoir with steam; b) contacting a gaseous oxidant stream comprising oxygen, carbon dioxide, and steam with bitumen in an oil reservoir; c) separating the production well product from the oil sand reservoir into bitumen, water, sand and fuel gas streams; d) producing a carbon dioxide rich gas by combustion of the said fuel gas with substantially pure oxygen; e) utilizing substantially pure oxygen and a portion of said carbon dioxide rich gas as constituents of said gaseous oxidant stream; and f) sequestering a balance of said carbon dioxide rich gas into a depleted oil said reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Linde Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Donald Prentice Satchell, Jr., Stevan Jovanovic
  • Patent number: 8122955
    Abstract: A method for in situ heating of a selected portion of a targeted organic-rich rock formation such as an oil shale formation is provided. The method includes the steps of providing casing in a wellbore extending to a depth within or below the selected portion of the organic-rich rock formation, and also providing a tubing within the casing. An annular region is formed between the tubing and the surrounding casing. Air or other oxidant and a combustible fuel are injected into the wellbore. Either the air or the combustible fuel is in stoichiometric combustion excess. The method also includes providing hardware in the wellbore so as to cause the air and the combustible fuel to mix and to combust at substantially the depth of the organic-rich rock formation. The hardware may include more than one burner. Insulation may be placed along the tubing adjacent the first burner in order to reduce the heat transfer coefficient within the tubing and to provide a more uniform temperature within the annulus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
    Inventors: Robert D. Kaminsky, Chad C. Rasmussen
  • Patent number: 8118095
    Abstract: Methods and systems relate to in situ combustion utilizing configurations of injection and production wells to facilitate the in situ combustion. The wells define vertically deviated lengths that have different orientations from one another. Further, heating processes such as resistive heating and cyclic steam stimulation may take place in one or both of the injection and production wells to precondition a reservoir prior to the in situ combustion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Partha S. Sarathi, Wayne Reid Dreher, Jr., Thomas J. Wheeler, Wendell P. Menard
  • Patent number: 8056624
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an in situ reservoir recovery process that uses a horizontal well located near the top of a reservoir and an inclined production well to extract bitumen or heavy oil from a reservoir. In a first stage, the top well is used for cold production of reservoir fluids to the surface, in which, reservoir fluids are pumped to the surface in the absence of stimulation by steam or other thermal and/or solvent injection. A lower production well is drilled into the formation below the top well. The top well is converted to an injection well or, if no cold production then a top well is drilled as an injector well. A portion of the bottom well is inclined so that one end of the incline is closer to the injector well than the other end of the incline. In the process, steam circulation creates a heated zone at the point of the two wells that are closest together in the reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: UTI Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Ian Donald Gates, Stephen Richard Larter, Jennifer Jane Adams
  • Patent number: 7931080
    Abstract: A system and method for extracting hydrocarbon products from oil sands using nuclear energy sources for power to decrease the viscosity of bitumen in oil sands deposits and provide sufficient heat and pressure to produce liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon products. Steps for extracting the hydrocarbon products form the oil sands deposits are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2011
    Assignee: Shale and Sands Oil Recovery LLC
    Inventor: Thomas B. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 7909097
    Abstract: A well liner segment for use in hydrocarbon recovery processes. An elongate, typically cylindrical outer liner member, and an inner elongate liner member concentrically located therewithin is provided. Hydrocarbon upgrading catalyst is provided in the interstitial space between the two members. The outer liner members may be threadably coupled together. A slidable seal is provided between the outer liner and the inner liner to accommodated differential thermal growth between the two liners. A process for use of well liner segments having hydrocarbon upgrader catalyst pre-installed therein, is also provided, as is a method for manufacture of a well liner segment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: Archon Technologies Ltd.
    Inventor: Conrad Ayasse
  • Patent number: 7866385
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and heaters for treating a subsurface formation are described herein. At least one method includes treating a hydrocarbon containing formation. The method may include providing heat to the formation; producing heated fluid from the formation; and generating electricity from at least a portion of the heated fluid using a Kalina cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2011
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventor: Gene Richard Lambirth
  • Patent number: 7841404
    Abstract: A modified method for in situ recovery of hydrocarbon from an underground hydrocarbon-containing formation. An “L” shaped production well, having a vertical section, and a lower horizontal leg positioned low in the formation, is provided. The horizontal leg connects to the vertical section at a heel portion, and has a toe portion at an opposite end thereof. Oxidizing gas is injected into the formation in or proximate the vertical section. A combustion front sweeps outwardly from the vertical section and laterally within the formation above the horizontal leg, from the heel to the toe, causing hydrocarbons in the formation above the horizontal leg to drain downwardly into the horizontal leg, which are then delivered to surface via production tubing. A non-oxidizing gas is injected into at least the heel portion and preferably additional portions of the horizontal leg via injection tubing contained within the vertical section of the production well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2010
    Assignee: Archon Technologies Ltd.
    Inventors: Conrad Ayasse, Xinjie Wu, Chris Bloomer
  • Publication number: 20100258265
    Abstract: A method of recovering energy from a subsurface hydrocarbon containing formation includes introducing an oxidizing fluid in a wellbore positioned in at least a first portion of the formation. At least a portion of the first portion of the formation has been subjected to an in situ heat treatment process. The portion includes a treatment area having elevated levels of coke substantially adjacent the wellbore. The pressure in the wellbore is increased by introducing the oxidizing fluid under pressure such that the oxidizing fluid substantially permeates a majority of the treatment area and initiates a combustion process. Heat from the combustion process is allowed to transfer to fluids in the treatment area. Pressure decreases in the wellbore such that heated fluids from the portion of the formation are conveyed into the wellbore. The heated fluids are transferred to a heat exchanger configured to collect thermal energy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 9, 2010
    Publication date: October 14, 2010
    Inventors: John Michael Karanikas, Robert Irving McNeil, III, Richard Pollard
  • Publication number: 20100258305
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method of recovering stranded oil wherein heated fluid is injected into a reservoir containing stranded oil in a region near the reservoir ceiling, or alternatively the heated fluid is generated downhole using a downhole combustor and then injected into the reservoir. The heated oil drains toward the reservoir floor and is recovered via a production well.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2010
    Publication date: October 14, 2010
    Inventor: William C. Pefferle