Connection To Provide Fluid Flow Path Patents (Class 166/344)
  • Patent number: 10196891
    Abstract: A system including a fluid injection system configured to removably couple to a mineral extraction system, wherein the fluid injection system includes a fluid injection system controller, a flow meter system coupled to the fluid injection system controller, wherein the flow meter system is configured to measure a fluid flow of a fluid through the fluid injection system, an adjustable valve configured to control the fluid flow through the fluid injection system, and a non-return valve configured to block reverse flow of the fluid through the fluid injection system, wherein the fluid injection system controller, the flow meter system, the adjustable valve, and the non-return valve are coupled to a common housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin Minnock, Eddie McHugh
  • Patent number: 10184312
    Abstract: A subsea tree for use with a well includes a master block that has a flow hub located at the top of the subsea tree, a flow bore in fluid communication with the well, a swab valve, and a master valve. A choke block is coupled to a side of the subsea tree and includes a choke in a flow passage of the choke block. The swab valve is selectively closed so that fluid flowing through the master block is directed through the choke in the choke block. A method for operating the subsea tree, includes directing flow of a first fluid into the flow bore of the subsea tree, through the choke of the choke block, and then into the flow bore of the subsea tree. The method includes reversing flow of a direction of a second fluid through the subsea tree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard M. Murphy
  • Patent number: 10145236
    Abstract: Techniques and systems to monitor a blowout preventer. A device may include a protrusion sized to extend though an aperture of a blowout preventer. The device may also include a sensor disposed on a first end of the protrusion, wherein the sensor is configured to sense at least one condition occurring in a central bore of the blowout preventer disposed perpendicular to the aperture and generate a signal indicative of the sensed condition. The device may further include an electrical connector configured to receive the signal and transmit the signal from the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: Ensco International Incorporated
    Inventor: Christophe Vitou
  • Patent number: 10100618
    Abstract: A technique for engaging a bore connector with a receptacle on subsea equipment. The technique may include providing an operator with a visual indication of acceptable alignment between the connector and the receptacle in advance of attaining engagement. In this way, a proper and reliably sealed engagement may be achieved. Further, the bore connector and techniques for use thereof include added indication of completed sealed engagement sufficient for testing and/or operational use of the connector in supporting a fluid application directed at the equipment through the receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: OneSubsea IP UK Limited
    Inventors: Alessandro Sales, Jefferson Rodrigo Marcelino Dos Santos, Akshay Kalia, Alireza Shirani, Sergio Yamahata, Marcus Lara
  • Patent number: 10077622
    Abstract: A subsea wellhead assembly provides a positive indication of landing of a wellhead member and locking of a wellhead member to a wellhead. The subsea wellhead assembly includes at least one positive indicator assembly disposed within a wellhead member, and a communication line extending down a running string from a platform to a running tool disposed in a subsea wellhead. The at least one positive indicator assembly provides confirmation of setting of the wellhead member, and the communication line is in communication with the positive indicator assembly to communicate the confirmation of setting with the platform following setting of the wellhead member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2018
    Assignee: Vetco Gray, LLC
    Inventor: Rodney Mark Fenwick
  • Patent number: 10077640
    Abstract: A tie-back seal system is disclosed. The system includes a tie-back seal assembly including an outer sleeve, an inner sleeve disposed within the outer sleeve, a shear pin extending through the outer and inner sleeves, and a ratch-latch pin coupled to and disposed downhole from the inner sleeve. The system also includes a tie-back liner disposed within the inner sleeve and coupled to the outer and inner sleeves using the shear pin such that the shear pin prevents axial movement of the tie-back liner relative to the outer and inner sleeves. The system further includes a tie-back receptacle configured to engage the ratch-latch pin to prevent axial movement of the inner sleeve and tie-back liner in an uphole direction and including a shoulder that, when in contact with the outer sleeve, prevents axial movement of the outer sleeve in a downhole direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2018
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Abdol Reza Gharesi, Raymond Yit Long Chua
  • Patent number: 9809943
    Abstract: A method for installation of an elongate element in a stretch of water, the method including reversible fastening of a connecting member (34) at a first end (16) of the elongate element (10); arranging the elongate element (10) in a substantially horizontal configuration; reversibly engaging the connecting member (34) in a retaining member (36); pivoting the elongate element (10) about a substantially horizontal axis to move the elongate element (10) into a substantially vertical configuration, while the connecting member (34) remains engaged in the retaining member (36); joint lowering of the retaining member (36), the connecting member (34) and the elongate element (10) in the stretch of water (12) with the help of a lowering line (152); detaching the connecting member (34) of the first end (16) of the elongate element (10), and joint raising of the retaining member (36) and the connecting member (34).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: TECHNIP FRANCE
    Inventor: Didier Bonnemaison
  • Patent number: 9797223
    Abstract: A method for treating the formation of hydrates in a fluid system includes pumping a fluid at a substantially constant fluid flow rate through a hydrate removal system including a pressure modulator, communicating a vacuum pressure to a piece of subsea equipment from a pressure port of the pressure modulator, closing a valve in the hydrate removal system to cease the fluid flow through the hydrate removal system at the substantially constant fluid flow rate, and communicating a positive pressure greater than the vacuum pressure to the piece of subsea equipment in response to closing the valve of the hydrate removal system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: OneSubsea IP UK Limited
    Inventor: Alexandre James Gordon
  • Patent number: 9765593
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a configurable pre-machined forging for use with a multiple bore tubing hanger or a mono bore tubing hanger includes providing a configurable common master valve block with a main bore along a main central axis. After providing the configurable common master valve block, a target subsea assembly is identified that has a mono bore subsea completion with a production bore along a central axis of a tubing hanger, or a multiple bore subsea completion with the production bore offset from the central axis of the tubing hanger. If the target subsea assembly has the mono bore subsea completion, the machining of a lower interface of the common master valve block is centered around the main central axis. If the target subsea assembly has the multiple bore subsea completion, the machining has an eccentric interface axis that is parallel to, and offset from, the main central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: GE Oil & Gas UK Limited
    Inventor: Michael Stanley McRobbie Ross
  • Patent number: 9752424
    Abstract: A system including a fluid injection system configured to removably couple to a mineral extraction system, wherein the fluid injection system includes a fluid injection system controller, a flow meter system coupled to the fluid injection system controller, wherein the flow meter system is configured to measure a fluid flow of a fluid through the fluid injection system, an adjustable valve configured to control the fluid flow through the fluid injection system, and a non-return valve configured to block reverse flow of the fluid through the fluid injection system, wherein the fluid injection system controller, the flow meter system, the adjustable valve, and the non-return valve are coupled to a common housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin Minnock, Eddie McHugh
  • Patent number: 9732575
    Abstract: A subsea arrangement comprising a first subsea structure, a second subsea structure, and a clamp connector. The first subsea structure is provided with at least one coupling member which is designed to mate with a corresponding coupling member on a first side of the clamp connector so as to allow the clamp connector to be releasably connected and secured to the first subsea structure through these coupling members. The second subsea structure is provided with at least one coupling member which is designed to mate with a corresponding coupling member on an opposite second side of the clamp connector so as to allow the clamp connector to be releasably connected and secured to the second subsea structure through these coupling members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Scandinavia AS
    Inventor: Steinar Hestetun
  • Patent number: 9702215
    Abstract: A subsea tree for use with a well includes a master block that has a flow hub located at the top of the subsea tree, a flow bore in fluid communication with the well, a swab valve, and a master valve. A choke block is coupled to a side of the subsea tree and includes a choke in a flow passage of the choke block. The swab valve is selectively closed so that fluid flowing through the master block is directed through the choke in the choke block. A method for operating the subsea tree, includes directing flow of a first fluid into the flow bore of the subsea tree, through the choke of the choke block, and then into the flow bore of the subsea tree. The method includes reversing flow of a direction of a second fluid through the subsea tree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard M. Murphy
  • Patent number: 9683413
    Abstract: A drilling riser joint includes at least one multiplexer line arranged in a longitudinal direction along a main line of the drilling riser joint, each end of the multiplexer line extending through a respective flange of the drilling riser joint and arranged for coupling to an opposing mux line of a second drilling riser joint. When the riser joints are coupled together, a single multiplexer line is formed along the drilling riser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventor: Nate Smith
  • Patent number: 9670745
    Abstract: High pressure seals for pressure control fittings are disclosed, where such pressure control fittings are located at a wellhead, for example. Embodiments of cam lock seals, a spring-driven ball race seal and wedge seals are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: FHE USA LLC
    Inventors: Keith C. Johansen, Nicolas G. Snoke
  • Patent number: 9637993
    Abstract: A hydraulic connector for a wellhead hub is provided that includes a piston and a bottom portion configured to move in an axial direction via hydraulic pressure applied to one or more hydraulic ports in the connector. The movement of the piston and the bottom portion moves a ring and a segment of the connector in a radial direction to engage recesses in the wellhead hub. The connector may be unlocked by applying hydraulic pressure to a hydraulic port of the connector. A system and method of operating the connector are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Dennis P. Nguyen, Richard Altman
  • Patent number: 9593549
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to a locking assembly to attach a quickset casing head of a wellhead assembly to a landing mandrel attached to a surface casing in a drilling operation. A locking ring, comprised of a plurality of arcuate segments, is arranged between the quickset casing head and the landing mandrel. Each of the plurality of arcuate segments is clamped down onto the landing mandrel with a plurality of radially spaced lockdown bolts fastened through the quickset casing head. The clamping enables a seal between the quickset casing head and the landing mandrel without requiring arduous welding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: McClinton Energy Group LLC
    Inventors: Tony McClinton, Jeremy Perkins
  • Patent number: 9518436
    Abstract: A latch and method for use is provided for latching an item of oilfield equipment. The latch has a housing containing a latch member, and the latch member is movable between a radially engaged position in which it is engaged with the item of oilfield equipment, and a radially retracted position in which it is disengaged from the item of oilfield equipment. An actuator is configured to drive the latch member into the radially engaged position. Further, the actuator is configured to drive the latch member toward the radially retracted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: Weatherford Technology Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Aristeo Rios, III, James W. Chambers, Thomas F. Bailey, Danny W. Wagoner, Simon J. Harrall
  • Patent number: 9404332
    Abstract: A well apparatus system that includes a wellhead, a tree, a tubing hanger, a tubing spool that is located between the wellhead and the tree, and a production isolator surrounded by the tree and the tubing spool. The tree component of this system can include a vertical or horizontal tree. More importantly, this system can be constructed in a number of different sequences. In addition, this well apparatus system allows for installation, retrieval, and/or work-over the tubing hanger and associated completion system without disturbance of the tree. The presented system also allows for installation and retrieval of the tree independent of the tubing hanger and associated completion system. Some embodiments can include valve-type mechanisms to serve as production environmental barriers. These mechanisms are integral to the production isolator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: OneSubsea IP UK Limited
    Inventors: Cole Melancon, Venkatesh Baht
  • Patent number: 9365271
    Abstract: A system including a fluid injection system configured to removably couple to a mineral extraction system, wherein the fluid injection system includes a fluid injection system controller, a flow meter system coupled to the fluid injection system controller, wherein the flow meter system is configured to measure a fluid flow of a fluid through the fluid injection system, an adjustable valve configured to control the fluid flow through the fluid injection system, and a non-return valve configured to block reverse flow of the fluid through the fluid injection system, wherein the fluid injection system controller, the flow meter system, the adjustable valve, and the non-return valve are coupled to a common housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin Minnock, Eddie McHugh
  • Patent number: 9341045
    Abstract: A pre-machined forging for use with a subsea hydrocarbon assembly includes a common master valve block. The common master valve block has an upper cylindrical portion with a main central axis. A lower cylindrical portion of the common master valve block includes a lower axis that is parallel to, and offset from, the main central axis. A valve portion of the common master valve block is located axially between the upper cylindrical portion and the lower cylindrical portion. A main bore extends axially through the common master valve block from a bottom end of the common master valve block to a top end of the common master valve block along the main central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: GE Oil & Gas UK Limited
    Inventor: Michael Stanley McRobbie Ross
  • Patent number: 9151132
    Abstract: A system and method is provided for setting a metal-to-metal seal (e.g., in an annular space between wellhead components) using a temporary elastomer seal. For example, the annular space may be sealed with one or more elastomer seals before hydraulically setting the metal-to-metal seal. A seal assembly may include the elastomer seals and the metal-to-metal seal. Positioning the seal assembly in the annular space between the wellhead components may isolate pressure in the annular space below the seal such that the metal-to-metal seal may be set. In an exemplary embodiment, a hydraulic mechanism axially compresses the metal-to-metal seal between two members of the seal assembly, thereby radially expanding and setting the metal-to-metal seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventor: Dennis P. Nguyen
  • Patent number: 9038726
    Abstract: Systems and methods for managing umbilical lines and one or more jumpers are provided. An example of a system includes a deployment platform carrying a winch and spool assembly, a tether management assembly, and an integrated electrical and/or hydraulic umbilical line extending between a spool on the winch and spool assembly and the tether management assembly. The winch and spool assembly is configured to deploy and to support the umbilical line. The tether management assembly includes a winch and spool assembly for deploying a flying lead and/or annulus jumper adapted to connect to an emergency disconnect package of a well control package for a well. A set of buoyant modules are connected to or integral with a portion of the umbilical line to be used to form an artificial heave compensation loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Vetco Gray U.K., Limited
    Inventors: David Stewart Christie, Michael Marr, Ian Calder, Steven Salman
  • Patent number: 9038727
    Abstract: A tool for actuating a blow out preventer includes one or more connections for receiving hydraulic power from a remotely operated vehicle (“ROV”), a first pump for increasing pressure of an operating fluid for the blowout preventer (“BOP”), a second pump for increasing flow rate of the operating fluid, and a conductor for transporting the operating fluid to the BOP. The tool rapidly increases the pressure and flow rate of the fluid flowing to the BOP, and the BOP may be rapidly closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: SPECIALIST ROV TOOLING SERVICES LTD.
    Inventor: Michael Alexander Bisset
  • Patent number: 9038728
    Abstract: A system for diverting fluids from a wellhead in a subsea environment has a capping stack with a connector suitable for connection or interconnection to the wellhead, a flow base fixedly positioned in the subsea environment, and a conduit connected to the outlet of a diverter line of the capping stack and connected to the inlet of an interior passageway of the flow base. The conduit is suitable for passing fluids from the capping stack toward the flow base. The flow base is a modified horizontal Christmas tree. The interior passageway within the horizontal Christmas tree has a plug therein located a level below the level of the inlet to the flow base. The flow base can be attached to a wellhead or to an anchor pile in the subsea environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: TRENDSETTER ENGINEERING, INC.
    Inventors: Mario R. Lugo, David Older
  • Publication number: 20150136408
    Abstract: Systems and methods enable connection of, and are usable to connect, well servicing equipment to other well equipment, including wellheads, blowout preventers, and other well servicing equipment. The systems comprise connecting apparatus having a male connector and female connector. The male connector comprises an elongate body having an axial bore extending therethrough and a plurality of protrusions extending from the elongate body at an angle relative to the axial bore. The female connector can be adapted for connection with the male connector, wherein engagement between the male connector and female connector communicates the axial bore of the male connector with a bore of the female connector to define a flowpath for communicating a medium. The systems and methods enable the ability to connect or disconnect well equipment remotely without the need of a diver, an ROV, and without the need to bring the well equipment to the surface for disassembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2013
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventor: David Wright
  • Publication number: 20150136409
    Abstract: A system to control fluid flow through a fluid passage includes a valve that is fail-safe closed to selectively control fluid flow through the fluid passage, and a hydraulic actuator operatively coupled to the valve to open the valve when hydraulic pressure above a predetermined amount is received. The system further includes an inlet to provide hydraulic pressure to the hydraulic actuator and open the valve and an outlet to vent hydraulic pressure from the hydraulic actuator and close the valve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Applicant: ONESUBSEA IP UK LIMITED
    Inventors: Graham Hall, Robert Large, James Duncan Trinder
  • Patent number: 9033051
    Abstract: A system for the diversion of flow from a wellhead has a mudline closure mechanism suitable for attachment to the wellhead, a blowout preventer connected or interconnected to the mudline control mechanism, and a flow control line having one end connected to a diversion passageway of the mudline control mechanism and extending therefrom such that an opposite end of the flow control line is disposed away from the mudline closure mechanism. The mudline closure mechanism has a main passageway communicating with the flow passageway of the blowout preventer. The mudline closure mechanism has a valve suitable for switching fluid flow from the main passageway to the diversion passageway. The blowout preventer is positioned above the mudline closure mechanism. The flow control line is supported by a base anchored into the subsea floor away from the mudline closure mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: TRENDSETTER ENGINEERING, INC.
    Inventor: Mario R. Lugo
  • Patent number: 9033052
    Abstract: What is provided is a method and apparatus wherein a rotating and reciprocating swivel can be detachably connected to an annular blowout preventer thereby separating the drilling fluid or mud into upper and lower sections with the mandrel of the swivel being comprised of double box end joints and using double pin end subs to connect a plurality of such mandrel joints together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Mako Rentals, Inc.
    Inventors: Kip M. Robichaux, Kenneth G. Caillouet, Terry P. Robichaux
  • Publication number: 20150129233
    Abstract: A fluid control system may be included within a blowout preventer subsea control pod of a subsea drilling system. The fluid control system includes a primary fluid flow path including an inlet and an outlet, the inlet connectable to a fluid supply source, the outlet connectable to a component controllable by the fluid supply source, a surge relief valve connected within the primary fluid flow path between the inlet and the outlet, and a control valve connected within the primary fluid flow path between the surge relief valve and the outlet such that hydraulic pressure surges received within the primary fluid flow path are dampened, at least partially, by the surge relief valve before received by the control valve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 12, 2013
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventors: Edward C. Gaude, Brian Matteucci, Johannes Van Wijk
  • Publication number: 20150129234
    Abstract: An offshore drilling unit includes a main body configured to be bottom supported in shallow water. Also included is an anchoring assembly secured to a sea floor. Further included is a tensioning system operatively coupled to the main body and the anchoring assembly, wherein the tensioning system is configured to apply a downward force on the main body to resist ice loads imposed on the offshore drilling unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventors: Peter NOBLE, Randall S. SHAFER
  • Publication number: 20150129235
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for controlling fluid flow in a blowout preventer. In one embodiment, an apparatus for connecting fluid lines includes a socket fluid connector and a plug fluid connector. Each connector includes a flow channel. The plug fluid connector is detachably connectable to the socket fluid connector at a connection end of the plug and socket fluid connectors such that the flow channels align. Each of the socket and plug fluid connectors includes a check valve in the flow channel. The check valve is configured to prevent fluid flow through the connector flow channels while the plug and socket fluid connectors are not connected, and to enable bidirectional fluid flow through the connector flow channels while plug and socket fluid connectors are connected.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2015
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Applicant: CAMERON INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
    Inventor: Ronald W. Webb
  • Publication number: 20150122502
    Abstract: A riser section for joining to another riser section to form a drilling riser includes a weld region generated by welding a first riser tube to a second riser tube. The weld region includes a fusion zone in which material of the first riser tube coalesces with material of the second riser tube, and a heat-affected zone adjacent the fusion zone. The riser section also includes a cover positioned over the weld region and welded to the first riser tube and to the second riser tube such that the cover covers the fusion zone and the heat-affected zone to protect the zones. The cover may be a solid piece of material that is welded to the riser tubes, or the cover may be a bead of weld filler material that is welded (melted and deposited) onto the weld region of each of the riser tubes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2012
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Applicant: Advanced Joining Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas J. Waldron, Keith Richard McTernan
  • Patent number: 9022123
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an apparatus for inspecting and monitoring flexible collection and production lines in real time, rendering possible constant tracking of the condition of the internal structures of a flexible riser, specifically of the tensile armor thereof. The device may be provided at any point along the riser ensuring the establishment of an area of physical and visual contact directly over the surface of the tensile armor of the riser for the installation of equipment for analysis, which area permits further accesses without destroying the sealing of the chamber there formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.-Petrobras
    Inventors: George Carneiro Campello, Sergio Ricardo Kokay Morikawa
  • Publication number: 20150114658
    Abstract: The invention provides a flow control valve for a subsea hydrocarbon production system and a method of use. The flow control valve comprises an inlet configured to be in fluid communication to an injection fluid conduit and an outlet configured to be in fluid communication with a subsea flow system. A flow control mechanism is disposed in a flow path between the inlet and the outlet and is arranged to adjust a flow rate through the flow path. The flow control mechanism is configured to automatically adjust the flow rate of injection fluid through the flow path according to a pressure differential between fluid pressure at the inlet and fluid pressure at the outlet. Adjustment may be self-regulating, or may be controlled by a hydraulic control circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 26, 2013
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Inventor: Ian DONALD
  • Patent number: 9016381
    Abstract: Apparatuses useable in drilling installations for adjusting a mud return flow in a mud loop, at a location far from a mud tank are provided. An apparatus includes (1) a sensor located close to a seabed and configured to acquire values of at least one parameter related to a return mud flow, (2) a valve located near the sensor and configured to regulate the return mud flow, and (3) a controller connected to the valve and the sensor. The controller is configured to automatically control the valve to regulate the return mud flow towards achieving a value of a control parameter close to a predetermined value, based on the values acquired by the sensor. Methods of incorporating an apparatus in a drilling installation and retrofitting existing installations are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Hydril USA Manufacturing LLC
    Inventors: David Albert Dietz, Robert Arnold Judge, Ahmet Duman
  • Patent number: 9016380
    Abstract: A subsea connection assembly has a stab plate a first stab plate which carries a first plurality of couplers and a second stab plate which carries a second plurality of couplers for mating engagement with the couplers in the first plurality as the stab plates are moved together. The assembly includes a mounting plate, a support which is disposed for lateral movement in at least one direction relative to the mounting plate, and a pivot which allows tilting movement of the first stab plate relative to the support. The tilting and translational features accommodate many different possible trajectories of a pulling unit. In particular, the assembly tolerates a separating action which is oblique to the normal mating and demating direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: M.S.C.M. Limited
    Inventors: Terence Burgon, Terry Rackham
  • Patent number: 9010439
    Abstract: An umbilical for use in the offshore production of hydrocarbons, and in particular to a power umbilical for use in deep water applications is described, comprising a plurality of longitudinal strength members, wherein at least one longitudinal strength member comprises rope enclosed within a tube. In this way, the or each longitudinal strength member being a rope and tube combination achieves the synergistic benefit of favorable mechanical properties in the axial direction, with favorable mechanical properties in the radial direction during tensioning or the like of the umbilical, especially during installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventors: David Fogg, Xiaoxue An, Dave Bromfield, Alan Dobson
  • Patent number: 9010433
    Abstract: A latch and method for use is provided for latching an item of oilfield equipment. The latch has a housing containing a latch member, and the latch member is movable between a radially engaged position in which it is engaged with the item of oilfield equipment, and a radially retracted position in which it is disengaged from the item of oilfield equipment. An actuator is configured to drive the latch member into the radially engaged position. Further, the actuator is configured to drive the latch member toward the radially retracted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Weatherford Technology Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Aristeo Rios, III, James W. Chambers, Thomas F. Bailey, Danny W. Wagoner, Simon J. Harrall
  • Patent number: 9004175
    Abstract: A method and system for rapid containment and intervention of a subsea well blowout that can be performed in a rapid and efficient manner, where containment will minimize the damage to the environment and assets. The method can include disconnecting a riser from a subsea well after a blowout has occurred and moving the mobile offshore drilling unit away from the subsea well. Connecting a lower marine riser package with a blowout preventer, and diverting the well. The pressure and flow of the well fluid can be observed. At least of portion of the diversion path can be closed off and kill fluid and or cement pumped to the subsea well to kill and control the well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Inventor: Leo William Abel
  • Patent number: 9004176
    Abstract: A system and method for rapidly responding to and regaining control of uncontrolled flow from offshore hydrocarbon wells, comprising a subsea containment assembly, optionally including a capture caisson assembly installed around the assembly, riser systems for production of hydrocarbons to capture vessels on the surface of the sea, and modularized subsystems facilitating communication between and fluid flow from the subsea containment assembly through the riser to the capture vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Marine Well Containment Company
    Inventors: Calvin W. Crossley, Jeffrey W. Jones, Allen P. Allegra, Jonathan Bowman, Lloyd Brown, John Dagleish, Brian J. Fielding, Mitch Guinn, Joe Q. Jin, Wan Cai Kan, Roald T. Lokken, Mario R. Lugo, Peter G. Noble, Matthew J. Obernuefemann, Murray Smith, Paul M. Sommerfield, Charlie Tyrell, Richard Weser, Stephen Wetch
  • Patent number: 8997879
    Abstract: A well containment assembly comprising a first pressure-containing device and a diverter spool. The diverter spool comprises a body having a longitudinal central axis and at least partially defining a primary flowbore, an upper connection assembly coupled to the body, a lower connection assembly coupled to the body, and a plurality of side outlets. Each of the plurality of side outlets has a longitudinal central axis and at least partially defines a secondary flowbore. Each of the plurality secondary flowbores is in communication with the primary flowbore, and the angle between the longitudinal central axis of the body and the longitudinal central axis of the plurality of side outlets is less than 90° with respect to the primary flowbore. The first pressure-containing device is coupled to the diverter spool via the upper connection assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas N. Derr, Patrick M. Ljungdahl
  • Patent number: 8997874
    Abstract: A method of evacuating hydrocarbons from a plurality of nested tubulars of a well pipe, extending from an underwater well tree, includes attaching a fluid transmission line to the underwater well tree, the fluid transmission line having one end portion forming the attachment to the tree and the other end portion attached to a pump that forces fluid under pressure to the tree and attached nested tubulars. Openings are formed through one or more tubulars at a selected location. A specially configured fitting is attached to the tubulars. The fitting seals the openings. The fitting has an expandable seal that is expandable responsive to rotation of a rotating member that rotates upon a saddle, pulling a tapered mandrel against the seal. The saddle surrounds the mandrel and bears against an outer tubular of the nested tubulars. The fitting mandrel has a bore through which hydrocarbons escape from the tubulars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Gulfstream Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Mire, Joey Naquin
  • Patent number: 8997876
    Abstract: A retrievable flow module (RFM) apparatus is provided. In one embodiment, the RFM apparatus is a standalone assembly configured to mate with a subsea device, such as a production tree. The RFM apparatus may include a frame within which various flow control and monitoring elements are disposed. The frame may have an alignment system that enables the RFM apparatus to horizontally mate with the tree. Because the RFM apparatus provides for the collocation of flow control and monitoring elements within a standalone assembly, deployment or retrieval of the flow control and monitoring elements may be accomplished in single operation. Additional systems, devices, and methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Edmund McHugh, Finbarr Evans, Tobias Voelkel
  • Patent number: 8991501
    Abstract: A subsea separation device for use in separating a pair of stabplate connector plates, the subsea separation device comprising a first engagement member adapted to engage, in use, a first one of the connector plates, or a component rigidly secured thereto, a second engagement member adapted to engage, in use, a second one of the connector plates or a component rigidly secured thereto, and drive means operable to urge the first and second engagement members apart and so urge the connector plates apart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Viper Subsea Technology Limited
    Inventors: Paul Roberts, Thomas Dunkerton
  • Patent number: 8991502
    Abstract: A sampling assembly for taking single or multiphase production fluid samples from a subsea well. The sampling assembly includes a receiving structure that houses a saver sub and a retrievable skid. The sampling assembly allows for repeated retrieval of collected samples and replenishment of empty sample chambers using the retrievable skid. A releasable connection interface between the retrievable skid and the saver sub allows an ROV to connect the retrievable skid to the saver sub and provide electrical and hydraulic power to the sampling assembly for taking samples.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Alexandre Gordon, Duncan James Trinder
  • Patent number: 8978769
    Abstract: An offshore hydrocarbon cooling system is provided. The system includes one or more hydrocarbon process fluid heat exchangers arranged in heat exchange communication between a hydrocarbon process fluid and a cooling medium fluid, a cooling medium fluid distribution pipe system connected to the hydrocarbon process fluid heat exchangers, and a subsea cooling unit for cooling the cooling medium fluid. The subsea cooling unit includes an inlet and an outlet arranged in fluid communication with the cooling medium fluid distribution pipe system, one or more subsea cooling modules, a first conduit arranged to provide fluid communication between the inlet and the subsea cooling module(s) and a second conduit arranged to provide fluid communication between the subsea cooling module(s) and the outlet. Each cooling module comprises a plurality of cooling pipes configured in heat exchange relationship with surrounding seawater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Inventor: Richard John Moore
  • Patent number: 8978766
    Abstract: A temperature compensated accumulator and method for use thereof downhole in a well. The accumulator may include a housing with separate bulkhead and piston assemblies. Thus, one assembly may include a hydraulic fluid chamber separated from a gas precharge pressure chamber by a piston and the other assembly may include an ambient pressure chamber separated from an atmospheric chamber by another piston. Additionally a pressure relief and check valve assembly may be located at a pressure relief chamber between the other assembly sections. Thus, venting to or from the gas precharge pressure chamber may take place upon exposure to a predetermined decreased or elevated temperature so as to maintain a substantially constant precharge level for the accumulator, for example, in spite of dramatic changes in downhole temperatures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Peter Nellessen, Jr., Quangen Du
  • Patent number: 8978770
    Abstract: Systems and methods for riser coupling are disclosed. A riser coupling system comprises a riser joint connector comprising a first tubular assembly coupled to a second tubular assembly. The riser coupling system further comprises a spider assembly which receives the riser joint connector and has a connector actuation tool. The connector actuation tool comprises a dog assembly, a clamping tool and a splined member. The dog assembly selectively extends a dog to engage the riser joint connector. The clamping tool couples the first tubular assembly and the second tubular assembly. Finally, the splined member actuates a locking member of the riser joint connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Dril-Quip, Inc.
    Inventors: Blake T. DeBerry, Morris B. Wade, James Daryl Kizer
  • Patent number: 8973664
    Abstract: A wellhead assembly for use subsea includes a high pressure housing landed within a low pressure housing. The low pressure housing is an annular member that mounts into the sea floor and having an inner surface engaging the high pressure housing along a loading interface. Upper and lower sockets are formed along axially spaced apart portions of the outer surface of the high pressure housing. As the high pressure housing inserts into the low pressure housing, the high pressure housing sockets engage corresponding sockets formed along axially spaced apart sockets on portions of the inner surface of the low pressure housing. The sockets each have cylindrically shaped outer surfaces, and when engaged with one another define the loading interface. The sockets are strategically located on the upper and lower portions of the housings to maximize their distance apart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Chad Eric Yates, Philip John Potter
  • Patent number: 8967271
    Abstract: Systems and methods for relieving pressure from a subsea transport line are provided. The system can include a vessel having a bottom end that can be at least partially open and in fluid communication with a subsea environment. The vessel can also include one or more relief lines each having a first end and a second end. The first end can be coupled to one or more subsea transport lines coupled to one or more subsea production units and the second end can be coupled to a top end of the vessel. The relief line can include one or more pressure relief devices at least partially disposed therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Kellogg Brown & Root LLC
    Inventor: Craig W. Lamison