Including Disaster Feature Patents (Class 166/364)
  • Patent number: 9752416
    Abstract: An open water capture device comprising a structure, wherein the structure comprises an open bottom, a top, and one or more injection primary ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: SHELL OIL COMPANY
    Inventors: Karl Gregory Anderson, Gaurav Bhatnagar, Sujatha Degaleesan, Gregory John Hatton
  • Patent number: 9670754
    Abstract: A method of producing oil and gas from a gathering manifold or a well. The method includes the steps of channeling field production into a sealed vessel through an inlet pipe, and permitting oil and gas components of the field production to separate naturally from water and other fluids within the vessel. The method further includes the steps of evacuating the separated oil and gas from the vessel via pipelines attached to the vessel at locations corresponding to the separated oil and gas, and pumping seawater into the vessel to pressurize the vessel and thereby aid in the production of oil and gas from the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventor: Mari Hussain Alqahtani
  • 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
  • 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: 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: 8986548
    Abstract: An oil containment recovery dome including an upper containment portion and at least one bladder. The upper containment portion has an enclosure defined therein that is adapted to receive equipment used in conjunction with a well and to retain therein oil or gas that escapes from the well. The at least one bladder is attached to the upper containment portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Thomas T. K. Zung
  • Patent number: 8986547
    Abstract: A subsea contaminate remediation apparatus is provided. The apparatus includes a conduit. The conduit includes a first end adapted to receive a first liquid stream having at least one contaminate; a second end adapted to release a second liquid stream; a grating associated with the second end of the housing; and at least one chemical injection port. The chemical injection port is adapted to introduce a chemical to the first liquid stream to form the second liquid stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Michael J. Baccigalopi
  • Patent number: 8978751
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for sealing a wellbore are provided. A seal assembly carried by a pair of opposing ram blocks of a blowout preventer is provided. The seal assembly includes a pair of seals carried by the pair of opposing ram blocks and a plurality of inserts carried by the pair of seals. The inserts include an upper body and a lower body with a rib therebetween. The upper and lower bodies each have an extended tip on a seal end thereof and a tip receptacle on a leading face thereof for receiving the extended tip. The extended tips are positionable in the tip receptacle of an adjacent inserts whereby an extrusion of a seal therebetween is restricted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: National Oilwell Varco, L.P.
    Inventors: Sascha Antonio Castriotta, Bradford Shane Franks
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8967273
    Abstract: A system for the detection, containment and removal of hydrocarbon leaks in a subsea environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Anthony W. Ray, Randall S. Shafer, Ravi Aurora, Dominique P. Berta
  • Patent number: 8950500
    Abstract: Various embodiments of underwater wellhead closure systems are described that include a template having first and second anchoring ports and that is configured to be secured to a floor of a body of water. A suction pile having a cylindrical body with a head portion and an open bottom can be coupled to the first anchoring port, such that the suction pile can provide additional hold down force to the template. The system can also include a suction cap coupled to the second anchoring port, and having a cylindrical body with an open bottom and a head portion having at least one suction pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: Fluor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: Don D. Lieske, II
  • Publication number: 20150034326
    Abstract: A system compensates for heave induced pressure fluctuations on a floating rig when a drill string or tubular is lifted off bottom and suspended on the rig, such as when tubular connections are made during MPD, tripping, or when a kick is circulated out during conventional drilling. In one embodiment, a liquid and a gas interface moves along a flow line between a riser and a gas accumulator as the tubular moves up and down. In another embodiment, a pressure relief valve or adjustable choke allows the movement of fluid from the riser when the tubular moves down, and a pump with a pressure regulator moves fluid to the riser when the tubular moves up. In other embodiments, a piston connected with the rig or the riser telescoping joint moves in a fluid container thereby communicating a required amount of the fluid either into or out of the riser annulus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2014
    Publication date: February 5, 2015
    Applicant: Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.
    Inventors: Don M. Hannegan, Thomas F. Bailey, Simon J. Harrall
  • Patent number: 8939215
    Abstract: A gasless subsea accumulator having a series of opposing springs in two separate chambers defined by a central cross shaped member for translating force on a piston in the accumulator to dampen the movement of the piston. The body of the accumulator may be operably engaged to a bladder in fluid communication with one of the two chambers to provide additional dampening. The body may be vented through a port and have a port for controlling pressure on body through a pilot control circuit. The accumulator may be manually controlled by an ROV and operatively connected to a regulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: The Subsea Company
    Inventor: Barry McMiles
  • Patent number: 8931562
    Abstract: A collector for capturing flow discharged from a subsea blowout includes a tubular housing having a containment chamber; a seal connected to the housing; a tubular chimney connected to the housing, having a portion of a subsea connector, and having a diameter less than a diameter of the containment chamber; and a head connected to the housing and the chimney.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignees: Wild Well Control, Inc., BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Michael Cargol, Jr., Robert H. Gatliff, Jr., Pierre Albert Beynet, Kevin James Devers, Trent J. Fleece, Norman Dennis McMullen, Jason T. Holvey, Jonathan Eryl Rogers, Daniel Scott Stoltz
  • Patent number: 8905141
    Abstract: A valve useable in an undersea apparatus for generating a force for closing a blowout preventer (BOP) based on a pressure difference between a low pressure recipient and ambient pressure, an apparatus including the valve and related methods are provided. The valve includes a valve body enclosing a chamber with an input port selectively connectable to an output port, and a chamber separating assembly configured to separate the chamber from a region of different pressure. The assembly includes (1) a backup plate having a first portion of a first diameter towards the chamber and a second portion of a second diameter larger than the first diameter, towards the region, and (2) an upper seat located between the first portion of the backup plate and the valve body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Hydril USA Manufacturing LLC
    Inventor: Ryan Cheaney Gustafson
  • Patent number: 8893803
    Abstract: A subsea relief valve system for use in a subsea environment has subsea piping having a first portion and a second portion, a choke cooperative with the subsea piping and movable between an open position and a closed position, a hydraulic actuator connected to the choke so as to move the choke between the open and closed positions, and a signal source cooperative with the hydraulic actuator so as to actuate the choke to the open position when an overpressure condition is detected. The open position of the choke is suitable for venting a fluid to the subsea environment. The closed position of the choke is suitable for retaining the fluid within the subsea piping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Trendsetter Engineering, Inc.
    Inventor: Mario R. Lugo
  • Publication number: 20140338920
    Abstract: A tensioning apparatus for applying a substantially constant tension to a workover riser (12) includes a first portion (40) adapted to be coupled to a workover riser, a second portion (44) adapted to be coupled to a marine riser (14) and tensioning means (46) for providing relative movement between the first portion and the second portion to, in use, tension the workover riser.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 7, 2014
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Inventor: Jeffrey Edwards
  • Patent number: 8881829
    Abstract: A backup blowout system for a subsea wellhead positioned between an existing blowout prevention system and the wellhead. The backup blowout system includes an independently operated shear/blind ram assembly that attaches to a standard wellhead connector that connects to the wellhead. The ram assembly includes an upper neck with an upper flange on which a dual housing assembly is attached. The dual housing assembly includes a primary housing longitudinally aligned over a secondary housing. The primary and secondary housings include lower bodies and upper necks that have identical diameters. During assembly, the existing primary blowout prevention system is initially connected to the primary housing and the ram assembly is connected to the wellhead connector. When a blowout occurs, the primary housing is disconnected from the secondary housing to expose the upper neck of the secondary housing upon which a replacement primary blowout prevention system or cap may be attached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Inventors: David B. Redden, Frank McCormack, Larry E. Huskins
  • Publication number: 20140311749
    Abstract: A riser weak link in a riser connects a floating installation or vessel to a hydrocarbon well on the seabed. The weak link includes a first riser part in the form of an upper housing for connecting to a riser upper section; a second riser part in the form of a lower housing for connecting to a riser lower section, wherein one riser part is arranged to extend into the other riser part; and connection devices for releasably connecting the upper and lower housings. The weak link includes a first connection device arranged to fail if a tensile force on the first and second riser parts exceeds a first threshold force, and that the weak link includes a second connection device arranged to fail if a compressive force on the first and second riser parts exceeds a second threshold force.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2011
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Applicant: STATOIL PETROLEUM AS
    Inventor: Christian Andreas Kongshem
  • Patent number: 8851176
    Abstract: The present invention relates to recovery of hydrocarbons being released subsea in an uncontrolled manner. More specifically, the invention relates to an apparatus, process and system for the recovery of well stream products being released subsea in an uncontrolled manner, optionally under conditions that are conducive to the formation of gas hydrate crystals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company
    Inventors: Peter G. Noble, Randall S. Shafer
  • Publication number: 20140262314
    Abstract: A system for the detection, containment and removal of hydrocarbon leaks in a subsea environment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY
    Inventors: Anthony W. RAY, Randall S. SHAFER, Ravi AURORA, Dominique P. BERTA
  • Patent number: 8833393
    Abstract: A hydraulic connector (14) attaches a valve chamber (16) to a flow pipe (P) using a hydraulic clamp (20) to grab the pipe (P) or a flange (F). The valve chamber (16) contains a primary hydraulic ram (26) to telescopically extend a primary seal (28) on the ram (26) to close or open the outlet ports (22) by moving the primary seal (28) to permit flow through valve up flow tubes (34) to a riser (R). Outlet ports (22) in the cap valve (12), or an intermittent pipe (18), permit unrestricted flow while the connector (14) is being installed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Inventor: Charles J. Adams
  • Patent number: 8833464
    Abstract: Systems and methods for quick access and control of a blown-out well or well that is flowing uncontrollably into the environment. Preferred embodiments of the present invention provide a re-entry of the casing of the blown-out well below the mud line and the inoperable blowout preventer. The present invention also provides a method to re-enter a production, or injection well, either subsea below the mud line or above the mud line for surface facility applications. According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a miniature wellbore is created from the outer casing through the various smaller casing strings into the final wellbore to protect the structural integrity of the well. Once the casing is safely penetrated, coil tubing and or kill weight fluid can be introduced to stop the uncontrolled flow of reservoir fluid. The well can then be sealed with cement and abandoned as normal practice dictates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: General Marine Contractors LLC
    Inventors: Iain Duncan, Martin Davidson
  • Patent number: 8833459
    Abstract: A system and method for channeling fluids from underwater to the surface. Including a channel system for channeling the fluids from an oil leak through the channel system starting from an underwater pipe leak to a containment reservoir at a sea surface. In one aspect, the channel system is made up of interchange parts, where some are flexible, attachable, and/or can influence the flow of the fluids inside the channel system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Inventor: Matthew Carl O'Malley
  • Patent number: 8833465
    Abstract: An accumulator for a subsea blowout preventer unit including a blowout preventer includes a body. The body includes a hydraulic fluid chamber and a gas chamber. The hydraulic fluid chamber has a smaller inner diameter than the gas chamber. The accumulator further includes a hydraulic fluid port in fluid communication between the hydraulic fluid chamber and the subsea blowout preventer, a hydraulic piston slidably and sealingly mounted in the hydraulic fluid chamber, and a charge piston slidably and sealingly mounted in the gas chamber. A pressure port receives pressure to provide a force on the opposite side of the charge piston from the hydraulic piston.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Johnnie E. Kotrla, Mac Kennedy, Nathan Cooper
  • Publication number: 20140251633
    Abstract: A system for performing an intervention on a subsea wellhead, the system including a production tree having a central axis, a first end, a second end, and a first flow bore extending axially from the first end to the second end. The production tree includes a master valve disposed along the first flow bore, a swab valve disposed along the first flow bore between the master valve and the first end, and a shearing device disposed along the first flow bore between the master valve and the second end. The second end of the production tree comprises a connector configured to releasably couple to the subsea wellhead, and the shearing device is configured to shear a component extending through the first flow bore.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2014
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Jason Dahlem, Matthew Green
  • Patent number: 8826990
    Abstract: A method for installing a pipe closing apparatus in an oil well rig system positioned at least partially in a body of water, comprising the steps of shutting off a flow of oil through a well head, removing a section of riser pipe from the oil well rig system and connecting the pipe closing apparatus to a remaining portion of riser pipe and positioning the pipe closing apparatus between the remaining portion of riser pipe and the well head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Deep Sea Innovations, LLC
    Inventor: Leon A. Botich
  • Patent number: 8820410
    Abstract: A modular control system consisting of multiple, remotely retrievable functional modules for controlling a blowout preventer stack. The various functional modules can be located on the lower marine riser package and blowout preventer stack positioned near the equipment with which they are associated, wherein this distribution of modules nearly eliminates the complex interface connection between the lower marine riser package and blowout preventer stack. Each of the functional modules is capable of being installed, retrieved or replaced with a single remotely operated vehicle (ROV) deployment from a vessel. The functional modules can be used to operate as a complete control system for a blowout preventer stack or can be used selectively individually or in various combinations to accommodate multiple control applications or upgrades of other control systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: DTC International, Inc.
    Inventors: William C. Parks, Dana C. Beebe, Chester W. Kronke
  • Patent number: 8820409
    Abstract: The system includes a containment housing with an open bottom which is configured to fit over an undersea oil well pipe which is spilling oil, the housing being lockable to a platform or ring surrounding the oil well pipe or positionable on the sea floor. A pipe is positioned internal of the housing into which the oil well pipe can be fitted, the vertical pipe being directed to or connectable to an evacuation pipe which extends to the surface of the sea, through which the oil from the well moves by means of an evacuation pump. The oil is pumped at a rate approximately at least as great as the rate of the oil spill. An infusion line and associated pump is connected to the chamber for pumping mud and/or cement and/or concrete into the chamber to stop and seal the spill and to ensure the housing remains positioned over the oil spill well pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Inventor: Franklin R Lacy
  • Patent number: 8807223
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to methods and apparatus to construct subsea wells with redundant parallel fluid flow control systems to allow new methods to stop subsea blow outs. More specifically, this invention provides methods and apparatus to construct subsea wells with a plurality of redundant parallel paths allowing for the first time drill pipe and other intervention conduits, wire line, and fluids to be deployed below a damaged drilling riser and or a damaged blow out preventer through a separate blow out preventer and riser system presented in this invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Inventor: David R. Smith
  • Publication number: 20140224501
    Abstract: Method for stopping or at least reducing the uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons, blowout, from a well for the extraction of hydrocarbons, which comprises introducing high-density solids at the bottom of the well, through a suitable line, having a polyhedral, spheroidal, ellipsoidal or paraboloidal form, regular or irregular, possibly coated with swelling polymeric material in contact with the fluids leaving the well, the smallest dimension of said solids being greater than 1 mm and the largest dimension less than 100 mm, so that said solids introduced accumulate by random packing at the bottom of the well, forming a column which totally, or at least partially, blocks the uncontrolled release of said hydrocarbons.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2012
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Inventors: Alberto Giulio Di Lullo, Giambattista De Ghetto
  • Patent number: 8801938
    Abstract: An apparatus, method, and system for recovering oil from a submerged oil source, wherein the system includes a submerged conduit having at least two openings, with a first opening capable of being located in proximity of a leak in order to capture leaking oil, and with a second opening capable of communicating captured leaking oil to another location. A natural gas separator, coupled to the submerged conduit separates the boiling vapor phase natural gas from the captured oil thereby outputting oil with water contaminant. An oil/water separator coupled to the natural gas separator then separates out the contaminant water, resulting in a processed recovered oil product for storage and subsequent refinement. The flow to capture the leak is induced by generating a lower pressure at nozzle in the conduit via power jet, air lift, pumping of fluid out of conduit close to sea level, or other methods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Inventor: Dana R. Allen
  • Publication number: 20140216751
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises a telescoping marine riser action and one of a rotating control device and an annular blow out preventer. The telescoping marine riser section comprises an inner barrel and an outer barrel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2014
    Publication date: August 7, 2014
    Applicant: M-I L.L.C.
    Inventor: Bastiaan Liezenberg
  • Patent number: 8794308
    Abstract: A blowout preventer and flow regulator, comprising blocks, each having a channel and plates to close it. The blocks are placed over a pipe through which oil or other fluid is escaping, so that the pipe is in their channels. Alongside the channel in each block are one or more plates, having diameters somewhat larger than the diameter of the channel. One or more pistons are attached to each of the plates. Explosive charges, or other suitable means, move the pistons to propel the plates across the channel to seal it off and stop the leak. Flanges may limit the pistons' movement. Gears can engage teeth on the pistons to withdraw the plates from the channel, to reopen it and allow the flow of oil or other fluid to resume. Plates may be withdrawn part way from the channel, to reduce and control the flow, without cutting it off completely.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Milanovich Investments, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Philip John Milanovich
  • Patent number: 8794333
    Abstract: A combination blowout preventer and recovery device, comprising a lower part that is placed over a well pipe, and an upper part having a channel and plates to close it. The large end of the valve is placed over a well pipe through which fluid is flowing out. The small end of the valve is connected to the channel. A sleeve connected to the return pipe is placed over the well pipe. Positioning rings are attached to a high pressure pipe, that can fit inside the well pipe. Grinders remove matter from the well pipe. Pistons are attached to each of the plates. The pistons propel the plates across the channel to seal it off and stop the leak. Flanges may limit the pistons' movement. Gears can engage teeth on the pistons to withdraw the plates from the channel, to reopen it and allow the flow of fluid to resume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Milanovich Investments, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Philip John Milanovich
  • Patent number: 8789606
    Abstract: A system for controlling functions of a subsea structure, such as a blowout preventer, has a plurality of actuators respectively affixed to a plurality of controls of the subsea structure, and an acoustic signal generator positioned remotely from the plurality of actuators. Each of the plurality of actuators has a transponder connected thereto. The acoustic signal generator produces an acoustic signal so as to actuate at least one of the plurality of actuators. Each of the actuators is an electrically-powered torque wrench having a battery affixed there to so as to supply power thereto. An induction generator can transmit an electromagnetic wave along the tubing associated with the blowout preventer so as to recharge the batteries of the torque wrenches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Trendsetter Engineering, Inc.
    Inventor: Mario R. Lugo
  • Publication number: 20140190702
    Abstract: A subsea connection apparatus to allow connecting a surface blowout preventer stack and riser to a subsea wellhead is disclosed. The subsea connection apparatus uses a single cavity blowout preventer with a set of shearing blind rams. Hydraulically actuated wellhead connectors are secured to the top and bottom of the blowout preventer to allow connection to a subsea wellhead below the subsea connection apparatus and a well head hub profile on the lower end of a riser above the apparatus. A control system can operate both of the hydraulically actuated connectors and the blowout preventer independently. A frangible bore protector is disposed in the bore of the blowout preventer to protect the shearing blind rams from pipe, tools, and fluids being passed through the blowout preventer and can be sheared by the shearing blind rams along with any drill pipe in the bore.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 10, 2014
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Applicant: CAMERON INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Johnnie E. Kotrla, Joe S. Johnson
  • Patent number: 8770298
    Abstract: Blowout preventer (BOP) stack and lower marine riser package for sealing an undersea well. The blowout preventer stack includes a frame extending along an axis and configured to be attached to a head of the well; an accumulator attached to the frame and configured to provide high pressure; two or more BOPs attached to the frame, the two or more BOPs being disposed within the frame and attached one on top of the other along the axis; each BOP having a body and a pair of bonnets attached to the body, where the bonnets are configured to be detachably attached to the body; each BOP having a corresponding cavity extending along the axis through which a fluid from the well is circulating; each BOP being configured to seal the well when the high pressure from the accumulator is released to the BOPs; plural brackets attached to the body of at least one BOP; and a safety bar attached to the plural brackets and configured to partially encircle the body of the at least one BOP.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Hydril USA Manufacturing LLC
    Inventor: Ryan Gustafson
  • Patent number: 8752633
    Abstract: The present invention relates to protector apparatus (30) for protecting at least one cable (24) during operation of a diverter (28). The protector apparatus (30) comprises at least one protector assembly substantially formed of a plastics material. The protector assembly defines a plurality of bores, a first of the plurality of bores being configured to receive a string (23) and a second of the plurality of bores being configured to receive a cable (24). The protector assembly is further configured to define an external surface with which an operating diverter engages when the protector apparatus is in use and a string is received in the first bore.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Polyoil Limited
    Inventors: Calum Whitelaw, Alan Craigie, Andrew Hicks
  • Patent number: 8727303
    Abstract: A variable bore packer used in a blowout preventer to form a seal against different diameter tubular members for oil and gas drilling operations. The variable bore packer includes a packer member molded of elastomeric material with certain mechanical properties and including an inside curved surface. The packer also includes a plurality of packer inserts molded within the packer member to form an insert array. Additionally, the packer includes a protrusion extending from and bonded to the packer member inside curved surface, the protrusion including increased mechanical properties compared to the packer member. The packer member, the insert array, and the protrusion are molded into a unitary structure and sized to form a seal against the different diameter tubular members upon closure of the blowout preventer. Also, the insert array and the protrusion diminishing extrusion of the elastomeric material between the packer inserts and the tubular members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Raul Araujo, Alexander Michael McAuley, Reza H. Zonoz
  • Patent number: 8727015
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for stopping oil flowing from the end of a ruptured pipe, by mounting a flange on the end of the ruptured, if a flange is not already present; providing a gate valve having a flange on its lower end to mate with the flange on the ruptured pipe; providing a permanently affixed gasket member on the mounting flange of the gate valve; lowering the gate valve to the depth of the flowing oil from the ruptured pipe; providing at least two flexible bolts through opposite openings in the flange of the gate valve; threading each flexible bolt through two opposite openings in the flange of the ruptured pipe; placing pulling pressure on the lower ends of the two flexible bolts to pull the gate valve from a position adjacent the ruptured pipe to a second position where the gasket of the gate valve mounts against the face of the flange of the ruptured pipe, while the gate valve is in the open position; continuing to hold the gate valve in place by the flexible bolts while inserting permanent bolts in
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Inventor: Phillip J. Oddo
  • Patent number: 8720580
    Abstract: A system for capping a blowout preventer has a capping stack with a connector suitable for connection to the blowout preventer, a flowing stack, and an intervention blowout preventer connected to a connector of the flowing stack. The capping stack has a fluid passage extending from the connector. The capping stack has at least one diverter line in communication with the fluid passage. The flowing stack has an interior passageway extending to the connector at an upper end thereof. The flowing stack has at least one pipe in communication with the interior passageway. The pipe is connected with the diverter line of the capping stack such that a flow fluid passing through the diverter line passes through the pipe into the interior passageway of the flowing stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Trendsetter Engineering, Inc.
    Inventor: Mario R. Lugo
  • Patent number: 8720575
    Abstract: There is provided a high power shear laser module, which can be readily included in a blowout preventer stack. The shear laser module as the capability of delivering high power laser energy to a tubular within a blowout preventer cavity, cutting the tubular and thus reducing the likelihood that the tubular will inhibit the ability of the blowout preventer to seal off a well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Foro Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Zediker, Henry A. Bergeron, Philip V. Clark, Joel F. Moxley, Paul D. Deutch, Charles C. Rinzler
  • Patent number: 8720579
    Abstract: An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) may be programmed and launched to interface with an emergency blowout preventer which has been fitted, either when new or retrofitted, with an emergency BOP control system (EBOP). The EBOP is a “black box” drop-in solution for projects such as emergency well control that can be retrofitted to existing BOP systems or added to new BOP systems and comprises one or more control docking stations, each adapted to receive autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV); one or more interface units connected to the control docking station and used to provide an interface between the control docking station and a BOP; and the AUV which is dimensioned and configured to autonomously mate with the control docking station and effect controls of the BOP.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Oceaneering International, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Johnigan, Greg R. Boyle, Shelley Reynolds
  • Patent number: 8720565
    Abstract: A method for severing a tubular of a wellbore is provided. The method involves positioning a blowout preventer about a tubular, the blowout preventer having a plurality of rams slidably positionable therein and a plurality of blades carried by the rams for engaging the tubular. The method further involves piercing the tubular with a piercing point of at least one of the blades such that a portion of the tubular is dislodged therefrom, and raking through the tubular with a cutting surface of at least one of the blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: National Oilwell Varco, L.P.
    Inventors: Frank Benjamin Springett, Christopher Dale Johnson, Shern Eugene Peters, Eric Trevor Ensley
  • Patent number: 8720578
    Abstract: An orientation joint for a subsea landing string equipped to maintain both unitary and telescoping configurations. For example, the joint may maintain a unitary configuration to provide continuous orientation definition while lowering a landing string within a blowout preventer (BOP). Additionally, the orientation joint may be configured to telescope and provide an appropriately sized uniform outer diameter surface to enable a sealing engagement with an aligned ram of the BOP.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technology Corporation
    Inventors: David C. Allensworth, Josh Rayner
  • Patent number: 8720584
    Abstract: There is provided a high power laser riser blowout preventer system and controller for operation thereof. The system utilizes high power laser cutters that are associated with the riser and the blowout preventer to provided an integrated operation to quickly weaken or cut tubulars to address potential emergency and emergency situations that can arise during deep sea drilling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Foro Energy, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark S. Zediker