Automatic Patents (Class 166/53)
  • Patent number: 6938697
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods are provided to prevent an operator from inadvertently dropping a string into a wellbore during assembling and disassembling of tubulars. Additionally, the apparatus and methods can be used to for running in casing, running in wellbore components or for a drill string.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.
    Inventor: David M. Haugen
  • Patent number: 6925807
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for controlling an actuator system having an electrical actuator in hydraulic communication with a hydraulic actuator are described. The apparatus includes a controller module in communication with a source of electrical power and a transceiver. The transceiver is adapted for bi-directional wireless communication with a remote transceiver for the transfer of control data and feedback data. The controller module sends a control signal to the electrical actuator in response to control data received from the remote transceiver. The source of electrical power includes a hydraulic motor and an electrical generator to provide local electrical power from a hydraulic flow. Because the electrical power is generated locally and the control and feedback data are carried over the wireless link, no wires to remote locations are required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Assignee: Comprehensive Power, Inc.
    Inventors: Franklin B. Jones, Stuart A. Jones
  • Patent number: 6899178
    Abstract: The present invention comprises tools (20) for deployment downhole in a wellbore for aiding in the production of hydrocarbons. In an exemplary embodiment, the tools (20) comprise a tool body (24); an electrically powered device (22) disposed proximate the tool body (24); a removable power source (26) for providing power to the device disposed in the tool body (24), the power source connected to or mounted into or about the tool body (24), the power source (26) further being fixed or replaceable downhole; and a wireless communications device (57) operatively connected to the electrically powered device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Inventor: Paulo S. Tubel
  • Patent number: 6896055
    Abstract: The present invention generally provides a method for remotely controlling and/or monitoring at least one parameter of well bore equipment. In one aspect, the invention includes a method comprising the steps collecting data corresponding to the parameter with a sensor module; transmitting the collected data to an on-site universal data acquisition and control system; transmitting the data from the universal data acquisition and control system to a remote control/monitoring unit via a communication link; and transmitting control data from the control/monitoring unit back to at least the universal data acquisition and control system for modifying the operation of the well operation equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas Koithan
  • Patent number: 6892812
    Abstract: An automated method and system for determining the state of a drilling or other suitable well operations includes storing a plurality of states for the well operation. Mechanical and hydraulic data is received for the well operation. Based on the mechanical and hydraulic data, one of the states is automatically selected as the state of the well operation. Process evaluation may be performed based on the state of the well operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: Noble Drilling Services Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Niedermayr, Mitchell D. Pinckard, Gerhard P. Glaser
  • Patent number: 6886631
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention generally provide a method, apparatus, and system for monitoring conditions in wellbore in real time prior to setting an inflatable element in the wellbore. The inflatable element is inflated with an inflation tool run on a cable with one or more electrically conductive wires (the cable is commonly referred to as a “wireline”). One or more sensors, internal or external to the inflation tool, are monitored before setting the inflatable element to verify well conditions are compatible with the inflatable element. The sensors may be internal or external to the inflation tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Wilson, Kevin L. Gray, John D. Roberts, Corey E. Hoffman
  • Patent number: 6883610
    Abstract: The present invention relates to straddle packer systems and methods of using them for downhole isolation of zones for fracturing treatment. More specifically, the system includes upper and lower seal systems having resiliently flexible sealing elements hydraulically and operatively connected to one another which are responsive to an increase in hydraulic pressure for setting the sealing elements at a first hydraulic pressure threshold. Additionally, the system includes a control system hydraulically and operatively connected between the upper and lower packer systems which is responsive to an increase in hydraulic pressure at a second hydraulic pressure threshold higher for activating a pressure switch system within the control system for opening at least one frac valve in the control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Inventor: Karol Depiak
  • Patent number: 6883606
    Abstract: In a production system for producing oil or gas from a well, the production system including a plunger in well tubing, and a motor valve in a sales line connected to a plunger lubricator which connects to the well tubing, a differential pressure controller system includes: a) a plunger arrival sensor; b) a plunger cycle controller receptive to signals from the plunger arrival sensor and receptive to signals from pressure transducers, for controlling the cycle of the plunger; c) a differential pressure controller; d) a first pressure transducer conductively coupled to the differential pressure controller, for measuring pressure in the well tubing, e) a second pressure transducer conductively coupled to the differential pressure controller for measuring pressure in the sales line; and f) a solenoid valve conductively coupled to the differential pressure controller and connected to the motor valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: Scientific Microsystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Rick Evans, Michael A. Oehlert
  • Patent number: 6874577
    Abstract: An auto-cycling plunger including a hollow, longitudinally extending body, at least one first directional outer seal, at least one second directional outer seal and a valve stem. Both the at least one first directional outer seal and the at least one second directional outer seal are disposed on an exterior surface of the body for creating a seal between the body and a well bore. Portions of the seals extend in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the longitudinally extending body such that these portions are spread resiliently outwardly from the body with an applied pressure, thereby increasing the degree of sealing. The first directional outer seal extending in a direction substantially opposite to the direction of the at least one second directional outer seal. The valve stem includes a valve member, extends through the longitudinally extending body, and has actual ends extending from the body. The valve stem is operable to be shuttled between an open and a closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: McKinley Harrison Keyco
    Inventors: Douglas H. Abbott, Daniel S. Belczewski
  • Patent number: 6857474
    Abstract: Apparatus, methods and products for monitoring/controlling a reciprocating well producing hydrocarbons from a wellbore, which determine the surface card from a well operating characteristics, determine the downhole card, and display both at the same scale for position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Assignee: Lufkin Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Bobby R. Bramlett, Doneil M. Dorado, Sam Gavin Gibbs, Kenneth Bernard Nolen, LeMoyne Boyer
  • Patent number: 6851444
    Abstract: A system is provided that monitors at the wellsite injection of additives into formation fluids recovered through wellbores and controls the supply of such additives from remote locations. A pump supplies the selected additive from a source at the wellsite into the wellbore via a suitable supply line. A flow meter in the supply line measures the flow rate of the additive through the supply line and generates signals representative of the flow rate. A controller at the wellsite determines the flow rate from the flow meter signals and in response thereto controls the pump to control the flow rate of the additive to the well. The wellsite controller interfaces with a suitable two-way communication link and transmits signals and data representative of the flow rate, and other parameters to a second remote controller. The remote controller transmits command signals to the wellsite controller representative of any change desired for the flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2005
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventors: Kristopher T. Kohl, C. Mitch Means
  • Patent number: 6845819
    Abstract: A down hole tool and apparatus is described for logging and/or remedial operations in a wellbore in a hydrocarbon reservoir. The tool comprises an autonomous unit for measuring down hole conditions, preferably flow conditions. The autonomous unit comprises locomotion means for providing a motion along the wellbore; means for detecting the down hole conditions; and logic means for controlling the unit, the logic means being capable of making decisions based on at least two input parameters. It can be separably attached to a wireline unit connected to the surface or launched from the surface. The connection system between both units can be repeatedly operated under down hole conditions and preferably includes an active component for closing and/or breaking the connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Michael P. Barrett, Stuart I. Jardine, Michael C. Sheppard
  • Patent number: 6843317
    Abstract: An autonomous system for performing a well operation at a predetermined location in a wellbore comprises a tool string having at least one well tool, a motive device for traversing the wellbore, and a control system adapted to position the tool string near the predetermined location. The control system comprises (i) a sensing system for detecting mass irregularities in the wellbore and (ii) a processor system having a processor with memory for storing at least one well log. The processor acts under programmed instructions to compare sensor signals to the stored well log to determine a tool string position in the wellbore. The control system also contains circuits for controlling the operation of the well tool and the motive device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2005
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventor: Gordon R. J. Mackenzie
  • Publication number: 20040256113
    Abstract: The present invention relates to apparatus and methods for remotely actuating a downhole tool. In one aspect, the present invention provides an apparatus for activating a downhole tool in a wellbore, the downhole tool having an actuated and unactuated positions. The apparatus includes an actuator for operating the downhole tool between the actuated and unactuated positions; a controller for activating the actuator; and a sensor for detecting a condition in the wellbore, wherein the detected condition is transmitted to the controller, thereby causing the actuator to operate the downhole tool. In one embodiment, conditions in the wellbore are generated at the surface, which is later detected downhole. These conditions include changes in pressure, temperature, vibration, or flow rate. In another embodiment, a fiber optic signal may be transmitted downhole to the sensor. In another embodiment still, a radio frequency tag is dropped into the wellbore for detection by the sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2003
    Publication date: December 23, 2004
    Inventors: Michael LoGiudice, R. L. Colvard
  • Patent number: 6830108
    Abstract: Method for operating a well installation utilizing a chamber in operative association with plunger lift to carry out deliquidfication. Injection gas may be employed for plunger lift in a manner wherein the injection channel is isolated from the primary annulus of the well adjacent the casing. Gas is produced through that primary annulus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: Delaware Capital Formation, Inc.
    Inventor: Jack R. Rogers, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20040244989
    Abstract: A method and system are provided for controlling the production of oil and gas in a well such that the well operates at the edge of gas coning. Thereto the flow rate and/or pressure of the produced well effluents are controlled by a dynamically controlled choke such that continously a limited amount of gas is entrained in the produced crude oil, whereas full gas coning and breakthrough of gas from the gas cap is prevented. The choke may be controlled by a control system which includes an algorithm that takes wellhead temperatures, pressures and choke position as measured variables and which maintains the average bulk velocity of the well effluents at a substantially constant and relatively high level. Optionally, the system also maintains an optimal gas-to-liquid ratio of the well effluents.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2004
    Publication date: December 9, 2004
    Inventor: Adriaan Nicolaas Eken
  • Patent number: 6817419
    Abstract: In a well production management and storage system having at least one collecting tank and the well pump and a control panel with a timing trigger for activating the well pump and deactivating the well pump for a first predetermined run cycle and a first predetermined rest cycle, the improvement is a controller for adjusting at least one of the first predetermined run cycle and the predetermined rest cycle. This controller detects either changes in rate of rise in liquid in the collecting tank and/or water level in the well when the pump is in a run cycle. When these parameters change, by a predetermined increment, the pump run cycle and/or rest cycle is automatically adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Inventor: John A. Reid
  • Publication number: 20040188088
    Abstract: This invention is generally directed towards a system designed to assist the rig operator by alerting him/her that the air pressure is too low to be using the drum clutch, to provide a log for studies on rig operation technique, and to provide a training tool for rig operators. If the pressure on the clutch bladder is above a predetermined range, the clutch is allowed to engage. If the signal is below the range, the clutch is assumed to have not been engaged. If the signal is within the range, the clutch is not allowed to engage and the rig operator is notified of the problem.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2004
    Publication date: September 30, 2004
    Inventors: Frederic M. Newman, Kevin Northcutt
  • Patent number: 6789620
    Abstract: Methods are provided for downhole sensing and flow control utilizing neural networks. In a described embodiment, a temporary sensor is positioned downhole with a permanent sensor. Outputs of the temporary and permanent sensors are recorded as training data sets. A neural network is trained using the training data sets. When the temporary sensor is no longer present or no longer operational in the well, the neural network is capable of determining the temporary sensor's output in response to the input to the neural network of the permanent sensor's output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Roger L. Schultz, Bruce H. Storm, Jr., John R. Dennis, John M. Richardson
  • Patent number: 6790367
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for separating and measuring solids from multi-phase well fluids. The apparatus comprises a separator; an upper solids level and a lower solids level sensor, both connected to the separator; a dump valve operatively connected to the separator; and a control module operatively connected to the dump valve to move the dump valve between an open and a closed position. The upper solids level sensor generates a first signal when the upper level of accumulated solids-within the separator reaches a pre-determined upper level. The lower solids level sensor generates a second signal when the upper level of accumulated solids within the separator reaches a predetermined lower level. The control module receives the first and second generated signals such that upon receipt of the first signal the control module causes the dump valve to open and upon receipt of the second signal the control module causes the dump valve to close.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Northland Energy Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin Schmigel, David Speed, Peter Stefureak
  • Publication number: 20040149436
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods, apparatus and systems for automating or metering fluid recovered at a well. According to one example, a system is described for automating the fluid recovery of oil wells using a pump jack or oil extractor. A communications device is installed with each system to allow remote bi-directional communications to monitor, control, and diagnose problems with the device or system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 19, 2003
    Publication date: August 5, 2004
    Inventor: Michael L. Sheldon
  • Publication number: 20040144529
    Abstract: The present invention generally provides apparatus and methods of operating a pumping system. The pump control apparatus includes a first sensor for measuring strain on a structure of the well pumping system and a second sensor for measuring a position of the structure. The apparatus also has a controller configured to control the well unit by receiving output signals from the first and second sensors and generating control signals according to a motor control sequence. This controller may be mounted to the structure of the pumping system to measure the strain experienced by the structure. The control signals may be transmitted to a motor control panel using a cable-less communications system. Preferably, the first sensor, the second sensor, and the controller are integrated into a single unit. In another embodiment, the pump control apparatus may be self-powered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2003
    Publication date: July 29, 2004
    Inventors: Mark Barnes, John C. Bergmann, Ken G. Booth, Alan Paine
  • Publication number: 20040123987
    Abstract: Natural gas produced from a well by executing a multiple-phase gas recovery cycle which includes a phase during which a relatively lower evacuation pressure is applied within three chambers in the well to assist in accumulating liquids at a well bottom, followed by a liquid reduction phase which clears the liquid from two of the chambers while leaving the liquid in the third chamber. The remaining liquid is thereafter lifted in subsequent liquid capture and liquid removal phases. The liquid reduction phase clears the fluid from the well more effectively with less interruption in the production of gas from the well while maintaining the full gas productivity of the well.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2003
    Publication date: July 1, 2004
    Inventor: Donald D. Reitz
  • Patent number: 6749017
    Abstract: This device is related to the domain of fully automatic machines for oil extraction. An axle transmission and soft belt suspension system is used in the device. A decelerator connects an electric motor and a driving hub, so that the transmission belt can be driven. When the driven hub and the bridle are connected, the sucker rod will be connected so that the oil-well pump can start working. There are several other units, an absolute value coder that can measure the driven hub's angle of rotation, a augmenter coder that can measure the rotational speed of the electric motor and an oil gauge. In the device, a oil production process controller processes collects signals and then the device controls the machine, the beam and the pump system automatically. It has the advantages of saving energy, high efficiency for oil extraction and long operational life span.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Inventors: Xu Lu, Ying Li
  • Publication number: 20040104027
    Abstract: A method and associated apparatus continuously optimizes reservoir, well and surface network systems by using monitoring data and downhole control devices to continuously change the position of a downhole intelligent control valve (ICV) (12) until a set of characteristics associated with the “actual” monitored data is approximately equal to, or is not significantly different than, a set of characteristics associated with “target” data that is provided by a reservoir simulator (32). A control pulse (18) having a predetermined signature is transmitted downhole thereby changing a position of the ICV. In response, a sensor (14) generates signals representing, “actual” monitoring data. A simulator (32) which models a reservoir layer provides “target” data.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2004
    Publication date: June 3, 2004
    Inventors: David J. Rossi, James J. Flynn
  • Publication number: 20040084178
    Abstract: In a well production management and storage system having at least one collecting tank and the well pump and a control panel with a timing trigger for activating the well pump and deactivating the well pump for a first predetermined run cycle and a first predetermined rest cycle, the improvement is a controller for adjusting at least one of the first predetermined run cycle and the predetermined rest cycle. This controller detects either changes in rate of rise in liquid in the collecting tank and/or water level in the well when the pump is in a run cycle. When these parameters change, by a predetermined increment, the pump run cycle and/or rest cycle is automatically adjusted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2002
    Publication date: May 6, 2004
    Inventor: John A. Reid
  • Publication number: 20040084179
    Abstract: A pumpjack speed control system includes a user interface, a controller and a variable speed drive. The user interface includes a mathematical representation of the pumpjack geometry which permits the conversion of rod speed profiles to crank speed profiles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2002
    Publication date: May 6, 2004
    Inventors: Jeff Watson, Ramesh Aggarwal, Hari Upadhyay
  • Publication number: 20040084180
    Abstract: Methods and systems for estimating multi-phase fluid rates in a subterranean well (10). Stored and measured static (40) and transient (44) well conditions are used to model well conditions for comparison against additional transient data (42) relating to temperature, pressure, and flow. Multi-phase fluid rates are estimated by iteratively comparing well conditions with the model (30) for the well (10). Multi-phase fluid flow estimates may be obtained for the various liquid and gaseous fluids in the well (10) at multiple well locations (24).
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2002
    Publication date: May 6, 2004
    Inventors: Piyush C. Shah, Kerry L. Kendrick
  • Publication number: 20040069497
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for controlling an actuator system having an electrical actuator in hydraulic communication with a hydraulic actuator are described. The apparatus includes a controller module in communication with a source of electrical power and a transceiver. The transceiver is adapted for bi-directional wireless communication with a remote transceiver for the transfer of control data and feedback data. The controller module sends a control signal to the electrical actuator in response to control data received from the remote transceiver. The source of electrical power includes a hydraulic motor and an electrical generator to provide local electrical power from a hydraulic flow. Because the electrical power is generated locally and the control and feedback data are carried over the wireless link, no wires to remote locations are required.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2003
    Publication date: April 15, 2004
    Inventors: Franklin B. Jones, Stuart A. Jones
  • Publication number: 20040065441
    Abstract: A system is provided for unloading accumulated liquids and enhancing the recovery of gas from a reservoir having diminished pressure. An annulus between a tubing string and casing is isolated by a packer and continually pressurized with a slipstream of compressed gas while the well continues to produce. A unique valve positioned in the tubing string is shuttled between a production position in which production fluids are permitted to bypass the valve to the surface and a lift position in which the bypass is blocked and an unloading port is opened to vent high pressure annulus gas to the tubing string above the valve, lifting accumulated liquids with it. Preferably, the valve is actuated to the lift position by the impact of a plunger dropped from a lubricator at the wellhead, when the pressure in the annulus has reached a predetermined threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2003
    Publication date: April 8, 2004
    Inventor: Gordon F. Bosley
  • Patent number: 6715550
    Abstract: A gas-lift well having a controllable gas-lift valve is provided. The well uses the tubing and casing to communicate with and power the controllable valve from the surface. Induction chokes at the surface and downhole electrically isolate the tubing from the casing. A high band-width, adaptable communication system is used to communicate between the controllable valve and the surface. Additional sensors, such as pressure, temperature, and acoustic sensors, may be provided downhole to more accurately assess downhole conditions. The controllable valve is varied opened or closed, depending on downhole conditions, oil production, gas usage and availability, to optimize production and assist in unloading. While conventional, bellows-type, gas-lift valves frequently fail and leak—often undetected—the controllable valve hereof permits known precise operation and concomitant control of the gas-lift well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Harold J. Vinegar, Robert Rex Burnett, William Mountjoy Savage, Fred Gordon Carl, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20040060703
    Abstract: A petroleum well having a well casing, a production tubing, a source of time-varying current, a downhole chemical injection device, and a downhole induction choke. The casing extends within a wellbore of the well. The tubing extends within the casing. The current source is located at the surface. The current source is electrically connected to, and adapted to output a time-varying current into, the tubing and/or the casing, which act as electrical conductors for providing downhole power and/or communications. The injection device having a communications and control module, a chemical container, and an electrically controllable chemical injector. The communications and control module is electrically connected to the tubing and/or the casing. The chemical injector is electrically connected to the communications and control module, and is in fluid communication with the chemical container. The downhole induction choke is located about a portion of the tubing and/or the casing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2002
    Publication date: April 1, 2004
    Inventors: George Leo Stegemeier, Harold J. Vinegar, Robert Rex Burnett, William Mountjoy Savage, Frederick Gordon Carl, Jr., John Michele Hirsch
  • Patent number: 6705397
    Abstract: A method of producing gas through liquid level detection in oil or gas wells uses various types of artificial lift systems that include sub surface gas lift, beam pumps, progressive cavity pump and submersible pumps. The artificial lift systems are controlled in response to a known liquid level within the well bore to prevent the well from pumping off and damaging the artificial lift system or from reducing the liquid level in the well bore to an unnecessarily low level to thereby increase the energy required by the artificial lift system to remove the liquid from the well bore.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2004
    Inventor: Michael D. Hershberger
  • Publication number: 20040035571
    Abstract: An auto-cycling plunger including a hollow, longitudinally extending body, at least one first directional outer seal, at least one second directional outer seal and a valve stem. Both the at least one first directional outer seal and the at least one second directional outer seal are disposed on an exterior surface of the body for creating a seal between the body and a well bore. Portions of the seals extend in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the longitudinally extending body such that these portions are spread resiliently outwardly from the body with an applied pressure, thereby increasing the degree of sealing. The first directional outer seal extending in a direction substantially opposite to the direction of the at least one second directional outer seal. The valve stem includes a valve member, extends through the longitudinally extending body, and has actual ends extending from the body. The valve stem is operable to be shuttled between an open and a closed position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 12, 2003
    Publication date: February 26, 2004
    Applicant: Synco Tool Company Incorporated
    Inventors: Douglas H. Abbott, Daniel S. Belczewski
  • Patent number: 6691801
    Abstract: A load compensator is disclosed for use in connection with a pipe running tool. The load compensator includes an outer housing connected to the portion of the pipe running tool that holds the pipe segment. A piston is disposed within the housing, and is connected to a top drive system of the pipe running tool. The housing is formed with a first port through which pressurized air is delivered inside the housing to drive the piston within the housing. A second port is disposed at a selected location on the housing, such that when the piston is advanced past the second port, pressurized air passes through the port, and causes the control circuit to stop delivering air through the first port. Once pressurized air no longer flows through the second port, the control circuit causes air to be delivered to the first port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Varco I/P, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Juhasz, George Boyadjieff, Brian L. Eidem, Hans Van Rijzingen
  • Patent number: 6688385
    Abstract: In a plunger lift oil/gas well a prior art plunger is replaced with a metal ball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Inventor: Otto A. Moe
  • Publication number: 20040020860
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for separating and measuring solids from multi-phase well fluids. The apparatus comprises a separator; an upper solids level and a lower solids level sensor, both connected to the separator; a dump valve operatively connected to the separator; and a control module operatively connected to the dump valve to move the dump valve between an open and a closed position. The upper solids level sensor generates a first signal when the upper level of accumulated solids within the separator reaches a pre-determined upper level. The lower solids level sensor generates a second signal when the upper level of accumulated solids within the separator reaches a pre-determined lower level. The control module receives the first and second generated signals such that upon receipt of the first signal the control module causes the dump valve to open and upon receipt of the second signal the control module causes the dump valve to close.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2002
    Publication date: February 5, 2004
    Inventors: Kevin Schmigel, David Speed, Peter Stefureak
  • Patent number: 6679332
    Abstract: A petroleum well has an electronic module and a number of sensors which communicate with the surface using the tubing string and casing as conductors. Induction chokes at the surface and downhole electrically impede AC flow through the (tubing or casing if so configured) with the resulting voltage potential useful for power and communication. A high bandwidth, adaptable spread spectrum communications system is used to communicate between the downhole electronics module and a surface master spread spectrum modem. Downhole sensors, such as pressure, temperature, acoustic and seismic sensors accurately assess downhole physical conditions. In a preferred form, the electronics module and sensors are wireline insertable and retrievable into a side pocket mandrel in the tubing string.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Harold J. Vinegar, Robert Rex Burnett, William Mountjoy Savage, Frederick Gordon Carl, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6672392
    Abstract: Natural gas produced from a well by executing a multiple-phase gas recovery cycle which includes a phase during which a relatively lower evacuation pressure is applied within the entire well bore to assist in accumulating liquids at a well bottom. The relatively lower evacuation pressure augments the national earth formation pressure to produce natural gas and liquid more rapidly. The phases of the gas recovery cycle are also coordinated with the phase in which the relatively lower evacuation pressure is applied throughout the well to facilitate a greater natural gas production rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Inventor: Donald D. Reitz
  • Patent number: 6662875
    Abstract: A current impedance device for routing a time-varying electrical current in a piping structure comprising an induction choke. The induction choke is generally concentric about a portion of the piping structure such that during operation a voltage potential forms between the piping structure and an electrical return when the time-varying electrical current is transmitted through and along the piping structure, and such that during operation part of the current can be routed through a device electrically connected to the piping structure due to the voltage potential formed. The induction choke may be unpowered and may comprise a ferromagnetic material. A system for defining an electrical circuit in a piping structure using at least one unpowered ferromagnetic induction choke, comprises an electrically conductive portion of the piping structure, a source of time-varying current, at least one induction choke, a device, and an electrical return.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Ronald Marshall Bass, Harold J. Vinegar, Robert Rex Burnett, William Mountjoy Savage, Frederick Gordon Carl, Jr., John Michele Hirsch, George Leo Stegemeier
  • Patent number: 6648073
    Abstract: A system for controlling fluid flow from multiple isolated producing zones in a well is provided. Components of the system are placeable in and retrievable from bottom entry side pocket mandrel sections permanently installed in a production tubing string in the well. These components include retrievable isolation valve modules. Control signals for modules are developed either downhole or at the surface and modules may be placed or retrieved through the production tubing without pulling the production tubing from the well. In high flow rate applications the sliding sleeve flow control valve of the present invention provides a variable aperture valve having a fully open cross sectional area equal to that of the production tubing, thereby achieving a minimal pressure drop across the valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2003
    Inventors: Kerry D. Jernigan, Phillip S. Sizer, Mark S. Crawford
  • Patent number: 6644399
    Abstract: An auto-cycling plunger including a hollow, longitudinally extending body and at least one first directional outer seal disposed on an exterior surface of the body for creating a seal between the body and a well bore. A portion of the seal is spread resiliently outwardly from the body with an applied pressure, thereby increasing the degree of sealing. The plunger also includes a valve stem including a valve member. The valve stem extends through the body and has actuable ends extending from the body. The valve stem includes an actuating head external to and proximal a first end of the body, the head being larger than the internal diameter of the first end of the body. The valve stem can be shuttled between an open position and a closed position. In the open position, the valve member is longitudinally spaced from a valve seat on the body to allow fluid flow through the body. In the closed position, the valve member is seated on the valve seat, thereby sealing the body and preventing fluid flow therethrough.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: Synco Tool Company Incorporated
    Inventors: Douglas H. Abbott, Daniel S. Belczewski
  • Patent number: 6640896
    Abstract: This invention relates to a mechanical oil recovery method and system with a sucker-rod pump. The method calculates the lowest power loss or the lowest cost. The method comprises sequentially arranging internal diameter, steel grade of rod, pump diameter, pumping depth and stroke amplitude, searching the combinations of rods to calculate pump efficiency and the number of strokes, on the basis of Pinput=Pactive−Pexpansion+Ploss, and calculating, corresponding to the input power Pinput, active power Pactive, expansion power Ppeng, ground power loss Pd, sliding power loss Ph and viscose power loss Pv and the sum of losses Ploss. The mechanical oil-recovering cost is then calculated for each combination, and each mechanical oil-recovering parameter is chosen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignees: China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, Jiangsu Oil Field Branch of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation
    Inventor: Haijin Zheng
  • Publication number: 20030201098
    Abstract: Systems and methods of using a computer system to simulate a process for in situ treatment of a hydrocarbon containing formation are provided. The in situ process may include providing heat from one or more heat sources to at least one portion of the formation. The in situ process may, in some embodiments, include allowing the heat to transfer from the one or more heat sources to a selected section of the formation. In some embodiments, the method may include operating the in situ process using one or more operating parameters. At least one operating parameter of the in situ process may be provided to the computer system. In certain embodiments, at least one parameter may be used with a simulation method and the computer system to provide assessed information about the in situ process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2002
    Publication date: October 30, 2003
    Inventors: John Michael Karanikas, Ilya Emil Berchenko, Eric Pierre de Rouffignac, Jean-Charles Ginestra, Kirk Samuel Hansen, Lanny Gene Schoeling, Gordon Thomas Shahin, Meliha Deniz Sumnu-Dindoruk, Harold J. Vinegar
  • Patent number: 6637512
    Abstract: A stick launcher and method for launching soap sticks into a gas or oil well. The stick launcher comprises a containment vessel adapted to house the soap sticks, the containment vessel comprising a contiguous wall and a top and a bottom. A turret-style separator is positioned within the containment vessel, the separator comprising blades, and adapted to contain the soap sticks between the blades of the turret-styled separator and the contiguous wall of the containment vessel. A ball valve is positioned adjacent the bottom of the containment vessel, the ball valve, when in open position, adapted to be in fluid communication with a well bore and the containment vessel. A rotating assembly, when set in motion by an actuator, is used to rotate the separator and simultaneously open or close the ball valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Inventor: Dan Casey
  • Publication number: 20030183394
    Abstract: Natural gas produced from a well by executing a multiple-phase gas recovery cycle which includes a phase during which a relatively lower evacuation pressure is applied within the entire well bore to assist in accumulating liquids at a well bottom. The relatively lower evacuation pressure augments the national earth formation pressure to produce natural gas and liquid more rapidly. The phases of the gas recovery cycle are also coordinated with the phase in which the relatively lower evacuation pressure is applied throughout the well to facilitate a greater natural gas production rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2002
    Publication date: October 2, 2003
    Inventor: Donald D. Reitz
  • Patent number: 6619388
    Abstract: The present invention is a surface controlled subsurface safety valve (SCSSV) for use in a well, preferably a hydrocarbon producing well. The SCSSV comprises a valve body having a longitudinal bore for fluid to flow through, a bore closure assembly, a pressure balanced drive assembly, and a fail safe assembly. The bore closure assembly is positioned and normally biased to close the bore to fluid flow. The drive assembly is coupled to the bore closure assembly for driving the bore closure assembly to an open position. The fail safe assembly is positioned and configured to hold the bore closure assembly in the open position in response to a hold signal and to release the valve to return to the safe, closed position upon interruption of the hold signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Wesley P. Dietz, Robert A. Rademaker, Ronald W. McGregor, Bruce E. Scott
  • Patent number: 6615924
    Abstract: Apparatus and system control for the removal of fluids and gas from a well comprising a winch for removing the oil, a temporary storage tank, a bailer tube, and a bailer tube housing assembly axially aligned with the well casing. Natural gas is exhausted and recovered. The bailer tube is capable of being lowered into and elevated from the well casing such that captured oil can be diverted and discharged into the temporary storage tank. Sensors monitor operational parameters including the depth of oil and depth of a top level of water in the well casing, and a programmable logic controller provides system control so that only oil is removed from the well casing by using a logging sequence and a balanced oil production operational sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Global Energy Research, LLC
    Inventor: Timothy F. Rice
  • Patent number: 6615917
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are disclosed for controlling and monitoring injection zone and production zone parameters in order to control the injected fluid front to avoid breakthrough of the injected fluid to the production zone and thus optimize hydrocarbon recovery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventors: Terry R. Bussear, Kevin R. Jones
  • Patent number: 6615925
    Abstract: Apparatus and system control and method for the removal of fluids and gas from a well comprising a winch for removing the oil, a temporary storage tank, a bailer tube, and a bailer tube housing assembly axially aligned with the well casing. Natural gas is exhausted and recovered. The bailer tube is capable of being lowered into and elevated from the well casing such that captured oil can be diverted and discharged into the temporary storage tank. Sensors for monitoring operational parameters including the depth of oil and depth of a top level of water in the well casing, and a programmable logic controller for providing system control so that only oil is removed from the well casing by using a logging sequence and a balanced oil production operational sequence are included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Global Energy Research LLC
    Inventor: Timothy F. Rice