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降低油的粘度以进行从包含碳氢化合物的地层的生产

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CN1946919A
CN1946919A CN 200580012728 CN200580012728A CN1946919A CN 1946919 A CN1946919 A CN 1946919A CN 200580012728 CN200580012728 CN 200580012728 CN 200580012728 A CN200580012728 A CN 200580012728A CN 1946919 A CN1946919 A CN 1946919A
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reducing
viscosity
formation
oil
production
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CN 200580012728
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CN1946919B (zh )
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G·帕斯托尔-桑斯
H·J·维内加
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国际壳牌研究有限公司
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B36/00Heating, cooling, insulating arrangements for boreholes or wells, e.g. for use in permafrost zones
    • E21B36/04Heating, cooling, insulating arrangements for boreholes or wells, e.g. for use in permafrost zones using electrical heaters
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/12Methods or apparatus for controlling the flow of the obtained fluid to or in wells
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/12Methods or apparatus for controlling the flow of the obtained fluid to or in wells
    • E21B43/121Lifting well fluids
    • E21B43/122Gas lift
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/16Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons
    • E21B43/24Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/16Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons
    • E21B43/24Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection
    • E21B43/2401Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection by means of electricity
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/16Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons
    • E21B43/24Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection
    • E21B43/2405Enhanced recovery methods for obtaining hydrocarbons using heat, e.g. steam injection in association with fracturing or crevice forming processes
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/34Arrangements for separating materials produced by the well
    • E21B43/38Arrangements for separating materials produced by the well in the well
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05BELECTRIC HEATING; ELECTRIC LIGHTING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05B3/00Ohmic-resistance heating
    • H05B3/10Heater elements characterised by the composition or nature of the materials or by the arrangement of the conductor
    • H05B3/12Heater elements characterised by the composition or nature of the materials or by the arrangement of the conductor characterised by the composition or nature of the conductive material
    • H05B3/14Heater elements characterised by the composition or nature of the materials or by the arrangement of the conductor characterised by the composition or nature of the conductive material the material being non-metallic
    • H05B3/141Conductive ceramics, e.g. metal oxides, metal carbides, barium titanate, ferrites, zirconia, vitrous compounds

Abstract

本发明提供一种方法包括:施加电流到处于结构孔中的一个或更多个导电体以提供电阻热输出;允许热从导电体传递到包含碳氢化合物的地层的一部分因此在或接近结构中孔的一部分的流体的粘度被降低;在孔中的一个或更多个位置提供气体以降低流体的密度因此该流体在孔中通过结构压力向着结构的表面被提升;并通过孔产生流体。

Description

降低油的粘度以进行从包含碳氢化合物的地层的生产

发明的领域本发明总的涉及从各种地下地层诸如碳氢化合物包含地层生产碳氢化合物、氢、水/或其它产品的方法与系统。某些实施例涉及降低地下地层中重碳氢化合物的粘度并生产重碳氢化合物的方法与系统。

相关技术的描述在地下地层获得的碳氢化合物通常用作能源、用作原料、和用作消费产品。关注可利用碳氢化合物源的消耗以及关注生产的碳氢化合物的下降的总体质量已经导致工艺的发展以便更有效回收、处理、和/或可利用碳氢化合物源的使用。可以使用现场的工艺以便从地下地层分离碳氢化合物材料。地下地层中碳氢化合物材料的化学和/或物理性质可能需要改变以允许碳氢化合物材料更容易地从地下地层分离。该化学和物理变化可以包括产生可分离的流体的现场反应、成分变化、可溶解性能变化、密度变化、相变化、和/或碳氢化合物材料在地层中粘度的变化。流体可以是,但不局限于气体、液体、乳化液、泥浆、以及/或者具有类似液体流动的流动特征的固体颗粒流。

在北美、南美、非洲和亚洲发现包含在相对可渗透的地层的重碳氢化合物(例如,重油和/或沥青)的大储量。沥青可以被表面开采并浓缩成较轻的碳氢化合物诸如原油、粗汽油、煤油、和/或气体油。表面碾磨工艺还可以从砂子分离沥青。分离的沥青可以使用传统的精炼方法转变成轻的碳氢化合物。碾磨和浓缩沥青砂子通常比从传统的储油层生产较轻的碳氢化合物贵得多。

在现场从沥青砂子生产碳氢化合物可以通过加热和/或注射气体诸如蒸汽到地层中来实现。授予Ostapovich等的美国专利No.5211230和授予Leaute的美国专利No.5339897描述了位于含油储层的水平生产井。使用垂直注射井以注射氧化剂到储油层以在现场燃烧。

授予Ljunstrom的美国专利No.2780450描述了“在现场”加热(即,用来分布在地下的油层)以转变或破碎厚的沥青状物质成为有价值的油和气体。

授予Ware等的美国专利No.4597441描述了同时在储油地层中接触油、热、和氢以便有效地进行氢化和/或氢分解以增加油的回收。

授予Glandt的美国专利No.5046559描述了电预热喷射器井与生产井之间的沥青砂地层的一部分。将蒸汽喷射到地层中以生产碳氢化合物。

授予Glandt等的美国专利No.5060726描述了一种装置与方法用以通过用水平电极和蒸汽激励来预热薄的、比较高的导电层而对粘稠的沥青砂沉积物进行生产。连续预热直到在邻近高导电层的薄预热区域中沥青的粘度被降低到足以允许蒸汽喷射到沥青砂沉积物中。于是整个沉积物通过蒸汽驱油而进行生产。

具有重碳氢化合物的许多地下地层目前不可用于生产重碳氢化合物。这可能是由于对正常生产方法诸如气体提升来说重碳氢化合物具有太高的粘度和/或由于加热重碳氢化合物的方法是不可靠的和/或不经济可行的。因此,就需要一种降低重碳氢化合物粘度的可靠和经济可行的系统和方法因而可以从地下地层生产重碳氢化合物,否则该地下地层不能用于重碳氢化合物的生产。

概述本发明提供一种处理包含碳氢化合物的地层的方法,它包括:对处于包含碳氢化合物地层中的孔中的一个或更多个导电体施加电流以提供电阻热输出;使该热从导电体传递到包含碳氢化合物的地层的一部分因此降低地层中的在或接近孔的部分中的流体的粘度;在孔中的一个或更多个位置提供气体以降低流体的密度以便通过地层压力将孔中的流体向地层表面提升;并经过地层的孔生产流体。

本发明还结合上述发明提供:(a)在孔中放置一个或更多个导电体;(b)通过从孔泵送流体而从该孔生产至少一些流体;(c)从孔经处于孔中的管道生产流体和/或经沿管道放置的一个或更多个阀提供气体;以及(d)将地层中在或接近孔处的温度限制到最高250℃。

结合上述发明中的一个或更多个,本发明还提供:(a)降低在或接近孔处的流体的粘度到最高0.05Pa·s;(b)该气体包括甲烷;以及(c)包含碳氢化合物的地层是相对可渗透的包含重碳氢化合物的地层。

结合上述发明中的一个或更多个发明,本发明还提供:(a)导电体中的至少一个包括电阻性的铁磁材料,导电体中的至少一个当电流流过一个或更多个电导体时提供热量,一个或更多个导电体提供在所选温度以上或接近此所选温度的减少量的热量;以及(b)选择的温度近似为铁磁材料的居里温度。

结合以上发明中的一个或更多个,本发明还提供:(a)对一个或更多个导电体施加交流电或调制的直流电;(b)自动地提供在所选温度以上或接近该所述温度的减少量的热量;(c)当提供热输出的导电体低于选择的温度至少50℃时提供初始电阻热输出,并自动地提供在选择的温度以上或接近该选择的温度的减少量的热量;(d)提供每米导电体长度最多200W的选择温度以上或接近该选择温度的减少量的热量和/或提供每米导电体长度至少300W的选择温度以下热量输出;以及(e)从导电体中的至少一个提供热输出,其中这些导电体在选择的温度以上或接近该选择时温度的电阻是这些导电体在选择温度以下50℃时的电阻的80%或更小。

附图简述对于技术人员来说得益于以下详细描述并参照附图本发明的优点将变得显而易见,其中:图1和2表示在生产井孔中用温度限制加热器加热并从地层生产的实施例。

图3和4表示可以置于井孔中用于气体提升的加热/生产组件的实施例。

图5表示生产管道与加热器的实施例。

图6表示加热地层的实施例。

图7表示具有选择加热的加热器井的实施例。

图8、9和10表示带具有铁磁部分和非铁磁部分的外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图11、12、13和14表示带具有放置在外套内的铁磁部分与非铁磁部分的外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图15、16和17表示具有铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图18、19和20表示具有外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图21、22、23和24表示温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图25、26和27表示具有上覆岩层部分和加热部分的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图28A和28B表示具有铁磁内导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图29A和29B表示具有铁磁内导体和非铁磁芯子的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图30A和30B表示具有铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图31A和31B表示具有是抗腐蚀合金的外套的铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图32A和32B表示具有铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图33表示具有支撑构件的复合导体的实施例的剖面图。

图34表示在管道中的导体的温度限制加热器的实施例。

图35表示具有低温铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例。

图36表示管道中的导体的温度限制加热器的实施例。

图37和38表示管道中的导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

图39表示具有绝缘导体的管道中的导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。

尽管本发明可容许各种修改和变化型式,但在附图中以举例方式表示其特定的实施例并在此可以详述。该附图可能不按比例。但应该理解,附图和对其描述不试图将本发明局限于特别公开的形式,相反,本发明包含所有处于由所附权利要求限定的本发明的精神和范围以内的修改、等效型式和变化。

详细描述使用此处描述的系统、方法和加热器可以解决上述问题。例如,处理包含碳氢物的地层的方法包括对一个或更多个位于地层中的孔中的导电体施加电流以提供电阻热输出。该方法还包括允许热从导电体传递到包含碳氢化合物的地层的一部分因而降低了在或接近地层的孔的部分流体的粘度。该方法还包括在孔中的一个或更多个位置提供气体以降低流体的密度因而通过地层的压力在孔中将流体向地层的表面提升。通过孔产生流体。

以下描述总的涉及处理地层中碳氢化合物的系统和方法。可以处理这种地层以生产碳氢化合物产品、氢和其它产品。

“碳氢化合物”通常定义成主要由碳和氢原子构成的分子。碳氢化合物还可以包括其它元素,诸如但不局限于,卤族、金属元素、氮、氧和/或硫。碳氢化合物可以是但不局限于,油母岩、沥青、焦沥青、油类,天然矿物腊和沥青岩。碳氢化合物可以处在地球中的沉积物中或与之邻近。该沉积物可以包括但不局限于,沉积岩、砂子、硅化物、碳酸盐、硅藻土和其它多孔介质。“碳氢化合物流体”是包括碳氢化合物的流体。碳氢化合物流体可以包括、产生、或被产生在非碳氢化合物流体中(例如,氢、氮、一氧化碳、二氧化碳、硫化氢、水和氨)。

“地层”包括一个或更多个碳氢化合物包含层、一个或更多个非碳氢化合物层、上覆岩层、和/或下伏岩层。该上覆岩层和/或下伏岩层可以包括岩石、油页岩、泥石岩、或湿/密集的碳酸岩。在现场转变工艺的某些实施例中,上覆岩层和/或下伏岩层可包括碳氢化合物包含层或者比较不可渗透的和在现场转变过程中不经受温度的碳氢化合物包含层,该转变过程导致上覆岩层和/或下伏岩层的碳氢化合物包含层的明显特性变化。例如,下伏岩层可以包含油页岩或泥石岩,但是下伏岩层在现场转变过程中不允许加热到热解温度。在某些情况中,上覆岩层和/或下伏岩层可以少许可渗透。

“地层流体”和“生产的流体”指的是从地层分离的流体并可能包括热解流体、合成气体、活动的碳氢化合物、和水(蒸汽)。地层流体可能包括碳氢化合物流体和非碳氢化合物流体。

“热源”是基本上通过传导和/或辐射热传递对地层的至少一部分提供热的任何系统。

“加热器”是在井中或接近井孔区域产生热的任何系统。加热器可以是但不局限于,电加热器、循环的热传递流体或蒸汽、燃烧器、与地层中或从地层生产的材料反应的燃烧室、和/或其组合。术语“井孔”指的是由钻井或管道插入到地层中制成的地层中的孔。如此处使用的,术语“井”和“孔”,当指地层中的孔时,可以与术语“井孔”交替使用。

“绝缘的导体”指的是能传导电的且整个或部分被电绝缘材料覆盖的细长材料。术语“自控制”指的是控制加热器的输出而没有任何型式的外部控制。

“热解”是由于应用热使化学键断裂。热解包括只通过热将一种化合物转变成一种或更多种其它物质。热可以被传到地层的一部分以导致热解。“热解流体”或“热解产品”指的是在碳氢化合物的热解过程中产生的流体。由热解反应产生的流体可能和地层中的其它流体混合。该混合物将被看成热解流体或热解产物。热解流体,包括但不局限于,碳氢化合物、氢、二氧化碳、一氧化碳、硫化氢、氨、氮、水和其混合物。

“可凝的碳氢化合物”是在25℃和101kPa绝对压力下凝结的碳氢化合物。可凝的碳氢化合物可以包括具有碳原子数大于4的碳氢化合物的混合物。“非可凝碳氢化合物”是在25℃和101kPa绝对压力下不凝结的碳氢化合物。非可凝碳氢化合物可以包括具有碳原子数小于5的碳氢化合物。

“重碳氢化合物”是粘稠碳氢化合物流体。重碳氢化合物可以包括高粘稠碳氢化合物流体诸如重油、沥青和/或沥青混合料。重碳氢化合物可以包括碳和氢,以及较小浓度的硫、氧和氮。在重碳氢化合物中也可能出现少量的附加元素。重碳氢化合物可以通过API(美国石油学会)比重来分类。重碳氢化合物通常具有低于20°的API比重。重油,例如通常具有10°-20°的API比重,而沥青通常具有低于10°的API比重。碳氢化合物的粘度通常在15℃时至少是0.1Pa·s(帕斯卡—秒)。重碳氢化合物也可以包括芳香族或其复杂环的碳氢化合物。

在相对可渗透的地层中可以发现重碳氢化合物。该相对可渗透的地层可以包括,例如在砂子或碳酸盐中产生的重碳氢化合物。“相对可渗透的”,对于地层或其部分,被定义成10毫达西(millidarcy)或更多的平均可渗透性(例如,10毫达西、100毫达西、或1000毫达西)。“较低的可渗透性”被定义成,对于地层或其部分,最大10毫达西的平均渗透性。1达西等于0.99平方微米。通常不可渗透层具有最大0.1毫达西的渗透性。

“沥青”是粘稠的通常具有在15℃时至少10Pa·s的粘度的碳氢化合物。沥青的特定比重通常至少是1.000。沥青可能具有最大10°的API比重。

“沥青砂地层”是一种在其中碳氢化合物主要呈现重碳氢化合物的形式和/或在矿粒结构或其它基质岩性石(例如,砂石或碳酸盐)中产生的地层。

在某些情况中,相对可渗透地层的某些或全部碳氢化合物部分可能主要是重碳氢化合物和/或无支撑矿粒结构且仅浮动(或无浮动)的矿物质(例如,沥青混合料池)的沥青。

“热的叠加”指的是从两个或多个热源向地层的选择部分提供热量,以致地层的温度至少在两个热源之间的一个位置受到热源的影响。

“居里温度”是这样的温度,在该温度以上铁磁材料失去其所有铁磁特性的温度。

“调制的直流电(DC)”指的是考虑表皮效应的任何随时间变的电流在铁磁导体中电的流动。

对温度限制加热器的“调节比”是居里温度以下的最高AC(交流电)或调制DC(直流电)电阻与居里温度以上的给定电流的最低电阻的比。

在降低的热输出加热系统、装置和方法的本文中,“自动地”意味着这种系统和装置以某种方式起作用而没有使用外部控制(例如,外部控制器诸如具有温度传感器和反馈回路的控制器、比例积分微分控制器、或预测控制器)。

“温度限制加热器”通常指的是在特定温度以上调节热输出(例如,降低热输出)而不使用外部控制诸如温度控制器、功率调节器、解调器、或其它装置。温度限制加热器可以是交流的或调制的(例如,“断续”的)直流的功率电阻加热器。

热源可以加热邻近生产井孔(靠近生产井孔区域)的地层一定体积因此生产井孔中和邻近生产井孔的体积中的流体的温度要比导致流体分解的温度低。该热源可以放置在生产井孔中或靠近生产井孔。在某些实施例中,热源是一个温度限制加热器。在某些实施例中,两个或多个热源可以向容积供热。来自热源的热可以降低生产井孔中或附近的原油的粘度。在某些实施例中,来自热源的热使生产井孔中或附近的流体流动和/或增大流体向生产井孔的径向流动。在某些实施例中,降低原油的粘度能使或增加来自生产井孔的重油或中等比重的油(近似12°至20°的API比重的油)的气体提升。在某些实施例中,地层中的油的粘度至少是0.05Pa·s。可能必须利用大量的天然气以提供具有0.05Pa·s以上的粘度的油的气体提升。降低在地层中的生产井孔中或生产井孔附近油的粘度到0.03Pa·s或更小(下降到0.001Pa·s或更低)的粘度可减少提升来自地层的油所需的天然气量。在某些实施例中,由诸如泵的其它方法生产降低粘度的油。

通过提升在或接近生产井孔的温度以降低地层中在生产井孔中和接近生产井孔的油的粘度可以增加来自地层的油的生产率。在某些实施例中,增加来自地层的油的生产率超过标准冷生产的2倍、3倍、4倍或更大到20倍,该冷生产在生产过程中没有地层的外部加热。使用靠近生产井孔区域的加热某些地层为增加油的产量可能是更经济可行的。具有大约0.05米3(日每米井孔长度)与0.20米3/(日每米井孔长度)之间的冷生产率的地层使用加热以降低生产井孔区域附近的粘度在生产率上可能具有明显的改进。在某些地层中,使用长度达775米、1000米或达1500米的生产井。例如,使用长度在450米与775米之间的生产井,使用550米与800米之间的生产井或650米与900米之间的生产井。因此,在某些地层中可以实现产量的明显增加。在冷生产率不在0.05米3/(日每米井孔长度)与0.20米3/(日每米井孔长度)之间的地层中可以使用加热生产井孔区域附近,但加热这种地层可能不是经济合适的。通过加热井孔区域附近可能不显著地增加较高的冷生产率,同时较低的生产率不可能增加到经济的有用值。

使用温度限制加热器以降低在或靠近生产井的油粘度可防止与非温度限制加热器相关的问题同时由于热部位加热地层中的油。因为加热器是处在太高的温度所以如果加热器过度加热油则一个可能的问题是非温度限制加热器可能造成在或靠近生产井处的油的焦化部。生产井中的较高温度还可能造成盐水在井中沸腾,这可能导致剥落地层。达到较高温度的非温度限制加热器还可能造成对其它井孔元件(例如,用于砂石控制的筛子、泵、或阀)损坏。地层的部分可能造成热部位膨胀靠住加热器或塌陷。在某些实施例中,加热器(温度限制加热器或非温度限制加热器的另一型式)具有下面的部分因为下垂超过长的加热器距离。这些下面的部分可能处于在井孔下面聚集的重油或沥青中。在这些下面的部分处,由于重油或沥青的焦化部该加热器可能扩展热部位。标准的非温度限制加热器可能在这些热部位过热,因此沿加热器的长度产生不均匀的热量。使用温度限制加热器可以防止加热器在热部位处或下面部分过热并提供沿井孔长度更均匀的加热。

在某些实施例中,油或沥青在多孔衬里或加热器/生产井孔中的筛中焦化部(例如,焦化部可以在加热器与衬里之间或衬里与地层之间形成)。油或沥青也可以在钻井口的底部分和钻孔底加热器/生产井孔中焦化部,如在图7中所示并如下所描述的。温度限制加热器可以限制加热器/生产井孔的温度在焦化部温度以下以防止在井中焦化部因此在井孔中的生产不会堵塞。

图1表示在生产井孔中使用温度限制加热器加热并从地层生产的一个实施例。生产管道100处在井孔102中。在某些实施例中,井孔102的一部分基本上水平地位于地层104中。在某些实施例中,井孔基本上垂直地位于地层中。在一个实施例中,井孔102是一个开放的井孔(一个露出的井孔)。在某些实施例中,井孔具有套或壁,它们具有许多孔或孔以使流体能流入井孔中。

管道100可以用碳钢或更抗腐蚀的材料诸如不锈钢制成。管道100可以包括用以气体提升或泵生产的油到地表面的装置和机构。例如,管道100包括用于提升工艺的气体提升阀。在授予Vinegar等的美国专利No.6715550和授予Bass等的美国专利申请出版物No.2002-0036085以及授予Hirsch等的美国专利申请出版物No.2003-0038734中公开了气体提升的控制系统和阀。管道100可以包括一个或更多个孔(孔)以能使流体流到生产管道中。在某些实施例中,管道100中的孔是管道中的一部分,它保持在井孔102中的液面以下。例如,孔是在管道100的水平部分。

加热器106位于管道100中,如图1所示。在某些实施例中,加热器106位于管道100外面,如图2所示。位于生产管道外面的加热器可以耦合(搭接)到生产管道。在某些实施例中,多个加热器(例如,2、3或4个加热器)围绕管道100放置。多个加热器的使用可以减少由仅在生产管道的一侧上加热造成的生产管道的弯曲或拐折。在一个实施例中,加热器106是温度限制加热器。加热器106提供热以降低井孔102中或附近的流体(诸如油或碳氢化合物)的粘度。在某些实施例中,加热器106提高井孔102中的流体温度达250℃的温度或稍低(例如,225℃、200℃或者150℃)。加热器106可能处于较高的温度(例如,275℃、300℃或者325℃)因为加热器辐射热到管道100同时在加热器和管道之间存在某些温度损失。因此从加热器产生的热不将井孔中流体的温度提高到250℃以上。

在某些实施例中,加热器106包括铁磁材料诸如Carpenter温度补偿器“32”、合金42-6、合金52、Invar 36、或其它铁—镍或铁—镍—铬合金。在某些实施例中,在加热器106中使用镍或镍铬合金。在某些实施例中,加热器106包括具有更高导热性材料的复合导体诸如在加热器里面的铜以改善加热器的调节比。来自加热器106的热加热在或靠近井孔中的流体以降低流体的粘度并增加通过管道100的生产率。

在某些实施例中,加热器106在井孔102中液面以上的部分(诸如图1和2所示井孔的垂直部分)具有比处在液面以下加热器部分较低的最高温度。例如,处于井孔中液面以上的加热器106的部分可能具有100℃的最高温度而处于液面以下的加热器的部分具有250℃的最高温度。在某些实施例中,这一加热器包括两个或多个具有不同居里温度的铁磁体部分以实现要求的热模式。向液面以上并较接近地表面井孔102的部分提供较少的热可以节约能量。

在某些实施例中,加热器106在其外表面上是电绝缘的并允许在管道100中自由地移动。例如,加热器106可以包括加热电缆内导体(furnace cable inner conductor)。在某些实施例中,电绝缘定中心装置被放置在加热器106的外面以保持管道100与加热器之间的一个间隙。定中心装置由氧化铝、气体压力烧结反应结合氮化硅或氮化硼、其它电绝缘和热阻材料和/或其组合制成。在某些实施例中,加热器106电耦合到管道100因此与该管道完成电回路。例如,交流电压可以施加到加热器106和管道100因此交流电流向下流到加热器的外表面并返回到在生产管道内表面上的井头。加热器106和管道100可以包括铁磁材料所以交流电流基本上限制在到加热器外面的表皮深度和/或生产管道内侧的表皮深度。在管道100的底或附近放置一滑动连接器以将生产管道与加热器106电气地耦合。

在某些实施例中,加热器106是周期循环的(接通和断开)因此通过管道100生产的流体不会过度加热。在一个实施例中,接通加热器106一个特定的时间直到井孔102中或附近流体的温度达到要求的温度(例如,加热器的最高温度)。在加热时间(例如,10天、20天或30天)的过程中,通过管道100的生产可以停止以使地层中的流体能“均热(soak)”并获得降低的粘度。在加热断开或降低之后,通过管道100的生产开始同时来自地层的流体被生产而没有对流体提供过量的热。在生产当中,井孔102中或附近的流体将冷却,没有从加热器106提供的热量。当流体达到生产明显慢下来的温度时,停止生产同时加热器106回到接通以再加热流体。可以重复这一过程直到达到要求的生产量。在某些实施例中,提供较低温度的热量以保持生产的流体的流动。例如,在井孔102的上部可以提供低温热量(例如,100℃、125℃或150℃)以保持流体从冷却到低温。

图3表示加热/生产组件的一个实施例,它被放置在井孔中用于气体提升。加热/生产组件108可以处于地层的井孔中(如图1或2中表示的井孔102)。管道放置在套110内。在一个实施例中,管道100是螺旋管诸如6厘米直径的螺旋管。套110具有10厘米与25厘米之间的直径(例如,14厘米、16厘米或18厘米的直径)。加热器106被连接到管道100的一端。在某些实施例中,将加热器106放置在管道100内。在某些实施例中,加热器106是管道100的有阻力部分。在某些实施例中,加热器106连接到管道100的一个长度。

孔112处在加热器106与管道100的接头处或附近。在某些实施例中,孔112是管道100中的窄缝或窄口。在某些实施例中,孔112包括管道100中的多个孔。孔112允许生产流体从井孔流入管道100。多孔套管114允许流体流入加热/生产组件108中。在某些实施例中,多孔套管114是一个线绕的筛子。在一个实施例中,多孔套管114是一个9厘米直径的线绕筛子。

多孔套管114可以用密封材料连接到套管110上。密封材料116防止流体从多孔套管114外面流入套管110中。密封材料116还可以放置在套110内以防止流体向上流到套与管道100之间的环状空间。密封组件118用于密封管道100到密封材料116。密封组件118可以沿井孔的长度固定管道100的一个位置。在某些实施例,密封组件118考虑管道100的不密封因此可以从井孔拆除生产管道和加热器106。

使用馈入装置120以穿过引入电缆122以供电到加热器106。引入电缆122可以用卡头124固定到管道100上。在某些实施例中,使用分开的馈入装置使引入电缆122穿过密封材料。

提升气体(例如,天然气、甲烷、二氧化碳、丙烷、和/或氮)可以提供到管道100与套管110之间的环形空间。阀126沿管道100的长度放置以使气体能进入生产管道并提供生产管道中流体的气体提升。提升气体可以与管道100中的流体混合以降低流体的密度并考虑来自地层的流体的提升。在某些实施例中,阀126位于地层的上覆岩层部分中因此在上覆岩层部分中提供气体提升。在某些实施例中,通过管道100与套管110之间的环状空间产生流体同时可以通过阀126提供提升气体。

在一个实施例中,使用连接到管道100的泵生产流体。该泵可以是一台可浸入水下的泵(例如,电或气动力可浸入水下的泵)。在某些实施例中,加热器连接到管道100以保持管道和/或泵中流体的降低的粘度。

在某些实施例中,诸如附加的螺旋管管道的附加管道放置在地层中。可以在附加管道中放置传感器。例如,可以在管道中放置生产测井工具以识别生产区域的位置和/或评估流量。在某些实施例中,在附加管道中放置温度传感器(例如,分布温度传感器、光纤传感器、和/或一组热电偶)以确定地下的温度分布。

在井中使用事先存在的加热/生产组件的某些实施例(例如,为事先存在的生产井、加热器井、或监测井改进加热/生产组件)。可能在预先存在的井中使用的加热/生产组件的一个例子如图4所示。某些事先存在的井可能包括泵。在事先存在井中的泵可以留在与加热/生产组件一起改进的加热/生产井中。

图4表示可以位于用于气体提升的井孔中的加热/生产组件的一个实施例。在图4中,管道100位于生产管道128的外面。在一个实施例中生产管道128的外面是11.4厘米直径的生产管子。套管110具有24.4厘米的直径。多孔套管114具有11.4厘米的直径。密封组件118密封生产管道128里面外面的管道100。在一个实施例中,泵130是一台喷射泵诸如一台底井组件喷射泵。

在某些实施例中,防止热传递到管道100中。图5表示管道100和防止热传递到管道中加热器106的一个实施例。加热器106连接到管道100。加热器106包括铁磁部分132与非铁磁部分134。铁磁部分132在降低井孔中或附近的流体的粘度的温度处提供热量。非铁磁部分提供少量的或不提供热。在某些实施例中,铁磁部分132与非铁磁部分是6米的长度。在某些实施例中,铁磁部分132和非铁磁部分是3米与12米之间的长度、4米与11米之间的长度或5米与10米之间的长度。在某些实施例中,非铁磁部分134包括许多孔136以使流体能流到管道100。在某些实施例中,设置加热器因此无需多孔以使流体能流到管道100。

管道100可以具有许多孔136以使流体能进入管道。许多孔136与加热器106的非铁磁部分134一致。与铁磁部分132一致的管道100的许多部分包括绝缘管道138。管道138可以是真空绝缘的管道。例如,管道138可以是从石油技术服务公司(德克萨斯州的休斯敦)得到的真空绝缘生产管子。管道138防止热从铁磁部分132传递到管道100中。限制热传递到管道100中降低热损失和/或防止管道中流体的过度加热。在一个实施例中,加热器106沿加热器的整个长度提供热同时管道100包括沿生产管道的整个长度的管道138。

在某些实施例中,使用多于一个的井孔102使用温度限制加热器以从地层生产重油。图6表示具有井孔102位于碳氢化合物层140中的一个实施例的端视图。井孔102的部分基本上水平地呈三角形模式放置在碳氢化合物层140中。在某些实施例中,井孔102具有30米到60米、35米到55米、或40米到50米的间隔。井孔102可以包括生产管道和先前描述的加热器。可以通过井孔102以在对地层冷生产率以上的增加的生产率加热并生产流体。生产可以以一选择的时间(例如,5年到10年、6年到9年、或7年到8年)连续进行,直到从每个井孔产生的热开始重叠(即热的开始重叠)。在此时间,从下面井孔来的热(诸如靠近碳氢化合物层140底部的井孔102)在连续生产的同时被连续、减少、或关闭。可以停止上面井孔中的生产(诸如靠近碳氢化合物层140的顶部的井孔102)因此碳氢化合物层中的流体向下面的井孔排放。在某些实施例中功率增加到上井孔而温度上升到居里温度以上以增加热的喷射率。以这一过程排放地层的流体增加从地层的总的碳氢化合物的回收。

在一个实施例中,在水平加热器/生产井中使用温度限制加热器。该温度限制加热器可以提供选择的热量到井的水平部分的“钻孔底”和“钻井口”。通过钻孔底可以比通过钻井口向地层提供较多的热,产生一个钻孔底的“热部分”和在钻井口的“温暖部分”。地层的流体可以在热部分中形成并通过温暖部分生产,如图7所示。

图7表示用于选择地加热地层的加热器井的一个实施例。热源142放置在碳氢化合物层140中的孔144中。在某些实施例中,孔144基本上是碳氢化合物层140中的水平孔。多孔套管114放置在孔144中。多孔套管114提供防止碳氢化合物层140中的碳氢化合物和/或其材料塌陷到孔144中的支撑。多孔套管114中的许多孔考虑流体从碳氢化合物层140流动到孔144中。热源142可以包括热部分146。热部分146是热源的在比邻近热源部分较高热输出处工作的一部分。例如,热部分146可以在650瓦/米与1650瓦/米、650瓦/米与1500瓦/米、或800瓦/米与1500瓦/米之间输出。热部分146可以从热源的“钻井口”延伸到“钻井底”。热源钻井口是热源最靠近在该点热源进入碳氢化合物层的一点的部分。热源的钻孔底是热源的末端,它距热源进入碳氢化合物层最远。

在一个实施例中,热源142包括温暖部分148。温暖部分148是热源的一部分,它在比热部分146较低热输出处工作。例如,温暖部分148可以在30瓦/米与1000瓦/米、30瓦/米与750瓦/米、或100瓦/米与750瓦/米之间输出。温暖部分148可以处于更靠近热源142的钻井口。在某些实施例中,温暖部分148是热部分146与上覆岩层部分150之间的过渡部分(例如,过滤导体)。上覆岩层部分150位于上覆岩层152中。上覆岩层部分150提供比温暖部分148较低的热输出。例如,上覆岩层部分150可以在10瓦/米与90瓦/米、15瓦/米与80瓦/米、或25瓦/米与75瓦/米之间输出。在某些实施例中,上覆岩层部分150对上覆岩层152尽可能不提供热。但是,可以使用某些热以保持通过孔144生产的流体处于上覆岩层152中的蒸汽相。

在某些实施例中,热源142的热部分146将碳氢化合物加热到足够高的温度以导致在碳氢化合物层140中形成焦化部。焦化部154可能出现在包围孔144的区域。温暖部分148可以在较低热输出时工作因此焦化部不在或靠近热源142的温暖部分形成。焦化部154可以从孔144作为从热源142向外传递的热径向延伸到孔。但是,在一定的距离处,焦化部154不再形成因为碳氢化合物层140中的温度在一定的距离处将达不到焦化部温度。不形成焦化部的距离是热输出(从热源142的瓦/米)、结构的型式、地层中的碳氢化合物含量、以及地层中其它条件的函数。

焦化部154的地层防止流体通过焦化部流入孔144中。但是地层中的流体可以通过热源142(例如,在热源的温暖部分148处)的钻井口处的孔144生产,在该处有少量或无焦化部地层。在热源142的钻井口处的较低温度降低通过钻井口生产的地层流体的增加的破碎的可能性。流体通过地层在水平方向比垂直方向可以更容易地流动。典型地,在相对可渗透地层中水平的可渗透性是大约5至10倍地大于垂直可渗透性。因此,流体基本上在水平方向沿热源142的长度流动。在比通过碳氢化合物层140中的生产井生产流体的更早的时间通过孔144生产地层流体是可能的。通过孔144的较早生产时间是可能的因为孔附近的温度由于从热源142通过碳氢化合物层140的热传送要比更远离孔的温度增加得更快。可以使用地层流体早期的生产以便在地层的开始加热过程中保持碳氢化合物层140中的较低压力。地层的开始加热就是在地层中的生产井中开始生产之前加热的时间。地层中较低的压力可以增加从地层的液体的生产。此外,通过孔144生产地层流体可以减少在地层中需要的生产井的数量。

加热器的某些实施例包括开关(例如熔断丝和/或恒温器),当加热器中达到一定条件时,该开关就断开到加热器或加热器的部分的动力。在某些实施例中,使用“温度限制加热器”以提供到地层的热。该温度限制加热器是在特定温度以上调节热输出的一种加热器(例如降低热输出),而不使用外部控制(诸如温度控器、功率调节器、解调器或其它装置。温度限制加热器可以是交流的(AC)(交变电流)或调制(例如,“断续的”)直流的(DC)(直流电流)功率电阻加热器。

温度限制加热器可以被构造成和/或可以包括在某些温度为加热器提供自动温度限制特性的材料。在某些实施例中,在温度限制加热器中使用铁磁材料。铁磁材料可以在或接近材料的居里温度时自我限制温度以便当施加交流电流到该材料时提供在或接近居里温度时的降低的热量。在某些实施例中,铁磁材料与其它材料耦合(例如,高导电材料、高强度材料、抗腐蚀材料、或其组合)以提供各种电的和/或机械的特性。温度限制加热器的某些零件可以具有比温度限制加热器的其它零件较低的电阻(由不同几何形状和/或通过使用不同的铁磁和/或非铁磁材料引起的)。具有不同材料和/或尺寸的温度限制加热器的零件允许适应从加热器的每一部分的要求的输出。在温度限制加热器中使用铁磁材料典型地要比在温度限制加热器中使用开关或其它控制装置更便宜和更可靠。

温度限制加热器比其它加热器可能更可靠。温度限制加热器可能不易于由于地层中的热部位而发生故障或损坏。在某些实施例中,温度限制加热器考虑地层的基本上均匀的加热。在某些实施例中,温度限制加热器通过沿加热器的整个长度在较高平均热输出下工作能够更有效地加热地层。温度限制加热器在沿加热器整个长度的更高的平均热输出下工作是因为:如果沿加热器任何一点的温度超过、或大致超过加热器的最大工作温度,不必要降低对整个加热器的加热器功率,如典型的恒定功率加热器的情况那样。从接近加热器居里温度的温度限制加热器的热输出自动地被降低而无需对加到加热器的交流电流的控制调节。由于温度限制加热器各部分电特性(例如,电阻)的改变自动地降低热输出。因此,在加热过程的较大部分中由温度限制加热器供给较多的热。

在一个实施例中,当温度限制加热器施加交流电流或调制的直流电流时,包括温度限制加热器的系统初始提供第一热输出然后在接近、在加热器电阻部分的居里温度或居里温度以上处提供降低的热量。温度限制加热器可施以在井头供给的交流电流或调制的直流电流。该井头可以包括用于给温度限制加热器供给动力的动力源和其它零件(例如,调制元件、变压器、和/或电容器)。温度限制加热器可能是用以加热地层一部分的许多加热器的一个。

在某些实施例中,温度限制加热器包括导电体,当对该导电体施加交流电流或调制的直流电流时它以表皮效应(skin effect)或临近效应(proximity effect)加热器工作。该表皮效应限制电流深入到导体内部的深度。对于铁磁材料,由导体的磁导率控制表皮效应。铁磁材料的相对磁导率典型地是在10与1000之间(例如,铁磁材料的相对磁导率典型地至少是10同时可能是至少50、100、500、1000或更大)。当铁磁材料的温度升到居里温度以上和/或当增加施加的电流时,铁磁材料的磁导率明显降低同时表层深度径向地扩大(例如,表层深度以磁导率的倒平方根扩大)。在接近、在或超过居里温度和/或增加施加的电流时,磁导率的降低会导致导体的交流或调制的直流电阻的降低。当温度限制加热器基本上由恒定电流源供电时,接近、达到或超过居里温度的加热器部分可能具有减少的热扩散。不在或不接近居里温度的温度限制加热器的部分可以由表皮效应加热来控制,由于较高的电阻负荷该加热使加热器能具有高的热扩散。

使用温度限制加热器以加热地层中碳氢化合物的优点是选择导体以具有在要求的温度工作范围中的居里温度。在要求的工作温度范围内工作允许相当大的热喷射进入地层同时保持温度限制加热器、以及其它在设计限制温度以下的设备的温度。设计的限制温度是这样的一个温度,在该温度诸如腐蚀、蠕变和/或变形的特性是被负面影响的。温度限制加热器的温度限制特性防止邻近地层中低导热性“热部位”的加热器的过加热或烧毁。在某些实施例中,根据在加热器中使用的材料,温度限制加热器能够降低或控制热输出和/或在25℃、37℃、100℃、250℃、500℃、700℃、800℃、900℃、或更高达到1131℃以上的温度耐受热。

温度限制加热器的使用可以使热有效传递到地层。热的有效传递可以减少加热地层到要求的温度所需的时间。例如,当使用配置传统的恒定功率加热器的12米加热器间隔时,在绿河油母页岩中,高温热解典型地需要加热的9.5年到10年。对于同样的加热器间隔,温度限制加热器可以允许较大的平均热输出同时保持加热器设备温度在设备设计的限制温度以下。以由温度限制加热器提供的较大平均热输出比由恒定功率加热提供的较小平均热输出的较早时间可能出现地层中的热解。例如,在绿河油母页岩中,使用具有12米加热器井间隔的温度限制加热器在5年后可能出现高温热解。由于不精确的井间隔或钻井,在那里加热器井过分靠近在一起,温度限制加热器与热部位相互抵消。在某些实施例中,温度限制加热器考虑对加热器井的超时的增加的功率输出,该加热器井已被隔开太远,或者对太靠近在一起的加热器井限制功率输出。温度限制加热器还在邻近上覆岩层和下伏岩层的区域提供较大的功率以补偿在这个区域的热损失。

在温度限制加热器中使用的铁磁合金或多种铁磁合金确定该加热器的居里温度。对于各种材料的居里温度数据列在“美国物理研究院手册”、第二版、McGraw-Hill,5-170页到5-176页。铁磁导体可以包括一或多种铁磁元素(铁、钴、和镍)和/或这些元素的合金。在某些实施例中,铁磁导体包括铁—铬(Fe-Cr)合金,该合金包含钨(W)(例如,HCM12A和SAVE12(日本的Sumitomo金属公司),和/或铁合金,它包含铬(例如,Fe-Cr合金、Fe-Cr-W合金、Fe-Cr-V(钒)合金、Fe-Cr-Nb(锑)合金)。三个主要铁磁元素中,铁具有大约770℃的居里温度;钴具有大约1131℃的居里温度;而镍具有大约358℃的居里温度。铁—钴合金具有高于铁的居里温度的居里温度。例如,具有2%重量的钴的铁—钴合金具有大约800℃的居里温度;具有12%重量的钴的铁—钴合金具有大约900℃的居里温度;而具有20%重量的钴的铁—钴合金具有大约950℃的居里温度。铁—镍合金具有低于铁的居里温度的居里温度。例如,具有20%重量的镍的铁—镍合金具有大约720℃的居里温度,而具有60%重量的镍的铁—镍合金具有大约560℃的居里温度。

作为合金使用的某些非铁磁元素可提高铁的居里温度。例如,具有5.9%重量的钒的铁—钒合金具有大约815℃的居里温度。其它非铁磁元素(例如,碳、铝、铜、硅、和/或铬)可以与铁或其铁磁材料制成合金以降低居里温度。提高居里温度的非铁磁材料可以与降低居里温度的非铁磁材料结合并与铁或其它铁磁材料制成合金以生产一种具有要求的居里温度及其它要求的物理和/或化学特性的材料。在某些实施例中,居里温度材料是一种诸如NiFe2O4的铁氧体。在其它实施例中,居里温度材料是诸如FeNi3或Fe3Al的双化合物。

当接近居里温度时通常磁特性消失。C.James的(IEEE出版社,1955年)“工业电加热手册”表示一种典型的对1%碳钢(具有1%碳的重量的钢)的曲线。磁导率的消失在650℃以上的温度开始且当温度超过730℃时趋于完全消失。因此,自我限制温度可能略在铁磁导体的实际居里温度以下。在1%碳钢中电流流动的表皮深度在室温处是0.132厘米而在720℃处增加到0.445厘米。从720℃到730℃,表皮深度陡增到超过2.5厘米。因此,使用1%碳钢的温度限制加热器实施例在650℃和730℃之间自我限制。

表皮深度通常定义为交流电流和调制的直流电流深入到导电材料中的有效深度。通常,电流密度随沿导体的半径从外表面到中心的距离指数地降低。在该深度电流密度是表面电流密度的近似1/e的深度称之为表皮深度。对具有直径远大于深入深度的实心圆柱杆,或者对具有超过深入深度的壁厚的空心圆柱体,表皮深度δ是:

δ=1981.5×(ρ/(μ×f))1/2    (1)式中:δ=表皮深度(英寸);ρ=工作温度时的电阻率(欧姆—厘米);μ=相对磁导率;以及f=频率(赫兹)。

式(1)是从C.James Erickson的“工业电加热手册”(IEEE出版,1955)获得的。对于大多数材料,电阻率随温度增加。相对磁导率通常随温度和电流变化。可以用另外的公式以评估磁导率和/或表皮深度对温度和/或电流二者的变化。μ对电流的关系曲线从μ对磁场的关系曲线上升。

可以选择在温度限制加热器中使用的材料以提供要求的调节比。对温度限制加热器可以选择至少1.1∶1、2∶1、3∶1、4∶1、5∶1、10∶1、30∶1或50∶1的调节比。也可以使用较大的调节比。选择的调节比取决于许多因素,包括但不限于,温度限制加热器处于其中的地层的型式和/或在井孔中使用的材料的温度极限。在某些实施例中,通过将附加的铜或另外的良好导电体连接到铁磁材料(例如,添加铜以降低居里温度以上的电阻)增加调节比。

温度限制加热器可以在加热器的居里温度以下提供最小的热输出(功率输出)。在某些实施例中,最小的热输出是至少400瓦/米、600瓦/米、700瓦/米、800瓦/米、或更高达2000瓦/米。当温度限制加热器的一部分的温度接近或在居里温度以上时,该温度限制加热器降低热输出的量到加热器的该部分。该减少量的热量可以显著地小于居里温度以下的热输出。在某些实施例中,减少量的热量最多是400瓦/米、200瓦/米、或100瓦/米,或可能接近0瓦/米。

在某些实施例中,温度限制加热器可以基本上独立于加热器上的热负荷在一定的工作温度范围中工作。“热负荷”是热从加热系统传递到其周围的速率。应该理解热负荷可以随周围的温度和/或周围的热传导率变化。在一个实施例中,温度限制加热器在温度限制加热器的居里温度处或以上工作,这样对于减少特别接近加热器的一部分处1瓦/米的热负荷而言,加热器的工作温度最多增加1.5℃、1℃或0.5℃。

由于居里效应,在居里温度以上交流或调制的直流电阻和/或温度限制加热器的热输出可能锐减。在某些实施例中,居里温度以上或接近居里温度的电阻或热输出值最多是在居里温度以下的某一点处的电阻或热输出值的一半。在某些实施例中,居里温度以上或接近居里温度的热输出是居里温度以下(例如,居里温度以下30℃、居里温度以下40℃、居里温度以下50℃、或居里温度以下100℃)某一点处的热输出的最多40%、30%、20%或更少、减到0%。在某些实施例中,居里温度以上或接近居里温度的电阻减少到居里温度以下(例如,居里温度以下30℃、居里温度以下40℃、居里温度以下50℃、或居里温度以下100℃)某一点处的电阻的80%、70%、60%、50%或更小到0%。

在某些实施例中,调节交流频率以改变铁磁材料的表皮深度。例如,室温处的1%碳钢的表皮深度在60赫兹是0.132厘米、在180赫兹是0.0762厘米、以及在440赫芝是0.046厘米。由于加热器的直径典型地是比表皮深度二倍要大,使用较高频率(并因此具有较小直径的加热器)降低加热器成本。对于固定的几何形状,较高的频率导致较高的调节比。在较高频率的调节比通过较低频率的调节比乘以较高频率的平方根被较低频率的平方根除来计算。在某些实施例中,使用100Hz与1000Hz之间的、140Hz与200Hz之间的、或400Hz与600Hz之间的频率(例如,180Hz、540Hz、或720Hz)。在某些实施例中可以使用高频率。例如,高频率可以是至少1000Hz。

为了保持基本上恒定的表皮深度直到达到温度限制加热器的居里温度,当加热器是冷的时该加热器可以在较低频率处工作而当加热器是热的时则在较高频率处工作。但是,线路频率加热通常是有利的,因为它不需昂贵的元件诸如动力供给、变压器、或变频的电流调制器。线路频率通常是电流供给频率。线路频率通常是60Hz,但根据电流供给源可以是50Hz或另一个频率。使用市售的设备如固态可变频率动力源可以产生较高的频率。将三相电力转变成具有三倍频率的单相电力的变压器是市售的。例如,60Hz的高压三相电力可以变换成在180Hz和在较低电压的单相电力。这种变压器不太贵且比固态可变频动力供应的能量效率更高。在某些实施例中,使用将三相电力转变成单相电力的变压器以增加供给到温度限制加热器的电力的频率。

在某些实施例中,调制的直流(例如,断续直流、波形调制直流、或周期直流)可以用来向温度限制加热器提供电力。直流调制器或直流断续器可以耦合到直流电源以提供调制的直流输出。在某些实施例中,直流电源可以包括用于调制直流的装置。直流调制器的一个例子是直流到直流的转换系统。在行业中直流到直流的转换系统是周知的。直流典型的是调制的或断续为要求的波形。直流调制的波形,包括但不局限于,方波、正弦波、变形正弦波、变形方波、三角形的、和其它规则或不规则的波形。

调制直流波形通常限定调制的直流的频率。因此,可以选择调制的直流波形以提供要求的调制的直流频率。调制的直流波形的调制率(如断续率)可以变化以改变调制的直流频率。可以在高于通常可得到的交流频率处调制直流。例如,可以在至少1000Hz的频率处提供调制的直流。增加供给电流的频率到较高值有利地增加温度限制加热器的调节比。

在某些实施例中,调节或变化调制的直流的波形以改变调制的直流频率。使用温度限制加热器且在高电流或高电压的过程中在任何时间直流调制器可以能够调节或改变调制的直流波形。因此提供到温度限制加热器的调制的直流不局限于单一频率或甚至一小组频率值。使用直流调制器的波型选择典型地考虑调制直流频率的一个宽的范围并考虑调制直流频率的离散控制。因此,较容易地设定调制直流频率在一个特殊的值而交流频率通常限制到线路频率的增加值。调制直流频率的离散控制考虑更可选择的控制温度限制加热器的整个调节比。能够选择地控制温度限制加热器的调节比考虑在设计与构造温度限制加热器中要使用的材料的较宽的范围。

在某些实施例中,初始使用非调制的直流或很低频率的调制直流供给温度限制加热器的电力。在加热的较早时间使用非调制直流或很低频率的直流降低与较高频率相关的损失。在初始加热时间中使用非调制直流和/或很低频率的调制直流也是比较便宜的。在温度限制加热器中达到选择的温度之后,使用调制的直流、较高频率的调制直流或交流以提供电力到温度限制加热器因此在接近、处于或居里温度以上时热输出将减少。

在某些实施例中,调节调制直流的频率或交流的频率以补偿在使用过程中温度限制加热器的特性变化(例如,诸如温度与压力的地下条件)。在评估下井条件的基础上改变提供到温度限制加热器的调制直流频率或交流频率。例如,当温度限制加热器在深孔中的温度增加时,增加供给加热器的电流的频率可能是有利的,因此增加了加热器的调节比。在一个实施例中,评估深孔中温度限制加热器的下井温度。

在某些实施例中,改变调制直流的频率、或交流频率以调节温度限制加热器的调节比(turndown ratio)。可以调节该调节比以补偿沿温度限制加热器长度出现的热部位。例如,增加调节比,因为温度限制加热器在某些部位正变得太热。在某些实施例中,变化调制直流的频率,或交流的频率,以调节调节比而不评估地下状态。

在或接近铁磁材料的居里温度时,电压的相对小的变化可能造成电流负荷的相对大的改变。电压的相对小的变化在供给温度限制加热器电力时可能产生问题,特别在或接近居里温度时。该问题包括但不局限于,断开电路断路器和/或烧坏保险丝。在某些实施例中,电流供应(例如,调制直流或交流的供给)提供比较恒定的电流大小,它基本上不随温度限制加热器的负荷改变而变化。在一个实施例中,当温度限制加热器的负荷变化时,电流供应提供保持在选择的恒定电流值的15%以内、10%以内、5%以内、或2%以内。

温度限制加热器可产生感应负荷。该感应负荷是由于某些被铁磁材料使用的以产生除去产生电阻热输出外的磁场施加的电流。当下井温度在温度限制加热器中变化时,该加热器的感应负荷由于加热器中铁磁材料的磁特性随温度变化而改变。温度限制加热器的感应负荷可能造成施加到加热器的电流和电压之间的相移。

施加到温度限制加热器的实际功率的减少可以由电流波形的时间滞后而造成(例如,由于感应负荷电流具有相对于电压的相移)和/或由电流波形的畸变而造成(例如,通过引入由于非线性负荷的谐振而造成的电流波形的畸变)。因此,由于相移或波形畸变施加选择量的功率可能需要较大电流。如果相同的电流同相位且未畸变,实际施加的功率与将被传输的视在功率的比是功率因数。该功率因数经常小于或等于1。当无相移或波形的畸波时该功率因数等于1。

由于相移实际施加到温度限制加热器的功率由式(2)来描述:P=I×V×cos(θ);    (2)式中P是施加到加热器的实际功率;I是施加的电流;V是施加的电压;θ是电压与电流之间的相位角差。如果波形没有畸变,则cos(θ)等于功率因数。

在较高频率(例如,至少1000Hz、1500Hz、或2000Hz的调制直流频率),相移和/或畸变的问题更显著。在某些实施例中,使用一个电容器以补偿由感应负荷造成的相移。可以使用电容负荷以平衡负荷因为对于电容的电流与对于电感的电流是180°的相位差。在某些实施例中,使用可变电容器(例如,固态开关电容器)以补偿由变化的感应负荷造成的相移。在一个实施例中,在温度限制加热器的井头处放置可变电容器。在井头处放置的可变电容器使电容更容易地响应温度限制加热器的电感负荷的变化而变化。在某些实施例中,可变电容器与温度限制加热器一起被放置在地下、加热器内的地下、或尽可能靠近加热导体以便最小化由于电容器造成的线路损耗。在某些实施例中,可变电容器被放置在加热器井的范围的中心位置(在某些实施例中,对于几个温度限制加热器可以使用一个可变电容器)。在一个实施例中,可变电容器被放在加热器场所与通用供电设备之间的电气连接处。

在某些实施例中,使用可变电容器以维持温度限制加热器的功率因数或者温度限制加热器中导电体的功率因数在一个选定值以上。在某些实施例中,使用可变电容器以保持温度限制加热器的功率因数在选定值0.85、0.90、或0.95以上。在某些实施例中,改变可变电容器中的电容以保持温度限制加热器的功率因数在选定值以上。

在某些实施例中,预先确定调制直流的波形形状以补偿相移和/或谐振畸变。通过调制波形将波形预先确定为一特定的形状。例如,编程或设计直流调制器以输出特殊形状的波形。在某些实施例中,改变预先确定形状的波形以补偿由相移和/或谐振畸变中的变化造成的温度限制加热器的电感负荷的变化。在某些实施例中,评估加热器状态(例如,下井温度或压力)并用以确定预先确定形状的波形。在某些实施例中,通过使用基于加热器设计的模拟与计算确定预先确定形状的波形。也可以使用模拟和/或加热器状态以确定可变电容器的需要的电容。

在某些实施例中,调制的直流波形在100%(完全电流负荷)与0%(无电流负荷)之间调制直流。例如,方波可以在100%(100安)与0%(0安)(全波调制)之间、100%(100安)与50%(5安)之间、或75%(75安)与25%(25安)之间调制100安的直流。可以确定较低的电流负荷作为基础电流负荷。

在某些实施例中,调节电压和/或电流以改变铁磁材料的表皮深度。增加电压和/或降低电流可以减少铁磁材料的表皮深度。较小的表皮深度允许使用较小直径的温度限制加热器,因而降低设备的成本。在某些实施例中,施加的电流是至少1安培(A)、10A、70A、100A、200A、500A、或较大达到2000A。在某些实施例中,在200伏以上、480伏以上、650V以上、1000伏以上、1500伏以上、或更高达10000伏施加交流电流。

在一个实施例中,温度限制加热器包括一个在外导体里面的内导体。该内导体和外导体绕中心轴线径向地布置。该内和外导体可以通过绝缘层隔开。在某些实施例中,该内和外导体在温度限制加热器的底部耦合。电流可以通过内导体流入温度限制加热器并通过外导体返回。一个或两个导体可以包括铁磁材料。

绝缘层可以包括具有高导热性的电绝缘陶瓷,诸如氧化锰、氧化铝、二氧化硅、氧化铍、氮化硼、氮化硅,或其组合。该绝缘层可以是压实的粉末(例如,压实陶瓷粉末)。压实可以改善导热性并提供较高的绝缘电阻。对于低温的应用,可以使用例如由含氟聚合物、聚酰亚胺、聚酰胺和/或聚乙烯制成的聚合物绝缘层。在某些实施例中,聚合物绝缘层由全氟烷(PFA)或聚醚迷酮(PEEKTM(英国Victrex Ltd.))制成。该绝缘层可以选择为红外透明的以有助于从内导体到外导体的热传输。在一个实施例中,该绝缘层是透明的硅砂。绝缘层可以是空气或无反应的气体诸如氦、氮、或六氟化硫。如果绝缘层是空气或一种无反应的气体,可能有一个设计用以防止内导体与外导体之间电接触的绝缘垫片。该绝缘垫片可以用例如高纯度氧化铝或其它导热、电绝缘材料诸如氮化硅制成。该绝缘垫可以是纤维陶瓷材料诸如NextelTM312(明尼苏达州圣保罗的3M公司)、云母带、或玻璃纤维。陶瓷材料可以用氧化铝、氧化铝—硅酸盐、氧化铝—硅酸硼、氮化硅、氮化硼或其它材料制成。

该绝缘层可以是柔性的或基本上允许变形的。例如,如果绝缘层是固态或压实的材料,它们基本上填满内和外导体之间的空间,则温度限制加热器是柔性的和/或基本上容许变形的。作用在外导体上的力可以通过绝缘层传递到固态内导体,该内导体可以抗破碎。这种温度限制加热器可以被弯曲、呈折线形、以及呈螺旋状而不造成外导体与内导体彼此电短路。如果在地层加热过程井孔要承受明显的变形,则容许变形是重要的。

在某些实施例中,选择外导体以抗腐蚀和/或蠕变。在一个实施例中,奥氏体(非铁磁的)不锈钢诸如304H、347H、347HH、316H、310H、347HP、NF709(日本钢铁公司)不锈钢,或其组合可以用作外导体。该外导体还可以包括壳导体。例如,可以包一层抗腐蚀合金诸如800H或347H不锈钢的腐蚀保护层在铁磁碳钢管的上面。如果不要求高温强度,则可以用具有良好抗腐蚀性的铁磁材料诸如一种铁素体不锈钢构成该外导体。在一个实施例中,82.3%重量的铁与17.7%重量的铬(678℃居里温度)的铁素体合金提供要求的抗腐蚀性。

“金属手册”8卷291页(美国材料协会)(ASM)包括铁—铬合金的居里温度与合金中铬含量的关系的曲线图。在某些温度限制加热器实施例中,将分开的支撑杆或管(用347H不锈钢制成)连接到由铁—铬合金制成的温度限制加热器上以提供强度和/或抗蠕变能力。可以选择支撑材料和/或铁磁材料以提供在650℃的至少20.7MPa的100000小时的蠕变—断裂强度。在某些实施例中,100000小时的蠕变强度是在650℃的至少13.8MPa或在650℃的至少6.9MPa。例如347H钢具有在或650℃以上的良好的蠕变断裂强度。在某些实施例中,对于较长的加热器和/或较高的土壤或流体应力,100000小时蠕变—断裂强度范围为6.9MPa到41.3MPa或更高。在具有内铁磁导体和外铁磁导体的实施例中,表皮效应电流通道出现在内导体的外面和外导体的里面。因此外导体的外面可以包一层抗腐蚀合金,诸如不锈钢,而不影响外导体里面的表皮效应电流通道。

在某些具有内铁磁导体和外铁磁导体的实施例中,表皮效应电流通道出现在内导体的外面上和外导体的里面。因此,外导体的外面可以包以抗腐蚀合金,诸如不锈钢,而不影响外导体的里面的表皮效应电流通道。

在居里温度具有至少为表皮深度的厚度的铁磁导体中当在居里温度附近表皮深度陡增时能使铁磁材料的交流电阻显著地降低。在某些实施例中,当铁磁导体没有包以高导电材料诸如铜时,导体的厚度可以是居里温度附近的表皮深度的1.5倍、居里温度附近的表皮深度的3倍、或者甚至居里温附近的表皮深度的10倍或更多。如果铁磁材料包以铜,铁磁材料的厚度与居里温度附近的表皮深度基本上相同。在某些实施例中,包有铜的铁磁导体具有居里温度附近的表皮深度的至少3/4。

在某些实施例中,温度限制加热器包括具有铁磁管和非铁磁、高导电芯子的复合导体。非铁磁、高导电芯子可减小导体的直径。例如,该导体可以是1.19厘米直径的复合导体,其带有0.575厘米直径的铜芯子,该芯子带有包围该芯子的0.298厘米厚的铁素体不锈钢或碳钢。复合的导体能使温度限制加热器的电阻在居里温度附近更陡地减少。随着表皮深度在居里温度附近增加到包括铜芯子,电阻很陡地降低。

该复合的导体可以增加温度限制加热器的导电性和/或能使加热器在低压处工作。在一个实施例中,复合导体防止比较平坦的电阻对温度的分布。在某些实施例中,温度限制加热器防止在100℃与750℃之间或300℃与600℃之间电阻对温度较平坦的分布。该较平坦的电阻对温度的分布也可以通过调节,例如,温度限制加热器中的材料和/或材料的结构在其它温度范围被防止。在某些实施例中,选择复合导体中每种材料的相对厚度以产生温度限制加热器的要求的电阻对温度的分布。

图8-32表示温度限制加热器的各种实施例。这些图中任一图所表示的温度限制加热器的实施例的一个或更多个特征可以与这些图中表示的温度限制加热器的其它实施例的特征结合。在某些描述的实施例中,温度限制加热器的尺寸被选定成在60Hz交流的频率处工作。应该理解,可以从此处描述的那些调节温度限制加热器的尺寸以便温度限制加热器以类似的方式在其它交流频率或以调制的直流工作。

图8表示具有有铁磁部分与非铁磁部分的外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。图9和10表示图8所示的实施例的横剖视图。在一个实施例中,使用铁磁部分以提供热到地层中的碳氢化合物层。在地层的上覆岩层中使用非铁磁部分134。非铁磁部分134对上覆岩层提供134极少量的热或不提供热,因此防止在上覆岩层中热损失并改善加热器的效率。铁磁部分132包括铁磁材料诸如409不锈钢或410不锈钢。409不锈钢作为带材是容易得到的。铁磁部分132具有0.3厘米的厚度。非铁磁材料部分是具有0.3厘米厚度的铜。内导体156是铜。内导体156具有0.9厘米的直径。电绝缘体158是氮化硅、氮化硼、氧化锰粉末,或者另一种合适的绝缘体材料。

图11表示具有放置在壳内的铁磁部分和非铁磁部分的外导体的温度限制加热器的一个实施例的剖面图。图12、13和14表示图11所示实施例的横剖面图。铁磁部分132是具有0.6厘米厚度的410不锈钢。非铁磁部分134是具有0.6厘米厚度的铜。内导体156是具有0.9厘米直径的铜。外导体160包括铁磁材料。外导体160在加热器的上覆岩层部分中提供一些热。在上覆岩层中提供的一些热防止在上覆岩层中流体的冷凝或回流。外导体是具有3.0厘米外径和0.6厘米厚度的409、410、或446不锈钢。电绝缘体158是具有0.3厘米厚度的氧化锰粉末。在某些实施例中,电绝缘体158是氮化硅、氮化硼、或六方晶系氮化硼。导体部分162可以与具有铁磁部分132和/或外导体160的内导体156耦合。

图15表示具有铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。该加热器被放置在抗腐蚀的外壳中。在外导体与外套之间放置导电层。图16与17表示图15所示的实施例的横剖视图。外导体160是3/4英寸Schedule 80 446不锈钢管。在一个实施例中,在外导体160与外套166之间放置导电层。导电层164是一铜层。外导体160包以导电层164。在某些实施例中,导电层164包括一个或更多个分段(例如,导电层164包括一个或更多个铜管分段)。外套166是11/4英寸Schedule80 347H不锈钢管或11/2英寸Schedule 160 347H不锈钢管。在一个实施例中,内导体156是有云母带和玻璃纤维绝缘层的绞合镀镍铜钱的4/0MGT-1000加热(furnace)电缆。4/0MGT-1000加热电缆是UL型5107(可从宾夕法尼亚州的Phoenixvill的Allied电线与电缆公司得到)。导电部分162耦合内导体156与外套166。在一个实施例中,导电部分是铜。

图18表示具有外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。该外导体包括铁磁部分与非铁磁部分。该加热器置于抗腐蚀外套中。在外导体与外套之间放置一导电层。图19和20表示图18所示实施例的横剖视图。铁磁部分132是409、410、或446不锈钢具有0.9厘米的厚度。非铁磁部分134是具有0.9厘米厚度的铜。铁磁部分132与非铁磁部分134放置在外套166中。外套166是具有0.1厘米厚度的304不锈钢。导电层164是铜层。电绝缘体158是氮化硅、氮化硼、或氧化锰具有0.1至0.3厘米的厚度。内导体156是具有1.0厘米直径的铜。

在一个实施例中,铁磁部分132是具有0.9厘米厚度的446不锈钢。外套166是具有0.6厘米厚度的410不锈钢。410不锈钢具有比446不锈钢更高的居里温度。这种温度限制加热器可以“包含”电流,这样该电流不易从该加热器流到周围的地层和/或任何周围的水(例如,盐水、地下水或地层水)。在此实施例中,电流经铁磁部分132流动直到达到铁磁部分的居里温度。在达到铁磁部分的居里温度以后,电流经导电层164流动。外套166的铁磁特性(410不锈钢)防止电流在外套的外面流动及“包含”该电流。外套166也可以具有对温度限制加热器提供强度的一定厚度。

图21表示温度限制加热器的一个实施例的剖面图。温度限制加热器的加热部分包括非铁磁内导体和一个铁磁外导体。温度限制加热器的上覆岩层部分包括一个非铁磁外导体。图22、23和24表示图21所示实施例的横剖视图。内导体156是具有1.0厘米的铜。电绝缘体158放置在内导体156与导电层164之间。电绝缘体158是具有0.1厘米至0.3厘米的厚度的氮化硅、氮化硼或氧化锰。导电层164具有0.1厘米厚度的铜。绝缘层168是在导电层164外面的环状空间中。该环状空间的厚度可以是0.3厘米。绝缘层168是硅砂。

加热部分170可以提供热到地层中的一个或更多个碳氢化合物层。加热部分170包括铁磁材料诸如409不锈钢或410不锈钢。加热部分170具有0.9厘米的厚度。端帽172连接到加热部分170的端部。端帽172将加热部分170连接到内导体156和/或导电层164。端帽172是304不锈钢的。加热部分170连接到上覆岩层部分174。上覆岩层部分174包括碳钢和/或其它合适的支撑材料。上覆岩层部分174具有0.6厘米的厚度。上覆岩层部分174排有导电层176。导电层176是具有0.3厘米厚度的铜。

图25表示具有上覆岩层部分和加热部分的温度限制加热器一个实施例的剖面图。图26和27表示图25所示的实施例的横剖视图。该上覆岩层部分包括内导体156的部分156A。部分156A是1.3厘米直径的铜。加热部分包括内导体156的部分156B。部分156B是具有直径0.5厘米的铜。部分156B放置在铁磁导体178中。铁磁导体178是具有0.4厘米厚度的446不锈钢。电绝缘体158是具有0.2厘米的厚度的氮化硅、氮化硼或氧化锰。外导体160是具有0.1厘米厚度的铜。外导体160放置在外套166中。外套166是具有0.2厘米厚度的316H或347H不锈钢。

图28A和28B表示具有铁磁内导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。内导体156是1英寸Schedule XXS 446不锈钢管。在某些实施中,内导体156包括409不锈钢、410不锈钢、殷钢36、合金42-6、合金52、或其它铁磁合金。合金42-6是42.5%重量的镍、5.75%重量的铬、及剩余部分的铁。合金42-6具有295℃的居里温度。合金52是50.5%重量的镍、0.10%重量的硅、0.30%重量的锰、和剩余部分的铁。合金52具有482℃的居里温度。内导体156具有2.5厘米的直径。电绝缘体158是氮化硅、氮化硼、氧化锰、聚合物、Nextel陶瓷纤维、云母或玻璃纤维。外导体160是铜或任何其它非铁磁材料诸如铝。外导体160连接到外套166。外套166是304H、316H、或347H不锈钢。在此实施例中,在内导体156中产生热的大部分。

图29A和29B表示具有铁磁内导体和非铁磁芯子的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。内导体156包括446不锈钢、409不锈钢、410不锈钢、殷钢36、合金42-6、合金52、或其它铁磁材料。芯子180紧密地结合在内导体156的里面。芯子180是铜或其它非铁磁材料的杆。芯子180在拉伸操作之前以紧密配合插入内导体156里面。在某些实施例中,芯子180和内导体156被共挤压结合。外导体160是347H不锈钢。拉伸或滚压操作以压实电绝缘体158可以确保内导体156和芯子180之间的良好电接触。在此实施例中,起初在内导体156中产生热直到接近居里温度。随着交流电流深入芯子180然后电阻锐降。

图30A和30B表示具有铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例的剖面图。内导体156是镍包铜。电绝缘体158是氮化硅、氮化硼、或氧化锰。外导体160是1英寸Schedule碳钢管子。在此实施例中,起初在外导体160中产生热,导致跨越电绝缘体158的小的温度差。

图31A与图31B表示具有用抗腐蚀合金包覆的铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器一实施例的剖面图。内导体156是铜。外导体160是1英寸的Schedule XXS不锈钢管子。外导体160被连接到外套166。外套166由抗腐蚀材料(例如,347H不锈钢)制成。外套166提供深孔中对腐蚀流体的保护。最初在外导体160中产生热,导致跨越电绝缘体158的小的温度差。

图32A和32B表示具有铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器一实施例的剖面图。该外导体包覆一导电层和一抗腐蚀合金。内导体156是铜。电绝缘体158是氮化硅、氮化硼、或氧化锰。外导体160是1英寸Schedule 80 446不锈钢管子。外导体160被连接到外套166。外套166由抗腐蚀材料制成。在一个实施例中,在外导体160与外套166之间放置导电层164。初始在外导体160中产生热,导致跨越电绝缘体158的小的温度差。当外导体接近居里温度时导电层164能使外导体160的电阻锐减。外套166提供对井孔中的腐蚀流体的保护。

在某些实施例中,导体(例如,内导体、外导体、或铁磁导体)是包括二种或多种不同材料的复合导体。在某些实施例中,该复合导体包括二种或多种径向放置的材料。在某些实施例中,该复合导体包括铁磁导体和非铁磁导体。在某些实施例中,复合导体包括放置在非铁磁芯子上的铁磁导体。可以使用二种或多种材料以得到居里温度以下的温度区域中的比较平坦的电阻对温度的分布和/或在或接近居里温度处的电阻的锐减(高的调节比)。在某些情况中,使用二种或多种材料以提供对温度限制加热器的多于一个的居里温度。

在此处描述的任何电加热器实施例中可以使用复合电导体作为导体。例如,可以使用复合导体作为导体在管道中的加热器或绝缘的导体加热器中的导体。在某些实施例中,该复合导体可以连接到支撑构件诸如支撑导体。该支撑构件可以用于对复合导体提供支撑因此该复合导体不依赖在或接近居里温度处的强度。该支撑构件对于至少100米长度的加热器是有用的。该支撑构件可以是具有良好高温蠕变强度和良好抗腐蚀性的非铁磁构件。用于支撑构件的材料的例子包括但不局限于,Haynes625合金和HaynesHR120合金(HaynesInternational,Kokomo,IN)、NF 709,Incoloy800H合金和347HP合金(Allegheny Ludlum Corp.,Pittsburgh,PA)。在某些实施例中,复合导体中的几种材料彼此直接耦合(例如,铜焊、冶金地结合、或挤压)和/或与支撑构件耦合。使用支撑构件可以将铁磁构件与必须对温度控制加热器提供支撑分开,特别在或接近居里温度处。因此,设计温度限制加热器在铁磁材料的选择中可以更灵活。

图33表示具有支撑构件的复合导体实施例的剖面图。芯子180被铁磁导体178和支撑构件182包围。在某些实施例中,芯子180、铁磁导体178和支撑构件182被直接耦合(例如,铜焊在一起、冶金地结合在一起、或挤压在一起)。在一个实施例中,芯子180是铜,铁磁导体178是446不锈钢,同时支撑构件182是347H合金。在某些实施例中,支撑构件是Schedule 80管子。支撑构件180包围具有铁磁导体178和芯子180的复合导体。将铁磁导体178与芯子180,例如,通过共挤压工艺结合以形成复合导体。例如,复合导体是1.9厘米外径446不锈钢铁磁导体包围0.95厘米直径的芯子。此复合导体在1.9厘米Schedule 80支撑构件里面产生1.7的调节比。

在某些实施例中,相对于铁磁导体178的恒定外直径调节芯子180的直径以调节温度限制加热器的调节比。例如,芯子180的直径可以增加到1.14厘米同时保持铁磁导体178的外径在1.9厘米以增加加热器的调节比到2.2。在某些实施例中,复合导体中的导体(例如,芯子180和铁磁导体178)由支撑构件182分开。

在某些实施例中,使用温度限制加热器以实现较低温度的加热(例如,为加热生产井中的流体、加热地表面管线、或者降低井孔中或井孔区域附近的流体的粘度)。变化温度限制加热器的铁磁材料允许较低温度的加热。在某些实施例中,铁磁导体用具有比446不锈钢较低居里温度的材料制造。例如,铁磁导体可以是铁和镍的合金。该合金可以具有30%重量和42%重量之间的镍以及其余是铁。在一个实施例中,该合金是Invar(殷钢)36。Invar 36是在铁中有36%的镍并具有277℃的居里温度。在某些实施例中,合金是三成份合金,例如,铁、铬和镍。例如,一种合金可具有6%重量的铬、42%重量的镍、和52%重量的铁。一个殷钢36的2.5厘米直径的杆具有居里温度处的大约2到1的调节比。在铜芯子上放置殷钢36合金可以允许较小的杆直径。铜芯子可以导致高的调节比。

对于包括铜芯子或铜外壳的温度限制加热器,可以用相对的扩散电阻层如镍保护铜。在某些实施例中,复合内导体包括包覆在镍上的铁,该镍包覆在铜芯子上。相对扩散电阻层防止铜迁移到加热器的例如包括绝缘层的其它层中。在某些实施例中,在加热器安装到井孔中的过程中相对不可渗透层防止铜在井孔中沉积。

对于低温应用,图34中的铁磁导体178是连接到导体184的合金42-6。导体184可以是铜的。在一个实施例中,铁磁导体178是在铜导体184上的1.9厘米外径的合金42-6,具有外直径对铜直径的为2∶1的比。在某些实施例中,铁磁导体178包括其它低温铁磁材料,诸如合金32、合金52、殷钢36、铁—镍—铬合金、铁—镍合金、镍—铬合金、或其它镍合金。管道186可以是由碳钢制造的空心的吸引器杆。在管道186中使用的碳钢或其它材料限制交流电流或调制的直流到管道里面以防止在地层表面处的偏离电压。定中心装置188可以由气体压力烧结反应结合的氮化硅制成。在某些实施例中,定中心装置188由聚合物制成,诸如PFA或PEEKTM。在某些实施例中,聚合物绝缘体是沿加热器的整个长度的包层。导体184和铁磁导体178用滑动连接器190被电耦合到管道186。

图35表示具有低温铁磁外导体的温度限制加热器的实施例。外导体160是玻璃密封合金42-6。合金42-6可以从Carpenter Metals(Reading,Pennsylvania)或Anomet Products,Inc(Shrewsbury,Massachusetts)得到。在某些实施例中,外导体160包括其它成份和/或材料以得到不同的居里温度(例如,Carpenter TemperatureCompensator“32”(199℃的居里温度;从Carpenter Metals得到)或殷钢36)。在一个实施例中,导电层164连接(例如,包覆、焊接、或铜焊)到外导体160。导电层164是铜层。导电层164改善外导体160的调节比。外套166是诸如碳钢的铁磁材料。外套166保护外导体160不受腐蚀环境的影响。内导体156可以具有电绝缘体158。电绝缘体158可以是用重叠的玻璃纤维编织物卷绕的云母带。在一个实施例中,内导体156和电绝缘体158是4/0MGT-1000加热电缆或3/0MGT-1000加热电缆。4/0MGT-1000或3/0MGT-1000加热电缆可从Allied Wire and Cable公司(Phoenixville,Pennsyvania)得到。在某些实施例中,保护编织物如不锈钢编织物可放置在电绝缘体158的上面。

导电部分162将内导体156电耦合到外导体160和/或外套166。在某些实施例中,外套166接触或电接触导电层164(例如,如果加热器以水平的构形放置)。如果外套166是诸如碳钢的铁磁材料(具有外导体160的居里温度以上的居里温度),电流只在外套的里面传播。因此,在工作过程中外套的外面保持电安全。在某些实施例中,外套166向下压延(例如,在一模具中向下挤压)到导电层164上所以在外套与导电层之间形成紧密的配合。加热器可以卷盘成螺旋管以插入井孔中。在其它实施例中,在导电层164与外套166之间有一环状空间,如图35所示。

图36表示温度限制的导体在管道中的加热器实施例。管道186是一空心吸引器杆,它由诸如合金42-6、合金32、合金52、殷钢36、铁—镍—铬合金、铁—镍合金、镍合金、或镍—铬合金的铁磁合金制成。内导体156具有电绝缘体158。电绝缘体158是用重叠的玻璃纤维编织物卷绕的云母带。在一个实施例中,内导体156和电绝缘体158是4/0MGT-1000加热电缆或3/0MGT-1000加热电缆。在某些实施例中,使用聚合物绝缘体以降低加热器的居里温度。在某些实施例中,保护性编织物放置在电绝缘体158上。管道186具有大于居里温度处表皮深度的壁厚(例如,居里温度处表皮深度的2至3倍)。在某些实施例中,更导电的导体耦合到管道186以增加加热器的调节比。

图37表示导体在管道中的温度限制加热器实施例的剖面图。导体184耦合(例如,包覆、共挤压、压配合、内部压延)到铁磁导体178。导体184与铁磁导体178之间的冶金结合是合适的。铁磁导体178耦合到导体184的外面因此交流电流通过室温下铁磁导体的表皮深度传播。导体184提供在升高的温度下对铁磁导体178的机械支撑。铁磁导体178是铁、铁合金(例如,铁与10%至27%重量的铬以抗腐蚀)、或任何其它铁磁材料。在一个实施例中,导体184是304不锈钢以及导体178是446不锈钢。导体184和铁磁导体178用滑动连接器190电耦合到管道186。管道186可以是非铁磁材料诸如奥氏体不锈钢。

图38表示导体在管道中的温度限制加热器实施例的剖面图。管道186耦合到铁磁导体178(例如,包覆、压配合、或压延到铁磁导体里面)。铁磁导体178耦合到管道186里面以能使交流电流通过室温下铁磁导体的表皮传播。管道186提供在升高的温度下对铁磁导体178的机械支撑。管道186与铁磁导体178使用滑动连接器190电耦合到导体184。

图39表示导体在管道中的温度限制加热器具有绝缘的导体的实施例的剖面图。绝缘的导体192包括芯子180、电绝缘体158、和外套166。外套166由高导电材料诸如铜制成。芯子180由诸如合金42-6、合金32、殷钢36、铁—镍—铬合金、铁—镍合金、镍合金或镍—铬合金等低温铁磁材料制成。在某些实施例中,外套166与芯子180的材料可以交换因此外套是铁磁导体而芯子是加热器的高导电部分。在外套166或芯子180中使用的铁磁材料可以具有大于居里温度处表皮深度的厚度(例如,是居里温度处表皮深度的2至3倍)。端帽172放置在绝缘的导体192的一端处以便将芯子180耦合到滑动连接器190。端帽172由不腐蚀的、导电材料诸如镍或不锈钢制成。在某些实施例中,管道186是由例如碳钢制造的空心吸引器杆。

温度限制加热器可以是单相加热器或三相加热器。在三相加热器实施例中,该温度限制加热器具有三角形或Y形构形。在三相加热器中三个铁磁导体的每一个可以在一个分开的套内。三个导体之间的连接可以在加热器拼接部分里的底部处进行。该三个导体对拼接部分里的套保持绝缘。

在某些三相加热器实施例中,三个铁磁导体被公共外金属套里的绝缘层分开。该三个导体可以与套绝缘或者三个导体在加热器组件的底部处连接到套。在另一实施例中,单个外套或三个外套是铁磁导体而内导体可以是非铁磁的(例如,铝、铜、或高导电合金)。另一选择,三个非铁磁导体的每一个是在一个分开的铁磁套里面,同时三个导体之间的连接是在加热器拼接部分里面的底部处进行。该三个导体可与拼接部分里的套绝缘。

在某些实施例中,三相加热器包括三个位于分开的井孔中的分支。该三个分支可以在公共接触部分中的底部处被耦合(例如,中央井孔、连接井孔或充填接触部分的溶液)。

在某些实施例中,温度限制加热器包括单一的具有经地层返回电流的铁磁导体。该加热元件可以是铁磁的管(在一个实施例中,是446不锈钢(具有25%重量的铬和620℃以上的居里温度)包覆在304H、316H或347H不锈钢的上面),该加热元件经加热的目标部分延伸并与在电接触部分中的地层进行电接触。该电接触部分可以位于加热的目标部分以下。例如,该电接触部分是在地层的下伏岩层中。在一个实施例中,电接触部分是60米深的具有比加热器井孔较大直径的部分。在电接触部分中的管子是高导电性金属。电接触部分中的环状空间可以用接触材料/溶液来充填诸如盐水或其它可以增大与地层的电接触的材料(例如金属珠或赤铁矿)。该电接触部分可以位于饱和区域的低电阻盐水中以保持通过该盐水的电接触。在该电接触区域中,管子的直径可以增加到允许最大电流流进具有在流体中低的热扩散的地层中。电流可以经过铁磁管子流入加热的部分并加热管子。

在一个实施例中,三相温度限制加热器经过地层被制成具有电流连接。每个加热器包括单一居里温度加热元件,该元件具有在加热的目标部分以下饱和区域的盐水中的电接触部分。在一个实施例中,三个这种加热器在三相Y构形中的表面处被电连接。该三个加热器可以以来自表面的三角形型式而使用。在某些实施例中,电流经地返回到三个加热器之间的中点。该三相居里加热器可以以覆盖整个地层的型式被复制。

经过高导热性区域的加热器的一部分可以设计成以传递更多的热扩散到高导热性区域中。可以通过改变加热元件的横截面面积和在加热元件中使用不同的材料完成加热器的设计。在某些部分也可以修改绝缘层的导热性以控制热输出以提高或降低现在的居里温度区域。

在一个实施例中,温度限制加热器包括一个空心的芯子或空心的内导体。形成加热器的各层可以是多孔的以使来自井孔的流体(例如,地层流体或水)能进入空心的芯子。可以将空心的芯子中的流体经空心的芯子传送(例如,泵送或气体提升)到表面。在某些实施例中,具有空心芯子或空心内导体的温度限制加热器可以用作一个加热器/生产井或一个生产井。经过空心内导体可以将流体诸如蒸汽喷射到地层中。

例子温度限制加热器的非限制性例子及温度限制加热器特性陈述如下。

图40表示在不同施加电流处0.75英寸直径、6英寸长的42-6合金与0.375英寸直径的铜芯子复合体的电阻(毫欧)时温度(℃)的数据。曲线194、196、198、200、202、204、206和208表示电阻分布作为铜芯子的合金42-6杆在300安交流(曲线194)、350安交流(曲线196)、400安交流(曲线198)、450安交流(曲线200)、500安交流(曲线202)、550安交流(曲线204)、600安交流(曲线206)以及10安直流(曲线208)的温度的函数。对于施加的交流电流,随着增加温度电阻逐渐降低直到达到居里温度。当温度接近居里温度时,电阻更陡地降低。相反,对于施加的直流电流,电阻随温度逐渐增加。

图41表示在不同的施加电流处,10.75英寸直径、6英尺长合金42-6的杆与0.375英寸直径铜芯子复合体的功率输出(瓦/英尺)对温度的数据。曲线210、212、214、216、218、220、222和224表示功率作为铜芯子合金42-6的杆在300安交流(曲线210)、350安交流(曲线212)、400安交流(曲线214)、450安交流(曲线216)、500安交流(曲线218)、550安交流(曲线220)、600安交流(曲线222)和10安直流(曲线224)的温度的函数。对于施加的交流电流,随增加的温度功率输出逐渐减少直到达到居里温度。当温度接近居里温度时,功率输出更陡地减小。相反,对施加的直流电流功率输出显示对温度的较平坦的分布。

图42表示在不同的施加电流处,对0.75英寸直径、6英尺长合金52的杆与0.375英寸直径铜芯子复合体的电阻(毫欧姆)对温度(℃)的数据。曲线226、228、230、232和234表示电阻分布作为铜芯子的合金52杆在300安交流(曲线226)、400安交流(曲线228)、500安交流(曲线230)、600安交流(曲线232)、以及10安直流(曲线234)的温度的函数。对于施加的交流电流,电阻随增加的温度逐渐增加直到320℃附近。在320℃之后,电阻开始逐渐下降,当温度接近居里温度时更陡地下降。在居里温度处,交流电阻很陡地下降。相反,对施加的直流电阻显示随温度的逐渐增加。对于400安的施加的交流电流(曲线GL102)调节比是2.8。

图43表示在不同的施加电流处对10.75英寸直径、6英尺长合金52的杆与0.375英寸直径的铜芯子的复合体的功率输出(瓦/英尺)对温度(℃)的数据。曲线236、238、240和242表示功率作为对铜芯子的合金52的杆在300安交流(曲线236)、400安交流(曲线238)、500安交流(曲线240)和600安交流(曲线242)的温度的函数。对于施加的交流电流,随着增加的温度功率输出逐渐增加直到320℃附近。在320℃之后,功率输出开始逐渐降低,当温度接近居里温度时,较陡地降低。在居里温度处,功率输出非常陡地降低。

本发明的各个方面的进一步修改与另外的实施例对于技术人员由于这些描述可能是明显的。因而,此描述仅作为说明而构成的同时是为了指导技术人员执行本发明的总的方法。应该理解,此处表示和描述的本发明的形式是作为当前优选实施例而取的。对于此处说明和描述的那些可以置换的元件与材料,零件和过程可以改变,同时可以独立地利用本发明的某些特征,在具有本发明的这一描述的益处之后对于技术人员所有的将显而易见。不偏离如以下权利要求所描述的本发明的精神和范围在此处描述的元件中可以进行改变。此外,应该理解,在某些实施例中,可以独立地结合此处描述的特征。

Claims (15)

1.一种处理包含碳氢化合物的地层的方法,包括:施加电流到位于地层中的孔中的一个或更多个导电体以提供电阻热输出;使热从导电体传输到包含碳氢化合物的地层的一部分中以便降低在该部分中和在或接近地层中的孔处的流体的粘度;在孔中的一个或更多个位置提供气体以降低流体的密度以便通过地层的压力在孔中将流体向地层的表面提升;以及通过孔生产流体。
2.如权利要求1所述的方法,其中该方法还包括在孔中放置一个或更多个导电体。
3.如权利要求1或2所述的方法,其中将在或接近孔处的流体的粘度降低到最多0.05Pa·s。
4.如权利要求1-3的任意一项所述的方法,其中该方法还包括通过从孔泵送流体以从孔生产至少一些流体。
5.如权利要求1-4的任意一项所述的方法,其中气体包括甲烷。
6.如权利要求1-5的任意一项所述的方法,其中该方法还包括经过位于孔中的管道从孔生产流体和/或通过沿管道设置的一个或更多个阀提供气体。
7.如权利要求1-6的任意一项所述的方法,其中该方法还包括限制在或接近孔处的地层的温度最高到250℃。
8.如权利要求1-7的任意一项所述的方法,其中该方法还包括施加交流或调制的直流到一个或更多个导电体。
9.如权利要求1-8的任意一项所述的方法,其中导电体的至少一个包括电阻铁磁材料,导电体中的至少一个在电流通过一个或更多个导电体流动时提供热,一个或更多个导电体提供在选择的温度以上或接近该选择的温度的减少量的热量。
10.如权利要求9所述的方法,其中该方法还包括自动地提供在选择的温度以上或接近选择的温度的减少量的热量。
11.如权利要求9或10所述的方法,其中该方法还包括当提供热输出的导电体在选择的温度以下至少50℃时提供初始的电阻热输出,并自动地提供在选择的温度以上或接近选择的温度的减少量的热量。
12.如权利要求9-11任意一项所述的方法,其中选择的温度接近铁磁材料的居里温度。
13.如权利要求9-12任意一项所述的方法,其中该方法还包括提供每米导电体长度最多200瓦的选择温度以上或附近的减少量的热量和/或提供每米导电体长度至少300瓦的选择温度以下的热输出。
14.如权利要求1-13任意一项所述的方法,其中该方法还包括从导电体的至少一个提供热输出,其中这些导电体在选择温度以上或附近的电阻是这些导电体在选择温度以下50℃时的电阻的80%或更小。
15.如权利要求1-14任意一项所述的方法,其中包含碳氢化合物的地层是包含重碳氢化合物的相对可渗透的地层。
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