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Well fluid control

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US2522444A
US2522444A US68523646A US2522444A US 2522444 A US2522444 A US 2522444A US 68523646 A US68523646 A US 68523646A US 2522444 A US2522444 A US 2522444A
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pipe
body
plug
well
stand
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Donovan B Grable
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Donovan B Grable
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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
    • E21B33/00Sealing or packing boreholes or wells
    • E21B33/02Surface sealing or packing
    • E21B33/08Wipers; Oil savers
    • 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
    • E21B21/00Methods or apparatus for flushing boreholes, e.g. by use of exhaust air from motor
    • E21B21/01Arrangements for handling drilling fluids or cuttings outside the borehole, e.g. mud boxes

Description

5 Sheets-Sheet 1 D. B. GRABLE WELL FLUID CONTROL kllfllilllll INVENTOR. flalvornlzfifnemr flrrozP/vzr Sept. 12, 1950 Filed July 20, 19 46 Sept. 12, 1950 D. B. GRABLE WELL FLUID CONTROL 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed July 20, 1946 I NVEN TOR.

Sept. 12, 1950 D. B. GRABLE WELL FLUID CONTROL 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 20, 1946 INVENTOR.

H w H Sept. 12, 1950 D. B. GRABLE WELL FLUID CONTROL Filed July 20, 1946 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR.

.Dwonauflfikazut Patented Sept. 12, 1950 WELL FLUID oon'rnoi.

Donovan B. 'Grable, Long Beach, Calif.

Application July 20, 1946, SerialNo.: 685,236 7 Claims. (01. ice-1c} This invention has to do generally with the control at the ground surface of fluid contained in oil well pipe strings, during the operation or" pulling the pipe string from the well, and also, if the occasion arises, in the course of running a pipe string into the well. I

To briefly relate the customary procedure, in pulling pipe from the well, the pipe string is raised successive intervals corresponding to the length of the successive sectionsor stands making up= the string, and the stands are progressively disconnected and stacked to one. side in the derrick. Some or all of the sections being disconnected may contain well. fluid, e. g. circulating mud, for any of various reasons, including the existance of suflicient well pressure to force the fluid up into the top sections of. the

pipe string. Accordingly, when the top stand is disconnected, fluid is dumped from the pipe, either openly into the derrick floor and into the cellar below or within one of the kinds of im-' provised guards that have been used to baffle the fluid against open spraying and otherwise uncontrolled flow.

In running pipe into the well successive stands are added between corresponding lowerings of the pipe string. Under certain circumstances, as when the pipe is being. run in against pressure tending to create flow through the string, it may be desirableto maintain the latter closed against fluid escape.

One object of the invention is to provide for the control and removal to a remote location, of well fluid discharging from the stands being disconnected, and in so doing-to obviate the various apparent objectionsto dumping the fluid openly-onto the derrick floor and in the direct working area.

Briefly, thisobject is accomplished'by the provision of a mud receptacle applicable to the pipe string, at any joint, ina manner causing the receptacle to form a substantially fluid-tight closure about the joint sections as'they are disconnected. Particularly the invention contemplates the use of a power unit in conjunction with a sectional receptacle whereby the latter may be tightly constricted about the pipe. Fluid line connections with the receptacle permit withdrawal of well fluid to any remote location as well as the introduction of flushing or pressurizing fluid.

A further important object of the invention is the provision of means operable in conjunction with the closure or receptacle, for maintaining the pipe string in closed condition while either adding or disconnecting pipe stands. Specifically the invention contemplates sequentially closing operable from its exterior. to apply (against well fluid escape) successive pipe stands by plugsto be contained in the receptacle and the plug to orremove it from the pipe. I s

As will appear, the invention results in anovel apparatus involving the sequential use Of'QlOSl' ures or plugs to seal successive pipe. stands being run into or removed from the well, and the maintenance through the closure afforded by the mud receptacle, of acontinuously effective seal against well fluid escape from the-pipe string proper. The particular sequence of operations involved will develop as the description proceeds.

The invention further contemplates an inn: proved apparatus and type of plug for closing the upper end of a pipe stand being removed from the string, as where the plug. is inserted into the top of the string before its elevation, and then is removed from the disconnected, stand. The type and use of the plug are distinctly characterized by the capacity of the plug, after its effectivedisconnection from the top ofthepipe stand, to be dropped through the pipe for reuseat the derrick floor, thus eliminating the hai ards of otherwise handlin plugs at an elevated location from which a plug might accidentally be dropped onto workmen at the derrick floor below.

All the above stated objects of the invention,

as well as various additional features and the details of certain typical embodiments, will be understood from the following description ofthe accompanying drawings, illustrative of such embodiments, and'in which:

Fig. 1 is a side elevation illustrating one form of mud receptacle embodying the invention;

Fig. 2 is a cross-section on line 2-2 of- Fi i 1 showing the receptacle in closed condition;

Fig. 3 is a similar view showing the receptacle in open condition; v Fig. 4 is an enlarged vertical sectionalwiew taken on line i -4' ofFi'g. 1;

Fig. 5 is a vertical section taken in the plane at right angles to the view of Fig. 4 as indicated by line 5-5 of Fig. 6;

Fig. 6 is a cross-section on line 6-6 of Fig. 5'; Fig. 7 is a general view showing a suspended pipe stand for attachment to the pipe string below, and illustrative of the operation of a vari ational form of the invention; Fig. 8 is a sectional view showing a typical form of plug for use in the variational form appearinglnFiaQ;

Fig. 9 is a vertical sectional view illustrating the use of the mud receptacle in conjunction with a closure for sealing the pipe string;

Fig. 10 is a cross-section on line. iii-Ill of Fig. 9;

Fig. 11 is a fragmentary enlargement showing the plug control stem seal;

Fig. 12 is a view generally similar to Fig. 9 illustratin a further variational form of the invention;

Fig. 13 is a cross-sectional view showing the plug used in the apparatus of Fig. 12; and

Fig. 14 is a fragmentary enlargement showing the sealed connection between the plug stem and the control tube.

Referring first to Fig. 1, the mud receptacle assembly includes a tubular body, generally indicated at H) adapted to be applied about the well sure responsive seal between the pipe and the end portions of the body. Such seal may be effected by forming the rubber body material with internal annular lips 4!] which become tightly pressed by the internal body pressure against the pipe to maintain a seal preventing at least any considerable leakage of fluid from the body along the pipe. The top portion of the body has connections through check valves 4| and 42 with water and air hoses 43 and 44, and at its lower end the body connects at 45 with a discharge v hose 46 through which fluids may be discharged pipe string II at the conventionally illustrated coupling or joint l2, in a manner preventing any substantial leakage of well fluid from the pipe string with the joint in open or uncoupled condition. The receptacle body It] comprises a pair of sections I3 and I4 having a hinge connection at l5l permitting the sections to be applied to the pipe in the open condition of Fig. 3, and constricted about the pipe to the closed position of Fig. 6.

While the body Hi may be made of any suitable material, typically the sections l3 and M may be formed of rubber within the top and bottom ends of which may be embedded the semicircular metallic re-enforcing channel bars l5 and I6 interconnected by the longitudinal re-enforcing rods I! and members l8 and I9 extending longitudinally of the sections adjacent their interengageable edges, as shown in Fig. 6. Any suitable additional re-enforcement may be used to serve the purpose of force transmission to the sections at the hinge I51. As illustrative, the sections I3 and M are shown to contain, respectively above and below the longitudinal center of the receptacle, semi-circular.re-enforcements consisting of plates and 2i having interconnections 22 and attached at their edges to members l8 and I9. Plates 20 in turn are attached to the hinge sections 23. The successive hinge sections 24 and 25 are attached respectively to the re-enforcement in the sections l3 and I4, and

a pin 26 is inserted through the series of hinge sections. Thus as previously indicated, the body sections i3 and I4 are capableof swinging about the hinge pin 26 between the positions of Figs. 2 and 3.

I Swinging of the body sections [3 and I4 about the hinge pin is effected by a piston and cylinder assembly generally indicated at 27, and comprising a cylinder 28 mounted to the hinge pin by a pair of members 29 and 30 attached to the cylinder by screws 3|, the upper member 29 having a handle 32 to facilitate bodily manipulation of the apparatus. Cylinder 28 contains a piston 33, the rod 34 of which has a pivotal connection at 341 with links 35 pivotally connected at 35! with a pair of plate lugs 36 attached respectively to the re-enforcing members 20 of the respective body sections. As will be apparent, reciprocation of the piston 33 in opposite directions, expands and constricts the body sections between the positions of Figs. 2 and 3. Pressure fluid is delivered, to and discharged from the cylinder 28 through suitable connections such as the high pressure and exhaust lines 31 and 38.

With the body in constricted about the pipe I l, provision is made for maintaining a, fluid prese from the body to any location remote therefrom.

In considering the operation of the described assembly, assume that the mud receptacle is to be used during pulling of the pipe string from the well, to conduct mud or circulating fluid from successive pipe stands being disconnected, to a mud basin or other location away from the pipe and derrick floor. Suspended on a line 4'! attached to the hinge pin 26, the receptacle assembly is swung against the pipe and piston 33 actuated to close the body section about the pipe, see Fig. 6, with the joint l2 contained in the body. The upper pipe stand I la then is rotated to disconnect it from the pipe string below. Upon breaking of the joint :2, the mud column in the pipe stand i la discharges into the body l0 and is conducted away through the hose 46. Thereafter theinterior of the body may be flushed clear of residual mud by the discharge of either or both of water or air from lines 43 and 44 through the body. The latter then is opened to release the stand Ha for removal to one side in the derrick, following which the pipe string is raised a successive stand length and the described operation repeated.

Figs. '7 through 14 illustrate variational embodiments of the invention capable of use as mud receptacles generally in accordance with the described procedure, but having the additional capacity for use in conjunction with closures applied to the pipe string to maintain the latter sealed against well fluid discharge as the pipe string length is varied at the ground surface, either by the addition or disconnection of pipe stands. Referring to Fig. 7, the usual procedure in pulling the pipe string from the well is to engage the top stand Ha, with an elevator 56 and to raise the string until the stand lib below can be engaged and the well string supported by slips 5i in the rotary table 52. After rotation to disconnect the joint M2, the stand Ha is stacked to one side and the elevator lowered to engage and withdraw the stand lib below. In running pipe into the well, the stand Ha to be connected to the string supported by the table slips 5!, is lowered and rotated to make up the joint 12, and the entire string is raised to permit release of the slips and thenlowered to engage the top stand with the slips for connection of a successive stand.

Referring now to Figs. 9 and 10, the mud receptacle 53 comprises a body made in sections 54 and 55, for example of internally re-enforced rubber in the manner of the previously described receptacle ill, as will be understood without nee-- essity for illustration of the particularities of the re-enforcement. As before, sections 54 and '55 are interconnected by hinge 56 and actuated to swing apart and together about the hinge by way of the piston rod 57: and its pivoted link connections 58 with members 59 connected respectively to the body sections. The valved water and air lines 66 and Bi connected through the check valves 62 with the upper interior or thehody, and the valved discharge line 63 leads from the bottom of the body. Where the receptacle 53 is tobe used merely for confining fluid discharge from the upper stand Ila upon breaking the joint, so thatthe fluid may be conducted away through line 63, the operation of the assembly will corre spond to the previous description of Figs. 1 to 6.

The receptacles shown in Figs. 9 and 12 however are constructed to serve the further purpose of containers for closures to be applied to the pipe string for sealing off fluid dis-chargefrom the well, as and in the manner now to be described. Referring to Fig. 9, the body section is shaped to provide a cavity onset with relation to the pipe string and closed at its outside by a self-sealing door 55 hinged to the body at 66 and 'releasibly held closed by a suitable latchil'l operated by the handle 68. Cavity 64 contains a plug, generally indicated'at 89, suspended on rod "Ill extending through a universal sealed joint ii in the body. As illustrated in Fig. 11, the joint I i "may comprise a ball member 12 through which rod 19 extends within the packing rings l3,the ball being confined against spherical seats M and 1.5 on the body and retaining nut l6. Packing ring 71 prevents fluid leakage about the ball. In the broad aspects of the invention, the plug 89 may be of any suitable type capable of insertion within the lower stand N27 to maintain the well string closed against fluid escape until the stand is disconnected according to the later described procedure. Preferably, I use a type of plug which is self-sealing upon insertion into the pipe, and which later may be released, upon elevation of the stand, so that the plug may be dropped through the stand to the derrick floor for reuse.

Referring to Fig. 8, the plug 69 comprises a tubular body l8 containing a bore '19 and at its lower end a counterbore containing a check valve 8| normally seated against shoulder 82 by coil spring 83 retained by the apertured plug 84.

The valve Si is carried on the lower end of. rod 85 centered within the bore by lugs 86 and hav-' ing on its upper end a spherical knob 81 engaged by spring fingers 8% on the control stem 16. The body 18 is movable vertically relative to sleeve 89 having an upwardly tapered wedge surface 90 engaged by slips 9i so that upon upward relative movement of the wedge sleeve, the slips are thrust outwardly to gripthe pipe. Below sleeve 89 the body carries an annular packing sleeve 92 expansible by upward relative movement of the tapered body surface 93 to expand 5 a the sleeve into fluid-tight engagement within the i pipe. Above the slips, the reduced diameter portion 130. of the body carries a sleeve Sit retained by ring 95 and supporting an expansible rubber capsule 96 to which air is supplied through stem 91 containing the usual type oftire va1ve38.

within the coupling lllil so that the'slips' 9! areengageable with the coupling bore l6! and the packing ring 92 is thrust down into the pipe proper. Before insertion of the plug in the re- *lhg position.

6 ceptacle, the capeuie as will have been inflated with air introduced through the stem 91 andjthe capsule thus expanded so that when lowered into the pipe stand, as illustrated by the dotted line position of the" parts, the expanded condition of the capsule will retain the plug in proper seat- Where pressure equalization is necessary to facilitate insertion in seating of the plug, fluid may beintrcduced through lines iii! or 6| (valve 132 in the discharge line being closed) to develop whatever pressure'desired in the re c'e'ptac'le.

The plug 59 is self-'engagingand sealing under theinfluence of fluid pressure in the well pipe string, by reason of the tendencyof the pressure stem 85 in the plug contained in the top stand Ha, to open the valve 8! and admit sufficient air to assure complete dumping of fiuid from the stand. After flushing out the receptacle, the latter may be opened and removed from the pipe, to permit the disconnected stand to be placed to one side. The plug 459 in the top of the stand isretrieved for reuse by release by the derrick operator of air from the capsule 96 through the valve 98, whereupon in its deflated condition, the capsule will permit the plug to drop down through the pipe stand onto the derrick 'fioor. Anytendency for the packing sleeve 92 or slips 9! to adhere within the pipe, maybe relieved by striking or otherwise depressing rod $5 to move the body '38 down from expanding relation to the packer and slips. Fig. 7 illustrates the condition of the pipe string after removal of the mud receptacle, the lower se'ctilon llb beingclosed by plug 69a, and the upper end of stand Ila being closed by plug 692) before the latter is released to be dropped through the stand. Thereafter the elevator 53- is applied to the stand l-lb, the string raised, and the described procedure .1. repeated.

Figs. 12 to 14 illustrate a type of plug useable for maintaining the pipe stringclosed while adding pipe stands to the string in the course of its being runinto the well. This same type of plug and control may, however, also be used in the general manner of the previously described plug, for maintaining the pipe string closed while it is being pulled from the well. Here the plug I05, see Fig. 13 comprises a body [E35 carrying an inflatable rubber capsule N31 to which fluid is introduced through a tubular stern Hill by Way of passages MD and MI. Stem I08 may carry a suitable valve or cock I03 for opening or closing air communication through the stem, and pref- 'Zji erably sufiiciently small in size as to pass with the plug downthrough the pipe when the plug is released as will later appear. Stern its above. the valve has a flexible sealedconnectioh (ill. with a tubular rod Ill extending through joint H2 (corresponding to the previously described joint TI) and connecting with an air hose H3 through a T-fitting H4 which includes the air asaaaai 7 body sections I20 and I2I of the coupling, fluid leakage about the knob being prevented by seal ring I22.

Assume that it is desired to seal the well pipe string against fluid escape while running pipe into the hole, and that the top of the string to which the stand Ila is to be attached, is closed by the plug IE5. As illustrated in Fig. 12, the plug may be seated within the typical form of tool joint illustrated, by inserting the capsule IilI opposite the annular space I2 l directly beyond the end of the pipe and expanded by introduction of air through stem I68 (followed by closing of the valve I98) to tightly expand the plug in psition. Stand I Ia then is lowered to the position of Fig. 12 and the mud receptacle E25 closed about the pipe sections. Previously or thereafter, the upper end of stand Ila is closed by a plug I65 by inflation of its capsule by the operator up in the derrick. Door I26 then may be opened to permit connection of the joint IIil. Valves H5 and IE6 being closed, valve I539 may be opened to place the plug stem and tube III in communication. The door then is closed and following any required pressure equalization through introduction of fluid to the receptacle,

the release valve I I6 is opened to cause deflation of the capsule and permit removal of the plug into the offset cavity I27. The pipe joint may then be completed and the receptacle I25 removed.

Assume the top stand in the pipe string to be closed at its upper end by plug I05, and the string to be raised for disconnection of the plug-contained stand with the pipe stand next below. The receptacle I25 is closed about the joint to be disconnected, and the upper stand rotated to break the joint and permit the joint sections to assume spaced relations in Fig. 12. A deflated plug I85 previously suspended in cavity I21 on the tube III, is then lowered by manipulation of the rod into seating position within the stand IIb. During that time, valves H5 and HE will remain closed. With the plug inserted in the pipe, valve II 5 then is opened to admit air to the plug and expanded into sealing relation with the pipe. Valve I02 then may be opened to drain all fluids from the receptacle. By then opening door I26 access may be had to the parts in order that valve H38 may be closed to retain the plug in inflated condition, and the joint at II ll ldisconnected to free the tube I I I. The receptacle then is removed, following which the plug in the upper end of stand I la may be deflated by opening its air valve, and the plug dropped through the pipe. The pipe string then is raised to expose a successive joint for disconnection, and the above described procedure repeated.

If for any reason the receptacles I25 or 53 may be applied to a lower stand IIb without an upper stand Ila being received within the receptacle, and suddenly developed well pressure tends under any circumstance to discharge fiuid from the string, the receptacle may be provided with a blow-out preventer operable to close off the escape of well fluid. Such blow-out preventer may consist of a plug I28 hinged to the body at I29 in a position such that the plug may swing upwardly into and close the opening I30. Such movement of the plug may be caused by a spring I3I supported about pin I32 and bearing against the plug, as illustrated. Normally the plug will be held in open position by a screw retainer I33 which may be rotated to release the plug for closure under the influence of the spring,

8 when the occasion arises for suddenly closing the opening I30. I claim:

l. An oil well mud receptacle comprising a tubular body including a pair of sections adapted to be placed about a well pipe joint, a hinge interconnecting said sections, a cylinder connected to said body, and a piston in said cylinder and connected to said sections for tightly constricting them about the pipe.

2. An oil well mud receptacle comprising a tubular body including a pair of sections adapted to be placed about a well pipe joint, a hinge interconnecting said sections, a cylinder connected to said body at the hinge, a piston in said cylinder and connected to said sections for tightly constricting them about the pipe, and means for suspending the body and cylinder assembly.

3. An oil well mud receptacle comprising a tubular body including a pair of sections adapted to be placed about a well pipe joint, a hinge including a vertically extending pin interconnecting said sections, means for attaching said pin to a suspension line, a cylinder attached to said pin, and a piston in said cylinder and connected to said sections for tightly constricting them about the pipe.

4. A tubular mud receptacle body comprising relatively movable longitudinal sections adapted to be opened and closed about a well pipe joint connecting upper and lower pipe sections, said body containing a laterally offset chamber, a plug contained in said body initially within said offset chamber for closing application to the upper end of said lower section when the joint is broken and said lower section remains in the body, and control mechanism mounted on the exterior of said body and including means extending into the interior of the body and releasably attachable to the plug, said mechanism being operable from the outside of the body to move the plug into closing engagement with the end of the lower pipe section within the body when the pipe joint is broken.

5. The combination comprising a tubular mud receptacle body including relatively movable sections adapted to be opened and closed about a well pipe joint connecting upper and lower pipe sections, a pipe closing, plug carried by and inside said body and in offset relation to the pipe, and control mechanism mounted on the exterior of said body and including means extending into the interior of the body and releasably attachable to the plug, said mechanism being operable from the outside of the body to move the plug into closing engagement with the end of the lower pipe section within the body when the pipe joint is broken.

6. A tubular mud receptacle body comprising relativel movable longitudinal sections adapted to be opened and closed about a Well pipe joint connecting upper and lower pipe sections, a plug contained in said body for closing application to the upper end of said lower section when the joint is broken and said lower section remains in the body, a mechanism carried by said body on and operable from the exterior thereof extending into the interior of the body and detachably engaged with said plug to manipulate and apply the plug inside the body to said lower pipe section when the body is closed about the pipe, and means connected to said body for communicating pressure fluid to the inside of the closed body.

7. A tubular mud receptacle body comprising relatively movable longitudinal sections adapted to be opened and closed about a well pipe Joint connecting upper and lower pipe sections, a plug contained in said body for closing application to the upper end of said lower section when the joint is broken and said lower section remains in the body, a mechanism carried by said body on and operable from the exterior thereof extending into the interior of said body detachably engaged with said plug to manipulate the plug inside the body to said lower pipe section when the body is closed about the pipe, and a blow out preventer on said body for closing the opening in the body through which said upper section extends.

DONOVAN B. GRABLE.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,427,811 Heeter Sept. 5, 1922 1,521,390 Reynolds Dec. 30, 1924 1,852,512 Forney et al. Apr. 5, 1932 1,854,058 Otis Apr. 12, 1932 1,910,634 Pearce May 23, 1933 1,910,762 Grinnell et al May 23, 1933 2,027,734 Johnson Jan.'14, 1936 2,054,337 Penick et al. Sept. 15, 1936 2,162,179 Mueller June 13, 1939 Miller July 11, 1944

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