US3072059A - Oil well flow control valve - Google Patents

Oil well flow control valve Download PDF

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Publication number
US3072059A
US3072059A US62048956A US3072059A US 3072059 A US3072059 A US 3072059A US 62048956 A US62048956 A US 62048956A US 3072059 A US3072059 A US 3072059A
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Prior art keywords
flow
means
oil
control means
chamber
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Expired - Lifetime
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Paul S Heffel
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LA VERNE STEINLE
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LA VERNE STEINLE
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D7/00Control of flow
    • G05D7/01Control of flow without auxiliary power
    • G05D7/0173Control of flow without auxiliary power using pivoting sensing element acting as a valve mounted within the flow-path
    • 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
    • E21B34/00Valve arrangements for boreholes or wells
    • E21B34/02Valve arrangements for boreholes or wells in well heads

Description

Jan. 8, 1963 P. s. HEFFEL 3,072,059

OIL WELL FLOW CONTROL VALVE Filed Nov. 5, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet l I 42 I /0 Fig. 2 28 30 I I I06 1- /a Q I6 /20 1i me I? 1 i Paul S. Heffe/ I /2 i r 46 K INVENTO/R.

Jan.'8, 1963 P. s. HEFFEL on. WELL FLOW CONTROL VALVE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 5, 1956 Fig. 4

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mm m M 7 o A v m u PM M 3 a. M w m g f r J H mm w flu m w m 0 w w mum a Y 3 A 0 [E w- M AUR 0 4 mam 3 m u s 1 M M I 1 6 4 M m I 0 g m 6 a; II t 2 m 6 Jan. 8, 1963 P. s. HEF'FEL 3,072,059

OIL WELL FLOW CONTROL VALVE Filed Nov. 5, 1956 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Paul .S. Heffe/ INVEN TOR.

ite

This invention comprises a novel and useful oil well flow control valve and more particularly relates to means for controlling the actuation of an oil well pumping assembly, for stopping the same upon cessation of or a predetermined diminution in the rate of flow of the oil from the well.

Many oil wells are customarily provided with pumping assemblies to raise the oil to the surface. The primary purpose of the present invention is to provide a device which may be operatively connected with the pumping assemblies and the oil flow line of such an oil well whereby to stop the operation of the pumping assembly when the flow of oil from the well ceases or decreases below a predetermined rate of flow, to thereby prevent unnecessary operation of the pumping assembly.

A further object of the invention is to provide a control device for an oil well pumping assembly which shall include means for controlling the activation of an oil well pumping assembly, a further means responsive to flow from the oil well for actuating the control means, together with an adjustable means for adjustably retarding or delaying effecting the control means by the flow responsive means.

A still further important object of the invention is to provide a control device in accordance with the preceding objects which shall be simple and compact in construction, readily adjusted to meet different conditions, and shall be highly effective and efficient for the purposes intended.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is an elevational view showing a control device incorporating therein the principles of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the device of FIG- URE l;

FIGURE 3 is an end elevational view of the apparatus, taken from the left end of FIGURES l and 2;

FIGURE 4 is a view in vertical section taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 4-4 of FIGURE 2 and showing the internal construction of the control device; 7

FIGURE 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 5-5 of FIGURE 4 and showing structural details of the interior of the adjusting means for varying the operative relationbetween the flowresponsiv'e means and the control means of the invention;

FIGURE 6 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 6-6 of FIGURE 4 and showing the flow responsive means;

FIGURE 7 is a horizontal. sectional view taken sub- Statcs Patent stantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 7 7 of FIGURE 4 and illustrating the arrangement of the control means; and

FIGURE 8 is a schematic flow diagram illustrating the installational environment forthe control device.

Many oil wells necessitate the use of a pumping assembly for producing a flow of oil from the well. In such systems, it is highly desirable to promptly shut down the pumping assembly in response to such detrimental conditions as a leak in the oil flow line, a breakage of the pump rods, a leak in the flow tubing in the well, or when the well is pumped out of fluid, as when the pumping is discharging fluid from the well bore at a faster rate than the formation is supplying fluid into the well bore.

The primary intent of this invention is to provide an automatic control mechanism which in response to any of the above conditions, or if for any other reason there is a cessation of or a diminution of the rate of flow from the well below a predetermined minimum rate, will automatically shut down the pumping mechanism.

In an apparatus illustrated in the accompanying drawings for carrying out the purposes of this invention, and which is illustrative only of the principles of the invention, it will be seen that the control device consists of a housing assembly indicated generally by the numeral 10 as more clearly seen in FIGURE 2. This assembly comprises a lower member 12 preferably of a substantially tubular nature and which is threaded as at 14 and 16 upon its opposite ends whereby the same may be connected into the flow line 13 as diagrammatically shown in FIGURE 8 and may be connected with the pump tubing of an oil well constituting an uncontrolled variable source of fluid 15 having a pumping assembly 17 therefor. Mounted upon the top of the member 12 is a second casing 18 which may be secured thereto as by welding 20,

the threaded portions 14 and 16 being likewise secured to the member 12 as by welding 22 and 24 respectively. The casing 18 is provided with a removable cover or closure plate 26, secured thereto as by nuts 28 which engage upstanding studs 30 which may be welded as at 32 or otherwise secured to the side of the casing 18. Carried by the closure plate 26 is an uppermost casing 34, secured to the cover plate as by welding 36, and which in turn is provided with a removable cover or closure 38 detachably secured thereto as by fastening screws 40 engaging internally threaded bosses or lugs 42 projecting laterally from the casing 34.

In accordance with this invention, the member 12 constitutes the casing of a flow responsive means; the member 18 comprises the casing of an adjusting means, while the casing 34 serves to house a control means for the pumping assembly.

Referring now primarily to FIGURE 4, it will be observed that the vertically disposed shaft oraxle 44 extends vertically in these three casings. The lower end of the shaft is journaled as in a bearing means 46 disposed beneath the bottom wall 48 of the lower casing 12, and this shaft passes through an aperture 50 in the top wall 52 of the lowermost casing, which top wall in turn forms a part of the bottom wall of the casing 18.

The removable closure plates 26 of the casing 18 is provided with an upstanding tubular boss 54 which is internally threaded to receive a combined packing and bearing bushing 56 through which the upper end of the shaft 44 extendsL p Referring now specifically to FIGURES 3, 4 and 6 it will be observed that the chamber in the casing 12 and forming a passage between'the portions 14 and 16 constituting parts of a flow line of an oil well has the shaft 44 therein disposed to one side of the central longitudinal axis thereof. Secured upon this shaft as by a setscrew 58in a hub portion 60 thereof is a flat plate-like member 62 constituting a vane. As will be best apparent from for pivotal movement about an axis which is displaced from the vertical medial plane of the chamber. Consequently, as will be apparent from FIGURE 6, the vane 62 is mounted for oscillatory or pivotal movement about a vertical axis across the width of the chamber, and thus is responsive to the rate of flow of fluid or the flow of oil from the well which passes through the chamber and the casing 12. It will also be apparent that inasmuch as the vane 62 never blocks the flow passage through the casing 12 since its fiow reacting surface area is slightly less than that of the flow area as shown in FIGURE 6-, the vane 62 will also be fluid pressure balanced and its movement will not be influenced by pressure but only by fluid flow.

A tension spring 64 which is secured at one end as to a pin 66 in the chamber of the casing 12, and its other end is secured to an apertured lug 68 carried by the hub 68 yieldingly urges the vane 62 into a position which offers a maximum of obstruction to flow through the chamber. Obviously, the vane will be pivoted into a more or less open position in accordance with the rate of flow through the chamber or passage through the casing 12. This pivotal movement being indicated by the arrow 70 in FlGUREG. It will thus be seen that the vane is moved in a position displaced from that shown in FIGURE 6 in response to a flow through the chamber, and is yieldingly returned to the position of FIGURE 6 by the spring means 64 upon diminution of flow. The spring 64 will of course be made of sufi'lcient strength to enable the vane to respond to a predetermined rate of flow.

Referring next primarily to FXGURES 4 and 7 it will be seen that the control means is located in the chamber of the uppermost casing 34. This control means consists of any suitable form of stationary electric contact 72, mounted in a suitable insulated bushing or sleeve 74 extending through the wall of the casing 34, and which contact forms part of an electrical circuit, not shown, by means of which the flow including pressure in the oil flow line is controlled. For example, the electric circuit of which the member 72 forms a switch element may comprise the electric circuit of a motor for operating a pump jack, may consist of the ignition circuit of an internal combustion engine operating such a pump jack; or may comprise any suitable electrical circuit which in turn is employed to control in any desired manner the application of power to the pump jack of the pumping assembly 17. Inasmuch as the actual pumping assembly, the pump jack and the actuating means and the activating electric circuit thereof do not in themselves constitute any particular part of the invention claimed herein, and as they are well known to those skilled in the art, a further explanation and an illustration of the same is deemed to be unnecessary.

However, for the purpose of this invention, the control means housed in the casing 34 includes in addition to the stationary terminal 72, a movable terminal consisting of-a plate '76 secured to the non-circular upper portion 78 of the shaft 44 as by a lock nut 30 engaged upon the threaded upper extremity 82 of the shaft. Theplate 76 in turn is provided with a downturned arcuate flange or blade 84, which upon a predetermined rotation of the shaft 44 is adapted to engage the stationary contact 72 and with that contact close the electric circuit which activates or otherwise is vital to continued operation the pumping assembly 17. i

As so far described, it will now be apparent that upon sufficient oscillatory or pivotal movement of the vane 62 in response to a predetermined decrease in the rate of the flow through the chamber of the housing 12, that the spring 64 be effected to rotate the shaft 44 whereby the movable contact 84 Will engage with the stationary contact "72, will thus ground or activate the circuit of which the stationary and movable contacts form parts, to thereby deactivate the pumping mechanism 17. VHOWCVEI, as so far described and when merely the control means and the flow responsive means are utilized, the actuation of the control means will be in direct response to and in an invariable relation to the rate of flow. While in some instances a control device consisting merely of these two means may be found to be satisfactory, it is generally preferred in the interest of permitting adjustment of the device and its responsiveness to rates of flow to provide an adjusting means which comprises an adjustable unidirectional delay retarding device and which is disposed in the chamber of the housing 18.

Referring now especially to FIGURES 4 and 5, it will be seen that the housing 18 is circular to thus provide a cylindrical chamber 86 therein. This chamber is utilized as an adjustable dash-pot in the following manner.

A vane or blade 83 is provided with a hub portion 90 received upon the shaft 44 and secured thereto as by diametrically disposed pin 92, this blade extending radially from the shaft to the wall of the chamber 86. A partition 94 is welded as at 96 to the wall of the chamber 36 or otherwise is secured thereto, and extends outwardly of the chamber and tangentially abuts the hub 90. The partition 94 is provided with a by-pass or fluid bleed opening 98 which is adjustably controlled by the enlarged headed extremity 100 of an adjusting screw 102 which extends through an apertured boss 104 on the wall of the housing 18 and whi:h boss in turn is provided with a packing gland 106. By means of a handle 1% the screw 102 may be adjusted to cause its head 1th) to act as a valve and control and regulate the flow of fluid through the by-pass port 93 of the partition 94.

The blade 88 in turn is provided with an aperture which is controlled by a valve disk 112, pivoted as at 114 to the plate. The valve disk is provided with a stop pin 116 carried thereby and which is adapted to abut the hub portion 90 as shown in FIGURE 5 to limit the opening movement of the valve member.

The arrangement is such that in the assembly of FIG- URE 5, movement of the blade 88 by the shaft 44 in a clockwise direction, as indicated by the arrow 118, will permit the valve disk 112 to open and allow fluid disposed on the advancing side of the blade to pass through the port 110 to the other side thereof. Thus fluid can be readilytransferred from the chamber in front of the blade to that behind the latter. However, upon reverse pivotal movement of the blade 83; the valve 112 will be closedand the fluid disposed between the blade 88 and the partition 94 will be trapped therein and can escape at a restricted rate through the blade or by-pass passage 98, this rate of escape being controlled by the valve member 1% which is manually adjusted as above mentioned.

Thus, the blade 88 constitutes a dashpot which is adjustable for applying a varying resistance to pivoting of the shaft 4-4 and of the flow responsive vane 62 in one direction, while permitting a quick pivotal movement thereof in the other direction.

It is intended that the adjustment of the by-pass or bleed passage 98 shall be such as to apply an adjustably varied resistance to pivoting of the shaft in a direction which will result in the control member deactivating the pumping assembly. By this means, the control means is rendered less responsive to idden and temporary variations at the rate of flow of oil through the well flow line and through the chamber of the housing 12, but is rendered responsive to a prolonged variation in such rate of flow.

A filling plug 129 is provided in the wall of the housing 18 to permit a suitable dashpot fluid to be introduced Further, since numerous.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A shut down control device for an oil well having a pumping assembly and an oil flow line operatively associated therewith, a control means for terminating flow inducing pressure in the oil flow line when operative, a flow responsive means operatively mounted in said flow line and connected to said control means to render the control means operative upon predetermined reduction in flow of oil through said flow line, adjusting means operatively connected to said flow responsive means for applying an adjustable resistance to action of the flow responsive in actuating the control means to deactivate the pumping assembly, chambers separately enclosing each of said means, a shaft extending into each of said chambers for pivotal movement, each of said means being directly connected to said shaft, the chamber for said adjusting means being fluid tight.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said flow responsive means includes a passage for receiving flow through said conduit, a vane pivotally mounted in said passage for oscillation by flow through the latter, means urging said vane in a direction opposing flow induced movement thereof.

3. A control device for an oil well pumping assembly comprising control means for terminating flow inducing pressure in a conduit, fluid pressure balance means mounted in said conduit and responsive to flow therethrough operable on said control means to maintain said flow inducing pressure in the conduit, adjusting means operatively connected to said flow responsive means for adjustably retarding movement of the control means to-. ward a deactivating position, a single shaft mounted for oscillation about its longitudinal axis, each of said means being directly connected to said shaft, said adjusting means comprising a fluid dashpot chamber, having a vane connected to said shaft oscillatable therein and a partition opposed to said vane, an adjustable by-pass in said partition for throttling flow therethrough.

4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said control means comprises a stationary contact and a movable contact adapted to control an electric circuit the movable contact being connected to said flow responsive means.

5. A shut down control device for an oil well pumping assembly comprising, control means rendered operative to terminate flow inducing pressure in a conduit connected to an uncontrolled source of fluid, pressure balanced flow responsive means mounted in non-blocking flow relation in said conduit and responsive to flow of fluid therethrough above a predetermined rate of flow to render the control means inoperative, and uni-directional delay means operatively connecting the pressure balanced flow responsive means to the control means in response to a decrease in fluid flow below said predetermined flow rate and immediate resumption of flow inducing pressure in response to an increase in fluid flow above said predetermined flow rate.

6. A shut down control device for an oil well pumping assembly comprising, control means operative to terminate flow inducing pressure in :a conduit connected to an uncontrolled source of fluid, pressure balanced flow responsive means mounted in said conduit and responsive to flow of fluid therethrough above a predetermined rate of flow to render the control means inoperative, and means to delay the control means from becoming operative when fluid flow decreases below said predetermined rate, said fluid pressure balanced flow responsive means including a flow passage in said conduit, a vane member pivotally mounted in said flow passage having a flow impinging surface area less than the flow area of said flow passage to prevent blockage of fluid flow in said flow passage, said delay means comprising chamber means disposed adjacent to said flow responsive means, movable partition means mounted in the chamber means and directly connected to said flow responsive means for movement therewith, movement retarding fluid disposed within said chamber means, fixed partition means mounted within said chamber means, adjustable aperture means in said fixed partition means for retarding movement of the movable partition means in both directions, and one-way valve mounted on the movable partition means for reducing the fluid retarding effect thereon in one direction only.

7. The combination of claim 6, wherein said control means is directly connected to said flow responsive means and delay means for movement therewith.

8. A shut down control device for an oil well pumping assembly comprising, control means operative to terminate flow inducing pressure in a conduit connected to an uncontrolled source of fluid, pressure balanced flow responsive means mounted in said conduit and responsive to flow of fluid therethrough above a predetermined rate of flow to render the control means inoperative, and means to delay the control means from becoming operative when fluid flow decreases below said pretermined rate, said delay means comprising chamber means disposed adjacent to said flow responsive means, movable partition means mounted in the chamber means and directly connected to said flow responsive means for movement therewith, movement retarding fluid disposed within said chamber means, fixed partition means mounted within said chamber means, adjustable aperture means in said fixed partition means for retarding movement of the movable partition means in both directions, and one-way valve means mounted on the movable partition means for reduizing the fluid retarding efiect thereon in one direction on y.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 868,464 Mann Oct. 15, 1907 1,420,769 Smith June 27, 1922 1,697,223 Brumbaugh Jan. 1, 1929 2,550,093 Smith Apr. 24, 1951 2,680,168 Murphy June 1, 1954 2,687,457 Smith Aug. 24, 1954 2,697,984 Pankratz Dec. 28, 1954 2,734,107 Reichel Feb. 7, 1956 2,953,659 Edwards Sept. 20, 1960

Claims (1)

1. A SHUT DOWN CONTROL DEVICE FOR AN OIL WELL HAVING A PUMPING ASSEMBLY AND AN OIL FLOW LINE OPERATIVELY ASSOCIATED THEREWITH, A CONTROL MEANS FOR TERMINATING FLOW INDUCING PRESSURE IN THE OIL FLOW LINE WHEN OPERATIVE, A FLOW RESPONSIVE MEANS OPERATIVELY MOUNTED IN SAID FLOW LINE AND CONNECTED TO SAID CONTROL MEANS TO RENDER THE CONTROL MEANS OPERATIVE UPON PREDETERMINED REDUCTION IN FLOW OF OIL THROUGH SAID FLOW LINE, ADJUSTING MEANS OPERATIVELY CONNECTED TO SAID FLOW RESPONSIVE MEANS FOR APPLYING AN ADJUSTABLE RESISTANCE TO ACTION OF THE FLOW RESPONSIVE IN ACTUATING THE CONTROL MEANS TO DEACTIVATE THE PUMPING ASSEMBLY, CHAMBERS SEPARATELY ENCLOSING EACH OF SAID MEANS, A SHAFT EXTENDING INTO EACH OF SAID CHAMBERS FOR PIVOTAL MOVEMENT, EACH OF SAID MEANS BEING DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO SAID SHAFT, THE CHAMBER FOR SAID ADJUSTING MEANS BEING FLUID TIGHT.
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Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3299817A (en) * 1964-04-28 1967-01-24 William R Walters Above ground liquid level control
US3452678A (en) * 1966-12-28 1969-07-01 Albert A Parish Flow responsive pump prime mover cutoff
US4507053A (en) * 1982-06-15 1985-03-26 Frizzell Marvin L Pump off control
US4874294A (en) * 1988-05-25 1989-10-17 Karg Thomas A Oil well pump control
US5269344A (en) * 1986-06-16 1993-12-14 Agf Manufacturing, Inc. Supply valve and arrangement for fire suppression water sprinkler system
US5318407A (en) * 1992-09-08 1994-06-07 Foppe Thelen Group, Inc. Check valve having internal float
US5406979A (en) * 1986-06-16 1995-04-18 Acf Manufacturing, Inc. Valve and sensor arrangement
US5588462A (en) * 1986-06-16 1996-12-31 Agf Manufacturing, Inc. Valve and sensor arrangement
US6186169B1 (en) 1999-08-19 2001-02-13 Agf Manufacturing, Inc. Valve and arrangement for fire suppression system
US6206034B1 (en) 1999-08-19 2001-03-27 Agf Manufacturing, Inc. Valve with integral flow switch

Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US868464A (en) * 1907-10-15 Control system
US1420769A (en) * 1920-04-02 1922-06-27 Hubert L Smith Automatic pump stop
US1697223A (en) * 1922-05-06 1929-01-01 Alfred Fritzsche Means for automatically controlling the flow of liquid in pipes
US2550093A (en) * 1949-03-15 1951-04-24 Shell Dev Oil well control system
US2680168A (en) * 1952-07-07 1954-06-01 Frank W Murphy Safety switch
US2687457A (en) * 1951-03-14 1954-08-24 Bamford And Company Ltd F Fluid flow indicator
US2697984A (en) * 1949-12-08 1954-12-28 Phillips Petroleum Co Well control device
US2734107A (en) * 1956-02-07 reichel
US2953659A (en) * 1955-05-16 1960-09-20 Phillips Petroleum Co Shut-down device

Patent Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US868464A (en) * 1907-10-15 Control system
US2734107A (en) * 1956-02-07 reichel
US1420769A (en) * 1920-04-02 1922-06-27 Hubert L Smith Automatic pump stop
US1697223A (en) * 1922-05-06 1929-01-01 Alfred Fritzsche Means for automatically controlling the flow of liquid in pipes
US2550093A (en) * 1949-03-15 1951-04-24 Shell Dev Oil well control system
US2697984A (en) * 1949-12-08 1954-12-28 Phillips Petroleum Co Well control device
US2687457A (en) * 1951-03-14 1954-08-24 Bamford And Company Ltd F Fluid flow indicator
US2680168A (en) * 1952-07-07 1954-06-01 Frank W Murphy Safety switch
US2953659A (en) * 1955-05-16 1960-09-20 Phillips Petroleum Co Shut-down device

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3299817A (en) * 1964-04-28 1967-01-24 William R Walters Above ground liquid level control
US3452678A (en) * 1966-12-28 1969-07-01 Albert A Parish Flow responsive pump prime mover cutoff
US4507053A (en) * 1982-06-15 1985-03-26 Frizzell Marvin L Pump off control
US5269344A (en) * 1986-06-16 1993-12-14 Agf Manufacturing, Inc. Supply valve and arrangement for fire suppression water sprinkler system
US5406979A (en) * 1986-06-16 1995-04-18 Acf Manufacturing, Inc. Valve and sensor arrangement
US5588462A (en) * 1986-06-16 1996-12-31 Agf Manufacturing, Inc. Valve and sensor arrangement
US4874294A (en) * 1988-05-25 1989-10-17 Karg Thomas A Oil well pump control
US5318407A (en) * 1992-09-08 1994-06-07 Foppe Thelen Group, Inc. Check valve having internal float
US6186169B1 (en) 1999-08-19 2001-02-13 Agf Manufacturing, Inc. Valve and arrangement for fire suppression system
US6206034B1 (en) 1999-08-19 2001-03-27 Agf Manufacturing, Inc. Valve with integral flow switch

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