US3095031A - Burners for use in bore holes in the ground - Google Patents

Burners for use in bore holes in the ground Download PDF

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US3095031A
US3095031A US86221259A US3095031A US 3095031 A US3095031 A US 3095031A US 86221259 A US86221259 A US 86221259A US 3095031 A US3095031 A US 3095031A
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part
burner
tube
portion
parts
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Eurenius Malte Oscar
Sinclair Leif Harry
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Eurenius Malte Oscar
Sinclair Leif Harry
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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
    • E21B36/02Heating, cooling, insulating arrangements for boreholes or wells, e.g. for use in permafrost zones using burners

Description

June 25, 1963 M. o. EURENIUS ETAL 3,095,031

BURNERS FOR USE IN BORE HOLES IN THE GROUND Filed Dec. 28, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR MALTE OSCAR EURENIUS LEIF HARRY SINCLAIR AT TOR NEY June 25, 1963 M. o. EURENIUS ETAL 3,095,031

BURNERS FOR USE IN BORE HOLES IN THE GROUND Filed Dec. 28, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 1e 25 -36 ao 32" 31 Fig.3 Fi .1. 7 L7 v15 30- i i i P130 l I 1 I l I l K' B /18 18 i I as u U "32 324' I i -31. I l

A I r INVENTOR MALTE SCAR EURENIUS LEIF HARRY SINCLAIR ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,095,031 BURNERS FOR USE IN BORE HOLES IN THE GROUND Malte Oscar Eurenius, 7 von Rosensteins Vag, and Leif Harry Sinclair, 6 Andreas Vag, both of Kumla, Sweden Filed Dec. 28, 1.959, Ser. No. 862,212 Claims priority, application Sweden Dec. 9, 1959 6 Claims. (Cl. 158-99) This invention relates to burners for use in boreholes deeply penetrating into the ground.

More particularly this invention relates to gas burners of the type adapted to be placed in boreholes deeply penetrating from the surface into sub-surface deposits of bituminous sedimentary geological layers such as oil shale or tar sand for recovery of valuable liquid and/ or gaseous products therefrom by heating said deposits in their natural location in the ground.

Still more particularly this invention relates to a gas burner of the type described in the co-pending U.S. Serial No. 706,789, filed January 2, 1958 by Malte Oscar Eurenius, entitled Method and Means for Heating in Situ of Sub-surface Preferably Fuel Containing Deposits, in which tubular burner a uniform distribution of the temperature along a predetermined dimension of the tube is accomplished by conducting the combustion products or flue gases through a layer of solid granular particles such as sand, for example, so as to cause said particles to be whirled up and kept floating. To the upper endportion of the tube of the burner a mixture containing fuel and oxygen is supplied, the flue gases formed by the com bustion of the mixture within said tubular structure flowing downwards and then turning upwards through a space surrounding the burner tube and forming the zone in which the solid particles are kept floating.

It has now been found that the gas burner of the type set forth after interruption of the supply of the fuel mixture is diflicult to put in operation again unless the whole burner tube is lifted so'much as to cause its lower opening to be positioned above the layer of particles then packed into a dense mass. This lifting operation is elfected without diificulty if the burner is used in the heating of thin sedimentary deposits near the surface of the ground. The burner may then be lifted manually for the purpose of reignition. However, where the burner is used in the heating of thick sedimentary deposits and/ or deposits located at considerable depth below the ground surface its weight will be so great as to necessitate some kind of mechanical elevator device for the lifting operation.

One main object of the present invention is to improve the burner of the type set forth so as to permit easy lifting thereof even when intended for use in boreholes deeply penetrating into sub-surface deposits to be heated.

According to one main feature of the invention the burner tube is formed in two parts adapted to be in sealing connection during the heating operation but to be separated from one another by lifting of the upper part during the operation of igniting the fuel and oxygen mixture. During normal operation the tube parts thus are tightly pressed together and the burner works in the same manner as a non-divided tubular burner, for example of the type described in the co-pending application referred to hereinbefore. For the purpose of ignition of the fuel and oxygen mixture the parts are separated from one another in such a manner as to allow an igniting flame to penetrate into the interior of the burner through the space formed between said two parts.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description, considered in connection with the attached drawings, which form part of this specification, and of which:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a tubular burner constructed according to the invention and illustrated in operative position in a vertical borehole in the ground.

FIGS. 2 and 3 are partial sectional views of adjacent end portions of the tube parts shown separated from one another and in an enlarged scale.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view also in an enlarged scale of end portions of the two tube parts in their abutting sealing position.

Referring now to FIG. 1, the fuel-carrying deposit to be heated is denoted by reference numeral 10. covered by a layer 12 consisting of limestone, shale, garden earth or the like. The burner comprises an external tube or protective casing 14 closed at its base and positioned in a hole bored through the layers 10 and 12, the space between the wall of the hole and the tube being filled With sand 15, if desired. The external tube 14 encloses a burner tube composed of two parts 16 and 18 which both have the same diameter and are kept in concentric position within the tube 14 by means of guide fins 20. The lower portion of the tubular burner part 18 constitutes the exhaust portion and is spaced by means of spacers or feet 22 for a predetermined distance from the base of the external tube 14 so as to permit the flue gases produced by the combustion of the fuel and oxygen containing mixture to escape from the burner tube. The lower end of the tube part 16 and the upper end of the tube part 18 are shaped so as to form a gas-tight fitting or seal when the two tube ends are pressed against one another. Said ends may be ground to constitute an external and internal conical sealing face 24 and 26, respectively (FIG. 2) or a conical and a part-spherical sealing face 27 and 2-8, respectively (FIG. 3). The sealing face of the lower part is preferably formed so as to prevent solid particles precipitated on said face from remainingthere and thereby obstructing gas-tight contact between the adjacent ends of the two tube parts. To eifect a well centered engagement between said adjacent tube ends either the upper or the lower end portion is provided with guide fins 30 forcing the other end portion into the correct position when the parts are pressed together.

These guide fins may preferably at the same time for their further purpose have to maintain the tube part centered relatively to the external tube 14.

Since the upper tube part 16 is in sealing engagement with the lower tube part 18 there may arise the danger of a change in pressure of the supplied mixture of fuel' and oxygen-containing gas forcing the burner parts apart from one another during a short time so as to allow gas to escape through the space between the adjacent end surfaces. This danger is eliminated by locking the burner' parts together in their sealing position. The lower burner part 18 is provided with at least one locking means such as projections 32 having their lower face 34 inclining slightly relatively to the horizontal plane. The guide fins 30 of the upper burner part are formed with recesses- 36 disposed so as to cause said recesses upon contact being established between the burner parts 16 and 18 to extend over and engage the locking projections 32 after a partrotational movement of the upper burner part relative to the lower part 18. This locking device has not only for its purpose to ensure the gas-tight seal between the burner parts but also to render possible simultaneous withdrawal of both burner parts from the external casing tube 14 by a single lifting operation.

The upper tube part 16 merges at its upper open end into a downwardly tapering conical part 38 which at its top is rigidly connected with a tube of reduced diameter for supply of fuel and an oxygen-containing gas such as a combustible gas and air or pure oxygen. This supply tube is through a coupling 42 and a hose 43 connected in a known manner with a piping system (not shown) Patented June 25, 1963 It is located above the ground and intended for controlled supply of fuel and oxygen-containing gas. The space between the lower burner part 18 and the external tube 14 is-fill'ed with sandor similar granular material 44 to a levelcausing saidmaterial during operation of the burner to be carried upwards and kept floating by the escaping flue gases within a zone, the upper level of which substantially coincides with the upper limit of the deposit 10 to be heated. The lower tube part 18 has such longitudinal dimension as in its position on the closed base of the'external tube-.14 with its upper end to project at least about one half yard over the upper level of the layer-f the granular material in its packed state of rest;

When :the burner is tobe ignited theupper tube part 16 is turnedso much as to disengage the locking members 32 and 36, whereupon it is lifted between approximately 2 and 4 inches. This lifting may be etfectedmanually or by means of a simple lifting device 46 operating according to the lever principle. Fuel and air or oxygen are supplied through the tube 40. When the air initially present in the burner has been driven out, the upwards flowing mixture of fuel and oxygen-is ignited when escaping from the external tube 14. The supply of said gas-mixture is then controlled so as to force the flame to migrate downwards in the space between the external tube 14 and the upper tube part of the burner and-into said burner through the'opening between theupper tube part 1-6 and the lower tube part 18 and to continue its migration upwards within the upper part 16 towards the conical part 38 in which the flame is normally maintained during operation. The upper part 16- is then lowered towards the lower part 18 and the parts :are locked together in the mannerdescribed hereinbefore. As soon as the sealing between the parts has been completed the flue gases will find their way through thelower endof the tube part 18 into the space between said part 18 and the external tube 14 and cause fluidization of-the layer of granular material 44. Thereafter the supply of fuel is adjusted-so as to cause a desired quantity of heat to be genera-ted in the burner and uponuniform distribution transferred into the deposit.

Whileseveral more 'or less specific embodiments of the invention have been described, it is to be understood that this is for purpose of illustration only and the-invention is not to be limited thereby but its scope is to be determined by the appended claims.

What we claim is:

1. A burner for heating a sub-surface deposit for recovery of valuable products and'constituted of a burner tube adapted to be lowered into a-vertical hole formed in the ground and penetrating from the surface into the deposit, said burner tube comprising a feeder portion connectable with its upper end to a source of a mixture containing fuel and oxygen and merging atits lower end intoa downwardly conically tapering portion constituting the zone of combustion of said mixture during normal operationof the-burner, and an exhaust portion having a combustion of said mixture, a casing surrounding said exhaust portion and 'feder portion, andat its base in open communication with the open base of the exhaust portion to constitute a flow passage in an upward direction to and above the surface of-the ground for the flue gases leaving the open base end of the exhaust portion, said casing containing a body of solid granular particles providing particles between thelower part thereof and the lower part of-the burner tube infloatingcondition by upwardly moving flue gases within'a zone substantially coinciding with that part of the deposit to be heated, characterized by said exhaust portion being subdivided at a slight distance from the conically tapering portion into two individual end-to-end communicating parts of which a first part is integral with said conically tapering portion and a second part formed'as a separate member, means to keep said'two parts of the exhaust portion in end to-end abutting and sealing connection with one another and to lift the first part together with the conically tapering portionand the feeder portion during the operation of igniting said fuel and oxygen mixture with the second part remaining in its location within the hole.

2. A burner accordingto claim 1, characterized by a spacer at the base of the-casing, on .and to support the secondmemberin spaced relation from the bottom of the protective casing, said second member further having a longitudinal dimension sufli'cient to raise the upper level of the tube portion of said second member above the upper level of the layer of the mass of granular particles in their packed state at rest;

3. A burner according to claim 1, characterized by the means to keep the parts of the exhaust portion in releasable sealing connection comprising locking members adapted to connect said parts axially by apart-rotational displacement of the first part relative to the second part, the abutting ends having inter-mating taperedfaces.

4. A burner according to claim 1, characterized by the means to keep the parts of'tlie exhaust portion in releasable sealing connection comprising locking members adapted to connect said parts axially by apart-rotational displacementof the first part relative to the-second part, one of the abuttingends being conical and the other being of part-spherical shape.

5. A burner accordingto claim 3, characterized by the locking members being formed' as guide means to center the first part'relative to the second part.

6. A burner according. to claim 5, characterized by additional guide fins provided on at least one of the parts of the exhaust portion to center said part relative to the other part of said exhaust portion.

References Cited in the fileof'this patent UNITED STATESPATENTS 2,051,713 Howard Aug. 18, 1936 2,260,167 Cope Oct. 21, 1941 2,269,699 Stoecker et al. Jan. 13, 1942 2,515,618 Wallerius -J-uly 18,.1950 2,890,755 Eurenius et al June 16, 1959 2,902,270 Salomonsson et-al. Sept. 1, 1959 2,927,640 Kenneday Mar. 8, 1960

Claims (1)

1. A BURNER FOR HEATING A SUB-SURFACE DEPOSIT FOR RECOVERY OF VALUABLE PRODUCTS AND CONSTITUTED OF A BURNER TUBE ADAPTED TO BE LOWERED INTO A VERTICAL HOLE FORMED IN THE GROUND AND PENETRATING FROM THE SURFACE INTO THE DEPOSIT, SAID BURNER TUBE COMPRISING A FEEDER PORTION CONNECTABLE WITH ITS UPPER END TO A SOURCE OF A MIXTURE CONTAINING FUEL AND OXYGEN AND MERGING AT ITS LOWER END INTO A DOWNWARDLY CONICALLY TAPERING PORTION CONSTITUTING THE ZONE OF COMBUSTION OF SAID MIXTURE DURING NORMAL OPERATION OF THE BURNER, AND AN EXHAUST PORTION HAVING A CONTINUOUSLY EQUAL CROSS-SECTIONAL AREA OF THE SAME SIZE AS, AND CONNECTED TO THE WIDEST CROSS-SECTIONAL AREA OF THE CONICALLY TAPERING PORTION, THE EXHAUST PORTION CONSTITUTING A PASSAGE OF FLOW IN A DOWNWARD DIRECTION FOR THE FLUE GASES PRODUCED IN THE CONICALLY TAPERING PORTION BY THE COMBUSTION OF SAID MIXTURE, A CASING SURROUNDING SAID EXHAUST PORTION AND FEEDER PORTION, AND AT ITS BASE IN OPEN COMMUNICATION WITH THE OPEN BASE OF THE EXHAUST PORTION TO CONSTITUTE A FLOW PASSAGE IN AN UPWARD DIRECTION TO AND ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE GROUND FOR THE FLUE GASES LEAVING THE OPEN BASE END OF THE EXHAUST PORTION, SAID CASING CONTAINING A BODY OF SOLID GRANULAR PARTICLES PROVIDING PARTICLES BETWEEN THE LOWER PART THEREOF AND THE LOWER PART OF THE BURNER TUBE IN FLOATING CONDITION BY UPWARDLY MOVING FLUE GASES WITHIN A ZONE SUBSTANTIALLY COINCIDING WITH THAT PART OF THE DEPOSIT TO BE HEATED, CHARACTERIZED BY SAID EXHAUST PORTION BEING SUBDIVIDED AT A SLIGHT DISTANCE FROM THE CONICALLY TAPERING PORTION INTO TWO INDIVIDUAL END-TO-END COMMUNICATING PARTS OF WHICH A FIRST PART IS INTEGRAL WITH SAID CONICALLY TAPERING PORTION AND A SECOND PART FORMED AS A SEPARATE MEMBER, MEANS TO KEEP SAID TWO PARTS OF THE EXHAUST PORTION IN END-TO-END ABUTTING AND SEALING CONNECTION WITH ONE ANOTHER AND TO LIFT THE FIRST PART TOGETHER WITH THE CONICALLY TAPERING PORTION AND THE FEEDER PORTION DURING THE OPERATION OF IGNITING SAID FUEL AND OXYGEN MIXTURE WITH THE SECOND PART REMAINING IN ITS LOCATION WITHIN THE HOLE.
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US5255742A (en) * 1992-06-12 1993-10-26 Shell Oil Company Heat injection process
US5297626A (en) * 1992-06-12 1994-03-29 Shell Oil Company Oil recovery process
US5392854A (en) * 1992-06-12 1995-02-28 Shell Oil Company Oil recovery process
US5404952A (en) * 1993-12-20 1995-04-11 Shell Oil Company Heat injection process and apparatus
US6056057A (en) * 1996-10-15 2000-05-02 Shell Oil Company Heater well method and apparatus
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US6581684B2 (en) 2000-04-24 2003-06-24 Shell Oil Company In Situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce sulfur containing formation fluids
US6588504B2 (en) 2000-04-24 2003-07-08 Shell Oil Company In situ thermal processing of a coal formation to produce nitrogen and/or sulfur containing formation fluids
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US6715548B2 (en) 2000-04-24 2004-04-06 Shell Oil Company In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce nitrogen containing formation fluids
US6715546B2 (en) 2000-04-24 2004-04-06 Shell Oil Company In situ production of synthesis gas from a hydrocarbon containing formation through a heat source wellbore
US20050269095A1 (en) * 2004-04-23 2005-12-08 Fairbanks Michael D Inhibiting reflux in a heated well of an in situ conversion system
US7011154B2 (en) 2000-04-24 2006-03-14 Shell Oil Company In situ recovery from a kerogen and liquid hydrocarbon containing formation
US7051808B1 (en) 2001-10-24 2006-05-30 Shell Oil Company Seismic monitoring of in situ conversion in a hydrocarbon containing formation
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US7121342B2 (en) 2003-04-24 2006-10-17 Shell Oil Company Thermal processes for subsurface formations
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US20080128134A1 (en) * 2006-10-20 2008-06-05 Ramesh Raju Mudunuri Producing drive fluid in situ in tar sands formations
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US20080290719A1 (en) * 2007-05-25 2008-11-27 Kaminsky Robert D Process for producing Hydrocarbon fluids combining in situ heating, a power plant and a gas plant
US20090071652A1 (en) * 2007-04-20 2009-03-19 Vinegar Harold J In situ heat treatment from multiple layers of a tar sands formation
US20090189617A1 (en) * 2007-10-19 2009-07-30 David Burns Continuous subsurface heater temperature measurement
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Cited By (425)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4886118A (en) * 1983-03-21 1989-12-12 Shell Oil Company Conductively heating a subterranean oil shale to create permeability and subsequently produce oil
US5255742A (en) * 1992-06-12 1993-10-26 Shell Oil Company Heat injection process
US5297626A (en) * 1992-06-12 1994-03-29 Shell Oil Company Oil recovery process
US5392854A (en) * 1992-06-12 1995-02-28 Shell Oil Company Oil recovery process
USRE35696E (en) * 1992-06-12 1997-12-23 Shell Oil Company Heat injection process
US5404952A (en) * 1993-12-20 1995-04-11 Shell Oil Company Heat injection process and apparatus
US6056057A (en) * 1996-10-15 2000-05-02 Shell Oil Company Heater well method and apparatus
US6880635B2 (en) 2000-04-24 2005-04-19 Shell Oil Company In situ production of synthesis gas from a coal formation, the synthesis gas having a selected H2 to CO ratio
US7017661B2 (en) 2000-04-24 2006-03-28 Shell Oil Company Production of synthesis gas from a coal formation
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