US3324943A - Off-shore drilling - Google Patents

Off-shore drilling Download PDF

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US3324943A
US3324943A US38221864A US3324943A US 3324943 A US3324943 A US 3324943A US 38221864 A US38221864 A US 38221864A US 3324943 A US3324943 A US 3324943A
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guide
means
member
well
tubular
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Tom B Price
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Texaco Inc
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Texaco Inc
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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
    • E21B33/03Well heads; Setting-up thereof
    • E21B33/06Blow-out preventers, i.e. apparatus closing around a drill pipe, e.g. annular blow-out preventers
    • E21B33/064Blow-out preventers, i.e. apparatus closing around a drill pipe, e.g. annular blow-out preventers specially adapted for underwater well heads
    • 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
    • E21B33/03Well heads; Setting-up thereof
    • E21B33/035Well heads; Setting-up thereof specially adapted for underwater installations
    • 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
    • E21B33/03Well heads; Setting-up thereof
    • E21B33/035Well heads; Setting-up thereof specially adapted for underwater installations
    • E21B33/038Connectors used on well heads, e.g. for connecting blow-out preventer and riser

Description

June 13, 1967 T. B. PRICE OFF-SHORE DRILLING 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 13, 1964 ,OZ ca 0 W /fer iii June 13, 1937 T. B. PRICE OFF-SHORE DRILLING 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 13, 1964 Z El- 7 a June 1967 T. B. PRICE 3,324,943

OFF-SHORE DRILLING Filed July 13, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 June 13, 1967 T. B. PRICE OFF-SHORE DRILLING 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 15, 1964 United States Patent 3,324,943 OFF-SHORE DRILLING Tom B. Price, New Orleans, La., assignor to Texaco Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 13, 1964, Ser. No. 382,218 14 Claims. (Cl. 166.6)

The present invention relates to apparatus for conducting operations such as boring, drilling or working in a well or borehole in submarine formations, and is particularly concerned With effecting such operations in relatively deep water locations by the use of tubular guide means which enables the drilling and working equipment to be lowered into registry with the well head. It is particularly concerned with the use of such guide means to effect appropriate control of various operable elements which are necessarily located below the surface of the water.

Subterranean drilling, particularly for the production of petroleum, and the like, ordinarily proceeds in steps by formation of holes of successively decreasing size with the installation and cementing of a tubular steel casing as each successive boring step is completed As the hole approaches areas of increasing subterranean pressure, the surface casing is necessarily provided with complex well head equipment. This ordinarily includes blow-out preventers which are actually cut-off valves provided with flexibly jawed rams which prevent blow-out by sealing off the upper end of the casing about the drilling stem or other equipment which, at the time, may be in the hole. In submarine operations these and other well head valves and controls are typically actuated hydraulically by pressure conduits from the surface.

Moreover, hydraulic access to the borehole and the well head is also necessary for many other purposes. For example, to control a wild well, a so-called choke or kill line ordinarily leads to the casing below the blowout preventer. With this a wild well may be controlled by appropriately pressurizing it from above with a suitably wei hted mud. after the preventers have been closed.

To accomplish this, elongated choke lines of substan-- tially self-supporting tubular material such as pipe may be anchored at their lower ends to the formation preferably by attachment to the well head assembly or to the blow-out preventer stack so that they extend upwardly to the surface of the water. The term self-supporting as used herein, refers to tubes or conduits which are ordinarilv considered to be rigid as distinguished from flexible tubin formed of rubber or other elastomers which can be coiled or reeled. While obviously characterized by some flexibility, they provide guide members which, with minor sup ort, can be used to positively index equipment for operative association with the well, in the subsequent multitude of operations necessary in producing operations, including placement of the bit, running of casing, cementing. testing. etc.

The tubular guides or pines, by virtue of inherent buoyancy tend to remain upright in the body of water but may be ass sted where necessary by attaching floats or buoyancy members at the upper extremity or at various points along their lengths in known manner.

The self-supporting tubular guide members obviously extend to the surface of the water to receive connected members and to receive means slideable thereon and constrained thereby to guide equipment into registry with the pre-determined parts of the well head as it is lowered down the guide member.

The present invention contemplates utilizing a tubular guide member or guide members to effect selective hydraulic communication with various parts of the well head in order to provide hydraulic control of various opera- 3,324,943 Patented June 13, 1967 tions. More specifically, a plurality of conduits leading from the lower portion of the tubular guide member to various operative parts of the well head are so arranged as to permit selective hydraulic communication between the interior of the tubular guide member and predetermined portions of the well head equipment. This, therefore, enables communication with and control of various operating instrumentalities from a remote location on the surface of the body of water and is particularly advantageous in situations where safety considerations require emergency access to such equipment. It also enables the limitation of other hydraulic control lines which, by their multiplicity, tend to confuse and complicate operations.

In addition, a single self-supporting tube may similarly take the place of a large number of flexible tubes because the high pressure, as is known, limits the diameter of the flexible tube and thus the rate of flow of hydraulic fluid.

The present invention also contemplates effecting connection between the operating instrumentalities on the well head equipment and the lower extremity of the selfsupporting guide by indexing the hydraulic control conduits on the well head equipment which is being lowered into position with appropriate coupling members on the well head so as to couple said equipment with conduit means leading to the lower portion of the tubular guide member. In other words, the conduit from the guide member to the operating instrumentality on the well head equipment is automatically coupled by causing the relative parts of the coupling to register vertically and to couple together in sealing relationship as the well head equipment is guided down the guide member into operat ing position on the well head.

The invention also contemplates selectively locking the slideable connecting means of the guide member in order to provide a unitary support for equipment aflixed to the well head. For example, where it is desired to conduct drilling operations through a guide tube or riser attached to the well head and extending to the surface, it has been found that by attaching the connecting means to the riser and to the guide member temporarily, a unitary structure is formed which may be supported from the working station at the surface of the water by one or more cables. The invention may be fully understood by reference to the specific embodiments shown for purposes of illustration in the following drawings.

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatical elevation of drilling assembly for conducting underwater drilling operations.

FIGS. 2 and 3 are detailed sectional elevations of the lower extremity of one of the tubular guides showing the parts in alternate positions of actuation.

FIG. 4 is a sectional elevation of a guide indexing arrangement.

FIG. 5 is a sectional plan view taken on the line 55 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a schematic elevation of a modified form of the well head arrangement.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are detailed sectional elevations of the lower extremity of one of the tubular guides showing the parts in alternate positions of actuation as in FIGS. 2 and 3 and showing the ball element of the second embodiment in place.

Referring to FIG. 1, the numeral 10 represents a well casing set in a subterranean hole bored in a submarine formation 12 below a body of water 14, the upper surface of which is indicated by dotted line 16. A base or framework arrangement 18 is attached to the casing 10 and provided with suitable connections such as eye bolts 20 which receive the lower extremity of guide lines 22. The guide lines may take the form of flexible cables, wirelines, ropes or rods which extend to the surface where they are suitably received at the working station.

The working station (not shown) ordinarily comprises a floating vessel or platform carrying winches or counter weights to receive the lines 22. In addition, as is well known, the station carries the ordinary complement of producing and drilling equipment such as a typical drilling rig or derrick, draw works, crown and traveling blocks, swivel, kelly, pumping equipment, mud pit and the like. Since this is all well known, this is included herein only by reference.

Referring again to the ocean bottom equipment, the casing or well is surmounted by a preventer stack comprising a hydraulic marine connector and a series of blowout preventers 26, 27, 28 and 29.

The automatic connector 24 at the lower extremity of the stack provides an automatic interlocking connection with the casing 10 and is arranged and constructed, as is well known, to interlock and seal positively therewith when it is lowered into position in registry therewith. Such automatic connectors are selectively releasable by hydraulic pressure or otherwise through controls which are not shown in detail. Therefore, the stack may be freely lifted off of the upper extremity of the casing when this becomes necessary or advisable. For example, the application or release of hydraulic pressure, as the case may be, through an appropriate hose extending to the drilling vessel or platform.

The blow-out preventers are similarly controlled from the surface preferably by hydraulic means not shown in detail and ordinarily a substantial number are provided in series in view of the vital importance in controlling blowout of the well and the possibility that one or more might fail to actuate.

The guide the preventer into position, a bracket 32 attached thereto extends laterally on either side of the stack to engage the guide lines 22 as at 34. The apertures 34 preferably are constrained to be opened by any convenient means, engage the guide lines, for example, the outer portion of the bracket or flange at the aperture 34 may be hinged and provided with a latch for locking the hinged portion in place after the line 22 is inserted. Alternatively, aperture 34 may communicate with the slot running to the margin of the bracket and selectively closed by inserting a pin there across.

In any event, the bracket 32 provides a connecting means which slideably engages the guide cables for guiding the stack into registry with the upper end of the casing.

As shown in FIG. 1, the guide flange or bracket 32 also provides a base or support for a pair of substantially rigid upwardly extending kill or choke pipes 36. To effect this, pipes 38 communicate via ports in the casing of lowermost preventer 26 with the space below the rams of the preventer. The pipes 38, in turn, communicate through elbows 39, choke valve or valves 40 and extensions 42 with upwardly extending supporting or control sleeves 44 which are mounted on and fixedly attached to the flange 32 as indicated. The control sleeves 44 in turn, are attached to the substantially rigid or self-supporting choke lines 36 atsafety joints 46. Safety joints, as is well known, embody means permitting a firm or rigid seal at the pipe joint subject to selective and rapid disconnection by special manipulation. Thus, for example, safety joints 46 may comprise a connection of the typical right hand break safety joint type.

Preferably, the choke pipes 36 are run as the preventer stack is lowered and guided into place. That is to say, the sections of pipe are made up and added asthe stack is lowered so that they remain as vertically extending substantially rigid guides for guiding subsequent applied equipment into place, being meanwhile, supported suitably at rig level.

An example of the means for guiding subsequent equipment into place can be seen in FIG. 1 wherein marine conductor or riser tube 48 is guided into place and applied to the male half 30 of a remote automatic connector, by the use of guide arms or brackets 50 and 52 which slidably engages the pipes 36. More specifically, the marine conductor comprises a tubular conduit or stand pipe for access to the interior of the well and for conducting and recovering the returns, namely the drilling mud or other fluids and cuttings from the drilling operation.

The standpipe 48 comprises at its lower extremity the barrel or top section 54 of the remote automatic connector adapted to interlock in sealing relationship with the male or mandrel section 30 of the remote automatic connector.

While generically, the remote automatic connector referred to in its entirety by the numeral 55 relates to the same generic type of device as the connector 24, it nevertheless preferably comprises a fail release connector provided, for example, with a bag type conductor latch. In other words, whereas for purposes of safety, the connector 24 automatically and posivetively attaches and can be released only by the positive actuation of hydraulic pressure, the connector 55 is held in an attached condition only by the application of pressure and automatically released when the pressure is reduced. Such a connector, which for purposes of the present description, may be called a pressure engaging connector, facilitates quick disconnect where necessary. A conduit 56 which is attached to and runs upwardly along the marine conductor 48 is accessible to rig level for the application of hydraulic actuating pressure to the connector.

The conductor 48 is run into position simply by engaging the extremities of the brackets or guide arms 50, as is shown, about the choke pipes 36 as it is assembled at the surface and running it downwardly as the conductor is made up, with one or more additional brackets 52 attached as required. While bracket 50 is integral with the barrel 54 of the connector 55, brackets 52 are preferably attached to the conductor pipe by releasable clamps or sleeves 58. As previously indicated in connection with guide means 34, the brackets 50 and 52 are provided with guideways 51 which can be selectively opened to admit the pipes 36, any suitable means such as a hinged gate or closeable slot being useful for this purpose.

With the conductor in position and the connector attached to the stack by application of pressure via line 56, slips 60' or retaining clamps are applied about they choke pipe to support the weight thereof upon the uppermost bracket 52. This, in turn, is supported by suspending lines 62 attached to the upper portion of the conductor as at 64, and, in turn, connected to suitable attachment points, winches or counterweights on the floating rig.

In the present embodiment, the drilling operations can proceed in the conventional manner through the conductor pipe 48 and the preventer stack wherein the mud returns, passing upwardly through the marine conductor, and passing off through an overflow line to the shakers and mud pit (not shown). It will be understood from the foregoing that in place of the marine conductor other means, such as a flexible hose from the well head,.may be used for recovery of the drilling mud returns and that the choke line pipes may, in asimilar manner, be employed for guiding the drill bit or stem into the hole using brackets such. as 50 and 52. In a similar manner, any other equipment may be guided into the hole as necessitated by the operations being, conducted and in the absence of the marine conductor, the supporting lines 62 may be attached to appropriate fasteners (not shown) on the bracket 52, or to the pipes 36'themselves.

In the event it becomes necessary to shut down or leave location, as during a storm, for example, slips 60 are removed, pressure in line 56 released, and the conductor withdrawn. If conditions are severe, the choke lines may likewise bedisconnected at the safety joints 46 and removed, leaving only the bottom equipment in place;

Thereafter, the choke or kill pipes may be replaced by simply running them on a bracket 66 as shown in FIG. 4, which embraces the cable 22 and is indexed with the safety joint sleeve 46 by means of a tubular extension 68 extending vertically upwardly over the guide flange 32 about the aperture 34 and provided with an upper inclined surface 70 leading to a slot 72. Obviously, from the foregoing, the bracket 66 is guided by the incline surface 70 into the slot 72 at which time the end of the pipe 36 is aligned with the safety joint where it may be positively made up. The bracket 66 can then be withdrawn by control line 74.

Another important aspect of this invention is shown in detail in FIGS. 2 and 3. More specifically, the apparatus is shown by means of which dual access is obtained to various of the control instrumentalities such as the hydraulic actuating mechanisms of the preventers 28 and 29.

Referring to FIG. 2 there is shown a remotely operated dual hydraulic access system comprising a vertically movable sleeve 76 slidable axially within the control or supporting sleeve 44, and biased into its uppermost position by helical spring 78. In this position, radial port 80 in the sleeve 76 is spaced vertically from port 82 in the sleeve 44.

When, however, a string of somewhat smaller size tubing is run down the choke line 36, the sleeve 76 is caused thereby to move downwardly until ports 80 and 82 are in alignment. The details of the position are depicted in FIG. 3. The string of somewhat smaller size tubing is indicated by the reference numeral 84 in both FIGS. 2 and 3. The string terminates at its extremity in a wall 86 which is provided with a port 88 which aligns with port 80 when the lower margin 90 of the pipe string 84 engages the shoulder or seat 92 on the sleeve 76. Thus, with the sleeve in its lower position as shown in FIG. 3, ports 88, 80 and 82 are in alignment effecting communication between the interior of the control string and the conduit 94. This latter conduit, as above indicated, may be connected to any instrumentality requiring fluid pressure actuation from the surface. However, in the present embodiment, it is shown for purposes of exemplification as connecting with the hydraulic actuating instrumentality of preventers 28 and 2? (FIG. 1).

While, as previously mentioned, the blow-out preventers may be actuated thru flexible control lines (not shown) extending to the surface, emergency access of hydraulic actuating fluid through the control line 84 provides a vital function in deepwater drilling enabling the actuation of the valve or preventer in the event of failure of the other control lines. This may be done simply by running the smaller emergency closing string 84 and applying the required actuating pressure. Removal of the hydraulic string 84 permits the spring 78 to return sleeve 76 to normal position cutting off communication with the preventer and re-establishing communication between the choke line and the interior of the casing.

FIGS. 7 and 8 depict the apparatus of a second embodiment by means of which dual access is obtained to various of the control instrumentalities. The apparatus is similar to the apparatus shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Parts common to FIGS. 2 and 3 and FIGS. 7 and 8, respectively, are designated by the same reference numerals.

Referring to FIG. 7, there is shown a remotely operated dual hydraulic access system comprising a vertically moveable sleeve 76 slidable axially within the control or supporting sleeve 44, and biased into its uppermost position by helical spring 78. In this position, radial port 80 in the sleeve 76 is spaced vertically from port 82 in the sleeve 44.

In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 7 and 8, a heavy ball 121 is inserted into the guide 44 and sinks, because of its weight, thru the mud in the guide until it engages seat 92 or sleeve 76. It will be recalled from the previous discussion that the tubular guides are not only used as indexing means for equipment which must be lowered into 6 place but also serves as choke or kill lines. In the latter case, suitably weighted mud is inserted into the well through these guides in order to balance pressures etc. and control the well.

The ball 121 when seated on the seat or flange 92 of the sleeve 7 6 will cut off communication of the mud with the conduit connected below the sleeve 76. The sleeve 76 is moved downwardly against the force of spring 78 by pressure applied to the mud in the guide 44 by pressure pump or source 123. The sleeve when fully descended as shown in FIG. 8, will provide alignment of ports and and 82 thereby effecting communication of the mud in the guide and the conduit 94.

Thus, it will be appreciated that various control functions such as the operation of blow-out preventers can be effected hydraulically by the mud which may exist in the guide members. The operation of this control function using mud as the hydraulic fluid is also considered an emergency control and is usually limited to use in the event of impending well blow-out.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the choke or kill lines 36 may be mounted on the guide base preferably by ball unions 96 which permit limited pivotal movement. An extension of the choke line conduit passes as at 98 through guide base 100 and terminates in the upwardly facing pressure fitting 102. The blow-out preventer stack 103, as indicated, is provided through the choke or kill line port 104 with a conduit or line 106 which extends downwardly as at 108 and terminates at 110 in a mandrel or fitting adapted to be received within the mating recess 102 and to form therewith a sealed connection. In other words, recess 102 and fitting 110 provide a connection or coupling which is actionable by axial stabbing motion to form an effective fluid coupling.

In the assembling of the present embodiment the choke lines are preferably run with the original setting of the guide base at the time the casing 10 is lowered or introduced into the sub-surface formation. Therefore with casing 10 in place, the tubular lines 36 extend to the surface of the water where they are buoyed or otherwise supported. With this arrangement therefore, the entire blowout preventer stack and its associated elements may be guided into position along pipes 36 by means of guide brackets 112. With the stack thus guided and indexed, the

barrel or top section of the automate connector 24 indexes over the internal mating portion thereof on the casing 10.

Inasmuch as the stab lines of the kill line conduits 108 are aligned by pre-determined arrangement with the ports or recesses of the upwardly facing pressure fittings 102, these automatically stab into place where they become positively connected to form a sealed coupling.

Therefore, as the stack is seated a continuous hydraulic connection is made from the surface via the pipes 36, the ball unions 96, conduit 98, 108 and 106 and port 104 leading to the well space below the blow-out preventer choke valve 105. This line may be otherwise controlled from the surface by lines not shown for controlling flow to or from the well. Moreover, lines 36 and 44, may at any convenient place along its length, be provided with a dual hydraulic access system such as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Also, when the stack 103 is later removed, the stabbing lines 108 are lifted from the recesses 102 and carried with the preventer 103 so that the pipes 36 may thereafter similarly serve for the setting and placement of the Christmas tree and subsequent work-over.

It can be seen from FIG. 6 that the conduits and 116 connected to sleeves 44, respectively, are permanently attached to and form a conduit through base 100 similar to the conduits 98. These conduits result in upwardly facing recesses 117 in the base 100 so located with respect to conduits 118 and 119 that the end of conduits 118 and 119 enter the respective recesses when the preventer stack is lowered into position to provide a sealed connection therebetween. By means of the dual hydraulic access system actuated by a smaller pipe string lowered within the kill line pipe from the surface, the hydraulic actuating mechanisms of the preventers can be controlled.

It will be appreciated that the running or setting of the various instrumentalities as well as their removal may be accomplished from the drilling derrick by means of various running tools suspended from the drilling or pipe stem and adapted to connected selectively with such instrumentalities as is well known in the art.

The present invention, therefore, provides a positive means for guiding equipment into desired relationship with the well and the well equipment. A preferred embodiment enables emergency disassembly and removal of the lines running to the surface of the water and their subsequent replacement when work is to be resumed. A particular advantage, as indicated above, is the provision of multiple emergency control communication in the event of failure of normal means provided for this service. Yet other and further advantages as well as modifications of the invention as exemplified above, will be obvious to those skilled in the art as restricted only by the claims hereinafter presented.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the invention, as hereinbefore set forth, may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In an apparatus for controlling operations in a borehole located in a submarine formation which apparatus includes a well-head associated with the borehole and adapted to receive well-head equipment, a substantially self-supporting, elongated, and tubular guide member anchored at its lower end to the formation and extending to a surface location above the water overlying said formation, said elongated tubular guide member being adapted to receive a connecting means slidable thereon and constrainable thereby to guide equipment from the surface of the water into predetermined relationship with said well-head as it slides down the guide member, the improvement which comprises first conduit means connected between a lower portion of said tubular guide member and one part of said well-head equipment, a second conduit means connected between the lower portion of said tubular guide member and another part of said well-head equipment, control means associated with said lower portion of said tubular guide member for selectively completing the connection of said first and second conduit means to the interior of said tubular guide member and actuating means applicable thru the tubular guide member from the surface location for operating said control means thereby effecting hydraulic communication from said surface location to said well-head equipment through the selected one of said first and second conduit means.

2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said first conduit connects with the interior of said well bore and the second conduit connects with means on said wellhead equipment, which is mechanically operated in response to a change in hydraulic pressure at said second conduit.

3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 comprising a spaced plurality of said tubular guide members each provided with conduit means and control means.

4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said second conduit connects the lower portion of said tubular guide member to a part of said we1l-head equipment comprising a hydraulic control mechanism for actuating a valve associated with said well-head, and said first conduit means communicates with the interior of the well below said valve.

5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said first and second conduit means each comprises a conduit section extending from the lower portion of said guide member to respective upwardly facing coupling members anchored adjacent said well head and further conduit sections connected to said well-head equipment and terminating in respective downwardly facing coupling members located and arranged to engage and couple with said first named coupling members when said well'head equipment is lowered from the surface along the guide member into said predetermined relationship with said wellhead.

6. In an apparatus for controlling operations in a borehole located in a submarine formation which apparatus includes a well-head associated with the borehole and adapted to receive well-head equipment, a substantially self-supporting, elongated, and tubular guide member anchored at its lower end to the formation and extending to a surface location above the water overlying said formation, said elongated guide member being adapted to receive a connecting means slidable thereon and constrainable thereby to guide equipment from the surface of the water into predetermined relationship with said wellhead as it slides down the guide member, the improvement which comprises first conduit means connected between the lower portion of said tubular guide member and one part of said well-head equipment, a second conduit means connected to the lower portion of said tubular guide member and another part of said well-head equipment, control means associated with the said lower portion of said tubular guide member, said control means normally sealing off communication between said second conduit means and the interior of said guide member, and actuating means applicable through the tubular guide member from the surface location for selectively sealing off communication between said first conduit and the interior of said guide member while effecting communication between said second conduit and the surface location through said guide member.

7. Apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein said first conduit means is normally in communication with the interior of said tubular guide member.

8. In an apparatus for controlling operations in a borehole located in a submarine formation which apparatus includes a well-head associated with the bore hole and adapted to receive well-head equipment, a substantially self-supporting, elongated, and tubular guide member anchored at its lower end to the formation and extending to a surface location above the water overlying said formation, said elongated tubular guide member being adapted to receive a connecting means slidable thereon and constrainable thereby to guide equipment from the surface of the water into predetermined relationship with said well-head as it slides down the guide member, the improvement which comprises, first conduit means connected between a lower portion of said tubular guide member and one part of said well-head equipment, a second conduit means connected between the lower portion of said tubular guide member and another part of said well-head equipment, control means associated with the said lower portion of said tubular guide member for selectively completing the connection of said first and second conduit means to the interior of said tubular guide member and an elongated actuating member insertable through the tubular guide member from the surface location for operating said control means thereby effecting hydraulic communication from said surface location to said well head equipment through the selected one of said first and second conduit means.

9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 wherein said elongated actuating member comprises a hydraulic conduit and wherein said control means is actuable thereby to place the interior of said actuating member in communication with said second conduit.

10. In an apparatus for controlling operations in a borehole located in a submarine formation which apparatus includes a well-head associated with the borehole and adapted to receive well-head equipment, a substantially self-supporting, elongated, and tubular guide member anchored at its lower end to the formation and extending to a surface location above the water overlying said formation, said elongated tubular guide member being adapted to receive a connecting means slidable thereon and constrainable thereby to guide equipment from the surface of the water into predetermined relationship with said well-head as it slides down the guide member, the improvement which comprises first conduit means connected between a lower portion of said tubular guide member and one part of said well-head equipment, a second conduit means connected between the lower portion of said tubular guide member and another part of said Well-head equipment, control means associated with said lower portion of said tubular guide member for selectively completing the connection of said first and second conduit means to the interior of said tubular guide member, and actuating means applicable thru the tubular guide member from the surface locations for operating said control means, said actuating means comprising a heavy ball which is inserted in said tubular guide member and adapted to descend therein and cooperate with said con trol means to block communication between said first conduit and the interior of said tubular guide member, and pressure means for applying pressure to said ball to operate said control means to effect communication between said second conduit means and the interior of said tubular guide member thereby effecting selective communication from said surface location to said well-head equipment.

11. Apparatus as defined in claim wherein said tubular guide means is filled with mud and said pressure means comp-rises said mud and a pressure source for pressurizing said mud.

12. In an apparatus for controlling operations in a borehole located in a submarine formation, which apparatus includes well-head equipment associated with the borehole, a substantially self-supporting, elongated, and tubular guide member anchored at its lower end to the formation and extending to a surface location above the water overlying said formation, said elongated guide member being adapted to receive a connecting means slidable thereon and constrainable thereby to guide equipment from the surface of the water into predetermined registry with said well equipment as it slides down the guide member, the improvement which comprises a riser tube indexed with and releasably attached to said Wellhead equipment at its lower extremity and extending to the vicinity of the surface of said water, connecting means slidable on the guide member and attached to said riser tube for guiding said riser tube into registry with said well-head equipment, means for releasably attaching the guide member to said connecting means to prevent upward movement of the connecting means relative thereto and means for supporting the riser tube from said surface location whereby the guide member is positively supported in fixed relationship to the riser tube.

13. In an apparatus for controlling operations in a borehole located in a submarine formation which apparatus includes a well-head associated with the borehole and adapted to receive well-head equipment, a substantially self-supporting, elongated, and tubular guide member anchored at its lower end to the formation and extending to a surface location above the water overlying said formation, said elongated tubular guide member being adapted to receive a connecting means slidable thereon and constrainable thereby to guide equipment from the surface of the water into predetermined relationship with said well-head as it slides down the guide member, the improvement which comprises first conduit means extending from the lower portion of said tubular guide member and adapted to connect with one part of said well-head equipment, a second conduit means extending from a port in the lower portion of said tubular guide member and adapted to connect with a second part of said well-head equipment, control means associated with the said lower portion of said guide member, said control means comprising a spring and a sleeve urged upward in said guide member by said spring, said sleeve having a port through a wall thereof and a seat within said sleeve consisting of a radially inward projecting flange, actuating means applicable thru the tubular guide member from the surface location for operating said control means, said actuating means comprising an elongated actuating member insertable through the tubular guide member from the upper extremity thereof into contact with the seat of said sleeve, said elongated actuating member having a port in a wall thereof which aligns with the port in the wall of said sleeve, said sleeve being moved downwardly against the force of said spring by said elongated actuating member until the port in said elongated actuating member and the port in said sleeve are in alignment with the port in said guide member to which said conduit is attached to thereby cut-off communication between said guide member and said part of said well-head equipment communicating thru said first conduit means and establish communication with said other part of said well-head equipment from the surface through said guide member and said second conduit means.

14. In an apparatus for controlling operations in a borehole located in a submarine formation which apparatus includes a wellhead associated with the borehole and adapted to receive well-head equipment, and elongated substantially self-supporting tubular guide member ordinarily filled with mud anchored at its lower end to the formation and extending to a surface location above the water overlying said formation, said elongated tubular guide member being adapted to receive a connecting means slidable thereon and constrainable thereby to guide equipment from the surface of the water into predetermined relationship with said well-head as it slides down the guide member, the improvement which comprises first conduit means extending from the lower portion of said tubular guide member and adapted to connect with one part of said Well-head equipment, a second conduit means extending from a port in the lower portion of said tubular guide member and adapted to connect with a second part of said well-head equipment, control means associated with the said lower portion of said guide members, said control means comprising a spring and a sleeve urged upward in said guide member by said spring, said sleeve having a port through a wall thereof and a seat within said sleeve consisting of a radially inward projecting flange, actuating means applicable thru the tubular guide member from the surface location for operating said control means, said actuating means comprising a heavy ball which is inserted in said tubular guide member and adapted to descend through the mud therein and settle on said seat of said control means to block communication of said mud between said first conduit and the interior of said tubular guide member, and pressure means for applying pressure to said mud in said tubular guide member to move said ball and sleeve downward against said spring so as to align the part in said sleeve and tubular guide member thereby effecting communication of said mud to said other part of said well-head equipment thru said second conduit means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,923,531 2/1960 Bauer et al. 7 3,114,420 12/1963 Wilde 166.5 3,189,098 6/1965 Haeber 166-.6 3,219,117 11/1965 Johnstone et al. 166-.5 3,221,817 12/1965 DeVries et al. 166.5 3,236,301 2/1966 Johnstone et al. 166.5 3,236,302 2/ 1966 Postlewaite 175-7 X CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner.

R. E. FAVREAU, Assistant Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. IN AN APPARATUS FOR CONTROLLING OPERATIONS IN A BOREHOLE LOCATED IN A SUBMARINE FORMATION WHICH APPARTUS INCLUDES A WELL-HEAD ASSOCIATED WITH THE BOREHOLE AND ADAPTED TO RECEIVE WELL-HEAD EQUIPMENT, A SUBSTANTIALLY SELF-SUPPORTING, ELONGATED, AND TUBULAR GUIDE MEMBER ANCHORED AT ITS LOWER END TO THE FORMATION AND EXTENDING TO A SURFACE LOCATION ABOVE THE WATER OVERLYING SAID FORMATION, SAID ELONGATED TUBULAR GUIDE MEMBER BEING ADAPTED TO RECEIVE A CONNECTING MEANS SLIDABLE THEREON AND CONSTRAINABLE THEREBY TO GUIDE EQUIPMENT FROM THE SURFACE OF THE WATER INTO PREDETERMINED RELATIONSHIP WITH SAID WELL-HEAD AS IT SLIDES DOWN THE GUIDE MEMBER, THE IMPROVEMENT WHICH COMPRISES FIRST CONDUIT MEANS CONNECTED BETWEEN A LOWER PORTION OF SAID TUBULAR GUIDE MEMBER AND ONE PART OF SAID WELL-HEAD EQUIPMENT, A SECOND CONDUIT MEANS CONNECTED BETWEEN THE LOWER PORTION
US3324943A 1964-07-13 1964-07-13 Off-shore drilling Expired - Lifetime US3324943A (en)

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US3324943A US3324943A (en) 1964-07-13 1964-07-13 Off-shore drilling
GB2886465A GB1079158A (en) 1964-07-13 1965-07-07 Underwater well apparatus
DK356565A DK109953C (en) 1964-07-13 1965-07-12 Steering, particularly nødstyreapparat, to manage operations at borerørshoveder by underwater wells.
NL6509023A NL152632B (en) 1964-07-13 1965-07-13 Underwater putmondinrichting.

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Cited By (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3422889A (en) * 1967-01-03 1969-01-21 Oscar A Yost Fast pipe coupling for offshore drilling
US3459270A (en) * 1967-03-08 1969-08-05 Atlantic Richfield Co Wear bushing for underwater drilling apparatus
US3486556A (en) * 1967-05-01 1969-12-30 Stewart & Stevenson Inc Jim Underwater connecting apparatus
US4046191A (en) * 1975-07-07 1977-09-06 Exxon Production Research Company Subsea hydraulic choke
US4080025A (en) * 1976-05-03 1978-03-21 Matra Automatic connector for underwater connection
FR2398176A1 (en) * 1977-07-20 1979-02-16 Petroles Cie Francaise A termination device as a set of riser tubes of a floating platform
FR2422813A1 (en) * 1977-08-01 1979-11-09 Regan Offshore Int intended safety device automatically close the hydraulic lines in the interior of a subsea well casing
US4189003A (en) * 1972-07-12 1980-02-19 Otis Engineering Corporation Method of completing wells in which the lower tubing is suspended from a tubing hanger below the wellhead and upper removable tubing extends between the wellhead and tubing hanger
US4193455A (en) * 1978-04-14 1980-03-18 Chevron Research Company Split stack blowout prevention system
US4194568A (en) * 1977-07-01 1980-03-25 Compagnie Francaise Des Petroles, S.A. Disconnectable riser columns for under water oil wells
US4262380A (en) * 1978-06-09 1981-04-21 Single Buoy Moorings, Inc. Buoy including a mooring device
US4273470A (en) * 1978-01-20 1981-06-16 Shell Oil Company Offshore production riser with flexible connector
US4363567A (en) * 1979-09-12 1982-12-14 Shell Oil Company Multiple bore marine riser with flexible reinforcement
US4388022A (en) * 1980-12-29 1983-06-14 Mobil Oil Corporation Flexible flowline bundle for compliant riser
US4391332A (en) * 1980-05-20 1983-07-05 Astilleros Y Talleres Del Noroeste, S.A. Offshore facility for recovery hydrocarbon deposits from deep sea beds
US4397357A (en) * 1981-04-20 1983-08-09 Vetco Offshore, Inc. Disconnectable production riser assembly
US4401164A (en) * 1981-04-24 1983-08-30 Baugh Benton F In situ method and apparatus for inspecting and repairing subsea wellheads
WO2013050826A1 (en) * 2011-10-05 2013-04-11 Redden David B Backup wellhead blowout prevention system and method
US20130105171A1 (en) * 2010-06-22 2013-05-02 Neodrill As Device and Method for Stabilization of a Wellhead and Also Use of a Suction Substructure for Support of a Wellhead

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US2923531A (en) * 1956-04-26 1960-02-02 Shell Oil Co Drilling
US3114420A (en) * 1958-05-08 1963-12-17 Shaffer Tool Works Apparatus and method for sub-sea drilling
US3189098A (en) * 1961-12-29 1965-06-15 Shell Oil Co Marine conductor pipe assembly
US3219117A (en) * 1961-07-10 1965-11-23 Richfield Oil Corp Well drilling and production apparatus and method
US3221817A (en) * 1962-09-13 1965-12-07 Shell Oil Co Marine conductor pipe assembly
US3236302A (en) * 1962-11-05 1966-02-22 Chevron Res Apparatus for attaching and detaching a working base to an underwater well base
US3236301A (en) * 1961-07-10 1966-02-22 Richfield Oil Corp Drilling and production apparatus and method

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2923531A (en) * 1956-04-26 1960-02-02 Shell Oil Co Drilling
US3114420A (en) * 1958-05-08 1963-12-17 Shaffer Tool Works Apparatus and method for sub-sea drilling
US3219117A (en) * 1961-07-10 1965-11-23 Richfield Oil Corp Well drilling and production apparatus and method
US3236301A (en) * 1961-07-10 1966-02-22 Richfield Oil Corp Drilling and production apparatus and method
US3189098A (en) * 1961-12-29 1965-06-15 Shell Oil Co Marine conductor pipe assembly
US3221817A (en) * 1962-09-13 1965-12-07 Shell Oil Co Marine conductor pipe assembly
US3236302A (en) * 1962-11-05 1966-02-22 Chevron Res Apparatus for attaching and detaching a working base to an underwater well base

Cited By (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3422889A (en) * 1967-01-03 1969-01-21 Oscar A Yost Fast pipe coupling for offshore drilling
US3459270A (en) * 1967-03-08 1969-08-05 Atlantic Richfield Co Wear bushing for underwater drilling apparatus
US3486556A (en) * 1967-05-01 1969-12-30 Stewart & Stevenson Inc Jim Underwater connecting apparatus
US4189003A (en) * 1972-07-12 1980-02-19 Otis Engineering Corporation Method of completing wells in which the lower tubing is suspended from a tubing hanger below the wellhead and upper removable tubing extends between the wellhead and tubing hanger
US4046191A (en) * 1975-07-07 1977-09-06 Exxon Production Research Company Subsea hydraulic choke
US4080025A (en) * 1976-05-03 1978-03-21 Matra Automatic connector for underwater connection
US4194568A (en) * 1977-07-01 1980-03-25 Compagnie Francaise Des Petroles, S.A. Disconnectable riser columns for under water oil wells
US4142584A (en) * 1977-07-20 1979-03-06 Compagnie Francaise Des Petroles Termination means for a plurality of riser pipes at a floating platform
FR2398176A1 (en) * 1977-07-20 1979-02-16 Petroles Cie Francaise A termination device as a set of riser tubes of a floating platform
FR2422813A1 (en) * 1977-08-01 1979-11-09 Regan Offshore Int intended safety device automatically close the hydraulic lines in the interior of a subsea well casing
US4273470A (en) * 1978-01-20 1981-06-16 Shell Oil Company Offshore production riser with flexible connector
US4193455A (en) * 1978-04-14 1980-03-18 Chevron Research Company Split stack blowout prevention system
US4262380A (en) * 1978-06-09 1981-04-21 Single Buoy Moorings, Inc. Buoy including a mooring device
US4363567A (en) * 1979-09-12 1982-12-14 Shell Oil Company Multiple bore marine riser with flexible reinforcement
US4391332A (en) * 1980-05-20 1983-07-05 Astilleros Y Talleres Del Noroeste, S.A. Offshore facility for recovery hydrocarbon deposits from deep sea beds
US4388022A (en) * 1980-12-29 1983-06-14 Mobil Oil Corporation Flexible flowline bundle for compliant riser
US4397357A (en) * 1981-04-20 1983-08-09 Vetco Offshore, Inc. Disconnectable production riser assembly
US4401164A (en) * 1981-04-24 1983-08-30 Baugh Benton F In situ method and apparatus for inspecting and repairing subsea wellheads
US20130105171A1 (en) * 2010-06-22 2013-05-02 Neodrill As Device and Method for Stabilization of a Wellhead and Also Use of a Suction Substructure for Support of a Wellhead
US9140089B2 (en) * 2010-06-22 2015-09-22 Neodrill As Device and method for stabilization of a wellhead
US8881829B2 (en) 2010-10-07 2014-11-11 David B. Redden Backup wellhead blowout prevention system and method
WO2013050826A1 (en) * 2011-10-05 2013-04-11 Redden David B Backup wellhead blowout prevention system and method

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
DK109953C (en) 1968-08-12 grant
NL152632B (en) 1977-03-15 application
NL6509023A (en) 1966-01-14 application
GB1079158A (en) 1967-08-16 application

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