US3882937A - Method and apparatus for refrigerating wells by gas expansion - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for refrigerating wells by gas expansion Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US3882937A
US3882937A US39389273A US3882937A US 3882937 A US3882937 A US 3882937A US 39389273 A US39389273 A US 39389273A US 3882937 A US3882937 A US 3882937A
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
gas
casing
permafrost
refrigeration chamber
chamber
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
Inventor
Joel P Robinson
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Union Oil Co of California
Original Assignee
Union Oil Co of California
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Union Oil Co of California filed Critical Union Oil Co of California
Priority to US39389273 priority Critical patent/US3882937A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US3882937A publication Critical patent/US3882937A/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/34Arrangements for separating materials produced by the well
    • 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
    • E21B36/003Insulating arrangements
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/34Arrangements for separating materials produced by the well
    • E21B43/38Arrangements for separating materials produced by the well in the well
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S166/00Wells
    • Y10S166/901Wells in frozen terrain

Abstract

Thawing of the permafrost around a well transporting hot fluids through a permafrost zone is prevented by refrigerating a section of the well to prevent the flow of heat from the well to the surrounding permafrost. Refrigeration is provided by expanding gas into a well annulus extending through a substantial part of the permafrost. The refrigerant gas can be a portion of the produced gas separated from the produced fluids at the surface or in a downhole separator.

Description

United States Patent 11 1 Robinson 1451 May 13,1975

[ METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR REFRIGERATING WELLS BY GAS EXPANSION [75] Inventor: Joel P. Robinson, Los Angeles,

Calif.

[73] Assignee: Union Oil Company of California,

Brea. Calif.

[22] Filed: Sept. 4, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 393,892

[52] US. Cl. 166/267; 61/36 A; 62/260;

l66/DlG. l; 166/57; 165/45 [51] Int. Cl E2lb 43/24; E2lb 43/00 [58] Field of Search 61/5, 36 A; 62/260;

3,581,513 6/1971 Cranmer et al 61/.5 3,662,832 5/1972 Keeler et a1. 166/57 3.674.086 7/1972 Foster 166/4'5 3,735,769 5/1973 Miller 137/13 $138,424 6/1973 Osmun et 211.. 166/57 3.763.935 10/1973 Perkins 166/57 3.766985 10/1973 Willhite 166/302 3,774,701 11/1973 Weaver 175/17 3,777,502 Mich1e et a1 62/55 Primary Examiner-Ernest R. Purser Assistant Examiner-Jack E. Ebel Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Dean Sandford; Richard C. Hartman; Lannas S. Henderson 571 ABSTRACT Thawing of the permafrost around a well transporting hot fluids through a permafrost zone is prevented by refrigerating asection of the well to prevent the flow of heat from the well to the surrounding permafrost.

[ 1 References Cied Refrigeration is provided by expanding gas into a well UNITED STATES PATENTS annulus extending through a substantial part of the 1,798,774 3/1931 Yates 166/167 Permafrost The refrigerant gas can be a Portion Of the 2,033,560 3/1936 Wells 166/57 produced gas separated from the produced fluids at 2,753,700 7/1956 Morrison 62/260 the surface or in a downhole separator. 2,772,737 12/1956 Bond et al. 166/57 3,564,862 2 1971 Hashemi et al. 61/36 A 19 Clalms 2 Drawlng Figures H/GH PRESSURE 5a 7% 42 4a 52 58 41 52 2'2 2 L 69 :a r n- 0/2 y F an pleas. M fiw AKV A Q? Y A '-..Y/

PERA tat/R057 ZO/VE saw 1 0:

PRMAFR057 nub m. ..I .v

I. I In b.

PATENTEB MAY 1 3 i875 SHEE? 20$ 2 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR REFRIGERATING WELLS BY GAS EXPANSION This invention relates to wells for recovering earth fluids, and more particularly to wells for transporting hot fluids through a permafrost zone.

Permafrost is perennially frozen ground found in the Arctic regions. The permafrost zone contains some layers of gravel free of ice known as dry permafrost, but the bulk of the zone is composed of rocks or of unconsolidated aggregates of sand, silt and gravel in which the interstitial water is frozen to ice. Permafrost is formed by cooling from the surface during the Arctic winters, particularly in regions of low snow fall. Cooling of the upper earth strata to below freezing temperatures to form permafrost continues until an equilibrium is reached with the heat flow from the earths interior. There is seasonal thawing and freezing at the surface, but thawing rarely penetrates more than 18 inches where the permafrost is protected by tundra or vegetation. Thus, the permafrost zone consists of frozen earth, the bulk of which remains permanently frozen unless some external source of heat is introduced that alters the temperature equilibrium. The thickness of the permafrost zone varies with latitude and with the particular geographic location.

Permafrost generally has sufficient strength to support oil exploration and recovery operations, so long as it remains frozen. However, when melted, unconsolidated permafrost shrinks and subsides causing a downdrag force on well casings passing through the permafrost zone. Drilling operations can generally be conducted without causing any substantial melting of the permafrost. However, melting of the permafrost is experienced around wells conducting hot fluids through the permafrost zones, and this melting must be prevented or retarded sufficiently so that subsidence does not occur during the life of the well.

Heat loss from a hot fluid transported through the permafrost can be substantially reduced by insulating the conduit carrying the hot fluid. In some cases, insulation alone reduces heat loss to the permafrost sufficiently to avoid melting the permafrost. However, insulation alone is generally not sufficient where the heat loss is relatively high or where the permafrost is initially relatively warm, i.e., where the permafrost is at a temperature only slightly below the freezing point of water. Various mechanical means such as slip joint casing and the like, which would not be damaged by subsidence, have been proposed for use in transporting hot fluids through permafrost. However, such devices are expensive to construct and install, and are not yet reliable. Mechanical refrigeration, usually in conjunction with insulation of the conduit carrying the hot fluid, can be employed to effectively prevent heat loss from the well to the surrounding permafrost. Although various methods of refrigerating the well have been proposed which are effective in preventing melting of the permafrost, mechanical refrigeration equipment is expensive to install and operate, requires a source of power at the well site, and requires at least the periodic attention of an operator. Thus, need exists for a simpler and less costly method for refrigerating wells traversing a permafrost zone.

Accordingly, it is a principal object of this invention to provide a simple, low cost method for conducting hot fluids through a well traversing a permafrost zone that substantially prevents thawing of the permafrost around the well.

Another object of the invention is to provide a method for preventing thawing of the permafrost adjacent to a well transporting hot fluid through a permafrost zone.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a method for producing hot oil from a reservoir underlying a permafrost zone that prevents thawing of the permafrost surrounding the well.

A further object of the invention is to provide a method for injecting hot fluids into an earth formation underlying a permafrost zone without thawing the permafrost surrounding the injection well.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved method for operating a refrigerated well conducting hot fluids through a permafrost zone.

An even further object is to provide a refrigerated well for transporting hot fluids through a permafrost zone.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description.

In brief, this invention concerns a method and apparatus for preventing thawing of the permafrost around a well transporting hot fluids through a permafrost zone. Thawing is prevented by expanding a gas into a well annulus extending through a substantial part of the permafrost. The refrigerant gas can be a portion of the produced gas separated from the produced fluids at the surface or in a downhole separator.

The manner of accomplishing the foregoing objects as well as other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings, wherein like numerals refer to corresponding parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic vertical sectional view illustrating one embodiment of the well assembly of this invention installed in a permafrost zone; and

FIG. 2 isan enlarged schematic vertical sectional view of another embodiment of the. invention employing a downhole gas separator installed in a permafrost zone.

Referring specifically to FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is illustrated a well completed in an earth formation comprised of an upper permanently frozen permafrost zone 10 and'a lower earth strata 12 that overlies a petroleum reservoir, not shown. The well is comprised of surface conductor 14 cemented in the upper strata of permafrost zone 10 with cement 16. Surface conductor 14 is run to eliminate the possibility of a wash out or severe melting around the cellar area directly adjacent to the well bore. Typically, surface conductor 14 is comprised of a length of relatively large diameter pipe, such as a 30-inch diameter casing, 20 to feet in length, and preferably about 40 feet in length.

Casing 20 is set in permafrost 10 to the depth at which refrigeration of the well is to be maintained and is cemented to the surface by means of cement 22. The permafrost surrounding casing 20 is maintained permanently frozen over substantially its entire length to provide the necessary support for the well. In a typical installation, casing 20 extends to a depth of about 200 to 700 feet, and most typically to a depth of about 300 feet, and can extend completely through the permafrost, if desired. Maintaining the permafrost frozen to a depth of at least about 200 feet should provide adequate support for the well, and any thawing below this point is considered harmless. Although the diameter and weight of casing employed in this string will depend upon the targeted drilling depth, the types of formations traversed, and the total number of casing strings to be run; in a typical installation for many wells, casing is a 20-inch diameter casing.

Surface casing 24 is the primary pressure string and provides an anchor for blowout preventer equipment, and is run deep enough for protection of fresh-water sands and deep enough to extend through the entire permafrost section. Casing 24 is cemented back to the bottom of casing 20 with cement 26 which forms a sheath surrounding casing 24. While the use of casing 24 is optional unless required by a regulatory authority, and may be omitted where the well can be drilled from the bottom of the permafrost through the producing in terval without intermediate casing, in most instances it is preferred to employ a surface casing terminating shortly below the bottom of the permafrost. Also, additional intermediate strings of casing may be installed where necessitated by conditions encountered in the drilling operation.

Production casing 28 extends from the surface to the producing strata and is cemented back to the bottom of casing 24, or alternatively, if casing 24 is omitted, to the bottom of casing 20, with cement 30 which forms a sheath surrounding casing 28. The well is completed in conventional manner by extending casing 28 through the productive zones and perforating at selected intervals, or by terminating the casing above the productive zone and hanging a preslotted or pre-perforated liner in these zones. Production tubing 32 conveys produced fluids from the producing zone to the surface, or flow from the surface to the producing zones in the case of an injection well. That portion of production tubing 32 lying within the permafrost zone can be provided with insulation 34 to reduce the amount of heat transferred from the hot fluid flowing through tubing 32. Insulation 34 can be any type of thermal insulating material, such as polyurethane foam and the like, that is suitable for installation in a well. Insulation 34 extends at least the length of casing 20, and preferably extends from the surface to the bottom of permafrost zone 10.

The well is fitted with a conventional well head including means to seal the annulus between tubing 32 and producing casing 28, means 42 to seal the annulus between production casing 28 and surface casing 24, and means 44 to seal the annulus between surface casing 24 and casing 20. FIG. 1 illustrates the practice of the invention in conjunction with a producing well. In the conventional operation of a producing oil well, produced fluids consisting of a mixture of oil, gas and water flow from tubing 32 through valve and conduit 52 to field separator 54. High pressure gas is separated from the fluid mixture and withdrawn through conduit 56, produced oil is withdrawn through conduit 58, and water is produced through conduit 60. This production equipment can receive the production of a single well, or the produced fluids from a number of wells can be combined and processed.

The annulus between surface casing 24 and production casing 28 can be filled with gelled diesel oil, or similar packing fluid, in conventional manner. The annulus between casing 20 and surface casing 24 is closed at the bottom by cement 26, or by a mechanical packer, not shown, to provide a closed refrigeration chamber 62 surrounding surface casing 24 and extending from the surface to a substantial depth in permafrost zone 10. The well is refrigerated over the length of annular chamber 62 by expanding high pressure gas into the chamber in an amount sufficient to maintain the temperature in the chamber below the melting temperature of the surrounding permafrost. Fail safe pressure control and/or over pressure safety devices, not shown, must be provided to assure that the casing strings forming annulus 62 will not be subjected to excessive pressure.

In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1, the high pressure refrigerant gas from separator 54 is conducted through conduit 64 and introduced into the well through valve 66 and small diameter tubing 68 which extends to the bottom of annular chamber 62 and terminates in expansion nozzle 70. High pressure refrigerant gas is expanded into chamber 62 and the expanded and cooled gas flows upwardly through annular chamber 62 around the exterior of casing 24. Low pressure gas is exhausted from refrigeration chamber 62 through valve 72 communicating with low pressure gas conduit 74. The well can be fitted with a temperature measuring instrument 76, such as a thermometer or temperature recorder, responsive to a temperature detecting element 78 extending into refrigeration chamber 62.

The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1 can be employed to refrigerate either producing wells or injection wells penetrating a permafrost zone, the only requirement being that a suitable supply of refrigerant gas is available for expansion in the refrigeration chamber of the well.

In another embodiment of the invention applicable to producing wells, a downhole separator is employed to separate high pressure gas from the produced fluids to provide a source of refrigerant gas. The high pressure gas is conducted to the gas expansion nozzle and discharged into the annular refrigerant chamber to effect cooling of the refrigerant gas to a temperature below the permafrost temperature.

Downhole apparatus for separating gas from the produced fluids is illustrated in FIG. 2. In the illustrated embodiment, gas separator 80 is installed in production tubing 32 and positioned adjacent to the bottom of'annular refrigerant chamber 62. Packers 82 and 84 are set in the annulus between tubing 32 and production casing 28, above and below separator 80, respectively, so as to define a closed annular chamber 86. Packers and 92 are set in the annulus between production casing 28 and surface casing 24, above and below separator 80, respectively, so as to define closed annular chamber 94. Apertures 96 in the production casing communicate chambers 86 and 94, and nozzles 70 are mounted on conduits 98 which connect the inlets of the nozzles to chamber 94.

Separator 80 is comprised of a closed cylindrical member 100 having a lower inlet connection and an upper outlet connection adapted for mounting between joints of tubing 32. An internal standpipe 102 extends upwardly from the inlet into cylindrical member 100, and inverted cap 104 is mounted above standpipe 102 so as to extend downwardly around the open end of the standpipe. Inverted cup-shaped diverter 106 is mounted immediately above the open end of standpipe 102 by a suitable mounting bracket, not shown, and apertured baffle plate 108 is provided within cap 104 to define upper gas chamber 110. Float-type valve 112 is mounted in gas chamber 110 and connected to the exterior of cylindrical member 100 by conduit 114. Valve 112 closes upon the raise of liquid to a level above the valve, thereby preventing the discharge of liquid through the gas conduit.

In operation, produced fluids passing upwardly through production tubing 32 are introduced into separator 80 through inlet standpipe 102. A portion of the gas contained in the produced fluids is disengaged and flowed around diverter 106 and through the aperture in baffle 108 into upper gas chamber 110. The liquid portion of the produced fluid and the remainder of the gas flows around the bottom lip of cup 104 and upwardly through the annular passage between cylindrical member 100 and cup 104. The disengaged gas exits chamber 110 and through valve 112 and conduit 114 and passes into annular chamber 86. This gas flows from chamber 86 through apertures 96 and into chamber 94, from where it is subsequently discharged through conduits 98 and gas expansion nozzles 70 into annular refrigeration chamber 62.

The temperature of the expanded gas discharged into refrigeration chamber 62 is affected by the temperature and pressure of the high pressure gas supplied to the nozzle, the rate of gas flow through the nozzle, the pressure in refrigeration chamber 62 at the exit of the nozzle, the composition of the refrigerant gas, the nozzle efficiency, the temperature of the permafrost, and the rate of heat flow from the hot oil. The amount of gas expanded into refrigeration chamber must be sufficient to prevent refrigerant gas from being warmed in refrigeration chamber 62 to a temperature above the melting point of the permafrost, i.e., the refrigerant gas exiting the refrigeration chamber should be at a temperature below about 32 F.

Although the refrigerant gas can be any of a wide variety of gases that cool upon expansion, such as air, nitrogen, oxygen, or mixtures of these gases; as a practical matter, it is most advantageous to employ produced gas as the refrigerant gas. Produced gas consists primarily of methane, and contains lesser amounts of ethane, propane, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons. It also can contain varying amounts of hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, water, and minor amounts of other impurities. This gas can be used directly as produced in the field or after processing through gas absorption plants for the removal of various of the high molecular weight hydrocarbons and other constituents to produce a pipeline grade natural gas. The produced field gas, or natural gas, employed in the well refrigeration technique of this invention generally exhibit specific gravities between about 0.60 and 1.0, and most typically between about 0.65 and 0.80.

Under certain conditions of temperature and pressure, hydrocarbon gases containing liquid water form solid hydrates that could cause plugging of the refrigeration chamber and other gas flow passages. Accordingly, it is preferred that the water content of the gas be maintained below that amount that will condense to form liquid water. The water content of a produced gas can be reduced by contacting the gas with ethylene glycol or other desiccant material that preferentially absorbs water from the gas. The dry gas having a reduced water content can then be employed to refrigerate the well.

The high pressure gas employed as the refrigerant gas must be available at a pressure sufficiently high that the 6 requisite cooling can be obtained by expansion of the gas. Generally, the gas must be available at a pressure of at least about 200 psig, and preferably at a pressure of about 400 to 800 psig The temperature of the high pressure gas is usually between about 50 F. and 150 F.

The low pressure gas exhausted from the refrigeration chamber is collected and employed as a boiler or internal combustion engine fuel, or for other uses, or the low pressure gas can be recompressed for pipeline delivery. Also, where the produced gas available in a particular field is not sufficient to provide the necessary refrigeration, it is within the scope of this invention to recompress the low pressure gas and recycle this gas through the expansion nozzle. The pressure to which the refrigerant gas is expanded and the utilization of the refrigerant gas in any particular oil field will depend upon the availability of produced gas in that field, the utilization of the low pressure gas, and the particular economics involved. In typical applications, the refrigerant gas will be expanded to a pressure of about 100 to 300 psig, although this pressure will depend upon the particular circumstances of each application.

Although nozzle can be any gas expansion nozzle, the amount of cooling obtained and the efficiency of the process is dependent upon the design of the nozzle. Maximum cooling is obtained when the gas passing through the nozzle expands isentropically, i.e., expands by a reversible process at constant entropy. This is an idealized condition that cannot be attained in practice. However, it is within the skill of the nozzle art to design highly efficient gas nozzles for expanding gases substantially isentropically. The efficiency of a nozzle can be characterized by the nozzle coefficient nn, which is defined as V (actual) v, (ideal) in which V ,(actual) is the actual gas velocity attained in the nozzle and V (ideal) is the ideal velocity theoretically attained by a gas isentropically expanding through the nozzle. The term substantially isentropic" as used herein is meant to define a gas expansion through a nozzle having a nozzle coefficient of 0.95 or higher, and more preferably 0.98 or higher.

The nozzle design and operating conditions must be selected so that the expanded refrigerant gas is introduced into the refrigeration chamber at a temperature sufficiently below the melting temperature of the permafrostthat the gas does not warm to a temperature above the melting temperature during passage through the refrigeration chamber. The amount of the refrigerant gas expanded into the refrigeration chamber will depend upon the magnitude of the heat flux from the hot fluid flowing through the tubing string. in a typical well having a well insulated tubing string, the heat flux is generally about 10 to 30 BTU/Hr per foot of well. Depending upon the particular conditions encountered, this amount of heat can be removed by expanding about 900 to 1,800 pounds per hour of refrigerant gas into the refrigeration chamber.

In operation, the refrigeration obtained with any particular system can be controlled by adjusting either the inlet pressure of the gas supplied to the nozzle, the exhaust pressure in the refrigeration chamber, or both of these pressures. An increase in inlet pressure and a decrease in exhaust pressure result in additional cooling, with an opposite effect being obtained by a reduction in inlet pressure or an increase in the exhaust pressure.

The improved well refrigeration method of this invention is further demonstrated by the following examples which are presented by way of illustration, and are not intended as limiting the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

EXAMPLE 1 This example illustrates the application of the well refrigeration method of this invention to a producing well completed in a petroleum reservoir underlying a frozen permafrost zone approximately 2,000 feet thick. The well is completed substantially as illustrated in FIG. 1, with refrigeration chamber 62 extending from the surface to a depth of approximately 300 feet. Fluids are produced from the underlying reservoir at a temperature of 125 F. and transported to the surface. Primary treatment includes separation of the gas, oil and water phases. High pressure gas is produced from the separator at 125 F. and 485 psig. This gas consists primarily of methane and contains ethane and other light hydrocarbons, and exhibits a specific gravity of 0.70.

Refrigeration of the well is accomplished by recycling a portion of the produced high pressure gas to the well and substantially isentropically expanding this gas into the refrigeration chamber through a single gas expansion nozzle having a nozzle efficiency of 0.98. The refrigerant gas is dried by contact with ethylene glycol prior to recycle to the well to avoid the formation of hydrates in the refrigeration chamber. Approximately 500 MSCF/D of the high pressure gas at 125 F. and 485 psig is expanded to 185 psig in the refrigeration chamber to provide cooling for the well. The expanded gas exits the expansion nozzle at a temperature of 20 F., and is warmed to about 30 F. during its passage through the refrigeration chamber. The refrigerant gas removes sufficient heat from the well to prevent thawing of the permafrost adjacent to the well.

EXAMPLE 2 This example illustrates another embodiment of the invention in which the well is cooled by expanding a high pressure refrigerant gas separated from the produced fluids in a downhole separator located 300 feet below the surface. Approximately 500 MSCF/D of gas is separated from the produced fluids at a temperature of 125 F. and a pressure of 485 psig. This gas is expanded, without drying, into the refrigeration chamber of a well completed substantially as illustrated in FIG. 2. The refrigerant is cooled to a temperature of about 20 F. on expanding to a pressure of 175 psig., and is warmed about F. on passage through the refrigeration zone. The pressure in the refrigeration chamber is controlled to maintain the temperature of the gas exiting the refrigeration chamber below about 32 F.

Various embodiments and modifications of this invention have been described in the foregoing specification, and further modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such modifications are included within the scope of this invention as defined by the following claims.

Having now described the invention, 1 claim:

1. A refrigerated well extending from the surface to an underlying petroleum reservoir for conducting hot fluids through a permafrost zone, which comprises:

a closed annular refrigeration chamber defined by inner and outer concentric casings extending a substantial distance into said permafrost zone, said refrigeration chamber lying between said hot fluids conducted through said well and said permafrost;

a production tubing within said inner casing to conduct fluids from said underlying petroleum reservoir to the surface, or vice versa;

at least one gas expansion nozzle located within said refrigeration chamber and adjacent to the bottom thereof, and discharging into said chamber;

gas conduit means to conduct high pressure gas from a source of high pressure gas to said gas expansion nozzle; and Y means for exhausting low pressure gas from said refrigeration chamber;

whereby high pressure gas discharged through said gas expansion nozzle into said refrigeration chamber is cooled to a temperature below the permafrost temperature and flowed upwardly through said refrigeration chamber to prevent the transfer of heat from said hot fluids conducted through said well to the surrounding permafrost.

2. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said annular refrigeration chamber has a length of about 200 to 700 feet.

3. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said gas expansion nozzle substantially isentropically expands gas into said refrigeration chamber.

4. The apparatus defined in claim 1 including a gas separator located at the surface to separate high pressure gas from fluids produced from said underlying petroleum reservoir, wherein said gas conduit means conducts said high pressure gas from said gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle, and wherein said gas conduit means includes a high pressure gas conduit in said refrigeration chamber extending from the surface to said gas expansion nozzle. I

5. The apparatus defined in claim 1 including a downhole gas separator in fluid communication with said production tubing to separate high pressure gas from fluids produced from said underlying petroleum reservoir, said separator being located adjacent to the bottom of said refrigeration chamber, and wherein said gas conduit means conducts high pressure gas from said gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle.

6. A refrigerated well for conducting hot fluids through a permafrost zone, which comprises:

a first casing extending a substantial distance into said permafrost zone and cemented therein;

a second casing placed concentrically within said first casing, said second casing extending below said first casing and said second casing being cemented below the bottom of said first casing;

sealing means at the top of said first casing to provide a fluid-tight closure between said first and second casings so as to form a closed annular refrigeration chamber;

a production tubing within said second casing to convey fluids from an underlying producing strata to the surface, or vice versa, said tubing being insulated through said permafrost zone;

at least one gas expansion nozzle located within said refrigeration chamber and adjacent to the bottom thereof, and discharging into said chamber;

gas conduit means to conduct high pressure gas' from a source of high pressure gas to' said gasexp'a'nsion nozzle; and

means for exhaustinglow pressure gas from said refrigeration chamber.. I

7. The apparatus defined in claim 6 including a gas separator located at the surface separate high pressure gas from fluids produced from said underlying producing strata, wherein said gas conduit means 'conducts said high pressure gas from said gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle, and wherein said gas conduit means includes a high pressure gas conduit in said refrigeration chamber extending from the surface to said gas expansion nozzle. t

8. The apparatus defined in claim 6 including a downhole gas separator in fluid communication with said production tubing to separate a portion of the gas from the fluids produced from said underlying producing strata, said separator being located in said second casing adjacent to the bottom of said refrigeration chamber, and wherein said gas conduit means conducts high pressure gas from said gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle.

9. The apparatus defined in claim 6 wherein said gas expansion nozzle expands the gas passing therethrough substantially isentropically.

10. The apparatus defined in claim 6 including a production casing placed concentrically within said second casing, said production casing extending from the surface to said underlying producing strata and said production casing being cemented below the bottom of said second casing.

11. The apparatus defined in claim 6 wherein said second casing extends at least to the bottom of said permafrost zone.

12. A refrigerated well for conducting hot fluids through a permafrost zone, which comprises:

a surface conductor cemented in the permafrost;

a first casing placed concentrically within said sur-* face conductor and extending about 200 to 700 feet into said permafrost zone, said first casing being cemented to the surface;

a second casing placed concentrically within said first casing, said second casing extending at least through said permafrost zone and said second casing being cemented below the bottom of said first casing;

sealing means at the top of said first casing to provide a fluid-tight closure between said first and second casings so as to form a closed annular refrigeration chamber;

a production casing placed concentrically within said second casing and extending from the surface to an underlying petroleum reservoir, said production casing being cemented below the bottom of said second casing;

a production tubing within said production casing to convey fluids from an underlying petroleum reservoir to the surface, or vice versa, said tubing being insulated through said permafrost zone;

at least one gas expansion nozzle located with said refrigeration chamber and adjacent to the bottom thereof, to substantially isentropically expand high pressure gas into said chamber;

a gas conduit in said refrigeration chamber to conduct high pressure gas from the surface to said gas expansion nozzle; and

" means to exhaust low pressure g as from said refrigerfor producing hot fluids from an underlying petroleum reservoir, which co mprisesf a surface conductor eenientedin the permafrost;

a first casing placed concentrically vvithin said surface conductor and extending about ZOO'to 700 .feet. into said permafrost zone, said first casing being cemented .t o surface; I

a secondsca sing placedconcent rically within said first casing, said second. casing extending at least through said permafrost zone and said second casing being,cemen'ted below the bottomof said first casing; s v 1 sealing means at the top of said first casing to provide a fluid-tight closure between said first and second casings so as to form a closed annular refrigeration chamber;

a production casing placed concentrically within said second casing and extending from the surface to an underlying petroleum reservoir, said production casing being cemented below the bottom of said second casing;

a production tubing within said production casing to convey fluids from said underlying petroleum reservoir to the surface, said tubing being insulated through the permafrost zone;

a downhole gas separator in said production casing adjacent to the bottom of said refrigeration chamber to receive produced fluids flowing upwardly through said production tubing, disengage a portion of the gas from said produced fluids, and discharge the residual produced fluids up said production tubing;

at least one gas expansion nozzle located within said refrigeration chamber and adjacent to the bottom thereof, to substantially isentropically expand high pressure gas into said chamber;

gas conduit means to conduct gas from said downhole gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle; and means to exhaust low pressure gas from said refrigeration chamber.

14. The apparatus defined in claim 13 wherein said gas conduit means includes (1) first and second packers set in the annulus between said production tubing and said production casing, above and below said downhole gas separator, respectively, to define an enclosed annular first chamber; (2) third and fourth packers set in the annulus between said production casing and said second casing to define an enclosed second annular chamber surrounding said first annular chamber; (3) an aperture in said production casing communicating said first and second annular chambers; and (4) a conduit communicating said second annular chamber to the inlet of said gas expansion nozzle.

15. The apparatus defined in claim 14 wherein said downhole separator includes (1) an outer cylindrical shell having an inlet at its bottom and an outlet at its top for connection, respectively, to said production tubing; (2) an internal standpipe extending above said inlet; (3) an inverted cap extending downwardly below the lip of said standpipe; (4) an inverted cup-shaped diverter supported immediately above said standpipe; (5) an apertured baffle separating said cap into a lower section and an upper gas chamber; and (6) a float-type valve in said gas chamber having an outlet connected to the exterior of said cylindrical shell.

16. A method for conducting hot fluids through a well traversing a permafrost zone without melting the permafrost surrounding the well, which comprises:

flowing the hot fluid through an insulated first tubular member within said well, said fluid being either injected into or produced from an underlying petroleum reservoir;

introducing and expanding a high pressure gas in the bottom of an annular refrigeration chamber defined by inner and outer concentric casings surrounding said first tubular member and lying between said first tubular member and said permafrost, to provide a cooled, low pressure gas having a temperature below the melting point of said perchamber at a temperature below about 32 F.

Claims (19)

1. A refrigerated well extending from the surface to an underlying petroleum reservoir for conducting hot fluids through a permafrost zone, which comprises: a closed annular refrigeration chamber defined by inner and outer concentric casings extending a substantial distance into said permafrost zone, said refrigeration chamber lying between said hot fluids conducted through said well and said permafrost; a production tubing within said inner casing to conduct fluids from said underlying petroleum reservoir to the surface, or vice versa; at least one gas expansion nozzle located within said refrigeration chamber and adjacent to the bottom thereof, and discharging into said chamber; gas conduit means to conduct high pressure gas from a source of high pressure gas to said gas expansion nozzle; and means for exhausting low pressure gas from said refrigeration chamber; whereby high pressure gas discharged through said gas expansion nozzle into said refrigeration chamber is cooled to a temperature below the permafrost temperature and flowed upwardly through said refrigeration chamber to prevent the transfer of heat from said hot fluids conducted through said well to the surrounding permafrost.
2. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said annular refrigeration chamber has a length of about 200 to 700 feet.
3. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said gas expansion nozzle substantially isentropically expands gas into said refrigeration chamber.
4. The apparatus defined in claim 1 including a gas separator located at the surface to separate high pressure gas from fluids produced from said underlying petroleum reservoir, wherein said gas conduit means conducts said high pressure gas from said gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle, and wherein said gas conduit means includes a high pressure gas conduit in said refrigeration chamber extending from the surface to said gas expansion nozzle.
5. The apparatus defined in claim 1 including a downhole gas separator in fluid communication with said production tubing to separate high pressure gas from fluids produced from said underlying petroleum reservoir, said separator being located adjacent to the bottom of said refrigEration chamber, and wherein said gas conduit means conducts high pressure gas from said gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle.
6. A refrigerated well for conducting hot fluids through a permafrost zone, which comprises: a first casing extending a substantial distance into said permafrost zone and cemented therein; a second casing placed concentrically within said first casing, said second casing extending below said first casing and said second casing being cemented below the bottom of said first casing; sealing means at the top of said first casing to provide a fluid-tight closure between said first and second casings so as to form a closed annular refrigeration chamber; a production tubing within said second casing to convey fluids from an underlying producing strata to the surface, or vice versa, said tubing being insulated through said permafrost zone; at least one gas expansion nozzle located within said refrigeration chamber and adjacent to the bottom thereof, and discharging into said chamber; gas conduit means to conduct high pressure gas from a source of high pressure gas to said gas expansion nozzle; and means for exhausting low pressure gas from said refrigeration chamber.
7. The apparatus defined in claim 6 including a gas separator located at the surface to separate high pressure gas from fluids produced from said underlying producing strata, wherein said gas conduit means conducts said high pressure gas from said gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle, and wherein said gas conduit means includes a high pressure gas conduit in said refrigeration chamber extending from the surface to said gas expansion nozzle.
8. The apparatus defined in claim 6 including a downhole gas separator in fluid communication with said production tubing to separate a portion of the gas from the fluids produced from said underlying producing strata, said separator being located in said second casing adjacent to the bottom of said refrigeration chamber, and wherein said gas conduit means conducts high pressure gas from said gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle.
9. The apparatus defined in claim 6 wherein said gas expansion nozzle expands the gas passing therethrough substantially isentropically.
10. The apparatus defined in claim 6 including a production casing placed concentrically within said second casing, said production casing extending from the surface to said underlying producing strata and said production casing being cemented below the bottom of said second casing.
11. The apparatus defined in claim 6 wherein said second casing extends at least to the bottom of said permafrost zone.
12. A refrigerated well for conducting hot fluids through a permafrost zone, which comprises: a surface conductor cemented in the permafrost; a first casing placed concentrically within said surface conductor and extending about 200 to 700 feet into said permafrost zone, said first casing being cemented to the surface; a second casing placed concentrically within said first casing, said second casing extending at least through said permafrost zone and said second casing being cemented below the bottom of said first casing; sealing means at the top of said first casing to provide a fluid-tight closure between said first and second casings so as to form a closed annular refrigeration chamber; a production casing placed concentrically within said second casing and extending from the surface to an underlying petroleum reservoir, said production casing being cemented below the bottom of said second casing; a production tubing within said production casing to convey fluids from an underlying petroleum reservoir to the surface, or vice versa, said tubing being insulated through said permafrost zone; at least one gas expansion nozzle located with said refrigeration chamber and adjacent to the bottom thereof, to substantially isentropically expand high pressure gas into said chamber; a gaS conduit in said refrigeration chamber to conduct high pressure gas from the surface to said gas expansion nozzle; and means to exhaust low pressure gas from said refrigeration chamber.
13. A refrigerated well penetrating a permafrost zone for producing hot fluids from an underlying petroleum reservoir, which comprises: a surface conductor cemented in the permafrost; a first casing placed concentrically within said surface conductor and extending about 200 to 700 feet into said permafrost zone, said first casing being cemented to the surface; a second casing placed concentrically within said first casing, said second casing extending at least through said permafrost zone and said second casing being cemented below the bottom of said first casing; sealing means at the top of said first casing to provide a fluid-tight closure between said first and second casings so as to form a closed annular refrigeration chamber; a production casing placed concentrically within said second casing and extending from the surface to an underlying petroleum reservoir, said production casing being cemented below the bottom of said second casing; a production tubing within said production casing to convey fluids from said underlying petroleum reservoir to the surface, said tubing being insulated through the permafrost zone; a downhole gas separator in said production casing adjacent to the bottom of said refrigeration chamber to receive produced fluids flowing upwardly through said production tubing, disengage a portion of the gas from said produced fluids, and discharge the residual produced fluids up said production tubing; at least one gas expansion nozzle located within said refrigeration chamber and adjacent to the bottom thereof, to substantially isentropically expand high pressure gas into said chamber; gas conduit means to conduct gas from said downhole gas separator to said gas expansion nozzle; and means to exhaust low pressure gas from said refrigeration chamber.
14. The apparatus defined in claim 13 wherein said gas conduit means includes (1) first and second packers set in the annulus between said production tubing and said production casing, above and below said downhole gas separator, respectively, to define an enclosed annular first chamber; (2) third and fourth packers set in the annulus between said production casing and said second casing to define an enclosed second annular chamber surrounding said first annular chamber; (3) an aperture in said production casing communicating said first and second annular chambers; and (4) a conduit communicating said second annular chamber to the inlet of said gas expansion nozzle.
15. The apparatus defined in claim 14 wherein said downhole separator includes (1) an outer cylindrical shell having an inlet at its bottom and an outlet at its top for connection, respectively, to said production tubing; (2) an internal standpipe extending above said inlet; (3) an inverted cap extending downwardly below the lip of said standpipe; (4) an inverted cup-shaped diverter supported immediately above said standpipe; (5) an apertured baffle separating said cap into a lower section and an upper gas chamber; and (6) a float-type valve in said gas chamber having an outlet connected to the exterior of said cylindrical shell.
16. A method for conducting hot fluids through a well traversing a permafrost zone without melting the permafrost surrounding the well, which comprises: flowing the hot fluid through an insulated first tubular member within said well, said fluid being either injected into or produced from an underlying petroleum reservoir; introducing and expanding a high pressure gas in the bottom of an annular refrigeration chamber defined by inner and outer concentric casings surrounding said first tubular member and lying between said first tubular member and said permafrost, to provide a cooled, low pressure Gas having a temperature below the melting point of said permafrost; flowing said cooled gas upwardly through said annular refrigeration chamber; and withdrawing said low pressure gas from the upper end of said refrigeration chamber.
17. The method defined in claim 16 wherein said high pressure gas is produced gas separated from fluids produced from a petroleum reservoir.
18. The method defined in claim 16 wherein said high pressure gas is substantially isentropically expanded into said refrigeration chamber.
19. The method defined in claim 16 wherein said low temperature gas is withdrawn from said refrigeration chamber at a temperature below about 32* F.
US39389273 1973-09-04 1973-09-04 Method and apparatus for refrigerating wells by gas expansion Expired - Lifetime US3882937A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US39389273 US3882937A (en) 1973-09-04 1973-09-04 Method and apparatus for refrigerating wells by gas expansion

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US39389273 US3882937A (en) 1973-09-04 1973-09-04 Method and apparatus for refrigerating wells by gas expansion

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US3882937A true US3882937A (en) 1975-05-13

Family

ID=23556673

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US39389273 Expired - Lifetime US3882937A (en) 1973-09-04 1973-09-04 Method and apparatus for refrigerating wells by gas expansion

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US3882937A (en)

Cited By (60)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4195487A (en) * 1975-07-01 1980-04-01 Nippon Concrete Industries Co., Ltd. Concrete piles suitable as foundation pillars
US4479546A (en) * 1983-01-28 1984-10-30 Bresie Don A Method and apparatus for producing natural gas from tight formations
US4784528A (en) * 1986-02-25 1988-11-15 Chevron Research Company Method and apparatus for piled foundation improvement with freezing using down-hole refrigeration units
US5265677A (en) * 1992-07-08 1993-11-30 Halliburton Company Refrigerant-cooled downhole tool and method
US5560220A (en) * 1995-09-01 1996-10-01 Ecr Technologies, Inc. Method for testing an earth tap heat exchanger and associated apparatus
US5561985A (en) * 1995-05-02 1996-10-08 Ecr Technologies, Inc. Heat pump apparatus including earth tap heat exchanger
US5706888A (en) * 1995-06-16 1998-01-13 Geofurnace Systems, Inc. Geothermal heat exchanger and heat pump circuit
US5937665A (en) * 1998-01-15 1999-08-17 Geofurnace Systems, Inc. Geothermal subcircuit for air conditioning unit
US5983660A (en) * 1998-01-15 1999-11-16 Geofurnace Systems, Inc. Defrost subcircuit for air-to-air heat pump
US20030010499A1 (en) * 2000-02-18 2003-01-16 Qvam Helge Andreas Method for thermally protecting subsea installations, and apparatus for implementing such thermal protection
US20080087426A1 (en) * 2006-10-13 2008-04-17 Kaminsky Robert D Method of developing a subsurface freeze zone using formation fractures
US20080173443A1 (en) * 2003-06-24 2008-07-24 Symington William A Methods of treating a subterranean formation to convert organic matter into producible hydrocarbons
US20090183872A1 (en) * 2008-01-23 2009-07-23 Trent Robert H Methods Of Recovering Hydrocarbons From Oil Shale And Sub-Surface Oil Shale Recovery Arrangements For Recovering Hydrocarbons From Oil Shale
US7669657B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2010-03-02 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Enhanced shale oil production by in situ heating using hydraulically fractured producing wells
US20100101793A1 (en) * 2008-10-29 2010-04-29 Symington William A Electrically Conductive Methods For Heating A Subsurface Formation To Convert Organic Matter Into Hydrocarbon Fluids
US7775281B2 (en) * 2006-05-10 2010-08-17 Kosakewich Darrell S Method and apparatus for stimulating production from oil and gas wells by freeze-thaw cycling
US20100282460A1 (en) * 2009-05-05 2010-11-11 Stone Matthew T Converting Organic Matter From A Subterranean Formation Into Producible Hydrocarbons By Controlling Production Operations Based On Availability Of One Or More Production Resources
WO2011056171A1 (en) * 2009-11-04 2011-05-12 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Open loop cooling system and method for downhole tools
US20110200516A1 (en) * 2010-02-13 2011-08-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reactor vessels with transmissive surfaces for producing hydrogen-based fuels and structural elements, and associated systems and methods
US20110206565A1 (en) * 2010-02-13 2011-08-25 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Chemical reactors with re-radiating surfaces and associated systems and methods
US20110203776A1 (en) * 2009-02-17 2011-08-25 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Thermal transfer device and associated systems and methods
US20110209848A1 (en) * 2008-09-24 2011-09-01 Earth To Air Systems, Llc Heat Transfer Refrigerant Transport Tubing Coatings and Insulation for a Direct Exchange Geothermal Heating/Cooling System and Tubing Spool Core Size
US20110220040A1 (en) * 2008-01-07 2011-09-15 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Coupled thermochemical reactors and engines, and associated systems and methods
US8082995B2 (en) 2007-12-10 2011-12-27 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Optimization of untreated oil shale geometry to control subsidence
US8087460B2 (en) 2007-03-22 2012-01-03 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Granular electrical connections for in situ formation heating
US8122955B2 (en) 2007-05-15 2012-02-28 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Downhole burners for in situ conversion of organic-rich rock formations
US8146664B2 (en) 2007-05-25 2012-04-03 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Utilization of low BTU gas generated during in situ heating of organic-rich rock
US8151884B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2012-04-10 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Combined development of oil shale by in situ heating with a deeper hydrocarbon resource
US8151877B2 (en) 2007-05-15 2012-04-10 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Downhole burner wells for in situ conversion of organic-rich rock formations
US8230929B2 (en) 2008-05-23 2012-07-31 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Methods of producing hydrocarbons for substantially constant composition gas generation
US20130094909A1 (en) * 2011-08-12 2013-04-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for collecting and processing permafrost gases, and for cooling permafrost
US8596355B2 (en) 2003-06-24 2013-12-03 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Optimized well spacing for in situ shale oil development
US8616280B2 (en) 2010-08-30 2013-12-31 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Wellbore mechanical integrity for in situ pyrolysis
US8616279B2 (en) 2009-02-23 2013-12-31 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Water treatment following shale oil production by in situ heating
US8624072B2 (en) 2010-02-13 2014-01-07 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Chemical reactors with annularly positioned delivery and removal devices, and associated systems and methods
US8622133B2 (en) 2007-03-22 2014-01-07 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Resistive heater for in situ formation heating
US8622127B2 (en) 2010-08-30 2014-01-07 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Olefin reduction for in situ pyrolysis oil generation
US8641150B2 (en) 2006-04-21 2014-02-04 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company In situ co-development of oil shale with mineral recovery
US8669014B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-03-11 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Fuel-cell systems operable in multiple modes for variable processing of feedstock materials and associated devices, systems, and methods
US8673509B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-03-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Fuel-cell systems operable in multiple modes for variable processing of feedstock materials and associated devices, systems, and methods
US8671870B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-03-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for extracting and processing gases from submerged sources
US8734546B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-05-27 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Geothermal energization of a non-combustion chemical reactor and associated systems and methods
US8771636B2 (en) 2008-01-07 2014-07-08 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Chemical processes and reactors for efficiently producing hydrogen fuels and structural materials, and associated systems and methods
US8770284B2 (en) 2012-05-04 2014-07-08 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Systems and methods of detecting an intersection between a wellbore and a subterranean structure that includes a marker material
US8821602B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-09-02 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for providing supplemental aqueous thermal energy
US8826657B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-09-09 Mcallister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for providing supplemental aqueous thermal energy
US8863839B2 (en) 2009-12-17 2014-10-21 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Enhanced convection for in situ pyrolysis of organic-rich rock formations
US8875789B2 (en) 2007-05-25 2014-11-04 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Process for producing hydrocarbon fluids combining in situ heating, a power plant and a gas plant
US8888408B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-11-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for collecting and processing permafrost gases, and for cooling permafrost
US8911703B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-12-16 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reducing and/or harvesting drag energy from transport vehicles, including for chemical reactors, and associated systems and methods
US8926719B2 (en) 2013-03-14 2015-01-06 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Method and apparatus for generating hydrogen from metal
US9080441B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2015-07-14 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Multiple electrical connections to optimize heating for in situ pyrolysis
US9243485B2 (en) 2013-02-05 2016-01-26 Triple D Technologies, Inc. System and method to initiate permeability in bore holes without perforating tools
US9256045B2 (en) 2006-12-13 2016-02-09 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Open loop cooling system and method for downhole tools
US9302681B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2016-04-05 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Mobile transport platforms for producing hydrogen and structural materials, and associated systems and methods
US9309741B2 (en) 2013-02-08 2016-04-12 Triple D Technologies, Inc. System and method for temporarily sealing a bore hole
US9394772B2 (en) 2013-11-07 2016-07-19 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Systems and methods for in situ resistive heating of organic matter in a subterranean formation
US9512699B2 (en) 2013-10-22 2016-12-06 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Systems and methods for regulating an in situ pyrolysis process
US9522379B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2016-12-20 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reducing and/or harvesting drag energy from transport vehicles, including for chemical reactors, and associated systems and methods
US9644466B2 (en) 2014-11-21 2017-05-09 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Method of recovering hydrocarbons within a subsurface formation using electric current

Citations (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1798774A (en) * 1930-06-19 1931-03-31 Sinclair Oil & Gas Company Method and apparatus for recovering pressure gas from oil wells
US2033560A (en) * 1932-11-12 1936-03-10 Technicraft Engineering Corp Refrigerating packer
US2753700A (en) * 1952-03-27 1956-07-10 Constock Liquid Methane Corp Method for using natural gas
US2772737A (en) * 1954-12-21 1956-12-04 Pure Oil Co Fracturing oil and gas producing formations
US3564862A (en) * 1969-09-12 1971-02-23 Hadi T Hashemi Method and apparatus for supporing a pipeline in permafrost environment
US3581513A (en) * 1969-04-23 1971-06-01 Inst Gas Technology Method and system for freezing rock and soil
US3662832A (en) * 1970-04-30 1972-05-16 Atlantic Richfield Co Insulating a wellbore in permafrost
US3674086A (en) * 1970-08-07 1972-07-04 Alden W Foster Method of transporting oil or gas in frozen tundra
US3735769A (en) * 1971-04-08 1973-05-29 J Miller Method for pumping oil through terrain containing permafrost
US3738424A (en) * 1971-06-14 1973-06-12 Big Three Industries Method for controlling offshore petroleum wells during blowout conditions
US3763935A (en) * 1972-05-15 1973-10-09 Atlantic Richfield Co Well insulation method
US3766985A (en) * 1971-12-01 1973-10-23 Univ Kansas State Production of oil from well cased in permafrost
US3774701A (en) * 1971-05-07 1973-11-27 C Weaver Method and apparatus for drilling
US3777502A (en) * 1971-03-12 1973-12-11 Newport News Shipbuilding Dry Method of transporting liquid and gas

Patent Citations (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1798774A (en) * 1930-06-19 1931-03-31 Sinclair Oil & Gas Company Method and apparatus for recovering pressure gas from oil wells
US2033560A (en) * 1932-11-12 1936-03-10 Technicraft Engineering Corp Refrigerating packer
US2753700A (en) * 1952-03-27 1956-07-10 Constock Liquid Methane Corp Method for using natural gas
US2772737A (en) * 1954-12-21 1956-12-04 Pure Oil Co Fracturing oil and gas producing formations
US3581513A (en) * 1969-04-23 1971-06-01 Inst Gas Technology Method and system for freezing rock and soil
US3564862A (en) * 1969-09-12 1971-02-23 Hadi T Hashemi Method and apparatus for supporing a pipeline in permafrost environment
US3662832A (en) * 1970-04-30 1972-05-16 Atlantic Richfield Co Insulating a wellbore in permafrost
US3674086A (en) * 1970-08-07 1972-07-04 Alden W Foster Method of transporting oil or gas in frozen tundra
US3777502A (en) * 1971-03-12 1973-12-11 Newport News Shipbuilding Dry Method of transporting liquid and gas
US3735769A (en) * 1971-04-08 1973-05-29 J Miller Method for pumping oil through terrain containing permafrost
US3774701A (en) * 1971-05-07 1973-11-27 C Weaver Method and apparatus for drilling
US3738424A (en) * 1971-06-14 1973-06-12 Big Three Industries Method for controlling offshore petroleum wells during blowout conditions
US3766985A (en) * 1971-12-01 1973-10-23 Univ Kansas State Production of oil from well cased in permafrost
US3763935A (en) * 1972-05-15 1973-10-09 Atlantic Richfield Co Well insulation method

Cited By (87)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4195487A (en) * 1975-07-01 1980-04-01 Nippon Concrete Industries Co., Ltd. Concrete piles suitable as foundation pillars
US4479546A (en) * 1983-01-28 1984-10-30 Bresie Don A Method and apparatus for producing natural gas from tight formations
US4784528A (en) * 1986-02-25 1988-11-15 Chevron Research Company Method and apparatus for piled foundation improvement with freezing using down-hole refrigeration units
US5265677A (en) * 1992-07-08 1993-11-30 Halliburton Company Refrigerant-cooled downhole tool and method
US5561985A (en) * 1995-05-02 1996-10-08 Ecr Technologies, Inc. Heat pump apparatus including earth tap heat exchanger
US5706888A (en) * 1995-06-16 1998-01-13 Geofurnace Systems, Inc. Geothermal heat exchanger and heat pump circuit
US5875644A (en) * 1995-06-16 1999-03-02 Geofurnace Systems, Inc. Heat exchanger and heat pump circuit
US5560220A (en) * 1995-09-01 1996-10-01 Ecr Technologies, Inc. Method for testing an earth tap heat exchanger and associated apparatus
US5937665A (en) * 1998-01-15 1999-08-17 Geofurnace Systems, Inc. Geothermal subcircuit for air conditioning unit
US5983660A (en) * 1998-01-15 1999-11-16 Geofurnace Systems, Inc. Defrost subcircuit for air-to-air heat pump
US20030010499A1 (en) * 2000-02-18 2003-01-16 Qvam Helge Andreas Method for thermally protecting subsea installations, and apparatus for implementing such thermal protection
US6889770B2 (en) * 2000-02-18 2005-05-10 Abb Offshore Systems As Method for thermally protecting subsea installations, and apparatus for implementing such thermal protection
US7631691B2 (en) 2003-06-24 2009-12-15 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Methods of treating a subterranean formation to convert organic matter into producible hydrocarbons
US20080173443A1 (en) * 2003-06-24 2008-07-24 Symington William A Methods of treating a subterranean formation to convert organic matter into producible hydrocarbons
US8596355B2 (en) 2003-06-24 2013-12-03 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Optimized well spacing for in situ shale oil development
US20100078169A1 (en) * 2003-06-24 2010-04-01 Symington William A Methods of Treating Suberranean Formation To Convert Organic Matter Into Producible Hydrocarbons
US8641150B2 (en) 2006-04-21 2014-02-04 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company In situ co-development of oil shale with mineral recovery
US7775281B2 (en) * 2006-05-10 2010-08-17 Kosakewich Darrell S Method and apparatus for stimulating production from oil and gas wells by freeze-thaw cycling
US20100263869A1 (en) * 2006-05-10 2010-10-21 Kosakewich Darrell S Method and apparatus for stimulating production from oil and gas wells by freeze-thaw cycling
US20100319909A1 (en) * 2006-10-13 2010-12-23 Symington William A Enhanced Shale Oil Production By In Situ Heating Using Hydraulically Fractured Producing Wells
US7647971B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2010-01-19 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Method of developing subsurface freeze zone
US7647972B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2010-01-19 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Subsurface freeze zone using formation fractures
US7669657B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2010-03-02 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Enhanced shale oil production by in situ heating using hydraulically fractured producing wells
US20090107679A1 (en) * 2006-10-13 2009-04-30 Kaminsky Robert D Subsurface Freeze Zone Using Formation Fractures
US20090101348A1 (en) * 2006-10-13 2009-04-23 Kaminsky Robert D Method of Developing Subsurface Freeze Zone
US7516785B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2009-04-14 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Method of developing subsurface freeze zone
US7516787B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2009-04-14 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Method of developing a subsurface freeze zone using formation fractures
US20080087426A1 (en) * 2006-10-13 2008-04-17 Kaminsky Robert D Method of developing a subsurface freeze zone using formation fractures
US8104537B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2012-01-31 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Method of developing subsurface freeze zone
US8151884B2 (en) 2006-10-13 2012-04-10 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Combined development of oil shale by in situ heating with a deeper hydrocarbon resource
US9256045B2 (en) 2006-12-13 2016-02-09 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Open loop cooling system and method for downhole tools
US8087460B2 (en) 2007-03-22 2012-01-03 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Granular electrical connections for in situ formation heating
US8622133B2 (en) 2007-03-22 2014-01-07 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Resistive heater for in situ formation heating
US9347302B2 (en) 2007-03-22 2016-05-24 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Resistive heater for in situ formation heating
US8151877B2 (en) 2007-05-15 2012-04-10 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Downhole burner wells for in situ conversion of organic-rich rock formations
US8122955B2 (en) 2007-05-15 2012-02-28 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Downhole burners for in situ conversion of organic-rich rock formations
US8146664B2 (en) 2007-05-25 2012-04-03 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Utilization of low BTU gas generated during in situ heating of organic-rich rock
US8875789B2 (en) 2007-05-25 2014-11-04 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Process for producing hydrocarbon fluids combining in situ heating, a power plant and a gas plant
US8082995B2 (en) 2007-12-10 2011-12-27 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Optimization of untreated oil shale geometry to control subsidence
US9188086B2 (en) 2008-01-07 2015-11-17 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Coupled thermochemical reactors and engines, and associated systems and methods
US8771636B2 (en) 2008-01-07 2014-07-08 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Chemical processes and reactors for efficiently producing hydrogen fuels and structural materials, and associated systems and methods
US20110220040A1 (en) * 2008-01-07 2011-09-15 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Coupled thermochemical reactors and engines, and associated systems and methods
US7832483B2 (en) * 2008-01-23 2010-11-16 New Era Petroleum, Llc. Methods of recovering hydrocarbons from oil shale and sub-surface oil shale recovery arrangements for recovering hydrocarbons from oil shale
US20090183872A1 (en) * 2008-01-23 2009-07-23 Trent Robert H Methods Of Recovering Hydrocarbons From Oil Shale And Sub-Surface Oil Shale Recovery Arrangements For Recovering Hydrocarbons From Oil Shale
US8230929B2 (en) 2008-05-23 2012-07-31 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Methods of producing hydrocarbons for substantially constant composition gas generation
US20110209848A1 (en) * 2008-09-24 2011-09-01 Earth To Air Systems, Llc Heat Transfer Refrigerant Transport Tubing Coatings and Insulation for a Direct Exchange Geothermal Heating/Cooling System and Tubing Spool Core Size
US20100101793A1 (en) * 2008-10-29 2010-04-29 Symington William A Electrically Conductive Methods For Heating A Subsurface Formation To Convert Organic Matter Into Hydrocarbon Fluids
US20110203776A1 (en) * 2009-02-17 2011-08-25 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Thermal transfer device and associated systems and methods
US8616279B2 (en) 2009-02-23 2013-12-31 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Water treatment following shale oil production by in situ heating
US20100282460A1 (en) * 2009-05-05 2010-11-11 Stone Matthew T Converting Organic Matter From A Subterranean Formation Into Producible Hydrocarbons By Controlling Production Operations Based On Availability Of One Or More Production Resources
US8540020B2 (en) 2009-05-05 2013-09-24 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Converting organic matter from a subterranean formation into producible hydrocarbons by controlling production operations based on availability of one or more production resources
WO2011056171A1 (en) * 2009-11-04 2011-05-12 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Open loop cooling system and method for downhole tools
US8863839B2 (en) 2009-12-17 2014-10-21 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Enhanced convection for in situ pyrolysis of organic-rich rock formations
US8624072B2 (en) 2010-02-13 2014-01-07 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Chemical reactors with annularly positioned delivery and removal devices, and associated systems and methods
US9541284B2 (en) 2010-02-13 2017-01-10 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Chemical reactors with annularly positioned delivery and removal devices, and associated systems and methods
US8673220B2 (en) 2010-02-13 2014-03-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reactors for conducting thermochemical processes with solar heat input, and associated systems and methods
US9206045B2 (en) 2010-02-13 2015-12-08 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reactor vessels with transmissive surfaces for producing hydrogen-based fuels and structural elements, and associated systems and methods
US20110200516A1 (en) * 2010-02-13 2011-08-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reactor vessels with transmissive surfaces for producing hydrogen-based fuels and structural elements, and associated systems and methods
US9103548B2 (en) 2010-02-13 2015-08-11 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reactors for conducting thermochemical processes with solar heat input, and associated systems and methods
US20110206565A1 (en) * 2010-02-13 2011-08-25 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Chemical reactors with re-radiating surfaces and associated systems and methods
US8926908B2 (en) 2010-02-13 2015-01-06 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reactor vessels with pressure and heat transfer features for producing hydrogen-based fuels and structural elements, and associated systems and methods
US8616280B2 (en) 2010-08-30 2013-12-31 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Wellbore mechanical integrity for in situ pyrolysis
US8622127B2 (en) 2010-08-30 2014-01-07 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Olefin reduction for in situ pyrolysis oil generation
US8734546B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-05-27 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Geothermal energization of a non-combustion chemical reactor and associated systems and methods
US8888408B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-11-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for collecting and processing permafrost gases, and for cooling permafrost
US8911703B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-12-16 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reducing and/or harvesting drag energy from transport vehicles, including for chemical reactors, and associated systems and methods
US9617983B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2017-04-11 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for providing supplemental aqueous thermal energy
US20130094909A1 (en) * 2011-08-12 2013-04-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for collecting and processing permafrost gases, and for cooling permafrost
US9039327B2 (en) * 2011-08-12 2015-05-26 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for collecting and processing permafrost gases, and for cooling permafrost
US9309473B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2016-04-12 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for extracting and processing gases from submerged sources
US8821602B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-09-02 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for providing supplemental aqueous thermal energy
US8671870B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-03-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for extracting and processing gases from submerged sources
US8673509B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-03-18 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Fuel-cell systems operable in multiple modes for variable processing of feedstock materials and associated devices, systems, and methods
US9222704B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2015-12-29 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Geothermal energization of a non-combustion chemical reactor and associated systems and methods
US8826657B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-09-09 Mcallister Technologies, Llc Systems and methods for providing supplemental aqueous thermal energy
US8669014B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2014-03-11 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Fuel-cell systems operable in multiple modes for variable processing of feedstock materials and associated devices, systems, and methods
US9302681B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2016-04-05 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Mobile transport platforms for producing hydrogen and structural materials, and associated systems and methods
US9522379B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2016-12-20 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Reducing and/or harvesting drag energy from transport vehicles, including for chemical reactors, and associated systems and methods
US9080441B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2015-07-14 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Multiple electrical connections to optimize heating for in situ pyrolysis
US8770284B2 (en) 2012-05-04 2014-07-08 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Systems and methods of detecting an intersection between a wellbore and a subterranean structure that includes a marker material
US9243485B2 (en) 2013-02-05 2016-01-26 Triple D Technologies, Inc. System and method to initiate permeability in bore holes without perforating tools
US9309741B2 (en) 2013-02-08 2016-04-12 Triple D Technologies, Inc. System and method for temporarily sealing a bore hole
US8926719B2 (en) 2013-03-14 2015-01-06 Mcalister Technologies, Llc Method and apparatus for generating hydrogen from metal
US9512699B2 (en) 2013-10-22 2016-12-06 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Systems and methods for regulating an in situ pyrolysis process
US9394772B2 (en) 2013-11-07 2016-07-19 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Systems and methods for in situ resistive heating of organic matter in a subterranean formation
US9739122B2 (en) 2014-11-21 2017-08-22 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Mitigating the effects of subsurface shunts during bulk heating of a subsurface formation
US9644466B2 (en) 2014-11-21 2017-05-09 Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Method of recovering hydrocarbons within a subsurface formation using electric current

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US3513913A (en) Oil recovery from oil shales by transverse combustion
US3285335A (en) In situ pyrolysis of oil shale formations
US3333637A (en) Petroleum recovery by gas-cock thermal backflow
US3223158A (en) In situ retorting of oil shale
US3149670A (en) In-situ heating process
US3183971A (en) Prestressing a pipe string in a well cementing method
US8517098B2 (en) Wellbore method and apparatus for completion, production and injection
US7066283B2 (en) Reverse circulation directional and horizontal drilling using concentric coil tubing
US7128150B2 (en) Acid gas disposal method
US3139928A (en) Thermal process for in situ decomposition of oil shale
CA2641596C (en) Managed pressure and/or temperature drilling system and method
US5289881A (en) Horizontal well completion
EP0977932B1 (en) A method and an apparatus for use in production tests, testing an expected permeable formation
US3559737A (en) Underground fluid storage in permeable formations
US4319635A (en) Method for enhanced oil recovery by geopressured waterflood
EP0583977B1 (en) Cementing systems for oil wells
RU2478074C2 (en) Method to inject carbon dioxide
US3379253A (en) Plugging of vugged and porous strata
US7530392B2 (en) Method and system for development of hydrocarbon bearing formations including depressurization of gas hydrates
US20030155156A1 (en) Two string drilling system using coil tubing
AU2002346437B2 (en) In-situ casting of well equipment
US6206113B1 (en) Non-cryogenic nitrogen for on-site downhole drilling and post drilling operations apparatus
US5271469A (en) Borehole stressed packer inflation system
US1342780A (en) Method and apparatus for shutting water out of oil-wells
US6068053A (en) Fluid separation and reinjection systems