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Патент USA US2131183

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Sept. 27, 1938.
Filed Ju_l`y `5, 1935
4 Sheets-Shee‘t 1
Sept. 27,` 1938.
F. E, KEY'
Filed July 5, 1935
4 sheets-sheet 2 *
Sept. 27, 1938.
Filed July 5, 1935
4 Sheets-Sheet 5
ig- #à _
Filed July 5, 1935
4 Sheets-She‘et .4'
Z Heier/'aff
Patented Sept. 27,
' 2,131,183 l '
ÀIl‘rederii'ak E. Key. St. Louis, Mo.
Application July 5, 1935, Serial No. 90,007
-4 Claims. (Cl. 10S-239)
This invention relates to apparatus for lifting
liquids by gas pressure and has particular utility control including valves and valve operating and
timing mechanism; ì
in pumping wells and especially oil wells.
An object of this invention is to provide eili
cient means for lifting liquids by gas pressure
and for elevating liquids a great height by means
of comparatively low pressure..
Fig. 4 is a detail, partly in section of the two
way valves included'in the system showny on
Fig. 3 ; '
Another object of this invention is to provideV
means for lifting liquids by gas pressure which
will conserve pressure and obtain maximum work
out of the energy required.
Another object is to provide a liquid lifting
means utilizing a gas under pressure so arranged
and adapted as to conserve the volume of gas
15 required in its operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide
means for elevating liquids which will eillciently
lift liquids at a comparatively low rate of flow,
- whereby, when applied to an oil well, for example,
20 the well may be pumped continuously and, at the
same time, eillciently. By taking the oil from'
the well continuously, as fast as it flows in, back
pressure is prevented, thus enhancing the pro
duction. Also the tendency of sand to plug the
25 well is reduced.
Anotherobject of the invention is to provide
liquid lifting means suitable for well pumping
without the use of moving mechanical means
such as sucker rods and piston within the well,
30 to eliminate difllculties which attend such use.
Another object is to provide means for pump
ing an oil well which will agitate the oil less than
conventional methods, to prevent freeing gaseous
components. A further object is to provide appa
35 ratus for this purpose which may be readily
flushed with a solvent to dissolve parallln or gum
deposit without pulling the apparatus from the
In oil wells, there is usually a quantity of water
40 present and the oil and water stratify, with the
oil on top. By conventional methods it is nec
essary to lift all of the water above the level of
the pump inlet before the oil can be reached.
By pumping from the top of the liquid body the
45 oil may be evacuated without the use of power to
`- lift the water. An object of this invention is to
provide means for pumping a well from the top
of the liquid body at a range oi’ levels. ’
Other and specific objects will be apparent
50 from the following detail description taken in
connection with the accompanying drawings.
Fig. 1 is a'diagram of apparatus embodying
and utilizing the invention ;
Fig. 2a is a view showing details of construc
55 tion of the upper part of a device embodying
the invention in a well; Fig. 2b is a view showing
` details of construction of the lower part of the
device and is a continuation of the view shown
in Fig. 2a;
Fig. 3 is a diagram of a pneumatic system of
Fig. 5 is a detail, partly in section of pressure
regulator valves included in Fig. 3 :
Fig. 6 is a diagram of a modification in which
the well pressure is >used to operate the system;
Fig. 7 is a diagram of a further modiilcation
in which subatmospheric pressure alone is used.
A plurality of superimposed chambers, I, 2, 3,
4, 5, 6, "I, Il, 9 and I0, are connected alternately
to gas pressure lines A and B, the odd numbered 15
chambers being connected with A and the even
numbered chambers being connected with B.
The bottom chamber I has a port II communi
eating with a bodyof liquid in which that cham
ber may be immersed. 'I‘he intermediate and top 20
chambers each has a. tube I2 extending down
wardly into and open near the bottom of the
next succeeding chamber. A discharge pipe I3
extends downwardly into and opens near the bot
tom of the top chamber I0, discharging prefer- 25
ably at atmospheric pressure.
Means are provided for producing gas pres
sures of diiferent magnitude in the lines A and
B respectively and for reversing the relation
ships. That is to say, a superatmospheric pres- 30
sure first may be provided in line A while a sub
atmospheric pressure is provided in line B. ai'terwhich the pressures are reversed in the two lines.
Two-way valves I 4 and I5 are provided for the
lines A and B, respectively, each opening its line 35
selectively to a line I6, leading to a source of gas
pressure and a line I'I leading to a suction device,
or through a valve I8 to atmosphere.
Preferably, means is provided for connecting
the lines A and B, illustrated diagrammatically 40
as a valve I9.
'I'he valves I4, I5 and I9 may be operated by
timing mechanism, to produce successive cycles,
each comprising the following phases:_ I. In
which the valve II is operated to openk and then v4,5
to close the line A to pressure, while the valve I5
opens and then closes the line B to suction; II. In'
which the valve I9 connects and then disconnectsL
the lines A and B ; III. In which for a period, the
llne B is open to pressure and the line A is open 50 '
to suction; and IV. >In which the lines A and B'
are again connected.
'I‘he result of the operation is that liquid will
be lifted simultaneously from alternate chambers
into the complementary chambers respectively. 55
The ports II and the tubes I2 are provided
with check valves 20 to prevent back ñow.
'I'he tube I3 is provided with a float valve 2I,
the details of which are shown in Fig. 2a. This
valve is' so constructed as to prevent the gas un- 60
der pressure from blowing by after the top cham
opens into the chamber above the plate and
ber~has been drained below the bottom of the
tube I3.
extends downwardly into the chamber below the
plate. The plate 21 forming the top-wall of the'
The foregoing is a brief description of the.
chamber is bored and'threaded to receive the
embodiment as speciflcially shown in the draw
ings, while the essential features of the inven
tion are included in the appended claims. The
following supplemental description will assist in
understanding and practicing the invention.
The superimposed chambers I to Ill, may be
of a number and construction to suit the pur
poseto which they may be applied. For ex
ample, when used in a well they may be of or
dinary tubing 22, oi a size which enables them
15 to be inserted readily in a well casing 23.
The diameter of the chambers,` of course, may
be varied to suit requirements. The length will
depend upon the depth of the liquid in which
the line of chambers may be immersed and the
20 pressure to be used. If chambers 100 feet in
lower end of the line A in such'a manner that
the line is open into the chamber I, and the
plate forming the top wall of the chamber2 like- .
wise is bored and threaded to receive the lower
end of the line VB. The last named plate 21
is also bored to pass the line A and is provided
with a packing gland 33. The upper plates 21
are each bored to pass the lines A and B and pro
vided with packing glands 33 as clearly shown
in the drawing.
As previously described, the lines A and B open
into alternate chambers. In the chambers above
the second this opening isprovided by means'
of a fitting 34 on the appropriate line and having
a port 35 in its wall situated at the upper end
of the chamber.
A housing 38 for a check valve 20 is threaded
of nearly 200 feet from the bottom of one cham ` on the end _of each of the pipes I2.
The casing head includes a block 31 in which
ber to the top of the next, a diilerential pressure
length are used, making a total maximum lift
of approximately 100 pounds per square inch is
" 25
The pressure line I6, connectible selectively
with the lines A and B, taps a source of pressure,
such as a storage tank 24, supplied by a c'om
pressor P, while the line |1 may be connected
30 with the intake of the compressor, or open to
atmosphere, as indicated by the valve |8.
The closed circuit, using-pressure on one side
and suction on the other, has advantages and
especially in pumping oil. It conserves power
35 and also conserves, when- essential, the gas used
the top of the tubing 22 is threaded and thereby
supported. The block 31 rests upon an annular 25
ilange 38 threaded to the casing 23. A cap 4|)
engages an annular surface on the top of thev
block 31 and the block 31, flange 38 and cap 40
are held together by bolts 4| to seal the casing.
The cap is bored and threaded to support the 30
discharge tube I3 which extends downwardly into
the top chamber and also the pipe |3a forming ~.
a part of the discharge conduit and leading to
storage. 'I'he cap 40 is _also bored to pass the
lines A and B, which are packed with glands 33.
The float valve 2| on the bottom of the tube
I3, as specifically shown, includes an annular
seat 4| with portsv 42 opening into the tube I3
from the vtop chamber I0. A valve member 43
in the system. In pumping oil a gas other than
air should be used, otherwise an explosive mix
ture will result and present a‘hazard. Thus, if a
gas having an intrinsic value is employed, the
carried by a sleeve 44, to which is secured a float
system results in conserving the gas.-l
45, is adapted to reciprocate vertically on the
The valve I9, or equivalent means for con
necting the lines A and B, is provided also as a tube I3 and when the level of liquid in the4 cham
measure of economy and not of necessity, since ber I0 fallsbelow a predetermined level to cover
and close the ports 42. _A collar 46 is secured to
the chambers may be exhausted directly to at
the pipe I3 to limit the uppermost position of 45
air or another gas is used, energy is conserved the sleeve 44. »It will be understood that the
by first equalizing the pressure in the lines A and chamber I8 will empty before the other cham
B by their connection, rather than exhausting bers because the liquid needy be forced to only
the pressure in the line at the end of a pressure i
approximately the top of this chamber, while
with the other chambers the maximum lift, from 50
in the well. The chambers are formed of tub
55 ing 22 connected by suitable fittings 26 to which
the bottom of one chamber to the top-of the
next, is nearly twice as great. The timing of the
cycles and the pressure will be arranged so that
the other chambers will not be emptied to a
point below the bottom of the respective pipes
I2. Thus, with the iloat valve 2|, andthe tim
are attached plates 21 separating the chambers,
ing and pressure properly arranged, no gas in
later described in more detail. The lines A and
B are contained within the tubing and open to
the system need be lost except through absorp- , _
Details of a typical installation of those parts
of the apparatus inserted in a well are shown
in Fig. 2a and 2b. The construction is such that
the device may be readily assembled and placed
the appropriate chambers.
A iltting 26 is secured to the bottom of the
tube forming the chamber I‘. It is internally
threaded at both ends and has a conical seat
28 to receive an annular block 29, which is
to form the port || and which supports
a housing 30 for a check valve: 20. The block 29
is held on its seat by a jam nut 3| having ex
ternal threads to engage corresponding internal
threads on the fitting 26. A strainer 32 may be
supported by the iitting 26 as shown.
The plates 21 separating the chambers are
conical in form to fit on conical seats 28 in the
ñttings 26. Each is secured in position by a jam
nut 3|. Each of the plates 21 is bored and
75 threaded to receive and support a tube I2 which
Valve and timing mechanism for operating the 60
system may be of widelydifferent forms. VThe
timing system may be operated mechanically,
electrically, or pneumatically, as desired and as
most convenient. A preferred system of pneu
matically operated valves is shown diagrammati 65
cally in Fig. 3. The system illustrated in that
iigure'operates to produce the four-phase cycle
heretofore described. The lines A and B may be
connectedV by means equivalent to that of the
single valve I9 but arranged in such a> way that 70
the entirecycle may be controlled by two lines.
The valves I4 and`|5 are adapted to open the
lines A and B respectively, either to `line I6, con
nected with the pressure tank 24, or to a common
line 41 which may be connected by valves 48 and 75
49. in parallel, to the line I1 leading to a suction
receiver 66.
andBthroughline 41 aspreviouslydescribedin
. connection with Phase II .
The valves I4 and I6 are
each operated
by a -.
It will be understood that the cycle lIust 'Iie- ~
diaphragm device 6I constructed
and arranged
as shown in Fig. 4. Each valve includes a lower scribed will be repeated in succession under the
seat 62 and an upper seat 63 for valve members control of the timing mechanism 6l.
64 and 66 respectively, both carried by a stem I6
secured to a4 flexible diaphragm 61 and normally
held in upper position by a spring 66. The ar
10 rangement is such that in the absence of pres
sure on the diaphragm l1 the upper valve mem
ber 66 will seat closing the line I6, and lower valve
member 64 will open the line 41. Pressure upon
the diaphragm 61 will depress the valve stem and
15 seat the valve member 64, thus closing the line
41 and opening the line I6.
The construction ot the valves 46 and 49 is
shown in detail in Fig. 5. Each includes valve
members 69 carried by a stem 60 normally heldin
To provide pumping from the top of the liquid
body. ports 69 and check valves 16 may be pro
vided in some or all of the chambers, ifsuction
is not put on the chambers, that is, if superat
mospheric pressure is used on onel side.- of the 10v
system and atmospheric pressure is used on the
other side. These ports permit lifting of liquid
from their levels rather than from the bottom oi'
the well. or the level'oi' the port II. As specia
cally illustrated in Fig. 1, ports 69` are provided
in the chambers I, I and l. 'I'hey function in the
manner presently described. Assuming that
there are ten chambers each 100 i'eet long, the
device will reach to a depth of 1000 feet with the
port II at that level and in the absence oi’ the 20
ports 69 liquid would be pumped- from that point.
tion by pressure upon a diaphragm 62.
The valves I4 and 46 are controlled by a single y Assuming that oil is standing in the well casing at
line 63 and the valves I6 and 49 are controlled by approximately the 500 foot level as indicated by
the line marked “Liquid level” with 200 feet of
25 a single line 64. The lines 69 and 64 are con
nected to and controlled by a timing device 66. oil leaving 300 feet of water above the port II, 25
This device is one available commercially and oil will i'iow through the port 69 in the chamber
6 until it nlls the chamber, in the absence of pres-~
need not be described in detail. It consists es
sentially of a clock mechanism rotating a pair sure in the line A, and the chamber 6 will be
30 of cams, operating valves respectively which are illled very quickly. 'I'he flow will be at a much
uppermost or closed position by a spring 6I and
adapted to be pressed downwardly to open posi
adapted to introduce pressure into the lines 64
more rapid rate than ilow upwardly through the
pipe I2, which extends into the chamber 4, under
The pressure for the timing mechanism 66 is
received from a line 66, connected to the pressure
influence of pressure in the line B. If the chain'-4
ber 4 is illled with water and the chamber l is
ulating valve 66.» The illter may be of known
commercial construction and the regulating
will be la relatively small ilow of water from the
chamber 4 into the chamber 6. The proportion
depends, oi course, upon the head pressure ci’
the liquid in the well, the amount o! pressure ex
erted through the pipe B and the relative size
oi' the openings in the pipe I2 and the portY 69.
and 64.
35 tank 24 and having therein a illter 61 and a reg
valve 68 may be also of known commercial con
struction, preferably adapted to supply pressure
40 at approximately 20 pounds per square inch. It
will now be understood that the construction and
arrangement of the valves I4 and I6, as con
trolled by the mechanism 6I, is such that with
pressure on their respective diaphragms they will
being filled through its port 69 with oil.- there
Under ordinary circumstances these factors will
be so proportioned that `only a small amount of
water will be lifted with the oil.
If the ñuid line in the well drops below the
open their line, A or B, to the pressure line I6 and
upon release from pressure they will open their port 69 in the chamber 6 the maior portion of 45
the liquid lifted then will be that which enters
lines to the common line 41, which may also be the
system through the port 69 in the chamber 3.
connected through either oi the valves 46 and 49
contemplated, of course, when the _ports 66
to the suction line il’.
are used that the system will be operated at such
a cycle containing the tour phases as previously a rate that it will evacuate the oil only, with, of
described but which may be described more in course, a small percentage of liquid from thel
lower chambers as suggested. It will be obvious,
detail in connection with the speciilc mechanism, _of
course, that' ports 69 may be placed in the
as follows:
chambers when necessary or desirable.
Phase I.--Pressure is placed- on the line 69 and
is released on the line 64; valve I4 thereby opens The advantages in the use 'oi' the intermediate 55
line A to line I6; valve I5 opens line B to line 41, ports 69, in connection with pumping oil wells,
which is opened by valve 48 to suction line I1, will be obvious. Where there is water in the well
the oil will rise to the top and form a layer from
While valve 491s closed; and, therefore, the line which
layer the lifting may be accomplished. It
60 A is open to pressure, and the line B is open to
will be unnecessary to exhaust the water in the
60 f
Phase IL_Pressure is released on line 63 while well in order to raise the oil and only a small
it remains released on line 64, thus both lines A
and B are open only to line 41 while the valves with the oil.- The system will accommodate
48 and- 49 are both closed and the lines A and B itself to a range of levels, with the major portion
are thereby connected.
Phase IIL-Pressure is introduced into line 64
of the liquid comprising that flowing through
the highest immersed port 69. While advantages 65
result from the use of the ports 69 and valves 16,
line A thereby remains open to line 41, which ' their use will not be indicated universally, and
70 through valve 49 is open to suction line I1, valve especially where suction is employed on one side
of the system. Accordingly- the use of these 70
48 being closed, and the valve I6 opens line B to members
is optional.
pressure in line I6; and, therefore, the line A is
1', in
open to suction and the line B open to pressure.
Phase IV.-Pre,ssure is released on both con
especially where the closed system is used in
while pressure remains released in line 63; the
75 trol lines 63 and 64, thereby connecting lines A
pumping ‘oil wells. Where suction is used volatile 75
compounds in the well may 'increase the pressure
in the system, ii not relieved, beyond the desired
Frequently,f an cil weil will have a pressure
tion, parts of the invention may be used without
the whole and various changes may be made in
the details of construction. within the scope of
the appended claims, withoutdeparting from the
sufilcient to operate this system, while insuillcient
to ilow the well by conventional methods. Fig. 6
illustrates an application of the system to utilize
the method while retaining many of its advan
the well pressure as a source of energy.
'I'he pipe
I6 in this case is connected with the well casing
10 at the caprlll by aline 1I.
'I'he valves Il and I5
may be operated as previously described. In
this case there is no necessity for connecting the
two lines A and B. When operated as shown in
this ligure one of the lines A or B willbe con
16 nected with the gas pressure in the well while
the other line will be open to atmosphere. i
As shown in Fig. 7, the system may be operated
with atmospheric pressure on one side and with
suction on the other. In that case the chambers
spirit of this invention. In fact, apparatus dif
iering very widely may be employed in practicing
I claim:
1. In apparatus of the characterl described,
including an upper and a lower tubular. chamber
adapted to be-inserted in a well and a plurality
of vertical tubes inside said chambers, a cylin
drical connecting member having, its ends
threaded respectively to the adjacent ends of the
chambers, , a
seat .intermediate
threaded connections, a rigid conical wall mem
ber on said seat, a jamb nut threaded- interiorly
applied intermittently also to the discharge‘pipe
in said connecting member and positioned to hold
said wall member on said seat, orifices in said wall 20
member, and means for anchoring said'tubes to
said wall.
i to l0 will be relatively short and suction will be
As ' shown in the ldiagram this is accom
plished by connecting a chamber 12 withthe pipe
I3 and connecting the line A with the chamber
2. In apparatus of the characterA described the
combination comprising a pair oi' tubular mem
bers adapted to be connected end to end and in
12 by a line 13. A check valve 14 covers a port
15 in the chamber 12, whereby the chamber may
serted in a- well, a tube extending longitudinally f
empty by gravity at atmospheric pressure when
through such tubular- members, and means to
atmospheric pressure is restored in line A. In
this embodiment a check valve 20a instead of aV
form a connection for said tubular members and
to form a wall dividing said members into sepa
rate chambers respectively including a thimble 80
iioat valve should be provided in the discharge
of the apparatus the chambers are lowered in a
well, if it is to be used for pumping a well, until
the lower chamber at least is immersed in the
having its ends threaded respectively to the ad
jacent ends of the tubular members, a conical
seat in the thimble intermediate said threaded
connections, a rigid conical wall member on said
seat and having an orifice to pass said tube, and 36
liquid to be lifted. This is essential, otherwise
the liquid will not ilow through the port Il sufll
and positioned to hold said wall member on said
ciently to fill the chamber i.
pipe i3.
In practicing the‘ method and in-the operation
Of course, if suc
tion is used, this will be suiilcient to raise the
a jamb nut threaded interiorly in Vsaid thimble
, 3. In apparatus of the character described the `
liquid in the bottom chamber i above the level in V combination comprising a pair of tubular mem
the well, and the chamber need not be fully im
mersed. In order to provide complete immersion
of the bottom chamber l, it may be shorter than
the others, if its diameter is increased to provide
the same capacity.
The device should be primed by filling alter
nate chambers and the process may then be
initiated. A line 16 connectible With the line A
serted in a well, and means to form a connec
tion for said tubular members and to form a
Wall dividing said members into separate cham
bers respectively including a thimble having its 45
ends threaded respectively to the adjacent ends
of the tubular members, a conical seat in the
thimble intermediate said threaded connections,
by a valve 11, Fig. 1, is provided for priming the
a rigid conical wall member on said seat, and a
system through the line A.
jamb nut threaded interiorly in said thimble 50
and positioned to hold saidwall member on said
4. In apparatus of the character described the
. `
Pressure through the line A will force the liq
uid from the odd numbered chambers to the
even numbered chambers, respectively, then
pressure will be applied through the line B to the
55 even numbered chambers. 'I'hus the liquid is
raised step by step causing an intermittent iiow
through the discharge pipe I3.`
Pumping equipment for ,oil wells is subject to
deposits of parailìn or gum,- requiring the'equip
60 ment to be removed from the well for cleaning.
With equipment embodying this invention a sol
vent for the deposit may be introduced through
the priming pipe 16 and the apparatus thus
cleaned in a simple and economical manner.
bers adapted to be connected end to end and in
combination comprising a pair of‘tubular mem
bers adapted to be connected end to end and in
serted in a well, a tube extending through one oi
said tubular members and adapted to open into
the other tubular member, and means to form
a connection for said tubular members and to
form a wall dividing said members into sepa 60
rate chambers respectively including a thimble
having its ends threaded respectively to the ad
jacent ends of the tubular members, a conical
seat in the thimble intermediate Asaid threaded
Various advantages of the specific steps have
been pointed out in the foregoing description, and
especially that in connection with the use of the
suction line and the equalization of pressure be
connections, a rigid conical Wall member on said 65
seat and having an oriñce threaded to receive an
end of said tube, and a jamb nut threaded in
tween the two lines A and B .between principal
tioned to hold said wall member in said seat.
70 phases in the cycles.
As clearly indicated in the foregoing speciñca
teriorly in said connecting member and posi
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