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Патент USA US2403987

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July 16, 1946.’
Filed Dec. "18, 1940
4 Sheets-Sheet l
@ll' '
in [1H1
James 0 Lew/5.
July 16, 1946.
J. o. LEWIS‘
‘ -:
BYJames QZc’W/S. I
July 16, 1946.
Filed Dec. 18, 1940
{1 Sheets-Sheet 4
James 0 [aw/a
Patented July 16, 1946
James 0. Lewis, Houston, Tex., assignor, by direct
and mesne assignments, of one-half to E. 0.
Will and one-sixth to P. R. Haas, both of Corpus
Christi, Tex. ‘
Application December 18, 1940, Serial No. 370,611
6 Claims‘. (01. 16652)
My invention relates to a well ?owing appa
ratus, particularly for handling the well ?uids
whereby heavy ?uids may be introduced for
“killing” ?ow from one or both formations when
desired to repair or service the well.
It is also an object of the invention to provide
a well ?owing apparatus wherewith acid, wash
taining this production through a common well
?uids, gas ,or other medium may be selectively
results in ‘waste and is prohibited by laws of most
introduced to the producing formations for open
states, in which case it is necessary either to pro
ing the pores and making the Well more produc
duce ?rst from one horizon until it is exhausted
tive; and to provide for circulation of ?uid to
and then the other, or to drill separate wells to 10 remove para?in or other substances clinging to
each horizon. The ?rst alternative delays the
the walls and tubing of the well.
recovery of the oil and/or gas from the ?eld while
A further object of ‘the invention is to provide
the second increases the cost of development.
a well ?owing apparatus whereby ?ow may be
In order to overcome these objections attempts
separately and selectively maintained under nat
produced from two or more producing horizons
of a well. For example, many oil and gas ?elds
have more than one producing horizon, but ob
have been made to separate the horizons by 15 ural pressure and which is adapted for the in
stallation of pumps ‘when the natural pressure
drops below that required to lift the ?uid.
In accomplishing these and other objects of
horizon is ‘produced through the pipe while the
invention, I have provided improved details
production from the other horizon ?ows through
of structure, the preferred form of which is
the annular space between the casing or walls
illustrated in the accompanying drawings,
of the bore-hole and the pipe, but with this
method liquids and sediments accumulate in the
Fig. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view through
annular space until they overcome the natural
a well equipped with a ?owing apparatus for sep
pressure and prevent further ?ow. Even so
arately and selectively controlling ?ow from a
called dry gas contains some waterand gasoline
plurality of producing horizons through which
vapor which will condense long before the ?eld
the well is drilled.
has been exhausted, preventing further recovery.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of the
This method is also not satisfactory when the
volume ‘or the natural pressure is insui?cient to 530 ?owing apparatus at the head of the well, par~
ticularly illustrating the jacks for selectively po~
?ow the liquids to the earth’s surface.
sitioning the transfer valve.
It is, therefore, a principal object of the pres
Fig. .3 is an enlarged vertical section through
ent invention to provide a well ?owing apparatus
the lower portion of the well illustrating the
whereby oil and/or gas may be successfully and
transfer valve in position for valving off ?ow
economically produced from a plurality of for
means of. a packer set on an inner string of pipe
and arranged to sealingly engage the casing or
wall of the bore-hole so that production from one
mations through a common well.
.Other objects of the invention are to provide
a well ?owing apparatus for selectively and sepa
rately handling the various conditions and prob
lems encountered in producing?uids from two 40
from an upper formation.
Fig. 4 is a similar section showing the transfer
valve in position for establishing ?ow from the
upper formation.
Fig. 5 is a cross-section on the line 5-5 of
or more production horizons through which a
Fig. 3.
well is drilled; to provide a ?owing apparatus
whereby accumulations of liquids or sediments
may be readily discharged under natural well
Fig. 3.
Fig. 6 is a cross-section on the line 6-6 of
Fig. 7 is a cross-section on, the line 1-1 of
pressures or aided by the introduction of pres 45 Fig. 4.
sure from the surface of the well; to provide a
Fig. 8 is a vertical section through a modi?ed
?owing apparatus whereby gas from a high pres
form of the mechanism for positioning the con
sure horizon may be utilized to aid in ?ow of
trol or transfer valve.
?uid from a low pressure horizon; to provide an
Fig. 9 is a cross-section on the line 9-9 of Fig. 8.
apparatus whereby ?uids may be introduced into 50
Fig. 10 is an enlarged section through a mod
the well for displacing drilling fluid until the
i?ed form of control valve.
column of liquid has been lightened sufficiently
so that it will ?ow by natural pressure or by
gas or air pressure applied from the surface of
the well; and to provide a well ?owing apparatus '55
Fig. 11 is a similar section through a further
modi?ed form of valve.
Fig.1.? ‘is a cross-section on the line l2--l2 of
Fig. 11.
valving member are thus oppositely disposed and
spaced apart to provide the required movement
Fig. 13 is a cross~section on the line l3--L3 of
Fig. 11.
Fig. 14 is a vertical section through a further
of the valving member to bring a, port 52 therein
from registry with the openings 38 to a point
below the lower guide rib when the shoulder 45
engages the seat 46. The upper end of the valv
ing member 44 projects above the guide rib 35 and
extends through a packing 53 that is positioned
modi?ed form of valve.
Fig. 15 is a cross-section on the line 45-45 of
Referring more‘ in detail to the drawings:
! designates the bore-hole of a well drilled
in a recess 54 in the valve body and compressed
through a plurality of producing formations 2 and
against the valving member by a follower 55 hav
3 located at different horizons. The well is cased
ing external threadsengaging internal threads
by a casing 4 having perforations in the portions
thereof extending through the producing forma~
at the upper end of the recess 54 as shown in Fig.
3, the ring elements of the packing being prefer
tions as indicated at 5 and 5. The upper end of
the casing is provided with a cap '1 having a side
ably of C-shaped cross-section with one group ar
ranged with the lips facing downwardly and an
other group with the lips facing upwardly to seal
connection 8 which is provided. with a valve 9 to
control flow of fluids therethrough, as later de—
in both directions.
The valving member is provided with an axial
bore 53 extending from the upper end thereof
to below the port 52, as shown in Fig. 3. The
upper end of the bore is preferably tapered and
internally threaded, as at 51., to engage the
threaded pin 58 of a coupling member 59, the
Extending within the casing to a point inter
mediate the producing formations is a pipe inner
casing or production string l3 carrying a packer
H which sealingly engages the wall of the well
or the casing 4 for separating flow from the upper
and lower formations 2 and 3. The pipe I0 is of
smaller diameter than the casing to provide a
?owpassageway i2 therebetween, and to permit
coupling member in turn being provided with
25 an internally threaded box 60 in which the lower
?ow of ?uid from the upper formation to the
top of the well or into a transfer valve or control
coupling 53 which is inserted between sections of
the pipe i0 substantially at the level of the pro
duc‘ing formation 2. The upper end of the pipe
Ill projects throughrthe cap ‘I and carries a lat
eral connection M to which is connected a pipe
l5 provided with a control’ valve 16. Carried by
the pipe, above the lateral connection I4, is a
blow-out preventer ll, having rams l3 adapted to
clamp aninner pipe orduct vi9 which extends
downwardly into the well. and connects with the
valving element of the transfer valve l3. The
upperend of the inner pipe projects through a
vstuffing box 23 carried by the blow-out preventer,
end of the pipe I9 is threaded.
In order to raise and lower the valve, I pro
vide a hydraulic mechanism 6| located at the
top of the well and adapted to grippingly sup
port the projecting end of the inner pipe. The
hydraulic mechanism includes a pair of cylin
ders 62 having piston-like rods 63 movable
therein and connected by a cross-yoke G4. The
cross-yoke 64 has a central clamp collar 65 for
engaging between collars 66 and 61 on the pipe
IS. A fluid medium is admitted to the lower
end of the cylinders through ducts 68 under con
trol of valves 69.
The blow-out 'preventer includes a substan
tially cross-shaped body 10, having the rams l3
slidably mounted in the horizontal arms ‘ll
thereof which are manipulated by screws 12 to
move the rams to and from engagement-with the
pipe. The rams of the blow-out preventer thus
prevent escape of ?uids in case the packing of
pipe 23 through a control valve v2'1, the other
the stuf?ng box 20 should fail and serve as an
branch 28 being closed by a plate 29. p.
added precaution for control of the well and pre
The preferred form of transfer valve I3 is best
vent accidents. In order that the fluid from
illustrated in Fig. 3, and includes a sleeve-like
lower strata 3 may by-pass the transfer valve,
valve body 3:’! having internally threaded sockets 60 the
the body thereof is provided with a plurality of
3i and32 at the respective ends thereof to thread
openings 13 interconnecting the sockets 3| and
edly engage the adjacent ends 33 and 34 of the
32 of the transfer valve body.
pipe sections composing the pipe i0. Extending
When the shoulder 45 is engaging the seat 46,
axially through the sleeve-like body is a bore 35
and carries a cross-?tting 2! having a lateral con
nection 22 with a. pipe 23 that is provided with
a control valve 23.‘ The upper branch 25 of the
cross-?tting is also shown, as connected with a
no ?uid can pass from the upper formation 2
shaped to provide intermediate of the body an
the center pipe l9, but ?uid can ?ow from the
internal annular recess 39 and vertically spaced 55 into
formation 3 through the lower portion of
inwardly extending guide ribs 36 and 3'! positioned
the pipe l0 below the valve, port 52, and through
respectively above and below said recess. One
the center pipe [9 to the top of the well. When
or more radially disposed inlet openings 38 ex
it is desired to provide ?ow from the upper
tend from the annular recess 39 between the guide
ribs 35 and 31 through the exterior face of the 60 formation and to shut off flow from the lower
formation through the center pipe IS, the rams
valve body. An internal guide face 40 on the lower
l8 are loosened and the hydraulic valves 69 are
rib ‘31 is of smaller diameter than a correspond
opened to admit pressure ?uid to the lower end
ing guide face ii on the upper rib, and said faces
of the hydraulic cylinders 62 for raising the pis
'slidingly engage the different diametered upper
tons 63 and effecting lift of the pipe H] which
and lower portions 42 and 43 respectively of a
carries the valving member 44 from engagement
with the seat 46 to effect engagement of the
shoulder 49 thereof with the seat 48. This
engage a bevelled shoulder‘45 on the member 44
movement of the valving member brings the port
formed between the respective different di
ametered portions thereon. The under face 41 70 52' thereof in registry with the opening 38, as
shown in Fig. 4, so that ?ow is established from
of the lower rib is also bevelled to provide a seat
the upper formation through the ‘ports 38 and 52
4-8 adapted to be‘engaged by a bevelled shoulder
into the center pipe Hi.
:39 formed on the end of a sleeve 50, which is;
It will be the usual practice to flow both for
threaded over a reduced lower end 5! of the valv
mations simultaneously. Flow from the upper
ing member. The bevelled faces 45 and 49 of the
valving member 43, and to provide a bevelled
seat 36 onthe guide rib 31 which is adapted to
formation passes through ‘the casing 4 and is
discharged through the branch 8 upon opening
at -a point below the lowermost position of the
piston ‘I9, is a valve controlled pipe 80 through
of the valve 9 and the ?ow from the lower for
mation passes through the packer II around the
transfer valve through the by-pass or ports ‘I3,
which a pressure ?uid is admitted to ‘the ‘lower
end of the cylinder for raising the transfer valve.
Mounted on the head 8! of the cylinder, on simi
lar spacing devices 82, is a pipe 83 carrying a
and through the pipe III for discharge through
the branch I5 upon opening of the valve It.
cross-?tting 84 having discharge outlets 85 and
In this case the pipe I9 will be used only to ?ow
86 complementary to the discharge outlets .23
out liquid that has accumulated from either
and 26 of the first described form of the inven
sand when the pressure is not su?icient to ef 1O tion. The upper end of the pipe ‘I8 moves within
fect natural ?ow thereof from the well. The
the pipe 83 and is sealed therewith by a packing
accumulating ?uid, however, will flow readily
box 81 ?xed to the pipe 83. Otherwise the con
through the pipe I9 because of its smaller di
struction is the same as that disclosed in the
ameter, and the flow will be at higher velocity
?rst form of the invention and operates in the
to lift the liquid. When flow is to be established " same manner.
from the upper sand into the pipe IS, the valve
In Fig. 10 is illustrated a modi?edform of
is shifted to the position shown in Fig 4, and
transfer valve. In this form of the invention
when flow is to be established therethrough from
the valve member 88 includes a tubularsectien
the lower formation the valve is shifted to the
83 slidahle through the body 95 of the valve,‘ and
position shown in Fig. 3. The pipe I9 may thus 20 which has a port 9! adapted to mcve into andout
be used to alternately lift liquid from the upper
of registry with the lateral port 92 in the ‘valve
and lower formations by changing positions of
body. The lower end of the tube-like valve 89
the valve as shown in Figs. 3 and 4.
If it is de
is closed by a plug 93 and the upper end is con
nected with the lower end of the pipe I9 by a
coupling 94. The valving
is packed on
sired to discharge all of the liquid through the
center .pipe, the valves 9 and It will be closed
and the ?uid from the respective stages is‘alter
nately ?owed by properly positioning the trans
fer valve.
each side of the inlet port 92 by packing elements
95 and 96 received in annular recesses 9? and 9?!"
in the bore of the valve body 99. If it is found
necessary, the tubing I9 may be equipped with
a pump mechanism whereby the liquid passing
It'is thus obvious that with the struc
ture illustrated anddescribed, both formations
may be ?owed simultaneously through the
casing 4 and pipe It, or through the casing 4
and pipe III, or the pipes III and I9, or ?ow may
occur through ‘both the casing ‘I and pipe III
thereinto may be lifted to the top of the well. -
while a ?ow is being maintained from one or
the other of the sands through the pipe I9. Thus
the well may be ?owed in various ways. If de
sired, an external gas from other sources may
be introduced to either the space I2 or to the
lower part of the pipe I I) through the central
pipe III to help lift the ?uids when the natural
pressures become inadequate.
When a well is completed by rotary drilling
methods, lighter ?uids such as clear water, oil,
or gas may be introduced through the center
The transfer valve’ shown in Fig.‘ 11 is of the
rotary type and includes a conical shaped hollow
core 98 rotatable in a tapered bore 99 in thevailve'
body I he to one position to connect a lateral
port IE2 in the core with a lateral portv IBI in
the valve body which admits ?uid from the upper
formation, or to connect port IQZ with a'port
I83 in the valve body which connects with a
passageway IEIII extending longitudinally of the
body of the valve. When desired to ?ow from
the upper formation, the valve core ~98 is rotated
by rotating the tubing I85 connected thereto so
that the port H32 in the core communicates with
pipe I9, into either the inner or ,outer pipes It] i the lateral port IGI. When it is desired to flow
and (I from the top of the well while the drilling
from the lower formation, the valve ‘is rotated so
?uid is displaced out through the annular spaces.
that the port I82 therein registers with the'port
When repairing the well, the pressure thereof
Hi3, and the flow is from the lower formation
may be “killed” by introducing heavy ?uids into
through the passageway I94 into the central pipe.
the central pipe I9 and the well ?uids displaced 50 In order to limit the stop positions of the valve.
through the casing 4 or pipe I!) by properly po
the valve core is provided with lateral lugs I06
sitioning the transfer valve, or the heavy ?uids
and I0? engageable with an inwardly extending
can be introduced and the light ?uids displaced
lug I 08 formed in the bottom of the upper recess
in reverse manner.
I09 in valve body I03, the upper end of which
The apparatus also provides for treating either 55 recess is threaded to receive the upper section of
horizon with acids, wash liquids, or other ?uids
pipe in the outer string III).
to open up pores of the producing formation to
The form of transfer valve shown in Fig. 14
make it more productive. Should the pressure
differs from the form shown in Fig. 1, in that
in both formations become too low to ?ow the
the lower end of valving member M’ has a thread
liquids, the central pipe I9 may be equipped with 60 ed neck III which carries a hollow guide cou
the usual type of deep well pumps and either
pling II2 which is slidable in a cylindrical recess
formation pumped, depending upon the position
H3 formed in the bottom of the valve body 30'
of the transfer valve member 44. In a similar
and which carries a depending tube H4 forming
manner a swab or bailer can be run into the
a continuation of the upper tube I9 so that the
central pipe I9 to remove liquid collecting there-, 65 ?ow from the formation below the valve may be
in from either formation, depending upon the
effected through the depending tube and passed
position of the valving member M.
through ports H5 formed in an upper beveled
In the form of the invention shown in Fig. 8,
seat 49’ on the coupling and through the lateral
the stuf?ng box mounted on the blow-out pre
port 52' of the valving member 44’ for ?ow up
venter carries a hydraulic cylinder ‘Id on spacers 70 wardly through the central pipe I9. When the
‘III which accommodate space for the packing
pipe I9 is lifted, flow through the depending pipe
glands ‘I6 and ‘II. The inner or center pipe ‘I8,
which is equivalent to the pipe I9, extends
through the cylinder ‘I4, and interposed therein
is a piston I9. Connected with the cylinder ‘I4, 75
II 4 is cut o? by the engagement of the upper
seat 49' on coupling H2 with a corresponding
downwardly facing beveled seat 48' on lower rib
81’ covering ports I I5.
tubing to open or close said transfer valve as to
either formation.
4. A well having a bore which intersects a plu
rality of gas and liquid bearing formations, pipe
guides therein and an inlet port between said .
guides, and a valving member slidable in said
guides and having shoulders for respectively en
gaging opposite sides of one of the guides and
provided with a passageway adapted to connect
with said port when one of the shoulders engages 10
said guide, said valving member being arranged
to close said. port when the other shoulder en
gages the guide, said valve body having a by
pass for directing ?uid around the valving
and means at the surface to manipulate said
'What I‘ claim and desire to secure by Letters
Patent is:
1. In an apparatus of the character described,
a transfer valve including a body having spaced
members within the bore subdividing the same
into separate chambers ‘each extending down
ward from adjacent the ground level and each
having means for admitting ?uids thereto from
one of the formations, each chamber being adapt
ed to ?ow ?uids independently to the surface,
a tubing in the well of smaller cross section than
either chamber and adapted to be connected
alternatively and selectively with one of said
15 chambers while sealed from the others, whereby
2. In an apparatus for producing a well from
the liquids can be siphoned from the well with
out interfering with the ?ow of ?uids through
a plurality of production formations, packer
any of the chambers or causing commingling of
means for separating the production formations,
?uids from different formations.
separate conduits extending from the upper end
5. A well having a bore which intersects a plu
of the well to each production formation, means 20
rality of gas and liquid bearing formations, pipe
at the surface to selectively close or open each
conduit, a tubing extending into the well in
side of said conduits, means for selectively and
separately connecting the tubing with the re
spective production formations so as to ?ow that 25
members within the bore subdividing the same
said'production string, a string of tubing in said
production string, a transfer valve adapted to
admit a flow to said tubing through either said
to connect with either of said inlets, pumping
means in the tubing to lift liquids to the surface
without interfering with the separate ?ow of
into separate chambers, each extending down
ward from adjacent the ground level and each
having means for admitting ?uids thereto from
one of the formations each chamber being adapt
production formation either through its conduit
ed to ?ow ?uids independently to the surface, a
or through the tubing, or to so connect the tub
tubing in the well adapted to be connected alter
ing as to simultaneously flow the formation from
natively and selectively with one of said cham
its conduit and the tubing without interfering
with the separate ?ows from the other produc 30 bers while sealed from the others whereby fluids
under pressure can be introduced from an ex
tion formations through their conduits, there be
terior source into either the tubing or the cham
ing no commingling of ?uids from different pro
ber to which it is connected to facilitate ?ow
duction formations.
through the chamber or the tubing without in
3. An apparatus for producing a well from two
formations independently and without com 35 terfering with the ?ow through the other cham
bers or commingling of the ?uids therein.
mingling of ?uids where one formation has a
6. In a well equipped with pipes to provide
casing extending thereto which comprises, an in
separate conduits to the surface for each of a
let into said casing from that formation, a pro
plurality of separated formations, a string of
duction string of pipe and a cooperative packer
thereon to seal with said casing between the 40 tubing in the innermost pipe, an inlet to the
tubing from each pipe, means to move the tubing
formations, an inlet from the other formations to
casing and one formation, or through the pro 45 liquids through said conduits.
duction string and the other formation without
interfering with the ?ow of the other formation,
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