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Патент USA US2405323

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Aug. 6, 1946.
A_]~ D_ NlXON.
,459-3
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR FLOWING WELLS
Filed June 29, 1944
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J; D, NIXON
»2,405,323
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR FLOWING WELLS
.
.Filed June 29, V1944
'
l
2 sheets-sheet z
Patented Aug. 6, 1946
2,405,323
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICEA
2,405,323
SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR FLOWING
WELLS
`leddy D. Nixon, New Braunfels, Tex.
Application June 29, 1944, Serial No. 544,397
18 Claims.
1
This invention relates to new and useful im
provements in systems and apparatuses for flow
ing wells.
In producing wells by the gas lift method
wherein mechanically oper-ated means and/or
automatically operated or pressure differential i
means are employed, there are certain occur
rences and operating phases which present fluid
lifting problems, as well as requiring considerable
manual supervision. These occurrences are due~
primarily to a number of factors. Oil and gas
wells vary considerably in their rate of flow, as ‘
well as in producing characteristics and there
fore,V the ñow of any given ñowing well is more
or less unstable. Further, where a head of lift
ing fluid is carried kin the casing or annular space
surrounding the tubing, the pressure is subject
to wide variations, ranging from a complete shut- v
(c1. 10a-23s)
'
,
2
load of well fluid to the top of the well and de
liver it ; or inadequately elevate such well fluid.
In the devices set forth in my Patent No, 2,204,
817, a mechanically operated valve was located
at the point down in the well where the lifting
fluid is admitted under predetermined well flow
ing.- conditions; and at higher elevations auto
matic or pressure differential valves were mount
ed, in upwardly spaced order.
rllhe automatic
valves would open under pressure differentials,
but being at a higher elevation than the mechan
ically operated valve, they did not co-act there
with.l For this reason the well could only be pro
duced -at one level with the mechanically oper
ated valve, and due to the many different pro
ducing characteristics of all wells, it was difficult
to predetermine the most favorable location for
the mechanical operated valve.
‘
'
ofi to pressure drops which may be of small con
One object of the invention is to provide an
sequence, or which may fall below the working ,20 improved system of 'flowing wells wherein a head
pressure, required to lift the column or head of
of pressure fluid is carried in the casing and Valve
well ñuid accumulated in the tubing, above the
means
are provided, whereby surface-controlled
point of entry of the lifting ñuid.
mechanical' admission of the pressurefluid to the
Where intermittent lifting is installed, it is
tubing, may be periodically performed to lift fluid
customary, in some systems, to carry the lifting v25 in the tubing, and additional pressure nuid may
fluid in the casing, under a substantially prede
be automatically admitted to the tubing, to main
termined pressure which, when said lifting fluid
tain lifting efficiency when the load so requires.
is admitted to the tubing, will be sufficient to
An important object of the invention is to pro
lift the column of well fluid (above the point of
vide an improved flow unit adapted to be con
admission) to the surface. However, the height 30 nected in the tubing and including both a me
of the column of well iiuid, or the hydrostatic
chanically operated pressure-fluid inlet valve and
load together with the lifting velocity it is neces
an automatic pressure fluid inlet Valve, arranged
sary to maintain, must be estimated, so that under
to operate in conjunction or independently;
normal production flows satisfactory lifting and
wherebythe quantity of pressure ñuid admitted
delivery of the well fluid is obtained.
35 to the tubing may be varied in accordance with
The column of well fluid may rise above the
`the load of fluid to be lifted and also, whereby
optimum working level in the tubing from dif
the well may be “kicked 01T” with a reduced
ferent causes. One instance is where the supply
>amount of manual manipulation and supervision.
of lifting pressure fluid is shut off eitherY inten
A further object of the invention is to provide
tionally or unintentionally; another, where the ; 40 a unit of the character described, whereby both
a mechanically operated pressure fluid inlet valve
pressure of the lifting fluid-stored under a head
pressure in the casing or annular space, drops
and an automatic pressure fluid inlet valve may
sufficiently to make it inadequate. In either case
be mounted in the tubing at substantially the
samev elevation, and also whereby, the number of
connections in the tubing may be reduced, over
the column of well fluid will rise in the tubing _
to the point where it must be “kicked off” from ~'
higher elevations or where lifting iluid at addi
tional pressure must be admitted at substantially
the same elevation in order to elevate vthe in
creased load.
Another instance would be where the normal or 5'
predetermined amount of lifting fluid was being
admitted to the tubing and the well “headed”
thus increasing the hydrostatic load beyond the
capacity of the admitted lifting fluid to carry the v
the use of separate valve housings and the num
ber of “thread hazards” lowered.
f
Still another object of the invention is to pro
vide a unit of the character described wherein the
opening of the mechanically operated Valve causesl
the pressure in the tubing to build up, thereby
causing, the automatic valve to open and admit
additional pressure iluid when the load to be lifted
requires such additional energy.
lA further object of the invention is to provide
2,405,323
„s
an automatic valve which may operate indepen
dently as a “kick-off” valve and which includes,
resilient means, acting once the valve is open, to
hold it open; together with means for controlling
the inlet Velocity of the pressure duid and means
for causing the valve to close with a snap action.
A construction designed to carry out the inven
tion will be hereinafter described together with
other features of the invention.
The invention will be more readily understood
from a reading of the following specification and
by reference to the accompanying drawings,
wherein an example of the invention is shown,
and wherein:
4
bore 22 extending radially of the housing to the
vertically bore I8 thereof.
A bushing 23 is screwed into each radial bore 22
so that its inner end is substantially flush with
the housing bore I8. Each bushing has an in
tegral collar or head 24, received in the recess,
but less in diameter than said recess. The head
24 may be provided with wrench faces (not
shown) for receiving a socket wrench whereby
the bushing may be radially screwed into the
bore 22. The bushings are of particular construc
tion but a description of one bushing with itsI co
acting elements will suffice for both.
As shown in the enlarged View (Fig. 6) the
Fig. 1 is a view partly in section and partly in
elevation, illustrating generally, a system and ap
paratus constructed in accordance with the in
bushing has an axial duct or passage 25 which is
the mechanical valves to open the same,
gage the seat and close the duct as well as to
provided at its outer end with screw threads 25
for receiving a flanged retaining nut 2'?, which
has a central port 28. The inner end of the duct
vention,
is reduced to provide an annular seat 29. A valve
Fig. 2 is an enlarged transverse, vertical sec
tional view of one of the units and showing the 20 ball 3i! is coniined in the duct between the nut 21
and the seat 2t. The ball is of such size as to en
valve operating bar in engagement with one of
`
move freely from the seat and provide sufficient
clearance for a pressure fluid, entering through
the port 28, to Icy-pass said ball and flow into the
bore I8 of the housing. When the ball is seated,
(by the pressure fluid from the casing) a portion
of its surface will protrude into the bore I8,
view taken 0n the line 5_5 of Fig. 2,
Y
whereby the beveled end 3| of a weight bar 32
Fig. 6 is an enlarged sectional View of the valve
bushing.
'
30 may engage said ball and displace it from its
seat; the ball being held @if its seat by the cylin
In the drawings, the numeral Ill designates the
drical surface of said bar. There may be suin
usual well casing having a casing 0r tubingV head
cient clearance between the bar 32 and the wall
II at its upper end which supports the tubing I2
of the bore It to permit fluid to by~pass; how
in the usual manner. The headis suitably con~
nected to the upper end of the casing to close the 35 over, the vertical iiow ducts 20 are provided to
permit a free upward iiow of fluids and liquids.
same, and is suitably packed oí around the tubing
The bushing 23 and its ball 3c constitute a
so that pressure fluid may be trapped or intro
mechanically operated valve, which will be re
duced into the casing, thereby providing a head
ferred to generally as A and, as hereinafter de
of pressure fluid in the casing available for im»
mediate admission tothe tubing under a prede 40 scribed, the valve is opened by the bar 32 and
, closed by the velocity of the pressure fluid ilow~
termined pressure. The casing I0 may have the
ing through the duct 25. In order to protect the
usual perforated liner or strainer I3, at its lower
valves and prevent obstructive matter entering
end and the lower end of the tubing may be
the same, a perforated screen or guard 33 is
equipped with a bull plug strainer I4 and a
standing valve (not shown) as is customary in 45 provided. The guard is curved transversely on
an arc conforming to the surface of the housingF
this art. In order to prevent the pressure fluid
which is milled out at 34, to receive said guard,
ñowing down to the producing formation and
>so that its outer surface lies ñush with the sur
also, to provide a more eiiîcient trapping of the
face of the guard. The housing may be suitably
pressure fluid, a suitable packer I5 may be dis
posed between the casing I0 and the tubing I 2 at 50 fastened in place, as by machine screws St (Fig.
3).
the proper elevation; however, in some inst-alla
By making a chordal cut across the side of the
tions the packer could be omitted.
'housing opposite the valves A, a vertical recess
In the string of tubing I2 one or more elon
36 is provided for an automatic valve B. The
gated dow units l5 are connected. The number
and spacing of the flow units, at different eleva 55 valve B includes a transverse plate 3'! having
integral with its central portion a vertical valve
tions, depends on the conditions of circumstances
casing 38. The plate 3'! is removably fastened
surrounding'each individual well installation, as
in the recess 35 by machine bolts 39 on each
well as the use or requirement of any other flow
side of the casing and has its vertical edges ter
equipment used therewith. Under some condi
minating fìush with the surface of the housing
tions it might be preferable to employ only one
ñow unit IG located below the standing level of
I8 and finished to conform to the housing con
the fluid in the well at the desired distance there
tour. The vertical edges of the guard 33 abut
the projecting edge portions of the plate 31,
from,
Each valve unit includes a cylindrical housing
whereby a smooth joint is formed. The outer
I1 having an axial bore I8 connecting internally 65 face of the casing 3B is curved transversely to
conform to the contour of the housing. The cas
screw-threaded boxes I9 at each end of the hous
ing is bored and counterbored axially, to form
ing. These boxes are of the type in common
an upper fluid receiving chamber 40, the top of
use in the oil fields and receive the screw-thread«
which is closed by a plug 4I countersunk in the
ed ends (notV shown) of the sections of tubing I2.
top of the casing.
At one side of the bore spaced vertical iiow ducts
Below the chamber «43, the casing 58 is counter
2B open to the bore IB, extend from one box to
bored to form a piston cylinder 42, below which
the other box. At the central portion of the hous
the casini?,r is further counterbored to form a
ing a pair of vertically spaced annular recesses
sump 43 having a valve seat 44 at its lower end.
2| are provided in the Vouter surface and> each re
cess is provided with an axial screw-threaded u An axial duct 45 extends from the seat to a point
Fig. 3 is an enlarged horizontal cross-sectional
view taken on the line 3-3 of Fig. 2,
Fig. 4 is an enlarged horizontal cross-sectional
view taken on the line 4-4 of Fig. 2,
Fig. 5 is an enlarged horizontal cross-sectional
2,405,323
5
6
adjacent the bottom of the casing. A counter
the bushing 46 and thence through the port 41
into the bore I8 of the casing I'I. When the pis
ton 50 is in its closed position as shown in Fig.
2, the spring 52 will be under apredetermined
compression but will not exert enough expansive
bored lateral 45 extends from the inner side of
theA casing to the «bore 45 and communicates
with its port 4l extending through the wall of
the housing and providing communication with
the bore I8 thereof. -A flanged bushing 48 Vis
force to move the piston upwardly so long as its
driven in to the lateral 46 and is provided with a
central duct `49. This bushing is an important
element -because the diameter of the >duct 49, is
one means for controlling the velocity of the iiow
tapered end -54 is in engagement with the seat 44
and the ports 56 are closed, because the ñuid
pressure exerted on the upper end of the piston
in the chamber 4G will be greater than this ex
into the housing bore I8, and by substituting
pansion force.
bushings with bores of different sizes the velocity
of ñow through the bushing may be varied, as
will be hereinafter described.
.
It is obvious that when the column of liquid
'rises in the bore I8 of the housing, that back
pressure will be exerted through the port 4l, duct
49 and duct 45 against the exposed area of the
lower end of the piston. When the back pressure
coupled with the expansive force of the spring is
'
A tubular piston 50 is disposed to reciprocate
vertically in the cylinder v42 and sump 43. This
piston is provided with a head 5 I at its upper end
having a close sliding fit in the upper end of
sufficient to overcome the pressure fluid acting on '
the upper end of the piston 55, the piston will be
the cylinder. A coiled spring 5'2 surrounds the
piston in the cylinder and is confined between 20 moved upwardly thereby exposing the ports 56
in the chamber 4B and opening the valve B.
the head 5I and a ñanged collar 53 resting on the
Pressure fluid will be admitted through the ports
bottom of the cylinder, as is clearly shown in
55 and discharged through the ports 50 into the
Fig. 2. The lower end of the piston 55 is tapered
duct 45, from whence it will ñ‘ow through the duct
as shown at 54, to engage the seat 4d and shut
49 and port 4l into the bore I 8, and provide a
off Iiow of fluid to the duct ¿i5 and also to the
lifting fluid for the column of liquid standing
bore I8 of the housing I‘I. A manifold 55 ex
thereabove in the bore I8. The spring 52 acts to
tends from the top of the tubular piston axially
hold the piston 5t) open, once the ports 55 are
down into the head 5I, and has a plurality of
exposed. When flow conditions reach the point
upwardly inclined spaced ports 55 extending
radially therefrom through the head to the outer 30 where a predetermined velocity of flow through
the duct 43 is attained, the flow of the pressure
surface thereof. When the piston 50 is seated
fluid through the piston will initially move .the
these ports are closed by the wall of the cylinder,
same downward until. the ports 56 are closed,
but when the piston is moved upwardly, these
thereafter the pressure fluid will act directly upon
ports are exposed in the chamber 4I). For limit„
the upper end of the piston, thus seating it with a
ing the upward movement of the piston, an ad
snap action.
`
‘
justing screw 5l mounted in the plug 4I, is set
It is pointed out that the closing of the auto
to be engaged by a cap screw 53 which is screwed
matic valvermay be controlled through the ports
into the upper end of the manifold 155 and closes
56 instead of through the port 49 of the bushing
the upper end of the same. By adjusting the
4S. It is obvious that when the head 5I of the
screw and limiting the upward stroke of the ~
piston has moved downwardly into the bore 42
piston, the areas of the ports 5S exposed in the
sufficiently to partially close said ports, the flow
chamber 40, may be varied and controlled.
therethrough will be restricted and the velocity
As hereinbefore stated the housing is connected
stepped up, whereby the valve will be closed with
in the tubing I2 and a head of pressure fluid is
carried in the casing IIJ above the packer I5. 45 a snap action.
The weight bar 32 is suspended on a wire line
Gas which is usually available in oil ñelds may
be employed as the pressure ñuid and such gas
is forced into the casing so that a working pres
sure is built up in the casing, suitable to lift a
load or column of liquid standing in the tubing 50
above the point of admission. The well condi
tions, of course, control the degree lof pressure,
however, working pressures of from 300 to 500
pounds per sq. in. have been found satisfactory.
the uppermost unit I5, hereinafter referred to
as E.
Of course, air or any other kind of pressure fluid 55
may be employed. To properly admit the pres
sure fluid to the chamber 4B, the outer wall there
of is provided with perforations 58 which act as
6I and is operated in a manner, fully described in .
Nixon Patents 2,204,817 and 2,171,478. When the
well is shut down, the weight bar may be in the
position sho-wn in Fig, 2, with respect to the
lowermost unit, hereinafter referred to as C, or
it may be raised to the top of the tubing above
.
Under normal or regular'operation, one unit
I5 is connected in the tubing at a depth or ele
vation, above which elevation, the column of fluid
to be lifted, is accumulated; and this unit may
be referred to as the regular or normal flowing
a strainer to keep out foreign matter. When' the
piston 50 is elevated to expose the ports 55, the 60 unit C. If more than one unit I6 is connected in
pressure fluid which constantly fills the chamber . the tubing at higher spaced elevations, the regu
lar unit C is lowermost. Usually several units I5
40, will be admitted to the manifold 55, wherebiT
will be installed, but for the purpose of illustra
it may ñow through the bore of the piston, down
wardly thereof.
v
' tion only three such units C, D and E are shown
Intermediate its ends, the piston is provided 65 in Fig. l. The number of units will depend upon
with a plurality of small ports 59 which are so
the particular well installation. The reason for
this is manifold because it permits the weight bar
«32 to be successively lowered through the units`
and open the valve or valves A in each unit, thus
inder so that when the ports 56 are open, pres
sure is equalized above and below the head 5I. 70 mechanically “kicking off” the well; or it allows
.ie automatic valves B to open and admit lifting
At the lower end, the piston is provided with a
plurality of ports Eil which discharge into the
> nui-.i when the weight bar is inoperative at the
sump 43, thus permitting flow into the duct 45
lowerrnost unit, to kick 01T the well, when the col
when the piston is unseated. The pressure ñuid
umn of well fluid builds up in the tubing.> Also,
flows from the duct 45 through the duct 4‘9 of 75 whenever the valves A are opened at any given
located as to always discharge into the cylinder
42. These ports admit pressure fluid to the cyl
2,405,323
7
elevation, automatic valves-'B at .substantially the
.star-t ñowing the well by a :gas lift, it is necessary
`same »elevation may yopen to automatically vassist
in lifting thecolumn of wellfluid or a slug there
to “kick off” the well, whereby the level ofthe
well liquid is lowered to a working level, where
'theregular column of Well liquid usually stands,
when operation from the lowermost unit C is
`open whether the _mechanical valve is open or
performed. Under such “kicking oir" >or un
closed.
Y
loading, the weight bar 32 having been .raised to
As before stated, Ithe yunit i'ê .may be operated
the »top of the well, is lowered into the first -or
under various well conditions. When the well
fluid is being produced under regular flowing, as
uppermost un-it E to open the valves A thereof -to
hereinbefore set forth, vthe -bar 32 will be moved 110 admit lifting fluid, `and then down >to the next
of. ' Also the automatic valvein each unit may
upwardly in the bore I8 of unit C to `unseat the
valve unit D, and »so on until'the lowermost unit
ball 30 and admit a predetermined quantity of
4is reached. This, however, is a mechanical oper
ation and .requires manual manipulation and
lifting ñuid. The lifting -fluid admitted may or
supervision.
Vmay not be suíiicient 4to raise to the surface and
discharge, the column of well fluid, usually ac 15
It is one Vof the features =of this invention to
>provide the valves B for automatically kicking
cumulated above the Vvalves ër'l.
volf the well, thus obviating >manual manipula-'
The opening of the »automatic valves B is con
trolled entire-ly by pressure differentials there
tion and supervision. When `a well is shut down,
across. When the pressure of the lifting fluid
the >supply of pressure huid to the casing `Ill is
from the casing H3, predominates, the automatic :20 »cut off so that the pressure ln >the casing declines
«or it may be suitably vented to the atmosphere.
valves will be closed. However, when the pres
sure of the hydrostatic load of liquid in the tub
The uppermost unit Eis, of course, 'connected in
ing l2, plus the expansive force of the spring 52,
the tubing, usually a vsuitable distance -below the
creates a su-flicient pressure differential, the
»high level to which the liquid will rise therein
automatic valve will open, Thus, if such `hydro
when the well is lshut for a period of hours'or
static pressure differential is sufiicient, the auto
days; however, the liquid -m-aynot rise to the up
matic valves lbelow the liquid level will be open
permost valve E.
»
kand the automatic valves above said liquid level
When .the fluid pressure in >the casing l0 re
will be closed.v
duces and the liquid rises in said casing, as here
When -flow from the tubing is cut off, as by a 30 in before described; the spring 572 of `any valve
valve '52, .the »automa-tic valves cease to function
B above the liquid level in the casing, will for-ce
to lift liquid.v Also, when ‘the well is shut off
the piston 50 upwardly and thus open the val-ve;
the automatic valves below the liquid level
while the hydrostatic load in the tubing and the
in 4the ‘tubing are open, liquid will flow there
springs 52, will force open all valves B, belowthe
through linto the casing, thus establishing liquid
liquid level in the casing. To >start the well flow
levels in both the tubing and the casing.
The auxiliary >supply of lifting fluid is ventirely
automatic and being admitted at substantially
ing, that is to kick it off, pressure ñuid is »again
supplied to the casing to build up the pressure
therein and the valve 4li? iis-opened. Any valve B
the same elevation :as the mechanically admitted
Alocated above the liquid levels Will be closed by
iiuid„is of great advantage ‘in'maintaining a sta 40 the pressure fluid.
biliaed lifting of the well fluid. Further, the
As the pressure .fluid builds up in the casi-ng
valves B will automatically close when the proper
the liquid level therein will be depressed and the
upward now or discharge of well fluid is attained.
liquid from the casing forced-back into the tubing
The ball _39 is velocity-seated as described in my
through the immersed vvalvesl `B until the lauto
Patent No. 2,171,480. As a head of .gas is carried - ~ matic valve of unit D is reached. When this
in 'the vwell casing 2l, such stored gas is carried
occurs the level in the tubing will have been
under sufficient pressure to compensate the pres
raised above unit D, and therefore pressure fluid
sure drop when gas is admitted to the tubing so
will enter through the automatic valve of lunit
that the gas admitted to the tubing While the
D and start the liquid thereabove in the tubing,
valves are open will be under suflicient Working
flowing upwardly. This operation will be re
pressure to adequately lift the rslug or column
peated Vat each succeeding lower unit until Yregu
of well ñuld.
lar flow is established. The well is thus auto
Should for some reason the supply of .gas to
matioally kicked oif. Of course, when the velocity
the well casingA be cut oiî, or drop below the
flow through any automatic valve reaches the
.necessary working pressure, the column of well
kpredetermined point, such valve will be automat
fluid in the tubing would build up. This oc
ically closed.
currence would be in the nature of an emer
gency and would be somewhat controlled by the
amount and duration of the gas-pressure failure
and the rate at which the well built up its column
of lìuid.V Assuming that the bar 32 was resting
adjacent and below the regular flow uni-t C, at
this time, and gas pressure was restored, then
when the bar 32 was moved to open the valve A,
the valves B would also be automatically opened
and. supply additional gas to lift the load. If
additional units I3 were installed above the reg
ular unit C, the valves B thereof would open
according to the pressure differentials at the
same, and unload the well.
When ya Well is intentionally shut down by
closing valve 62 and cutting olf the supply of
pressure fluid, as under iproration laws, .the col
umn of liquid will build up in the tubing to its
highest standing level. When it is desired to
It may `occur that it is desired to mechanical
ly kick off the well and in such case, the weight
bar 32 would have been raised to the top of the
60 tubing. The weight bar 32 is lowered to unseat
the valves 30 vo-f the ñrst immersed unit, merely
passing through the units thereabove. When this
occurs the automatic valve .of such unit W-ill also
open, but as the hydrostatic load inthe »tubing at
65 this first immersed unit, may be relatively low,
said automatic valve would probably not remain
open »for its usual period of time, ¿particularly
when `both the Valves A >and B are open.
It is Pointed out that Aafter a slug or column
70 of liquid being lifted, passes any automatic valve,
the hydrostatic load »plus the expansive Yforceof
the spring 52, will cause the valve to open and
admit additional lifting iiuid to the tubing. This
arrangement has many >advantages Vbecause an
75 Vadequate supply of lifting fluid is assured under
2,405,323
10
9
all flowing conditions. Where _the force exerted
of the well for controlling the admission of pres
by the lifting fluid falls below the lifting require
ments of the load; there is danger of “slippage”
of the slug being lifted. This term is applied
where the slug of oil tends to slip down the tub
ing instead of being carried upwardly therein.
sure fluid to the tubing to lift a predetermined
column of well ñuid from a given elevation,
meansv for" automatically admitting additional
pressure fluid to the tubing at substantially said
given elevation Vwhen the hydrostatic load of the
Oil and gas wells have a habit of unexpectedly
flowing abnormally, which in the oil fields is called
“heading” Heading of oil brings into the tubing
well fluid column sets up a predominating pres
sure differential, but which is less in pressure
than the pressure of the lifting fluid to co-act
an abnormal amount of oil and causes the oil 10 with the ñrst admitted lifting fluid to maintain
` level therein to rise above its working level. >As
continuous lifting of said hydrostatic load, and
the automatic admitting of additional lifting
fluid to the tubing is controlled almost entirely
by the hydrostatic load of liquid in the tubing, it
is obvious that when the Well is being operated
mechanically, any additional liquid load is auto
matically handled. However, the automatic valve
means for automatically shutting olf the admis
sion of such additional pressure fluid at said given
elevation.
3. The system of flowing a well having tubing
therein receiving well fluid flowing from the pro
ducing formation which includes, means provid
ing a source of' `pressure fluid outside the tubing,
means for mechanically and positively admitting
is so collaborated that when the well is being
regularly operated, the automatic valve will not
open until after the slug or colum of liquid being 20 pressure iiuid to the tubing to lift a load of liquid
lifted has passed the port 49 of such valve. This
in the tubing from a given elevation, means for
prevents pressure fluid entering intermediate the
admitting additional pressure fluid at substan
-ends of the slug and channeling therethrough.
tially the same' elevation to assist in lifting in
It is also to be observed that by providing the
creased loads, and means for automatically shut
mechanically operated valves A in the units and 25 ting off the admission of such additional pressure
also'the automatic valves B, either type of oper
fluid when a predetermined velocity flow of such
ation is available. Automatic valves are sub-ject
to certain imperfections and sometimes' fail to
work. Sanding up, clogging and spring breakage
are some of the causes.
pressure fluid is reached.
If an automatic valve
should fail to “kick-off,” the operator may raise
or lower the Weight bar 32 and open the necessary
valves A, at the level where the trouble occurs.
When the well. is automatically kicked-off, the
weight bar 32 is usually maintained in its low- ,
vered position at the unit C, where it is available
for immediate operation.
»
4k; The system of flowing a well having tubing
therein receiving well fluid flowing from the pro
ducing formation which includes, means provid
y
ing a source of pressure fluid outside the tubing,
means for mechanically and positively admitting
pressure fluid to the tubing to lift a slug of liquid
in the tubing, means for automatically admitting
additional pressure fluid to the tubing substan
tially opposite the point of mechanical admis
sion When the slug of liquid being lifted has
passed the point of admission of said additional
'I‘he general construction of the automatic
valve B is important. Owing to the size of the
lifting fluid, and means for shutting olf the ad
piston 52 and the various passages and ports, 40 mission of all lifting fluid when the slug of liquid
this valve is not likely to clog up with sand.
reaches a predetermined point at the top of the
Also there are `no delicate or finely balanced parts.
The automatic valve is rugged as well as simple.
The foregoing description of the invention is
explanatory thereof and various changes in the
size, shape and materials, as Well as in the Adetails
of the -illustrated construction may be made,
Awithin the scope of the appended claims, without
departing from the spirit of the invention.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letter
Patent
is:
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'
l. The system of flowing a well having tubing
therein receiving well fluid flowing from the pro
ducing formation which includes, means provid
ing a source of pressure ñuid outside of the tub
ing, means operable from the surface at the top _
of the well for controlling the admission of pres
sure fluid to the tubing to lift a predetermined
column of‘well fluid from a given elevation, means
for automatically admitting additional pressure
fluid to the tubing at substantially said given
elevation when the hydrostatic head of the well
well.
43
'
5. The system of flowing a well having tubing
therein receiving well fluid flowing from the pro
ducing formation which includes, means pro
viding a source of pressure fluid outside the tub
ing, means for mechanically Vand positively ad
mitting pressure ñuid to the tubing to lift a
slug of liquid in the tubing, means for automati
cally admitting additional pressure fluid to the
tubing substantially opposite the point of me
chanical admission when the slug of liquid being
lifted has passed the point of admission of said
additional lifting fluid, and means for automati
cally shutting off the admission of such addi
tional pressure fluid when a predetermined ve
locity of such pressure fluid is reached.
6. The system of flowing a well having tubing
therein receiving well fluid flowing from the pro
ducing formation which includes means provid
ing a source of pressure fluid outside the tub
ing, means for positively admitting pressure fluid
ñuid column sets up a predetermined pressure
to the tubing, means for automatically admitting
differential to co-act with the first admitted lift
additional pressure fluid to the tubing while posi
ting fluid to maintain continuous lifting of said 'f tively admitting such pressure fluid at substan
increased column and prevent channeling of said
tially the same elevation to lift a load of liquid to
lifting fluid therethrough, and means for auto
the top of the tubing, and means for shutting off
matically shutting off the admission of such ad
the dual admission of pressure fluid when the
ditional pressure fluid when a predetermined in
load of liquid is elevated in the tubing.
creased inward flow velocity is reached.
'7. The system of flowing a well having tubing
70
2. The system of flowing a well having tubing
therein receiving well fluid flowing from the
therein receiving well fluid flowing from the pro
producing formation which includes means pro
ducing formation which includes, means provid
viding a source of pressure fluid outside the tub
ing a source of pressure fluid outside of the tub
ing, means for positively admitting pressure fluid
ing, means operable from the surface at the top 75 to the tubing, means for automatically admitting _
.
additional pressure .fluid at Substantially the Same
elevation to the tubing while positively admit
ting such pressure fluid to lift a'load of “liquid
to the top of the tubing, and means for au
tomatically shutting off the dual admission of
pressure fluid when the load of liquid is elevated
12
opening, both of said valves being adapted to
Close under predetermined flow velocities there
across.
’
1
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'
14. A Well-fluid lifting unit including,` a hous
ing having a iiow passage therethrough, a `_posi
tively operable valve for admitting pressure fluid
to said passage, and an automatic valve for kadmit
8. The system of flowing a well having tubing
ting pressure fluid to said passage including re
therein receiving well fluid ñowing from the pro
silient means for opening it and meansl for caus
ducing formation which includes means provid 10 ing the valve to close when a predeterminedve
ing a sourceV of pressure 'fluid outside the tubing,
locity now therethrough iS attained.
means for positively admitting pressure fluid to
1,5. A ñow unit for a Well for controlling the
the tubing, means for automatically admitting
admission of a pressure lifting iiuid to a column
additional pressure iiuid to the tubing while posi
of well ñuid during the varying rates of flow of
tively admitting suchY pressure' fluid at‘substan
the column including, a flow ‘conductor adapted to
tially the same elevation to lift a'load of liquid
be connected to the Well fluid ñow line, `mechani
to the top of the tubing, and means for au
cally operated means for admitting pressure lift
tomatically shutting off the admission of the au
ing fluid to the 110W conductor for lifting a col
tomatically admitted pressure ñuid when a pre
umn of well duid therein, and automatically op
erated means substantially opposite the mechani
determined velocity flow thereof is reached.l
cally operated means for admitting pressure lift
9. In combination, a Well tubing, and spaced
units connected in'said tubing,.each unit hav
ing fluid to the flow conductor when the column
ing a mechanically operated valve for admitting
of well fluid passesy said automatically operated
pressure duid and an automatically operated valve
means.
.
substantially Vopposite the mechanically operated
16. An apparatus for flowing. oil Wells having a
valve for automatically admitting pressure fluid.
casing and tubing therein which includes, means
l0. In combination, a Well tubing, and spaced
for trapping a volume of pressure fluid in the
units connected in said tubing, each unit having
casing, and means for admitting pressure iiuid
a mechanically'operated valve for admitting pres'
tothe tubing in two stages at substantially op
in the tubing.
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substantially opposite the mechanically operated
posite points including surface controlled elements
for positively admitting pressure fluid to the tub
valve for automatically admitting pressure fluid,
each valve having means for closing it when> a
predetermined flow of pressure ñuid therethrough
ing, from the casing to lift a load of well fluid
'to the top of the well at a single operation and
is reached.
pressure ñuid to the tubing substantially opposite
the point of positive admission when the hydro
sure fluid andan automatically oœrated valve -
"
11. In combination, a well Casing carrying a
elements for automatically admitting additional
head of pressure fluid, a tubing in said casing
static load of the well fluid reaches> a predeter
having liquid standing therein, a 'plurality of
units connected in spaced order insaid tubing,
mined amount
1,7.v A single flow unit for a well fluid lifting
each including an enclosure connected at each 40 apparatus including, a unitary enclosure having
end to the tubing having a mechanical pressure.
means at each end for connecting in a Well tub
ing and having a Well fluid passage therethrough,
fluid inlet valve, means movable through succes
a mechanical valve in the enclosure opening to
sive units and controllable'fi‘om the surface of
the passage adapted to be mechanically opened
the Well for openingv the mechanical valves, and
toy admit a predetermined volume of pressure lift
an automatic pressure-fluid inlet valve carried
in the enclosure of each unit adjacent the rne
ing fluid, and an automatic valve in the enclo
sure opening to the passage substantially oppo
chanical valve.
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site tov the mechanicalvalve adapted to be auto
1'2. A well-fluid lifting unit including, a hous
matically opened by an >excessive load of well
ing having a fluid passage therethrough, a me
chanical pressure-‘iluid inlet valve having a por 5o fluid after the mechanical valve is opened.
18. A Well-fluid lifting unit including, -a hous
tion exposed in said housing passage, means con
ìnghaving a plurality of pressure fluid inlet open
trolled from the surface of the Well for engaging
ings and a well fluid flow passage-therethrough
the exposed portion of the mechanical valve and
communicating Withsaid openings, a ball valve
opening the same, and an automatic pressure fluid
inlet valve carried in said housing and communi 53 closing one of said openings, a spring-impelled
valve closing the other opening, .the spring-im
eating with the iiuid passage thereof adjacent the
pelled valve responsive tov load variations of the
mechanical valve.
13. A well-fluid lifting unit including, a hous
Well fluid and to open when the load increases
beyond a predetermined point and to close when
ing having a plurality of‘pressure ñuid inlet open
ings and a fioW passage communicatingl with said (5o the Well fluid load decreases to a predetermined
value.
openings, a ball valve- closing one of said open
JEDDY D. NIXON.
ings, a spring-impelled valve closing the other
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