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Nov. 19, 1946.
A. woLF |-_-rA|_
Filed Aug. 22, 1944
// /
Patented Nov. 19, 1946
Alexander Wolf and Laurence G. Cowles, Houston,
Tex., assignors to The Texas ìCompany, >New I
York, N. Y., a corporation of Delaware
Application August 22, 1944, Serial No. 550,662 .
3 Claims. (C1. 177-352)
This invention relates to a method and appa
ratus for measuring the location or depth below
the ground surface of the liquid level in a deep
well, whether the liquid therein be oil, water or
a mixture of water and mud. More specifically,
the invention relates to an apparatus for receiv
ing and recording pressure vibrations or impulses
the invention contemplates the use of a pressure
responsive curved tubular element such as a
Bourdon tube or gauge which is arranged with its
open end in direct communication with the well
casing whileits opposite end is closed and oper-x
atively connected to the diaphragm of the mi
crophone. Any movement of the closed end of
the Bourdon‘tube in response to fluctuations of
which result from the direction of a pressure
pressure‘in the well casing actuates the mech
wave into a well and which are reflected from
' the surface of the liquid in the well as well as 10 4anism connecting the tube with the microphone
diaphragm and corresponding actuation of the
from tubing collars and other obstructions.
Acoustical methods of determining the depth
of the level in deep wells have been utilized be
fore and as typical of these prior methods, ref
erence is made to those employing sound waves
and to those employing pressure waves produced
latter is effected. . The vibrations of the dia
phragm are then recorded ina well-known man
Figure .1 is a, diagrammatic view showing in
cross section a conventional type of well assembly,
>by introducing a shot of relatively high intensity
together with the apparatus for determining the
into a well to produce pressure waves therein.
liquid level inthe well, a portion of the impulse
@According to the former method, the elapsed ` receiving device `being shown in cross section;
Figure 2 is an venlarged `view `of the impulse
time between the introduction of the sound and 20
its return as an echo from the surface of the
liquid is noted and recorded. In a similar man
ner, the latter method measures the elapsed time
receiving device;
Figurer 3 Vis a schematic view of a modiñed form
of the present invention;
y 'between the introduction of the shot into the well
‘ 1 Figurev 4 is a diagram showing electrical con
and the return of the pressure waves produced'
nections including a balancing arrangement con
More specifically, the present invention relates
to an apparatus which is particularly sensitive to
sisting of two variable condensers, and
Figure 5 is a diagram of another arrangement
of electrical connections including‘a balancing ar
fluid reflections obtained in some deep wells such
rangement consisting of a slide wire potentiom
as those produced by a sharp explosion resulting 30 eter.
from the firing of a blank cartridge in a suitable
In Figure 1 there is illustrated a, conventional
firing device. The pressure wave thus produced
type of oil well having a relatively large casing
travels the length of the well casing, portions be
l0 composed of a plurality of sections which ex
ing reñected back from the tubing collars or cas
tend from above the ground level l2 downwardly
ing joints, and the remainder being reflected back - into the well. The several sections comprising the
lfrom the surface of the liquid in the well. In
casing arefsecured `together in any desired man
some cases, it is not practical or desirable to place
ner. A second pipe or tubing 'string I4 which
the receiver or microphone in which the reñected
also is. composed of _a plurality of sections se
pressure impulses are picked up and recorded
cured together by means of collars I6 extends
in a position where they are in communication 40 downwardly to a point below the level of fluid
with the well casing because of the possibility of
in the well and at its lower end the pipe I4 car
damage to the microphones by reason of the static
ries a pump of any desired character _(not shown).
pressure» in the casing and also because the cor
rosive action of the well gases tends to damage
. The pump ordinarily is operated by means of a
is not directly exposed to the gases or static pres
24 to the end of which a Bourdon tube or gauge
Y 26 is connected, the open end of the tube being
arranged in open communication with the branch
string'of sucker rods I8, extending through the
the microphone.
uppermost section of the casing which is’capped
One of the yobjects of the present invention is
by a casinghead 20, the uppermost rod being con
to provide a well sounding device including a mi
nected to the usual pumping mechanism (not
crophone or other pickup device for receiving
shown) . A pipe 22 connects at one end with the
pressure impulses as reñected from the surface
upper end of the casing Il!v and its opposite end
of liquid in a well and in which the microphone
terminates in' a Y fitting providing a branch pipe
sure in the well.
Another object of the invention'is kto provide
in such a device a pressure responsive element
which is operatively connected to both the well 55 pipe 24. _When the Bourdon tube 26 is subjected
to internal pressure it tends to straighten out,
casing and the microphone for transmitting the
vthus causing deflection of its closed end, the de
pressure impulses from the inside of the casing
gree and frequency of deflection being propor
to the microphone while preventing direct con
tional to the amount of pressure exerted within.
tact of the well gases with the microphone. In
order to carry out the above-mentioned objects, 60 The firing device 28 which produces the pressure '
will be nulliñed but if, because of different sensi
tivities of the two pickup devices these voltages
do not cancel each other, a. complete cancellation
may be effected by using `the balancing condens
wave in the well is attached to the free end of
pipe 22.
The fluctuations in pressure impulses as re
Íiected by the movement of the end of the Bour
don tube 26 are imparted directly to a crystal
pickup device 30 which preferably is a standard
ers 46 as shown' in Figure 4 or a balancing poten
tiometer 48 as hereinbefore described.
From the foregoing it will be seen that when a
shotgun blank is exploded in the gun cartridge
chamber of the ñring device 28 the pressure wave
piezoelectric phonograph pickup but may very
well be a microphone of any suitable type. An
angle iron 32 is attached to the end of the Bour
don tube, the free end of the angle iron being 10 created by the explosion traverses the length of
the pipe 22 and passes into the well casing I0.
provided with a hole to accommodate a screw 34 The impulses reflected by obstructions such as the
by means of which a longitudinally adjustable
collars I6 on the tubing string I4, together with
slotted link 36 is attached to the angle iron. A
the'impulses reflected from the surface of the liq
stiff wire or needle 38 is placed in the'phono
graph pickup 30 and the free end of the wire is 15 uid in the well return through the casing I0, pipe
22 and through the branch pipe 24 tothe Bourdon
soldered to the link 36. With this construction
tube 26. Upon entering the tube, the pressure
any' movement of the end of the Bourdon tube
waves act upon the curved portion 0f the tube
26 is imparted through the wire 38 to the pickup
and tend to straighten it and this movement of
device 30. In practice the well pressure is ñrst
applied to the Bourdon tube and after the tube 20 the end of the tube 26 is transmitted to the pick
up device 30 through the connecting wire or nee
has moved into a position determined by the
. dle 38 and acts upon the crystal of the pickup
static casing pressure, the screw 34 in the link 36
device to produce energization of varying degrees,
is tightened in order that the pickup device 30
which energization is then transmitted to a. re
will respond to changes in average casing pres
cording device either directly or through an am
sure without being subjected .to the static pres
vice is recorded in a well-known manner.
assembly including the Bourdon tubel 26> and
pickup device 30 may', if desired, be enclosed in a
metal box or housing 44 to protect the assembly
from the weather and to shield the crystal in the
pickup device from external electrical interfer
Theoperation of the arrangement shown in
Figure 3 is substantially the same except that
The pickup device 30 is connected to a record
ing device 4D, preferably through an amplifier 42,
where the energization created in the pickup de
voltages are produced in the two pickup devices
30’ and 30”, the outputs of which are connected
either in series or in parallel to the recording de
vice 40. As stated hereinbefore, if necessary
f variable condensers 46, 46 or a slide wire poten
~ tiometer 48 may be interposed between the out
puts of the pickup devices and the amplifier in
order to balance the voltages of the pickup de
A pickup arrangement of the type described is
sometimes too sensitive to external mechanical
vibrations and in order to overcome this condi
Obviously many modifications and variations of
the invention, as hereinbefore set forth, may be
tion two Bourdon tubes attached to a common 40 made without departing from the spirit and scope
intake can be employed.
As shown in Figure 3,
thereof, and therefore only such limitations
two oppositely disposed Bourdon tubesV 2,6’ and
should be imposed as are indicated in the ap
26" are arranged with their open ends in com
pended claims.
munication with the free end of pipe 24.
We claim:
1. The combination with a well casing, of
means for receiving and recording pressure irn
pulses from the well comprising a plurality of
Bourdon tubes mounted upon a common support
with their open ends in communication with the
two tubes are connected'in the manner described 45
above to separate crystal pickups 30' and 30",
respectively. The outputs of the two pickups are
connected to a recording device 40 either in
parallel, or in series as shown in Figure 4.
amplifier 42 may if desired be interposed between 50 well and oppositely disposed upon said support
the output of the pickup devices and the input
to reduce vibrationally induced voltages, means
of the recording device and in some instances it
connecting the closed ends of each of said Bour
is desirable to introduce a kbalancing arrange
don tubes with a pressure-sensitive pickup de
ment such as two variable condensers 46 as indi
vice to actuate said device in response to changes
cated in Figure 4 or in the alternative, a slide wire 55
in the curvature of said tubes resulting from
potentiometer 48 as shown in Figure 5 may be
changes in pressure therein, means for balancing
Y connected across the output of the pickup devices.
the amplitudes of the voltages emanating from
From the foregoing it is apparent that varia
said pickup devices to overcome differences in the
tions in pressure within the well casing will result
in identical voltages of the same polarity from 60 sensitivity of said devices, and a recording device
operatively connected to said balancing means for
the two pickups 30' and 30" which voltages will
recording impulses transmitted to it from said
then be recorded in the recording device 40. On
well by said pickup devices.
the other hand, because of the relative disposition
2. An apparatus according to claim 1 in which
of the two Bourdon tubes 26’ and 26", external
mechanical vibration of the entire system will 65 said balancing means comprises a slide wire po
tentiometer connected across the outputs of said
result in identical voltages of opposite polarity
pickup devices.
from the two pickups because whenever the end
3. An apparatus according to claim 1 in which
of the tube 26' is caused to move to the right rela
said balancing means comprises a variable con
tive to the pickup device 30’ with which it is
connected, the end of the tube 26" will be caused 70 denser connected across each of said pickup de
to moveto the left relative to the pickup device
30" with which it is connected. The two volt
ages of opposite polarity when added together
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