US 1090673 A
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T. A. BBECHER.
METHOD FOR LOOATING THE PLAGE AND CHARACTER OF A LIQUID COMING FROM STRATA IN A WELL. APPLICATION FILED 00T.1
Patented Mar. 17, 1914 TITU'S ANDREW BEECHR, 0F TAFT, CALIFORNIA.
METHOD FOR LOCATING THE PLACE AND CHARACTER 0F A LIQUID COMING FROM STRATA IN A WELL.
Specification of Letters Patent. Patented B12111317, 1914i.
Application led october 1, 1912. Serial N o. 723,271.
To all whom it may concern Be it known that I, TrrUs A. BEECHER, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Taft, in the county of Kern and State of California, have invented a new and Improved Method for Locating the Place and Character of a Liquid Coming from Strata in a 1Nell, of which the following is a full, clear, and exact description.
This method has for its object the determination and location of strata containing liquids when drilling a well or in a drilled well.
.To carry out the above stated object, I employ proper coloring matter, placed in a predetermined position in the well, and then the liquid from the well is gradually discharged and analyzed to ascertain if the so discharged liquid contains the coloring matter.
It is a well known fact in the oil fields that the water contained in 'strata above the layers containing the oil must be positively shut oft' from access to the well to make ,this well exploitable for the oil. The presence of water in the oil degrades the quality .of the oil extracted from it, and, due to the existence of gases, the oil is emulsiiied in thcV water and expensive methods are necessary for the separation of the oil from the water. But not only is the presence of water dangerous to this particular well in which the water stratum is leaking but it is generally drowning the oil out from the oil strata intersected by this particular well, and consequently it is injurious to the entire oil field. There are many methods for preventing leakage of water from upper layers into the oil strat-a, the most commonly employed being cementation of the foot of casing passed below the water layers and resting above the oil strata. But there is no method for positive assurance that the cementation is perfect and no leak between the shoe casing and the ground exists. It must also be remarked that in well drilling the boring masters journal or diary will generally give the depth of stratum from the surface and the thickness of the same, but anybody acquainted with well boring knows that only close approximation. Where few strata are intersected, as the general practice is, without placing a casing for cach intersected stratum containing liquid ,there is (which would be expensive and would reduce the diameter of the well so that it would become unexploitable), it is impossible to say 'what this stratum contains, as generally a liquid already in the well.
In wells where oil strata arefiooded by water no oil can be extracted until the water is shut off from same. It is not known where the water enters into the well and in what particular places, but the importance of shutting' off the water from oil strata is so ,great to the oil fields that States where oil fields exist have enacted laws imposing a heavy penalty for allowing water to enter oil strata.
It is easily seen that before the water can be shut olf it must be definitely known whence this water comes and to determine exactly the location and the character of the stratum that supplies the water, I have designed a method by means of which the character and the depth of the stratum supplying the liquid may be positively established. Also when a water stratum is cemented or plugged in: a well'by the same method it may be ascertained as to the condition of the plug or cementation, that is, if a leak exists or not. While my method is primarily designed for the purpose of shutting off the water strata from the oil layers, the same method may be used for shutting oil' water lstrata of the upper ground from water strata lying in the lower grounds,A or for separating mineral layers of water from ordinary water, etc.
Reference is to be had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this speci-l ication, in which similar characters of referF ence indicate corresponding parts in all the views, and in which Figure l is a section through a drilled well sho-wing the different strata and illustrating my method; Fig. 2 is the container for the coloring matter and the means for smashing the same to force the coloring matter out of the container; and Fig. 3 is the application of my method to a well during the process of drilling.
Referring to Fig. 1, the'well is shown to intersect layers supplying water and oil.
No definite information could be gotten.
from the well on the surface as to where the `water came from, as cementation of the shoe water existed in the well.
casing was made after the casing 11 was forced below the known water strata. The
fact that an oil stratum 13 was intersected was established. The-fact that oil was present in the well, the boring was continued 'until a new stratum 14 was intersected and even farther, until it was established that Now where that water comes from it is impossible to tell.
Is it from an intersected stratum 14 or from the upper strata leaking behind the shoe 'casing 10 or from the lowermost portion of the latter which may have crevices and thatthe water may leak through? To determine this I take a container A, preferably in the form shown in Fig. 2, and made of sheet metal that can be easily smashed. The container is provided at its upper part with a plug A. The plug being removed the coloring matter, in liquid or solid form, is introduced into the container, and then the plug A is replace ,making the container liquid proof. rl`he c ntainer is attached by means of a suspension member A2 to an S-memb'er means of the boring implement C with as little disturbance as possible. The coloring matter escaping from said container due to lhoisted outl of the well.'
its rupture will dissolve and hydraulize iny The boring implement is then It must be remarked that, as in all wells, a natural level of liquid exists in these, and by pumping out or bailing out the liquid from the surface of said well the same is continuously maintained from the sources of formations containing the liquids. As shown in Fig. 1 the formation that will supply a liquid is only the'thirteenth, or the one below it, the fourteenth. The coloring natter being dis.- solved below this, and, as above stated, with little disturbance during the smashing of the container, little diffusion will take place and the coloring matter will not rise to the stratum 14. In bailing the water or pumping the same from the top of the well, the same will be replaced by the stratum 13 and consequently no coloring matter will be carried up -by the flow from the strata. That proves that no liquid is coming from 4the lowermost portion of the well, that is, below the the liquid.
stratum 14. After this is determined a' bridge 15 is placed in the well, approiiimately a little below thelower portion of the stratum 14 so as to shut off the formation which lies belowvthe stratum 14. Again, a new container with coloring matter'is in the same way lowered into the well and smashed on this bridge 15, so that the coloring matter will dissolve in the liquid, and by bailing the liquid from the top or. pumping the same, the stratum 14 will supply liquid to the well and force the coloring matter to the top,` where it will be either pumped up or bailed out after awhile. By
the color of the water or by analysis, which may be characteristic of the coloring matter used, it canbe proved that the liquid is supplied from thisparticular stratum. It must be pointed out here that the coloring matter used may be such as ldissolves in water land oil or hydraulizes only in water and having va specific gravity alittle above 1. The importance-of having coloring matter in Soe cases that will not combine with the hydrocarbons `of the oil is that when the wateris mixed with oil, a partial separation of the water and the oil can be obtained by leaving the same in a test tube, where the difference in the gravity of the two liquids will separate them partially and the `coloringr matter contained in that mixture will remain in the water and not combineer hydraulize in the oil. After the tube has been smashed on the bridge 15, the coloring matter will be carried up by the intlowing `liquid when the liquid level in the well is lowered by hailing or pumping.A The coloring ,matter employedin this particular case may be such as to combine only with water, as above stated. If the liquid flowing from the stratum 14 is not water it may carry up the coloring matter to the upper surface and not combine with the same, thus while this would indicate a liquid stratum, .the nature of liquid would have to be determined by a different coloring matter that would form ay characteristic color with oil, for example, or form a peculiar solution, the character of which might be'easily detected by achemical or spectra analysis. If the mixture so analyzed has been proved to be water, the latter must be shut off or plugged. To plug thewater, as it is commonly done in oil fields, a plug-.lis formed of wood, or lead, or Manila rope, lor, any other suitable material, in a formationsuch as shale, slate, limestone, orany other formation excepting an oil-or water stratum. The location of the water stratum being found by thelength of the cable and boring implement and the containeij, the position of this plug is easily determined from the boring diary of the well, giving the dept-h and the thickness' of the layer approximately. After the plug 16 has been inserted into the well in the desired stratum,.it must be insured that there is no leakage from the stratum 14 through this pluginto the well above said plug. Again,
a container with coloring matter is smashed in a similar manner tothat described, the liquid is hailed out to insure no flow from this particular part, and as the liquid supplied from the stratum 13 is oil, the coloring matter` placed above the plug 16 will not be carried up, as the flow is above the coloring matter. As the stratum 13 is known from the boring diary to be an oil stratum there is no necessity to ascertain the character of the same, and consequently there must be on the bridge 17 test is made by sending the container with coloring matter in the way above described, and releasing same above plug 17 to-ascertain that no oil is passing through the'stratum 13. As previously stated, when. bailing the water up, if a liquid exists between the plug 17 and the stratum 13, the oil will carry the coloring matter up and while not mixing with the same, the matter may bedetected in the bailing out of the water ,above the plug and, if no leakage exists from the stratu the coloring matter during the action of bailing will not risel to the surface or to the normal level of the well. After this has been ascertained another plug may be placed exactly below theplace of cementation of the shoe (not shown in the drawing) and then'a test performed again, and if leakage should exist the water flowing between the cementation and the shoe from the water strata above will force the coloring matter up while bailing ,the water out in the casing. After these tests have been made 'and it has been assured that no leak exists between the shoe casing andthe ground, the plug 17 and the other plug placed above (not shown) may be drilled through until the stratum 13 is reached. Here, again, a new -test can be made by employing special coloring matter which will dissolve in oil so that when bailing out a testcan be made to prove that the oil is coming and lying in this particular stratum, and the well may be exploited without fear of being drowned by water as the lower and the upper strata have been positively proven to be shut ofi".
In drilling a new well when aI liquid stratum is passed it can be ascertained directly by the method above described, that is, by sending a coloring matter in the well in the way of the stratum from Where the liquid comes, to ascertain the character of the liquid. As the general practice is, a casing follows the boring, and' by forcing the casing below that water stratum, the foot of leakage into the well. By placing a bridge below the shoe and making a test as above described it may be ascertained that there is no flow into the well.` The drilling .is then continued-.until another stratum of liquid is reached, another test is performed-in` a similar way, 'and if, for example, the following stratum is a water stratum, the casing is forced below this stratum and cemented again, after it is ascertained that there is no leak behind the shoe casing and the ground. If the casing cannot be forced below this stratum a new casing may be placed, as it is generally done, and the stratum shut off from the well by cementation or any other method desired, the same being assured by a 'test in the way above described. Then the boring is continued until a third stratum 1s intersected supplying a liquid. If this stratum is supplying oil, the coloring matter used while not dissolving in the same would be carried up when bailing the well, and consequently can be either chemically or mechanically analyzed in the oil. A special coloring may be used, when in doubt, that will dissolve in the oil, but will form a particular mixture or give a characteristic chemical action that will distinguish the existence of the oil inthe Well.
In the case of drilling awell for mineral water, the same methods may be employed as in drilling wells for oil except that a special coloring matter may be used for determining the character of the mineral water, which may be hydraulized in said mineral water, or form a characteristic mixture which can be detected by a test. The coloring matter may be anilin dyes, vegetable or mineral matter, and will be characterized by their color in water, or will give a characteristic chemical reaction when certain chemicals are used for the test.
It is again pointed out that the method consists principally in placing the coloring matter in the desired place in the well, and by bailing the liquid out of the vwell, the coloring matter, when placed in the path of a liquid flowing fron a stratum, will be carried up by the said liquid to the normal level of the well, where it is bailed out and a test made. The character of the liquid and Vthe depth from the surface of the same may be found by measuring the length of the cable nd by the implements used, as described beore.
Vhen tests are to be made one after another in the same plug, different colorsmay be employed for distinction.
Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
.The method of ascertaining the character and location of liquid flowing into a well, which consists in placing coloring matter the casing may be cemented so as to prevent near the supposed path of .the inflowing liquid, then discharging from the well the In testimony whereof I' have signed my 10 portion of the liquid above the point at name to this specification in the presence of which the coloring matter is placed whereby two subscribing witnesses. the coloring matter, if in the path of theini I flowing liquid, is forced to the discharge of TITUS ANDREW BEECHER.
the Well by the inlowing liquid rising to the said discharge, and thereby the location of Witnesses:
the inflow is determined, substantially as de- S. J. DUNLOP,
scribed. A. B. GREEN.