US 1307027 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. C. SWAN.
METHOD 0F EXCLUDINLG WATER FROM DRILLED WELLS FOR OIL.
APPLICATION FILED SEPT. 7.1918.
Patented June 17, 1919.
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ED WELT- FOR epeolcation of Letters Patent. Pwmmfd Jun@ gli?, @gigli Application tiledi September 7, 1918. aerial Nee.
To all .fwkomz't may concern Be it known that I JOHN zen of the United tates, residing atMarietta, in the county of Washington and State of Ohio, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Methods of Excluding Water from Drilled Wells for (lil,`
of which the following is a specification.
iln the usual methods of dri-lling wells for oil, it 4is the custom when a water-bearing stratum is encountered and drilled through L to insert into the bore, a casing consisting of a series of lengths of connected steel or iron pipes of suitable diameter, thisl casing extendmg beneath the water-bearing `stra-` tum 1and therebyshutting od the water .from
the bone. As successive water bear-ing strata are encountered, additional strings of cas- 'mg vare inserted. l'Ihese successive strings entend one inside rthe other from .the surface to a location' below the water and the need of. them necessitates ithe starting-of the bore with a sucient diameter to permit the insertion of as many strings oit casing as may be necessary.
0bvieusly, 1large quantities .of steel and iron inthe form of pipes, are used, and the cost of tran ortation A-to the location where the hole is being bored and the .cost of labor for. their installation is-very large in addition to the purchase cost.
Further -the drilling of an initially large hole is necessitated, which adds to the cost of the well.
It is the object of my invention .to ob# viate the Anecessity for using successive strings of Icasing vand the necessity and expense of large hole drilling and .these objects l attain by sealing up the successive water bearing strata in the bore by the method which will now be described.
i y method consists in first preferably heating the porous, seemed, or stratified dit lili
rock `through which the water enters the bore, .to such a degree that a Huid sealing compound forced into the bore, willfreely enter the pores or interstices .of the watercontain-ing stratum .and will .thereafterl congeal -or set into a mass suiiiciently solld .to
revent-the yfur-ther ingress of water into the bore. As such sealing compounds I-.prefer to use materials which are liquid at temperaitures `above the natural .temperature of the water .bear-ing stratum, butV whiuh Awill be sol-id or semi-solid at that temperature. .Sauch materials are paran, resin, coal-tar,
@.YSWAN, a citipitch, asphalt, etc., either alone or in suitable comblnat'lon with `each other `or other matemals which y:will give themthe property above referred to. 4
In carrying out my method, where a comp ound is used which requires heat to make it liquid, l force into the well a suitable heatmg medium such as hot water whichmay be heated under sulicient pressure to raise its temperature to a suitable degree above its bolllng pomt at atmospheric pressure. The hot water is forced into the well under suicient pressure to overcome the hydrostatic head of the water in the porous stratum and forces its way into the porous mass therebylf1 heating the same to such a degree that w en the liquefied sealing compound is introduced it will be able to permeate the Water bearing strata to the desired extent to insure complete exclusion of the water from the bore of the Well when the material is allowed to cool and setnin place.
Diiierent filling materials will require dit ferent temperatures for successful penetration of the porous rock, e. g. asphalt will -reuire a considerably higher temperature t an paraiin..
These 'operations may "be carried out by any sui'tab e form of apparatus, one form bein shown in the ,accompanying drawing, in w ich- Figure l is a section through a drilled well with my apparatus in place; and
Fig. 2 is a continuation of the apparatus shown in Fig. 1.
Referring 'to these drawings, 1 Ais the 'bore of the well. 2 is a string of steel or iron pipes extending downward into the bore. Surrounding the string 2 is a second string 3 whose lower length is, at its lower end, se-
cured through sultable couplings 4 to the pipe 2. As shown, this connection is made by an ordinary form of screw ,pipe coupling, but it is preferred to weld this Joint so that the lower portion of the pipe 3 is hermetically sealed ,to the interior piping 2. At its upper portion the pipe 3 is provided with a s tufing box 5 .through which passes the pipe 2, and is also provided with a T-head to which is connectedlthe pipe 6. provided with an outwardly opening check valve 7, and a shut-oil' valve 8, this pipe leading, as indicated to any suitable form of vacuum pump. The purpose of this arrangement is ,t0 provide around the greaterportion of vthe length Of the ,pipe 2 axheat insulating chamica ber whereby the loss of heat from the hot water and rock filling compound is prevented.
While I have described means for producing a substantial vacuum, this may-be unnecessary at depths of less than 1000 feet, and the dead air space alone will probably ai'ord suiicient heat insulation to maintain a workable temperature for both the hot water and the hot liquid filling material passed down the pipes 2.
It will be understood that the strings of ipe 2 and 3 are made up concurrently belore being lowered into the well so that none of the water present in the well can find its `way into the space between the string 2 and the string 3, and it is essential that Water shall 'be excluded from this space.
As shown in Fig. 2 the upper portion of thel ipe 2 is provided with a coupling 40, to w ich is connected a valve/d pipe 20 e ing to a suitable source of pressure fluid such as cold water, gas 0r air. Another valved pipe 42, is connected to any suitable means for supplying hot water, such as a steam boiler, not shown. A removable screw-plug 16 is located vat the top of the coupling to permit the insertion of the expansible istons 17 and 18. These pistons are prefere. l cylinders of rubber formed with a centra cavity.
Below the end of the heat insulating casing 3 and around the pipe 2 and between that pipe and the wall of the bore is inserted an oil well packer 9 of the construction commonly used in oil wells, or of any special construction which the special circumstances of use mayv require. As shown the packer consists of a rubber tube 10 compressed between flange couplings 11 and 12,-
the coupling 11 being secured to the pipe 2, and the coupling 12 resting upon an extension 13 of the packer body which is in turn screwed into the perforated pipe 14, this pipe constituting in elect a continuation of y the pipe 2. As will be readily understood this packer provides a slip joint for the pipe 2 whereby the weight of the superincumbent strings of pipe will compress the rubber and force it inwardlyl and outwardly into a water tight engagement with the pipe 2 and the walls of the bore. The perforated pipe 14 is provided at the bottom with a screw cap closure 15.
The upper portion of the pipe 2 is machine-Iinished on the outside to provide a smooth surface whereby the pipe under the expansion incident to heat may pass freely through the stuing box 5 while maintaining a hermetically sealed joint.
In operation the vacuum pump withdraws the air from the space between the pipes 2 and 3 thereby forming an eiiective heat insulation around the plpe 2. Hot water which has been heated preferably under pressure so that it is at a suitable temperature, is passed downwardly from pipe 42 through the pipe 2 and out through the perforations in the pipe 14 land thence into the chamber formed 'between the packer `and the bottom of the well, and flows into the pores, crevices 'or seams of the water-'bearing porous rock, forcing back the water con-'1 tained therein, and in its passage heating the body of the rock to asuitable tempera# ture. This How of hot water is continued for a time, which will depend' upon the character of the rock, until the'heating-to the requisite temperature has extended radially from the bore to a suilicient distance. The supply of hot water is then shut 0H, the plug 16 at :the top of pipe 2 is removed and an expansible piston 17, preferably of rubber, is then inserted into the pipe 2 and the charge of liquid lling compound is intro; duced. A second expansible piston 18 is then inserted: over lthe charge of liquidilling coml pound and the plug 16 replaced. The pistons are then Eforced down into the boreby asuitable pressure means, such as cold water or high /pressure air or gasintroduced through the pipe 20. Under the pressure thus exerted the lower piston will move to the bottom of pipe 2 whereu on the charge ofliquid filling compound wi iiow through the perforations and into the interstices, seams or crevices in the water bearing porous rock. This impregnation of the water stratum will proceed from the bore outwardly until the liquid illing material comes into contact with the rock material at a temperature low enough to cause it to congeal or freeze in place thereby completely sealing the orifices through which water enters the seal and the balance of the ller is held under pressure for the necessary period vof time to effect cooling to congelation.
This same operation is repeated as often as water producing strata are penetrated by the bore. In the absence of caving walls the bore of the well may be of the same diameter from the surface vof the ground t the iinished depth of the well.
After the withdrawal of the strings of pipe 2 and 3 and the packing, the residual mass of filling material can be drilled'up by the usual process of drilling.
It will be apparent therefore that my in- Y uantities of the filling material and. fill arther back from the bore hole than the finer grain formation; and in the event of large crevices being present, a largerv quantity of filling material must be used to obtain the necessary penetration for successful water exclusion.
While I have above referred to certain materials as suitalble for use as filling materials it is to be understood that `any 'other material which is not soluble in or miseible with water and possessing the physical properties heretofore described may be used in lieu of the specifically mentioned materials.
I claim :A-
1. The method of reventing the flow of water from a Water-r caring stratum into a drilled Well Without casing through the Water-bearing stratum which consists in filling the interstices and crevices of such stratum by forcin thereinto a hot liquid material, insolub e in water, but capable of solidifying, when cooled to the natural temperature of such stratum, to form a seal against the' further entrance of Water.
2. The process as claimed in claim 1, in which the rock-substance in the watewbearing stratum is heated.` before the introduction of the hot filling material.
3. IThe process as claimed in claim 2 in which :the heating is eected Eby highly` heated water.
4. The method of preventing the flow of Water from a rWater-'bearing stratum into a drilled Well Without casing through the water-bearing stratum which consists in filling the "interstices and crevices of such stratum by forcing thereinto a hot liquid material, lnsolulble in Water, but capable of solidiying, when cooled to the natural temperature of such stratum, to form a seal against the further entrance of Water and maintainin the'pressure on the illing material for tlg feet cooling thereof to solidification.
ln testimony whereof, ax my signature.
JUHN C. SWAN.
e necessary period of time to efc5