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Publication numberUS1484601 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 19, 1924
Filing dateNov 6, 1922
Priority dateNov 6, 1922
Publication numberUS 1484601 A, US 1484601A, US-A-1484601, US1484601 A, US1484601A
InventorsCarmichael Robert E
Original AssigneeCarmichael Robert E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well cleaner
US 1484601 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

" www R. E. CARMICHAEL WELL CLEANER Filed NOV. 6, 1922 Feb. 19 1924,

atented Feb. 19, 1924. A



Application le November 6, 1922. Serial No. 599,274.

To aZlwzom t ma concern:

Be it lmown that 1, ROBERT E. CARMI- oHAnL, a citizen of the United States, residing at Houston, Harris County, Texas, have invented a certain new and useful Im rovement in Well Cleaners, of which the fldllowing is a full, clear, and exact description, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.

M invent-ion relates to an improvement in the apparatus for and the process of cleaning wells of sand, shale and other material which tend to clog the pump during the pumping operations, and prevent the oil from entering the apparatus.

1t is frequently the case that when a well has been drilled into the pay strata, the oil is found to be contained within a fine sandor a heaving shale which tends to cave or flow in toward the strainer or perforated pipe and to fill the pipe with the mixture of oil and shale and to clog the lower end of the pumping apparatus.

1t is the object of my invention to provide a device which, when properly operated, will serve to remove the sand and shale from about the lower end of the casing or pipe and to form a cavity adjacent the pipe into which the oil may flow and thus be pumped from the ground without the usual difficulty of clogging.

Another object is to provide an apparatus which may be readily installed and cheaply operated so as to perform the functions stated.

Another object is to provide a process of removing the sand and shale from about the perforated pipe or strainer in the well so that there will be no further tendency to clog the same while the pump is being operated.

@ther objects and advantages of my improvement will be more fully set forth in the specification which follows, and will be set forth with particularity in connection with the claims appended hereto.

The gure of the drawings is a view in vertical section of the apparatus installed in a well.

n'carrying out my process 1 have formed an outer casing 1 which is perforated at 2 adjacent the lower end to allow the entrance thereto of the oil or water which is to be pumped. The upper end of this casing 1s formed with a lateral Bange 3 at the upper pumped into the well.

end and a lower inwardly projecting flange 4 spaced somewhat below the upper end to form a stuffing box. A sleeve of the usual construction is adapted to fit within the casing and is adjustable vertically against the packing 7 by means of a bolt 6 extending through a flange 5 upon the sleeve and through the adjacent flange 3 on the casing in the usual manner.

The casing has, below the stuliing box, a laterall extending inlet pipe secured to the casing gy means of the coupling 8 and serving as an entrance for flushing fluid. This pipe may have a laterally branching pipe 9 thereon through which air may be forced.

Extending through the stuffing box formed at 7 is an air-conducting pipe 14. This pipe is slidable through the stuffing box 7 and extends downwardly into the well and is secured within a threaded nipple 24. The upper end of the pipe has a branching inlet 16 connected to a trance of either air or water. side of the T an inlet pipe 19 is connected, in which is formed a check valve 18 allowing the entrance of air under pressure, but adapted to prevent its escape outwardly. The pipe 19 is preferably made flexible so as to allow the raising and lowering of the pipe 14 through the stufling box, as desired.

0n the other side of the 'l' 17 is connected a pipe 21 having therein a check valve 20 allowing the passage of fluid inwardly but not outwardly. The pipe 2l is preferably a iiexible hose connected to a length of pipe 22 adjacent the device and at the other end of said pipe 22 to a pump 23. r1`he pipe 22 is of suflicient length to prevent a rapid flow of fluid therein, as will be later described.

Within the air pipe 14 is an interior outlet pipe 30. This pipe is perforated at 28 adjacent the lower end and is seated within the swedged coupling 24 previously described, and fits Within a central seat 29 therein. The lower end of the compound coupling 24 is reduced in diameter and threaded internally at 26 to receive a short length of pipe 27, said pipe being preferably of the same diameter as the pipe 30. Above the coupling 24 the. pipe 30 is perforated at 28 to allow air to enter the same from the inside of the pipe 14. rlhis allows a passage 2 5 through the outlet pipe for the fluid The upper end of the pipe 30 is made duid-tight with the outer Upon one air pipe 14 by means of a stung box 31 T 17 to allow the en- I- tended downwardly to the sand or shale in having packing 15 therein. The upperend of the pipe is connected by means of an L 32 toan outlet pipe 33,v connected by means of a flexible hose 34 to a pit or other-recep` tacle not shown, for the thewell. f' .I

This device, when used, is ordinarily exfluid coming from which thev payA is located, It is'ordinaril sapin be found directly below a more Q1 less the entrance of water or other liquid fron above the pay strata.

When it is desired it is usual to find the casing either wholly or partially filled with water and mud standing therein, and it is desired to pump water through the pipe 8 into the space outside of the pipe 14 and upwardly through the passage 25 to the: surface, and thereby carry from the'bo-ttom of the well sand and shale which may be mixed with the liquid. It is found, however, that unless the current of flushing fluid is assisted by means of the lifting effect of air this sort of' device will be very quickly' clogged. Therefore, air is pumped into the air-conducting pipe 14 through the pipes 19 and 16 from some compresser, not shown. If this is attempted with the apparatus filled with liquid it will be found that the air can 4not be forced downwardly in the pipe 14 to the point adjacent the openings 28 where it finds entrance to the outlet pipe. I have found,

' however, that if water is pumped in with the current o-f air, this may be accomplished. Therefore, when the device is first started I pump, by means of the pump 23, a current of water or mud through the pipes 22, 21 and 16, into the pipe 14, and thence downwardly to the perforations 28, and then upwardly therein. iVhile thispump is operating I force air through the pipe 19 intothe apparatus and this air will be carried in bubbles with the current of water from the pump and will be forced downwardly with the water and through the perforations 28 into the outlet pipe. This will be carried. on

for a period long enough to obtain a flow ofA air with the water through the pipe 14, and the outlet pipe 30. lVhen this has been accomplished the pump connected with the inlet pipe 8 will be started and the current of water through this pipe to the bottom of the well will find an outlet through the pipes 27 and 30 to the surface. As it passes the openings 28 it will be mixed with air and will be assisted to he surface by the to start the apparatus,

lifting effect of the air. Gradually the waterfrom the pump 23 may be cut off and the apparatus will be found to work with air alone being discharged through the pipe charge' it through the pipes and 34 with some force.

If the casing 1 is found to be partially l filled with sand or shale it. will be necessary` to raise the pipe 14 and the outlet -pipe 30 `through the stuffing box at the upper end of the casing until the lower end of the suc- .tion pipe 27 is on alevel with the top ofthe shale. p The apparatus will then be started, and as the shale or sand is pumped with the liquid from the casing the device may be gradually lowered downwardly until 'the shale is entirely removed from the casing. The further operation of the device will draw the shale or sand through the perforations in the easing and discharge it at the surface until a. cavity is formed below the stratum 11. This cavity will be constantly filled with wa-ter during the operation of the device, so that the water will tend to support this strat-um from the lower side. The shale `or sand will cave` inwardly and form the funnel-shaped cavity 13, which will be'thus filled with fluid.

Th-en it is found that a cavity has been formed and that oil is flowing into the said cavity in some volume sufficienty to assist in clearing the shale, it is best to use for the flushing fluid a current of oil instead of water. The reason for this is that theoil will not-tend to wash away the formation and will tend to carry away the shale and sand coming into the casing linst as efficiently as the water. In a short time it will be found that the cavity is sufficiently large so that no further sand or shale comes out of the discharge pipe but that oil alone is being pumped1 from the well. It is then possible to remove the pipes 14 and 30, together with the connecting pipes thereon, and to then use the. ordinary type of pump in pumping the oil from the well.

I find that, in forcing water and air both through the pipe 16, the pressure. of the air in the T 17 is sometimes great enough to interfere with the action of the water pump 23. If the line 22 is short the aireseapes past the. valve 20 and passes through the hose 21 to the pump. By the use of several lengths of pipe 22 in the linev between the pump 23 and the valve 20, the inertia of the water filling such pipe will prevent the' sudden escape of air past the check valve to the pump and the device will work smoothly.


The advantages of this process will be apparent to one skilled inthe art. When the oil is found in strata which ordinarily tend to clog the pump and to prevent the obtaining of production from the well this device may be employed. to clean away a cavity at the lower end of the perforated casing so that there will be no further danger or diculty due to the caving inof the sand or shale. A well thus operated will produce for -long periods without the usual difficulty with the caving formation.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim is new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:

1. In a device for cleaning wells, an outer casing perforated at the lower end, a stufling box at the upper end, an air-conducting pipe slidable through said stuiiing box and extending downwardly in. said casing, an outlet pipe fitting Huid-tight through the uppen end of said air pipe and connected with said air pipe adjacent the lower end of said air pipe, said outlet pipe being perforated above said connection with said air pipe, means to circulate liquid downwardly in said casing, means to force air downwardly in said air pipe whereby the flow of fluid in said outlet pipe is accomplished.

2. In a device for cleaning wells, an outer casing perforated at the lower end, a central outlet pipe, an intermediate air pipe secured to said outlet pipe adjacent the lower end of said outlet pipe, said outlet pipe being perforated to allow entrance of air thereto, a stung box on the upper endof said casing through which said air and outlet pipes are slidable, means to lpump liquid into said casing and means to force air into said outlet pipe.

3. ln a device for cleaning wells, a well casing, an outlet pipe, an air inlet pipe between said casing and outlet pipe, means to force air and water from said air pipe into said outlet pipe adjacent the lower end thereof, and means to force liquid down outside said air inlet pipe and out said outlet pipe.

4. In Va device for cleaning wells, a well casin an inner outlet pipe, an air inlet pipe outsi e said outlet pipe, saidiair pipe and outlet pipe being vertically slidable in said casing, means to pump air and water through said air inlet pipe into said outlet pipe adjacent the lower end, means to cut oli the said water from the air and means to pump ushing fluid down through said casing and out said outlet pipe.

5. In a device for cleaning wells, means to pump water into the well to the bottom thereof, a pipe to conduct said water from the well, means to pump water and air into the pipe toward the lower end thereof, and melalns to adjust said pipe vertically in the we 6. A process of clearing wells of sand, shale and the like,. comprising forcing a mixed stream of water and air into a well to a point spaced upwardly from the bottom, gradually cutting olf the' water until a3 stream of air alone is used, forcing a stream of flushing liquid to the bottom and mixing the return streams of air and water.

7. A process of cleaning wells of sand, shale and the like comprising, forcing a streamof mixed air and water into a well, providing `an outlet therefor, then gradually cutting od' the water from the air stream, then forcing tothelbottom of the well a separate stream of dashing uid and providing for` its outlet with the air fromthe well.

8. A process of clearing wells of sand,

shale and the like comprising, forcing a stream of air into a well at a point adjacent the lower end thereof, forcing a separate stream of water to the bottom thereof and providing an outlet for both water and air from the well. I 9. A process of clearing wells of sand, shale and the like comprising, forcing a stream of 4water down to the level of the sand or shale to wash the same from the well, forcing a stream of air into the outlet current of liquid and adjustin the height of the outlet fluid currents as t e material is washed out from the well.

In testimony whereof, l hereunto ax my signature this the 2nd day of November, A. D. 1922.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2423653 *Aug 3, 1943Jul 8, 1947Lauman Herman EApparatus for developing wells
US2444755 *Jan 4, 1946Jul 6, 1948Steffen Ralph MApparatus for oil sand heating
US2782860 *Oct 19, 1953Feb 26, 1957Exxon Research Engineering CoApparatus for well workover operations
US2942663 *Jul 28, 1958Jun 28, 1960Haggard Ward MReducing liquid level in well tubing
US3196947 *Jun 14, 1962Jul 27, 1965Marathon Oil CoMethod for facilitating the production of viscous petroleum through a well
US3477513 *May 8, 1968Nov 11, 1969Petro Well Service IncWell cleaning with mixed liquefied propane and butane solvent
US4037661 *Jun 18, 1976Jul 26, 1977Walker-Neer Manufacturing Co., Inc.Method and apparatus for cleaning a screened well
US4060130 *Jun 28, 1976Nov 29, 1977Texaco Trinidad, Inc.Cleanout procedure for well with low bottom hole pressure
US4609041 *Feb 10, 1983Sep 2, 1986Magda Richard MWell hot oil system
US5069285 *Dec 14, 1988Dec 3, 1991Nuckols Thomas EDual wall well development tool
US5374361 *Mar 29, 1994Dec 20, 1994Atlantic Richfield CompanyWell cleanout using caustic alkyl polyglycoside compositions
US5375669 *Feb 12, 1993Dec 27, 1994Cherrington CorporationMethod and apparatus for cleaning a borehole
US5562159 *Mar 12, 1993Oct 8, 1996Merpro Tortek LimitedWell uplift system
WO1990007048A1 *Dec 14, 1989Jun 28, 1990Nuckols Thomas EDual wall well development tool
WO1992014031A1 *Jan 23, 1992Aug 20, 1992Atlantic Richfield CompanyWell cleanout using caustic alkyl polyglycoside compositions
U.S. Classification166/312, 166/68
International ClassificationE21B37/08, E21B37/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B37/08
European ClassificationE21B37/08