|Publication number||US1507717 A|
|Publication date||Sep 9, 1924|
|Filing date||May 31, 1923|
|Priority date||May 31, 1923|
|Publication number||US 1507717 A, US 1507717A, US-A-1507717, US1507717 A, US1507717A|
|Inventors||John L Rich|
|Original Assignee||John L Rich|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (7), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Sept. 9 1924.
J. L. RICH PROCESS FOR EXTRACTING PETROLEUM BY UNDERGROUND WORKINGS ,Filed May 31, 1923 Patentedflsept. 9, 1924.
UNITED STATES 1,507,711 PATENT OFFICE.
.rorm L. RICH, or o'rrawa, Kansas.
PROCESS FOR EXTRACTING PETROLEUM BY UNDEBGBOUND-WOBKING-S.
Application filed Kay 31, 1928. Serial No. 642,666.
To all whom it may concern: Be it known that I, JOHN L. RICH, a c1t1- zen of the United States, residing at Ottawa,
in the county of Franklin and State of Kansas, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Processes for Extracting Petroleumby Underground Workings, of which the following is a specification.
' It is well knowrrthatthe common method of recovering petroleum from its underground reservoirs by means of wells, fails 4 to extract more than a small percentage of terranean drainage into tunne s driven within the oil sand, while it has been successful in recovering a large percentage of the 011, is dangerous and costly because of the fact that a spark from a pick striking hard rock or from an other cause is sufiicient to set fire to the oil seeping into the galleries. The precautions which must be taken to guard against the spread of a fire through the mine and against explosions, add greatly .to the cost of this m'ethod of oil recovery.
There is, further, a large loss of the more volatile constituents of the oil by evaporation into the strong currents of air necessary for the proper ventilation of the mines.
The present, invention is primarily designed to obviate the greater part of the difliculties and. dangers inherent 1n the method of recovering etroleum by mming as heretofore practice while at the same time it retains the advantages of the increased percentage of recovery WhlCh the mining method makes possible.
' e Other ob'ects will be apparent from the following etailed description and the appended claims.
In the drawings 4 Fi re 1 is across sectionof a conventiona form showing the relation of galleries and channels to theoil-bearin stratum, both for cases where the g ery'1s driven below the sand. I Figure 2 is a longitudinal section through a shaft, gallery, and channel, showing diagrammatically their relations to each other and also illustrating a method of ventilation designed to prevent the escape of gases into the gallery while channeling is in progress. Figpre 3 shows in detail a means for closg t e top of a channel so thatthe gases ar1sing therefrom do not escape into the galleiiy but may be drawn off through the chan- Fi re 4 shows a different form of device for cosmg the top of a channel which is su1table for carrying oil and saving a larger volume of as than could be cared for by the device i ustrated in Figure 3.
Figure 5 is a. diagrammatic ground plan showing shafts, galleries, channels and pits v or wells in the channels for the collection of the oil prior to its removal by pumps; and
showing also wells extending from the surface of the ground to the oil sand, through which wells fluids may beintroduced into the oil sand, for the pur ose of driving the oil out into the channe s in the alleries.
Figure 6 is a section along the hue 66 of Figure 5, showing themovement of the fluids introduced into the wells and their relation to the oil sand, galleries and chan nels.
The process constituting my invention cons1sts primarily of certain broad steps:
1 driving tunnels or galleries in the rocks e1t er close above or close below the oildriven above the oil sand and where it is bearing stratum, and from these galleries cutting narrow slits or channels into or through the oil-bearing stratum, these 0 erations bein performed by means of a c anneling mac ine such as commonly employed in rockuarrying operations, or by any. desired suitable means; (2) providing means whereby gases issuing from the channel while it is being cut, or subsequently, may be removed and saved without contaminating the air of the galleries; and 3) providin means whereby, if desired, oi may be forced into the channels cut as above specified, by artificial pressure applied to the oil-bearing stratum through the agency of fluids introduced into 'it through wells drilled to it from the surface of the ground-- than true sand. From this shaft to as the oil sand, although it may be composed wholly or in part of materials other 1 a gallery or tunnel 3, or a plurality of such alleries, is driven in the rock either close a ove the oil send as illustrated in the left hand portion of Figure 1, or close below said oil sand as shown in the right hand portion of this figure. These galleries are of any suitable or convenient dimensions and shape and are preferabl constructed approximately par,- allel to t e oil sand. I prefer to drive the gallery above the oil sand, and have so described the further details of the process,
but it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to either arrangement.
From the gallery 3 a relatively narrow slit or channel 4 is cut into or through the oil sand by means of an ordinary rock channeling machine A, or by any other suitable device. This channel may be of any desired width or depth, and may be situated at any convenient position. in the gallery. It will, as a rule, extend for the full length of'the gallery, butima be made shorter if desired, or may be ma e u of a number of sections that are not direct y connected with each other. At convenient places along the gallery, there are provided pits or shallow wells 5 in the oil sand in such position that the oil may drain from the channels into them. From these pits or wells the oil may be pumped out to the surface of the ground by any suitable .pumps and systems of pipingn(not shown).
order to prevent the contamination of the air of the galleries by the ases which issue from the channel as it is eing cut, a tube. or other suitable air conductor '6 extends'down the shaft and along the gallery. It is connected at its outer end to a suction or exhaust fan or air pum of any desired type (not shown) and by t is means a ourrent is induced substantially as shown by the arrows in Figure 2. The gases or impure air are drawn out through the tiibe 6, while fresh air passes down the shaft 1, along the gallery 3, and past the open part of the channel 4 at the point where the rock channeling machine A'is at work, and thence through the tube 6. The channeling machine and adjacent portions of the channel are inclosed by a flexible hood 7 of suitable design and size, connected to the end of the tube 6.
It is intended to cover portions of the channel 4 as com leted by some suitable device to prevent t e esca 'e of the gas from the channel into the ga eries. The precise character of the covering device w1ll depend u on the volume of gas to be handled and 0t er considerations. Where the volume of gas to be handled is not large, the channel may be covered with a semi-cylindrical pipe or tile 8, as shown in Figure 3,
which may be connected at intervals with the exhaust air pipe 6 to permit the escape of gas from the c annel 4. Provision may also be made for the removal of sections ofthe covering 8 at desired places for the purpose of cleanin out the accumulations of mud or sand w ich may have gathered in the channel. The channel cover 8 ma be made gas tight by the application 0 cement, mud, or other sealing compound 9 along the edges of the members 8, as shown in Flgure 3.
If the volume of gas is very large, and its confinement to the channel 4 might produce undue pressure, a device such as illustrated in Figure 4 may be used to cover the channel. This consists of a strip of sheet metal 10 bent into convenient shape as shown in Figure 4, and having its edges 11 inserted in the channel as shown. The junction of the metal sheet with the mouth of the channel may be made gas-tight by the application of cement, mud or some similar sealing compound 12 at the side of the sheet as shown.
From the shaft 1, a single gallery with its channel may be driven, or several may be driven in various directions, and the oil to be recovered may be limited to that which naturally seeps into the channels. However, if the oil recovery contemplated by this invention is to be carried out most effectively, artificial pressure must be placed upon the oil sand to assist in forcing the oil out into the channels.
With this end in view, the shafts, channels, galleries and oil collecting wells may be arranged somewhat as diagrammatically illustrated in Figure 5, except that the ga leries need not inclose a regular area as there shown. Situated with proper relation to the galleries and channels, and preferably within the area inclosed or partly inclosed by the galleries one or more wells 13 aresunk from the surface of the ground and properly cased. These wells may or may not be shot with nitro-glycerine, as is-found expedient. Into these wells 13, water, steam, air, gas, or other fluid, or combination of these fluids may be forced under pressure sufficient to cause these fluids to displace the oil from its place in the sand and cause it to move toward and into the channels 4 and thence into the wells 5 from whence it is, pumped as above stated. The general movement of fluids thus set up is shown diagrammatically in Figure 6.
Obviously variations may be made in the structure employed to carry out the process, and steps of the process may be used without others. In general it is to be understood that the invention is limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
I claim as my invention 1. A process for the extraction of petroleum which comprises forming tunnels or galleries adjacent to the oil-bearing stratum, cutting narrow slits or channels from said galleries into the oil-bearin stratum, and forming depressions in said 0 annels for the collection of the oil, from which it may be removedas desired.
2. A process for the extraction of petroleum which comprises formin tulmels or galleries adjacent to the oil-bearing stratum, cuttin slits or channels from said galleries into t e oil-bearing stratum, and preventing escape of gas into the gallery while the channel is being cut.
3. A process for the extraction of petroleum which comprises sinking a shaft to a point adjacent to the oil-bearing stratum, forming a tunnel or gallery adjacent said stratum, cutting slits or channels from the gallery into said stratum, and drawin ofi through the shaft the gases from the c annel as it is being cut thereby preventing the escape of said gases into the gallery.
4. A process for the extraction of petroleum which com rises forming a gallery adjacent to the oilearing stratum, cuttin a channel from said gallery into 'sai stratum, drawing off the gases from the channel as it is formed, and closing said channel as completed, whereby said gases are prevented from escaping mto the gallery.
5. A process for the extraction of petroleum which comprises forming a gallery adjacent to the oil-bearing stratum, cutting a channel from said gallery into said stratum, forming depressions in said channel for the collection of oil, sinking a well into the oil-bearing stratum, and forcing fluids under pressure through said well into saild stratum to drive the 011 into said channe s.
6. A process for the extraction of petroleum which comprises sinking a shaft to a point adjacent the oil-bearing stratum, forming a gallery leading from said shaft, cutting a channel from said galle into said stratum, preventing the escape 0 gas from said channel into the gallery, forming depressions in said channel for the collectionof oil, sinking a well into the oil-bearing stratum, and forcing fluid under pressure throu hthe well into the stratum to drive the oil into said channels.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name. a
JOHN L. RICH.
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|U.S. Classification||299/2, 299/14, 166/268, 166/50|