US 1602190 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Patented ct. 5, 1926.
HAROLD C. EDDY, OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND GORDON B. HANSON, OF HOUS- TON, TEXAS, ASSIGNORS TO PETROLEUM RECTIFYING COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA, OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, A. CORPORATION OF CALIFORNIA.
METHOD F DEHYDRATING PETROLEUM EMULSIONS.
Application led January 4, 1926. Serial No. 79,095.
Our invention relates to the art of pump ing oil wells and more particularly to the art of pumping wells by the use ofY a hydrocarbon gas or vapor. In the productionl of oil it is quite common to cause the oil to flow from the well by injecting a gas into Vthe oil in the well, this gas forming ine bubbles which lighten the column of oil, thus allowing the natural rock pressure to force .the mixture of oil and gas upwardly to a point above the surface of the ground.
. It is 'quite common to use air for this purpose, this method of causing oil to iiow being .known as the air lift method.
It is also quite common to use natural gas for this purpose, .and in many cases the well, itself produces sufficient gas for this purpose.
Where air or gas is used to pump a well in this manner, particularly .Where there is some water present, emulsions are usually formed and these emulsions are often of lsuch a nature that they resist the ordinary methods of treatment. If the emulsion produced consists of extremely fine bubbles of gas or water,` the ordinary settling methods employed in separating emulsions are not s uflicient to cause separation and the mulsion so formed is often of such a nature that it cannoty be readily separated by the ordinary electrical or chemical treatment.
It is an object of our invention to provide means in connectioh with theair or gas lift method of pumping wells which' will pre- 35, vent'the formation of emulsionsA which arel diicult to separate.
Further objects and advantages will be made evident hereinafter. 0n the drawings:
Figure l'is. a diagrammatic assembly of the apparatus.
Figure 2 is a vertical section of the atl omizer.
Referring to the drawings which show diagrammatically a novel assembly of well ,known apparatus adapted to carry on our process, 1 is a steel casing secured in an oil well and extending downwardly to a point near the bottom thereof, 2 is a tubing suspended inside thecasing 1 the casing 1 being provided with a stuiing box 3 which p acker is provided, this packer making a t1ght jolnt between the casing 1 and the tubing 2 at a point in the well preferably just above the oil sands, a small opening 5 being l y charges into a gas and liquid separator l0, 1n which the gas and any entrained liquid are separated, the gas being delivered to a pipe 1l, the oil being delivered to suitable storage (not shown) through a pipe 12 and the water being delivered to a suitable drain (not shown) through a pipe 13. The gas and' liquid separator isV also well known in the art and its specific construction need not be described.
A pump 2O is provided, this pump compressing the gas delivered through the pipe 11 to a desired degree and delivering it to a separator 30. In the separator 30 the gasoline carried by the gas is separated and is delivered under' compression to suitable storage through a pipe 31. Any excess of dry gas, that is to say, gas from which the gasoline has been separated, may be delivered to suitable storage (not shown) through a pipe 32. A portlon of the dry gas is carried through a pipe 33 to an atomizer 40. This atomizer consists of a constricted tube 41 and a noz"zle 42 which projects thereinto.'
A suitable de-emulsifying agent, such for example as a soap solution, is delivered under pressure to the atomizer 40 through a pipe 43 having a valve 44. rllhe atomizer nozzle 42 and the constricted tube 41 are so construct-ed that the de-emulsifying agent which is preferably in liquid form is delivered in an extremelyfine state of suspension into the stream of dry gas passing through the tube 41. The dry gas containing the de-emulsiying agent in the form of a very finely divided mist -then asses through a pipe 45 and into theD interior of the casing 1- near the top thereof. This gas carrying the de-emulsifyingagent in mistlike form isyunder approximately the pressure produced in the pump 20. This presmakes atight joint around the tubing 2. A y.Sure may Vamount to several hundred pounds per square inch so that the interior of the casing 1 outside the tubing 2 is full of gas under this pressure containing the de-emulsifying agent. This gas passes through the opening 5 into the interior of the tubing Q' and acts as the lifting agent, forming fine bubbles in the body of oil in the tubing and thereby decreasing the specific gravity of the oil column carried in the tubing 2 to such a degree that the natural rock press, sure of the well forces the mixed oil and gas column upwardly into the separator 10.
It is a well known fact that emulsions are readily broken by certain alkali or soap solutions. A very common agent used for this purpose is a solution of sodium oleate Which may be combined with small quantities of sodium resinate and sodium silicate. By injecting s uch an agent in the form of a ne mist or spray into the gas used in our method, We provide for a very fine division of the de-emulsifying agent and provide for its wide distribution through the body of the rising column of oil in the tubing 2. A very small amount of such de-emulsifying agentis sufficient to counteract the tendency of the oil to emulsify due to the injection of the gas bubbles thereinto.
We claim as our invention:
1. A method of pumping an oil Well which comprises: introducing into the oil in the Wella gas containing a de-emulsifying agent.
2. A method of pumping an `oil Well which comprises: introducing into the oil in the Well a gas containing a de-emulsifying agent in suspension.
3. A method of pumping an oil Well which comprises: placing an eduction tube in the well, which eduction tube extends downwardly into the Oil in the Well; introducing a gas containing a de-emulsifying agent into said eduction tube below the oil level; delivering the oil from said eduction tube into a separator in which the gas and liquid are separated; compressing said gas to increase the pressure thereof; and introducing into said compressed gas a de-emulsifying agent, said compressed gas containing said deemulsifyingv agent then being delivered to said eduction tube.
4;. A method of pumping an oil Well which comprises: placing an eduction tube in the Well which eduction tube extends downwardly into the oil in the Well; introducing a gas containing a de`emulsifying agent into said eduction tube below the oil level; delivering the oil from said eduction tube into a separator in which the gas and liquid are separated; compressing said gas to increase the pressure thereof; separating from said compressed gas any liquid condensed therein; and introducing into said compressed gas a cle-emulsifying agent, said compressed gas containing said de-emulsifying agent then being delivered to said eduction tube.
In testimony whereof, the saidnHAnoLD C. EDDY has hereunto set his hand at Los Angeles, California, this 15th day of December, 1925, and the said GORDON B; HAN- soN'has hereunto set his hand at Houston, Texas, this 23 day of December, 1925.
HAROLD o. EDDY. GORDON B. HANSON.