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Publication numberUS1804692 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 12, 1931
Filing dateSep 27, 1926
Priority dateSep 27, 1926
Publication numberUS 1804692 A, US 1804692A, US-A-1804692, US1804692 A, US1804692A
InventorsCharles F Jackson
Original AssigneeStandard Oil Dev Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for working oil sands
US 1804692 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 12, 1931.


May 12, 1931., c. F. JACKSON 1,804,692

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR WORKING OIL SANDS Filed Sept. 27, 1926 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 UPPER CAP iQoc/r L I, I w A //////4////% 1. ZOWL'R C p Roch aywwwoz CHARLES Fake/ 50M A 33, 4) lbtm May 12, 1931. c. F. JACKSON METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR WORKING OIL SANDS Filed Sept. 27, 1926 4 Sheets-Sheet I5 vsoowwkxu WnSsO avvuewtoz F JACKSON CHARLES 351 A ado emu;

y 931. c. F. JACKSON 1,804,692

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR WORKING OIL SANDS Filed Sept. 27, 1926 I 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 I M 1 LOWER I CA'PRocK Q. .u w.

o= 10 /j 10 fia-e 15 A 25 H W f 5 L f 1] z4 i I/gWMMXXXXXXX XNVYX XNWYXX .5 M5 0 25 k 5/ E3; iflmfixfia 7 9%- t 10 /////////////////K ////7/7f/777//////////////////// /4 g2] (21 16 jfl F'ACE I L an; i I l 19/ 1 T I T T 21 .supicz fiG-6 J WELL Q v Suvewboz Eli. J] CHARLES Zi/A KS ON Gwen W13 Patented May 12, 1931 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CHARLES F. JACKSON, OF MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, ASSIGNOIt TO STANDARD OIL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF DELAWARE METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR WORKING OIL SANDS Application filed September 27, 1926. Serial No. 137,871.

in an oil-bearing stratum. Oil is collected from the drainage zone thus formed.

I The invention will be fully understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in

which Fig. 1 is a diagrammaticperspective and sectional view through a mine gallery installation, according to the invention, before the formation of the artificial fault;

Fi 2 is a fragmentar view similar to Fig. 1 an showing the con ition after the fault has been formed;

Fig. 3 is a plan view corresponding generally to Fig. 2, and Figs. 4 and 5 are sections taken respectively on the lines IVIV and V-V, Fig. 3-;

Fig. 6 is an enlarged horizontal section through one of themine galleries;

Fig. 7 is a vertical section on the line VII-VII of Fig. 6;

Fig. 8 is a plan view illustrating a pre-.

forged arrangement of the artificial faults; an

Fig. 9 is a diagrammatic vertical section showmg another form of mine gallery.

Referring first to Figs. 1 to 5 of the drawings reference numeral 1 denotes a mine shaft traversing an upper cap rock 2 overlying an oil-bearing stratum or oil sand 3. The shaft is sealed from the oil sand by a concrete wall 3, or other suitable means.

. The shaft penetrates the lower cap rock 4, and'a mine gallery or-tunnel 5 is driven from the bottom of the shaft through the lower cap rock, or other substantially lmpervious stratum beneath the oil sand. Branch galleries 6 are formed from one or both sides of the main gallery 5, and extend in a generall parallel direction. beneath the oil sand. llthe galleries are as close to the sand as is pract cable and safe.

The branch galleries 6 serve, first, as a means for securmg access to the wall ofrock 7 lyin between adjacent galleries 6, and secon y as a reservoir or drainage basin into which the oil flows after that wall of rock has been disrupted, as subsequently described.

Heavy bulkheads or partitions 9, of concrete or other suitable material, are set near the entrance of each branch gallery. The bulkheads are preferably imbedded in the rock on all sides, as shown in Figs. 6 and 7, to increase the strength of the bulkheads, and prevent leakage of fluids around them into the main gallery 5. A door 9' is provided in each bulkhead.

A collecting pipe 10 is laid in the gallery '5, and is connected with nipples 11 which pass through the bulkheads 9 and into the branch galleries 6. The pipe 10 is connected through a suction pump 12 with a pipe 13 which leads to the above-ground storage tank 14. Valves 15 are installed in the nipples 11, so that the flow of fluids from the region behind the bulkheads may be con trolled.

After the bulkheads and collecting system havebeen installed, the wall of rock 7, lying between the branch galleries 6, is shattered by blasting. In some cases the blasting may extend to overlying strata, to increase the rapidity of settling. The wall 7 may first be weakened, if necessary, by cutting away portions, or in any other suitable way. The rock must be so disrupted that it will not support the weight of the oil sand and other strata above it. The debris of the rock wall 7 is forced out into the galleries 6 by the descending oil sand. There is usually a considerable period of slow settling, causing artificial faults, indicated by numerals 16, Figs. 2 to 5, to be formed. A,

Oil drains into the faults from an extensive area of sand, and gravitates into the'branch galleries 6, which serve asadequate collecting reservoirs. By producing artificial faults in this way, a very large exposed sand surface is formed and the drainage of oil is correspondingly rapid. Moreoyer, all horizontal partings of shale, limestone, or other impervious rock in the sand stratum are broken so that oil has easy passage from the top of the sand to the bottom at thefault line and thus drains into the reservoirs. The oil is taken off through the nipples 11 to the collecting pipes 10 and 13.

To insure safety in the main gallery 5, a relatively thick rock barrier 5 (Fig. 3) is left between the gallery and the area of disrupted rock. As shown in Figs. 1 and 6, the drill holes 17 for the explosive charges are not formed close to the main'gallery.

The bulkheads 9 are preferably installed before the explosive charges are set off. By leaving the doors 9 in the bulkheads open, ample space is provided for the exit of gases formed by the explosion. When the doors 9 are closed, the main gallery 5 is completely shut off from the branch galleries 6. It will be noted that the pipes 11 are sealed in the bulkheads by sealing material 9".

The workings will be provided with the usual ventilation fans, and the like, which are well-known in the mining industry.

The size and spacing of the branch galleries will depend upon the nature of the sand to be worked. In applying the invention to well consolidated sands, the parallel branch galleries should be about 5 x 7 feet, in cross section, and about 15 to 20 feet apart The .pairs of galleries should be arranged at intervals of 400500 feet, though in some fields adequate drainage may be obtained with artificial faults formed by the aid of pairs of galleries a thousand feet or more apart. No artificial faults are formed near enough to the shaft to'cause caving of the shaft. Where an oil sand is very thin and in other cases, instead of two parallel galleries, only one gallery may be driven; then the roof of this gallery may be weakened by slabbing off the rock on one or both sides of the gallery, until the roof caves in and the sand settles down.

In Fig. 8 I have illustrated a preferred arrangement of artificial faults 18. These faults extend in opposite directions from the main gallery 19. In some cases it is desirable to provide a main gallery on both sides of the area to be worked, and in Fig. 8 a second main gallery 20 is illustrated. I

The method of operation described is well adapted for use with various expulsive agent-s or flow-facilitating agents, such as air, gas, or water, or with the use of vacuum. For example, air or gas may be passed into the oil sand through surface wells 21, Fig. 8,.drilled to tap the sand. This air or gas introduced under the proper pressure, say about .100 pounds per square inch, passes outward from the well toward the artificial faults, and expels the oil from the interior portions of the sand into the faults, from which it drains into the collecting pipes.

It is desirable to insert one or more test pipes 22 (Figs. 6 and 7) through the bulk heads 9. Each of these pipes is equipped with a pressure gauge 23, a liquid gauge 2 and any other measuring'or indicating instrument that maybe useful. It is sometimes desirable to take off fluids at different levels from the branch galleries, and for this purpose a series of pipes 30 may be. installed at varying heights through the bulkheads. These pipes are provided with control valves and are connected with a collecting system (not shown).

Instead of introducing air or other expulsive agent through a surface well, it may be passed in through nipples extending through the bulkheads 9. Either a scrubbing gas or super-heated steam may be forced into the drainage faults 16, and through them into the oil-bearing stratum.

Mine wells 25 (Fig. 7), comprising nipples 26 sealed in the lower cap rock by sealing material 27 and penetrating the oil sand, serve for the collection of oil along the line of the main gallery 5. The mine wells are provided with control valves 28. may be used as a means for introducing an expulsion agent by connecting them'with an air or gas line, or the like.

In Fig. 9 I have shown an installation adapted for use where the sand is not well consolidated. In this installation large perforated pipes 31 are laid along the branch galleries 32. These pipes provide. adequate drainage, even though the galleries become substantially filled with the loose sand Working down from above, which may become more or less compacted. Fig. 9 also illustrates an idea which is useful in both consolidated and loose sands; that is, the upward inclination of the branch galleries from the main gallery. In this way a gravity flow of These wells oil is produced toward the main gallery from otherwise, if this rock is porous, oil will seep out from the \branch galleries into the main gallery. A coating of cement applied by a cement gun will prevent difiiculty from this source. A cement gun may also be employed to line the floors and part of the sides of all reservoir galleries to prevent the escape of oil into the pervious rock, should this precaution be necessary.

It should be noted that the artificial faults need, not follow section lines or form squares. For instance, in a monocline most of the faults (possibly all of them) would run parallel along the strike. The fault lowest on structurewill receive all water rising up the dip and when pumped out is kept from encroaching on the rest of the sand. Or a suitable wall may be built in a fault at any place to wall off water or prevent the escape of oil or gas. This wall may be formed by filling the fault with cement or the like:

Itwill be understood that the foregoing description of the invention is illustrative of preferred forms only, and that various made within the scope of the appended claims lery, exploding charges in said holes to disrupt and weaken said region, whereby the oilbearing stratum is caused to settle With the formation of an artificial fault therein, preventing access from said branch gallery to the main gallery, except through collecting pipes, and withdrawing oil through said pipes.

2. The method of operating an oil field, which comprises forming a main gallery with a pair of adjacent and substantially parallel branch galleries a short distance below the oil-bearing stratum, installing a partition be tween each branch gallery and the main gallery, fitting a collecting pipe in each partition, disrupting and weakening the region between the'branch galleries, whereby the oilbearing stratum is caused to settle with the formation of an artificial fault therein, and withdrawing oil through said collecting pipes.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2928248 *May 11, 1953Mar 15, 1960Phillips Petroleum CoPiping for underground storage systems
US4007963 *Mar 30, 1976Feb 15, 1977Occidental Petroleum CorporationOil collection and recovery system for in situ oil shale retort
US4101172 *Dec 9, 1976Jul 18, 1978Rabbitts Leonard CIn-situ methods of extracting bitumen values from oil-sand deposits
US4370003 *Oct 31, 1980Jan 25, 1983Occidental Oil Shale, Inc.Temporary gas seal for gas level drift of an in situ oil shale retort
US4607888 *Dec 19, 1983Aug 26, 1986New Tech Oil, Inc.Method of recovering hydrocarbon using mining assisted methods
U.S. Classification299/2
International ClassificationE21C41/24
Cooperative ClassificationE21C41/24
European ClassificationE21C41/24