US 1870869 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 9, 1932. L. RANNEY ETAL 1,370,369
METHOD AND MEANS FOR DEVELOPING IMPERHEABLH BARRIERS IN POROUS MEDIA Filed Aug. 23. 1929 S'Sheets-Sheet 1 AQ Q /// zcuum Eg I l I 4 INVENTORQ MM mm ATTORNEY l- 9, 1932- L. RANNEY ETAL 1,870,869
IETHOD AID HB ANS FOR DEVELOPING IMPERMEABLE BARRIERS IN POROUS IEDIA Filed Aug. 25, 1929 insets-sheet 2 L. RANNEYETAL I 1,870,869 METHOD MEANS FOR DEVELOPING IIPEHIEABLB BABRIERS IN POROUS MEDIA Fnea Au 23.1929 v a sheets-sheet a INVENTQR 8 M, 21M
ATTORNEY l Aug. 9, 1932;
Patented Aug. 9, 1932 UNITED STATES Tana "PATENT OFFICE LEO BANNEY, OI YORK, 11. Y, AND LESTER CHARLES UREN, OF BERELEY, GALE; FOBNIA, ASSIGNOBB TO STANDARD OIL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF DELAWARE KETHOLD AND MEANS 1'03 DEVELOPING BARRIERS IN POROUS HEDIL Application mari i e 23,1929. Serial No. seam.
- This invention relates to the formation of zones of cementation in oil and gas-producing sands, designed to confine oil, as and water saturating the pore space-o said sand 6 within specified boundaries, or to prevent flow of fluids through the sand from one property or one part of a property to another. While the method may be successfully applied through a series of wells drilled from 10 the surface, it is especially useful and ma be applied with particular facility throng bore holes drilled from mine ripening? In applying. the method roug mine bore holes, a mine gallery or drift installation is utilized, for example, of the general t described and claimed in United States atents Nos. 1,634,235 and 1,634,236, anted to Leo Ranney on June 28, 1927.
' scribed in these atents, a mine shaft is sunk to the level of t e oil sand and galleries are driven adjacent tothe sand, invthe upper or lower cap rock. Holes are then drilled from the galleries into the sand, in which pipes carrying valves are sealed, forming mine wells for the collection of oil, or for the introduction of oil-expelling media.
The invention will be fully understood from the folowing description read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which: 1?
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic vertical longitudinal section showing a series of mine wells penetrating a stratum of oil sand above a mine'drift;
Fig. 2 is a transverse vertical section of two bore holes drilled from opposite sides of the drift, and illustrating the form of an impermeable barrier across the oil sand, resulting from application of the present process; and
Fig. 3 is a perspective view showin the application of the invention to a fluid rive.
Referring to Fig. 1, a series of mine wells drilled from a mine drift A to penetrate an oil-bearing sand B, are shown. Access to the drift is obtained through a shaft S of usual construction. The mine wells are lined with metal tubes, 1, sealed in the rock intervenin between the mine drift and the oil sand, an perforated where they are in contact with the sand. Within the drift, each of these tubes is connected through a valve, 2, to either of two pi e-lines, one of which, 3, carries a fluid un er ressure, of the nature of molten parafiin, mo ten as halt or molten suls deste am substantially from the lower to the upper cap rock and the ore closing material will penetrate from t e lower to the upper cap rock.
As indicated in the foregoing paragraph avariety of diiierent substances may be use in formlng the barrier within the sand pores, and the method to be followed in introducing the material, and in controlling the mine wells during its introduction, will vary somewhat with the nature of the substance used. In the use of certain of the media suggested for filling the sand ores, it is first necessary to heat the oil san to an appropriate elevated temperature. This is accomplished by circulating steam through the sand, connecting alternate mine wells with the steam supply, and encouraging flow to the intermediate wells connected with the vacuum line, as shown in Fig. 1. Circulation of steam must proceed for a considerable time, during which the sand pores will be gradually freed of oil and condensed water, so that live steam may enter. During the early stages of steam application, water will tend to condense to some extent in the mine wells and in the sands immediately about them, but if the steam lines are iven a slight inclination in the direction of ow, this condensed fluid will drain oif to a suitable trap, not shown in the drawings, placed at the end of the steam line. Durin later stages, steam will condense in the san pores between the inlet and outlet wells, but
I serve satisfactorily this condensed fiuid will be forced by the steam pressure toward the outlet wells. If desired, after steam has flowed for a time in one direction through the sand, the connections with the steam supply and I vacuum pump may be reversed, so that flow through the sand may be in the opposite direction. This practice permits of developing a somewhat immediate vicinity of the outlet wells has reached a point somewhat above the minimum desired for ro er application of the medium to be used in filling the sand pores, 1pipe 3 is disconnected from the steam supp y and connection made with pressure tank, 5, containing a supply of the medium to be emplo ed. Steam coils, 5a, are also provided wit in the pressure tank, as a means of heatmg the medium. To prevent undue loss of heat in transmission of the medium, pipe 8, ma be covered with heat insulating material.
he medium employed for sealing the pores ,of the sand may conveniently be a crude raflin havin a meltin oint, enerally, less than 12%? F. The s nd be ween the mine wells is in this case heated to a temperature well in excessof 130?. A suflicient supply of paraflin is placed in pressure tank, 5, is converted into a molten condition by application of heat, and is then forced under steam pressure through pipe 3 and into the oil sand through the alternate mine wells connected therewith, flowing'toward and eventually into the intermediate wells which are maintained under vacuum. Flow of molten paraflin through the oil sand under pressure, is continued for a time so that the entire cross-section of the sand along the line of mine wells, is saturated with it. Flow is then shut oif by closing all valves, 2, and ipes 3 and 4 are drained. As the sands coo the congealing point of the parafiin is reached and the sand pores will be completely filled with a solid wax.
Molten asphalt or sulphur may be used in a similar way, but materially higher tem erature must be maintained in the case 0 sulphur. An alternative plan to that described I above,
with an forcing the oil will be solid at lower temperatures. In some cases a viscous oil forced into the sand will as a flow-obstructing consists in saturating the hot sand oil high in asphaltic content, and then steam or hot compressed air through agent.
When chemical reagents are employed, elevated temperatures may'usually be dispensed with. The general procedure to be followed in this case, is that of first filling the sand pores with a water solution of a rea ent which separates out solids tending to fil the sand pores on contact with a second precipitating reagent which is forced into the sands after igher average temperature in the sand. When the temperature of the sand in thev in Fig. 2, saturating 5 until it is oxidized to an asphalt that ployed, a supply of the particular solutionto be used is placed in the pressure tank, 5, and forced with the aidof compressed air, or by pump pressure, through pi 3, and into alternate mine wells, causing Edw through the oil sand toward the intermediate mine wells, which may be conveniently maintained under vacuum, though this is not essential to the success of of the solution continues until the sand in the vicinity of the line of mine wells is satu-' rated with it. The solution spreads out laterally in the sand to some extent, as shown a zone several feet in width and complete filling the sand crosssection. When this gaseous carbon dioxide is forced under pressure through pipe 3, into alternate mine Wells. Gas flows with comparative freedom through water-saturated sands, and will quickly saturate a narrow zone,- 6, extending from the inlet to the outlet wells. This zone of carbon dioxide-gas-saturated sand develops contact on each side, with the body of solution, 7, reviously introduced, and by solution and di usion, slowly permeates the mass of solution precipitating calcium carbonate or silica in accordance with the primary solution used. These substances are insoluble in water, and under favorable cement the pore spaces of an impermeable barrier is formed.
ThlS barrier may serve as the starting point pose of displacing oil from the sand into the method. Circulation 95 circumstances "completely the sand so that condition is attained,
other mine drifts e uipped with drainage wells. As shown in ig. 2, the impermeable barrier may be formed somewhat to one-side of the mine drift, by inclining the mine wells 8 from the vertical, as shown. A second series of inclined mineiwells, 9 drilledfrom the opposite side of the drift, aiiords a means of introducing flood-water or compressed air or asfor driving pur oses. v
n Fig. 3 we have 1 tion of our invention to a fluid drive conducted 'upon a lease which has a diagonal ggrous streak 10 extending through it and yond. This would: serve as a vent for the pressure medium unless obstructed. Mine wells 11 are extended down into the oil sand at the diagonally opposite points indicated. A sealin agent of the type previously described is supplied through these wells ustrated an applicaforming oil-impervious barriers 12 and 13 no across the porous streak. When this barrier is formed, a fluid under pressure is forced into the sand from mine wells'14. This fluid drives the oil before it alon lines converging to a surface well 15 or ot encentral point of withdrawal. There is no objectionable escape of pressure fluid throughthe sealed :porous streak.
It is evident that the same procedure is applicable to drives conductedirom one border of the oil sand to the other as described in the United States Patent No. 1,722,679 granted to Leo Ranney on July 30, 1929, and in the nding application of Lester C. Uren, Serial 0. 220,126 filed Sept. 17, 1927.-
The extent of barrier which can be economically formed will depend on various factors,
includin of course, the price obtainable for.
the gra e of oil to be recovered. In most cases a complete walling in of the lease would ,not be justifiable commercially, but the sealing of porous areas of limited extent is eminently practical.
impermeable barriers in porous media may It is apparent that the method of forming find a variety of other a plications than the particular one describe above, as for example, in sealing ofi fissures in mine openings or in reservoirs or embankments to prevent leakage or to prevent highressure ases or liquids from flowing throng them. arious changes and alternative arrangements may be made within the scope of the appended claims,
I in which it is our intention to claim all novelty inherent in the invention, as broadly as the prior art permits. We claim:
. to the outlet opening, and which on subsequent cooling, will solidify and seal the pores of the sand. stratum.
2. Method according to cl 1, which parafiin is the substance used.
3 The method ofrendering a section of barrier from the upper to the lower cap rock in a given section of" rous earth stratum, which com rises intro ucin under'pressure a hotliqui material capab e of s'ohdifying when cooled to the natural temperature of the stratum into the material ofthe' stratum at a plurality of levels in the .vertical lane of the section and at spaced intervals orizontally of the section and applying suction at I spaced intervals" the section to draw the material through the stratum in uantities suilicient to form a continuous y of the material in the section from the upper to the lower cap rock.
5. Th'emethod-of rendering a sectionof porous earth stratum im rvi'ous to fluid, which comprises forcing eating fluid into horizontally spaced portions of the section I under greater than atmospheric pressure, applying sufiicient suction to the section between the portions to draw the heating [fluid through the section until the section is heated to a predetermined temperature, forcing melted material having a melting point below the temperature of the heated section into the section, and drawing the melted material through thesection by suction to replace the heating fluid. i
6. The method of rendering a section of porous earth-stratum im mous to fluid,
which comprises forcing eating fluidinto:
horizontally spaced portions ofithe section I under greater than atmospheric pressure, ape plying suficient suction to the section between the portions to draw the heatin fluid through the section, reversing the ow of heating fluid through the section until the section is heated to a. predetermined temperature, torcin melted material havin a meltmg point he ow'the temperature of t e heat-' ed section into the section and drawing the melted material through the section by suction to replace the heatin fluid.
. C. UREN.
porous earth stratum impervious to fluid,
which comprises forcing a liquid into hori zontally spaced portions of the section under greater than atmospheric pressure, applying suflicient suction to the section between the portions to draw the liquid throughthe section to form a continuous body of the liquid throu bout the section, and introducing a fluid mto the section adapted to cooperate with the liquid to form an impervious bare rier in the interstices of the material of the section.
4. The method of forming an impermeable