US 1926031 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept; 12, 1933. A, BOYNTON AUTOMATIC STAGE LIFT FLOWING DEVICE Filed May 17; 1927 4 Sheets-Sheet l WITNESSES ATTORNEYS Sept 12, 1933. A. BOYNTON AUTOMATIC STAGE LIFT FLOWING DEVICE Filed May 17, 1927 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Q man a.
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AUTOMATIC STAGE LIFT FLOWING DEVICE Filed May 17, 1927 4 Sheets-Sheet'4 j '1 film. 8.
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5*atented Sept. 12, 1933 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Alexander Boynton. San Antonio, 'lexx. :issiguor to Chas. A. Beatty, San Antonio, Tex.
Application May 17. 1927.
This invention relates to improvements in well flowing apparatus, particularly to certain flowing devices for a stage lift flowing apparatus. and its objects are as follows: First. to provide what may be termed a flowing device for each valve of a series of such valves in a tubing string, designed to be operated entirely upon the difference in fluid and liquid pressures at opposite sides of the tubing string in such manner as to initiate and control the flow of liquid in the well.
Second, to effect the foregoing control by means of a reciprocable plunger which is provided with adjustable means for regulating the "pick-up" and drop-back" as briefly explained later on.
Third, to provide an arrangement wherein the plunger and itsspring or springs are situated in individual compartments separated from each other by a means which has a connecting passageway through which a portion of the spring extends to reach the plunger.
Fourth, to yieldingly suspend the plunger by providing duplicate springs in separate compartments and causing the near ends of the springs to extend through passages whereat they reach the plunger and engage the ends thereof.
Other objects and advantages appear in the following specification. reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which;
Figure 1 is a central vertical section of one of the valves of a series of such valves connected in the tubing string of a well,
Figure 2 is a central vertical section of the valve body which is designed along the lines of Figure 1, but in which the plunger is modified to the extent of tapering a portion thereof as appears later,
Figure 3 is a central vertical section of the valve body in which the wall of the plunger chamber is provided with a spiral of diminishing depth,
Figure 4 is a central vertical section of the valve body illustrating a modification wherein the foregoing spiral grooves are replaced by perpendicular tongues in extension of bottom plug constituting a liner of the wall of the plunger chamber,
Figure 5 is a detail sectional view of the slit bushing by which the slots shown in Fig. 4 are formed,
Figure 6 is a detail cross section taken on the line 6-6 of Figure 4, v
Figure 7 is a central vertical section of the valve illustrating the use of opposed springs for the suspension of the plunger, said springs hav- Serial No. 192.049
iug extensions through sleeves upon either of which the plunger is adapted to seat to close an adjacent port.
Figure 8 is a vertical section of the valve showing the use of a check valve assemblage in coaction with the plunger.
Figure 9 is a horizontal section taken on the line 9-9 of Figure 8.
Brief reference may be made to a co-pending application with which the subject matter of the present application is closely associated, the former being an application for a patent for Automatic stage lift flowing apparatus for wells, filed April 5. 1927, Serial Number 181,144. The co-pcnding patent application relates more to the general principle of elevating or lifting liquid from a well, this being accomplished by what is known as either the tubing or the casing method, depending upon whether the applied fluid pressure is imposed upon the liquid in the outer casing so as to force said liquid up and out of the tubing string, or is imposed upon the liquid in the tubing string thus to force the liquid up and out of the outer casing.
The present invention has more to do with the specific forms of a certain plunger and plunger chambers as Well as the resilient means for acting upon the plunger, the combination comprising the vital factor in the control of both the applied fluid pressure and the flowing liquid. Much is said in the foregoing copending patent application about the pick-up" and drop-back of the plunger, and for the purpose of a quick understanding of these terms, it may be explained that the pick-up of the plunger is governed by the by-passing volume, whereas the drop-back is governed by the area of the seat at one end of the plunger chamber with which the adjoining end of the plunger is engageable.
A great deal depends upon the proper proportioning of the plunger for by working out the proportions of the plunger there can be obtained marked differences in the behavior of the plunger under given conditions in the well. It will become evident to the reader that a rapid rush of gas through the plunger chamber at full pressure will tend to carry with it the plunger to a seating position, while the rising column of liquid either inside or outside of the tubing string will develop such back pressure upon the plunger as will cause it to waver in reference to its seat and thus establish an automatic control of the passage of the gas or pressure fluid through the plunger chamber as well as automatically control the rapidity flow of the fluid itself.
Where, as previously stated, the co-pending patent application deals with the general principle announced, the present application deals with the specific arrangement of the plunger and its associated parts. The following description is thus devoted to an explanation of the various structures reference being had to several typical modifications according to what is regarded as logical order.
In Figure 1, the valve body 1 has a conduit 2 communicable with adjacent sections of tubing 3 and 4 of a tubing string which sections are screwed into the extremities of the valve body. A lateral enlargement 5 of the valve body is formed to provide the plunger chamber 6, upper valve seat 7, passages 8 and spring chamber 9. A plunger 10 is provided with adjustable means for regulating the foregoing pick-up and drop-back. The plunger is of a cylindrical shape substantially from end to end. This configuration is to be regarded as the general type of the plunger because in some instances the cylindrical wall is interrupted by a partial taper as in Figure 2 or a spiral groove as in Figure 7. v
This adjustable means comprises mainly the plug 11 which is screwed into the threaded counterbore 12 of the spring chamber 9, and for the purposes of the desired adjustment, has a screw driver slot 14 admitting the point of a screw driver so that turning of the plug up and down may be accomplished. A coil spring 17 imposes pressure upon the plunger. The straightened end 18 of the spring extends through one of the passages 8 and occupies a small drilled hole or bore 19 in the plunger 10. The straightened end of the spring confines the pressure to a restricted point below the center of gravity of the plunger.
A sealing-off projection 20, rising from one end 28 of the plunger, acts in conjunction with the seat I to throttle the by-passing gas or other fluid more and more the higher the plunger rises. This sealing-off projection consists of a convex dome, and the general shape prevails whether the dome comprises the rounded terminal of the projection 20 or consists of the rounded end that merges directly with the cylindrical wall of the plunger as in Figure 7. The action enables securing a diminishing volume of by-passing gas or other fluid while the outside differential pressure is rising. Thus, is obtained, the extremely important advantage of being able to by-pass the plunger with the greatest volume of gas at low differential, that is to say, while the fluid column is moving slowly and therefore needs more applied lifting energy. As the fluid column is accelerated in its movement, less and less energy is applied to lift such column at the required speed. The projection 20 will accom-- plish sealing-off engagement with the seat 7.
Reverting to the spring 17, it is to be noted that the single lower straight end 18 rests on the base of the hole 19 drilled in the plunger, the bottom of said hole being near the bottom of the plunger. The distance between the bottom of the hole and the bottom end of the plunger should be less than one-half the diameter of the plunger. If the bottom of the hole is more than one-half the diameter of the plunger from the bottom end of the plunger, then, the plunger will to the fact that it would be balanced above center, that is to say, a knee action develops at high pressure.
If the distance between the lower end of the spring hole 19 and the lower end of the plunger is less than one-half the diameter of the plunger, then the by-passing gas can more easily hold and does hold the plunger in a central position in its chamber, thereby allowing an even flow of compressed air or gas around all sides of the plunger. The lower rounded end 32 of the plunger seats upon a closure sleeve-plug 33 as in Figure 1.
In Figure l .the plunger chamber is of tapering formation as at 59, being larger in diameter at the bottom than at the top. The plunger itself is cylindrical, the walls being straight. It will be evident that the greatest volume of bypassing pressure fiuid will be admitted at low external differentials, and that, as the plunger compresses the spring 17 the diminishing area between shoulder 28 of the plunger and the wall 59 of the plunger chamber will constantly reduce the volume so admitted. This gives the desired result of admitting less lifting energy as less is needed, due to the increasing differential pressure on the outside, the increasing differential being indicative of or the equivalent of the increasing velocity in the moving fluid. column.
The important rule to be observed is that the taper of wall 59 must be such as to restrict the volume of gas faster than the increasing tension of the spring 17 tends to admit greater volume through smaller by-passing area. The further spring 17 is compressed, the greater resistance it offers to further compression. It is therefore 1 evident that if we are able to have less volume with greater compression of the spring the taper 59 must act faster than the increasing tension on spring 17.
Figure 2 embodies the same construction as Figure 1 except that the plunger 10 is tapered from a point indicated at 60 to the shoulder or sealing-oil seat 28. The plunger chamber is straight walled at 61 and made tapering for part of its length as at 62. The plunger and chamber construction of Figures 1 and 2 are about of equal importance, and a volume curve plotted from a meter reading of the type in Figure 2 gives an extremely efficient power line.
The reader, if familiar with the distribution of the valves along the tubing string, as brought out in the co-pending patent application, can understand the statement that there is such a thing as the overlapping of power-to-open in the valves. It has been demonstrated that the drop back of the valve plunger can be regulated, and in practice should be so adjusted with reference to the spacing of the valves along the tubing string that when the lowest open valve is wide open, the next valve above should be approximately two-thirds open, and the next valve above that should be approximately one-third open. The effect of this peculiar action is to introduce proper volumes of the lifting pressure fluid at various points along the liquid col umn and to apply the lifting effort with increasing intensity where most needed.
Figure 3 shows the wall of the plunger chamber 6 to have cut therein the spiral groove 63 which is deepest at the bottom at a point adjacent to the plug sleeve 33 and shallowest adjacent to the seat 7. This particular formation of the spiral groove enables the plunger chantber to be drilled straight, and the plunger 10 to be made straight, sumcient clearance for byresult being obtained thereby.
passing the requisite amount of pressure fluid being allowed, and enough clearance being provided at the same time to avoid the danger of the plunger strieking in the chamber, due to the possible presence of foreign matter. A description of other features in Figure 3 need not be given because this is identical with that apply ing to such forms as Figures 1 and 2, as evident by corresponding reference characters.
Figure 4 illustrates the same idea as shown in Figure 3 except that the foregoing spiral groove is now replaced by perpendicular slots 64. Either the spiral groove 63 or slots 64, which are tapering as clearly appears in Figs. 3 and 4, defines a passageway in the wall of the respective chamber which diminishes in the direction of one of the ports. In practice, it is very difficult to cut the perpendicular slots in the plunger chamber proper, and thus the use of a split bushing 65 is resorted to, the same It is observed in Figure 5 that the split bushing is built integrally with the bottom sleeve-plug 33, and that the plunger chamber, (Figure 4), is taperreamed at 59 to receive the split bushing.
It will be instantly observed that the area of the opening on either side of the bushing diminishes from the bottom of the bushing to the top. This diminishing area affords means for diminishing the volume as the plunger 10 rises With higher external differentials of pressure. The foregoing statement may be laid down as a rule, and must be observed in this case; the diminishing taper of the by-passing slots 64 must act faster than the increasing tension of the coil spring 17 in order that there may be secured the desired result of diminishing volume of pressure fluid flow through the plunger chamber with increasing external differential fluid pressure.
Figure 7 illustrates a type of valve equally adaptable to either tubing or casing methods of flowing, the foregoing forms of the valve being especially designed for the requirement of the tubing method alone. The arrangement is that of opposed springs 43 and 44, the remote extremities of which rest against adjustable closure plugs 45 and 46. The adjacent extremities of the springs terminate in straight axial ends 47 and 48 which are received in small holes in the ends of the plunger 10 and upon which the plunger is suspended midway of the plunger chamber 6. The plunger has a spiral groove 31 against which the fluid passing through the plunger chamber acts to cause rotation of the plunger, both ends of said plunger being rounded for the following purpose.
Sleeve plugs 49 and 50 have beveled seats 51 and 52 with which the foregoing rounded ends are engageable. The plunger chamber 6 and spring chambers 9 constitute a single bore in the lateral enlargement 5 of the valve body, but this bore is sub-divided by the two sleeve-plugs 49 and 50 as shown. A port 53 affords communication between the conduit 2 and lower spring chamber 9 while a port 54 affords communication between the upper spring chamber 9 and the outside of the valve. The passage of the sleeve 50 is virtually a continuation of the port 54 because a closure of the passage by the plunger will stop a flow through the port. As has already been stated, the type of valve in Figure 7 may be used with either the tubing or casing method.
When used in connection with the casing -mcthod, the valve is inserted either end up into the string of tubing. By introducing compressed fluid into the tubing the port 53 permits discharge of the fluid past the plunger 10 which thus becomes seated upon the seat 52 at the proper sealing-off differential. This differential is adjusted by means of the plug 46. In employing the valve for the tubing method, the compressed fluid enters the port 54, and in bypassing the plunger 10 forces the latter upon the seat 51 at the proper differential for which adjustment is obtained by means of the plug 45. The arrangement of springs not only provides for very sensitive adjustment of spring tensions, but also provides a fool-proof device which operates for either tubing or casing method with either end up.
It is thus impossible to place the valve incorrectly in the tubing string. It will function perfectly for either method, depending solely upon whether the gas is admitted through the tubing or through the casing, thus eliminating the ever present danger in oil fields of careless or incompetent help possibly getting a valve upside down.
Figure 8 resembles the forms in Figures 1 and 2 to some degree, but illustrates two fea tures of essential difference not shown in any previous illustration. First, the graduated means for reducing the volume of pressure fluid by-passing the plunger 10 comprises a series of perforations or cavities in the walls of the plunger chamber 6. These perforations are evenly spaced on each side of the plunger chamber (Fig. 9).
The pressure fluid is admitted through the sleeve-plug 33 and the perforations 70. These perforations, it will be observed, begin immediately above the top of the plunger. As the plunger rises, due to the increasing external pressure differential, it automatically closes, or better stated, partially closes the perforations 70. It is evident that the higher the plunger rises the more of perforations 70 are closed and consequently the higher the plunger rises the less volume of pressure fluid is admitted through the discharge ports or passages 74. The plung er 10 has a loose fit in the plunger chamber, in practice, there being a small fraction of clearance therearound. It will therefore be observed that the plunger does not actually close the perforations as it rises, but does so obstruct them as to materially decrease the volume of pressure fluid admitted through the perforations.
The second feature comprises the check valve assemblage generally indicated '71. This is situated medially of the chambers 6, 9 and intersects the passage going from one chamber to the other. The check valve body includes a transverse duct which when lined up as shown constitutes the greater proportion of the foregoing passage. It therefore becomes necessary to place the check valve above the perforations, and this is done in the manner illustrated.
While the well is flowing by the tubing meth- 0d, the ball '72 (Fig. 8) does not seal-off against the landing 73 because of the perforations 74, but if it should be desired to reverse the pressure for the purpose of cleaning obstructions from the intake at the bottom of the tubing the ball 72 immediately engages the seat '75 as pressure is reversed and at such a time the escape of fluid through the perforations would be prevented. The screw driver slot 76 is vertical whenever the inside end of the check valve assembly is in proper position to conform to the conduit 2 of the valve body.
I. A valve comprising a valve body having independent chambers with a connecting passage and ports affording communication of the passage with the interior of the body, and of one of the chambers with the exterior of the body, a valve-plunger of a cylindrical shape substantially from end to end being situated in said one of the chambers, a convex dome head on the inner end of the plunger capable of shutting off the adjacent port, and resilient means situated in the other chamber having a portion extending therefrom through said connecting passage into engagement with the valve plunger.
2. A valve comprising a valve body having independent but connected chambers with ports affording communication between the interior and exterior of the body through one of the chambers, a valve-plunger of acylindrical shape substantially from end to end being situated in one of the chambers, a convex dome head on the inner end of the plunger engageable with the adjacent port, said plunger normally seating adjacent the other port, resilient means situated in the other chamber, and a straightened end of said resilient means entering an opening in the plunger and bearing upon the plunger at a predetermined point thus tending to hold the plunger in said last-named seating position.
3. .A valve comprising a valve body having ports at which communication between the interior and exterior of the body is afforded, valve means capable of seating adjacent to either of the ports for the closure of the respective ports, said ports being connected by a rectilinear chamber containing said valve means and having a tapering formation extending from one port to the other for constantly varying the volume of gas by-passing the valve means as said valve means moves toward a seating position adjacent to one of the ports.
4. A valve comprising a valve body having ports at which communication between the interior and exterior of the body is afforded, a plunger capable of seating upon either of the ports for the closure of the respective ports, said ports being connected by a chamber containing the plunger and including a tapering formation extending from one port to the other for constantly varying the volume of gas as the plunger moves toward seating position adjacent to one of the ports, and resilient means applying continuous pressure upon the plunger enforcing seating upon one of the ports in the absence of gas pressure and tending to prevent seating upon the other port under gas pressure.
5. A valve comprising a valve body having ports affording communication with the interior and exterior of the body, a plunger movable to a seating position adjacent to either port, a tapering chamber connecting the ports and containing the plunger, and a slotted bushing inserted in the chamber, forming a guide for the plunger and providing a by-pass of diminishing area.
6. A valve comprising a body having a chamber with ports communicable with the interior and exterior of a tubingin which the valve body is connectible, means associated with the valve body providing restricted passages and subdividing the chamber, a valve plunger in one of the subdivisions, and yieldable means by which the valve means is suspended in position between said ports, said yieldable means being situated in the remaining subdivisions and each having a portion extending therefrom through the passage-providing means into engagement with the valve plunger.
'7. A valve comprising a body connectible in a tubing, there being a chamber in said body having ports respectively communicating with the interior and exterior of the tubing, restricted passage-making means arranged within the chamber adjacent to each port and having valve seats, a valve-plunger located in the chamber between said means and having openings, and resilient means including springs situated in the chamber beyond said passage-making means, each spring having its ends extending through the passages and fitting in said openings thus to suspend the valve-plunger between said passage-making means, said valve-plunger having a spiral groove.
8. A valve comprising a body having a conduit communicable with sections of tubing between which the valve body is connectible, said body having a chamber outside of the conduit with ports respectively affording communication with the conduit and with the outside of the valve body, sleeves fixed in the chamber adjacent to the near sides of the ports, a valve plunger situated in the chamber and movable to a sealing off position on the respective sleeves adjacent to either port by pressure fluid admitted to the chamber through the other port, and opposed yieldable means on the far sides of the sleeves having portions extending through the sleeves into engagement with the valve plunger tending to suspend the valve plunger in an approximately mid-position in said chamber.
9. An automatic flow valve unit comprising a valve body having independent chambers joined by a connecting passage, a plunger operable in one of the chambers being capable of assuming seating positions at the respective ends of the chamber, a spring in the other chamber having a straightened end extending through said connecting passage and bearing upon the plunger, and a check valve assemblage incorporated in the valve body communicating with the plunger chamber through said passage.
10. A valve comprising a body having independent chambers joined by a connecting passage, one of the chambers having a longitudinal series of perforations in its wall, a plunger operable in the latter chamber being capable of traversing the series of perforations and assuming seating positions at the respective ends of the chamber, and a spring in the other chamber having a straightened end extending through the end of said passage and bearing upon the plunger.