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Publication numberUS20040216906 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/425,844
Publication dateNov 4, 2004
Filing dateApr 29, 2003
Priority dateApr 29, 2003
Also published asWO2004097537A2, WO2004097537A3
Publication number10425844, 425844, US 2004/0216906 A1, US 2004/216906 A1, US 20040216906 A1, US 20040216906A1, US 2004216906 A1, US 2004216906A1, US-A1-20040216906, US-A1-2004216906, US2004/0216906A1, US2004/216906A1, US20040216906 A1, US20040216906A1, US2004216906 A1, US2004216906A1
InventorsTommie Rogers
Original AssigneeRogers Tommie L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Power positioner for power tong units
US 20040216906 A1
Abstract
A power tong positioner comprises a vertically movable pedestal with a horizontally disposed sliding carriage mounted atop it, and a ring and pinion gear assembly to rotate the carriage in a horizontal plane. Preferably, the carriage has rollers to ease back-and-forth horizontal movement, under the influence of hydraulic cylinders. A twin-armed lift assembly is pivotally mounted on the roller carriage, and a pair of hydraulic cylinders attached between the roller carriage and the lift assembly pivots the frame on the carriage. The power tong hangs from the lift assembly. The power tong may be positioned at a desired location by a combination of movement of the pedestal, the sliding carriage, and the pivoting lift assembly. Controls for the positioner and the power tong may be mounted on the front of the tong, at a remote control panel connected by an umbilical, or a remote radio frequency signal control panel.
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Claims(15)
I claim:
1. A tong positioner, comprising:
a) a vertically movable pedestal having a base and a sliding carriage mounted thereon, said sliding carriage movable back and forth in a substantially horizontal plane, and a means for moving said pedestal up and down and said sliding carriage back and forth;
b) a lift assembly pivotally mounted on said sliding carriage, and a means for pivoting said lift assembly about its mounting point;
c) a means for suspending a power tong from said lift assembly; and
d) controls operationally connected to said positioner, for moving said pedestal up and down, said sliding carriage horizontally back and forth, and for pivoting said lift assembly.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein:
a) said means for moving said pedestal up and down comprises a hydraulic cylinder;
b) said means for moving said sliding carriage back and forth comprises a hydraulic cylinder mounted between said base and said sliding carriage;
c) said means for pivoting said lift assembly about its mounting point comprises a hydraulic cylinder mounted between said base and said sliding carriage,
d) said base is pivotally mounted on said pedestal, and further comprising a pinion and ring gear assembly permitting powered rotation of said base.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said lift assembly comprises a pair of arms pivotally mounted to said carriage.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein said means for suspending a power tong from said lift assembly is a gambrel, and further comprising a stabilizer operationally connected to said gambrel.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein said stabilizer comprises a hydraulic cylinder mounted between said gambrel and said arms.
6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein said controls are mounted on said power tong.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein said controls are mounted at a remote control panel and connected to said positioner by a control umbilical.
8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein said controls are mounted at a remote control panel and communicate with said positioner via radio wave communication.
9. A powered positioner for vertical and horizontal positioning of power tongs, comprising:
a) a vertically movable pedestal having a base rotatably mounted thereon, and a pinion and ring gear assembly controlling rotation therebetween;
b) a carriage mounted on said base with a plurality of rollers disposed between said base and said carriage;
c) at least one hydraulic cylinder mounted between said carriage and said base, whereby movement of said hydraulic cylinder moves said carriage back and forth;
d) a pair of arms pivotally mounted on said carriage, with hydraulic cylinders mounted between said frame and said carriage, such that extension and contraction of said hydraulic cylinders moves said arms rotatably around said pivot point; and
e) a means for suspending a power tong from said frame.
10. The apparatus of claim 9, further comprising:
f) controls for up and down movement of said pedestal; rotary movement of said base on said pedestal; back-and-forth movement of said carriage on said base; pivotal movement of said arms.
11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein said means for suspending a power tong from said frame further comprises a spring means.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein said spring means comprises a pneumatic cylinder.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising stabilizer means connected between said gambrel and said lift arm.
14. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising controls mounted on a remote control panel, connected via an umbilical.
15. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising controls mounted on a remote control panel, operable via radio frequency.
Description
    BACKGROUND
  • [0001]
    1. Field of Art
  • [0002]
    This invention relates to apparatus used in connection with the drilling and servicing of earthen boreholes, commonly called “wells,” and more particularly to apparatus used to position power tongs at desired locations to make up and break out threaded connections on tubular goods.
  • [0003]
    2. Related Art
  • [0004]
    Power tongs have come into widespread use in the oil and gas industry, especially on drilling rigs in recent times, to make up and break out threaded connections on tubular goods, referred to herein as tubulars. Tubulars include all manner of threaded connection goods such as tubing, casing, and drill pipe. In particular, the use of power tongs to make up and break out drill pipe threaded connections, commonly called tool joints, has greatly increased. Such connections require high torque values, and consequently the tong units required to generate such torque values are quite heavy.
  • [0005]
    The great weight of these power tongs, and increased emphasis on safety and efficiency in rig operations has resulted in a move away from one of the earliest forms of tong “positioners”—that being the tong hung on a line, which is routed over a pulley mounted high in the rig derrick, to a counterweight that suspends the tong above the rig floor, yet permits it to be swung into position and raised and lowered. This form of “positioner” does not restrain the tong from swinging around and striking personnel and other equipment, and otherwise has limitations on its use.
  • [0006]
    In response, various types of powered positioners, particularly for positioning power tongs, have been invented to positively position such tongs at desired positions with respect to the rig floor, and more particularly to position the tong around the threaded connection to be made up and broken out. A typical situation is the makeup or breakout of a drill pipe connection, where the tool joint is in the rotary table (essentially in the center of the rig floor) several feet above the rig floor. However, the power positioner must also be capable of placing the tong in positions away from the center of the rig floor, for example to handle drill pipe connections in the so-called rat hole or mousehole, which are displaced from the center of the rig floor. The power positioner must preferably be in a relatively out of the way position on the rig floor, and must position the power tong out of the way when not needed.
  • [0007]
    There exist other technologies to position tongs, including boom-type positioners and those which run on stationary tracks typically disposed on the rig floor. The invention of the present application affords another solution to the problem.
  • SUMMARY OF A PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    The present invention, in one presently preferred embodiment, is a power positioner for placement of tongs in a desired location about a rig floor. The term “tongs” as used herein comprises any type of powered device with which to makeup and/or breakout threaded tubular connections, whether it be a “make and break” device, conventional power tong, power tong unit comprising a backup, etc. The invention comprises a vertically movable pedestal having a base and a sliding carriage mounted on it. The sliding carriage preferably rides on a plurality of rollers disposed between the base and the carriage, and is movable back and forth horizontally by a pair of hydraulic cylinders. The base is rotationally mounted on the pedestal, such that rotation of the base in turn rotates the carriage in a substantially horizontal plane. A powered pinion and ring gear assembly provides the rotary movement between the base and the pedestal. A lift assembly is mounted on the carriage, and in the preferred embodiment comprises two arms pivotally mounted on the sliding carriage, with a rotating gambrel joining the two arms. A power tong may be suspended from the gambrel. Hydraulic cylinders attached between the lift assembly and the sliding carriage permit pivoting the lift assembly about its pivot points, so that a power tong hanging therefrom is both raised/lowered and moved backward/forward by the pivoting motion. Controls are operationally connected to the power positioner, via any combination of mounting on the tong, at a remote location connected by a control umbilical, or via radio frequency connection, to raise and lower the pedestal; rotate the base on the pedestal; pivot the lift assembly; and move the sliding carriage backward and forward, thereby permitting a power tong to be positioned at a desired location with respect to the rig floor.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical rig floor setting showing the apparatus in a fully retracted position, with the power tong in a stored position.
  • [0010]
    [0010]FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the apparatus in a perspective view of the apparatus in an extended position, with the power tong positioned to engage a drill pipe connection.
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIGS. 3-5 are side views of the apparatus, in several different positions.
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 6 is another side view of the invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0013]
    While those skilled in the relevant art will recognize that various changes can be made from the disclosed embodiment of the invention, without departing from the spirit of the invention, with reference to the drawings one presently preferred embodiment will be described.
  • [0014]
    It is understood that the term “power tong,” as used in this application, encompasses any form of powered device used to make up and/or break out threaded tubular connections (on any type of tubular, including drill pipe, tubing, casing, etc.), and includes drill pipe tongs, casing tongs, “make/break” devices, etc. It is further understood that the invention may have application in many different settings; as a matter of convenience only, the invention is described in connection with its deployment on a drilling or workover rig. However, it is equally applicable to positioning tongs in a shop environment, for example.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 1 best serves to illustrate a typical installation of the power positioner on a rig floor, in proximity to a threaded tubular connection to be made up or broken out, such as a drill pipe connection. While the power positioner may be installed at various desired locations about the rig floor, one possible location is to one side of the rotary table, to permit ready access to tubulars both in the rotary and in the mousehole. FIG. 1 shows the apparatus in a retracted position, with the tong in a stored position substantially over the pedestal. With the power positioner mounted in front of the drawworks, in the retracted position the entire apparatus (including the power tong mounted thereon) is out of the way of most rig operations, yet is positioned to readily be placed into service when needed.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the apparatus. With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, power positioner 10 comprises a vertically movable pedestal 20 mounted on or in a desired location, for example mounted on a rig floor and extended down below the rig floor. Alternatively, pedestal 20 may be mounted on the floor of a shop or other similar setting. Preferably, pedestal 20 is vertically movable by hydraulic means, although mechanical means such as a roller and flat gear combination could be used. As can additionally be seen in FIG. 2, a base 30 is rotationally mounted on pedestal 20, preferably atop pedestal 20. A powered pinion and ring gear assembly 40 permits controlled rotation of base 30 on pedestal 20. A carriage 40 is slidably disposed on base 30, and in the presently preferred embodiment, carriage 40 rides on a plurality of rollers 60 which are disposed between base 30 and carriage 50, preferably mounted on base 30.
  • [0017]
    A means for moving carriage 50 on base 30 is provided. In the preferred embodiment, this means for moving comprises at least one, and preferably a pair of hydraulic cylinders 70 mounted between base 30 and carriage 50. Actuation of hydraulic cylinders 70 moves carriage 50 between a retracted position and an extended position, as is later described.
  • [0018]
    Both horizontal and vertical movement of a power tong is provided by a lift assembly preferably mounted on carriage 50, from which a power tong is suspended. In a presently preferred embodiment, the lift assembly comprises at least one, and preferably a pair, of arms 80 rotatably mounted on carriage 50. A means for rotating arms 80 about their pivot point is provided. The presently preferred embodiment comprises an extensible means such as hydraulic cylinder 90 connected between arms 80 and carriage 50, which rotates arms 80 with extension and retraction of the hydraulic cylinder. Preferably, a gambrel 100 joins arms 80, and power tong 110 is suspended from gambrel 100. Gambrel 100 typically suspends power tong 110 such that power tong 110 can swing back and forth to a limited degree, with rotation of gambrel 100 about its longitudinal axis. An elastic means 130, such as a spring or pneumatic cylinder, can be disposed between power tong 110 and gambrel 100, to provide some “cushioning” to the weight of power tong 110 hanging from gambrel 100, and additionally to permit power tong 110 to move up or down while engaged on the tubular, to permit the tong to compensate for thread makeup and breakout (either extending or contracting). Alternatively, power tong 110 could be mounted to arms 80 via different configurations of rigid members, or even by flexible members such as cables and the like, from arms 80.
  • [0019]
    While some degree of movement may be desirable for final positioning of power tong 110 on a connection, preferably a stabilizer 120 is provided, that connects between power tong 110 or the means by which it is suspended from arms 80, and some other part of the apparatus, for example to arms 80. As can be seen in the figures, one embodiment has stabilizer 120 mounted between arm 80 and gambrel 100. Stabilizers 120 may be hydraulic, pneumatic, or spring cylinders, etc. to dampen and restrain the degree to which power tong 110 can swing.
  • [0020]
    The preferred embodiment of the invention can also comprise controls of forms well known in the relevant art to control rotation of the base on the pedestal; movement of the pedestal up and down; movement of the carriage back and forth on the base; and movement of the arms. Further, controls may be provided to operate the various aspects of the power tong unit itself. Such controls may be connected to the various parts of the power positioner and power tong unit via a hydraulic line/electric cable umbilical, routed to a conveniently placed control panel; or communication via radio waves between controls and the controlled mechanisms can be used. Yet another embodiment has controls for both the power positioner and the power tong unit mounted on the power tong unit, for easy manipulation by the power tong operator.
  • [0021]
    Operation of the Power Positioner
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIGS. 3-6 illustrate the power positioner in different positions, in a typical sequence of use in positioning a power tong unit onto a tubular threaded connection. While the particular embodiment illustrated is on a rig floor setting, as earlier mentioned it is understood that the scope of the invention lends itself to use in other settings, such as a shop for manipulation of bottom hole assemblies, etc.
  • [0023]
    In FIG. 3, the apparatus, and hence power tong 110, is in a substantially fully retracted position, that is, as far back from the tubular as can be positioned. As can be seen, carriage 50 is retracted on base 30 (to the right in FIG. 3 as illustrated) by hydraulic cylinders 70, and arms 80 are pulled back via hydraulic cylinders 90 to their fully retracted position. Power tong unit 110 is therefore out of the way of other rig operations. FIG. 3 illustrates a key space saving aspect of the invention, wherein the pedestal is (in a retracted position) largely below the rig floor (or shop floor or the like).
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 4 is a next exemplary position in the course of moving power tong 110 from a retracted position to a position around the tubular. Cylinders 70 are extended to rotate arms 80 to a forward position. In this figure, carriage 50 is still in a retracted position on base 30.
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 5 next shows power tong 110 in a position around the tubular. Carriage 50 has been advanced on base 30, and the combination of lateral movement of carriage 50 and arms 80 is sufficient to place power tong 110 in a desired position around the tubular. It is understood that the combination and sequence of lateral movement of power tong 110, by both movement of carriage 50 and rotation of arms 80, can be in any desired sequence, and to any desired degree. The dimensions of the various components can be adjusted to suit differing settings.
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 6 additionally shows the component of vertical movement of power tong 110 achieved by vertical movement of pedestal 20. Rotation of base 30 on pedestal 20 can give yet another degree of movement of power tong 110.
  • [0027]
    It can be readily appreciated that a power tong can thus be positioned by the present invention in a vertical plane, by a combination of pedestal movement and rotation of the arms; and in a horizontal plane, by a combination of movement of the carriage on the base, rotation of the arms, and rotation of the base on the pedestal.
  • [0028]
    It can be readily seen by the figures and description, that the various components of the invention permit movement of the power tong in both horizontal and vertical directions, and that different positions can be readily achieved via a combination of such movements.
  • [0029]
    While the description set forth above contains many details of the preferred embodiment, same are made in order to disclose one of the presently preferred embodiments and not by way of limitation. Various changes could be made while staying within the scope of the present invention, for example dimensions of the various elements; scope or extent of movement of the various mechanisms of the power positioner; the power positioner can be used to manipulate power tongs used to make up and/or breakout any type of threaded tubular, including drill pipe, tubing, or casing; the invention can be deployed in the field on any type of rig or other similar setting, or can be used in a shop.
  • [0030]
    Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be measured not by the disclosed embodiments, but by the scope of the appended claims and their legal equivalents.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3288000 *Jan 28, 1965Nov 29, 1966Lewis Foster JamesSupporting and positioning mechanism for power tongs
US3780815 *Jan 7, 1972Dec 25, 1973Byron Jackson IncPower tong positioning apparatus
US4715761 *Mar 3, 1987Dec 29, 1987Hughes Tool CompanyUniversal floor mounted pipe handling machine
US4843945 *Mar 9, 1987Jul 4, 1989National-OilwellApparatus for making and breaking threaded well pipe connections
US5354150 *Feb 8, 1993Oct 11, 1994Canales Joe MTechnique for making up threaded pipe joints into a pipeline
US5667026 *Oct 7, 1994Sep 16, 1997Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Positioning apparatus for a power tong
US5711382 *Jul 26, 1995Jan 27, 1998Hansen; JamesAutomated oil rig servicing system
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US6715569 *Mar 20, 2002Apr 6, 2004Tommie L. RogersBoom type power tong positioner
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7841415Mar 12, 2008Nov 30, 2010National Oilwell Varco, L.P.Iron roughneck extension systems
US9212778Dec 14, 2012Dec 15, 2015National Oilwell Varco, L.P.Apparatus and method for positioning connection equipment on a drilling rig
US9382768 *Dec 17, 2013Jul 5, 2016Offshore Energy Services, Inc.Tubular handling system and method
US20080257607 *Mar 12, 2008Oct 23, 2008Brian Daniel WinterIron roughneck extension systems
US20150167410 *Dec 17, 2013Jun 18, 2015Offshore Energy Services, Inc.Tubular Handling System and Method
CN103233689A *Apr 25, 2013Aug 7, 2013西安思坦仪器股份有限公司Wellhead hydraulic blowout prevention pipe lifting device
CN104533321A *Dec 28, 2014Apr 22, 2015无锡中地地质装备有限公司Supporting base of pipe detaching machine for drill pipes
WO2008114064A1 *Mar 22, 2008Sep 25, 2008National Oilwell Varco, L.P.Apparatus and method for moving connection equipment on a drilling rig
Classifications
U.S. Classification173/216
International ClassificationE21B19/16
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/165
European ClassificationE21B19/16C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 5, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIS-CHALMERS ENERGY, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROGERS, TOMMIE L.;REEL/FRAME:017422/0236
Effective date: 20060403
Aug 29, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ROYAL BANK OF CANADA, CANADA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ALLIS-CHALMERS ENERGY INC;REEL/FRAME:018184/0089
Effective date: 20060808
Sep 3, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIS-CHALMERS ENERGY, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:ROYAL BANK OF CANADA, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT AND COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:021462/0632
Effective date: 20080902
Sep 10, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIS-CHALMERS TUBULAR SERVICES LLC, TEXAS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ROGERS OIL TOOLS LLC;REEL/FRAME:021511/0007
Effective date: 20080905