US 2118650 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 24, 1938 R, 5 E 2,118,650
WELL DRILLING MECHANI SM Filed May 14, 1934 3 Sheets-Sheet l 5? RELm ATTORNEY May 24-, 1938. R, LEE 2,118,650
WELL DRILLING MECHANISM Filed May 14, 1934 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR I RELEE- ATTORNEY May 24, 1938.
R. Ev LEE WELL DRILLING MECHANISM Filed May 14, 1954 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR Rl'lLEE- ATTORNEY Patented Niay 24, 1938 WELL DRILLDIG MECHANISM Robert E. Lee, Coleman. Tex, assignmto' Angular Drill Corporation, Dallas, Tex a corporation of Delaware Application May 14, 1e34, Serial No. 725,507 2 Claims. (c1. 255-1) This invention relates to drilling mechanism and more particularly to a'mechanism or tool for drilling onev or more bore holes at an angle to a vertical bore hole in the earth.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a drilling mechanism adapted todrill channels at an angle with respect to the vertical hole and a mechanism in which a flexible guide mem-' her is arranged to be held against rotation while the drill bit is being actuated.
Another object is to provide a device which may be used for drilling a plurality of bores at an angle from the vertical bone hole from the same elevation in the well or from various other ele-. vations therein.
Another object of this invention is to provide a flexible member and cooperating parts, so formed as to provide a clean and smooth outer surface to eliminate undue friction during flexation as it is passed through the earth. Moreover, the flexible members or bit guide members may be carried by the drill stem. and the drill stem may actuate the bit without causing a rotation of the flexible members Another object of the invention is to provide a lead unit' or a bit unit which is capable of being looked as it moves to a predetermined angle with respect to its next connecting unit, and be held locked in this position until the operator or drillerunlocks the same which may be accomplished without interfering with the normal function of any portionpi the device.
with the foregoing objects as paramount, the invention has particular reference to its salient features of construction and arrangement of parts which will become manifest as the description proceeds, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:---
Figure 1 is a vertical section of a well and casing therefor showing the mechanism for drilling bore holes at angles with respect to a vertical hole'and at various elevations therein.
Figure 2 is a vertical section of a portion of a special housing, inserted into a conventional well casing and adapted to cooperate with and deflect the flexible units of the invention.
Figure 3 is a vertical section of a gearing mechanism used intermediate the drill stem and drill bit for controlling the drive ratio of one relative to the other.
Figure 4 is a vertical-section of a portion of the lower end of the flexible member showing the installation of the drill bit, drill bit drive medium and means for locking the drill bit unit in a'predetermined angle to its next unit or connection.
Figure 5 is a detail view of the unitary structure'orform of the planetary gears of the gear ing mechanism. 1 1 V Figure 6 is a partial vertical section of a portion of one of the flexible elements. 5-
Figure '7 .is a vertical section of the outerportion or element of one of the flexible members.
Figure 8 is an inverted plan view of the same.
Figure 9 is a side elevation of the inner member or element of the flexible member, showing 10' the next preceding element in operative relation thereto. 1
Figure 10 is an inverted plan view of the same.
Figure 11 is a plan view of the same.
Figure 12 is a vertical section of a portion of 16 two of the flexible units or members taken at their juncture or connection and illustrating the locking means for holding the two in a predetermined angle to each other.
Figure 13 is a vertical section of that portion 20 of the housing of the mechanism which controls and directs the flexible member through the vertical opening thereof.
Figure 14- fragmentarily shows in vertical section, a, portion of the housing illustrating the 25 relative position of the guide with the means for directing the flexible members'through-the vertical opening of the housing.
Continuing with a more detailed description of the drawings, the reference numeral! desig- 3o riates a tubular casing or housing which is placedwithin the conventional well casing 2 and adapted to cooperate with a rotary drill stem. The flexible unit in this invention is comprised of a plurality of universally connected units 4, the 35 upper end of the assembly being connected to the drill stem 3 so that the latter may have a reciprocating movement in telescopic relation to the assembly..
Identifying the flexible medium generally by 4c the reference numeral 4, it will be observed that the lower unit thereof is provided with a drill bit 5. The housing I may consist of a plurality of the sections connected together in the usual manner, one of these sections, preferably the lower 45 in the vertical bore hole so that the opening I of the housing will be directed ata predetermined angle or direction from the vertical bore and at a given elevation therein so that the units 4 and their drill bit I will be directed through the opening I by means of a deflector I. The anchorage means of the housing I consists of a spear shaped arrangement to project into the bottom of the well hole and this form is constructed in combination with a deflector and opening direction and control means.
The control means is a structure shown and described in my patent issued March 1932,No. 1,850,403 and consists of a ratchet actuated member I through which a pair of spiraled arms I are adapted to pass. One end of these arms is anchored to the deflector I and the other end of the arms 3 is connected operatively to the anchorage member I. The deflector I is supported in the housing I by the arms 3 and their cooperating part so that the same may be elevated and lowered for changing the deflection of the flexible unit. When the housing I is raised it will telescope on the anchorage member I to permit the ratchet to actuate without causing rotation of the anchorage member I.
The deflector I iscylindrical at its base to conform with the inner periphery of the housing I, and the upper portion is formed to aflord an approximate flat surface which is in angular relation to the vertical opening I of the housing I so as to direct the flexible units 4 through the openns u The upper flexible unit 4 is provided with a resilient member II operatively attached to the outer surface thereof and adapted to extend to' a position adjacent to the inner periphery of the housing I so that when the units are rotated the member III will be moved into contact with a guide member II. The guide member consists of a bar longitudinally positioned within the housing I and made rigid with the inner surface thereof. It may extend from a slight distance above and opposite the lateral opening I of the housing I and up to a sumcient distance therein to insure correct alignment of the flexible units relative to the deflector I and opening I.
The deflectors may all be provided with swivel connections, although preferably, a connection adapted to permit flexure of the units in one common direction. The individual structure of the plurality of units 4 may be varied to most any reasonable degree without hindering their natural function. In providing units with a common direction of flexure they are more easily controlled and directed through the well hole in a' manner so as to eliminate all inherent tendencies they may have toward rotation, and also eliminate any tendency they may have toward deviating from the predetermined angle of the bore. This is especially true of the units which have traveled into the projected portion of the bore hole at an angle to the vertical bore.
The form of the units to insure a common angle of bend or flexure of one to the other consists of a joint which may be termed a ball joint. The
elements that make up this particular structure of the unit 4 consists of an outer shell I3 which is adapted to fit over and be rigidly connected with the lower end of the main body I4 of each of the units. The lower end of the member I3 is curved inwardly to conform to the curvature of the bail form of joint II of its next connecting unit. The ball joint II is an integral part of the inner shell of the unit 4 and is rigidly positioned 'with the main element I4 of the unit. The upper end of the main element l4 of the unit is curved to conform to the outer curvatureof the joint II, but with a suflicient diameter to permit the lower portion of the next adjoining member I3 to pass and be held between its'inner curvature and the outer curvature of joint II. This arrangement of the various elements of unit 4 provides a'male and female joint connection. One'end of the unit is formed so that the shell I3 of the next connecting unit is adapted to fit around the ball form joint II and be sealed therein by means of the upper end of the main element I4. The lower end of the unit is adapted to receive the upper portion of the next bail joint II and each of these joints is provided with a cut away portion II arranged in such manner that each and all of the cut away portions are in a longitudinal alignment throughout the plurality of flexible units 4. The'cut away portion II permits each individual unit to flex relative to its next unit only in that direction in which the cut away portion II will permit a swing of the joint in a manner that will not contact and be limited by its adjacent unit connections.
Various forms may be used in the joint connections of the unit to insure flexure of each in a direction common to each. A preferred manner of permitting this action is illustrated in Figure 12 in which the upper ball portion of the joint II is slightly beveled at a point A, and the inner shell of the next contacting number is cut out to form an opening B (Fig. 9) for the reception of this particular part A of the joint when the two units are flexed at an angle, so that the joint must be provided with extra space for travel in the vicinity of the cut out portions A and B reater than normal relations when the two units are in alignment. At a right angle to the cut away portions A and B each of the elements II and the inner shell II are provided with a flat surface IT. This surface may be termed as hearing surface for the swing of the two units during flexure.
The method of operative connection of the drill stem connection with the flexible units 4 permit of a telescopic movement of the drill stem 3 relative to the units so that the stem 3 may be reciprocated to a certain degree without causing any movement of the unit 4. This connection consists of a shoulder. l3 formed within and integral with the upper portion of the uppermost unit 4,- in the outer shell, and cooperates with a packing gland II, which serves to restrict the upward movement of the stem within the unit 4, as well as sealing the units adjacent to the outer periphery of the stem. The lower portion of the stem 3 is provided with an exterior angular rim 3| which co-acts with the interior annular shoulder II of the unit 4. In this instance the drill stem 3 is a hollow rotary drill stem, adapted to be controlled and actuated from the derrick floor in the conventional manner. Within the lower end of the channel II of the stem 3 is rigidly attached a block or spider 23. This block or spider is provided with a square opening to receive a gear control drive shaft 23. The gearing of the drive medium intermediate the rotary drill stem 3 and the drill bit I consists of planetary type of speed control.
The planetary type of speed control of the bit I relative to the speed of the rotary drill stem 3 consists of a sun gear 24' made rigid with anddriven by the drive shaft 23. The sun gear 24 is adapted to mesh with and drive a plurality of integral pairs of planet gears 25. The upper of the pair of each set of the gears 25 is of less diameter and contains a smaller number of. teeth than the lower gear of each set and the shafts of each set are journaled ina plate 25a similar to the plate 25b in which the lower ends of the shafts are journaled. These plates 25a and 25b are connected together so that they will rotate as a unit. The upper of each pair of gears 25 which mesh with the gear 24 is meshed with a ring gear or orbit gear 25, which is made rigid with one of the elements of the upper unit 4. The lower gear of the pair of gears 25 is adapted to mesh with and drive a second orbit gear 21, which is arranged to rotate in the interior of the upper unit 4. The orbit gear 21 of this speed control device is rotatably connected with and adapted to drive a flexible cable or shaft 28 which is operatively connected to the drive shaft 23, through the planetary gearing hereinbefore described. This gearing arrangement may be installed in the upper flexible member 4 so that the speed of the flexible cable 28 and its drill bit 5 may operate at less relative speed than the speed of the rotary drill stem 3, thus affording greater torque to the drill bit 5 than would be obtained if the drive and bit were rotated at the same rate of speed.
Provision is made for transmitting the telescopic action of the drill stem 3 within the housing or unit to a reciprocating movement of the cable 28 by means of a rod 28 which passes through the opening 2| of the stem 3 through the gear control mechanism and into the cable 28. The cable end of the rod 28 is anchored within the opening of the cable and the other end of the rod is passed through the drive shaft 23, into the opening 2| and rotatably anchored in the stem 3. The object of transmitting thereciprocating motion of the drill stem through the gearing into the cable 28 is to permit the drill stem to be controlled from the derrick floor in order to actuate the locking mechanism of the drill bit flexible unit in relation to its next connecting unit.
The locking means for the units 4 consists in providing a slot or indentation within the curved portion of the outer shell of the connecting unit 4 to the drill bit unit of the device and providing a pivotally connected lever 3| in the drill bit unit l so that the same will have sumcient resiliency to urge one end of the same into the slot or opening 38 when the last two units 4 are flexed to a predetermined angle to each other. The in terior wall of the drill bit unit 4 adjacent the slot 33 is provided with a longitudinal slot 32 therein and adapted to serve as a receptacle for the lever 3|. The end of the lever 3| adjacent the slot 35 is of such length from its pivotal point as to extend above the maximum extremity of the slot at all times except when the two units 4 are flexed to a predetermined angle relative to each other. When the units are moved to an angle to each other to the extent that the lever 3| will pass into the lever 38, the contour of the lever 3i causes the same to extend within the inner periphery of the drill bit unit 4 in such a manner that it may be actuated for release from its locked position by means of a collar 33 which is slidably mounted on the flexible cable 2%. When the collar 33 is pulled upwardly from its normal position by raising stem 3 and the cable 23 it will bear against the lever 3| and wedge the same within itsslot 32 so as to move the lever 3| out of locked engagement with the slot 30. The extreme end or the bit end of the cable is provided with a rigid square socket drive member 34 which is adapted to extend into the shank 35 of the bit 5. The member 34 is adapted to engage and raise or move the collar 33, when the cable 28 is moved for bringing the collar 33 to a position for unlocking and holding the lever 3| in anunlocked position. The pivotal point of lever 3| may be varied by providing a plurality of pivotal openings 35 therein, thus facilitating means for increasing or decreasing the extent of the projection of the locking end of the lever 3| relative to the slot 38. This permits more or less angle of movement of the two units 4 before the same are brought to the position where they are locked.
The hollow square form of drive member 34 telescopes into the elongated shank 35 so that the reciprocation of the cable 28 and the drive member 34 may be of suflicient extent to actuate the locking mechanism without moving the drive member 34 from operative relation with. the bit. It is apparent that any suitable reciprocating rotary anchorage may be made between the cable 23 and the bit 5. The shank 35 of the bit is-rotatably mounted within the extreme end of the bit unit 4 by means of a collar 31, which is made rigid therewith and adapted to permit a slight longitudinal movement of the bit shank 35 within the collar 31 and the shank 35 and a retainer bearing or guide bearing 38 is also provided between the collar 31 and, the shank 35 and this guide bearing 33 is in central alignment with the bearing 38. The bearings 38 and 39 are split bearings, which facilitate their respective installations 'within a shank which is provided with an elongated annular exterior groove. By providing the shank 35 with this groove, the shoulders of the groove serve to contact with their respective bearings 38 and 39 and limit the longitudinal movement of the bit and its shank within the unit 4.
The drive shaft 23, drill stem 3, cable 28, drive member 34 of cable 28 and the perforated bit 5 permits the use of a pressure medium to flush the hole of the drill cuttings from the angular bores and the well bore. This pressure medium also may be used to exert pressure upon the drill bit 5. The pressure from the stem 3 may also be directed to pass around the speed control mechanism through perforations 40 provided in the walls of the speed gearing casing and into the units around the cable 28 and through their bearings 4|. The bearings 4| may be any suitable form of antifrlction bearings rigidly positioned within the channel of each of the units 4 and adapted to permit the passage of the pressure medium therethrough. This arrangement permits the use of the pressure medium, as a cooling medium for the bearings and flexible cable or shaft 28.
It is apparent that various changes in the general arrangement, size and shape of the parts of this invention may be varied without departing from the spirit or intent of the invention as set forth in the following claims therefor.
1. In a drilling mechanism for wells consisting of a drill stem projecting through a plurality of flexible units, a housing for directing said stem and units in a well and provided with a lateral opening and a deflector near the bottom thereof for directing said stem and units through said opening, a bit carried by the lower unit of said units and adapted to be actuated by said stem, means for locking said lower unit in a predetermined angle to the restof said units, and
the unit 4. A bearing 33 is interposed between means for'causing said stem to unlock said lower unit. T
2. A drilling mechanism consisting of a plurality oi flexible units having a bit on the lower unit of said units, a drill stem proiectedthrough said units and inoperative connection with said bit, a housing for directing said units into a well, said housing having a latersLopeningand a desaid unit. 7
ilector near the bottom thereof, means for rotating said deflector for directing said units through said opening at a predetermined angle from said housing, means for locking the lower unit 01 said units at a predetermined angle to said housing, and means for moving said stem for unlo'ckins ROBERT I. LII.