US 2312805 A
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1.. A. DOUGLAS 2,312,805. MEANS FOR LATERALLY ENTERING SUBTERRANEAN STRATA AND WITHDRAWING THE PORE CONTENT THEREOF Filed June 19, 1941 Jwuv/wtom (551/5 4 DUVGZ.
Patented Mar. 2, 1943 MEANS FOR LATERALLY ENTERING SUB- TERRANEAN STRATA AND WITHDRAWING, THE PORE CONTENT THEREOF Leslie A. Douglas, San Antonio, Tex.
Application June 19, .1941, Serial No. 398,836
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a testing means for deep wells, such as oil wells, for example. Broadly stated, the invention contemplates the provision of a structure adapted to be dropped into the well to be tested and comprising a vacuum chamber and an associated tool, the tool being arranged to be deflected laterally into the strata to be tested, and liquid and/r gaseous pore content of the strata being drawn into the vacuum chamber and there trapped. Means. are provided for drawing the structure to the surface for analysis or other test of the liquid or gaseous content thus recovered.
The invention will be best understood by reference to the accompanying drawing, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a vertical sectional view of a device constructed in accordance with the invention;
Fig. 2 is a flattened inside face view of a blank from which a tubular guide sleeve, hereinafter described, is constructed;
Fig. 3 is an end view of a sealing disc hereinafter described;
Fig. 4 is a detail view of a screen hereinafter described;
Fig. 5 is a detail-view illustrating the knuckle joint by which the tool is connected to the vacuum chamber; and
Fig. 6 is a sectional view upon line 6-6 of Fig. 1, with certain of the parts omitted.
Like numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures of the drawing.
In the particular form of the invention chosen for purposes of illustration, 5 designates a section of drill pipe which may be the lowermost pipe of a long string of drill pipe.
A cylindrical body 6 connects the pipe 5 with another string of drill pipe I, of any desired length. The pipe 1 supports a generally cylindrical body 8 which is cut away at its front side to provide an opening 9. The lower portion of this body is made solid to constitute the equivalent of a bull plug I0, and the inclined upper face of the portion I0 is grooved to cause it to constitute a guide I I.
This guide is disposed to be contacted by the lower end of a core penetrating tool I2. The mouth of this tool is spanned by a disc I3 having the weakened lines I4. The function of this disc is to exclude mud from the interior of tool I2 and to insure that nothing can enter said tool until the disc is ruptured by its contact with sand or other material more solid than mud.
If desired, a coarse screen I l may be disposed in the tool rearwardly of the disc. A head I5, which constitutes a part of the tool, is provided with an ear I6. The inner face of this ear has ground joint engagement and fluid tight contact with a corresponding ear I'I formed upon the lower end of a vacuum chamber I8. A bolt I9 pivotally unites these ears, and a nut 20 thereon provides means for drawing them into fluid tight engagement with each other. This arrangement constitutes a knuckle joint between the tool and vacuum chamber.
Liquid or gaseous material drawn into the tube I2 may pass to the interior of the vacuum chamher through conduits 2|, 22, 23 and 24, past check valve 25. A dome 26 has threaded engagement with the upper end of the vacuum chamber.
A pair of pawls or dogs 21 are pivoted at 28 within the chamber 26. The upper ends of these pawls are normally forced outward by spring 29. Each of the pawls is embraced by a pair of links 30, the lower ends of said pairs of links being connected by pins 3|. The upper ends of the pairs of links are pivotally connected at 32 to a stem 33. This pin is slidably mounted in the upper portion of the dome and carries a head 34 adapted to be engaged by a tool of conventional form which may be engagedthereover for the purpose of withdrawing the structure from the well, after the strata penetrating operation has been completed.
The cylinder 6 carries a plurality of ratchet rings 35, past which the pawls 21 may move in their downward movement, but which prevent bodily upward movement of said pawls and associated partsuntil said pawls are retracted against the action of spring 29. The wall of the vacuum chamber carries a pointed lug 36, the function of which is to engage a suitable guideway mounted upon the inner face of the cylinder 8, to turn the tool about the vertical axis of the structure, in such manner that when the tool engages with the inclined guideway I I, it will inevitably lie in the proper position to move outwardly through the open side 9 of the cylinder 8. Such a guideway may be had by providin a cylindrical member 31 having channels formed in its walls as illustrated in the expanded or flattened view of Fig. 2.
By inspection of Figs. 1 and 2, it will be seen that when the vacuum chamber and tool are dropped into the well, the pointed lug will be guided into one or the other of the two grooves 38, it being understood that these two grooves lie diametrically opposite to each other when the structure of Fig. 2 is brought to cylindrical formation. When that is done, there will be two of the points 88 shaped to bodily turn the vacuum chamber and associated parts in one direction or the other, so that in the final downward travel of the parts, the guide lug 38 will travel through one or the other of the grooves 38.
When the lower end of the tool strikes the inclined guideway H, a shear pin 40, which, up to that time, has held the tool in vertical alignment with the vacuum chamber, shears off, and the tool is deflected laterally through opening 9 and has an initial bite into the wall of the well and into the strata to be tested. During this downward movement, the pawls 21 yield and pass the ratchet rings 35. When the tool comes to rest, it usually lies about at the angle of the guide II. In order to force it farther into the strata, the drill pipe 5 and the parts supported therefrom may then be bodily lowered a short distance farther. This moves the guide H away from the tool, due to the fact that the tool is hung in the material of the strata.
However, when the lowermost ratchet ring 35 engages the tops of the pawls, any further bodily downward movement of the drill pipe is accompanied by a like downward movement of the vacuum chamber and the pivot is. This action rocks the tool -more toward the horizontal and .consequently forces it farther into the strata.
When the tool encounters material sufllciently hard to rupture disc I3, the liquid and gaseous pore content of the strata may flow into the tool through ports 2| and 24 and past check valve 25.
The air may be initially exhausted from the vacuum chamber l8 by connecting a suction pump to a valve connection 42, before the structure is dropped into the well. A conventional recording gauge 43 may be provided upon the vacuum chamber. This vacuum chamber may be of any desired length and capacity.
When it is desired to withdraw the dome 26, vacuum chamber II, and the tool, from the well, a suitable grappling device is engaged with the conical head 34. Initial upward pull upon this head and stem 33 causes the links 30 and pins 3| to move th upper ends of the pawls 21 inwardly so that upward movement of the pawls may take place without interference by the ratchet rings 35.
I am aware of the fact that it is common practice to drop into a well pipe 3 core penetrating device and to provide at the bottom of said well, means for both, guiding and deflecting said corepenetrating device laterally and into engagement with the strata to be tested. However, my present invention diflers very radically from devices of the nature aforesaid, in that I do not desire to recover a core of solid material and my structure is not intended for that purpose. Upon the contrary, what the device of the present invention aims to do is t guide and laterally deflect a tool having such connection with a vacuum chamber that after the tool has penetrated the sand, shale or other material of the strata, the existence of the vacuum will act to draw the liquid and gaseous pore content of the strata into the vacuum chamber and there trap it for removal to the surface.
Not only do I believe that I am the first to do this, but I wish to point out that such an arrangement as I have described is of utility even without the existence of a preformed vacuum, so long as the tool is provided with ports through which liquids and gases may flow, together with a check valve for trapping such liquids and gases as may flow thereby. If, for exam le, the valve of connection 42 were left open, the existence of high external pressure in the strata could act to force liquids and gases into chamber ll even in the absence of a preformed vacuum.
Consequently, I wish it to be understood that the invention includes within its purview any device adapted to be dropped into a well and comprising, in combination, a collecting and trapping means for gases and fluids and a tool adapted to be deflected laterally and to penetrate the strata under the action of gravity, said tool being of such a nature as to permit the flow of fluids and gases therethrough and therefrom to the collecting and trapping device.
Having described my invention, what I claim is:
1. A structure as recited in claim 6 in combination with pawl and ratchet connections which permit the passage of the vacuum chamber downwardly with respect to the drill pipe and which prevent downward movement of the drill pipe except in company with the vacuum chamber.
2. A structure as recited in claim 6 in combination with pawl and ratchet connections which permit the passage of, thevacuum chamber downwardly with respect to the drill pipe and which prevent downward movement of the drill pipe except in company with the vacuum chamber and means controllable from the surface of the ground for disengaging said pawl and ratchet connections.
3. A unit for use in testing deep bore holes which consists of a vacuum chamber, a tubular tool pivoted to lie in axial alignment with and at the lower end of said vacuum chamber, a rupturable disc normally closing the lower end of said tool, the pivot joint between the tool and vacuum chamber being a knuckle joint of a nature to permit the passage of fluid therethrough, conduits establishing communication between the interior of the tool and one part of said knuckle joint, a conduit establishing communication between the vacuum chamber and the other part of said knuckle joint, and a check valve in one of said conduits.
4. The combination with an elongated vacuum chamber, a tubular tool pivoted to the lower end of said chamber, a dome. mounted upon the upis dropped thereon, ratchet members supported from the drill pipe and engaging beneath successive ratchet members when the vacuum chamber and tool are dropped into the drill pipe, pawls supported from the vacuum chamber, a stem having a head adapted to be engaged by a grapnel lowered into the well and members engaged by said stem and engaging said pawls to retract said pawls upon initial upward movement of said stem.
5. A device of the character described comprising a vacuum chamber, a tubular tool pivoted thereto, conduits establishing connection between the interior of the tool and the vacuum chamber, a drill pipe. a guide member, means for supporting said guide member from the drill pipe and in the bore hole to be tested, said guide member having its lower end thickened and shaped to or said opening, a unit oi such dimensions that it may be dropped bodily through the drill pipe, said unit comprising a vacuum chamber and a strata penetrating tool, a knuckle joint connecting the tool and vacuum chamber, means for conducting fluids and gases from the tool to the vacuum chamber and through said knuckle joint in all positions of the latter, the lower end of the 10 tool being shaped to engage the inclined deflecting surface to cause the tool to swing outwardly upon the knuckle joint and through the opening of the cylindrical body, means spanning and sealing the mouth of the tool to maintain the vacuum in the vacuum chamber until said means is ruptured by the entry of the tool into well strata, the lower end of the tool being provided with a cutting edge adapted to engage the well side wall and hold the tool against downward movement when the vacuum chamber moves further downward.
7. Astructure as recited in claim 6 in combination with guiding members for turning the unit about its axis to bring the tool into position to pass through the opening of the cylindrical body when said tool is deflected outwardly by contact with the deflecting surface oi the cylindrical LESLIE A. DOUGLAS.