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Publication numberUS2537605 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 9, 1951
Filing dateAug 7, 1947
Priority dateAug 7, 1947
Publication numberUS 2537605 A, US 2537605A, US-A-2537605, US2537605 A, US2537605A
InventorsSewell Benjamin W
Original AssigneeStandard Oil Dev Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drilling bore holes
US 2537605 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 9, 1951 Filed Aug. '7, 1947 HEIGHT OF HEAVY dopuvm IN ANNLJLUS B. W. SEWELL DRILLING BORE HOLES 5 Sheets-Sheet l DRILL. 0LLA2 E RAT ED CORE DEFLECTOP... TubE HEJGHT o|= HEAVY COLUMN m :DlzmL PIPE 2 *sg gii- -E er2jamurz iJf'sew-aLL fiavenbor b g L (2 CLbboFn-ag Jan. 9, 1951 Filed Aug. 7, 1947 B. w. SEWELL DRILLING BORE HOLES MUD 12 @QORE. STOP cola '3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fray-4 Ciubor'nas Jan. 9, 1951 B. w. SEWELL 2,537,605

DRILLING BORE H Es Filed Aug. 7, 1947 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 21 1' 3.1."; 4 FROM DUMP AEJZAT an MUD FIGrES .bergjcmtn CJ'Sew-dZ CSrzvenoor Clbbor nag/S- Patented Jan. 9, 1951 DRILLING'VBORE HOLES Benjamin W. Sewell', llulsa, kla., assignor to Standard: Oil Beveloprnent Company, a corporation of Delaware Application August 7, 1947, Serial No. 766,934

permits a continuous coring of the formation penetrated by the-bore hole.

In the conventional rotary drilling process a hollow drill pipe carrying a drill bit is caused to penetrate the earth while maintaining a circulation of drilling fluid downwardly through the inside of the drill pipe, out through suitable eyes inv the drill bit and up through the annular space between the drill pipe and the borehole wall to the surface where it is discharged into a: pit for the settling of cuttings. This drilling fiuid is then pumped from the setting pit-to the upper" end or" the drill pipe. This method of drilling, by reason of the direction of circulation of the drilling fluid, makes it impossible to obtain continuous cores of the formations penetrated. Moreover, in this method the upward flow of drilling fluid through the annular spa-cementioned above frequently develops rather high velocity which tends to cause sloughing of the bore hole wall.

According to the present invention the rotary drilling method is improved, first, by reversing the direction of flow of the drilling fluid so that it flows downwardly through the space between the drilling pipe and the borehole wall and upwardly through the drill stem. This in itself is not a new expedient. In previous embodiments, however, the circulation of the drilling fiuid has been a forced circulation induced by applying pressure to the mud column in the annular space. This pressure tends to accelerate filtration of the fluid into porous formations and also to increase lost returns. According to the present invention these diffi-culties are avoided by merely maintaining the annular space full of fluid and inducing circulation by aerating the mud column inside the drill pipe for an appropriate distance below its top to create the necessary difierential in pressure head between the columns outside arid inside of the drill pipe to cause flow upwardly through the drill pipe.

The principal object of the presnt invention is to provide a rotary method for drilling bore holes in which the conventional flow of fluid is reversed with the column of fluid outside the drill stem existing under its own hydrostatic pressure.

An additional object of the present invention is the provision of a method and apparatus of the character described in which provision is made for the collection of a limited number of cores during the drilling operation, which cores may be brought to the surface.

2 Claims. (01. 255--24) A more specific object of the invention is the provision of a method and-apparatus of the character described by which a bore hole may be drilled and continuous cores of the formations penetrated brought to the surface and recovered without interrupting the drilling operation.

A more specific object of the present invention is the provision in apparatus of the character described of means for breaking up a continuous core into relative short sections so that. they may readily flow to the surface.

Further advantages of the present. invention will appear in the following detailed description of the-accompanying drawing, in which.

Figure-1 is-a vertical sectionof a bore hole with an embodiment of the present invention in opera.- tive position and partly in section;

Figure 2 is a similar view of a modified form of the present invention;

Figure 3 is a similar view of still another embodiment of the present. invention;

Figure 4 is anenlargement of Aeof Figure 3; and V Figure 5- is a vertical section of. an alternative form of the arrangement shown at the bottomof the drill stem in Figure 3.

Referring to the drawing in detail, numeral I designates the earth penetrated a bore hole in which is" arranged a. drill stem 3 carrying a conventional drill bit 4.. The upper end of the drill stemis provided with the usual Kelly 5 havinga swivel joint 6. It will be. understood that the Kelly is a pipe of non-circular cross section andpasses through a correspondingly shaped hole in the rotary table. The swivel joint above I the Kelly is provided with the usual line "i which in this case is used to conduct drilling fluid into the mud pit instead of passing. it down, through the drill stem. Extending down. into. the drill. stem is a pipe 8 whichat its lower end, is provided with a distributing head 9. This pipe extends down into the drill stem a distance selected to give a rate ofv fiow desired in the circulating drilling fluid stream. In other words the higher the rate desired, the farther down into the drill pipe this line-9 is extended. Thedrilling mud is..returned from the mud pit to the annular spacebetween the bore hole and the drill stern. bye. pipe Ill which. ordinarily can be an open ended pipe.

discharging into said annular space at a. ratesufficient. to keep said space full of drilling fluid.

In operating according. to the present invention, the annular space and the drillv pipe are filled with drilling fluid andcirculation is started by starting the flow of gas through pipe 8. The

velocity of flow of the gas for a given position of the pipe 8 and for a given drilling mud will determine the rate of circulation of drilling mud. Thus the operator has two controls over this rate of circulation. For best results, according to the present invention, it is preferred that the vis cosity of the fluid be adjusted to between about 10 and 30 centipoises and that its gel strength be maintained at a suficiently low level to readily release the gas introduced through line 8 when it is discharged into the mud pit. It will be appreciated that the drilling mud can be constantly or periodically treated with chemicals commonly called defiocculating or peptising agents such as sodium tannate, sodium phosphate, sodium pyro-phosnhate, sodium metavanadate and the like which tend to hold down or reduce the viscosity of the drilling fluid so that it will readily release gas.

In the embodiment shown in Figure 2 the drill stem is provided at its lower end with a core receptacle l I at the upper end of which is a stop l 2 having suitable passages Is for the circulation of the drilling fluid. In this case the drill bit it em loyed is a conventional core bit ad acent to which the core receptacle is provided with a core catcher l5. This core receptacle may be made any desired length depending upon the thickness of the sectio that is to be cored.

In the embodiment shown in Figure 3 parts corres onding to those shown in Figure 1 bear the same numeral. This embodiment is designed for continuous coring while us ng the gas-lift princi le. To achieve this ob ective the upper end of the drill stem 3 is provided with a plurality of sections US each of which is composed of two concentric nines. The inner-p ne H has the same diameter as the drill stem, which in this case s ou d be uniform from the surface substant a l to the drill bit. The outer pi e is s aced from th inner-pipe a distance sufiicient to provide a passage for gas. In the lowermost sect on V. con u ts l8 connect the annular gas assage IS! w th t e inside of the inner-pipe l1. Th se conduits iii are s aced from each other perinh rallv so that a s table number of inlet ports is r vided in the inner-nine I! to insure fairly uniform distribut on of the as in said nine. The ab ttin ends of the sections 16 are li e ise rovided with peri herally s aced con du ts 2" which serve to conduct gas from one annular space I 9 to another. One of these abutting ends is provided with an annular channel 2! formin a sort of man fold with which the conduits an in the abutting ends connect so that actual alignment of these conduits is unnecessary.

In this embodiment as indicated above, the inn r bore of t e dril stem should be uniform substantiallv throughout its length. In order to facilitate the floating of the cores to the surface, there s provi ed near the end adiacent the core bit 22 a wed e-like member 23 affixed to the inner-wall of the drill stem having its pointed end. down ard. As the core 24 moves upwardly in t e drill stem, its u per end slides along the inclined plane formed by the wedge member which has an inclination such as to cause a portion of the core to break off as its upward move ment continues.

In Figure is shown a modified form of the arran ement for breaking up the core into short len ths. In this case there is arranged in the drill stem 3 as a continuation of the central passage of the core bit 22 a bent pipe 25. As the 4 core moves upwardly through this pipe, it is deflected from the vertical in such a manner as to break into segments of appropriate lengths. Upon leaving this pipe the segments of the cor pass upwardly through the drill stem. At the upper end of the drill stem in the continuous coring embodiment there is connected to the swivel 6 a goose-neck 25 which discharges drilling fluid and core segments from its open end onto a screen 2l arranged in a vessel 28 and spaced from the bottom thereof whereby drilling fluid passing through such screen may leave the vessel by conduit 29 which discharges into the mud pit.

Gas for the lifting of the drilling mud is admitted into the annular chamber I 9 by a duct 30 connected to a swivel gland 3! on which the flange 32 on the upper end of the outer pipe of the uppermost sections it rests. The swivel gland in turn rides on a flange 33 carried by a collar connected to a packing gland 35 mounted on the drill stem.

As previously indicated, in the practice of the present invention, one can employ as many sections 16 as desired. The uppermost sections 16.

including the swivel air gland and the packing gland may be a very short section which remains permanently attached to the Kelly and sections I6 is included in the stem, and circulation of the drilling fluid bygas lift begun. It is clear, of course, that this can be started earlier.

It will be appreciated that the method and apparatus of the present invention are susceptible to many changes without undergoing any change in essential character. This invention provides not only the considerable advantages heretofore listed of avoidin difificulties usually attending reverse flow circulat on of drilling fluid, but in addition eliminates the need for large expensive mud pumps, In view of the fact that the method of the present invention does not depend to any great extent on the viscosity of the drilling fluid for the lifting of cuttings and cores, it is desirable to utilize a driling fluid having a strong suspending power, such as, one including a highly colloidal clay. If desired, the lifting action of the drilling fluid may be augmented by utilizing a wellhead and applying a small amount of pum pressure to the mud fed into the annular space between the drill stem and the bore hole wall. In addition mechanical de-aerators may be employed at the surface for facilitating the removal of the gas from the mud. Conventional weighting agents and other mud addition agents may be used in the practice of the present invention.

The nature and objects of the present invention having been thus described and illustrated, what is new and useful and is desired to be secured by Letter Patent is:

1. A drilling apparatus for the continuous coring of earth formations encountered in drilling a borehole comprising an upper portion of drill stem consisting of a plurality of threadedly combined gas conducting drill pipe sections, each section being composed of two concentric pipes defining between them an annular passage for gas, solid ring portions joining said concentric pipes at their ends and closing oif said annular passage, at least one of said ring portions being provided with an annular groove on its exposed side, peripherally spaced conduits extending through said ring portions longitudinally of said concentric pipes and in substantial alignment with said annular grooves so that the spaced conduits in abutting gas conducting drill pipe sections will communicate with said annular grooves, a lowermost gas conducting drill pipe section provided with a plurality of ports substantially uniformly spaced peripherally in the wall thereof and establishing communication between the annular groove in the end of the abutting gas conducting drill pipe section and the central bore of said lowermost gas conducting drill pipe section, a lower portion of drill stem comprising conventional drill pipe attached to said lowermost gas conducting drill pipe section, a core bit attached to the lower end of said conventional drill pipe, a core-breaking wedge member afiixed to the inner wall of said conventional drill pipe at a point intermediate said core bit and said lowermost gas conducting drill pipe section, means for introducing gas into the annular gas passage in the uppermost of said gas REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,071,199 Andrews Aug. 26, 1913 1,280,159 Carmichael Oct. 1, 1918 1,283,662 Carmichael Nov. 5, 1918 2,034,072 Wright Mar. 1'7, 1936 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 26,451 Great Britain Nov. 25,1911

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U.S. Classification175/205, 175/324, 175/249, 175/404, 175/60
International ClassificationE21B21/12, E21B21/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B21/12
European ClassificationE21B21/12