US 2762437 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
S. L. EGAN ET AL. APPARATUS FOR SEPARATING FLUIDS HAVING Sept. 11, 1956 DIFFERENT SPECIFIC GRAVITIES Filed Jan. 18, 1955 IN VENTORS z' zr zn ATTORNEYS United States Patent@ APPARATUS FOR SEPARATING FLUIDS HAVING DIFFERENT SPECIFIC GRAVITIES Stephen Louis Egan, John Alexander Bivings, and Frederick W. Willson, Dallas, Tex., assignors of fifty per cent to said Egan, twenty-five per cent to said Bivings,
and twenty-tive per cent to said Willson Application January 18, 1955, Serial No. 482,646
2 Claims. (Cl. 166-54) The present invention relates to apparatus for separating oil from water in a well in which both oil and water are present at varying levels.
Another object of this invention is to provide a mechanism which will permit owng or pumping of oil from oil bearing sands and which will prevent flowing or pumping when water rises in the oil bearing sands.
A further object of this invention is to provide a device of the character described which will maintain a maximum bottom hole pressure on the oil bearing sands.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a structure for positioning within the oil well casing at the bottom of an oil well, which will maintain an oil ilow or pump inlet at a uniform height.
A still further object of this invention is to provide an oil-water separating mechanism of the class described, which is inexpensive to manufacture, durable in use; and which may be repaired wit-h facility.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent in the following specication when read in the light of the attached drawings, in which:
Figure l is a Vertical cross-sectional view through an oil well casing illustrating the invention in side elevation with parts thereof being broken away.
Figure 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the invention.
Figure 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on the horizontal plane of line 3--3 of Figure 2, looking in the direction of the arrows, with the well casing omitted.
Now, referring to the drawings in detail, in which like numerals designate like parts throughout the several figures, the reference numeral indicates earth strata comprising the composite overburden through which an oil well is drilled. Lying below the earth strata 10 is an oil bearing sand stratum 12, which has immediately therebelow a water bearing sand stratum 14. The water bearing sand stratum 14 is supported on a general rock stratum 16, forming the base of the well.
The dotted line 18 indicates generally the shape of a water cone 20 which develops in the oil well as oil is flowed or pumped therefrom.
In the drilling of the oil well, an oil casing 22 is sunk to the level of the subterranean rock stratum 16 and a well tubing 24 is dropped within the casing 22 to the level of the oil bearing sands 12 for pumping oil therefrom. When water bearing sands 14 immediately underlie the oil bearing sands 12, water tends to rise within the oil bearing sands as oil is owed or pumped therefrom, in the cone 20 about the casing 22, until the tubing 24 is`immersed in water instead of oil.
In the present invention, a tubing 24 shorter than normal has been used. A packer member 26 is secured to the bottom of the tubing 24 by means of screw threads 28. The packer 26 is of a conventional construction and tightly engages the inner walls of the casing 22 to seal off the well below this point. The packer 26 has eX- tending from the lower end thereof a nipple 30 which is in communication with the tubing 24. A shell 32 is se- 2,762,437 Patented Sept. 1 1, 1956 ICG 2 cured to the nipple 30 by means of threads 34. The shell 32 is expanded at its lower end and is internally screw threaded as at 36. A valve housing 38 issupported in the lower screw threaded end 36 of the shell 32 by means of threads 40 thereon. The valve housing 38 has a second shell 42 secured to the lower end thereof by means of screw threads 44. The shell 42 is reduced at its lower end and Vterminates in a screw threaded eX- tension 46. A valve housingrsupport 48 is secured to the screw threaded extension 46 of the shell 42 and is closed at its lower end by means of the cap 50. The cap 50 is adapted to rest on the bottom of the well and supports the valve housing 38 to prevent its further descent. i
The shell 32 has a valve support plug 52 positioned in the upper end thereof and the male portion of a slide valve 54 is supported by the plug 52. T-he male portion of the slide valve 54 has a central bore 56 in communication with the nipple 30 and, in turn, with the tubing 24. A pair of ports 58 extend through the male portion of the slide valve 54, whereby communication is established from the valve housing 38 through the male portion of the slide valve 54 to the tubing 24.
An externally threaded tubular slide 60, comprising the female'portion of the slide valve, is mounted on the male portion 54 of the slide valve and is adapted to slide vertically thereon, covering the ports 58 when the slide 60 is in its uppermost position, closing off communication between the housing 38 and the tubing 24 and uncovering the ports 58 in the lowermost position of the slide 60, establishing communication between the housing 38 and the tubing 24.
The upward movement of the slide 60 is restrained by a collar 64 removably secured to the male portion 54 of the slide valve by means 0f set screw 65. The downward movement of the slide 60 is restrained by an enlargement 66 formed on the lower end of the male portion 54 of the slide valve.
The slide 60 engages closely about the male portion 54 of the slide Valve, so that no leakage will occur when -the slide 60 is in its upper, closed position. A connector 62, internally screw threaded at 63 on its upper end, is positioned in threaded relation to the slide 60 and extends downwardly therefrom. The connector 62 is internally threaded at 68 on its lower end. A float 70 is provided and is formed of cadmium plated steel with a screw threaded extension 72 formed on the upper end thereof for connection with the lower end of the connector 62. The iloat 70 consists of a hollow fluid-impervious body.
The valve housing 38 is provided with oil inlet ports 74 near the upper end of the housing 38 and water inlet and outlet ports 76 near the lower end of the housing 38.
In the use and operation of this invention, the well flows or is pumped from a pump (not shown) through the tubing 24. The packer 26 seals oli the lower portion of the well and maintains the bottom hole pressure on the oil bearing sands 12, which causes the water and oil to separate. The oil tiows from the oil bearing sands 12 through the casing 22 and through ports 74 into the valve housing 38. The float 70 has a specific gravity such that it will not float upon oil, and the slide 60 will rest against the enlargement 66 with the port 58 open, permitting the llow of oil to pass into the tubing 24. As the pressure on the oil bearing sands 12 is reduced by the flowing or pumping of the oil therefrom, water from the water bearing sands 14 tends to rise in the form of a cone 20, until it flows through the port 76 and into Valve housing 38. The specific gravity of the float 70 is such that it will float upon the water, rising in the valve housing 38. Upward movement of t-he float 70 lifts the slide 60 and closes the ports 58 in the male portion of the slide valve 54 before the water has risen to a level sufficiently high to Apermit it to enter the ports 58. Thus it can be seen that,
as long as there isV no water lifting the float 70, the well will ow or the'pump will continue to pump oil from the oi1"baringisa'iids'12and as soonas there is a danger of producing water from the well, the float 70 will close the valve and stop the dow or. pnmping of: water until the.' pressures within theoil bearing sand 1 2! have returned to normal andthe water'oone 2.0 has subsided.
`.Having lthus/described the preferred embodiment of this invention, it should be understood that minor changes within the'scope ofthe appended claimsgmay be resorted t0.
What is claimed is:
1. An oil and vwater separator for an oil well of the type including a well easing comprising. an elongated pump tiibeaxially disposed in said casing and extending to a point adjacent the bottom of said casing, a packer secured to the lower end of said tube and engaging in sealing relation the` inner faeey of said casing, a nipple secured t depending froml said packer inV axial relation to saidf casing,'a hollow float housing axially positioned in said easing, means` closing the b'ottom of said housing, means monting saicv housing in depending relation from saidv nipple, saidl housing having perforations therein Communicating the exterior thereof with the interior thereof, Vsaid tbe, said packer,Y and said nipple havinga contiriuous axial bore extending therethrough, a tubular member mounted in the lower end of and communicating with; the bore of said nipple and extending axially down wardly therefrom in said housing, said tubular member biting $195.6@ et its IONYCL @11d and having a port through the'side thereof intermediate the ends, a stop ange on the lower end of said member, a stop on the upper portion of said member above said port, a tubular cover seal for said port mounted on said member for reciprocation thereon between said stop and said stop flange, a oat in Said begane @ad means. @meeting said toa; to said cover seal, said tloat having a speeii gravity greater than oil and less than water soV that said oat will be moved upwardly as water rises in said housing toelose said port to prevent water from entering said pump tube, and said oat will move downwardly as water fallsA in said housing opening said port permitting oil floating on the water to enter said pump4 tube. i
2. A device as claimed in claim l wherein said means closing the bottom of said housing includes means spacing said housing from the well bottom and supporting said s ePlTaOL References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 710,480 Loetzer Oct. 7, 1902 1,649,524 .Hammond e Nov. 15, 1927 2,142,376 Rodgers Jan. 3, 19,39 2,214,064I Niles -e Sept. 10, 1940