US 2843053 A
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July 15, 1958 a J. T. CARLE GAS ANCHOR 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 26, 1956 mvsmog Joseph I Corle w wxflm Hagan-Hill.-- II I ll iIIIIIIIII- v m L I! l I 5. I 1 r- ATTORNEY y 15, 1953 J. T. CARLE 2,843,053
GAS ANCHOR Filed March 26, 1956 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENT OR Joseph If Ourle M aw D 5 m w m FIG. 2A
\\B u\ u r n Ill- Ill-I'l ll||| A Z I llllll ATTORNEY J J. 'r. CQARLE July 15, 1958 GAS ANCHOR 3' Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 26, 1956 I14. lllllllllllllllllll I4 I In I I I IN I I IHHHH l HUI |Hl mvmoa Joseph I CurIe ATTORNEY} GAS ANCHOR Joseph T. Carle, South Pasadena, Calif.
Application March 26, 1956, Serial No. 573,900
7 Claims. (Cl. 103203) This invention relates to gas anchors for the separation of gas-liquid mixtures in deep wells.
An important object of the invention is to provide a gas anchor for centrifugal separation of gas and liquids without any great and rapid pressure drop at the time the gas-liquid mixture is introduced at the separating zone of the gas anchor. Such drop causes undesirable evolution of gas.
Another important object is to provide a gas anchor employing centrifugal means which is free of valves or other moving parts employed in the separation of gasliquid mixtures, so that there are no moving parts which are apt to freeze, wear or get out of working order.
A further important object is to provide a gas anchor for centrifugal separation of gas and liquids in which undesirable swirling of the separated liquid is substantially prevented. Such swirling tends to evolve gas still dissolved in the liquid.
Additionally an important object is to provide a gas anchor in which the separated gas has ample space for expansion and discharge and will not tend to pocket or to blanket the separation means and consequently slow up separation.
Another object is to provide dual function coupling means which provides a crossover for the flowing gasliquid mixture and also supports means to divert the flow of the mixture and pack off the zones above and below the dual function coupling means so that the separated liquid will not be again introduced to the gas-oil mixture.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent during the course of the following detailed description of the invention, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming a part of this disclosure, and in which drawings:
Fig. l is a vertical section of a well with the gas anchor disposed therein and shown in elevation and a pump, shown in dotted lines, within the lower portion of the gas anchor.
Figs. 2 and 2A are vertical sections of the gas, anchor, on a scale enlarged over the showing in Fig. l, with Fig. 2 being the upper portion of the oil anchor and Fig. 2A the lower portion thereof immediately below the portion of Fig. 2.
Figs. 3 and 4 are horizontal sections, substantially on their respective lines of Fig. 2.
Fig. 5 is a top plan of a coupling means of the gas I anchor.
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary vertical section, substantially on the line 66 of Fig. 3.
Fig. 7 is a vertical section of the well of Fig. 1 with the gas anchor, in elevation, disposed therein and a pump disposed above the gas anchor.
Figs. 8 and 8A are vertical sections of the gas anchor, on an enlarged scale over the showing in Fig. 7, with Fig. 8 being the upper portion of the gas anchor and Fig. 8A being the lower portion thereof immediately below the upper portion.
In the drawings wherein for the purpose of illustration nite States Patent Q P 2,843,053 Patented July 15, 1958 ice are shown two examples of the use of the gas anchor with respect to a pump, and wherein similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, the letter A designates a well; B, strata containing the well A; C, a body of fluid within the strata; and D, the gas anchor.
The well A of Fig. 1 may be an oil well and is shown as a bore extending downwardly into strata B to a body C of fluid, which may be a gas-oil mixture. The well bore is cased by a conventional tubular casing 15 extending to and into the body C of fluid and through which casing extends, in the example shown, a conventional well tubing 16 and sucker rod 17 within the tubing. As is well known in the art, the bore, casing, tubing and sucker rod extend upwardly to or adjacent the ground surface (not shown). In the example shown, a pump 18, such as a conventional plunger pump, is disposed within the casing adjacent the lower end thereof and with its open-ended working barrel secured, at its upper end to the lower end of the tubing 16 and its working valve operatively coupled to the sucker rod 17.
Referring now mainly to Figs. 2 and 2A, the gas anchor D comprises gas and liquid, such as gas and oil, separating means 20, separated liquid (as oil) accumulator means 21, and coupling means 22 for coupling the means 20 and 21 together for operation thereof and for packing off the zones surrounding the means 20 and 21.
The means 20, which will be termed the gas and liquid separating means at the upper end of the coupling means 22, includes a spiraled tubular housing 25, spaced from the adjacent walls of the casing 15 and extending spirally about a portion of the well tubing 16, substantially as shown in Fig. 2. The housing 25 provides, by its outer vertical wall 26, opposite vertical inner wall 27 facing the wall 26, and spaced-apart paralleling walls 28 connecting the walls 26 and 27, a continuous relatively large flowing fluid passageway 29, spiraling upwardly from the lower open end of the housing 25, and at this lower end, means 30 may be provided to couple this end of the housing 25 to the upper end of the coupling means 22. This means 30 may be, as shown best in Fig. 4, a pair of outwardly-extending horizontal ears 31 extending from the housing 25 having apertures to receive portions of the shanks of conventional screws 32 with the screwthreaded portions of the shanks in screw threaded engagement with screw threads of a pair of sockets, shown in Fig. 5, in the upper face portion of a coupling body 50 of the coupling means 22 to be described. The upper end of the fluid passageway 29 opens to a tubular upper end portion 33 of the housing 25 which portion 33 preferably opens, at its upper end, to the interior of the casing 15, and is adapted to receive the gas of the gas-liquid mixture.
mediately above the port 35, curved horizontally, sub-- stantially as in Fig. 3 and joined to the wall 26 at its vertical ends with one end 37 close to the mouth portion 38 of the port and merging gradually into the wall 26, and with its other end 39 spaced from the opposite mouth portion 10, thus forming hoods or louvers. This hooded or louvered arrangement of the shape of the wall portion 36 and its disposition with respect to the port 35 is for the purpose of best discharging the separated liquid, as oil, from the centrifugal gas-liquid mixture. Since Fig. 3
is a section as indicated by the arrows in Fig. 2, the liquid flows along the wall is in the direction indicated by the arrow [1 in Fig. 3 and, since the wall 37 merges gradually into the wall 25 there is no abrupt change in the rate of flow of the separated liquid out of the port 35 which would be apt to create gas bubbles, and the liquid drops, by gravity along the outer face of the wall 28 losing its spiral momentum which is, in efiect, braked "by the Wall 39 and adjacent portion of the wall 26,'since the wall 39 joins the wall 26 quite abruptly and a pocket is formed thereby. However the gas, being lighter than the liquid (as oil), remains mainly in the area of the passageway 29 and is carried upwardly for discharge into the tubular upper end portion 33.
The walls 26 and 27 substantially parallel the longitudinal axis of the tubing 16, and the wall 27, being in face-to-fa-ce contact with the wall of the tubing 16, is supported thereby.
It will be noted that the battle means are disposed along the lower portion of the tubular housing 25 with the upper portion free thereof. This arrangement is because the separated liquid will bleed from the housing by the time the liquid reaches an intermediate portion of the length of the housing 25. The separated gas will continue to rise however and any entrained liquid will separate and run down the wall 26 and find its way out of the ports 35.
The separated liquid accumulator means 21 is provided to receive a reserve of separated liquid to supply the pump 18 while or if the well produces heads of gas and oil intermittently. This means 21 is preferably a tubular member 45 with an outer diameter less than the inner diameter of the casing 15 and an inner diameter greater than the outer diameter of the working barrel of the pump 13 since the latter extends through the tubular member 45 with its lower end adjacent the lower end of the tubular member 45, which latter lower end is closed, as by the closure 46. The upper end portion of the tubular member may be exteriorly screw threaded for screw threaded connection with the lower portion of a coupling body 50 of the means 22 to be next described.
The dual function coupling means 22 comprises a coupling body 59, with upper face substantially as shown in Fig. and provided with a central opening 51 to receive the well tubing 16, an opening or mouth 52, spaced therefrom, to align with the lower opening of the tubular housing 25, preferably two spaced-apart screw-threaded sockets 53 to receive the screw threaded portions of the screws 32, and a relatively large liquid-receiving port 54 which is preferably arcuate as in Fig. 5 to receive the oil bled from the ports 35. Means 55 to detachably secure the gas anchor D to the well tubing 16 may comprise, by way of example, an upwardly-extending arcuate collar portion 56 in facing engagement with a portion of the tubing 16 and having a screw-threaded opening to receive the screw-threaded shank of a set screw 57 for employment as in Fig. 4. At the lower end portion of the coupling body 50, the latter is interiorly screwthreaded for screw-threaded coupling to the upper end of the tubular member 45.
Extending through the coupling body 50 is a gas-liquid mixture passageway 58 with its upper end opening to the mouth 52 and its lower end opening to the mouth 59. These mouths and passageway are relatively large since I have discovered that if there is a great pressure drop which occurs when flow of the gas-oil mixture is discharged from restricted nozzles or the like, there is a highly undesirable evolution of gas. By way of example the mouths 52 and 59 may have a length, compared to the inner diameter of the casing as substantially 1:6 and a width as substantially 1:8.
Packer means carried by the coupling body 50 may consist of a plurality (as three) of rings 60, as of rubber, which may be separated by metallic spaced rings 61 and a metallic lock nut 62 employed, in conjunction with exterior screw threads 63 of the coupling body, to cause the assembly to bear against a shoulder 64 of the coupling body. The rings bear at their outer peripheries against the inner face of the casing 15 and provide a seal between a first zone in the casing occupied by the separated liquid accumulator means 21 and second and third zones, being the zone where the separated gas discharges and the zone where the separated liquid discharges and drops to the liquid-receiving port 54. The lowermost of the rings provides a bafile or stop, whereby the upwardly-flowing gas-liquid mixture is diverted into the mouth 59.
Figs. 7, 8 and 8A illustrate an assembly which differs from that of Figs. 1 to 6 inclusive only in that a pump 65, which may be a conventional plunger pump, is positioned above the gas anchor D in a well A, and a suction pipe 66 is disposed in the tubular member 45 of the liquid accumulator means 21 and in communication with the well tubing 16. Preferably, there is no change in the gas and liquid separating means 20, liquid accumulator means 21 and coupling means 22 and like reference characters are employed for like parts in all the views.
Whether the pump is disposed above the gas anchor or within a portion of it, the operation of the gas anchor is the same. The gas-liquid mixture will flow upwardly in the space between the inner face of the casing 15 and outer face of the tubular member 45 and enter the wide mouth 59 with little restriction, flow upwardly through the passageway 58 and mouth 52 and into the spiral passageway 29. The spiral path of the gas-liquid mixture will provide centrifugal action to cause the heavier liquid (as oil) to migrate toward the outer wall 26 of the tubular housing 25 and the gas to be left behind (adjacent the inner wall 27). As the separated liquid reaches the ports 35 it will bleed therefrom, its spiral momentum will be braked and it will descend by gravity to the chamber within the accumulator tubular member 45, flowing through the opening 54 in its descent. Here it will provide a reserve of liquid to supply the pump as stated. The separated gas will continue its spiral flow and emerge from the tubular upper end 33 of the gas and liquid separating means 20.
Various changes may be made to the form of the invention herein shown and described without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A gas anchor including centrifuging means for centrifugal separation of an upwardly-flowing gas-liquid mixture, said means including an elongated vertically-extending tubular housing of spiral formation provided with a gas-liquid mixture receiving port at its lower end, a separated gas discharge way at its upper end, a plurality of spaced-apart separated liquid discharge ports at only the lower end portion of said housing, and a hooded baffle disposed outwardly and facing each of said separated liquid discharge ports, each baffle having a closed upper portion and an open lower portion; separated liquid accumulator means including a reservoir, in communication with each separated liquid discharge port and disposed below said centrifuging means; and coupling means, connecting said housing and reservoir.
2. A gas anchor according to claim 1 characterized in that each bafiie has side walls joining said closed upper portion with one of said side walls gradually merging into the wall of said housing and the other of said side walls merging abruptly into said wall of said housing.
3. A gas anchor according to claim 1 characterized in that said other of said side walls joins said wall of said housing at a location spaced from the mouth of the separated liquid discharge port associated therewith, whereby a pocket is formed at one side portion of said battle to retard swirling of the separated liquid discharged from said liquid discharge port.
4. A gas anchor including centrifuging means for centrifugal separation of a flowing gas-liquid mixture, said means including an elongated tubular housing of spiral formation provided with a gas-liquid mixture receiving port, a separated gas discharge way and a separated liquid discharge way; separated liquid accumulator means including a reservoir in communication with the last-named way; and coupling means for supporting and connecting said centrifuging means and accumulator means, said coupling means having a coupling body with a relatively wide and long gas-liquid mixture receiving port and a gas and liquid mixture passageway in communication with the first-named gas-liquid mixture receiving port.
5. In combination with conventional well tubing, a gas anchor including centrifuging means for centrifugal separation of a flowing gas-liquid mixture, said means including an elongated tubular housing of spiral formation extending about a portion of said well tubing and provided with spaced-apart facing vertical walls substantially paralleling the longitudinal axis of said Well tubing, a separated liquid discharge way in the facing vertical wall most remote from said axis, the other of said facing vertical walls being in face-to-face contact with said portion of said well tubing, a separated gas discharge way at one end of said housing and a gas-liquid mixture receiving port at the other end of said housing; separated liquid accumulator means, including a reservoir in communication with the separated liquid discharge way; and support means between said centrifuging means and accumulator means for supporting and connecting said housing and reservoir.
6. In combination with well casing, a gas anchor within said well casing, said gas anchor including centrifuging means for centrifugal separation of a flowing gas-liquid mixture from within said well casing, said means including an elongated tubular housing of spiral formation provided with a gas-liquid mixture receiving port open to a first Zone in the interior of said casing, a separated gas discharge way open to a second zone in the interior of said casing, and a separated liquid discharge Way open to a third zone in the interior of said casing; separated liquid accumulator means, including a reservoir in communication with the last named way and third Zone; and coupling connecting means for supporting and connecting said centrifuging means and accumulator means, including a coupling body provided with a passageway from said first zone to the interior of said housing, and also being provided with packer means extending to said casing for packing off said first zone from said second and third zones.
7. The combination according to claim 6 characterized in that the mouth of said passageway opening to said first zone is disposed closely adjacent said packer means, whereby said packer means provides a bar'ile to direct a gas-liquid mixture into the last-named mouth.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 194,704 Means Aug. 28, 1877 1,639,734 Jones Aug. 23, 1927 1,751,017 Sullivan Mar. 18, 1930 2,214,064 Niles Sept. 10, 1940 2,517,198 Gilbert Aug. 1, 1950 2,652,130 Ferguson Sept. 15, 1953 2,748,719 Wells June 5, 1956 2,764,102 Abdo et al Sept. 25, 1956 2,771,038 Cameron Nov. 20, 1956