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Publication numberUS2898087 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 4, 1959
Filing dateMay 1, 1956
Priority dateMay 1, 1956
Publication numberUS 2898087 A, US 2898087A, US-A-2898087, US2898087 A, US2898087A
InventorsWallace Clark
Original AssigneeWallace Clark
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well drilling apparatus and method
US 2898087 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 4, 1959 w. CLARK WELL DRILLING APPARATUS AND METHOD 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 1, 1956 A: we JuPPL Y INVENTOR. Mums (LA/2K, BY 1 M A M ATTORNEYS.

55 Sheets-Sheet 3 IN V EN TOR. huflcs CLA K,


ll .5$45illllrlfi/lllaurrlza1517115515 94I Aug. 4, 1959 w. CLARK WELL DRILLING APPARATUS AND METHOD Filed May 1, 1956 2,898,087 WELL DRILLING APPARATUS AND METHO 7 Wallace Clark, Indianapolis, Ind.

Application May 1, 1956, Serial No. 582,016

l'Claim. (Cl. 255-4 This invention relates to well drilling apparatus and a method of drilling wells which is adaptable not only for the drilling of shallow wells, but also for thedrilling of deep wells for water, oil or gas. It is also adaptable to the sampling of wells to determine geological or mineralogical data in connection therewith. According to present general practice in the drilling of wells, a drill bit of one type or another is secured to the lower end of a piece of drill pipe. By means of a suitable rig on the ground, the drill pipe is held in vertical position and is caused to rotate. At the same time, a drilling mud is pumped through the drill pipe and issues through the drill bit to wash away the particles of earth or rock during the drilling operation and flush them to the surface through the annular space between the drilled hole and the drill pipe.

When the hole becomes too deep for the piece of drill pipe being used, another section of drill pipe is coupled to the first and the operation proceeds. As the hole attains a great depth, the rotative effort of the drill bit is transmitted through a very long pipe composed of a number of sections coupled together. If it becomes necessary to replace the drill bit, the entire assembly of drill pipe must be pulled up out of the hole and uncoupled section by section and when a new drill bit hasbeen attached, the entire process is reversed until the drill hit again reaches the bottom of the hole. This is of course a very tedious and time consuming operation.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a well drilling organization wherein the prime mover which causes rotation of thedrill bit is disposed within the drill pipe relatively close to the drill bit.

In this connection, it is an object of the invention to adapt for the purpose of a motor to drive the drill bit, a pair of helical gears such as was disclosed and claimed in the. Moineau patent, No. 1,892,217, and Moineau patent, No. 2,028,407, and other patents to the same inventor. Devices according to the Moineau disclosure have become commercially well known in the form of pumps and compressors marketed under the trademark Moyno by Robbins & Myers, Inc. Although the early Moineau patents mention the possibility of using these devices as prime movers or motors, it does not appear that such use has ever been made of them.

Thus, it is another object of the present invention to use as a prime mover for the drill bit a gear pair comprising a fixed element having internal helical threads and a rotor element having at least one external helical thread, such that the stator has one more thread than the rotor. In the Moyno pumps mentioned above, it has been conventional for thestator to have a double thread while the rotor has asin'gle thread. However, the stator may have three threads and the rotor two if desired When these devices are'used as pumps, motive power is applied tothe rotor and a series ofpumping pockets move lonportion of Fig. 9 in a different position, showing a modigitudinally throughthe device. When it-is used as a 2,898,087 Patented Aug. 4, .1959

2 motor, a liquid is pumped through the device whereby the rotor is caused to turn with respect to the stator. Because of the general configuration ofthis type of motor, it can be incorporated substantially within a piece of drill pipe and it is therefore another object of .the invention to provide an organization which may in its entirety be lowered into position inside a well casing. and

withdrawn from position through the well casing.

By virtue of the fact that devices accordingto the Moineau patents can serve as pumps, it is still another object of the invention to provide means for mechanically rotating the rotor of the motor, thereby causing it to act as a pump to permit the sampling of material of the bottom of the well hole. 1

' These and various other objects of the inventionwhich I shall point out in greater detail hereinafter or which will be apparent to one skilled in theart upon reading these specifications, I accomplish by that certain construction and arrangement of parts and that series of method steps of which I shall now disclose certain exemplary embodiments.

Reference is made to the drawings formingaparthereof and in which:

Figure 1 is a vertical cross-sectional view through one embodiment of the organization according to the present invention. I A

Figure 2 is a fragmentary view similar to Figure 1 showing a slight modification.

Figure 3 is a fragmentary enlarged partial cross-sectional view showing another modification.

Figure 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on the line 44 of Figure 1. I

Figure 5 is a semi-diagrammatic cross-sectional view of a well hole showing the organization of Figure l in use in a drilling operation. 7

Figure 6 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of Figure 5.

Figure 7 is a view similar to Figure 5 showing the use of the organization in sampling.

Figure 8 is a cross-sectional view of a well hole showing a modification of the invention during a drilling operation.

Figure 9 is a view similar to Figure 8 showing how the organization is withdrawn or lowered into position.

'Figure 10 is a greatly enlarged showing of the upper fication thereof.

Figure 11 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the lower end of the well casing showing a modified collapsible drill bit. I

Figure 12 is a cross-sectional view showing yet another collapsible drill bit in position to be withdrawn.

Figure 13 is a view similar to Figure 12 showing the drill bit in operative position.

Briefly, in the practice of my invention, I provide a liquid motor generally according to the Moineau patents mentioned above and I secure this motor to the upper end of a relatively short piece of drill pipe. Adjacent the lower end of the piece of drill pipe I provide radial and thrust bearing means for a drill bit shaft and I connect the upper end of the drill bit shaft to the lower end of the motor by means of a connecting rod and of a double universal joint. The lower end of the drill bit shaft carries a drill bit socket to which a'desired drill bit may be secured; Conduits are provided'for the liquid which drives the motor whereby it can pass through the organization and out through the drill bit so that it may wash the cuttings upwardly outside the drill pipe. Additional lengths of drill pipe are secured to the upper end of the motor stator as determined by the depth ofithe AAA Referring now in greater detail to the drawings, the liquid motor is indicated generally at 10 and itcomprises a stator member 11 which may be resilient and which has adouble helical internal thread. The stator 11 is fixedly encased in a metallic sleeve 12. Within the stator operatesth rotor- 13 which has a single" helical thread and which ;operatively engages the internal threads of the stator 11 as taught in the Moineau patents; T I

At" 14 I have indicated a piece of drill pipe having 'meansat' its upper endto threadedly engage the metallic sleeve 12 of the 'motor 10. In the lower portion of the piece of drill pipe 14 I provide radial and thrust bearings for a'shaft 15. While this may be accomplished in many 'ways, I have'shown certain specific details in Figures 1, 2 and 3. Thus, in'Figure 1 I have showna rubber radial bearing 161encased' Within a metallic sleeve '17 and'provided with outer grooves 18 for the passage of liquid. The member 17 is non-rotationally secured within the member 14, as by press fitting, or by other suitable means. In this instance, the shaft 15 is solid and a thrust bearing in one direction is provided by a collar 19 and in the other direction by a collar 19a, both fixed to the drill pipe 14 by means of screws or the like. A hearing washer 20 bears against the collar 19 and a bearing washer 21 bears against the collar 19a. It will be understoodthat in actual practice the collars and washers will be arranged in groups of several such collars and washers to absorb the great thrust, particularly the down thrust. Preferably also the surface contacts of all collars and washers will be covered with hard rubber or similar abrasion resisting 'mate'rialp The bearing collar 21 is maintained in position by an annular flange 22 on the shaft 15 and the bearing washer 20 is maintained in position by the flange 23 which is a part of the double universal 'joint generally indicated at 24, 25. The member 24 may be threaded into the shaft 15 as shown.

Power is transmitted by the motor rotor 13 to the shaft 15 by a connecting'rod 26.

As will appear from a study of the Moineau patents, the connecting rods and double universal joint are necessitated by the fact that the rotor 13 rotates upon an axis eccentric to the axis of the stator and which axis orbits in a cylindrical path.

, A drill bit socket element 27 is secured by a pin or the like to the lower end of the shaft'15 and passes through a suitable seal 28 at the bottom of the pipe 14. A drill bit 29 is received in the socket 27. The bit shown does not constitute part of the present invention and will not be described further.

:The drill bit 29 has a bore 31 and the socket member 27 has a bore 32 and the more or lms radial holes 33 so that liquid. passing through the motor 10 then passes through the pipe 14, the grooves 18, the holes 33 and the bores 32 and 31 as indicated by the small arrows.

A section of drill pipe is shown in broken lines secured to the upper end of the motor 10 and it is through this pipe that the liquid to drive the motor is pumped. The rotor 13 at its upper end has the threaded hole 13a for a purpose which will be described hereinafter.

, In Figure 2 I have shown a minor modification wherein the shaft 15 is replaced by a hollow shaft 15a with which the socket 27a is integral. The drill bit 29 is received in the socket 27a as previously described. In this case, the holes 33 in the socket are of course unnecessary and instead I provide the holes 3311 in the upper end of the shaft 15a. With this arrangement an ordinary rubber bearing 16a may be used and the grooves 18 may be eliminated. In other respects the mounting is the same as .thatiof Figure 1 except that the rubber bearing isshown as pinned against rotation, instead of being press fitted as it is in Figure 1.

I In Figure 3, I have shown an arrangement quite similar to Figure 2 except that the rubber bearing 16a is replaced with conventional bearings. Thus, we have the radial roller bearings 40, 41 and the thrust bore bearings 42 and 43 and the packing glands 44 and 45. The shaft 15a is the same as shown in Figure 2 and is provided with the holes 33a and the integral socket 27a. The bearings are retained in conventional manner as clearly shown in the drawing.

Referring now to Figures to 7 inclusive, I have shown somewhat diagrammatically how the devices may be used. A piece of drill pipe 50 is secured to the upper end of the motor and a packer indicated generally at 51, and well known in the art, is preferably used. It comprises two relatively telescopable parts 51a, 51b with a flexible tubular member 510 secured to one of the telescoping parts at one end and the other at the other end. When the two telescoping parts are extended with relation to each other, the tubular element lies flush against them. When the two telescoping parts are pushed together, as seen in Figure 9, the tubular element is caused to bulge out and contact the .wall .of the hole. This is aconventional packer and it is not believed that further description is necessary. When it is desired to seal the hole, the drill pipe is removed and the bit taken off. The packer is then temporarily installed and the drill pipe is again lowered into the hole. 7 A fitting 52 having a swivel mounting on a threaded shank 53 may be attached in place of the bit during a sampling operation.

Above ground level, a suitable rig indicated generally at 54 is provided and this rig may carry a table 55in which there is provided a square, hexagonal or fluted aperture 56. A member 57 is slidable in the aperture 56 but is maintained against rotation. The member 57 is secured to the top of the string of pipe. When a full length of pipe has been drilled, the string is lifted, and the member 57 removed. A new piece of pipe is added and the string is lowered into the hole and the member 57 is again put on top of the string in a higher position.

The upper end of the member 57 is capped as at 60 and a water line 61 is connected through a pump 62 to a liquid supply 63. As the pump operates, liquid is pumped through the pipe 61 into the pipe 14a whereby the motor 10 is driven and the drilling operation is caused to proceed. The liquid pumped through the pipe 14 returns on the outside of the pipe, as shown by the arrows.

If it is desired to sample the material at the bottom of the well and if, for example, as shown in Figure 7 the drill bit has cut into a possible stratum of oil, gas or water, the packer 51 is used as above described to seal off the hole.

A long rod 70 threaded at one end, as indicated at 71, may then be passed down through the pipe 14a and screwed into the threaded hole 13a mentioned above. A gear 72 may then be attached to the rod 70 and it may be driven by a pinio 73 driven by an electric motor or other prime mover. It will be clear that rotation of the rod 70 will now rotate the rotor 13 of the motor, whereby the motor 10 will be caused to function as a pump and it will pump the material in the bottom of the hole upwardly inside the pipe 14 and 14a, whence it may be passed by means of a suitable runner 74 to a receptacle 75. As soon as liquid in the hole below the sealer has been pumped out, then the material received in the receptacle 75 will be the material present in the stratum 76 at the bottom of the hole.

After the necessary sampling has been accomplished, the rod 70 is simply unscrewed from the rotor 13, the packer is removed and the bit replaced, and drilling may proceed as heretofore described.

Thus far I have described a drilling operation without the use of a well casing. However, my organization is very well adapted to use with a well casing also. Referring now to Figures 8 to 10 inclusive, I have shown the use of tubing indicated at 80, which tubing, after the hole is bored, can be used as the well casing, and will be so referred to hereinafter. For purposes of use with the organization heretofore described, the well casing at its lower end will be provided with an internally splined n'ns- Th na y ne fi s m yb se red the lower end of the casing 80 as shown at 81 in Figures 8 and 9, or it may be a ring 8112 threaded onto the member 80 as shown in Figure 10. The casing 80 is also provided with an annular latching element 82. The drilling organization will be provided adjacent its upper end with an element adapted to engage with the splined ring 81 or 81b, and also with the latching arrangement. The element engageable with the splined ring 81 is the splined member 83 of Figure 8, or the member 8312 of Figure 10. The member 83b is threaded onto the member 10 and is provided 'with the splines 81a engaging the splines in the ring 811). As best seen in Figure 10, cooperating shoulders may be provided on the members 8111 and 83b to limit the downward movement of the motor 10 with respect to the casing 80. The latching arrangement is shown in greater detail in Figure 10. A U-shaped bail 84 is secured to the upper end of the organization and to the upper portion of the bail 84 a member 85 is secured providing diametrically opposed slots for the latch members 86. Compression springs 87 are provided to urge the latch members 86 outwardly into engagement with the annular element 82. Each latch element 86 is provided with an upstanding ear 88 to which are secured the crossed links 89 which are pivoted together at 90. The upper ends of the links 89 are connected together by the links 91 which are pinned together at 92 and to a bail member 93. It will be clear that if the bail member 93 is lifted, the the action of the linkage 89, 90, 91, 92 is that of a pair of ice tongs, so that the latch members 86 will be withdrawn inwardly and free from the member 82.

In lowering the organization into position in the well casing, a hook member 94 surrounded by a conical guide member 95 is secured to a cable 96. In Figure 9, the organization is seen either being lowered into the casing or being raised out of the casing. When the member 83 engages in the splined ring 81 and the latch members 86 have snapped into the annular member 82 and tension on the cable 96 is released, the book 94 is freed from the bail 93 and the hook and cable may be withdrawn from the casing, In this condition, the drilling organization is secured in position at the bottom of the well casing against rotation. When it is desired to withdraw the organization from the hole, the cable 96 is lowered and the conical member 95 will guide the hook 94 into position to engage the bail 93. The entire organization may then be pulled upwardly since the first upward pulling effort will produce a withdrawal of the latches 86.

It must be noted that in the embodiment of Figures 8 to 10, a collapsible drill bit must be employed because the drill bit must be capable of being withdrawn through the well casing.

As a matter of detail and with reference to Figure 10, the splined ring 81b may be threadedly secured to the lower end of the casing 80 and the member 83b having splines 81:: may be threadedly secured to the upper end of the motor 10. The bail 84 may be secured to a piece of pipe 100 which may be threaded into the member 83.

In Figure 11, I have shown a modified collapsible drill bit wherein the two leaves 101 and 102 are pivoted at 103 to a link 104.

In Figures 12 and 13 I have shown a modified collapsible drill bit wherein a number of leaves 105 are pivoted at 106 so that they may move from the position of Figure 12 to the position of Figure 13. Elements 107 provide stops for the outward movement of the leaves 105. In this embodiment, I provide a central member comprising a generally conical element 108 having a lower domed surface 109 set with diamonds and having a spherical upper portion 110 seated within the recess 111 of the bit. In the position of Figure 12, the leaves have swung downwardly and the bit is in position for withdrawal. In the position of Figure 13, the bit is at the bottom of the hole with the leaves 105 pivoted outwardly and with the weight of the assembly resting on the domed face 109. By virtue of the clamping action of the leaves 105 against the domed surface 108, the domed surface 109 is caused to rotate and perform a cutting action. The ball simply prevents the member 108 from falling out when the device is being lifted from the well. Sufiicient clearance for the passage of the drilling fluid or mud is allowed between the member 110 and the recess 111, and between the leaves 105 in their extended drilling position.

As to the drill bits of Figures 11, 12 and 13, it should be noted that by virtue of the collapsible feature I have provided for easy removal of the drill pipe in case of a stuck bit. Furthermore, it makes it possible to run a bit inside of a casing which is smaller than the expanded bit and the bit can thus be used with conventional drilling rigs and methods. If a gas, such as air, is used in place of water, mud, or other drilling fluid, as is sometimes done, an atomized lubricant can be used in the gaseous medium for lubrication of the rotor and stator, and the device operated as a pneumatic motor.

It will be clear that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and it will be clear that I do not intend to limit myself except as set forth in the claim which follows.

Having now fully described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

A well drilling organization, comprising. a length of drill pipe, a radial bearing in the lower end of said pipe, a shaft rotatably mounted in said bearing, flanges on said shaft and thrust bearings for said flanges, said shaft at its lower end having means for the attachment of a drill bit, a hydraulic motor secured to the upper end of the pipe, a driving connection between said motor and said shaft, and a passage through which liquid from said motor may pass to said drill bit, in combination with a length of well casing of larger diameter than said organization, said casing being provided with an annular latching element, outwardly urged latches associated with said organization to latch said organization with respect to said casing against longitudinal movement therein, a crossed linkage secured in said latches and arranged upon lifting by said linkage to withdraw said latches from said annular latching element, and hook-engageable means connected to said linkage for raising and lowering said organization through said casing and a lifting cable having a hook for engagement with said hook-engageable means and having a centering cone secured to said cable immediately above said hook.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,777,961 Capeliuschnicoff Oct. 7, 1930 2,002,385 Bannister May 21, 1935 2,028,407 Moineau Jan. 21, 1936 2,076,761 Barker Apr. 13, 1937 2,250,912 Hudson et al. July 29, 1941 2,348,046 Yost May 2, 1944 2,472,710 Koeln June 7, 1949 2,749,992 Hill June 12, 1956 2,750,154 Boice June 12,.1956 2,764,388 Camp Sept. 25, 1956

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3112801 *Mar 5, 1959Dec 3, 1963Goldstein Jr Albert SWell drilling apparatus
US3260318 *Nov 12, 1963Jul 12, 1966Smith Ind International IncWell drilling apparatus
US3331454 *Jul 22, 1964Jul 18, 1967Robbins & MyersEarth drilling apparatus
US3347169 *Sep 26, 1966Oct 17, 1967Sargent IndustriesRotary well pump
US3603407 *Dec 29, 1969Sep 7, 1971Clark WallaceWell drilling apparatus
US3661218 *May 21, 1970May 9, 1972Brown Cicero CDrilling unit for rotary drilling of wells
US3807513 *Feb 5, 1973Apr 30, 1974Atlantic Richfield CoDownhole drilling tool bearing and seal assembly
US3838953 *Apr 14, 1972Oct 1, 1974Rapidex IncDownhole hydraulic motor suitable for roller bits
US3912426 *Jan 15, 1974Oct 14, 1975Smith InternationalSegmented stator for progressive cavity transducer
US3999901 *Nov 14, 1973Dec 28, 1976Smith International, Inc.Progressive cavity transducer
US4011917 *Mar 29, 1976Mar 15, 1977Wladimir TiraspolskyProcess and universal downhole motor for driving a tool
US4137975 *May 9, 1977Feb 6, 1979The British Petroleum Company LimitedDrilling method
US4446935 *Sep 20, 1982May 8, 1984Reed Tool Company (Delaware)Intermittent high-drag oil well drilling bit
US4518049 *Jun 18, 1984May 21, 1985Vsesojuzny Nauchno-Issledovatelsky Institut Burovoi TekhnikiBottom hole motor for driving rock-breaking tool
US4797075 *Apr 9, 1987Jan 10, 1989Hughes Tool CompanyOverspeed protective gear box for a well pump
US4932482 *Jul 17, 1989Jun 12, 1990Smith International, Inc.Downhole motor with an enlarged connecting rod housing
US4962818 *Mar 28, 1990Oct 16, 1990Smith International, Inc.Downhole motor with an enlarged connecting rod housing
US5139400 *Oct 11, 1989Aug 18, 1992Ide Russell DProgressive cavity drive train
US7686100 *Aug 2, 2006Mar 30, 2010Schlumberger Technology CorporationTechnique and apparatus for drilling and completing a well in one half trip
US8210282 *Nov 14, 2008Jul 3, 2012Strata Directional Technology, LlcSystem and method for preventing slippage and rotation of component alone a tubular shaft
US8556608 *Mar 18, 2010Oct 15, 2013Heishin LtdRotor drive mechanism and pump apparatus including the same
US20080029303 *Aug 2, 2006Feb 7, 2008Daniel CodazziTechnique and apparatus for drilling and completing a well in one half trip
US20100122849 *Nov 14, 2008May 20, 2010Salzer Iii John ASystem and method for preventing slippage and rotation of component along a tubular shaft
US20120039734 *Mar 18, 2010Feb 16, 2012Heishin LtdRotor drive mechanism and pump apparatus including the same
U.S. Classification175/99, 418/48, 166/214, 175/258, 166/106, 175/286, 294/66.1, 175/107
International ClassificationF01C1/10, F01C1/00, E21B4/02, E21B23/00, E21B4/00, E21B23/02
Cooperative ClassificationF01C1/101, E21B23/02, E21B4/02
European ClassificationE21B4/02, E21B23/02, F01C1/10B